History, Department of


Date of this Version

December 2002


Published in Oikistes: Studies in Constitutions, Colonies, and Military Power in the Ancient World. Offered in Honor of A. J. Graham. Edited by Vanessa B. Gorman and Eric Robinson. Brill, Leiden•Boston•Köln, 2002. Pages 181–193. Copyright © 2002 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands. Used by permission.


In summary, the events described in Herodotus 6.19.2–22.1 are not only plausible, but entirely consistent with the physical and epigraphic evidence from Miletos. Persia sacked the city and killed or relocated the entire population. For the next fifteen years, while Persia still clung to Ionia, some settlers may have returned from among those who fled the sack or were absent abroad at the time. They settled cautiously on Kalabaktepe, awaiting events. When the Battle of Mykale and subsequent events pushed the Persian authority out of Ionia, the settlers looked to restore their once-famous city to something of its former size and status. They planned out a new, orthogonal city on the ruins of the old, rebuilt on an ambitious scale, and then peopled the site by enticing colonists to join them as full-citizens in the mother city. Economic prosperity recurred quickly, probably in large part because the Milesians were able to exploit their extensive colonial ties and reestablish former trading patterns with alacrity. Thus, in a remarkably short time, Miletos was able to regain much of its former standing in Ionia.

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