CLA160H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Euripides, Isocrates, Military Revolution

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11 Apr 2012

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Required Reading: Nagle AW, pp. 110-138
The “First Peloponnesian War (460-446 BC)
Changes to Athenian constitution were being made
o Result of the increasing importance of naval operation and the
rovers of the fleet
462-461 BC series of laws eliminating last vestiges of the aristocratic
constitution were passed
Areopagus jurisdiction restricted to only trying cases of religious
Cimon and Pericles
Cimon (most powerful individual in Athens) was assisting Sparta with
most recent helot revolt
o Spartans feared that the revolutionary spirit of Athens would
affect the Spartan citizens, so they sent Cimon and troops home
Athens formed an alliance with Sparta‟s enemies (Argos and Thessaly)
Cimon was ostracized in 461 Athenians commit to anti-Spartan
Pericles was left in charge of the policy and democracy at large
Megara left Spartan alliance and joined Athens, giving Athenian
alliance great geographical advantage
Spartan army operating in Boeotia encountered Athenians coming
o Suffered great losses and were forced to withdraw
o Athenians took control of Boeotia region
Military/war action was widespread in these years
Athenian policy weaken Persians whenever possible
o Joined with the rebel King of Egypt Inaros in fight against
o Defeated Phoenician forces
o Persians recovered in 455 BC and defeated Egyptians and
Egyptian Expedition forced Athenian alliance to move treasury to
Athens and recalled Cimon
Entered into 5 yr treaty with Sparta (451 BC) but by 450 BC had
recovered enough to send 200 ships to Cyprus where they defeated
the Persians
Cimon died 449 BC impulse to fight Persians immediately
From Alliance to Empire
Allies ceased to meet when treasury was moved to Athens Athens
began to make unilateral decisions
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All commanders and treasurers, policies of the Delian League were
Money was used to rebuild Athenian structures
Athenian coinage, weights, measurements were standard across alliance
Athenian empire soon crumbled
o Argos renounced treaty in 451 BC
o 446 BC Athens lost Boeotia in battle of Coronea
o Eubea and Megara revolted Eubea recovered by Pericles
o Athens negotiated 30 Years Peace with Sparta
The Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC)
Corcyra and Corinth
o Corcyra and Corinth engage in battle
o Corcyra joins Athens sparks debate in Athens
Should Athens make an offensive alliance and break 30
years peace, a defensive alliance, or no alliance in which
case the considerable navy fleet of Corcyra would land in
Peloponnesian League‟s hands
Athenians send 10 ships to supervise situation intervened
when Corcyra neared defeat, kept treaty in tact
Athenians had an alliance in Northern Greece Potidaea which was a
colony of Corinth
o Demanded that Potidaea get rid of Corinthian system of
o Potidaea refuses receives help and alliance from Sparta and
o Revolt in 432 BC Corinthians arrive to help Potidaea, but city was
under siege by Athenians
Megarian Decree
o Athens accused Megarians of violating sacred land of Demeter and
Persephone at Eleusis
o Excluded them from entering Athenian Agora or harbours of the
alliance devastated Megarian economy
Spartans give Athens an ultimatum
o Withdraw Megarian decree and end siege of Potidaea or war
Thucydides: “The war was made inevitable by the growth of the Athenian
power and the fear this inspired among the Spartans”
The Outbreak of War
Pericles‟ strategy was to emphasize naval strength and use limited hoplite
Athens had to sacrifice rural Attica
Plague broke out in 430 BC
o Wipes out 1/3 of the population by 426 BC
o Spartans forced to surrender
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