Thucydides 1.66-87 (Pelop War)

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21 Apr 2011

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Thucydides 1.66-87
-Us vs. Us ~ problematic
oUs vs. Them lets us define ourselves
oUs vs. Us could unravel what holds / defines us together
-Peloponnesian War = Greeks vs. Greeks (climax of internal alterity)
-Panhellenism = united Greece
oAll share same language (though different dialects), religion (though different local
heroes, divine patron), ideals, common history (esp. Persian conflict)
-Fades in and out throughout Greek history (Panhellenism as idea and ideal)
oProminent during foreign threat (Persians)
oDisappears upon resolution of foreign threat (creates anxieties b/c fighting old allies)
-Shifting relationships force Greeks to realize that definitions of Us and Them are not set in
-Pelop War = civil war
-Alterity rooted in history
-Different physis and nomos (national character, lifestyle respectively) b/w Athenians and
Spartans (according to Thucydides)
oMakes war b/w the two inevitable
-Lysistrata >> Persian War as panhellenic moment
-Herodotus >> tensions b/w Athens and Sparta during Persian Wars (divisions)
-Herodotus gave praise to both sides (Athenians saved Greece, Spartans the best soldiers)
during the Persian War as well as outlining what makes them both different from each other
-Athens have to protect Greece (no option to back out) b/c they are the first that would be
-Tensions flourished once Persian threat gone. Both had a taste of how it feels like to lead
-Balance of power, cold war standoff as Athens take northern and island Greece, and Sparta
take Peloponnese
-Sparta = land-based empire in Peloponnese (Peloponnesian League)
-Athens = sea empire (Delian League)
-Sparta had been a prominent power before; Athens have only been involved internally and w/
some overseas colonies (internally >> tyrants) ~ after Persian Wars, Athens came out as a
major Greek power (navy)
-Athens headed a voluntary league that will protect / defend Greece from future Persian
attacks (Delian League)
oEsp. Ionians in Aegean Sea, Asia Minor who were worried b/c they’d be the first to
be attacked if the Persians come back
-Either ships, money or men can be contributed by member states ~ easier to pay with money
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