Page 0347


Cyrus had no cause of spite against any except those Ionian Greeks who had refused at the

suggestion of his ambassadors to break their allegiance to Croesus.1 But the punishment of

these petty Greek towns was not considered a work of sufficient importance to detain the

king of Persia in the West; so, after a delay of a few weeks in Sardis, he set out for his

own capital, having extended the borders of his Empire in a single campaign to the shores

of the Aegean sea.

On his departure from the Lydian capital Cyrus committed the government of the country to

a certain Tabalus. Another Lydian, named Pactyas, was intrusted with the important duty of

transferring the almost fabulous treasures accumulated by Croesus and his predecessors to

Ecbatana. The work also involved the transfer of some of the more wealthy and influential

Lydian nobles to the capital of the conqueror. Scarcely, however, had this work begun when

an insurrection broke out headed by Pactyas himself, who broke with the governor and drove

him into the citadel. A large part of the native population, together with the Greek

merchants and traders of the city, joined with Pactyas, who was able with the treasures in

his possession to employ a large mercenary force against Tabalus. Cyrus, now en route for

Ecbatana, heard of the insurrection, and detaching a strong body of troops put them under

command of Mazares, a Median general, with directions to suppress the revolt and restore

order in the lately conquered kingdom. Mazares returned to Sardis, but before he reached

the city Pactyas had concluded that discretion was the better part of valor, especially in

a rebel, and gave up the attempt against Tabalus and fled from Sardis.

The insurrectionists were disarmed and order restored without difficulty. Some of the

Greek towns whose citizens had espoused the cause of Pactyas were taken and the people

sold as slaves. The rebel

1 These circumstances are worthy of special note as being the first in a long train of

events involving the relations of the Greek cities of Asia Minor with the Persian Empire,

and leading ultimately to those wars Of world-wide fame in which "all Asia" was

precipitated upon the small but heroic states of Greece.

leader was hunted down in the island of Chios. He was surrendered under command of

Mazares, who soon afterwards died, and was succeeded in the government of Lydia by another

Median general, named Harpagus.

By him a policy less severe was adopted towards the Ionian towns of Asia Minor. He

proceeded to reduce them to submission, but in many instances the inhabitants were

permitted to escape, and in others the terms exacted were so easy that the example of

submission spread from city to city, until not only they but the adjacent Greek islands-

with the exception of Samos -voluntarily surrendered, and became tributary to the


In this general establishment of the authority of the Great King along the shores of the

Aegean, one or two circum- stances are worthy of special note. Policy began to take the

place of brute force. This was illustrated in the conduct of Cyrus towards Miletus. This

city had for a long time held out against the Lydians. It had finally yielded to Croesus

only a short time before he himself was overthrown by a greater. Cyrus was quick to

recognize this course of Miletus, and the city was therefore excepted when the orders were

given to Harpagus to reduce all the Asiatic Greeks to submission. The greatest of the

cities of these people was thus made a conspicuous example of the favor which was likely

to follow in all cases to those who stood against the enemies of Persia. Another

circumstance is the appearance at this time of wise statesmanship-at least by suggestion-

among the Greeks of the Ionian, towns-such statesmanship as, if adopted, might possibly

have saved them, and perhaps even their countrymen beyond the Aegean from the Persian

scourge. It was at this time that Thales, a philosopher of Miletus, proposed that a Greek

Congress, to be constituted of representatives from all the coast towns of Asia Minor and

the littoral islands, should assemble at Teos and form a confederacy, with a view to

securing the independence of each and all. It was nothing less than a rational measure