- Battle of Mycale
Infobox Military Conflict
conflict=Battle of Mycale
caption=Map of the battle of Mycale. Fleeing Persians were able to follow the river to the mountain range
August 27, 479 BC
territory=Persia loses the Ionian islands.
110 ships [Peter Green, The Greco-Persian Wars ]
300 ships [
Oliver Goldsmith, History of Ancient Greece]
casualties2=HeavyThe Battle of Mycale,
Ancient GreekPolytonic|Μάχη τῆς Μυκάλης, " _gr. Mache tes Mycales", was one of the two major battles that ended the Persian invasion of Greece, during the Greco-Persian Wars. The battle took place on or about August 27, 479 BCon the slopes of Mount Mycale, in mainland Ioniaopposite the island of Samos.
Mycale resulted in the destruction of the main Persian forces in Ionia, as well as their
Battle of Plataeaon the same day on the Greek mainland was a victory as well, and the Persians were forced to leave both Greeceand Ionia and retreat inland, thereby ending Persian rule.
The battle is known to history through the writings of
Herodotus of Halicarnassus.
In the spring of 479 BC various Ionian cities began the process of revolting against their Persian rulers. This did not go well at all, and soon they were forced to turn to the Greek mainland for help. A meeting was called in
Athens, and ambassadors from several Ionian cities, Athens and Spartamet in the early summer. The meeting did not impress the commander of the Persian forces in Thessaly, Mardonius, so he sent terms to Athens demanding that they stay neutral. When they refused the Spartan delegation started for home to prepare for war. Meanwhile Mardonius' forces soon reached Athens, but the citizens had already retreated to nearby Salamis. Thinking the Athenians were ready to surrender, Mardonius again sent them terms, and was again refused.
While the Spartans prepared for war, eventually mustering a force of 5,000 and another 35,000 allies, a delegation from Samos arrived in Sparta asking for help. The Greek fleet of 110 ships set sail from
Delosunder the command of Leotychides.
The Greek approach was heard and the Persians in Samos decide to face them on land. They sailed to the nearby peninsula of Mycale just to the east of the city, and formed a wall out of a number of their ships, dragging the rest onto the beach. When the Greek fleet arrived and found Samos empty, they started a pursuit thinking the Persians were running from battle. The Greeks soon came upon the Persians, already formed up in battle lines on shore. Leotychides yelled to the Ionians in the Persian camp:
Realizing generally what was going on, the Persians disarmed the Samians and sent their enemies, the Milesians, to guard the roads to the rear. Meanwhile the Greeks unloaded their ships and formed up for combat. As usual the Spartans occupied the right wing, placing the Athenians on the left. The Athenians, walking along the beach, found a herald's scepter and thought that it is a divine sign, signifying that the other Greeks had been victorious on the mainland. They then charged forward to the attack alone, and after a short battle the Persians, led by Artaÿntes, were forced to retreat to the fort they had constructed further inland. The Athenians chased them and captured the fort as well. The Persian survivors fled, only to find that the Milesian rear-guard had turned against them as well, and few survived to eventually reach
When the Spartans arrived the Persian camp was looted and their beached ships destroyed. Returning to Samos they then discussed their next moves. The Spartans proposed that they evacuate the cities of the Ionian Greeks and bring the population to the Greek mainland, as they did not consider it worth their trouble to defend the Ionians every time they were attacked. The Athenians, however, objected to losing their colonies, and accepted the Ionian Greeks in a league against Persia.
With the Persians defeated, the Spartans returned to the mainland.The Ionian cities were now in league with Athens however, forming what could only be considered an
Athenian Empire. Previously beholden to Sparta, Athens started exerting an increasing amount of independence, eventually resulting in the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War.
*cite journal |last=Seager |first=Robin |authorlink= |coauthors=Tuplin, Christopher |year=1980 |month= |title=The Freedom of the Greeks of Asia: on the Origins of a Concept and the Creation of a Slogan |journal=
Journal of Hellenic Studies|volume=100 |issue= |pages=141–154 |doi=10.2307/630737 |url= |accessdate= |quote=
* [http://www.livius.org/a/turkey/mycale/mycale.html Livius Picture Archive: Mycale (Dilek Dagi)]
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