четверг, 28 апреля 2022 г.

Gab news 29/04/2022

At this time, the Greek world began to face a new danger, approaching from the depths of Asia to the sea, namely the Persians, who for several centuries became the most dangerous enemies of the Greeks and had a great influence on the course of Greek history. Moving from Lydia, the Persians had, first of all, to subdue the Greeks of Asia Minor. The Lydian kings have already since the time of the first king Giga, who made in 690 BC. e. a country independent of Assyrian domination and having created a vast state, they recognized the great importance of maritime relations and therefore sought to own harbors on the coast of Asia Minor, which was important for them. They managed to take over the area of ​​Troy, after which they began to fight with the Greek states; some of them, such as Magnesia and Smyrna, were conquered and destroyed. Miletus, on the other hand, successfully withstood an eleven-year siege, thanks to the fleet, which allowed him freedom of maritime relations, and concluded in 605 BC. e. peace with Lydia. At this time, Assyria collapsed, and the Lydian king Aliattes (609-561 BC) was forced to start a war with the Medes to protect his kingdom in the east; he managed to keep the lands under his rule up to the river Galis. There is a calm in the west.

By this time, the Greek cities of Asia Minor, trading in Egypt, Libya, Pontus and the entire eastern Mediterranean Sea, and having driven out the Phoenicians who had begun to decline from everywhere, reached their greatest prosperity. Croesus (560-546 BC), who succeeded Aliatta, resumed the systematic struggle against the Greeks and put an end to their independence. Appreciating Greek culture very much and wanting to introduce the Lydians to it, he donated unusually valuable gifts to the Delphic temple, took part in the Olympic Games, sending his representatives there, and was friends with the Alcmeonids. But the advantages of owning the coast of Asia Minor were too clear to him in order to leave him independent. Therefore, he subjugated Ephesus, which lay near Sardis, by force, and then imposed tribute on the rest of the cities, but treated them very gently, so that they retained their independence. In 546 BC. e. he was besieged in Sardis by the Persians, captured and deposed from the throne by the king of the Persians, Cyrus. Lydia was turned into a Persian province. The Ionian cities revolted against the Persians, with the exception of Miletus, who preferred to negotiate with the Persians, while the rest of the cities did not unite for joint defense against the Persian danger, and were conquered one by one and suffered a more or less sad fate. The Phocians, wishing to prevent such an outcome, decided to leave their city; having loaded their property and families on ships, including fifty penteconters, they set off in search of new lands. Not being accepted by their fellow tribesmen in Chios, they went to Alalia in Corsica and engaged in sea robbery. This caused a joint attack on them by the Carthaginians and Etruscans, resulting in the Battle of Alalia (in 537 BC). In this battle, the Phocians, although they were not defeated, lost most of their ships and decided not to stay on the island, but to move to Rhegium (Southern Italy). The same thing happened to the inhabitants of the Ionian city of Teos, who subsequently founded Abdera in Thrace. Other cities did not follow suit. Even some of the islands submitted to the Persians, despite their lack of a fleet, and only the Carian cities offered desperate resistance.

After the death of Cyrus, which followed in 525 BC. e., he was succeeded by Cambyses, who undertook the conquest of Egypt. The conquered Phoenicians and the Greeks of Asia Minor were forced to put their ships at the disposal of the Persians. With the help of the fleet created in this way, and with the participation of the leader of the Greek mercenaries, Phaneus, Cambyses became the ruler of Egypt. After his death, which followed in 522 BC. e., Darius Hystaspes became king of Persia.

To these wars has something to do with Polycrates, the tyrant of Samos, who deserves to be mentioned as a representative of the Greek maritime power. The Samians, who achieved success in the field of shipbuilding, navigation, industry, agriculture and mining, were distinguished, in addition, by enterprise and ingenuity. The father of Polycrates, the head of the Samian fleet, raised an uprising against aristocratic rule, overthrew him and became a tyrant. After his death, power passed to his three sons. Polycrates killed one brother, expelled another, and became sole ruler (in 536 BC). Possessing outstanding abilities, ambitious and rich, in a short time he built a fleet of 100 fifty-oared ships, which no other could equal. With such a fleet, reigning over the sea, he began to conduct sea robbery throughout the Archipelago: he imposed tribute on the port cities, defeated the Milesians and Lesbos, destroyed the cities that resisted him, conquered Delos and the islands adjacent to it, and took possession of the entire Archipelago; he even intended to establish a Greco-Ionian maritime union with the sacred island of Delos as its center; however, the city of Samos was to remain the capital, which he, with the help of the conquered treasures, made the most beautiful of cities, attracting scientists, artists and poets.

Having no rivals at sea, Polycrates nevertheless feared Persian power. Therefore, he offered Cambyses, during a campaign against the Egyptian king Amasis, his former friend and ally, a squadron of forty ships, on which he put his political opponents, thinking to get rid of them. On the way to Egypt, the latter rebelled and, returning back, defeated Polycrates, who came out to meet them at the head of the remaining fleet. But they did not have enough strength to take Samos, and they turned to Sparta for help against the tyrant, which was provided to them by Sparta and Corinth. The Spartans first undertook a sea campaign that ended in failure. The allies besieged Polycrates in his fortified city, which perfectly withstood all their assaults, and were forced to lift the siege after forty days. The immediate danger for Polycrates was over, but he no longer had either a fleet or money to build a new one. At this time, the ambassadors of the Persian satrap Oroetes came to him, inviting him to his place and offering to share their treasures with him, since he, Oroetes, fell out of favor with Cambyses. Polycrates let himself be fooled and drove off; on arrival, he was captured and crucified. Thus ended the eventful and brilliant period of Samian maritime power.

The Samian squadron, retreating from Samos along with the Corinthians and Spartans, independently began to engage in sea robbery and acquired the island of Hydra, due to its position, very favorable for piracy. For five years, robbers appeared in the harbor of Kydonia in Crete and robbed ships. It can be considered very characteristic of the conditions of navigation at that time that the combined efforts of the fleets of Aegina and Crete were required to exterminate the Samian sea robbers.

Darius came to the throne in 522 BC. e. twenty-eight years old, having previously eliminated his rival. At his disposal was an immense state, stretching from the Caucasus to Ethiopia and from the Mediterranean to India; the connection between the individual parts of the state was very weak, and constantly, here and there, uprisings broke out. It took Darius many years of warfare before he was recognized as king everywhere.

Darius divided his kingdom into 20 regions (satrapies), according to nationalities, giving them freedom of religion and local self-government. At the head of each region was a governor (satrap), who was charged with the duty to repel enemies, put up, at the request of the king, a certain number of troops and pay tribute. The collection of taxes was in charge of a special institution, composed of officials carefully trained for administrative activities. Darius introduced land taxes and for this purpose ordered to measure the country and find out the profitability of the land. These land taxes totaled approximately 14,560 talents. To this sum it is necessary to add more receipts for the maintenance of the royal court, duties, etc. From the remnants, Darius formed a state fund. Taking care of trade and relations, he ordered the construction of a whole network of excellent roads and canals, streamlined the monetary system, and coinage remained the monopoly of the government. The road from the capital Susa to Sardis was 2445 kilometers long, from Susa to Marakanda (Samarkand) - 2500 kilometers. Every 22 kilometers there was a post station with a hotel and horses for change. Roads served mainly for mail, and then for the transport of people and goods; it took 90 days to travel from Susa to Sardis. But the courier made this way, of course, much faster.

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