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This is an extract from the Wikipedia entry


Miltiades( c. 550 – 489), also known as Miltiades the Younger, was a Greek Athenian citizen known mostly for his role in the Battle of Marathon, as well as for his downfall afterwards. He was the son of Cimon Coalemos, a renowned Olympic chariot-racer, and the father of Cimon, the noted Athenian statesman.

Miltiades was a well-born Athenian, and considered himself a member of the Aeacidae, as well as a member of the prominent Philaid clan. He came of age during the tyranny of the Peisistratids. His family was prominent, due in good part to their success with Olympic chariot-racing. Plutarch claimed that Cimon, Miltiades' father, was known as "Coalemos", meaning "simpleton", because he had a reputation for being rough around the edges, but whose three successive chariot-racing victories at the Olympics made him popular, so popular in fact that, Herodotus claims, the sons of Peisistratos murdered him out of jealousy. Miltiades was named after his father's maternal half-brother, Miltiades the Elder, who was also a victor at Olympic chariot-racing. Miltiades's son Cimon was a major Athenian figure of the 470s and 460s. His daughter Elpinice is remembered for her confrontations with Pericles, as recorded by Plutarch

Tyrant of the Thracian Chersonese:
Around 555, Miltiades the Elder left Athens to establish a colony on the Thracian Chersonese (now the Gallipoli Peninsula), setting himself up as a semi-autonomous tyrant under the protection of Athens. Meanwhile, contrary to what one would expect from a man whose father was rumoured to have been murdered by the city leaders, Miltiades the Younger rose through the ranks of Athens to become eponymous archon under the rule of the Peisistratid tyrant Hippias in 524/23. Miltiades the Elder was childless, so when he died around 520, his nephew, Miltiades the Younger's brother, Stesagoras, inherited the tyranny of the Chersonese. Four years later in 516, Stesagoras met his death by an axe to the head, so the tyrant Hippias sent Miltiades the Younger to claim his brother's lands. Stesagoras' reign had been tumultuous, full of war and revolt.
Wishing to achieve stronger control over his lands than his brother had, Miltiades feigned mourning for his brother's death. When the men of rank from the Chersonese came to console him, he imprisoned them. He then ensured his power by employing 500 troops. He also made an alliance with King Olorus of Thrace by marrying his daughter, Hegesipyle. In around 513, Darius I, the king of Persia, led a large army into the area, forcing the Thracian Chersonese into submission and making Miltiades a vassal of Persian rule. Miltiades joined Darius' northern expedition against the Scythians, and was left with other Greek officers to guard a bridge across the Danube, which Darius had used to cross into Scythia.
Miltiades later claimed that he had tried to convince the other officers to destroy the bridge and leave Darius and his forces to die, but the others were afraid, and Darius was able to recross, though some historians are skeptical of this claim. When the king heard of the planned sabotage, Miltiades' rule became a perilous affair and he had to flee around 511/510. Miltiades joined the Ionian Revolt of 499 against Persian rule, returning to the Chersonese around 496. He established friendly relations with Athens by capturing the islands of Lemnos and Imbros and ceding them to Athens, which had ancient claims to these lands.

Return to Athens:
The Ionian Revolt collapsed in 494, and in 492 Miltiades and his family fled to Athens in five ships to escape a retaliatory Persian invasion. The Athens to which Miltiades returned was no longer a tyranny, but had overthrown the Peisistratids and become a democracy 15 years earlier. Thus, Miltiades initially faced a hostile reception for his tyrannical rule in the Thracian Chersonese. His trial was further complicated by the politics of his aristocratic rivals (he came from the Philaid clan, traditional rivals of the powerful Alcmaeonidae) and the general Athenian mistrust of a man accustomed to unfettered authority. However, Miltiades successfully presented himself as a defender of Greek freedoms against Persian despotism. He also promoted the fact that he had been a first-hand witness to Persian tactics, which was useful knowledge considering the Persians were bent on destroying the city. Thus, Miltiades escaped punishment and was allowed to rejoin his old countrymen.
It was by Miltiades' advice that the Persian heralds who came to Athens to demand earth and water as tokens of submission were put to death.

Battle of Marathon:
Main article: Battle of Marathon:
Miltiades is often credited with devising the tactics that defeated the Persians at the Battle of Marathon. Miltiades was elected to serve as one of the ten generals (strategoi) for 490. In addition to the ten generals, there was one 'war-ruler' (polemarch), Callimachus, who had to decide—with the ten generals evenly split, five to five—whether to attack the Persians who had landed at Marathon under the command of Datis, or wait to fight them closer to Athens. Miltiades, the one with the most experience in fighting the Persians, was firm in insisting that the Persians be fought immediately, as a siege of Athens would lead to its destruction. He convinced Callimachus to use his decisive vote in favor of a swift attack.
He is quoted as saying "I believe that, provided the Gods will give fair play and no favour, we are able to get the best of it in the engagement." Miltiades also convinced the other generals of the necessity of not using the customary tactics of using hoplites arrayed in an evenly distributed phalanx armed with shields and spears, tactics otherwise not deviated from for 100 years, until the time of Epaminondas. Miltiades feared the cavalry of the Persians attacking the flanks, and asked for more hoplites to be stationed there than in the centre. He ordered the two tribes in the centre, the Leontis tribe led by Themistocles and the Antiochis tribe led by Aristides, to be arrayed to a depth of four ranks while the rest of the tribes, on their flanks, were arrayed in eight ranks. Miltiades also had his men march to the end of the Persian archer range, called the "beaten zone", then break out in a run straight at the Persian army.These tactics were successful in defeating the Persians, who then tried to sail around the Cape Sounion and attack Attica from the west. Miltiades got his men to quickly march to the western side of Attica overnight and block the two exits from the plain of Marathon, to prevent the Persians moving inland. Datis fled at the sight of the soldiers who had just defeated him the previous evening. One theory for the Greek success in the battle is the lack of Persian cavalry. The theory is that the Persian cavalry left Marathon for an unspecified reason, and that the Greeks moved to take advantage of this by attacking. This theory is based on the absence of any mention of cavalry in Herodotus' account of the battle, and an entry in the Suda dictionary. The entry ("without cavalry") is explained thus:

The cavalry left. When Datis surrendered and was ready for retreat, the Ionians climbed the trees and gave the Athenians the signal that the cavalry had left. And when Miltiades realized that, he attacked and thus won. From there comes the above-mentioned quote, which is used when someone breaks ranks before battle.

Expedition at Paros:
The following year (489), Miltiades led an Athenian expedition of seventy ships against the Greek-inhabited islands that were deemed to have supported the Persians. The expedition was not a success. His true motivations were to attack Paros, feeling he had been slighted by them in the past. The fleet attacked the island, which had been conquered by the Persians, but failed to take it. Miltiades suffered a grievous leg wound during the campaign and became incapacitated. His failure prompted an outcry on his return to Athens, enabling his political rivals to exploit his fall from grace. Charged with treason, he was sentenced to death, but the sentence was converted to a fine of fifty talents. He was sent to prison where he died, probably of gangrene from his wound. The debt was paid by his son Cimon.




How to cite this article: Rickard, J (15 December 2015), Miltiades the Younger (c.554-489 BC) , http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/people_miltiades_younger.html


Miltiades the Younger (c.554-489) was the victorious Athenian commander at the battle of Marathon, but he died in disgrace in the following year, a victim of the often poisonous politics of Athens. Miltiades was born into a wealthy Athenian family. His uncle had established Athenian authority over an area in the Thracian Chersonese, but died childless. In around 516 Miltiades moved from Athens to the Chersonese (Gallipoli), where he ruled as a tyrant, complete with a bodyguard of 500 men. He also married Hegesipyle, a Thracian princess. This all came during a period when Athens was ruled by a series of Tyrants, starting with Peisistratus (ruled 546-528). Miltiades was sent to the Chersonese by his son Hippias, tyrant from 546-510. Soon after Miltiades arrived in the Chersonese the Persian Emperor Darius I crossed into Europe for the first time, in preparation for a campaign against the Scythians west of the Black Sea. The Chersonese fell to the Persians and Miltiades was forced to acknowledge Persian rule. He accompanied Darius to the Danube in 513. Darius and the Persians crossed to the north bank to campaign against the Scythians, leaving the Greeks to defend the bridge across the River. According to Herodotus Miltiades tried to convince his fellow Greeks to destroy the bridge, trapping the Persians on the northern side of the river, but was overruled.
In 499 the Ionian Revolt began. After the Ionian cities of Asia Minor won some victories over the Persians Miltiades joined the revolt. During this period he entered into friendly relations with the recently established Athenian democracy. This may also have been when he captured the islands of Lemnos and Imbros, which he later gave to Athens. After some early successes the Ionians were defeated. In 493 a Persian fleet arrived off the Chersonese. Miltiades realised that his time was up, and fled to Athens with a small fleet of five boats. One boat, captained by his oldest son Metiochos, was captured by the Persians, but he was treated very well and even married a Persian princess. Miltiades did escape with his younger son, Cimon, who was born in c.510 and thus a young adult at the time of the escape. Soon after his arrival on Athens, Miltiades was put on trial, accused of tyrannical rule in the Chersonese. However his part in the Ionian Revolt and escape from the Persians meant that he had much support in the city and he was acquitted. In 493 Miltiades became one of ten Athenian generals who shared command of the army, a post he held for the next four years. It was clear that the Persians would soon mount an invasion of mainland Greece. The Athenians and Spartans ended a war, and agreed to unite against the invaders. The invasion finally came in 490. The Persians landed on the plains of Marathon, near Athens. The Athenians had 10,000 of their own men and 1,000 Plataeans at hand. Miltiades was able to convince the Athenian Assembly to send the army to the heights overlooking the plains of Marathon, where he hoped the terrain would negate the Persian cavalry. As the Athenian army moved towards Marathon, a runner was sent to Sparta, calling for help. The Spartan's replied that they could only come in six days time, at the end of a religious ceremony. The Athenian generals were now divided on what to do next, with half wanting to wait for the Spartans and half, including Miltiades, wanting to attack at the first opportunity. Miltiades was able to win over an eleventh official, the polemarchos, Callimachus, who had the casting vote. Command of the army was held by each general for a day in turn, but his supporters gave Miltiades their days, so he had command for half of the time.
Battles of the Persian Invasions of Greece:
He was in command when some Ionian deserters reported that the Persian cavalry was away from the camp. He ordered a general attack, with a thin centre and strong wings. The strong Greek wings defeated the Persians on both flanks and then turned inwards to defeat the Persian centre. The battle of Marathon was a crushing Greek victory. According to Herodotus the Athenians and Plataeans only lost 192 men, while the Persians lost 6,400. The Persians had been defeated, but it was clear that their morale had not yet been broken. Once they were back on their ships they attempted to launch a surprise attack on Athens, but the army had made a forced march and arrived back just in time. The Persians then gave up and returned home. Miltiades next suggested that Athens should attack Paros and other islands that had supported the Persians. He was given command of this expedition, but it ended in failure. He was accused of misconduct and found guilty. He was punished with a heavy fine, but died in disgrace of a wound suffered on the expedition. His son Cimon managed to clear his debts, and after performing well at the Battle of Salamis came to dominate Athenian politics for twenty years before also falling from grace. Miltiades was remembered in Athens as the man who had saved them from Persian rule.


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