In the fourth and final volume of his magisterial history of the Peloponnesian War, Donald Kagan examines the period from the destruction of Athens' Sicilian expedition in September of 413 B.C. to the Athenian surrender to Sparta in the spring of 404 B.C. Through his study of this last decade of the war, Kagan evaluates the performance of the Athenian democracy as it faced its most serious challenge. At the same time, Kagan assesses Thucydides' interpretation of the reasons for Athens' defeat and the destruction of the Athenian Empire.
In the fifth century BC, the Athenian Empire dominated the politics and culture of the Mediterranean world.This book offers a comprehensive analysis of the history and significance of the Athenian Empire. It starts by exploring possible answers to the crucial questions of the origins and growth of the empire. Subsequent sections deal with the institutions and regulations of empire, and the mechanisms by which it was controlled; the costs and benefits of imperialism (for both rulers and ruled); and the ideological, cultural and artistic aspects of Athenian power. The articles collected here engage with the full range of evidence available--literary, epigraphic, archaeological and art-historical--and offer a compelling demonstration of the range of approaches, and conclusions, for which that evidence allows.
This book traces the development of the Theseus myth and its importance for Athens from the earliest evidence down to the end of the fifth century. The author examines all extant tragedy in which Theseus appears, even including the fragmentary drama in which Theseus is known to appear, to assess the significance of his role as mythological representative of Athenian greatness. The author argues that the Theseus of most Athenian tragedy is carefully drawn to exemplify the idealized imageof the Athenian `national character' that was prevalent in the age of the Athenian empire. Every nation needs role models: the Athenians were no exception. Handsome, brave, intelligent, and just, Theseus seemed the perfect Athenian, but under the exterior lay a heartless seducer, rapist, and killer of his own son. The author describes Athenian attempts to cope with these contradictions in her discussion of how the Theseus of Athenian tragedy relates to Athenian life and imperial ideology.
Insularity, Networks, the Athenian Empire, and the Aegean World
Author: Christy Constantakopoulou
Publisher: OUP Oxford
Category: Literary Criticism
Christy Constantakopoulou examines the history of the Aegean islands and changing concepts of insularity, with particular emphasis on the fifth century BC. Islands are a prominent feature of the Aegean landscape, and this inevitably created a variety of different (and sometimes contradictory) perceptions of insularity in classical Greek thought. Geographic analysis of insularity emphasizes the interplay between island isolation and island interaction, but the predominance of islands in the Aegean sea made island isolation almost impossible. Rather, island connectivity was an important feature of the history of the Aegean and was expressed on many levels. Constantakopoulou investigates island interaction in two prominent areas, religion and imperial politics, examining both the religious networks located on islands in the ancient Greek world and the impact of imperial politics on the Aegean islands during the fifth century.
Was Athens an imperialistic state, deserving all the reputation for exploitation that adjective can imply, or was the Athenian alliance, even at its most unequal, still characterized by a convergence of interests? The Power of Money explores monetary and metrological policy at Athens as a way of discerning the character of Athenian hegemony in midfifth-century Greece. It begins with the Athenian Coinage Decree, which, after decades of scholarly attention, still presents unresolved questions for Greek historians about content, intent, date, and effect. Was the Decree an act of commercial imperialism or simply the codification of what was already current practice? Figueira interprets the Decree as one in a series concerned with financial matters affecting the Athenian city-state and emerging from the way the collection of tribute functioned in the alliance that we call the Athenian empire. He contends that the Decree served primarily to legislate the status quo ante.
Justice, Administration of by Hartley Grant Robertson
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After fending off Persia in the fifth century BCE, Athens assumed a leadership position in the Aegean world. Initially it led the Delian League, a military alliance against the Persians, but eventually the league evolved into an empire with Athens in control and exacting tribute from its former allies. Athenians justified this subjection of their allies by emphasizing their fairness and benevolence towards them, which gave Athens the moral right to lead. But Athenians also believed that the strong rule over the weak and that dominating others allowed them to maintain their own freedom. These conflicting views about Athens’ imperial rule found expression in the theater, and this book probes how the three major playwrights dramatized Athenian imperial ideology. Through close readings of Aeschylus’ Eumenides, Euripides’ Children of Heracles, and Sophocles’ Oedipus at Colonus, as well as other suppliant dramas, Angeliki Tzanetou argues that Athenian tragedy performed an important ideological function by representing Athens as a benevolent and moral ruler that treated foreign suppliants compassionately. She shows how memorable and disenfranchised figures of tragedy, such as Orestes and Oedipus, or the homeless and tyrant-pursued children of Heracles were generously incorporated into the public body of Athens, thus reinforcing Athenians’ sense of their civic magnanimity. This fresh reading of the Athenian suppliant plays deepens our understanding of how Athenians understood their political hegemony and reveals how core Athenian values such as justice, freedom, piety, and respect for the laws intersected with imperial ideology.
Author: Benjamin Dean Meritt,Henry Theodore Wade-Gery,Malcolm Francis McGregor
Category: Social Science
This book is the third of four volumes presenting the standard text of, and commentary on, the inscriptions that have come to be known as the â__Athenian Tribute Lists.â__ Through the tribute lists, historians have been able to study the extent and nature of the Athenian empire that grew out of the Delian League established to combat the Persians in 478/7 B.C. The inscriptions provide evidence of the money paid to Athens by other members of the League after the tribute treasury was moved from Delos to Athens in 454 B.C. The texts persist from the 450s through to the 430s, after which the evidence is very fragmentary and often undatable. This volume provides a historical commentary on the inscriptions presented in detail in Volumes I and II, tying them into a history of the Athenian empire in narrative form.
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