• Flourishing civilizations since the 4th millennium BC

    with flourishing civilizations

    since the 4th millennium BC

  • Demeter's Temple

    impressive monuments

    that recently came to light

  • The museum at Apeiranthos village

    with finds

    of the early cycladic period

  • Faneromeni monastery

    monasteries and churches

    of historic and architectural importance

  • Development of modern Naxos

    bringing naxos

    to its glorious present

Siege of Naxos

The Siege of Naxos, which took place in 499 BC, was the first act of the Persian Empire against the Greek city-states and a clear message of what was to follow. Essentially it was the attempt made by the tyrant Aristagoras of Miletus, under the support of the Persian Empire of Darius the Great (father of Xerxes), to conquer the island of Naxos and the neighboring islands. It is widely recognized as the opening act of the Greek-Persian Wars, which would ultimately last for 50 years culminating in the final defeat of the Persians on mainland Greece 11 years later by the united Greeks at Plataea.

The historical accounts are as follows: Iona was the name of a small area of land on the western coast of Asia Minor. Many of the islands between Ionia and mainland Greece were independent. Among these were today’s Sporades to the north and the Cyclades neighboring the mainland. These latter islands were important trade routes the largest and richest among them was Naxos Island.

The routes of the Persian army during the Ionian Revolt

Around the year 546 B.C., Cyrus of Persia (former ruler pre Darius the usurper) crowned himself King of Kings and in the process annexed the Cyclades. He immediately instated higher taxes and placed tyrant rulers creating much dissatisfaction and unrest among the people of the new lands. The result of this action was the Revolt of Naxos. The angry people of Naxos successfully drove away a number of nobles from the island in protest to the measures they supported. The banished aristocrats sought to regain control of Naxos with the help of the tyrant ruler of Ionia's largest city, Aristagoras of Miletus. Aristagoras sensed he would be able to annex Naxos for himself once the conflict ended. The task of doing so required more resources that he could muster compelling him to approach the Persian satrap (local lord) Artaphernes asking him for help.

Artaphernes appointed Megabates Darius’ cousin to see the task through. On the journey to Naxos, Aristagoras and Megabates quarreled and the historian Herodotus suggests that Megabates informed the Naxians of the imminent arrival of the force. The expedition ended in a debacle. When they arrived, the Persians and allied Ionians were faced with a city well prepared to undergo siege. The expeditionary force dug in to besiege the defenders and ran out of money four months later forcing their return to Asia Minor without success. There is some speculation as to whether it was Megabates who warned the Naxians or Aristagoras, since a failed expedition would have cost massive amounts of money and political fallout in Persia whith ensuing consequences. Some suggest that it was Aristagoras instead who informed the Naxians to avenge the previous fallout he had had with Megabates.

In the aftermath of the disastrous expedition, sensing danger and fearing consequences from an enraged Darius, Aristagoras incited the whole of Ionia into rebellion against Darius. The revolt eventually spread to Caria and Cyprus both of whom were under Persian control. A Persian campaign across Asia Minor followed for three years with no decisive effect in their attempt to quell the rebellion. Eventually, the Persians regrouped and crushed epicenter of the rebellion at Aristagoras’ hometown of Miletus. Aristagoras had enlisted the help of the Eretrians and Athenians in his attempt to ward off the Persians. This placed them squarely against the Persians who would not forget their role and would consequently put them in his sights.

The ensuing Battle of Lade, proved to be the harbinger of Aristagoras’ final undoing, he was murdered several years later in Thrace. The Persians decisively defeated the Ionian fleet and effectively crushed the rebellion. Asia Minor had been brought back into the fold and Darius vowed to punish the Athenians and Eretrians, who had supported the revolt causing him so much trouble. The first Persian invasion of mainland Greece In 492 BC would begin as a consequence of the failed attack on Naxos. That too failed…

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The highlights of Naxos

The beaches of Naxos

The secluding beaches of Naxos

More than 30 beaches !!!

Yes, it is true. The island of Naxos offers the greatest variety of beaches you could ever hope to find & endless opportunities for explorations.

The villages of Naxos

The traditional villages of Naxos

Traditional or modern Naxos villages, inhabited or abandoned, one thing is for sure, you won't ever get bored.

The various activities

Naxos activities

A wide variety of activities during your holiday

Taste new experiences during your holiday on Naxos. You may enjoy surfing, walking, snorkelling, sailing, horseback riding, cooking and so many more ...

Family holidays on Naxos

Naxos holidays

Naxos is mostly a family destination. It is ideal for families with small children.

Top Naxos Beaches Photos

The best beaches of Naxos
Naxos.net friends have selected the most wonderful photos of Naxos beaches. Have fun ...
The historical periods of Naxos
Prehistoric times on Naxos
Naxos goes a long way back, with various civilizations flourishing on the island since the 4th millennium BC and it is speculated that the first inhabitants ...
The classical period of history of Naxos
Naxos’ importance and influence declined in the Classical age as did for most of the islands. In the face of the Persian invasion in 490 BC, Naxians adopted ...
Byzantine times on Naxos
With the rise of Rome, after 41 BC, Naxos was part of the Roman province of the islands which was governed from Rhodes. The Romans often utilized the island ...
Venetian history of Naxos
Venetian rule of Naxos took place between 1207 and 1537. Around 1207 AD, the Venetian Marco Sanudo landed with his men at Agiassos and after a siege ...
The history of Naxos during Ottoman occupation
Turkish rule of Naxos lasted from 1537 to 1829 when Naxos joined the modern Greek state. The Turks chose not to colonize Naxos and the other ...
The history of Naxos during modern times
True to feudal society, Naxian society was divided into three classes: the feudal lords and “masters” who lived in mansions, the peasants ...

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