Ionia, known in Old Persian as Yauna, was a satrapy of the First Persian Empire. The first mention of the Yauna is at the Behistun inscription. The Ionians were conquered by Cyrus the Great and according to Herodotus, they were placed in the same tax district (the first) as the Pamphylians, Lycians, Magnesians, Aeolians, Milyans, and Carians. The Yauna benefitted from Persian occupation as the eastern Mediterranean was ruled by one king, which made trade easier. Thus, poverty could not be an explanation for the great Ionian Revolt in 499, which took six years to subdue.
To prevent further insurrection propagated by the Greek city states, especially Athens, Darius the Great set out to create a cordon sanitaire. His generals captured the Aegean islands in this venture, a move also designed to prepare the ground for moving against the Greek mainland itself. After the Persian defeat in the Persian Wars and the conclusion of the peace of Callias in 449 BC, the Ionian cities were set free from Persian rule, albeit they soon came under the domination of Athens. After the Peloponnesian War and the destruction of Athenian power, Sparta ceded them back to Persia in the peace of Antalcidas. Ionia remained under Persian rule until the campaigns of Alexander the Great.
Beside to Yaunas of the plain and sea, there are also mentioned Yauna paradraya (Ionians beyond or across the sea such as Naxos, Thasos and Byzantium) as well the Yauna takabara (Ionians with sunhats, the Macedonians) in Skudra satrapy.
- The Persian Empire: Studies in Geography and Ethnography of the Ancient Near East, 1968, p. 345, Ernst Herzfeld, Gerold Walser