tyrannic dynasty of the Pisistratidæ finally overthrown in 510, B.C., the banished tyrant and bis adherents, after vainly seeking to be restored by Spartan intervention, had betaken themselves to Sardis, the capital city of the satrapy of Artaphernes. There Hippias (in the expressive words of Herodotus) began every kind of agitation, slandering the Athenians before Artaphemes, and doing all he could to induce the satrap to place Athens in subjection to him, as the tributary vassal of King Darius. When the Athenians heard of his practices, they sent envoys to Sardis to remonstrate with the Persians against taking up the quarrel of the Athenian refugees.
But Artaphernes gave them in reply a menacing command to receive Hippias back again if they looked for safety. The Athenians were resolved not to purchase safety at such a price, and after rejecting the satrap's terms, they considered that they and the Persians were declared enemies. At this very crisis the Ionian Greeks implored the assistance of their European brethren, to enable them to recover their independence from Persia. Athens, and the city of Eretria in Eubœa, alone consented. Twenty Athenian galleys, and five Eretrian, crossed the Ægæan Sea, and by a bold and sudden march upon Sardis, the Athenians and
- Herod. lib. v. c. 96.