Persia was for the policy-making classes in the largest Greek states a constant preoccupation.(It is not known, however, how far down the social scale this preoccupation extended in reality.) Persia was never less than a subject for artistic and oratorical reference, and sometimes it actually determined foreign policy decisions.Such gifts, however, were necessarily made at the expense of the poleis in whose territory the land so gifted had lain.In this, surely, were the makings of a serious economic grievance.).
How different all this was from the situation before 500 is beyond retrieval, but the continuity of civic structures and cults in eastern Greek states from the Archaic period to Classical times implies that in many respects the Persian takeover of 546 was not cataclysmic.This is odd, because it is inconsistent with the whole thrust of his narrative, which regards the clash as an inevitability from a much earlier date; it is part of his general view that military monarchies like the Persian expand necessarily (hence his earlier inclusion of material about, for instance, , Egypt, and Scythia, places previously attacked by Persia).The reasons for Herodotus’ hostility have partly to do with anti-Milesian sentiment specifically in fellow-Ionian Samos, where he gathered some of his material (the Samians seem to have tried to represent the failure as due to the incompetence and ambitions of Milesian individuals), and partly with the generally Ionian character of the revolt (Herodotus’ home town of Halicarnassus was partly Dorian, partly Carian).Perhaps one should look instead for military causes: Ionians disliked the military service to which they were then compelled (they did not even care much for the naval training they had to undergo, in a better cause, before Lade).Persia not only expected personal military service but punished attempts to evade it, even at high social levels.