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date: 20 March 2023



  • Andrew Robert Burn
  •  and Simon Hornblower


Mardonius, nephew and son-in-law of *Darius I of Persia, took over command in Ionia c.492 bce, immediately after the *Ionian Revolt, and removed one major cause of discontent by abolishing government through ‘tyrants’ (see tyranny) and permitting *democracies (Hdt. 6. 43). He may have served during the revolt, under *Datis at Lindus (FGrH 532 (1)). He then restored Persian authority in southern Thrace, despite storm damage to his fleet off Mt. *Athos, and being himself wounded by the Brygians. Herodotus makes him the moving spirit of Xerxes' invasion. Left in command in Greece after the battle of *Salamis, he vainly attempted to detach Athens from the Greek alliance by offers of favourable terms. Withdrawing from Attica in 479 in face of the Greek land-forces, he gave battle (perhaps reluctantly) near Plataea and was defeated and killed (see Persian Wars; Plataea, battle of).


  • Near East

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