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Wednesday, April 19, 2017

040 - War Hawks and Peace Doves



In this episode, we discuss the aftermath of the Persian Wars and how the Athenians and Spartans both come to terms with the new state of affairs; the formation of the Delian League under Athens to carry on the war effort against Persia at sea; the political factions in Athens (Themistocles / Xanthippos vs Cimon / Aristides) and Sparta (Leotychidas / Pausanias vs Pleistarchos) and their struggle to dictate Athenian-Spartan foreign policy in the 470s BC

Winter 479/8 BC - The Athenians begin to rebuild and refortify after the Persian destruction of the city; Sparta, alarmed by the growth of Athenian power and daring, send envoys to urge the Athenians not to rebuild their walls, but Themistocles rejects the idea and tricks the envoys; the Athenians rebuild walls using old statues as ‘fill’, while Themistocles is on diplomatic mission to Sparta; upon his return, Themistocles also persuades the Athenians to complete fortifications at Piraeus, which effectively attach it to the city of Athens; while Cimon promotes cooperation with Sparta, Themistocles is hostile and attempts to rouse anti-Spartan feelings; Themistocles also secretly proposes to destroy the beached ships of the other allied navies at Pagasae in order to ensure complete Athenian naval dominance but was overruled
478 BCCyprus (an important Persian naval base) and Byzantium (vital for the Black Sea trade route) are recaptured by the Hellenic League fleet under Pausanias; Athens, under Aristides and Cimon, dissatisfied with Spartan leadership of Pausanias; while Pausanias is occupying Byzantium, his arrogance and his adoption of Persian clothing and manners offends the allies and raises suspicions of disloyalty; after being recalled to Sparta for his behavior at Byzantium, Pausanias is tried and acquitted on charges of Medism but he is not restored to his command so he returns to Byzantium as private citizen; the Hellenic League fleet at Byzantium rejects the Spartan Dorkis as Pausanias’ replacement; Sparta thereafter abandons struggle against Persia, Athens receives hegemony with the approval of the allies
Winter 478/7 BC Formation of the Delian League with Athens as hegemon to carry on war against Persia and to seek vengeance and compensation for injuries received; members include cities in Aegean islands, on the coast of Thrace, in Hellespontine (and Bosporus) region, and on the coast of Asia Minor; standard offensive and defensive alliance; assembly of delegates meets at Delos, each with an equal vote; Athens has supreme command in war, chief executive duties and presides at league meetings; some members contribute ships, other cash payment to league funds; Aristides assessed first tribute (phoros) of league members at 460 talents; Athenian magistrates named Hellenotamai (treasurers of the Hellenes) appointed to take charge of league funds, with treasury at Temple of Apollo at Delos; each member bound to Delian League alone; Peloponnesian League, Hellenic League, and Delian League separate and distinct entities
477 BC - Cimon begins to increase his power at the expense of Themistocles; As strategosCimon takes Eion on the Strymon River from Persians with Delian League fleet
476 BCLeotychides leads a fleet and army to reoccupy Thessaly and to punish the pro-Persian Aleuadae, but he fails; when he returns to Sparta, he is charged with accepting a bribe during operations in Thessaly, so he flees to the temple of Athena Alea in Tegea for sanctuary and is sentenced to exile in absentia; his grandson Archidamos II ascends the Spartan throne in his place (r. 476-427 BC)
476/5 BC - Cimon takes Skyros (non-Persian territory), Dolopian pirates are enslaved, and the island is settled with a cleruchy; at Skyros, Cimon discovers the ‘bones of Theseus’ and brings them back to Athens in response to a Delphic oracle
475 BC - Themistocles serves as choregos for Phrynichos’ Phoinissai (Phoenician Women); the death of Xanthippos (father of Pericles); Spartan debate reveals division of opinion on foreign policy, as Hetoemaridas opposes the imperial ambitions of those Spartans who desire to regain naval hegemony in a war against Athens
473 BCPausanias is recalled to Sparta because he is suspected of plotting to seize power either by conspiring with the Persians or by instigating a helot uprising; he takes refuge in the Temple of Athena of the Brazen House to escape arrest; his asylum is respected but the Spartans wall in the sanctuary and starve Pausanias to death; Sparta then tries to implicate Themistocles in Pausanias' alleged treasonous crimes; when he is charged with Medism, he flees to Argos, where he introduces democracy to Sparta's hated rivals; from there, he travels throughout the Peloponnesus to stir up anti-Spartan sentiment
473/2 BC - Cimon campaigns against Karystos, a Greek city of Euboea which had medized, and forces them to join the Delian League
472 BCAeschylus composed Persai (The Persians), with Pericles as choregos; Themistocles acquitted on charge of Medism in absentia 
Winter 472/1 BCThemistocles loses the confidence of the Athenian people, partly due to his arrogance and partly due to Spartan influence, so he is formally ostracized
471 BCThe Mantineans and Eleans, possibly persuaded by Themistocles, establish democratically-controlled cities by uniting various scattered towns through synoecism; both foundations upset Spartans for whom it is easier to dominate scattered towns than centralized cities; Sparta, backed by Cimon, demands that the Athenians punish Themistocles, who flees the Peloponnese to Corcyra and becomes a suppliant of Admetus, king of the Molossians; he subsequently travels to Macedon and then catches a ship to Asia Minor
470 BCThe island of Naxos revolts from the Delian League but is blockaded by Athens and forced to surrender; first example of succession and suppression of a league member; became subject to Athens, contrary to league ‘charter’, which guaranteed autonomy to its members; this action is considered high-handed and resented by the other Greek city states; with tribute the Athenians were increasing their navy, while other states, seeking to avoid the hazards, hardships and expenses of military service, began to provide cash payment instead of ships to league; process of changing from payment in ships to payment in cash, happened both voluntarily and under compulsion from Athens

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