200 years before the classical age of Greece, King Darius I, third King of the Persian Achaemenid Empire, ruled over an area stretching from North Africa to the Indian sub-continent, from Kazakhstan to the Arabian Peninsula. Several Anatolian coastal polities rebelled in 499BC, with support and encouragement from the mainland city states of Athens and Eritrea.
This “Ionian Revolt” lasted until 493BC. Though ultimately unsuccessful, the Greeks had exposed themselves to the wrath of Darius. Herodotus records that, every night before dinner, Darius required one of his servants three times, to say to him “Master, remember the Athenians“.
The Persian “King of Kings” sent emissaries to the Greek city states, demanding gifts of earth and water, signifying Darius’ dominion over all the land and sea. Most capitulated, but Athens put Darius’ emissaries on trial and executed them. Sparta didn’t bother with a trial. They…
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