Wednesday, February 22, 2012

47. The Ionian Revolt

Cyrus the Great died
Passing the dragon onto his son Darius
One day emissaries appeared before the dragon.
The people of the gray eyed goddess feared for their lives.
The war god was stirring up trouble in the south.
They brought offerings of food for the dragon
In exchange for protection.
“But who in the world are these people?”
The dragon asked,
“Where do they live that they want an alliance with me?”
With that the dragon sent them away.
Life under the dragon and king was great for some of the people they ruled over.
Not for the Greeks.
The Ionians were put to use as slaves.
He demanded tribute
He demanded temples to worship him.
He dipped his claws into Greek pools
Spying on them.
Trying to control them.
The Ionians came to resent the dragon and his spokesperson.
They revolted.
A reformed tyrant left his Ionian home
To persuade the dreaded war god
To follow into war with the dragon.
“A march of three days,”
The man said,
“Will give you all the riches of the world.”
The man presented a chart
Detailing the dragon’s cuts of meat.
Ares wouldn’t hear of it.
“No cut of dragon meat is rich enough to be worthy of a three month march.”
Athena was much more agreeable.
She sent her ships to help her Ionian brothers
Miletus was a loss for the goddess.
The dragon angrily snapped up those people
Scattering them like dust in the wind.
Sardis was burned in retaliation
The dragon never forgot that day.

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