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Lecture 4

Lecture 4 - Athens Between the War

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Adriana Brook

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CLA160 Lecture 4JULY11/2011
Athens Between the War The Pentakontaetia (479 431 BCE)
Pentakontaetia = 50 years
The Persian threat united all of Greece; receding threat resulted in a crumbling relationship
between polis
Athens and Sparta: important polis; military powerhouses Athens = navy; Sparta = land army
The Persian War led to more democratic changes in Athens
The democratic triremes allowed Athens to be successful in terms of their navy
The trireme depended on manpower people were paid little
Poor people rowers of the trireme wanted political rights in return for their hard work in
attaining the victories in the Persian War
Athens leaning toward a much more radical democracy, while Sparta remains oligarchic
Source of conflict between Athens and Sparta was Athens growing military power, especially in
terms of their navy, being the masters of the sea.
In addition to using their ships for military purposes, Athens made use of their ships for import
and export
Therefore, their harbours need to be protected
Athenian harbour = Piraeus
Athenians built the Long Walls during the Peloponnesian War to safely move people, as
well as materials to and from the city to the harbour
Sparta wants to prevent Athens growing military power by asking them to remove their walls
Athens sees it unfair for Sparta to be asking to remove their walls, but does not remove
their own
Athens decided to delay their reply, for weeks, and when the Spartan caught on to their
deceit, the majority of the wall has already been built
Athenian Factionalism
Cimon ostracized 461 BCE
Arguments: Spartan helped get rid of Hippias and were self-sacrificing (recall: Battle of
Thermopylae 300 Spartans)
Themistocles ostracized 472 BCE
Argument: Spartans refused to help on a number of occasions (i.e. Battle of Marathon,
Ionian Revolt, etc.)
Ostracism: prevent the rise of an individual (tyrant)
Very democratic the voice of the people more important than one
Athens afraid of individual power/influence
Needed 6000 in the assembly (ekklesia)
Ostraka (sg. Ostrakon) broken pottery where a name is written down indicating the
person whos most likely attain a lot of power/influence, and would need to be
ostracized/exiled for 10 years
Within that time, an ostracized individual cannot participate in the polis, no political right,
and cannot enter Athens
Although in exile for 10 years, all their possessions remain intact and in their name
Themistocles: seemed arrogant and boastful at his achievements and successes (i.e. triremes) 
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