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Lecture 10

Clas 201: Lecture 10 Notes

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Classical Studies
CLAS 201
Nicholas Maes

EXAM: Second half of second Persian war, theatre, philosophy, Delian League, pelonesian league, etc.  Delian League: attempt to provide a collective defense (for Greeks) o Headquartered on the island of Delos o Any state is participating will contribute (money, ships, troops, etc.) o Starts off as a noble and necessary initiative o Athenians spearhead this initiative and they are a sea power o Athenians assume full control of the fleet, and take control of the funds as their own; now troops are there to protect Athenian interests o Move of treasury of Delos to Athens (Athenian empire instead of Delian confederacy) o This is disturbing to the Spartans  Because Sparta wasn’t really prepared to go to war with Athens and Athens didn’t want to go to war with Sparta, they decided to stick to their own regions  Sparta Suspicious: Athenians and their allies were in one neck of the woods, and Spartans would have free reign of the Pellepenesus on the other side o Proxy powers start to conflict with other proxy powers happen over the next few years o Sparta and Athens are responsible for their allies behaviours  Corinth (ally of Sparta) started making moves against Corcyra (who were neutral), decided to call in the Athenians; Athenians decided they could help, as long as they don’t fight Corinth (b/c that would violate the pact b/w the Athenians and Spartans)  Battle of Sybota: Athenians appear and chase the Corinthians off (Corinthians are infuriated and go to Sparta and tell them that Athenians attacked them) o Spartans decide to leave this along b/c they don’t want to go to war over this  Potidaea decided it wanted to leave the Athenian empire, but Athenians don’t want them to o Megara and Corinth help Potidaea (which belonged to the Peloponnesian league at one point) o The Athenians start complaining to the Spartans that they violated the peace (but they didn’t really b/c Potidaea wasn’t originally part of Athens) o They decide not to go to war...not yet  Athenians are thinking how they can get even with Megara (who came to the aid of Potidaea) o People of Megara were doing a lot of trade with a wide array of states in the Athenian empire o Athenians made the Magaran Decrees: no member of the Athenian empire will trade with any ship that comes from Megara (fight with economic warfare rather than physical fighting); Megara starts suffocating b/c they relied on their trade to survive o This worries the Spartans b/c they don’t think in terms of economy and trade (they think of war as shield, sword, spear, etc.) o Athenians achieve a victory of a city state that Spartans aren’t able to do o Magaran Decree pushed the Spartans too far o In 431, Sparta decides to fight the Athenians; this is when the Peloponnesian War arises  When wars were fought, they were usually decided within a day (or season), but the Peloponnesian War lasted for 27 years! (very different war)  comprehensive war o This will leave Southern Greece exhausted and vulnerable to attack (from the North)  Herodotus was very curious (interested in what a country was like, how people dressed, etc.) o He was a rationalist  Thucydides: People work for their own interests o Human beings determine their own conditions o People do not act generously o “Who profits?” “Follow the money” o War broke out b/c Spartans were scared o Thinks about things in terms of who profits, and who does not  Pericles: chief man of Athens o Golden age of Athens; when they are wealthiest and most cultured o They flourish b/c money is coming in o Athenians are terrified b/c as soon as Spartans are on the march, they will suffer; but Pericles has a plan! o Athens is a sea power o Pericles figures there is no point in confronting the Spartans in a way in which they will be defeated (play against Spartans weakness) o Athens is highly fortified and taking Athens would be very hard o Long walls connect the fortified Athens to the fortified harbour; so Spartans can go in and burn stuff down, but the population will be safe in the city o Property may be destroyed, but the people will be safe, and they will still be well fed b/c food is coming into Athens from other areas (Hellespont)  Archidamian War (after Kind Archidamus) o Plague strikes Athens and thousands die (including Pericles) o Pericles says: “if you don’t want the power, someone else will want to take it from you” o Cleon is now in control (after Pericles dies) o Cleon’s power base is the Thetes (the people at the bottom) – would assume Cleon would be fighting for peace when he has people at the bottom on his side o Cleon and the Thetes actually want war! (b/c war is profitable); Thetes are paid to do their job at war (rowing ships; constantly at work; therefore constantly getting paid)  He wants to keep the war going for as long as possible o Upper classes want the war to come to an end o Cleon continues to prosecute the war o Mytilene rebels against Athens; Athens put it under siege b/c they don’t want Mytilene to leave; Mytilenians eventually surrenders o Mytilenian debate: discussion about what to do about people of Mytilene  Make an example out of them (men put to death, and women and children put into slavery)  Diodotus: disagrees with this, but doesn’t know if this is the best thing to do FOR THEM (always think about how they benefit)  He wins the debate and the people of Mytilene are spared o Cleon starts thinking that one reason why success isn’t being brought out is b/c generals aren’t competent o Sparta wants peace again when Athens have the ability to trap and starve a group of 182 Spartans o Cleon doesn’t want to make peace (b/c it is not in his interest to make peace), so he encourages the general to capture the Spartan soldiers o Cleon takes charge of the operation (b/c he believes other people can’t do their job right) and gets the Spartans to surrender at Pylos and are kept as hostages o The final stage of the Archidamian War happens at Amphipolis o Piece of Nicias: for 30 years, Spartans will stay in their area, and Athens will stay in their area o Thucydides was a general operating under the Athenians and he goes into exile and starts to write about the history of the war (b/c his life was at stake for some reason) o The piece is named after Nicias b/c he is an aristocrat who is sympathetic to the Spartan cause; he is a moderating presence in Athens o Even as this peace breaks out, another politician comes into the scene named Alcibades  He is rich, competent, etc. but also very ambitious  Now that the piece of Nicias happens, he’s upset b/c he wants war (wants to “leave his mark” and have a good reputation) o Melos: island in the Igea?  Neither belongs to Sparta or Athens (it is neutral, but they are Dorian in origin, so they are somewhat closer to Spartans than Athenians)  Alcibades goes to Melos and tells people in Melos that they can join them or die  The strong do what they have to do, and the weak have to comply (this is the human political condition in a nutshell)  Melians says that in the world of strong and weak always changes (when the coin is turned against them, people might not be so nice to them)  In the end, the Melians do not give in and they are destroyed o Euripides writes Trojan Women (after the defeat of Melos) o Alcibades wants to gain a reputation for himself and decides the Athenians should try their hand over at Sicily  Egesta is having a problem with its neighbours and wants help from Athens; the ask them to come to Sicily b/c it is a wealthy city state, very fertile, etc.; asks Athens to come and help and they may gain from these wealthy states  Alcibades can do this without violating the Peace of Nicias b/c all these city states are neutral  Nicias says its a bad idea for them to go to Sicily (but can’t say it publicly)  At the general assembly, Nicias says it’s a good idea, but in order to ensure victory, they’d have to send in a much larger group (20,000 men...which he knows they cannot do); however, it backfires and Alcibades decides to send in 20,000 men!  Athenians start mustering this expedition, and on the night before they sail, something peculiar happens; genitals of Herms have been mutilated (cut off)  Herm: slab of rectangular stone with the head of a man on top  Purpose: (comes from the god Hermes, messenger of boundaries); Hermes is the god who communicates b/w Olympians and human beins  Hermes is also known as Psychopompos (messenger of dead?)  Herm literally means “boundary”  Herm is there to protect your property from other people  On the rectangular stone, there was an erectile phallis of stone (it was
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