Solon and Lycurgus
-Poetry attributed to Solon
-Herodotus 1.29-33 (not in Thucydides)
-(Aristotle) Constitution of the Athenians (Ath. Pol.)
-Plutarch’s Life of Solon
Some doubtful Solonian Traditions
-Herodotus: Solon (After drawing up law for Athens) travelled for 10 years, and
visited Amasis in Egypt and Croesus in Sardis
-Solon was archon in Athens 594/3 BC
-Croesus was king of Lydia 560-547 BC
-Amasis was pharaoh in Egypt 570-526 BC
Athenian coin (silver tetradrachm)
Council of 400: Aristotle
-council of 400, with 100 men drawn from each tribe, assigned the council of the
Areopagu to guard the laws, just as previously it had been guardian of the
Council of 400: Plutarch
Council of 400 in 411 BC
-Cancellation of pay for political office
-list of 5000 wealthiest Athenians
-council of 400 (interim government)
-some political killing, fear and suspicion
The rule of thirty (404 BC)
-another oligarchic regime
Solon as founder of Athenian Democracy
-the greatest democrat of all, Solon
-Solon, who equipped the democracy with the noblest laws
-Xenophon: contemporary of the sons of Herakles
-Herodotus: guardian of King Labotas
-Aristotle: co-founder of 1 Olympic games (776 BC)
Ephors King Agis IV (244-241 BC)
-reformer (only 7—Spartiates in 250 BC?)
-proposed a redistribution of 4500 plots for Spartiates and 15000 for perioikoi
-sentenced to death by the ephors
-wrongly called Agis III in textbook
King Cleomenes III 235-222, 219 BC
-tried to continue the reforms of Agis IV
-but power was in the hands of the ephors
-so he murdered four of the five, removes the seats of the ephors except one (which
he sat in)
-Cleomenes told the Spartans “that Lycurgus had blended the power of senate and
kings and that for a long time the state was administered in this way”; ephors
invented later when the kings were away on long campaigns in Messenia
Solon created the council of 400, with 100 men from each Ionic tribe- deliberated on
public matters, set schedule for assembly
February 11 th
Archaic Greece II
The Archaic Cultural Revolution, 800-480 BC
-Archaic poleis were small, open societies
-aristocrats made political decisions through discussion in councils- during 6 th
century, councils expanded to include more citizens
-Early in first mil. BC, Greeks had settles in what is now western Turkey, emigrating
through Athens- to escape the problems of Dark Age mainland Greece
Greek colonization, ca. 550 BC
Causes of colonization?
-carrots vs sticks
-trade, resources, etc
Cyrene (631 BC)
-ancient Greek colony
Herodotus- account of the Persian invasions of Greece- born around the end of
Archaic times (484 BC)- book is not history- wished to preserve the memory of
mens great deeds, much like Homer did is Iliad. – made up speeches at vital moments in the story- style resembles Homers. Presence of Gods in texts. - one
told by people of Cyrene and other by the people of Thera.- two foundation sources
Herodotus: Theran Story:
- What the Therans say
-King Grinnas consulted the oracle at Delphi ‘on other matters’
-the oracle orders him to found a colony in Libya
-no rain on Thera for next 7 years
-Corobius of Itanos, Island of Platea
-Therans resolved to send 1 of 2 brothers
-Battus as expedition leader, king of future colony
Herodotus: Cyrenean Story:
-What the Cyreneans say
-Etearchus, King of Oaxos, daughter Phronime
-Battus, ‘the stammerer’ (a Libyan word for ‘king’)
-Pythia commands a colony in Libya
-Battus tries to return to Thera after failture
-Settlement of Island of Platea
Comparison of the two different Stories:
-Consultations with Delphi
-Battus was the leader of the colonial foundation
-first settlement at Platea
-Theran story emphasizes the role of the city
-Cyrenean story emphasized the role of Battus
-failure of the Platea settlement
-Aziris: 6 years, then relocated to Irasa
-Cyrenean invitation for settlers under King Battus II Eudaimon (late 6 cth
-Egyptian expedition against Cyrene defeated (Phaeaoh Apries)
Cyrene 630BC - was an ancient Greek colony- colony of the Greek island town
Thera- now Libya
Cyrene was founded in c.630 BCE as a colony of the Greek island town Thera, which
had become (or was perceived to be) too crowded. The first colonists settled at an
island called Platea in front of the Libyan coast (modern Bomba). Later, they
occupied a coastal strip called Aziris, and finally, after concluding a treaty with the
native Libyans, they founded the town Cyrene, the capital of the fertile Cyrenaica.
The "Fountain of Apollo" offered sufficient water for a flourishing city.
-leader of the settlers was Battus
silphium(a plant) -Oracle at Delphi- most important shrine- asked questions to it- King Grinnus
consulted it- Oracle said he should found a city in Libya- Therans didn’t know
King Arkesilas II of Cyrene (mid 6 c BC)
Temple of Apollo at Delphi (4 c BC)- Delphi, where Apollo had his shrine- was
damaged by fire- rebuilt multiple times- earthquake.
Early Greek pottery found prior to foundation of Cyrene
Early pottery from Cyrene includes pottery from Sparta, Thera, Crete
Chapter 9 Notes-
Poleis- small open societies-aristocrats made political decisions through discussion
in councils-open in other senses- some members travelled bringing home new ideas
Kosmos- “ordered whole”
Monday, February 11, 2013
Greek Colonization, ca. 550 BC
What information do we have about the Archaic period and how do we go
about it deciding what’s real and what’s not? How do we sort through the
We’re still talking about Archaic Greece. We have a rapid expansion of Greek
speaking populations into most parts of the Mediterranean. We’re most
focusing on what’s happening on the Aegean (what’s now Greek mainland)
The fact that you have Greece in the Mediterranean is important for Roman
culture; a lot of Italians are influenced by Greek culture because they’re living
right next to them.
A Homeric colony?
We have some evidence of it already in Homer.
We’re told that “God-like Nausithoos left and led a migration, and settled in
Scheria, far away from men who eat bread, and drove a wall about the city,
and built the houses, and made the temples od the gods, and allotted the
o Weird people who Odyssius hangs out before coming back. A lot of
people said that this looks like how colonization was later formed.
You have a mother city that sends a colony of the place. Corinth is the mother
colony of Syracuse. What do you do when you get to the colony? The leader:
Evenly-sized plots are allocated to the people in the colony.
Temples/Sanctuaries are often built quite early after the colony is founded.
In some colonies, we can actually see the initial allocation of land to the
colonist. Megara Hyblaia, street plan with agora (650-625 BC)
Colony of Megara (between Athens and Corinth)
Street plan of the city. It’s not exactly a grid plan, but basically, for some
blocks, you have some equally sized blocks. These aren’t exactly planned
Causes of colonization?
We might be interested in understanding why this happened. Why these
colonies? Why so many?
Carrots vs. sticks
o Carrots are positive things. Sticks are negative incentives – you do
something because if you don’t, the government will fine you or
something like that.
o So what is driving colonization? Positive incentives or negative
We can imagine a case where colonization provides economic
Negative: you’re a political refugee. If you don’t get out of
Libya, you will die.
o Are they expanding out west because there are better agricultural
land? Or are these people who have lost out? We’ve talked about
partheniai (people were sent to Teras to establish new land there)
o We can also see a causal chain; combine all of the problems.
o Increasing population
You split land among all of your children. But at some point,
your land is going to be so small that it doesn’t make sense to
split it. So there will be disputes.
o Political disputes
People trying to push for more political rights, they’re not
given them, so if they’re not willing to live as non-citizens, you
can go to somewhere else.
These all are mostly negative explanations.
Trade, resources, etc.
o More positive explanation.
Cyrene (631 BC)
Looking at specific cities about when, how, and why they were colonized.
Cyrene is the Archaic community that we have the most information on.
Cyrene is now in Libya.
Thera is the mother city of Cyrene.
o Akrotiri on Thera, the volcano erupted. But Thera’s recolonized;
Dorian colony; they connected themselves to Sparta. Cyrene and silphium
Enormously successful. Probably because it was the only site for this herb
called silphium. This herb is now extinct. Most people think that it’s
something as fennel. It was used both as a medicine and a vegetable. Cyrene
had a monopoly on silphium.
So Cyrene is one of the colonies that is more successful than other cities.
Not really the biggest poleis that sends out colonies. So it’s often the case that
the colony that it becomes more successful than the mother city.
King Arkesilas II of Cyrene (mid 6 c BC)
What’s interesting about Cyrene is that for most the Archaic and Classical
periods, it was ruled by Kings.
He’s sitting on the throne and he’s watching over the weighing of Silphium.
Sources for colonization of Cyrene
Pindar: two victory poems for King Arkesilas (IV) in chariot victory at Delphi
o Pindar wrote victory poems for athletic victors
Herodotus: two foundation stories, one told by people of Cyrene, the other by
the people of Thera
o Two different stories and two different accounts; this is good.
4 century BC inscription from Cyrene
o Tells us about the terms of the colonization.
Other fragmentary sources and archaeology
o We’re going to go through all the sources and talk about the
discrepancies in the sources.
Herodotus: Theran story
What the Therans say (4.150-3):
o King Grinnas consulted the oracle at Delphi “on other matters”
o The oracle orders him to found a colony in Libya
o He ignores the Oracle. No rain on Thera for next 7 years.
o The Therans are desperate and go to Crete to ask if anyone’s ever
been to Libya. They meet Corobius of Itanos, island of Platea.
o Therans resolved to send 1 of 2 brothers; which brother to go was
decided by lot.
o Battus (Grainnas’ son) as expedition leader, king of future colony. The Pythia
She sits on a tripod and utters miraculous pronouncements (she is
commanded by Apollo)
Herodotus: Cyrenean story
What the Cyreneans say (4.154-6):
o Etearchus, king of Oaxo (on Crete), had a daughter Phronime (he
married another woman to take care of his daughter but she is a
wicked stepmother. She accused her daughter of promiscuity)
o Phronmime became a concumbine to another person.
o Battus, “the stammerer” (a Libyan word for “king”)
o Pythia commands a colony in Libya
o Battus tries to return to Thera after failure
o Settlement of island of Platea
Faiure of the Platea settlement
Aziris: 6 years, then relocated to Irasa
Cyrenean invitation for settlers under King Battus II Eudaimon (late 6 c BC)
o Egyptian expedition against Cyrene defeated (Pharaoh Apries)
Comparison of the stories
o Consultations with Delphi
In both cases, they go to the Delphi and she tells them
something else: go to Libya
o Battus the leader of the colonial foundation
o First settlement at Platea
o Therean story emphasizes the role of the city
Battus in the Theran story is just some guy who’s
accompanying the older king. The older King waives the other
end and says, pick someone else and points to Battus.
o Cyrenean story emphasizes the role of Battus
This was this fairy tale about Battus and his mother’s evil step-
mother. Battus is really the grandson of the Cretan king.
Pindar, Pythian 5 (462 BC)
Emphasizes the role of Battus
“And (Battus) founded precincts of the gods that were greater than before, and
he established, for the processions of Apollo, protector of men, a straight cut,
level, paved road for the clatter of horses’ hooves, where at the edge of the
marketplace he rests by himself in death. He was blessed when he dwelled
among men, and thereafter a hero worshipped by the people.”
Normal that the oikios is buried in the city. Only heros could be buried in the
city; everyone else has to be buried outside. More Pythian 5
“Ye the ancient prosperity of Battus continues, despite its dispensation of both
good and bad, a tower of the city and a most brilliant shining eye to strangers.
Even loud-roaring lions fled in fear from Battus, when he unleashed on them his
voice from across the sea. And Apollo, the first leader, doomed the beasts to
dread fear, so that his oracles to the guardian of Cyrene would not go
There is this image as Cyrene prior to Battus’ arrival that its full of lions and
that Battus comes in and civilizes it. And Apollo is behind him.
Cyrene is ruled by Kings and these Kings came from Battus (thereotically).
4 c BC inscription
Erected in Cyrene; at this point, Cyrene is no longer a monarchy (starting in
440 BC). More of a democracy.
Therans given citizenship at Cyrene in accordance with rules set down in the
original colonization of Cyrene.
o In a poleis, it’s impossible to become a citizen of another poleis. Here,
in this inscription, they have the right to go to Cyrene and attain
citizenship. If you want to, you can go to Cyrene and be given a plot of
Apollo told Battus and Thera to colonize Libya
One son is to be conscripted to go to Cyrene (no cheating or else you die.)
If colony successful, kinsmen can join later
If not, colonists can return to Thera
Curse on those who do not abide by agreement.
o The inscription is interesting; it’s written much later (4 century BC).
But it claims that it contains the original terms of the colonization.
o This story basically agrees with the Theran story that Herodotus tells
Battus, one son conscripted.
Therans are super helpful in this story; if things are bad in 5
years, we’ll take you bad.
End of the Battiad dynasty: 440 BC
By the end of the 5 century, Battiad is no longer ruling over Cyrene. By the
end of the 5 century, it’s more of an oligarchy democracy.
Menekles of Barke (3 c BC)
3 century historian of Barke (city in Libya)
“Menekles says that … the citizens of Thera fell into civil strife and became
estranged from each other, and that Battus was leader of one of the factions.
When the struggle of the factions ended, the result was that Battus’ party was
driven from the city and fled the country… Battus went to Delphi and asked
asked whether they should carry on the internal struggle or should establish a
colony elsewhere.” Menakles introduces this possibility that’s not raised in other stories: that the
colonization came about because of civil strife – like Partheniai and Sparta
But Menakles lived in Barke, which was founded because of political strife. So
he might have reason to believe that Cyrene was very similar.
Pausanias (2 c AD)
He’s writing a travel guide and roaming Greece.
“In Sparta, ‘you will see a slab, on which are written the victories in the foot-race
won, at Olympia, by Chionis, a Lacedaemonian. The Olympian victories were
seven, four in the single-stade race and three in the double-stade race. … It is
said that Chonis also took part in the expedition of Battus of Thera, helped him to
found Cyrene and to reduce the neighbouring Libyans.’”
Here we have potentially some evidence of Spartan involvement in the
finding of the colony.
People from different parts of the Greek world coming together to find this
Lindian chronicle (99 BC)
Inscription that lists a bunch of dedications in the temple of Athena
A dedication “on which had been inscribed: ‘those of the Lindians who with the
children of Panis founded a colony of Cyrene with Battus, to Athena and to
Herakles a tenth of the plunder which they took from […]”
The point of the inscription is that the Lindians are dedicating a tenth of the
plunder which they took from some place to Athena and Herakles
If you take plunder after a battle or a huge windfall of prophets because of
some expedition, you will attempt a tenth to the gods.
So you don’t just have Spartans, but you have Lindians involved as well. You
have one city Thera and one oikios (Battus) but you also have other people
joining them (Sparta and Lindian)
Early Greek pottery found prior to foundation of Cyrene (early 7 c. BC)
o We have this theory that Therans didn’t know where Libya was. But
this seems bogus because a lot of the pottery found there in the 7
century (prior to foundation of colony), was Spartan pottery – Theran
o Eraly pottery from Cyrene includes pottery from Sparta, Thera, Crete
What can we extract from this story if anything? A lot of agreement and
disagreement. We have 2 stories from Herodotus. Then we have Pindar who
supports Cyrenean story (but he might just be satisfying the King). Then
inscription, supports Cyrenean. But it’s also flawed.
Inscription is written later, during a period where there are no longer kings.
If there are no longer kings, you don’t have to emphasize Battus because you
don’t have to kiss their butts. You want to emphasize the connections between mother city and colony. The 4 century inscription maybe doesn’t
reflect what they used to do, it was just a convenient story to tell at that time.
Oral tradition and Greek history
“So, using traditions to write history demands an acute awareness of the fact
that men are doing things with traditions. Sometimes doing something with a
tradition means preserving valuable information…. [but] on many occasions
tradition promotes disinformation.”
We need to think about why people are telling these stories. Only by asking
this question will we be able to tell what’s valuable information and what’s
This whole story about Battus’ mother and how she is sold to a guy. We can
reject it. But it’s the kind of story that you would want to tell if you’re related
to Battus. Battus is a special guy; he was really a grandson of a king.
It’s hard to extract a lot of details as a result.
If you’re a Theran living in the 5 century BC, you want to be connected to
Cyrene because it’s so successful.
Stories served political services and doesn’t have to reflect historical truth. If
you’re Cyrenian, you want to say that Therans didn’t do anything, threw
rocks at you when you tried to come back.
It seems likely that there is involvement from Crete, Sparta, and Rhodes.
Those elements seem to be authentically true; it’s harder to know though,
why the colony was sent in the first place and how the city dealt with it.
We have to be careful when analyzing “historical” texts; people writing them during
that period are using them for their advantage. The texts tell us more about the
people than history itself.
February 13 th
Persia and Marathon
The Battle of Marathon, 490 BC
Nineveh: Sacked in 612 BC by Medes and Babylonians
Cyrus the Great, 559-529 BC
King Croesus (560-546 BC)
Conquest of Babylon (539 BC)
-Cyrus the Great 559-529
-Darius I 521-486 Persian Tribute
-Total tribute: 14,560 talents of silver
-1 talent=25.9KG, 6, 000 drachmai, 1 trireme for 1 month
The Cyrus Cylinder (530 BC)- Persian Empire
The Ionian revolt (499-494)- Persian Empire
The Battle of Lade, 494 BC
-353 Ionian triremes(ships) vs. 6