Mar. 13, 2013
Boeotia and Northern Polis
Economic, agricultural success is witnessed that there are so many polis and small area. organized into a
in Mycenaean period, there are palaces at thebes called GLA* not occupied in the archaic period but on
the east side.
Range of hills and in between… natural border in the south and it was a big open plain (good agrictulrual
alnd) for beoeotia. earlier inhabitance thuc. talks about is the trojan war by the beoeotians. The
beotians do appear in the homeric catelogue. some of the beoti participated in the trojan war and the
rest came after the war. description in the catelogue ship is that eotian s first listed in the catelogy
…suggest that they had prominent postiion in the archaci greece.
beoetia regarded as man different significants. other polis.
beotians were member of the delphic amphitynoys. beotians were famous for being organized into the
beotian confederacy. a federal state in central and northern greece. in the later part of the 6th C BC. the
lead out seems to be that some of the polis were pwoerful than others. (thebe, platea,) would assit
smaller polis with resolution, sorting out judicial issues and generally the older siblings to the smaller
but there was a pair whose conflict shaped beotian history. this was thebes and platea. in the 6th C,
thebes was trying to force platea to join the boeetian confederacy. platea at this stage asked sparta for
help. Anti tyrannical.. in other states to generally good effect. thinking that the spartans might help…
this didn’t come to aynthing.. sparta didn’t have interest in helping platea.
athens was much more friendly. this siding with athens was to remain important lasting alignment.
Pleatea suports athens in invasion of persians rather than spartans..
through the persian wars and pelopponeian war, beotia was important theatre for the land war with the
persians. this was the place where the greeks met after the persians got after thermoplyae.
face of persian invasion in 480 BC Beoetians were not unifed how to deal with the persians.
before the battle of thermoypalae, Plataea, Thespiai et al with greeks… after battle of platea, only platea
was left.. (post -thermoplyae) it was the sight of the famous greek victory over the persian army.
the rest of the greek army… and plateans. dedication to celebrate xerxes. persians had contingent of
beoetian s fihgitng.. faced by athenain rank while spartan dealt with persians.
battle platea not peresian vs. greek BUT it was greeks vs. Greeks (boetian vs. athenians) while sparta
we see there are other beoetian cities listed on the servant colloumn. result of the persian war was that boetia was devasted by greece siding with persians. beoeitn
confederacy were limited with power. remained as institution but its power a whoel was reduced.
during the first peloponenan war, after 458, boetianw as allied with sparta. beotians assisted the
spartans with victory at the batttle of tanagra. (spartan back with dealig with delphi) as result, boetian
lost badly against athena in oenophyta. athenians took boetia andkept until victoyr at coronea (athens
at this stage, 447 battle of coronea, boetian back in charge of their own affiars.
confederacy manner described for us by the so-called oxyrhynchia (slide)
collection of papyri in 19th C. the very useful history of later peolopoenan war.
in early days, it had simple organization. not all citizens participate but with certain amount of property.
only the wealthiest (few) were abel to contirbute to the administration of the confederacy. there were 4
counscils and debate things and bring to the larger council.
Thu (slide) talk with argos…. anti spartan league. communicated with proposal of 4 councils.
(slide) refelcting dominace of thebes.
what we see, instead of 4 council, there are 11 units. thebes provide 4. 2 itself and 2 on behalf.
number of other smaller polis… which had been politicaly combined. attribted to thebes smaller polis
thebes dominated and runs their affairs.
summary (look on the slide)
members of the assembly… each unit had military obligations. and resources to any military action taken
by the league and each unit contribte men. we are told that this matches the funds they contribute to
the common treasure of the league and other obligations they met at a place at cadmea
basically… thebes dominating the league. it has enough to form lock of power (1/3 of the boetarcs)
the other thing is that these divisions are geographical. clues that each of these polis had. this is later
when thebes had success during the pelopoenian war. during the 2nd war, thebes and beotia were on
the side of sparta. but not platea. remained friendly to athens. theban atack in 431 was cause of war to
thuy. argue how war breewing but miltiary hostility was with thebes attacking platea. in spring of 431,
group of thebans, attacked platea. did this by invitation by aristocrat….
invite thebes come and take city over. exmample of stasis* where it was to the city's great advantage.
thebans attacked bu didn’t do super well. platean successfully defended themsevles and gives account.
take prisoners and the rest flee.
they would arrange return of prisoners. none of these were settled.
oaths can be broken easily.
emphasis on alliances
war= decision making process*
spartans and plateans went back and forth. plateans wanted to escape. half didn’t want to. escape plan
came through an athenina general.
spartan confidence. they almost knew as if ahtneians wouldn’t come antways. thus the seige… athens
not helping… way of reducing alliance with athnes. this is a sad story… platean believes that the athnes would come but no.
plateans are like the hero? athens were going to risk a fight… they werent going to do it for pleatea but
athens was acting for athens*** giving thucidies… giving him a problem but also what ahtienas were
going to war for.
platea destroyed but rebuilt at the end of the war. platea was alowed to be autonomous and free under
term of kings' piece. but lasted until 373 BC when thebes again seized platea in a violent attack.. phil II
macedon restored platea 338 BC and 334 sacked thebes (divine justice eventuall and obtained under
*THRACE matter of survival and hostility to certain polis. they were not alone. mayn of polis and tribal
groups in central and northenr greece had imilar experience with the persians.
516 BC- persian 3 satrapy, thracians had been subdued by the persians and consdiered part of tribute to
their empire. thrace was the 3rd satrapy. along with asian hellespont.
there were thracians in the xeres' army.
*Macedonians were part of persian lordship and control around 512-479 when xeres was pusehd out.
the kings had their own agenda to preserve themselves and march to their doom.
werent loyal but just watching for themselves… invovled being nice to the persians.
Amyntas (king) and son Alex I. features in the account of the persian invasion. lover of greek culture.
appears trying to play both side. marries persian women but also commnication with the greeks in the
south. trying to help greeks by telling what xeres are up to. how to take this advice…