Ionia

Conquest and Reconquest

In the 7th cent. B.C. the Ionian cities were invaded by the Cimmerians, but they survived. In the same century Gyges, king of Lydia, invaded, but it was not until the time of Croesus that their subjugation was completed. When Croesus was conquered (before 546 B.C.) by Cyrus the Great of Persia, the Greek cities came under Persian rule. That rule was not very exacting, but it was despotic in nature, and at the beginning of the 5th cent. B.C. the cities rose in revolt against Darius I. Although the revolt was easily put down, the Persians set out to punish the allies (Athens and Eretria) of the cities. The Persian Wars resulted. Most of the Ionian cities thereby gained a brief freedom, but their fate continued to be subject to treaties with the Persians and changed as Persian fortunes waxed and waned. Alexander the Great easily took (c.335 B.C.) all the Ionian cities in his power, and the Diadochi quarreled over them. The cities continued to be rich and important through the time of the Roman and Byzantine empires. It was only after the Turkish conquest in the 15th cent. A.D. that their culture was destroyed.

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