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Lecture 10

CLA160 Lecture 10 Notes

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University of Toronto St. George
Johnathon Burgess

CLA160 Lecture 10 Notes Topics: The Peloponnesian War (431-404 B.C.) 1. Athens and Sparta after the Persian Wars 2. Alcibiades (450-404 B.C.) 3. The Peloponnesian War (431-404 B.C.) Prelude to War (432 B.C.) Stage 1: The “Archidamian War” (431-421 B.C.) Stage 2: The “Peace of Nicias” (421-416 B.C.) Stage 3: The “Sicilian Expedition” (415-413 B.C.) Stage 4: Athenian Recovery (412-406 B.C.) Stage 5: Final Decline and Defeat of Athens (406-404 B.C.) 4. The Consequences of War 5. The Causes of War Athens and Sparta after the Persian Wars - Sparta – dominant army – protectionist foreign policy – alliances - Athens – dominant navy – expansionist foreign policy – Delian league – allies provide tribute to Athens – named “Delian” because of where it kept its treasury - Athens became wealthy and powerful – clearly has designed on extending its influence - mid-5 century B.C. – peace treaty created in 445 B.C. – lasted until 431 B.C. - conflict between Sparta and Athens - historian Thucydides – firsthand historian – excellent source despite bias – “almost too good” in a way – very detailed - Alcibiades – none is written himself – known through Thucydides Alcibiades - lived in 450-404 B.C. - descended from two prominent families - mother’s side – cousin of Pericles – who became his guardian - political view of Pericles was that of a moderate democrat, and a supporter of Athenian imperial expansion, anti-Sparta - Alcibiades mirrored the political views of Pericles - considered to be extraordinarily beautiful - thought to embody the Greek ideals of male beauty - had a lisp - prodigious sexual activity - considered to be a “party animal” - swashbuckler of sorts – a cross between “Robin Hood, JFK, and James Bond” - devoted to philosopher Socrates who may or may not have been his lover Prelude to War - around 432 B.C. - antagonization of Sparta and allies by Athens - adds two of Corinth’s most powerful colonies to its kingdom - series of harsh demands made by Athens – revolt of colonies and looked to Corinth and Sparta for support - interference with colonies of Corinth, an ally of Sparta - young Alcibiades on Potidaean campaign in 432 B.C. - siege of Potidaea by Athens – starve them out – lasts until 430 B.C. Stage 1: Archidamian War - named after the king of Sparta - around 431-421 B.C. - very little direct engagement - strategy adopted by Pericles – entire population of Attica to retreat behind city walls - plague broke out in Athens in 430 B.C. – killed many, including Pericles - death of Pericles, 429 B.C. - high death rate meant a shortage of people in Athens – fighting forces diminished - establishment of Athenian base at Pylos on the Peloponnese in 425 B.C. - after gains and losses on both sides – 421 B.C. – “Peace of Nicias” - Nicias – political conservative opposed to aggressive expansion of Athens and in favour of peace with Sparta - return of land and prisoners of war – proposed for ten years - peace treaty ultimately failed – Alcibiades opposed Nicias and disrupted the peace - Alcibiades played a “dirty trick” on Spartan ambassadors to generate further anti-Spartanism - also orchestrated a pact with three major cities in the Peloponnese and et an allied army in – direct and provocative affront to Sparta Stage 2: Peace of Nicias - around 421-416 B.C. - “peace” was tenuous - Alcibiades becomes a major political voice in Athens and calls for renewed war with Sparta - Alcibiades leads his first campaign as general in 419 B.C. - Alcibiades and Olympic games - annex of the island of Melos Stage 3: Sicilian Expedition - around 415-413 B.C. - Alcibiades argues in favour of Sicily - many Greek colonies in Sicily – join with Athenian allies on Syracuse - pre-emptive move to prevent it from joining Sparta - proposal of Alcibiades won out – Athens sent Alcibiades and Nicias on expedition - before setting sail – sacrilege in Athens - sacrilege – mutilation of the herms – castrated and mutilated the faces of Hermes - Alcibiades was charges with the sacrilege and was charged with other religious crimes - plot by enemies to ruin Alcibiades – accusation of impiety - charged with religious crimes and it was decided that he would not be tried until the end of the expedition - however, a ship from Athens came to escort him back – Alcibiades manages to slip away and is charges in absentia - defect to Sparta by Alcibiades – tells the Spartans to assist those at Syracuse to resist Athens – effective – disaster in Sicily - Spartans establish base at Decelea in Attica – defectors from Athens went to this Spartan outpost/fort in Athenian territory - according to Thucydides – disaster has to do with the treachery of Alcibiades - Alcibiades fathers a child with the wife of a Spartan king - Alcibiades must leave Sparta – results in a change in fortune for Athens Stage 4: Athenian Recovery - around 412-406 B.C. - facing execution in both Sparta and Athens – Alcibiades must decide where to go - defects to Persians – takes refuge with Persian general - redeems himself by helping from the Athenian view – attempted to pick up the pieces with Athens – assist the Athenians with Persia – told them on two conditions – oligarchical rule and to take back his conviction - oligarchy of 400 replaces the democracy in Athens in 411 B.C., then the 5,000 replaces it, then democracy returns in 410 B.C. - city is divided – unstable government - Alcibiades regains position as Athenian general and between 411-408 B.C., he won a string of impressive victories – destroyed much of the Spartan navy and returned conquered land - Alcibiades is finally able to return to Athens as a conquering hero in 407 B.C. – led a reinstitution of religious procession - religious procession – powerful symbol for Alcibiades because of his previous conviction on the basis of a religious sacrilege - seen as a religious and military leader Stage 5:
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