History is Philosophy teaching by examples. — Thucydides

Miltiades

d. 489 BC
Civilization: Greek — Athens
   Field of Renown:  military — General
Era:  Persian War

Miltiades
THEY CRASHED INTO THE PERSIAN ARMY WITH TREMENDOUS FORCE
Miltiades was a descendent of a noble Athenian family. He spent the early part of his career in control of important family properties on the Crimean Peninsula in the Black Sea. During these years, he had many adventures involving the Persians, and often cooperated with them. With his fleet, he accompanied Darius on his ill-fated Scythian invasion, and was left with Histiaeus to guard the bridge over the Danube. When Darius did not return after sixty days, he recommended leaving the area, but was over-ruled. In the next decade he took was charged with capturing several islands for Athens, including Lemnos and Imbrose. The Persians were displeased with him, but even more so, when he aided some of the Greek colonies that rebelled against Persia between 499 and 494 B.C. When Mardonius began to prepare for an Invasion over the Bosporus in 492 B.C. Miltiades fled to Athens, and was elected by his clan as its General. From this position, he assumed the leadership of the Athenian troops at the battle of Marathon, many other Generals deferring to him, do to his superior knowledge and experience with the Persian enemy.

The battle of Marathon was a stunning success, and won Miltiades great fame, but powerful enemies. He used his victory to convince Athens to provide a fleet for him to embark on a dubious mission to capture the island of Paros. It is unclear exactly what his motive for doing this was, but in any case, the mission was a failure, and he returned to Athens severely injured and disgraced. His enemies insisted that he pay back the treasury of Athens for the cost of the mission, but he had not the funds to pay the fine at the time he died.


Key events during the life of miltiades:


Year
Event
518 BC
Sent from Athens to take control of Chersonese region (on the Crimean Peninsula).
512 BC
Accompanied Darius on his invasion of Scythia. Left to guard the bridge. Recommended leaving.
  Captured Islands of Lemnos and Imbrose for Athens.
  Aided Ionian revolt against Persia in Asia Minor. Incurred wrath of Darius.
492 BC
Fled to Athens before the first (failed) Greek invasion lead by Mardonius.
490 BC
Hero of Marathon. Recommended fighting immediately instead of waiting for the Spartans.
489 BC
Lead failed expedition to Palos. Returned in disgrace, and died of injuries.

Other Resources


Story Links
Book Links
Retreat from Scythia  in  Darius the Great  by  Jacob Abbott
Invasion of Greece  in  Darius the Great  by  Jacob Abbott
Battle-field of Freedom  in  Pictures from Greek Life and Story  by  Alfred J. Church
Men of Marathon  in  Helmet and Spear  by  Alfred J. Church
Of the First War Against Greece  in  The Story of the Persian War  by  Alfred J. Church
Battle of Marathon  in  The Story of the Greeks  by  H. A. Guerber
Miltiades the Hero of Marathon  in  Famous Men of Greece  by  John H. Haaren and A. B. Poland
How the Athenians Fought the Persians  in  Greek Gods, Heroes, and Men  by  Caroline H. and Samuel B. Harding
Darius Demands Earth and Water  in  The Story of Greece  by  Mary Macgregor
Miltiades Sails to the Island of Paros  in  The Story of Greece  by  Mary Macgregor
Athenians at Marathon  in  Historical Tales: Greek  by  Charles Morris
Four Famous Men of Athens  in  Historical Tales: Greek  by  Charles Morris
First and Second Persian Expeditions  in  The Story of the Greek People  by  Eva March Tappan
Marathon  in  The Boy's Book of Battles  by  Eric Wood


Image Links


Flight of Miltiades
 in 


Contemporary
Short Biography
Histiaeus Very close advisor to Darius, rescued him from disaster in Scythia, later rebelled. Father in law of Aristagoras.
Themistocles Athenian hero of the Battle of Salamis. He masterminded Athenian naval supremacy.
Aristides Athenian General and Statesman. Fought at Marathon, Salamis; created Delian League.
Callimachus Polemarch (leader)of Athenian troops at Marathon; deferred to Miltiades; killed in action.
Darius the Great With six conspirators seized the throne of Persia, primarily through craft rather than force.
Hippias Exiled son of Pisistratus; helped lead Persian forces against Athens at Marathon.
Datis Persian general under Darius, who led the expedition against Athens at Marathon.
Artaphernes Brother of Darius, Satrap of Lydia during Ionian Rebellion. Lead Persian forces at Marathon.
Cimon Athenian statesman and general. Fought Persians in Ionia after the war. Friend of Sparta.
Timo Priestess of the Island of Paros.