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Datis, the general of the Persians and a Mede by descent, having received from his ancestors the tradition that the Athenians were descendants of Medus, who had established the kingdom of Media, sent a message to the Athenians declaring that he was come with an army to demand the return of the sovereignty which had belonged to his ancestors; for Medus, he said, who was the oldest of his own ancestors, had been deprived of the kingship by the Athenians, and removing to Asia had founded the kingdom of Media. [2] Consequently, he went on to say, if they would return the kingdom to him, he would forgive them for this guilty act1 and for the campaign they had made against Sardis; but if they opposed his demand, they would suffer a worse fate than had the Eretrians.2 [3] Miltiades, voicing the decision reached by the ten generals, replied that according to the statement of the envoys it was more appropriate for the Athenians to hold the mastery over the empire of the Medes than for Datis to hold it over the state of the Athenians; for it was a man of Athens who had established the kingdom of the Medes, whereas no man of Median race had ever controlled Athens. Datis, on hearing this reply, made ready for battle.Const. Exc. 4, pp. 298-301.

1 Of expelling his ancestor.

2 Eretria was plundered and burned by the Persians a few days before the battle of Marathon, 490 B.C.

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