Siege of Eretria

Siege Of Eretria

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Siege of Eretria

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The Siege of Eretria took place in 490 BC, during the first Persian invasion of Greece. The city of Eretria, on Euboea, was besieged by a strong Persian force under the command of Datis and Artaphernes.

The first Persian invasion was a response to Greek involvement in the Ionian Revolt, when the Eretrians and Athenians had sent a force to support the cities of Ionia in their attempt to overthrow Persian rule. The Eretrian and Athenian force had succeeded in capturing and burning Sardis, but was then forced to retreat with heavy losses. In response to this raid, the Persian king Darius I swore to have revenge on Athens and Eretria.

Once the Ionian revolt was finally crushed by the Persian victory at the Battle of Lade, Darius began to plan to subjugate Greece. In 490 BC, he sent a naval task force under Datis and Artaphernes across the Aegean to subjugate the Cyclades, and then to make punitive attacks on Athens and Eretria. Reaching Euboea in mid-summer after a successful campaign in the Aegean, the Persians proceeded to put Eretria under siege. The siege lasted six days before a fifth column of Eretrian nobles betrayed the city to the Persians. The city was plundered, and the population enslaved on Darius's orders. The Eretrian prisoners were eventually taken to Persia and settled as colonists in Cissia.

After Eretria, the Persian force sailed for Athens, landing at the bay of Marathon. An Athenian army marched to meet them, and won a famous victory at the Battle of Marathon,...
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