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The Battle of Lade was fought in 494 BC between the Ionians and the Persians. It was the culmination of the Ionian Revolt.

Background

The Ionian Revolt began in 499 BC when Aristagoras of Miletus rose up against the Persians, who had conquered the area. Aristagoras appealed for help from mainland Greece, and in 498 BC the Athenians captured and burned Sardis, the centre of the local Persian government. The Persians responded with a naval attack in 494.

Battle

The Persian commander Artaphernes had recaptured many of the Ionian cities by 494, and was besieging Miletus from both land and sea. That year the Persian fleet met the Greek fleet off of Miletus' port of Lade. The Ionians joined with many of the islands of the Aegean Sea and had a force of 353 triremes, while the Persians had 600 ships. The Ionians were led by Dionysius of Phocaea, who, according to Herodotus, worked them so hard in preparation for the battle that for some time they refused to fight. As the battle began, many of the Ionian ships were still refusing to engage the Persians; upon realizing this, 49 ships from Samos left the line. This act caused the 70 ships from Lesbos to leave as well, and a chain reaction followed as other ships also withdrew. Dionysius' ships fled when they realized the battle was lost. The remaining Greek fleet was annihilated, and Miletus surrendered shortly thereafter.

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Aftermath

The Ionian Revolt was crushed, and in 492 BC the Persians conquered Macedon and Thrace. They were not defeated on mainland Greece until 490 BC at the Battle of Marathon. Meanwhile, Dionysius became a pirate in Sicily.

Battle of Lade

Conflict

Ionian Revolt/Persian Wars

Date

494 BC

Place

Off Miletus, Ionia

Result

Persian victory

Combatants

Ionia

Persia

Commanders

Dionysius of Phocaea

Artaphernes

Strength

353 ships

600 ships

Casualties

Unknown

Unknown


Battle before

Battle after

Battle of Ephesus

Battle of Marathon

Herodotus Histories Book 6


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