Read this article to learn about the actual results and consequences of the Ionian Revolt.
The Ionian revolt ending with the fall of Miletus had a profound influence on the subsequent history of Athens.
True that during the revolt Miltiades the tyrant of Chersonese sided with the rebels and conquered for Athens where he came over from Chersonese, the isles of Lemnos and Imbros.
Yet the Ionian revolt brought upon the Athenians and the Eretrians who sided with the’ rebels and participated in the burning of Sardis, the wrath of the Persian King.
Although Athens had withdrawn from the revolt at an early stage, the fall of Miletus which ended the revolt naturally came as a great shock and disappointment to the Athenians. Apart from the sympathy for the Milesians with whom the Athenians were on good terms, the fall of Miletus and the suppression of the revolt naturally roused among the Athenians a feeling of fear of the probable punishment at the hands of the Persian emperor whom they had given cause of wrath.
Persian king Darius had ever since he came to know of the Athenian and Eretrian complicity in the attack on Sardis, sternly resolved to measure out adequate punishment by way of revenge on these two countries. Athens and Eretria could certainly not escape without chastisement for the insult to the great king’s pride. Further, Hippias the banished tyrant of Athens who found asylum at the Persian court also urged an expedition against the city that had thrown him out. The decision was to send an expedition against Athens straight across the Aegean.
In the meantime steps were taken to reorganise the reconquered territories. Ionian cities were all surveyed and the amount of tribute to be paid by each was fixed on the results of the survey. All this was done by Artaphernes on Darius’ instruction. Mardonius, son-in-law of the king was sent to reassert Persian supremacy over Thrace and Macedonia. The revolt taught the Persians that the system of tyrannies did not answer and an experiment in opposite policy was undertaken. Despotism was replaced by democratic governments. The world may well have been surprised, to see the great despotism of all favouring the institutions of democracy.
The failure of the revolt had taught the Greeks the lessons that lack of unity and the want of adequate naval support were the causes of the failure of the Greeks against Persia. These were the two points that the European Greeks sought to achieve in their subsequent conflict with the Persians.
The Ionian revolt was indeed the ostensible cause of the Persian expedition against the mainland of Greece, but it lay in the logic of history that the Persian expansionism would not have left the European Greeks alone even if there were no Ionian revolt. The Ionian revolt only saved the mainland of Greece for a time and gave it adequate warning about the prospect of a Persian invasion.
In Ionia the revolt resulted in an economic depression, political despondency and a retardation of the Greek art, culture, literature, industry and commerce. While the payment of tribute was insulting, the feeling of general despondency was damping to the creative geniuses for which Ionian Greeks were particularly noted in the seventh and the eighth centuries B.C.