Preferred Citation: Fornara, Charles W., and Loren J. Samons II Athens from Cleisthenes to Pericles. Berkeley:  University of California Press,  c1991 1991.


Athens from Cleisthenes to Pericles

Charles W. Fornara and
Loren J. Samons II

Berkeley · Los Angeles · Oxford
© 1991 The Regents of the University of California

To M. H. C. and Jamie

Preferred Citation: Fornara, Charles W., and Loren J. Samons II Athens from Cleisthenes to Pericles. Berkeley:  University of California Press,  c1991 1991.

To M. H. C. and Jamie


This book owes its existence to a collaborative effort between me and my student Loren Samons II. I had, indeed, written an earlier and more rudimentary version of similar scope some years ago. That version benefited greatly from the criticism of Morton Smith, whom I thank with deep gratitude for his warm interest in my work over the years, especially when I was younger, when encouragement is so important. The book nevertheless left me dissatisfied, however, and so it languished, virtually forgotten, until quite recently, when two special circumstances drew me back to it. The award of a Guggenheim Fellowship (1988–89), afforded me sufficient leisure to contemplate revision of the old manuscript while I simultaneously prosecuted my new-found interest in Ammianus Marcellinus and the historiography of late antiquity. But even so, I did not wish to undertake a project requiring the total rewriting and radical expansion of an older group of studies, which further required a thorough review of the modern literature, without sharing the burden with someone else; and thus it was my acquaintance with Samons that made the possibility a real one, for I recognized that Samons's gifts of intellect and independence of mind would make a joint undertaking feasible. The collaboration was very pleasant and mutually instructive.

Of those who have since read our manuscript, my chief obligation is to Mortimer Chambers, who taught me Greek history while I was his student at the University of Chicago and then at the University of California at Los Angeles. My debt to him is profound and inexpressible,


for he showed me the real meaning of the word scholarship. I also am privileged to thank Peter Rhodes for his careful reading of the manuscript, which also improved it greatly. Neither scholar, of course, necessarily shares the views presented in the text.

Finally, I wish, with Samons, to thank Richard Holway of the University of California Press for the interest he showed in the book and his willingness to further its publication. I am also delighted to acknowledge the benefit of the editorial assistance of Peter Dreyer and my sense of obligation to Mary Lamprech, the Classics Editor of the University of California Press.

C. W. F.

In the process of collaborating on this book I have accumulated many debts, both scholarly and otherwise. The Department of Classics at Brown University provided a partial subvention for my research, and its chairman, Professor Kurt A. Raaflaub, provided useful assistance. The department's administrative assistant, Ruthann Whitten, in many ways made a difficult task simpler. I am especially grateful to my friend and colleague James Kennelly, who discussed with me various problems in Herodotus and Thucydides and saved me from numerous errors of both judgment and fact.

Of course, my preeminent academic debt is to Professor Charles Fornara, who not only taught me how to study Greek history, but also provided me with the means to do so at a level that I could not have achieved by myself—all this with the patience and instruction that make collaboration between senior and junior partners felicitous. Above all, I wish to thank my wife, Jamie, who shares the dedication of this work, for she rendered immeasurable intellectual aid and personal support and has in every way enriched these first years of scholarship and marriage.

L. J. S. II





B. D. Meritt, H. T. Wade-Gery, and M. F. McGregor, The Athenian Tribute Lists, 4 vols. (Cambridge, Mass., and Princeton, 1939–53)


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G. Busolt and H. Swoboda, Griechische Staatskunde, 2 vols. (Munich, 1920, 1926)


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Ancient Societies and Institutions: Studies Presented to Victor Ehrenberg on his Seventy-Fifth Birthday, ed. E. Badian (Oxford, 1966)


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Fornara, Nature of History

C. W. Fornara, The Nature of History in Ancient Greece and Rome (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1983)

Frost, Them.

F. J. Frost, Plutarch's Themistokles: A Historical Commentary (Princeton, 1980)

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By the mid fifth century B.C. , Athens had emerged as the most powerful city-state in all of Greece. As a democracy in control of an empire consisting of tributary states, she had become a great sea power with financial resources that appeared inexhaustible and were without parallel in a land that, by contrast with the east, was notoriously poor. Her new status, and the ambition it promoted, made her a natural enemy of the Lacedaemonians, hitherto the leading power in Hellas. Under the leadership of Pericles, Athens's imperial power, her democracy, and her militant opposition to Sparta were all of them extended to the limit, making her the most dangerous city-state, as she was the most splendid, of her time.

The history of Athens from Cleisthenes' time to that of Pericles is therefore the complex story of simultaneous developments on many fronts—the institution of democracy and its subsequent radicalization under Ephialtes and Pericles; Athens's acquisition of an empire during and after her struggle with Persia; the contest with Sparta for mastery of Greece. But the special complexity of this story does not so much consist in the fact that Athens's evolution was multifaceted, comprising, domestically, a transformation of the nature of her government and, externally, the prosecution of a double-edged foreign policy. To be sure, these developments contain genuinely problematical features that arise from the inadequacy, tendentiousness, elusive meaning, and even the outright disagreement of our ancient sources, all of which inevitably renders interpretation tentative and hypothetical. But an even greater


complexity arises from the circumstance that none of these subjects can properly be understood in isolation from the others. Foreign and domestic policy are merely two sides of the same coin, the interrelated ramifications of an integral program. The Athenian democracy unfolded in the context of the acquisition of empire and involved the repudiation of good relations with the Spartans, and each of these developments conditioned and was conditioned by the other. For instance, the domestic political revolution of 462 associated with Ephialtes' name brought about an abrupt cessation of alliance between Athens and Sparta; or, to put it another way, the repudiation of Cimon, the friend of Sparta and, until Ephialtes, Athens's leading statesman, carried with it the discreditation of both his foreign policy and the civic institutions that guaranteed his supremacy at home. Again, the extension of democracy under Pericles by means of state payment for public service required a deliberate decision to rely on the permanent availability of imperial treasure. Thus it presumes the strict interdependence of the Athenian democracy and the Athenian empire. To cite a third example, open hostility with Sparta presupposed Athens's rule of the sea—that is, the inviolability of the empire—for otherwise the Athenians would have been incapable of withstanding a Peloponnesian siege of their city.

The problem faced by the historian, therefore, is to find a method of presenting this material that will allow the reader to comprehend the set of interrelationships in an orderly and natural fashion, and to that end we repeatedly traverse the same chronological ground (roughly the time of Cleisthenes to Pericles) in an attempt to juxtapose four major lines of analysis. In that way, we hope, progressive illumination will be shed upon our subject, the political history of Athens, as each new strand is braided into place. We begin with the Alcmeonid family, for it is the family of Cleisthenes and Pericles (on his mother's side) and possesses a distinctive and peculiar history, which without doubt left its mark on the policies pursued by both statesmen. In chapter 2 we examine the nature and development of the democracy established by Cleisthenes and perfected by Pericles, though now from the point of view of its ideology and metamorphosis into the instrument of the "power of the people." Discussion of the Athenian empire follows, with special attention paid to its origins in the Delian League and the relevance of the "Peace of Callias." In chapter 4 we watch the antagonism grow between Athens and Sparta, chiefly because of Athens's increasing ability and willingness to contest with Sparta for dominance in Greece.


It will be apparent from this description that we have adopted a somewhat innovative approach to our subject, presenting as separate chapters material that has often enough been cast by other scholars in the form of special monographs. Russell Meiggs, for instance, has produced a valuable and comprehensive study of the Athenian Empire. Martin Ostwald in more than one book has clarified the conceptual basis of Athenian democracy as it developed from the sixth century to the fifth; Donald Kagan and G. E. M. de Ste. Croix have focused their attention on the causes of the Peloponnesian War. Such studies as these, however, naturally allocate their attention to a comparatively narrow and specific subject, which has the inevitable effect of diminishing the importance of relevant parallel phenomena standing outside the defined field of inquiry. If our combination of subjects normally treated separately contains any special merit, it will be to stress time and again the material convergence of family history, domestic politics, the history of the empire, and the antagonism of Athens and Sparta.

Finally, a word should be said about the methodology we have employed in dealing with our subject. Chiefly we have occupied ourselves with the sources, using these as the touchstone for judging the validity of modern work. For though it goes without saying that the ancient testimonia are the foundation of all modern reconstruction, and are very well known, it is nevertheless the case that they need constant reassessment, not only in the light of new knowledge, but because sometimes their amalgamation into ever more complex hypotheses, aiming at the categorical expansion of our knowledge, subtly or grossly distorts their ostensible meaning. As every scholar knows, the hypotheses of yester-year eventually solidify into an opinio communis that, acquiring momentum of its own, insensibly transcends the evidence when it does not pervert it, thus yielding a picture that less and less reproduces the original lineaments of the ancient tradition. Hence the need for periodic realignment of the one and the other by the pursuit of "source-based" historical criticism. For this reason, it has been necessary for us repeatedly to examine and debate the views of such seminal writers as Busolt, Wade-Gery, and the editors of ATL, scholars whose treatment of the sources has been particularly influential in subsequent work. By the same token, it should occasion no surprise that we largely ignore the work of those scholars whose interest in these underpinnings is secondary to their imposition on Athenian history of modern historical "models" inspired by the social sciences and strictly irrelevant to our own purpose of letting the sources speak for themselves.


Chapter I—
Athens, Pericles, and the Alcmeonids

In 432 B.C. , just prior to the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War, the Spartans escalated their diplomatic offensive against the Athenians by reminding them that their leader Pericles was polluted by a curse, and they demanded the expulsion from Attica of the sacrilegious family of the Alcmeonids (Thuc. 1.126f.). If their demand were ignored, as they thought it would be, they might thereby at least inject a premonition of supernatural agency into a debate hitherto conducted along pragmatic and rational lines. Dread of the agos, the curse, if not sufficient to prompt second thoughts about the propriety of the leadership of Pericles, might introduce a higher level of apprehension in this time of crisis.[1] The background of the agos is well known. Two hundred years before, as both Herodotus (5.71) and Thucydides (1.126.3–12) inform us, this family had been stained by the pollution of impious blood-guilt because the head of the house had murdered suppliants after promising them their lives. As a result, the Alcmeonids were twice expelled from Athens, once shortly after the event and again at the time of the revolution of Cleisthenes, himself an Alcmeonid. Pericles, as a direct descendant on his mother's side, was believed to have inherited this stain.[2]

[1] For the political manipulation of the curse by Sparta, cf. G. W. Williams, "The Curse of the Alkmaionidai—III," Hermathena 80 (1952), 65–66; Kagan, Outbreak, pp. 317–18 (accepting Thucydides' interpretation); R. Parker, Miasma: Pollution and Purification in Early Greek Religion (Oxford, 1983), pp. 16–17; and Plut. Per. 33.1–2.

[2] W. G. Forrest, "Themistocles and Argos," CQ 10 (1960), 233–34, and "Herodotos and Athens," Phoenix 38 (1984), 4, insists that Pericles had nothing whatsoever todo with the Alcmeonids. Cf. Wade-Gery, Essays, p. 150 n. 1, who believed that the curse was transmitted in both the male and female lines, and Williams, Hermathena 80 (1952), 65–66. Thuc. 1.127.1 is decisive.


From a modern point of view, the idea that Pericles lay under a curse because of sacrilege committed two hundred years before by maternal relatives seems as implausible as the corollary that the city could itself be polluted by the contamination of his presence. Many features, however, of Athenian judicial practice remind us of the tenacity of this ancient belief. An unclean person, or even an object (Aeschin. 3.244), was held to defile the public places of a city and had to be expelled in order to protect the community from harm.[3] The theme is frequent in drama, an obvious example being Sophocles' play, Oedipus the King. The tragedy begins with a hero who, unknown to himself, has fallen under a curse because he killed the father whom he did not know and took in marriage the woman who was his mother. Now king of Thebes, he is directly responsible for the plague desolating his city. Correspondences between the tragedy and contemporary events may not be accidental. Though the date of the play is not fixed by ancient authority, the scourge afflicting Thebes has been plausibly associated with the plague that descended on Athens just after the Peloponnesian War began.[4] It is possible, therefore, to identify the noble and tragic figure of Oedipus with the great Athenian statesman Pericles. The connection, of course, need assume no more than Sophocles' transmutation of contemporary conditions and situations in order to invoke resonances that would reach the hearts of his audience. There is, in any case, no doubt that the revival of the charge of pollution against the Alcmeonids provoked more psychological stress in the Athenians than Thucydides implies in 1.126. For though, as a rationalist of the new school, which tended to be impatient of supernatural causes, Thucydides may have been disdainful of the superstition, he nevertheless considered it significant enough to be worth mention, making the point more than once that Pericles was held responsible by some Athenians for the onset of the plague (2.59.2, 64.1). The interplay of human and divine, reflected in the charges and countercharges leveled by both sides before the

[3] Cf. Dem. 23.76; Plato Laws 873e; Paus. 1.28.10, 6.11.6; and, on the subject in general, Parker, Miasma, passim.

[4] Cf. V. Ehrenberg, Sophocles and Pericles (London, 1967), p. 276, who sets the play in 427. B. M. W. Knox, Word and Action (Baltimore, 1979), pp. 112ff., prefers 425. C. Diano, "Edipo figlio della Tyche," Dioniso 15 (1952), 81ff., offers 411.


opening of the war, should not be taken by the modern reader as a mere exercise in propaganda.[5]

Family continuity in the matrilineal as well as the patrilineal line of descent is presupposed by the Spartan demand for the expulsion of the Alcmeonids. Not only is it a matter of an ancestral curse "which for almost two centuries continued to be theinline image, and which came to the surface in every great crisis";[6] the agos had implications in its own right for the peculiar circumstances surrounding the family and the policies it was compelled to follow or eschew. Although it is impossible as well as improper to explain Pericles' orientation solely or even primarily by way of his family tradition, his possession of a unique heritage remains a vital consideration. His systematic divergence from aristocratic interests and his commitment to the extension of the power of "the many" may, in part, have been inspired by the sense of alienation he inherited from his maternal ancestors; it may even be the case that it played a part in the much-heralded aloofness that characterized his social life (Plut. Per. 4–5, 7).

The Alcmeonid Family and Athens

The ambiguous position held by the family (oikos ) or, perhaps, clan (genos ) of the Alcmeonids[7] in the political history of archaic Athens can be explained partially by the fact that its ambition, one of the salient characteristics of the house, was more extravagant than apparently was warranted by its position in Athenian society. The Alcmeonids claimed descent from the royal house of the Neleids of

[5] The rather casual attitude displayed by Euripides Ion 1260 in a comparable situation will not have been the view of the "unenlightened" in 431; although Parker, Miasma, pp. 16–17, concludes that this curse "had soon ceased to be an actual cause of religious anxiety and become instead an inherited disgrace . . . which enemies would denounce and friends ignore." The "disgrace," if that is the right word, cannot be separated from its cause.

[6] Jacoby, Atthis, p. 39.

[7] For this question, see Davies, p. 370, who defends Wade-Gery's view (Essays, pp. 106–7) that the historical Alcmeonids descended from Alcmeon I, and thus comprised an oikos; so also M. W. Dickie, "Pindar's Seventh Pythian and the Status of the Alcmaeonids as an oikos or genos, " Phoenix 33 (1979), 193–209. Bicknell, pp. 59–60, takes the view that they were a genos. We are undecided, but since the evidence that they comprised a "clan" is shadowy at best, we shall refer to the Alcmeonids as a "family."


Pylos; several of their name are said to have served as life-archons before the archonship became annual in 682/1; their family also traced itself to an Alcmeon who lived in the time of Theseus. But these traditions are weakly affirmed and insubstantial.[8] The more solid evidence suggests that they are in fact subsequent to the preeminent position obtained by the family in the sixth century. Thus, unlike other great aristocratic families, the Alcmeonids reveal no connection with any of the local cults of Attica. They boast no descent from the mythical ancestor who typically established such cults and transmitted their control to the appropriately descended families. As J. K. Davies has aptly stated, the political techniques applied by the Alcmeonids during the sixth century "are the hallmark of a family bent on maintaining and extending its power, prestige and political influence, but precluded from exercising effective power in its own homeland through cults and phratries in the way which was open to the old established units of Athenian politics."[9]

On the other hand, there is no disputing the Alcmeonids' enormous power in the sixth century, and it is possible that, though they were barred from control of the machinery of the archaic state by their exclusion from the inner circle of the nobility, they drew comparable prestige from another source. The early and intimate relations of the Alcmeonids with the august shrine of Delphi may be inferred from the constant association of the two throughout the course of the sixth century. The inference is speculative, but something of this nature seems required to explain the great power of this house in (what is for us) the dawn of Athenian history.

It certainly cannot be said of Megacles I, the first Alcmeonid known to us, that in his quest for power he was either discriminating in his choice of means or successful in their adoption, for it was he who brought the agos on his family, sometime between 632 and 624.[10] He became embroiled in the Cylonian affair, the earliest event of Athenian history known to us even rudimentarily. Indeed, we would not know

[8] Paus. 2.18.8; Toepffer, pp. 225ff., with chart p. 320; Davies, pp. 368ff., with table 1 (descent from the Neleids); Castor, FGrHist 250 F 4 (Megacles and Alcmeon as the sixth and thirteenth life-archons); the Suda (A 1291–92, Adler), Harp. and Hesych. s.v. "Alkmaionidai" (descent from an Alcmeon coeval with Theseus). But Herodotus (5.62, 6.125) seems to treat the Alcmeonids as an autochthonous Athenian clan. See Toepffer, pp. 226–28 with notes.

[9] Davies, p. 370.

[10] For the date, see Busolt, 2.206 n. 2, Gomme, HCT, 1.428–30; for Cylon's Olympic victory, see Africanus at Euseb. Chron. 1.198, 31 Schöne.


even the little we do about this abortive attempt at tyranny were it not for the fact that the Cylonian affair became an inseparable part of the aetiology of the curse of the Alcmeonids. It was the agos that interested the general public for whose benefit Herodotus (5.71) and Thucydides (1.126.3–12) established the literary record. For all their agreement in outline, however, their accounts are curiously discrepant. Both historians agree that Cylon had gained an Olympic victory (which we can date to 640), and that he aspired to become tyrant of Athens. Both historians also agree, unequivocally, that the sacrilegious murder that ensued placed a curse on the clan. Neither writer, however, names Megacles. (We know his name from Plut. Sol. 12.1; it must have appeared in the Atthidographic literature.) On the other hand, Herodotus implies (simply from the conjunction of sentences in 5.71) that Cylon sought the tyranny because he was exalted by the Olympic victory. Thucydides, whose treatment is more extended, introduces the further information that Cylon was the son-in-law of the tyrant of Megara (1.126.3), had consulted the oracle at Delphi, and had been told by Apollo to seize the acropolis "during the greatest festival of Zeus" (126.4). From this point their narratives differ radically. Herodotus writes that Cylon,

backing himself with a group of men of his own age who had sworn to act together, tried to seize the acropolis. Unable to secure its possession, he sat as a suppliant next to the statue of the goddess. The prytanies of the naukraries, who in fact were in charge of Athens at that time, raised up these men on the assurance that they would not be subjected to the death penalty. The Alcmeonids bear the blame of murdering them.

Thucydides dates the plot to coincide with an Olympic festival and gives a more circumstantial picture of the siege of the acropolis. But he also adds that Cylon and his brother managed to escape (126.10). He asserts that the suppliants had been led from the altar (of Athena Polias) after the Athenians saw them dying (of starvation) in the temple "on condition that they suffer no harm." He concludes with the remark that "some" of the conspirators were slain "at the altars of the Dread Goddesses [the Erinyes] as they descended from the acropolis" (126.10f.). Thucydides also replaces the prytanies of the naukraries with the archons: "at that time the nine archons managed most of the political affairs" (126.8).

Though some scholars have discerned "apologetic" purposes behind Herodotus's account, especially with regard to the prytanies, it is difficult to see how the nomenclature used by either historian affects the


nature of the deed or the responsibility of the Alcmeonids, for no attempt is made by either writer to exculpate them, however much they may differ in their conception of the machinery of the archaic state.[11] A less tortuous explanation for this difference between the two historians is that Thucydides has taken pains to correct misinformation that was current at the time and that he also may or may not have read in the history of Herodotus.[12] Thucydides was vain about his knowledge of Athenian antiquities, and we need not doubt that he willingly seized the opportunity to illustrate how uninformed the Athenians were about their own history (cf. 1.20). Whether his own account is free from blemish is another matter, for he has left unclear how the allegedly collective action of the archons interlocks with the apparently gratuitous sacrilege of one of them.[13] However this may be, the curse itself is incontestable; henceforth the Alcmeonids would be branded by it.

The immediately subsequent fortunes of the Alcmeonid house are very obscure. We do not know, for instance, to what extent, if any, this disastrous episode and the vendetta prompted by it influenced the publication of Dracon's homicide laws.[14] At some point in time, however, not long after the commission of the sacrilege, the Alcmeonids were subjected to a trial that rendered the formal verdict that the clan was accursed (Arist. Ath. Pol. 1 ). The Alcmeonids were sent into "eternal banishment," and the bones of their forefathers were disinterred and

[12] Gomme, HCT, 1.426, supposes that Thucydides corrected Herodotus; Sealey, History, p. 106 n. 5, is more cautious.

[13] L. H. Jeffery's suggestion Archaic Greece (London, 1976), p. 88, that all the archons may have been Alcmeonids, was long ago considered and dismissed by Toepffer, p. 242.

[14] See R. S. Stroud, Drakon's Law on Homicide (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1968), pp. 70–74; and see Fornara 15B for the law. In general, see Toepffer's articles in RE 1, s.vv. "Alkmaion" (3) and (4), 1555f., "Alkmaionidai," 1556f., "Alkmaionides," 1577, and Attische Genealogie, pp. 225ff.; see also Davies, pp. 368ff.


cast away. Epimenides of Crete, a magic worker, then ritually purified the city (Ath. Pol. 1); according to Diogenes Laertius 1.110, the Delphic oracle designated Epimenides for the task.

It is reasonable to infer that these events took place in the direct aftermath of the explosion that produced them, since the miasma threatening the community obviously required swift action. The difficulty is the association of Epimenides with Solon that we find in Plutarch (Sol. 12.4–6) and Diogenes Laertius 1.110, for it suggests that the expulsion and the purification occurred in the context of Solon's reforms—a generation after the event—a time that seems problematically late. But the synchronism is intrinsically suspect. Combinations of the Wise Men of Antiquity are often arbitrary.[15] Moreover, this particular conjunction shows signs of manipulation, for in order to associate the two figures, Solon and Epimenides, Epimenides needed to be granted a truly Methuselan longevity.[16] It is therefore methodologically proper to accept the tradition of Epimenides' activity in Athens because of the Cylonian affair, rejecting at the same time the affiliation with Solon, and thus to place the purification closer in time to the sacrilege than the epochal year 594.

The nature of the next series of events is harder to enucleate. The Alcmeonid clan, sent into "eternal exile" reemerges as a powerful force in Attica in the middle of the sixth century as if the banishment had never occurred (indeed, Herodotus, our source for this material, seems oblivious to it). About thirty years after Solon's reforms, Megacles II, the son of Alcmeon, is installed in Attica, enjoying a position of dominance in the region of the seacoast (paralia ).[17] What is more, he has already succeeded in an illustrious marriage (c. 575) by becoming the husband of Agariste, the daughter of the powerful and splendid tyrant of Sicyon, Cleisthenes the Orthagorid (Hdt. 6.126–30). This marriage, furthermore, if we can trust Herodotus, was secured in the face

[15] See, e.g., Plut. Solon 4–6 for the topos with Beloch, 1.2.352ff., and Fornara, Historia 17 (1968), 420f.

[16] This is evident from the ancient disagreement as to whether Epimenides lived for 299, 157, or 154 years (Diog. Laert. 1.111). Beloch, 1.2.359f., in reliance on Plato's Laws, extended his life still further by placing him in the year 500, consistently with his view that the purification took place in the time of Cleisthenes (pp. 302–6). Hammond, Studies, p. 159, defends 595/4. Cf. Parker, Miasma, p. 211 n. 23, and Jacoby at FGrHist 457, Atthis, pp. 40–41, with nn.

[17] Hdt. 1.59.3, Arist. Ath. Pol. 13.4, schol. Ar. Wasps 1223. Davies, p. 372, C. W. J. Eliot, "Where Did the Alcmaionidai Live?" Historia 16 (1967), 279–86, and Bicknell, pp. 56–57, 74, attempt to locate the residence of the Alcmeonids.


of competition for the hand of Agariste by the sons of the greatest magnates of Hellas. But the fortunes of Megacles provide us merely with a lower terminus, for we can trace the apparent rehabilitation of the family to an earlier date than the time of this marriage. Almost twenty years before it, around the date of Solon's reforms, Megacles' father, Alcmeon, must have already been admitted back to Athens. For he served as leader of the Athenian contingent in the Sacred War fought by Delphi against Crisa (c. 591).

The information about Alcmeon's part in the Sacred War (Plut. Sol. 11.2) seems authentic, for it reached Plutarch not by way of Alcmeonid family tradition (which might well be suspect) but from records kept by the Delphians themselves. The datum is also supported by a number of interlocking considerations in which Delphi figures centrally—namely, the marriage alliance of Megacles with Cleisthenes of Sicyon, who had also participated in the Sacred War;[18] an allegation in Herodotus 6.125.2 (see below) that Alcmeon was able to exploit his interest with Delphi to benefit Croesus; and signs of a close relation between the Alcmeonids and Delphi when this family first helped to rebuild the temple at Delphi (destroyed by fire in 548) and later enlisted Delphic support to bring an end to the Peisistratid tyranny in 511/10.[19] It appears certain, therefore, that the Alcmeonids had been permitted to return to Athens sometime before Alcmeon's participation in the Sacred War. If we bear in mind the tradition that the Sacred War was proposed on the motion of Solon (Plut. Sol. 11), the inference is warranted that the Alcmeonids had been allowed to return to Athens in a period of amnesty or civil reconciliation entailed by Solon's reforms. Alcmeon could not otherwise have represented Athens in the war, and much less could his son, as a landless fugitive, have competed successfully for the hand of a tyrant's daughter. On the other hand, we cannot assume that the Alcmeonids also received "absolution" from the curse, for that is incompatible, as we shall see, with the repetition of the charge in subsequent times. The fact of their return guarantees only that their civic disabilities were revoked; neither the city nor the pythochrestoi could remove the agos from Alcmeon.[20]

[18] See Busolt, 1.693 n. 4; for the chronology of the Sacred War see Wilamowitz, AuA, 1.10–21; cf. Fornara 16.

[19] Hdt. 5.62–63, 6.123, Fornara 40; see Jacoby, at FGrHist 328 F 115, Atthis, pp. 155f.; cf. Ostwald, Nomos, pp. 138–39.

[20] For the pythochrestoi, see Jacoby, Atthis, pp. 28–41; for the taint on the Alcmeonids, see Busolt-Swoboda, p. 800, with n. 2. Jacoby (pp. 39–41, with n. 225) suggested that the exegetai pythochrestoi were established to allow for the return of the Alcmeonids;even so the curse remained effective (see below); cf. Parker, Miasma, pp. 16–17 (with n. 5 above), and Hammond, Studies, p. 161 (cf. p. 157 n. 2), who (strangely) maintains that Alcmeon served in the Sacred War without having been reinstated in Athens, and claimed the title "general of Athens" (Plut. Sol. 11) "in defiance of his exile."


Allusion has been made to Herodotus's report of Alcmeon's service to Croesus as an intermediary between Croesus and Delphi. The episode, which is an aetiological story about how the Alcmeonids acquired their wealth, deserves attention, and may best be presented in Herodotus's own words (6.125).

Now the Alcmeonidae were, even in days of yore, a family of note at Athens, but from the time of Alcmaeon, and again of Megacles, they rose to special eminence. [Alcmeon,] . . . when Croesus the Lydian sent men from Sardis to consult the Delphic oracle, gave aid gladly to his messengers, and assisted them to accomplish their task. Croesus, informed of Alcmaeon's kindnesses . . . sent for him to Sardis, and, when he arrived, made him a present of as much gold as he should be able to carry at one time about his person. Finding that this was the gift assigned him, Alcmaeon . . . prepared himself to receive it in the following way. He clothed himself in a loose tunic, which he made to bag greatly at the waist, and placing upon his feet the widest buskins that he could anywhere find, followed his guides into the treasure-house. Here he fell to upon a heap of gold-dust, and in the first place packed as much as he could inside his buskins, between them and his legs; after which he filled the breast of his tunic quite full of gold, and then sprinkling some among his hair, and taking some likewise in his mouth, he came forth from the treasure-house, scarcely able to drag his legs along, like anything rather than a man. . . . On seeing him, Croesus burst into a laugh, and not only let him have all that he had taken, but gave him presents besides of fully equal worth. Thus this house became one of great wealth, and Alcmaeon was able to keep horses for the chariot-race, and won the prize at Olympia. (trans. Rawlinson)

The anecdote is interesting from several perspectives. It illustrates, in the first place, the detachment oral tradition allows from the historical reality forming its basis. Few would doubt the existence of a residual core of historical truth in this story; yet chronology does not permit a meeting between Croesus, who ruled in the mid sixth century, and the father of Megacles II—at least in the time-frame presupposed by Herodotus.[21] Probably, if there literally was a meeting, Alcmeon met Alyattes, Croesus's father, for it is easily comprehensible that the more famous monarch replaced the less spectacular ruler for the benefit of the story. Croesus had acquired the reputation of host par excellence to Hellenes on the grand tour; if Solon could meet Croesus, his contemporary Alcmeon could do so too.

[21] Cf. Macan and How and Wells at Hdt. 6.125.3.


The same impulse explains how a visit from Alcmeon to the Lydian court transformed itself into explanation of the springs of Alcmeonid wealth. Certainly the story is fictional in the form in which it appears; it reminds us of a comparable fiction told about Callias Lakkoploutos (Plut. Arist. 5), who allegedly filched his wealth from treasure buried on the field of Marathon. The anecdote not improbably originated in circles hostile to the Alcmeonids, for what is alleged of Alcmeon is the polar opposite of Solonian sophrosyne and hardly the act of a civilized guest-friend.[22] But the invention of the tale in this peculiar form has its positive side as well: it hints that the great wealth of the Alcmeonids was not readily accounted for in the usual terms—that is, the possession of great tracts in Attica like those of the other Eupatrids. The story has deeper meaning; the gold of Lydia apparently serves as a symbol of the influence of the Alcmeonids at Delphi, which allegedly facilitated the gift. Herodotus's testimony (6.125) to the help provided by Alcmeon to Lydian embassies at Delphi is the most compelling part of the story because it must ultimately be based on the prestige Alcmeon won at Delphi from his participation in the Sacred War—if, in fact, his selection as leader of the Athenian force does not presuppose a still earlier link between the family and Delphi. For it is surely odd that a representative of a family recently driven from Athens for impiety was selected by the Athenians as their military leader in such a cause, and the explanation must be that Alcmeon was chosen because he was requested by the local officials at Delphi.

The marriage of Alcmeon's son, Megacles, with Agariste, the daughter of Cleisthenes, tyrant of Sicyon, c. 575 (Hdt. 6.126–30) is another instance of the central importance of Delphi to the fortunes of the Alcmeonids. For Cleisthenes of Sicyon was also closely linked with Delphi. He played a significant part in the Sacred War[23] and, perhaps not coincidentally, was the first chariot victor to be crowned by the reconstituted Amphictiony (Paus. 10.9.7). He also seems to have extended the influence of Delphian Apollo into Sicyon. And so Megacles, the son of the man who became the benefactor of Lydian royalty because of his interest with Delphi, became the son-in-law of Apollo's champion at Sicyon! The "wedding of Agariste," brilliantly described by Herodotus, made the name of the Alcmeonids "resound through Hel-

[22] Cf. Hdt. 1.30–33 (Solon at Croesus's treasury); H. Y. McCulloch, "Herodotus, Marathon and Athens" SO 57 (1982), 45, saw the contrast, following H. Strasburger "Herodot und das perikleische Athen," Historia 4 (1955), 18.

[23] Busolt, 1.693; for what follows, see Busolt, 1.698.


las" (6.131.1), and must have operated like a catapult for the fortunes of the family, raising it to the social level of the Philaid clan, which boasted a comparable association with the tyrants of Corinth.[24]

How the Alcmeonids proceeded so brilliantly when they simultaneously stood under the curse of Athena Polias is difficult to understand. The stain seems to have mattered neither to Delphi nor to Cleisthenes, who understood that it would inevitably be transmitted to his grandchildren. Indeed, the charge of pollution was leveled against his grandson, Cleisthenes the Athenian reformer, with the result that he was driven out of Athens in the midst of his revolutionary efforts (Hdt. 5.70–72). The charge must be taken seriously. Since the political manipulation of a religious belief, far from invalidating the force of that belief, is a confirmation of its potency, the explanation is inadequate that the curse really did not matter, was a mere "impiety,"[25] so that the attack against the younger Cleisthenes was simply "political propaganda," empty of religious content. The curse did matter; in addition to this manifestation of its importance, and its reemergence as a weapon against Pericles, it also affected (as we shall see) the conduct of Peisistratus towards his Alcmeonid wife. The situation is puzzling: how did the Alcmeonids, and the Athenians, reconcile normal citizenship, residence in Attica and the tenure of magistracies (Alcmeon's strategia ), with the agos?

The problem is limited to Alcmeonid residence in Attica, for beyond its limits the family could function normally. Just as an exile with unclean hands could be purified so as to live in a new community without contaminating it (Hdt. 1.35.1–2), so the Alcmeonids, after the Cylonian affair, must have been liberated from the effects of the agos when beyond the frontiers of Attica. Delphic Apollo was under no compulsion to recognize an offense committed against Athena Polias. Similarly, no bar existed to prevent the grandson of Cleisthenes the Orthagorid, if he became the tyrant's heir, from ruling in Sicyon,[26] where he would be unaffected by the Athenian local curse. But as the expulsion of the younger Cleisthenes from Athens suffices to show, the curse continued to be regarded as a source of pollution in Athens itself. Yet how can this be reconciled with Alcmeon's return to Athens or, minimally, with his deputization as an Athenian general in the first decade of the

[24] Hdt. 6.128.2; Ed. Meyer, Geschichte des Altertums (Stuttgart, 1937, ed. H. Stier), 3.578, with n. 1; Davies, pp. 295–96.

[25] Wilamowitz, AuA, 1.17.

[26] G. De Sanctis, Atthis (Florence, 1975; rev. ed. S. Accame), p. 363.


sixth century? One would suppose that the curse either was eliminated as a danger to the state or that it was not. If it had been, the charge against Cleisthenes in 508/7 would have been derided and ignored. Yet that is not what happened. Apparently, therefore, Alcmeon's return was accomplished in such a way as to mask the problem but not to exorcise it. A political agreement was reached or a consensus established that somehow obviated the issue. It may be relevant that we know of only two occasions in which a demand was placed on the Athenians to expel the "accursed" and that on both occasions the demand was made by Sparta, an alien community. For all of the bitter strife involving the Alcmeonids in the political struggles of Athens, the demand was never made by a citizen,[27] while when made by the Lacedaemonians it was never denied. Yet since it was Isagoras, Cleisthenes' opponent, as Herodotus informs us (5.70.2), who put Cleomenes up to it, the inference seems inescapable that the Athenians were formally bound by common agreement against any direct utilization of the curse as a political weapon, even though its existence was recognized. But how all of this was managed is a mystery about which Athenian tradition is obtuse and uninformative.

Alcmeon's visit to Lydia and his son's celebrated marriage float timelessly in the historical record. After the Cylonian affair the Alcmeonids make their reappearance in the local Athenian tradition when Peisistratus first succeeded in becoming tyrant of Athens in 561/60. The hiatus in our knowledge of the family's activities in their own homeland between the time of Alcmeon's participation in the Sacred War and Megacles' involvement in the dynastic struggles culminating in Peisistratus's rise to power is explained by the simplifying tendencies of oral tradition. The local inhabitants of Attica or, rather, of Athens, well remembered certain kinds of traditions if they fell into either of two categories. They were apt to remember epochal transitions in which the minimum of salient facts necessary for the comprehension of events solidified, as it were, around the events themselves. They also cherished the recollection of the colorful and singular experiences enjoyed by one or another of their great families. The popular mind enjoyed provocative or aetiological stories about the nobility and, in fact, since the stories were about "their" nobles, the citizenry took civic pride in telling them over and over again. For us, Herodotus's history gains an added dimension of interest because of his tendency to isolate these cate-

[27] Though see n. 48 below for the possible allusion to the curse in an ostrakon .


gories. When he made his inquiries into one natural subject or another (epochal developments, family history), he presented these recollections as he heard them, without synthesizing in the way of a modern historian.

The Alcmeonids are a case in point. When in 6.125ff. Herodotus's subject was the Alcmeonids as a family (apropos of the shield incident at Marathon), his inquiries into the antecedents of the family are presented in a historical vacuum without reference to data known to him from other contexts, all of which could have been consolidated into one coherent discussion. But that was not the method he chose to employ, preferring instead to set out one independent tradition after another. Thus, when he sought information about the family history of the Alcmeonids, he was told the anecdotes about Alcmeon's wealth and how Megacles won Agariste by default.[28] Popular memory preserved the story about Alcmeon and remembered something as well about the connection with Delphi; it misrecollected the appropriate monarch of Lydia and knew nothing of the command held by Alcmeon in the Sacred War. In this context it forgot about the curious relationship of Megacles and Peisistratus, though it did, of course, recall that Cleisthenes the reformer was the grandson of the tyrant of Sicyon. But an independent source, in which popular memory focused on epochal change, supplied Herodotus with the information about Megacles. Thus, in 1.59ff. Herodotus provides this supplementary material in connection with the story of Peisistratus's rise to power and his ultimate retention of the tyranny after two reverses. Megacles' involvement in these episodes, both as he appears in 1.59.3 and in 60.2, 61.1, is an

[28] This is not the place to consider the question of Herodotus's alleged Alcmeonid sources, but it seems evident that even Jacoby (see, e.g., Atthis, pp. 152–68, 187, 223) went much too far in his willingness to connect Herodotus with Alcmeonid family tradition. There is nothing in the History about the Alcmeonids that Herodotus could not have picked up in an Athenian barbershop. The stories about Alcmeon and even Megacles' wedding are not pointed in such a way as to redound to the credit of either of them; indeed, the wedding of Agariste is rather more the story of Hippocleides, a Philaid, than it is of Megacles, and the subject, in any case, must have been well ventilated. It is perfectly true that Herodotus defends the Alcmeonids against the charge of treason at Marathon. But one must be very prone indeed to suspect conspiracies to believe that Herodotus could only have accepted the (specious) apologetics if they flowed from Pericles' mouth. We take it that the Alcmeonid defense prevailed in the public mind and that Herodotus, in repeating it, merely echoed popular sentiment about the family of Athens's great leader. On Herodotus's Alcmeonid sources, see R. Develin, "Herodotus and the Alcmeonids," in Starr Essays, pp. 125–39, who argues for Herodotus's objectivity; also Fornara, Herodotus, pp. 54–57; for the opposite view, cf. D. Gillis, Collaboration with the Persians, Historia Einz. 34 (1979), pp. 45–58, with literature.


integral part of that epochal development and was recollected as such in the popular memory. That is why the Alcmeonids seem to emerge on the Attic seacoast c. 561 as if they had dropped from the moon. From the time of Alcmeon's command against Crisa or, rather, his visit to Lydia, nothing had been accomplished by the family that was either sufficiently interesting in itself or connected with independently critical developments to secure its place in the oral tradition.

Herodotus 1.59.3 presents Megacles to us as a dynast in control of the region of the seacoast of Attica (paralia ) who was engaged in a struggle with another figurehead, Lycurgus son of Aristolaidas, the leader of the "men of the plain" (pediakoi ). The civil discord engendered by this battle between local dynasts provided Peisistratus with the opportunity to engineer his own elevation to the tyranny. He was a member of the old aristocracy and had acquired a brilliant reputation as a military leader. He announced the intention of acting as the champion of hitherto unrepresented Athenians ("men beyond the hills," hyperakrioi or diakrioi ) and fomented a conspiracy in Athens that enabled him to seize the acropolis and assume the position of tyrant. After ruling the city for a short time, he was driven out by the combined forces of the men of the seacoast and plain. The local dynasts, this time, proved too strong for him.[29]

Herodotus's account of the sequence of these events, though brief, is self-consistent and credible. The city of Athens adopted tyranny in a moment of civil crisis created by the incessant strife of the great landlords in control of the surrounding territory, and it backed a man of aristocratic family and great prominence, possessing resources of his own, who could be trusted to neutralize the turbulent dynasts of the country in order to provide tranquillity and the rule of law in the city. Comparable events occurred somewhat earlier elsewhere in Greece and the parallel of the Italian city-states of the Quattrocento springs to mind mutatis mutandis. However, because Aristotle, building on Herodotus, injected an anachronistic interpretation of these events and, in addition, misconceived their more precise sequence, much modern ingenuity has been expended to puzzle out the mutual relations between the three "parties" or "localities" and the ideological affinities of various segments within each of them. In our opinion notions of political coloration are out of place in the period and irrelevant to the nature of the

[29] On this and what follows, see Appendix 1; for the importance of the military command in the archaic state as a means to the tyranny, see Arist. Pol. 1305a7ff., 1315b; cf. Arist. Ath. Pol. 17.2; Hdt. 1.59.4. See also ch. 2, p. 58.


crisis. Aristotle's belief that the Alcmeonids of the seacoast were "moderate," Peisistratus "radical," and Lycurgus an "oligarch" is a clear use of judgment a posteriori. Peisistratus, as we suppose, was champion of the interests of the city while his opponents were driven by family self-interest; the real question was whether the countryside would rule the town or the town the country. Fortunately for Athens, the interests of civilization prevailed when the city chose the way of tyranny. For in those times, no less than in those of Solon, a tyrant was needed to enforce the laws of the city and counterbalance the predatory aristocracy, and Peisistratus, for a time, achieved this end. That is the historical importance of Herodotus's declaration that Peisistratus ruled (the first time) "neither disrupting the existing magistracies nor making changes in the established laws" (1.59.6). It should not surprise us that Herodotus couched negatively the positive contribution of Peisistratus, for tyranny was detestable to him and, though he affirmed this laudatory memory of Peisistratus's behaviour, he inverted its emphasis. But the affirmative verdict puts it all in a nutshell.

Megacles was a creature of his time—namely, an ambitious aristocrat intent on increasing the power of his family, as he made evident by the next step he took. For after Peisistratus's first expulsion from Athens, Megacles made the infamous bargain to return him to the tyranny on condition that Peisistratus marry his daughter.

No sooner, however, was [Peisistratus] departed than the factions which had driven him out quarreled anew, and at last Megacles, wearied with the struggle, sent a herald to Pisistratus, with an offer to reestablish him on the throne if he would marry his daughter. Pisistratus consented, and on these terms an agreement was concluded between the two. . . . [61.1] Pisistratus, having thus recovered the sovereignty, married, according to the agreement, the daughter of Megacles. As, however, he had already a family of grown-up sons, and the Alcmaeonidae were supposed to be under a curse, he determined that there should be no issue of the marriage, and he consequently had intercourse with her in an abnormal fashion. . . . Megacles, indignant at receiving an affront from such a quarter, in his anger instantly made up his differences with the opposite faction, on which Pisistratus . . . took himself out of the country. (Hdt. 1.60.1–61.2; trans. Rawlinson)

The sudden turnabout by Megacles is surprising. If we dismiss, as we should, the ubiquitous notion that the son-in-law of Cleisthenes, tyrant of Sicyon, was temperamentally or ideologically averse to tyranny, his behavior requires special explanation. After Peisistratus had been driven out of Athens, Megacles was in sufficient strength to pre-


vent his return. Now it is generally understood that the aristocratic code was built on the acceptance of peer-equality and a corresponding unwillingness to tolerate the promotion of a rival to a higher station.[30] Yet Megacles' collaboration with Peisistratus instantly relegated him to a position of distinct inferiority. The marriage could not even provide a claim on the tyranny by way of an heir, since Peisistratus had grown children already in the house, and few, in any case, are the men of real ambition and power who are prepared to trade their personal supremacy for a remote and contingent hope.[31]

What, then, was the quid pro quo of the marriage alliance? The problem, thus framed, finds its tentative resolution in the explanation for the dissolution of the union between Megacles' daughter and Peisistratus—fear of the transmission of the curse. The agos was apparently the central consideration making the alliance a valuable prize for the Alcmeonid. Megacles himself had managed to secure a brilliant marriage with a woman wholly unconnected with the Athenian aristocracy But her prestige and influence remained back in Sicyon. If the Alcmeonids were to flourish in the city-state of Athens, and not merely in their ancestral sphere of influence, the leaders of the family needed to weave a net of alliances with the other great families. But the taint of the curse introduced a complicating factor, for the transmission of the agos to all progeny arising from intermarriage with the clan was ineluctable.[32] It was a high price to pay and the quid pro quo would need to be substantial. Hence, we believe, the marriage arrangement between Peisistratus and Megacles, for by it Peisistratus was enabled to regain the tyrant's throne and the Alcmeonids secured a vital connection with the ruling house. Yet it is notable that Peisistratus accepted even this bar-

[30] The examples are multitudinous, commencing with the Iliad.

[31] Though our tradition is nothing but a bare outline, nothing in it suggests that Megacles needed Peisistratus's help to maintain control of the paralioi in the face of the renewed stasis with the "men of the plain." On the other hand, a clear inference from the episode we are discussing is that he was equally unable to overpower the rival stasis. But unless we invent a highly circumstantial and purely gratuitous hypothesis, which would also be one of the best-kept secrets of antiquity, to the effect that Megacles became the power behind the throne and gained more than he lost by this dynastic marriage, further explanation of this transaction is absolutely necessary.


gain with the mental reservations that resulted in a second frustration of his hopes, leading to his ejection from Athens for a second time.

Peisistratus returned to Athens to stay in 546, after the "battle" of Pallene, really a misnomer since the opposition to his return was so halfhearted as to provoke sarcasm from Herodotus (1.63.1). For our purposes the most interesting aspect of the tradition about his return is the agreement of the ancient sources, after Herodotus 1.64.3, that the Alcmeonids now chose self-exile in preference to servitude to Peisistratus and remained out of the country until they returned to liberate it.[33] By the lucky chance of the discovery of a fragment of an Athenian archon list we possess incontrovertible knowledge of the falsity of this tradition, for a Cleisthenes—certainly the son of Megacles and the democratic reformer of 508/7—is shown by the fragment to have been eponymous archon of Athens in 525/4.[34]

The discovery of Cleisthenes' presence in Peisistratid Athens confronts us with a problem of source-criticism, for we have the option of reconciling this new datum as best we can with the Herodotean tradition claiming self-exile for the Alcmeonids in 546 by assuming their return sometime thereafter before 525; alternatively, we may decide that Herodotus was radically misinformed about the exile, which really took place at a later time—in 514, after the murder of Hipparchus, the brother of the tyrant Hippias, when we know that the tyranny turned harsh and there occurred a general emigration of the aristocrats, which undoubtedly included the Alcmeonids. Normally, our preference would be to follow Herodotus, for it is arbitrary to "correct" a tradition to suit ourselves when our source is well-informed and reconcilement is theoretically possible. In this instance, however, not only does the information from the archon list prove that Herodotus misunderstood the situation but there is ample evidence that the story about the "exile," which easily lent itself to exaggeration, figured centrally in Alcmeonid apologetics.

To understand the genesis of this tendentious tradition, we must

[33] Hdt. 1.64.3, Arist. Ath. Pol. 19.3, Plut. Solon 30.5, who compounds the error by making the self-exile of the Alcmeonids coincident with the first seizure of the tyranny. Thucydides apparently constitutes an exception; see Fornara, "Two Notes on Thucydides," Philologus 111 (1967), 294–95.

[34] ML 6, pp. 9–12 = Fornara 23; cf. SEG 10.352, 33.23. See esp. B. D. Meritt, Hesperia 8 (1939), 59–65; Wade-Gery, Essays, pp. 164f.; D. W. Bradeen, Hesperia 32 (1963), 187–208; and K. H. Kinzl, "Notes on the Exiles of the Alkmeonidai," RhM 119 (1976), 311–14.


move downwards in time to 490 B.C. and consider the story about the notorious shield signal displayed to the Persians at the battle of Marathon, an act of betrayal of the Athenian demos imputed to the Alcmeonids.[35] Herodotus describes this matter in 6.121–24:

I find it amazing and I do not accept the story that the Alcmeonids ever displayed a shield to Persians by prearrangement because they wished the Athenians to be in the power of both the barbarians and Hippias [the Peisistratid]. These are the men who appear to be tyrant-haters as much or more than was Callias the son of Phainippus. . . .

. . . So I find it amazing and I do not accept the slander that the very men displayed the shield who fled the tyrants for the entire period and by whose contrivance the Peisistratids lost the tyranny. Thus, indeed, these men were the ones who secured the freedom of Athens far more than did Harmodius and Aristogeiton, as I judge. For by killing Hipparchus, they made the rest of the Peisistratids more savage and not in the slightest way stopped them from ruling. On the other hand the Alcmeonids indubitably stopped the tyranny, if as is the case these are truly the ones who persuaded the Pythia to begin every injunction to the Lacedaemonians with the order to free the Athenians, as has been earlier revealed by me.

But, you might allege, perhaps they betrayed the fatherland because they had some grievance with the demos. Yet there were no other men among the Athenians who were more distinguished than they or others who were more honored. Therefore reason does not dictate that the shield was displayed by the efforts of these men for reasons of the kind alleged. The shield was shown and this cannot be disputed. In fact it happened. However, I can say no more than I have about who was the shield-displayer.

In this fashion Herodotus guarantees that opinion contemporary with the battle charged the Alcmeonids with the responsibility for the traitorous signal by the glitter of light upon a shield. The fact is corroborated for us by the use of the ostracism against the clan after 490, by

[35] For bibliography and discussion on the shield signal and Herodotus's treatment of the incident, see Gillis, Collaboration with the Persians, pp. 45–58. The more precise purpose of the signal depends on the reconstruction of the sequence of events at the battle of Marathon and immediately after it. On this subject, widely different views have been expressed. Macan, IV–VI, 2.149–248, remains fundamental. See also Hammond, Studies, pp. 170–250; McCulloch, SO 57 (1982), 35–55; and Fornara 48. For the charge of Medism and the Alcmeonids in Athenian politics in general in this period, see D. W. Knight, Some Studies in Athenian Politics in the Fifth Century B.C., Historia Einz. 13 (1970), pp. 13ff.; P. Karavites, "Realities and Appearances, 490–480 B.C. ," Historia 26 (1977), 129–47; A. J. Holladay, "Medism in Athens, 508–480 B.C. ,". G&R 25 (1978), 174–91; and G. M. E. Williams, "Athenian Politics, 508/7–480 B.C. : A Reappraisal," Athenaeum 60 (1982), 521–44.


a curious allusion to the troubles of the family in a poem by Pindar,[36] and by the apparent disappearance of its members from the political arena in the next decade. Now Herodotus, in expressing his disbelief in the truth of the accusation, points to the unwavering opposition of the Alcmeonids to the tyranny "for the whole period" of tyrannic rule, and he also alludes to their role in the liberation of Athens. The logical connection is that the Alcmeonids could hardly have Medized, betrayed Athens to Datis, when the intention of the barbarians was to restore the superannuated Hippias to his tyranny and the Alcmeonids were tyrant-haters "who fled the tyrants for the entire period."

A common view[37] holds that Herodotus's report is, in effect, an "echo" of the Alcmeonid defense delivered in 490, and that although this defense requires a certain degree of adjustment in the light of the historical record, its burden is substantially accurate. No one will defend himself with assertions patently falsifying events within the living memory of his accusers. But does it not follow with equal force that if it is alleged (by Herodotus) that a defense was made that we know to have been false, the possibility becomes real, if not necessary, that the defense he records could not have been delivered in 490? And is not that possibility enhanced when we take into account the fact that sixty years had elapsed between the alleged defense of 490 and its publication after 431? We have no warrant to attribute to Herodotus, long after the event, the uncontaminated recollection of an apologia delivered in 490 and (on that hypothesis) presumptively true. Nor can the apologia, as formulated by Herodotus, be regarded as a plausible defense if delivered in 490 when its central core is historically false and would have been recognized as such at the time it was allegedly delivered.

In 490 it is inconceivable that the Alcmeonids could have attempted to prove that they could not have displayed the shield signal by urging their anti-tyrannist sentiments in the manner presented by Herodotus. The Athenians remembered that Megacles had been the son-in-law of Peisistratus, and they knew as well that Cleisthenes had held the archonship in 525 when Hipparchus was tyrant of the city. They also remembered that after founding the democracy, Cleisthenes or his

[36] Pindar Pyth. 7. See Macan, IV–VI, 2.176f. On ostracism and the clan in this period, cf. G. M. E. Williams, "The Image of the Alcmeonidai between 490 and 487/6 B.C. ," Historia 29 (1980), 106–110; G. R. Stanton, "The Introduction of Ostracism and Alcmeonid Propaganda,"JHS 90 (1970), 180–83; and ch. 2, n. 53, below.

[37] E.g., Jacoby, RE Suppl. II (1913), s.v. "Herodotus," cols. 443–44. Develin, "Herodotos and the Alcmeonids," in Starr Essays, pp. 130–33, rejects this notion; so also McCulloch, SO 57 (1982), 45–46.


agents sent an embassy to Sardis "in the hope of making a treaty with the Persian king" (Hdt. 5.73).[38] Now these data—and the charge of Medis ade in 490, which seems to presuppose them—are all we possess of the historical record; in their light, Herodotus's defense would have been as preposterous at the time of Marathon as it seemed credible if developed thirty or forty years later, when the exact limits of the "exile" became susceptible to exaggeration.[39]

It is doubtful whether the actual apology of the Alcmeonids in 490 can be extracted from Herodotus's simplified and erroneous account of it. But one negative conclusion seems safe: they did not claim exile "throughout the entire period." Probably they dwelt on features of their past history redounding to their benefit, such as their endurance of voluntary exile after 514 and their indisputable (though vicarious) contribution to the liberation of Athens in 511/10.[40] After 490, the duration of the exile could grow more and more indefinite until it became

[38] There can be no real doubt about Cleisthenes' responsibility for this action, though Herodotus skims over the awkward point. It is, of course, an inference, and other formal possibilities exist—e.g., that Cleisthenes died before the embassy was sent. But (to consider that possibility), if Cleisthenes had no part in the dispatch of the embassy, it is hard to see why that important point (to the ancients as to us) was silently passed over; on the other hand, it is easy to understand why his role was suppressed if in fact he had been involved. "Natural inferences" are not always right, but they are superior methodologically to arbitrary suppositions intended to undercut them. Cleisthenes was in power, an embassy was sent, no sign appears in Herodotus's account of an interruption in Cleisthenic policy; it is therefore reasonable to assign this maneuver to Cleisthenes. Cleisthenes' motives for the alliance were probably not unworthy. He anticipated and feared another invasion of Attica by the Spartans (cf. D. Kagan, Hesperia 30 [1961], 398). In return for an alliance, consequently, Cleisthenes' ambassadors gave over "earth and water" to the Great King's representative, thereby surrendering Athens to the king. The demos, however, refused to pay the price and subjected the envoys on their return, in Herodotus's phrase, to "tremendous condemnation." Cleisthenes must have shared it, for he drops from history. The remark in Aelian VH 13.24 to the effect that Cleisthenes fell to ostracism may preserve a faint recollection of his banishment. Cf. R. D. Cromey, "Kleisthenes' Fate," Historia 28 (1979), 129–47.

[39] Times had changed sufficiently by c. 460 to make a syllogism of a non sequitur. It was long enough for the charge to have become detached from the particular circumstances that lent it its credibility, and now "the charge" could be presented (merely) as a logical dilemma capable of hypothetical refutation. It was a truism by 460 that tyranny and democracy were natural enemies, and so it became simple enough to persuade first contemporaries and then later writers like Herodotus that no one who had accomplished the liberation of Athens could plausibly be regarded as a friend of tyrants. If further evidence was required, a certain exaggeration of the limits of the exile and discreet silence about one or two counterindications would serve the purpose. The acceptance of this anachronistic judgment is not surprising, even coming from Herodotus, and it is tempting to believe that it was promulgated by Pericles and his supporters when Pericles decided to enter public life.

[40] See n. 19 above.


categorical. Thus in the fourth century Isocrates (16.26) could claim that the Alcmeonids had endured a forty-year exile.

Such a transformation of the tradition presumes, reasonably enough, that the display of the shield ceased to be a controversial issue after Xerxes' defeat. No evidence suggests that the vituperation continued into Herodotus's time. His ignorance of the material evidence and the prejudice originally prompting the charge implies the absence of current controversy. He has a simplified version of only one side of a historical debate; that which had been the Alcmeonid defense against charges positively framed had evolved into a truism celebrating the greater glory of the family. In the popular mind, it would appear, two salient "facts" were assimilated: recollection of the treasonable behavior apparently committed by the Alcmeonids and the belief that, guilty or not, the family had avoided contact with the tyranny by enduring exile from the time of Pallene. That the latent contradiction inherent in the acceptance of both assumptions is by no means self-evident can be seen from its easy acceptance by modern scholars who seek to harmonize the discord.[41]

To the extent that Herodotus's "defense" is a simplification and distortion of the true history, it becomes justifiable to correct it inferentially. One may therefore suppose that the Alcmeonids remained in Athens after the battle of Pallene and that Cleisthenes' archonship signals their prior accommodation with tyranny. The archonship was not, in other words, the result of a "union of hearts," as it has been called,[42] marking Cleisthenes' return from exile and sudden reconciliation with the tyrants who (on this view) sought the support of the emigrés after Peisistratus's death in 527. There is no reason to doubt, apart from the inaccurate apologia, that the Alcmeonids earlier came to terms with Peisistratus himself, while the archonship of 525 simply proves that Cleisthenes was a "safe man" in the time of transition (cf. Thuc. 6.54.6). We may infer, therefore, that there was one exile only, not two, and that it began in 514, when the murder of Hipparchus ended the truce between tyrant and aristocracy, resulting in the exile of many of the clans, those Eupatrids whose deeds at Leipsydrion were remembered in song.[43] Herodotus's error, and the modern doublet of a single exile prompted by it, should be dropped from the historical record.

[41] E.g., Busolt, 2.593 n. 4; J. A. R. Munro, CAH, 4.249f.

[42] Wade-Gery, Essays, p. 164; he borrowed the phrase (as he observed) from W. W. Tarn.

[43] Hdt. 5.55–65, 6.123.1–2; Thuc. 6.54–59; Arist. Ath. Pol. 19.3; see Fornara 39 with literature cited there.


Perhaps the most peculiar fact about Cleisthenes, the collaborator and the revolutionary, is his lack of importance in fifth-century tradition. Herodotus, who, of all authorities, should have told us much about him, is not only brief in his characterization but cynical and negative as well. Cleisthenes' revolution is described as the culmination of a personal struggle with Isagoras, and even the great tribal reform is provided with a contemptuous explanation (5.69). That such denigration is not accidental is assured by Herodotus 6.123, the passage already discussed concernin the Alcmeonid defense. When the Alcmeonids defended themselves against an attempted subversion of the democracy by pointing (as we infer) to their exile after 514 and their role in the liberation, they apparently omitted, incredibly, all reference to the very act that should incontestably have proved their devotion to the demos: it was Cleisthenes the Alcmeonid who had established the democracy. If ever an argument from silence has cogency, it is here. Cleisthenes' actions could not be urged in defense because in all probability his behavior was a precondition of the charge. The explanation for the silence enshrouding Cleisthenes' name is that he was believed to have betrayed the government. That, indeed, is the burden of Herodotus 5.73—the symbolic surrender by Athens to the king of Persia—conduct that modern scholars, like Herodotus (by his silence) unjustifiably extenuate.[44] Thus a cloud descended on the reputation of the family a decade and more before the episode at Marathon, the probable explanation of our deep ignorance of Megacles' other children—Aristonymus, Euryptolemus, and Hippocrates—whose names we know only because of their more notorious or celebrated progeny. Callixenus, for example, the son of Aristonymus, is represented among the extant ostraka with more frequency than anyone but Themistocles himself.[45] Hippocrates son of Megacles we know because his son, Megacles, was ostracized four years after Marathon, in 487/6 (Ath. Pol. 22.5). Agariste, his daughter, is of course best known of all, because she became the wife of Xanthippus and the mother of Pericles.

It is a very dubious record indeed, and one that only deteriorated because or in spite of the great efforts made by the Alcmeonids around the time of Marathon.

[44] E.g., Davies, p. 375.

[45] ML 21, pp. 44–46; Callixenus 263, Themistocles 568 (totals). For Megacles' children, see Davies, pp. 376–80. It is impossible to account for the tradition alleging the marriage of Isodice, daughter of Euryptolemus, to Cimon (Plut. Cim. 4.16), a marriage that, if it occurred, took place in the eighties. For this very vexed question, see Davies, pp. 304, 376f.


The almost complete absence from the political scene after 480 of the descendants of the family is very remarkable. In spite of intermittent political activity . . . and of the clear survival of the family wealth into the late fifth century, the family seems never to have recovered politically from the disastrous effects of its pro-Persian policies after 507 (Hdt. v.73), from the loss of public confidence in its integrity after Marathon (Hdt. vi.121f.), and the subsequent onslaught by ostracism launched in the 480s. . . . By 470, if not before, the family was politically bankrupt.[46]

We are now in a position to form a notion of the context in which Pericles advanced from youth to manhood.[47] Strictly speaking, to be sure, Pericles was Alcmeonid only on his mother's side, and could point with pride and assurance to the achievements of his father, Xanthippus son of Ariphron, the victor of Mycale, who had been honored by the Athenians with statue set up by them on the acropolis (Paus. 1.25.1).[48] But our definitions of "family" can hardly supersede the impressions and understandings of the contemporary Athenian public. It is plain enough that the special interest devoted to this great family derived from Pericles' association with it, as Herodotus announced in a well-known passage (6.131);[49] and we have already observed the importance ascribed to Pericles' Alcmeonid heritage in the vituperation immediately preceding the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War.[50] The

[46] Davies, p. 381.

[47] See n. 52 below for Pericles' likely date of birth.

[48] Xanthippus had been ostracized in 485/4 (Ath. Pol. 22.6), two years after his brother-in-law, Megacles, suffered the same fate, and he returned with the other ostracisés on the eve of the invasion of Xerxes (Ath. Pol. 22.8). In general, see Davies, pp. 455f. Xanthippus's first known public act was to prosecute Miltiades after the failure of the Parian expedition of 489 (Hdt. 6.136). Political affiliation with the Alcmeonids is doubted by Forrest, CQ 10 (1960), 233, but reaffirmed by Bicknell, p. 73f. The ostrakon bearing Xanthippus's name (Agora Inv. P 16873) may or may not label the recipient "accursed"; see ML, p. 42, and, most recently, T. J. Figueira, "Xanthippos, Father of Perikles, and the Prutaneis of the Naukraroi, " Historia 35 (1986), 257–65, who rejects the connection with the Alcmeonid curse.

[49] It is the conclusion of Herodotus's description of the wedding of Megacles and Agariste: "Thus ended the affair of the suitors, and thus the Alcmaeonidae came to be famous throughout the whole of Greece. The issue of the marriage was Cleisthenes—so named after his grandfather the Sicyonian—who made the tribes at Athens, and set up the popular government. Megacles had likewise another son, whose children were a Megacles and an Agarista, the latter named after Agarista the daughter of Cleisthenes. She married Xanthippus, the son of Ariphron; and when she was with child by him had a dream, wherein she fancied that she was delivered of a lion; after which, within a few days, she bore Xanthippus a son, Pericles" (trans. Rawlinson). On the dream, see Fornara, Herodotus, pp. 53–54.

[50] Fifth-century interest in the figures of past times was, of course, not antiquarian in focus (as it later became for the Atthidographers). The attention paid, for example, by Herodotus to the family of Miltiades (e.g., 6.34–41, 103, 132–37) and of Callias (e.g.,6.121, 7.151) is directly connected with the fortunes of their representatives in contemporary or nearly contemporary Athens. On this matter, as on so many others, Jacoby's Atthis and his study of Herodotus in RE, Suppl. II (1913) remain indispensable.


(conjectural) effect on Pericles of his peculiar ancestry can await brief discussion at the conclusion of this chapter; for the moment we may note a suggestive passage in Plutarch where he makes the point that Pericles did not engage in a political career in the normal course of events because he worried how the demos would receive him.

For he looked very much like the tyrant Peisistratus. Very old men were amazed at the similarity of his voice, which was sweet, and his readiness of tongue and rapidity in conversation. Since he was rich and of splendid birth and possessed friends of great power, he avoided politics in the fear of being ostracized. (Per. 7.1–2)

Plutarch's assertion seems credible because it appears to be the reflection of sound retrospective analysis of Pericles' career coupled with actual knowledge of the age of his entrance into politics. If accurate, it hints at the stigma attaching to Pericles because of the actions and the fortunes of his mother's family.

Pericles' Political Career

No student of the career of Pericles and of the extension of Athenian democracy that took shape under his direction can but be astonished by the paucity of evidence that has survived antiquity. It is a real paradox that the "Age of Pericles" presents to us a lacunose record disposing itself into a series of problems that resist solution because of our inadequate understanding of the chronology of Pericles' career and the intent and, sometimes, the dates, of his major legislation. Thus, although his first political action may more or less reliably be set in the year 463,[51] we do not know his age at the time[52] or even whether he acquired political importance immediately thereafter. That assumption has indeed been made, for it is often supposed that he participated with

[51] See Appendix 2 for Cimon's trial in 463.

[52] Orthodox conclusions about his date of birth (498 at the earliest, says Davies, p. 457) seem groundless; Pericles may have been born by c. 500 or before it. The choregia of 473/2 (IG ii 2318.9–11) gives the lower terminus of 492/1, for he must have been in his twentieth year to be appointed; he could, of course, have been older.


Ephialtes in the great reform of 462/1, when the Areopagus was deprived of its power and the new era of radical democracy commenced.[53]

In this connection it has even been argued (by H. T. Wade-Gery) that one of Pericles' major pieces of legislation, the introduction of jury pay for the Athenian citizen body, occurred before rather than after 462/1, developing out of his (alleged) conflict with Cimon son of Miltiades, the leading politician in Athens until his ostracism in 461.[54] We shall have occasion to examine this measure more closely in chapter 2,[55] where we give our reasons for placing the enactment well after the date of Ephialtes' reform, though it can be stated here that the main prop of Wade-Gery's thesis, Plutarch, Pericles 9.1–5, rests on misunderstanding or carelessness by Plutarch of his main source, Aristotle, Ath. Pol. 27. But the real sequence should not be a matter of doubt. Aristotle in Politics 1274a7–11 is decisive as to the order of events. Speaking of the danger implicit in Solon's distribution of jury powers to the people, Aristotle observes that these powers expanded and eventually brought democracy. He adds by way of explanation that, after Solon, "Ephialtes and Pericles curtailed the boule of the Areopagus and Pericles had the juries given pay; in this fashion, each of the demagogues brought onward the democracy by expansion of its current state."

Aristotle's formulation, which imparts historical perspective, implies the temporal separation of one reform from the other, first that of the Areopagus, then that providing for jury pay, and his evidence must take precedence over speculation about the complex topical arrangement that appears in Ath. Pol. 27. But not only is it premature to assign a major legislative act of Pericles' to the late sixties; as we shall see, the tradition associating him with Ephialtes in the attack on the Areopagus in 462/1 is sufficiently suspicious as to render it probable that Pericles' legislative activity actually began no sooner than in the early fifties.

To question the association of Ephialtes and Pericles in the attack on the Areopagus in 462/1 may well appear, at first sight, to be little more than an exercise in hypercriticism. Very little, it might be supposed, would be gained or lost by the assumption of their collaboration except the pleasant association of Pericles with an epochal measure suitable to

[53] Busolt, 3.1.261. Meyer, 3.570f., is noncommittal; Beloch, 1.2.154f., introduces Pericles after the death of Ephialtes; Hignett, HAC, p. 197, treats him as a subordinate, possibly a minor player; Rhodes, Boule, p. 202 n. 3, thinks that Ath. Pol. 27.1 derives from a source that credited the reform to Pericles.

[54] Wade-Gery, Essays, pp. 235–38, esp. p. 237; cf. E. Badian, JHS 107 (1987), 9.

[55] See pp. 67ff. below.


his political orientation. Yet the question deserves attention, for it affects our general estimation of the shape and character of Pericles' career in the fifties and, no less important, supplies an opportunity to test the quality of our tradition. Now modern scholars almost universally bring the date of significant Periclean measures, especially the decree about jury pay, into close temporal relation with the reform of 462/1, as if they were logically concomitant,[56] and that presumption is greatly assisted by the vision of Pericles as a powerful political personality operative in the late sixties serving as the adjutant of Ephialtes. Our own belief is that Pericles' radical measures about misthos (public pay) belong late in the fifties, if not thereafter, for we suppose that this ideological departure, though it presumed the destruction of the Areopagus, was not a mere consequence of its fall but in fact represents a new orientation towards public expenditure presupposing, among other things, access to the allied treasury. Our reasons will be presented in due course (chapter 2); our object here is to demonstrate how very tenuous is the evidence usually accepted as sufficient to indicate the association of Pericles with Ephialtes. Grounds for skepticism arise from the fact that the tradition is weakly and selectively asserted when not implicitly contradicted by our sources; in a word, it appears to be nothing more than an unsupported inference.

The temptation will have been irresistible for fourth-century critics to associate the great leader of democratic Athens with the epochal political event of the first half of the fifth century. Certainly the available biographical/political data rendered the assumption tenable, for it was known that Pericles had come forward politically just before the year 462/1 in the prosecution of Cimon,[57] while, on the other hand, his legislative career was indisputably in place in the 450s, shortly after the assault on the Areopagus had been successfully launched and Cimon had fallen to ostracism. But if Pericles had indeed been involved in this period of political convulsion, one would expect a firm tradition testifying to it. Instead we find something quite different and rather peculiar. To be sure, in the important passage already quoted, 1274a8, Pericles as well as Ephialtes is credited with the reform. But Pericles' name looks as if it has been added as an afterthought[58] (inline image

inline image)

[56] An exception is Walker, CAH, 5.101; cf. Jacoby, at FGrHist. 328 F 33 (IIIb 1, p. 319).

[57] See Appendix 2.

[58] So also Hignett, HAC, p. 219n.


and, in any case, his position is secondary to Ephialtes. The implication of his secondary status would be negligible were it not for the remarkable treatment this subject receives in Ath. Pol. 25–27. Chapter 25 describes Ephialtes' attack on the Areopagus without mention of the name of Pericles (though in 25.3 Themistocles is introduced, impossibly, as a participant); chapter 26 descends in time from the destruction of the Areopagus to Pericles' citizenship law of 451/50 (26.4)—the first mention of his name. In chapter 27, devoted to Pericles' demagoguery in the 50s,[59] it is also said that "he took away some powers of the Areopagites," and is by no means clear that this reference is intended to coincide with the material provided in chapter 25. Thus Pericles' alleged complicity in the attack on the Areopagus is ignored when the subject is the Areopagus, Ephialtes (and Themistocles) having been given the responsibility for the assault, while it is only when the subject turns to Pericles himself that we are offered halfhearted and vague expression of his alleged activity against this council.

Let us pass on to certain remarks made by Plutarch in the Pericles. In 7.8 we read that Pericles liked to have other people do his work for him, "of whom one, they say, was Ephialtes, who destroyed the power of the boule of the Areopagus" (cf. Moral. 812d). Again, in 9.5, where Plutarch speaks of Pericles' opposition to Cimon, his demagogic measures and his attack on the Areopagus (an inflation of Ath. Pol. 27.3f., where the Areopagus is not mentioned),[60] the crucial phrase is Pericles' removal of the power of this boule "through Ephialtes." To this we must add the negative evidence of Ath. Pol. 35.2. The Thirty Tyrants are here said to have attempted to restore the "ancestral constitution" and to have "abrogated the laws of Ephialtes and Archestratus [otherwise unknown] concerning the Areopagites of the Areopagus." In this critical passage, Pericles is passed over in silence.

The picture, surely, is one in which Pericles' presence has been limned because it was inferred that he must have played a part in a movement that seemed so Periclean in its spirit and direction that his involvement followed of itself. Is it not equally apparent that the evidence would have been of a more substantial nature had Pericles actually been the associate of Ephialtes? And if he had been his associate, the emphasis certainly would have shifted, and the great politician

[59] See pp. 68ff. below.

[60] See p. 69 below.


would have been known for the reform, Ephialtes going the way of Archestratus. Instead we have a reverse tendency, culminating in the assertion of Idomeneus of Lampsacus (FGrHist 338 F 8 = Plut. Per. 10.7) that Pericles killed "his friend and associate," Ephialtes, "out of jealousy and envy of his reputation." The transparent creation of a tradition specifically attaching Pericles to this reform, on the one hand, and the inability of the man of greater fame to crowd out the truly responsible agent, make the conclusion reasonable that Pericles was associated by ancient writers with the attack on the Areopagus in spite of the absence of any sign of his involvement in the affair simply because the idea was attractive and seemed appropriate. Hence the invention of the tradition that filled the gap by making Pericles operate from behind the scenes, a mere expedient, this, to "explain" why Pericles' name was not connected with Ephialtes' legislation.[61] If this ancient theory will not be taken as the certain sign of inferential speculation—the desire to fill the historical record with plausible guesses—one can only wonder what more is required. In this connection, Plut. Per. 7.1, which implies that Pericles delayed his political debut beyond the normal date, becomes an important testimony. This tradition may also be based on inference. But, if so, it was intended to serve as an alternative explanation for the same curious lack of knowledge about Pericles' early days that generated the theory that he manipulated others and did not himself step to the forefront. The existence of this tradition thus confirms our argument that the other is a fabrication intended to fill a lacuna. The negative implications of our assessment of both traditions nevertheless yields a valuable result: it confirms that Pericles entered on his political career comparatively late—that is, after the Ephialtean reform.

Our sources tell us little of Pericles' rise to power in the fifties, though it was a period of great activity for him and importance to the Athenian community. This was the decade in which the principle of misthos, or state payment for public service, was proposed and carried, and the Athenians entered in consequence on the direct enjoyment of the benefits of empire. Yet our record is woefully meagre. The ancients convey the impression that Pericles' domination over the political scene, when Cimon was in ostracism,[62] swung into balance again on Cimon's return in 452, and that a delicate equilibrium continued after Cimon's death and his replacement as a leader of the "better people" by

[61] Plut. Per. 7.8, Moral. 812d. The tradition is accepted by Busolt-Swoboda, 894 n. 6, among others.

[62] See ch. 4, p. 129.


Thucydides son of Melesias (Plut. Per. 11.2).[63] That view cannot be refuted, but it seems unlikely enough to deserve brief comment.

The tradition that Pericles and Cimon carved Athens into separate and independent spheres—domestic and external—when Cimon returned to Athens, has the taint of wishful thinking by conservatives.[64] Pericles' control over the voters can only have intensified in the fifties, when, in addition to the First Peloponnesian War, which yielded Megara, Aegina, and Boeotia to Athens, the Athenians began construction of the Long Walls and Pericles initiated his domestic legislation. Cimon's return to Athens after an absence of ten years does not constitute an argument favoring the assumption that the conservatives regained the power they had lost in 462.[65] The ancients would naturally infer something of the kind, magnetized as they were by the spell of Cimon's name, while moderns are inclined to view the cessation of hostilities with Sparta and the renewal of open warfare with Persia as a mark of the resurgence of Cimon's influence and as the sign of a modification, if not a change, in the direction of Athenian foreign policy. But the peace with Sparta that Cimon helped to negotiate was to all appearance a nonpartisan objective, not a conservative triumph, and with regard to Persia, Pericles had excellent reasons for pressing the war; that policy was mandatory if Artaxerxes was to be brought to the peace table.[66]

Nor did Thucydides son of Melesias pose any perceptible danger to Pericles' predominance after Cimon's death. We may infer from his opposition to the building program, which proved futile, that he attained symbolic importance, perhaps as the "conscience of the conservatives." To such a position, glory but not much power attaches. Both the glory and the lack of power are reflected in the tradition, which speaks in

[63] W. R. Connor, The New Politicians of Fifth-Century Athens (Princeton, 1971), pp. 58–64, infers "alliance" between the Cimonian and Periclean circles; others have emphasized "cooperation" between Cimon and Pericles (e.g., Sealey, Essays, pp. 59–71); on the value of the tradition concerning the rivalry between Thucydides son of Melesias and Pericles, see A. Andrewes, "The Opposition to Perikles,"JHS 98 (1978), 1–8, and F. J. Frost, "Pericles, Thucydides Son of Melesias, and Athenian Politics before the War," Historia 13 (1964).

[64] See ch. 4, pp. 138f.

[65] We should not be misled by the superficial resemblance of obvious modern analogies, where a ruling party is replaced by the opposition after a lengthy tenure of power. In such cases we would infer (if we did not know) that dissatisfaction with the status quo caused the turnover; but in the present instance the return of Cimon was accidental to the political situation at Athens because it was mandated by the terms of the ostracism law. We therefore may not use the fact of his return as a guide to Athenian political psychology.

[66] See Appendix 7.


general and inflated terms of this political figure.[67] The exception is Satyrus, FHG III F. 14, who preserves the information that Thucydides was responsible for the trial of Anaxagoras for impiety. It is difficult to evaluate this unsupported testimony: if authentic, as is probable enough, the trial should be set before Thucydides' ostracism (conventionally set in 444), not after Thucydides' return.[68] But this victory, if it occurred, is less a manifestation of Thucydides' political power than of the inherently conservative religious views of the Athenians, which he tapped successfully. Pericles and his friends were certainly not immune from attack at any time; predominance, even great predominance, is not equivalent to absolute rule. The important consideration is that Thucydides' successful prosecution does not in this instance represent a dazzling partisan victory. Indeed, Thucydides' incapacity to galvanize an effective opposition is implicit in the story (Plut. Per. 11.2) that he attempted to organize a clique of conservatives to act in unison against Pericles. The tradition seems credible, though it has been doubted,[69] and the implication it carries is that special measures were necessary if Pericles were to be stopped. But it was Thucydides who failed in the great test of 448 and who suffered ostracism shortly thereafter. It appears, therefore, that Thucydides' appeal in the literature, from Stesimbrotus of Thasos, who included Thucydides' name in the title of his political pamphlet, to Aristotle, Plutarch, and beyond, was essentially as a symbol of the opposition to Pericles from the right, which was effectively overridden.

[67] Plut. Moral. 802c, Per. 6.2, 8.5, 11; Arist. Ath. Pol. 28.2; schol. Ar. Vesp. 947, Fornara 109. See Andrewes, JHS 98 (1978), 1–8, and Frost, Historia 13 (1964), 385–89.

[68] The date 444/3 is generally assumed for the ostracism; see Wade-Gery, Essays, pp. 240f. for its basis; for a different view, see P. Krentz, "The Ostracism of Thoukydides Son of Melesias," Historia 33 (1984), 499–504 (437 or 436). Evidence and probability tell against Wade-Gery's assumption of a trial c. 433 (Essays, pp. 259f.). Ephorus evidently collected material of this type together and conjoined it with the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War so that it could function as "causes" of the war. It is disproved, in the case of Pheidias (who was associated by Ephorus with Anaxagoras and Aspasia), by Philochorus, FGrHist 328 F 20, who set Pheidias's trial in 438/7 (cf. W. Ameling, "Zu einem neuen Datum des Phidiasprozesses," Klio 68 [1986], 63–66). Probability, furthermore, imperiously suggests that Thucydides son of Melesias attempted to preserve the sanctity of the state (see Jacoby, Atthis, p. 257 n. 119, for a general discussion) when he was at the height of his career, not after the bankruptcy of his political fortunes. The burden of proof that an ostracisé returning (of all times) in 435/4 possessed residual authority sufficient to attack Pericles in this way is too heavy for Wade-Gery to sustain; cf. Gomme, HCT, at Thuc. 2.65.4.

[69] Andrewes, JHS 98 (1978), 1–8.


As stated, however, modern scholars take a different view,[70] despite the endlessly victorious career of Pericles, the nature of which inevitably suggests that if he had reason to fear for his popularity, the threat lay to his left and not to his right (cf. Plut. Per. 33, 35, for the mention of Cleon). Evidence to support this view is very hard to find. Apart from the existence of the inefficacious Thucydides (schol. Wasps 947), we have only uncertain conjecture about the possible significance of Pericles' tenure of the strategia for fifteen years in a row—443/2–429/8 (Plut. Per. 16.3). That knowledge of this feat provided the ancients with a convenient means to divide Pericles' career into two halves, the first embodying his "demagogic" side, the second, his development into a "statesman," is beyond dispute; as we shall see shortly, it was incumbent on the ancients to posit a transformation of this type. But why moderns follow suit is harder to understand. Pericles was not elected to the strategia, in which ten positions were open, in direct competition with Thucydides. In all probability, election to the strategia was now open to all Athenians without regard to tribe and, in any case, Pericles' tribe was Akamantis, whereas Thucydides' was Antiochis, so that even if election partially remained a tribal competition (the exception, on that view, being the so-called strategos ex hapanton ),[71] Pericles and Thucydides competed in separate spheres. In other words, the fifteen-year tenure of the strategia, whatever else it may imply, has nothing to tell us of Pericles' relative position in Athens vis-à-vis Thucydides in the prior period. Moreover, it can hardly be alleged that the apparent absence of Pericles' name in the strategic lists of 444 (and perhaps prior years) indicates that he had been turned away by the voters. We cannot infer the infliction of a grave political setback for Pericles when we do not even know whether he found it desirable, before 443, to hold the strategia continuously. The fact that the strategia was a high political-military office does not require that the leading politician of Athens, especially if he were not cast in the mold of Cimon (cf. Plut. Per. 11.1), serve as a member of the board at all times. Pericles' real power arose from his control of the ecclesia,[72] and there is no reason to believe that he found it convenient in the fifties to detach himself from this arena.

[70] Cf. ibid. and Frost, Historia 13 (1964), 385–99. Frost, 396–99, also suggests that in 438/7 Pericles was assailed not by the conservatives but by Cleon or someone from his camp. See p. 34 below.

[72] Cf. Busolt-Swoboda, pp. 896f.


In the forties, moreover, he held other offices, closely supervising the building program.[73] Quite probably he preferred to remain at home. The report of his continuous tenure of the strategia may, therefore, be misleading, carrying the unintended implication that Pericles' prior experience with strategic elections was checkered. That should follow only if the ancients reported that at one time or another Pericles had been rejected by the voters. The absence of any such tradition renders the usual interpretation of this datum unnecessary and capricious.

What, then, of the prevalent ancient belief that the ostracism of Thucydides resulted in an alteration in the character of Pericles' political psychology? This view, which we find in its embryonic state in Ath. Pol. 28.2, is best expressed by Plutarch in the Pericles 14.3–15.1 (cf. 6.3, 16.3):

At length, coming to a final contest with Thucydides which of the two should ostracise the other out of the country, and having gone through this peril, he threw his antagonist out, and broke up the confederacy that had been organised against him. So that now all schism and division being at an end, and the city brought to evenness and unity, he got all Athens and all affairs that pertained to the Athenians into his own hand, their tributes, their armies, and their galleys, the islands, the sea, and their wide-extended power, partly over other Greeks and partly over barbarians, and all that empire, which they possessed, founded and fortified upon subject nations and royal friendships and alliances.

After this he was no longer the same man he had been before, nor as tame and gentle and familiar as formerly with the populace, so as readily to yield to their pleasures and to comply with the desires of the multitude, as a steersman shifts with the winds. Quitting that loose, remiss, and, in some cases, licentious court of the popular will, he turned those soft and flowery modulations to the austerity of aristocratical and regal rule; and employing this uprightly and undeviatingly for the country's best interests, he was able generally to lead the people along, with their own wills and consents, by persuading and showing them what was to be done; and sometimes, too, urging and pressing them forward extremely against their will, he made them, whether they would or no, yield submission to what was for their advantage. (trans. Dryden)

In estimating the value of this passage, two considerations must be kept in mind. History, as the ancients viewed it, was propelled by famous names. It was inconceivable to Aristotle, for instance (see Ath. Pol. 28.2) and other writers of the fourth century (e.g., Ephorus) that the return of Cimon in 452 or the inheritance of his place by Thucydides would not of itself have resulted in a divided city, or that the

[73] Ibid., p. 896, with n. 8.


politics of a city divided could in fact remain majoritarian. We can understand the predispositions standing behind this ancient notion but can find nothing in the historical record to suggest its propriety to the period 452–c. 444. Aristotle's list of the opposing leaders of the demos, on the one side, and of the "well born and rich and respectable," on the other, is purely schematic; the ostracism of a famous name served paradoxically as a guarantee of the power of the victim, though he had lost the most critical of elections, just as modern scholars often (and, apparently, erroneously) suppose that the return of the victim somehow establishes, tout court and without evidence, his accession to real power and influence. Dynastic politics of the type tacitly assumed, however, seem to have lost their effectiveness in 462/1; the Athenian demos, in the ecclesia and, later, in the dikasteria, implemented its will without the traditional regard for representatives of the great families. If a scion of an illustrious house wished for power in Athens after 462, however much his birth might recommend him, he needed to be a "leader of the people."[74]

Secondly, the nature of the tradition about Pericles and the alleged alteration of his regime into one of "aristocratic" character makes clear that it was contrived not from the evidence but from a desire to reconcile two competing views of the statesman. Pericles' career presented a problem to the historical and philosophical critics of the fourth century. His dominance prior to the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War, the ease with which he could be distinguished from the demagogues who succeeded him on his death, and his association with Athens at the apex of its development, something regarded with nostalgia and awe by his fourth-century epigoni, required that he be treated with respect. For later writers like Plutarch, Thucydides' famous words in 2.65.5–8 became dogma;[75] in the fourth century it was enough that Pericles guided

[74] Old attitudes may have lingered with regard to the conduct of military affairs, and generals may have been elected (like Cimon on his return from the ostracism) because their aristocratic birth was taken as a sign of their ability to lead. This inference is supported by Ps.-Xen. 1.3. A related idea appears in Ath. Pol. 26.1, where Aristotle claims that the weakness of the "better element," whether of the demos or of the rich, is partly owing to their heavy casualties in war. The point rests on a commonplace in fifth-century Greek thought, which appears, e.g., in Soph. Phil. 446–50.


Athens without a serious rival, was celebrated as the "Olympian" in comic literature, and was well remembered, probably exalted, in the oral tradition. Yet it was also clear to the critics that Pericles had been a demagogue responsible for the radicalization of the city-state. It therefore became desirable to resolve what in essence was an intellectual and literary problem centering on the apparent metamorphosis of the great politician, and the dividing line could plausibly be drawn at the year of the ostracism of Thucydides son of Melesias. The elimination of Pericles' "powerful" rival left him, as it appeared, without opposition, permitting him to rise above faction and, in the words of Thucydides, "to lead the people rather than to be led by them." In this way, the great statesman could be viewed not as a divisive figure but as a leader of the city as a whole. The conservative intellectual establishment of the fourth century could allege that he too had become an elitist, an aristocrat in control over the popular element, and not its creature. The development of the schema should not delude us; we need not suppose, on the basis of the rhetoric, that Pericles underwent a change in the forties. His domestic, imperial, and Spartan policy continued as before.

None of this should be taken to imply that Pericles maintained "absolute dominance" at any time. Though he was called so, he was not the tyrant of Athens, and the demos could be fickle. His opponents attacked his friends successfully, and the restrictions in comedy applied 440–438/7 (schol. Ar. Ach. 67) suggest pressure and criticism owing to the unpopularity of the Samian War. Since Pheidias went into exile in 438/7 and the comic poets were assailing Pericles for his bondage to "Omphale" at that time,[76] it is likely enough that Pericles faced, and surmounted, a crisis in this period. But, in general, it is hard to believe that the man who survived a catastrophe of the dimensions of the Egyptian Expedition in 454, who dominated the domestic political scene from the 450s to 431, and who had the influence to bring about a war in 431 that posited the destruction of Attica as a matter of course had much to fear from any political opponent from the time he fol-

[76] See Appendix 4.


lowed Damon's advice and distributed "its own property" to the people.


The career of Pericles, viewed, as it were, from the outside, naturally manifests little sign of the effects on him of his peculiar family tradition. If, after our review, we were to attempt to set down, in anticipation of what is to follow, some of the family traditions Pericles inherited on the Alcmeonid side, what features are most likely to have impressed themselves upon him?

If the existence of the curse affected him personally, probably it reinforced his naturally rationalistic turn of mind. The man whose circle included Anaxagoras and Damon, and who evinced qualities that inspired Thucydides, will have greeted traditional ideas skeptically and have discounted supernatural agency as a matter of course. But the inheritance of a curse cuts deep; the experiences of his maternal ancestors cannot but have sharpened his impatience with contemporary representatives of the older ways of thought, making him naturally inclined to disparage their ideas and ethos. Cimon and Thucydides son of Melesias inhabited a different world from his; Herodotus and Pericles will have found each other congenial company only if they met very briefly and then but once.

If Pericles scoffed at the agos, his contempt for the aristocracy that, in the sixth century at least, isolated his family, would not have been the less real because the superstition was rooted in the conventional religious life of the times, and his sympathies with the class to which he belonged by birth must have been exiguous. We do not believe, today, in the efficacy of curses, but if ever a case history existed of the isolation of a family of wealth and prestige that had incurred a dreadful curse, it is that of the Alcmeonids. A common thread unites the manifestations of their political virtuosity: the absence of fixed and reliable associations with the Athenian nobility. In this respect, one element of his family tradition fused with another, for the absence of common understanding with the nobility was reinforced by the record of the family in championing the demos. We have no desire to romanticize Megacles II, and every reason to suppose that his actions were self-serving. The fact remains that by choosing Peisistratus over the local dynasts, the Athenian citizenry profited greatly. The association of


Cleisthenes with the Peisistratids tells the same tale, as does, later, Cleisthenes' establishment of the democracy. Whatever flirting with tyranny there may have been in 490, Pericles' heritage placed him squarely on the side of the demos .

There is also the question of Sparta. We should allow for some pre-determination of his sympathies in this direction. Cleisthenes had been expelled from Athens by the Lacedaemonians as one polluted by a curse and unfit for Athenian society; the Lacedaemonians had not only been the friends of Cleisthenes' enemies (Isagoras and the emigrés), but were the proudest and most powerful representatives of a form of government to which Athens, in Pericles' younger days, was becoming the antithesis. Here too it is possible to detect a fusion of attitudes resulting in a powerful controlling idea. Ancestral tradition and fervent patriotism united in an intractable and defiant hostility to Sparta, leading to the wars of the 450s and 431.

The impression conveyed of Pericles in the pages of Plutarch and our other sources is of a man detached from society, indifferent to conventional opinions and devoted, at all cost, to what he conceived to be the role and destiny of his city. It seems indisputable that such a man was the product of his family tradition no less than of the times he shaped so signally.


Chapter II—
Athenian Democracy

We shall be concerned, in this chapter, specifically and somewhat narrowly, with the establishment and extension of the Athenian democracy between 508/7 and c. 450 B.C.[1] This extraordinary development occurred, of course, within a larger social, economic, and political context, which a more ambitious study might well include as an indispensable preliminary to the great event. There is the special character of the population of Attica, ethnically homogenous and sharply divided from its neighbors.[2] The sense of community thereby engendered facilitated the eventual unification of Attica into a polis of unusually large dimensions and local diversity with its center lodged in the city of Athens, while, on the other hand, the practical isolation of the people would eventually give rise to a combination of ethnic pride and xenophobia. Then there is material progress, which had given economic power to a class of people whose wealth lay in merchandise and money, not in land, the traditional basis of membership in the political

[1] Our concern here is with institutional change, the process of transferral of political power from a narrow elite to the community of Athenian citizens. For a study of the wider implications of this change and, particularly, a comparison of the nature of the ancient Athenian demokratia with modern theories and contemporary forms of "democracy," see the interesting paper by M. H. Hansen, "Was Athens a Democracy?" Hist. Fil. Medd. 59 (Copenhagen, 1989), passim.

[2] The Boeotians to the north spoke Aeolic Greek; the Aeginetans in the Saronic Gulf to the west spoke Doric Greek; the Isthmus of Corinth, which connected Attica to the Dorian Peloponnesus, was likewise Dorian; see C. D. Buck, The Greek Dialects (Chicago, 1955), pp. 3ff.


community, ensuring its ultimate assimilation into the government at the side of the landed aristocracy. Moderns associate the establishment of the timocracy with Solon's reforms and connect with them the rise of Athens as a commercial city open to exotic and broadening influence.[3] Meanwhile, the invention and diffusion of the Greek alphabet fostered a higher level of literacy throughout Hellas than was achieved by any prior culture. By reducing the sounds of words to their phonetic elements, the alphabet permitted stored knowledge to become accessible to the community and special groups became superfluous as the repositories of sacral and legal traditions.[4] But these, and many other characteristics of Athenian archaic culture, are facilitating changes providing for the possibility of political change rather than predeterminants of the actual course on which Cleisthenes embarked. Since the introduction of democracy is susceptible to investigation as a coherent and independent problem in its own right, we shall focus directly on this subject without preamble.

The city of Athens was liberated from the tyranny of the Peisistratids in 511/10 by a force of Spartan soldiers, led by King Cleomenes, and a group of Athenian exiles who made common cause with them.[5] We know virtually nothing about the four years between the liberation and 508/7, the year of the archonship of Isagoras, the traditional date of the reform of Cleisthenes. Reconstruction of this brief, but important, period is open to a number of different hypotheses.[6] We take it as certain that the friends of Cleomenes installed an oligarchic government in 511/10, and that the Alcmeonids had no share in it because of their Peisistratid ties and, what may be the same thing, their ancestral opposition to the Athenian nobility. Nor does the Alcmeonid claim to the liberation of Athens bear on this matter. This was a vicarious contribution without effect on the actual leadership among the clans in exile or within the group of oligarchs preferred by Cleomenes, who had the power and, we may assume, the desire, to back his friends.[7] Since this

[3] Wade-Gery, Essays, pp. 86–115, Hignett, HAC, pp. 99–107, Rhodes, AP, pp. 136ff.

[4] L. H. Jeffery, The Local Scripts of Archaic Greece (Oxford, 1961), pp. 1–42; E. A. Havelock, The Literate Revolution in Greece and Its Cultural Consequences (Princeton, 1982), pp. 82–88.

[5] Hdt. 5.64–65; Thuc. 6.54–59; Arist. Ath. Pol. 19; see Busolt, 2.396–99.

[6] E.g., Busolt, 2.400–405; Hignett, HAC, pp. 124–26; D. M. Lewis, "Cleisthenes and Attica," Historia 12 (1963), 36–40; Ostwald, Nomos, pp. 137ff.

[7] See ch. 1, p. 20. On the Alcmeonid claim, see Fornara, "The Cult of Harmodius and Aristogeiton," Philologus 114 (1970), 155–80; "Hellanicus and an Alcmeonid Tra-dition," Historia 17 (1968), 381–83; ibid., "The 'Tradition' about the Murder of Hipparchus," 400–424; Rhodes, AP, p. 190; on Herodotus and Alcmeonid claims in general, see ch. 1, n. 28.


was the government Cleisthenes destroyed in 508/7, it is a logical inference that he played no part in its leadership. Now Herodotus 5.66 records a "struggle" between Isagoras and Cleisthenes, in which Cleisthenes, succumbing to his "rival" took the people, hitherto "rejected," into partnership with himself, and on the strength of that combination overcame his enemies and commenced his reform, defined by Herodotus in 6.131 as the new tribal system and the democracy.[8]

Certain conclusions seem justified. Cleisthenes' opposition to the oligarchy and alliance with the people are consistent with the history of the family as we know it.[9] We can readily believe, therefore, that in a struggle for power in 508/7 Cleisthenes managed a coup d'état in a counterreaction against the post-Peisistratid government. The question we would like to answer is the extent to which he and his followers were animated by a positive political program as well as by the fervent desire to clear away a reactionary government. What did Cleisthenes offer the people when he inspired them to rebellion?[10] Was the revolution rationalized as the establishment of democracy and, if so, how was that idea understood? Or did he give power to the people as a means of ensuring his own predominance as their leader without either recognizing or intending to create a new form of government premised on "equality of the law"?

Whether democracy as a theoretical form of government antedated or postdated Cleisthenes' reform is a real and serious question. Since we are, apparently, witnesses to the origins of political institutions, we cannot blandly presume that theory is prior to practice. When Cleisthenes established the new government, its potentialities were as un-

[8] Cf. Arist. Ath. Pol. 20.1. Interpretations of this incident are as diverse as they are numerous; see, e.g., T. J. Cadoux, "The Athenian Archons from Kreon to Hypsichides," JHS 68 (1948), 114–16 n. 249, Fornara, "The Diapsephismos of Ath. Pol. 13.5," CP 65 (1970), 243–46, Ostwald, Nomos, pp. 142–45, Ostwald, Sovereignty, pp. 16–18; cf. D. J. McCargar, "Isagoras, Son of Teisandros, and Isagoras, Eponymous Archon of 508/7," Phoenix 28 (1974), 275–81. The assertion in Ath. Pol. 20.1–2 that Isagoras was both the friend of the tyrants and the guest-friend of Cleomenes can be only half true; Aristotle probably inferred that Isagoras, Cleisthenes' enemy, was a friend of the Peisistratids because Alcmeonids were in his opinion their inveterate foes. See Rhodes at Ath. Pol. 20.1.

[9] Ch. 1, pp. 14ff.

[10] Cf. Ostwald, Nomos, p. 149.


known as its "superstructure" was inchoate.[11] The movement to empower "the many" was initiated chiefly (one may suppose) out of aversion to the domination of "the few," and though it must have been clearly understood that "the People of the Athenians" intended to take ultimate responsibility for the conduct of political affairs, it was a newly charted course into unknown seas on which the Athenians set themselves. To what degree, then, does the historical record legitimate the inference (adopted by Aristotle and many moderns) that the motives of Cleisthenes' reforms may reasonably be conflated with the ideological ramifications "democracy" exhibited in the last half of the fifth century, when our evidence begins to accumulate?

The complete absence of any record of political debate, much less the philosophical analysis of Athenian democracy—or of democracy in the abstract—until the second half of the fifth century impedes our search for Cleisthenic intentions. This search is further complicated by our imperfect knowledge of the reforms themselves. Questions immediately arise. We know from Herodotus (6.131.1) that Cleisthenes was responsible for the great tribal reform and that he was credited with the establishment of the democracy. Democracy to Herodotus (3.80.6) meant "the rule of the many" in which the magistracies were apportioned by lot, the magistrates were accountable to the people, and the people as a whole made the final decisions in all public business.[12] Not least important, Herodotus characterized this form of government as one entitled to the epithet isonomia. By this he meant either "the equal distribution of the rights of citizenship" or the "equality of the law."[13] As to Cleisthenes, however, Herodotus, who was capable of anachronism in constitutional matters, hardly intended to vouch for more than that the Alcmeonid was the acknowledged founder of the regime now flourishing. Though it is possible that Herodotus assumed that the character of this regime, like "oligarchy" and "monarchy," was fixed from the time of its foundation, the assumption, if understandable, is demonstrably incorrect.[14] Indeed, if an argument from the silence of our sources can be regarded as final, Cleisthenes accomplished the tribal

[11] See Ostwald, Nomos, pp. 161–67, with ML 8 = Fornara 19 for conceivable precedents.

[12] Cf. Eur. Supp. 404–8 and Hansen, Hist. Fil. Medd. 59 (1989), 16–17.

[14] The Athenian democracy of the last half of the fifth century was significantly different in character from the politeia of 508/7. Plutarch notes the distinction obliquely in Per. 3.2; see ch. 1, pp. 25ff., and pp. 61ff. below.


reform and installed a new boule but nothing more; and even if we persist in labeling the immediately subsequent legislation (Ath. Pol. 22) as "Cleisthenic" little is gained in our effort to comprehend the direction of his legislative aims. These measures—the introduction of the bouleutic oath and the institution of the board of the ten generals—were no more than concomitants of the same tribal reform. The point is not trivial. Cleisthenes' shadowy position impedes our interpretation of the character of the reform. Since we possess no biographical information about Cleisthenes useful in this connection, it is obvious that we have only his work as a guide to his intentions. On the other hand, our inability to connect him firmly with legislation other than the tribal change and (at best) strictly associated measures drastically limits our ability to estimate his constitutional goals.

Another means of identifying the intended character of the revolution would be to determine the name by which it was called. The term employed should connote something of its purpose. Here the absence of contemporary evidence poses an insuperable difficulty. We cannot bridge the gap between the last half of the fifth century and Cleisthenes' epoch except by inference, since the relevant literary and epigraphical tradition does not commence until the middle of the century and, obviously, there is no guarantee that a word applied to Athenian democracy at a later time was in place earlier as well. And here the stakes are high. The danger is not merely that inference cannot be conclusive in a problem of this type; if pressed, nomenclature by inference has the potential of becoming misinformation by establishing the "character" of the regime on the "evidence" of the name we would like to give it.

Modern scholars, in their search for the original name, "label," or "banner" of the early democracy, have generally expressed a preference for "isonomia," though "demokratia" also remains on the field as an obvious candidate.[15] That demokratia was the term initially employed is

[15] Demokratia has the best claim, a posteriori; see M. H. Hansen, "The Origin of the Term demokratia, " LCM 11 (1986), 35–36. Most scholars opt for isonomia: Wilamowitz, AuA, 2.319; J. A. O. Larsen, "Cleisthenes and the Development of the Theory of Democracy at Athens," in Essays in Political Theory Presented to G. H. Sabine (Ithaca, N.Y., 1948), pp. 1–16, esp. p. 6; R. Sealey, "The Origins of Demokratia, " CSCA 6 (1974), 253–95; M. I. Finley, "The Freedom of the Citizen in the Greek World," Talanta 7 (1976), 10; K. Raaflaub, "Zum Freiheitsbegriff der Griechen," in Soziale Typenbegriffe im alten Griechenland und ihr Fortleben in den Sprachen der Welt, vol. 4 (Berlin, 1981), pp. 266–67, with n. 694; Rhodes, AP, p. 261. V. Ehrenberg, "Origins of Democracy," Historia 1 (1950), 535, recognized that isonomia was not a form of government, and G. Vlastos, "Isonomia politiké," in J. Mau and E. G. Schmidt, eds., Isonomia: Studien zurGleichheitvorstellung im griechischen Denken (Berlin, 1964), p. 8, considered the term "more a banner than a label," an idea developed by Ostwald, Nomos, pp. 97, 112–13, who sees it as the "principle of political equality"; cf. Fornara, Philologus 114 (1970), 155–80, and H. W. Pleket, "Isonomia and Kleisthenes: A Note," Talanta 4 (1972), 63–81.


suggested by the fact that this word was used as the invariable appellation of the Athenian government, without substitution or exception, in the second half of the fifth century, whenever the institutional character of the government was defined.[16] Other indications exist attesting to the knowledge and use of this term perhaps as early as the 470s. One disadvantage of the word demokratia (if it is a disadvantage) is that the term is rather more expressive of factional supremacy (the power, kratos, of the people, demos ) than of political egalitarianism,[17] and this may help to account (we suppose) for the predilection of some scholars for the other term, isonomia, which radiates in the most positive way one of the most impressive qualities of the mature democracy, "equality of the law"—if that, in fact, is the meaning of the term.

The possibility that isonomia, meaning "equality of rights and power,"[18] served either as the "slogan" of democracy or, less credibly, as its official designation arises from a set of somewhat complex considerations. The point of departure of this hypothesis is Herodotus's reference to isonomia in 3.80.6. Here, the "rule of the many" is stated by Otanes (in the "Great Debate" of the Persian nobles just before Darius's ascension of the throne) to possess "the most beautiful of names, isonomia. " The use of this term, therefore, as the predicate of democracy[19] guarantees its intimate and special association with democracy in the latter half of the fifth century. However, the likelihood that the term may have been older still seems supported by its appearance in an Attic drinking song (skolion ) celebrating the act of tyrannicide committed by Harmodius and Aristogeiton in 514 against Hipparchus son of Peisistratus.[20] Hipparchus was the younger brother of Hippias, the tyrant of

[16] Demokratia is first attested in Ps.-Xen. 1.4 and passim. For his date (the 440s), see n. 86 below. On the putative evidence of Aesch. Supp. 604, Antiphon 6.45, and IG i 37, see Hansen, LCM 11 (1986), 35–36; cf. also Davies, pp. 359f. It should be noted that the Athenians referred to themselves in decrees as "the multitude" and "the demos. " For the poor attestation of the term isonomia in classical Athens, see Fornara, Philologus 114 (1970), 175–76; Hansen, Hist. Fil. Medd. 59 (1989), 23–24.

[17] See R. Sealey, "The Origin of Demokratia," CSCA 6 (1973), 274–83. On the ambiguity of the term kratos, see, e.g., Ar. Frogs 1138ff.

[18] Ostwald, Nomos, p. 154.

[19] See, chiefly, ibid., pp. 98ff.

[20] Four versions of the song appear in Athenaeus 15.695ab (skolia nos. 10–13 = Fornara 39). The first and fourth state that the tyrannicides achieved isonomia in Athens.


Athens and head of the family, and his assassination made Harmodius and Aristogeiton national heroes almost instantly. Now in one of the four versions of the song as it is recorded by Athenaeus (15.695ab), the words are as follows:

I shall bear my sword in a branch of myrtle
Like Harmodius and Aristogeiton
When they killed the tyrant
And achieved isonomia  in Athens.

The skolion does not exactly bear its meaning on its sleeve. The tyrannicides were slain in 514, having accomplished the assassination of Hipparchus, not the establishment of isonomia in the sense imputed to it by Herodotus and claimed for it by some moderns. If isonomia is properly used in this drinking song, its meaning must be figurative, suggesting, perhaps, that Harmodius and Aristogeiton established the "equality of the law" by applying this principle to the removal of a tyrant by his assassination.[21]In vacuo, this meaning is perfectly acceptable. We need not quibble (like Thucydides in 6.53.3, 55, 59.2) about the fact that Hippias, not Hipparchus, was the tyrant par excellence, and continued to rule, above the law, for a few years more. It is enough that the Athenians early regarded Harmodius and Aristogeiton as "the tyrannicides," dedicating a statue to them glorifying the deed in this character shortly after Hippias's expulsion.[22] The difficulty attaching to this view is simply the close association of the word isonomia in Herodotus with political democracy as a governmental form.[23] But the logical

[21] See Fornara, Philologus 114 (1970), 170–80.

[22] The statues were erected soon after the expulsion of the Peisistratids; see Pliny NH 34.17; Paus. 1.8.5; Arist. Rhet. 1368a. Cf. C. Robert RE 1.2 (1892), s.v. "Antenor," cols. 2353–54, and Fornara, Philologus 114 (1970), 155. Thucydides' assertion in 6.53.3 to the effect that the Athenians well knew that the tyranny had been ended not by Harmodius and Aristogeiton but by the Spartans really proves the point, for this remark can only be explained on the assumption that they had recently been placed in possession of the true facts (otherwise Thucydides' remark would be pointless). Thucydides is probably alluding to Herodotus's account of these events, another sign (see Fornara, "Evidence for the Date of Herodotus' Publication,"JHS 91 [1971], 25–34, and "Herodotus' Knowledge of the Archidamian War," Hermes 109 [1981], 149–56) of the publication of his work well after 431. Cf. Fornara, Historia 17 (1968), 400–424, Jacoby, Atthis, pp. 158ff.

[23] See Fornara, Philologus 114 (1970), 171–72, with n. 68, and 176–80, on the potentially aristocratic origin of this term; though we now provide an alternative explanation of the date of the skolion, the arguments raised by Fornara do not, in our opinion, seem to have lost their force. But neither solution is free from difficulty; cf. Hansen, Hist. Fil. Medd. 59 (1989), 23–24, and see below.


alternative (as it appears) is no less devoid of difficulty. On that view, isonomia in the drinking song contains the same meaning it is given by Herodotus in 3.80.6. In that case it would follow that the tyrannicides were credited in the skolion not only with the assassination-liberation but with the establishment of the democracy as well.[24] In that case,. however, as proponents of this view agree, the only possible explanation is that Cleisthenes and his circle, as the interested parties, attempted disingenuously to associate the Athenian national heroes with the new regime by blending together the heroic exploit with the "watchword" of Cleisthenes' new government.

The dilemma is interesting. Either we believe that Herodotus's attribute of democracy was originally an aristocratic war cry that then, somehow, in the course of generations, abetted by its etymological possibilities, acquired a new frame of reference and extended meaning, or we suppose that Cleisthenes assimilated the aristocratic heroes of the war of liberation into the democracy he called isonomia by imputing the establishment of isonomia = democracy to them. Surely the first view is preferable and consistent with what we know in general about the ability of words to take on new meaning as circumstances change. The emphasis in the word isonomia, if it originally meant "peer equality," was placed on the concept of "equality," not on the notion of "peer"; a broader definition of "equality," as in "equality for all citizens," would naturally attach to the word when its original but narrower meaning became conceptually unsuitable. Furthermore, it seems intrinsically unlikely that even democrats of the late sixth century (assuming their existence) could have brought themselves to sing so contrived a manifesto—one crediting Harmodius and Aristogeiton with their reform—as they engaged in convivial drinking parties. The credibility of this hypothesis, moreover, is not enhanced by the fact that its sole support is Herodotean usage in the last half of the fifth century.[25] The usual rules of evidence seem to have been reversed. If we knew that isonomia was the slogan of Cleisthenes' regime, any theory, however contrived, would become tenable because it provided explanation of an unequivocal anomaly. It is not customary, however, to contrive an anomaly in order to argue that a given word was politically significant in a special sense.

Another way out of the impasse, however, suggests itself, which

[24] Ehrenberg, Historia 1 (1950), 533f., and Ostwald, Nomos, pp. 131–36; cf. G. Vlastos, "Isonomia," AJP 74 (1953), 337–47, Fornara, Philologus 114 (1970), 170–80.

[25] Cf. Hansen, LCM 11 (1986), 35–36.


would obviate these difficulties and some others still to be mentioned. Since Wilamowitz, if not before, the skolion has been taken as a matter of course to be an authentic piece of archaic poetry composed soon after the event it celebrates.[26]   Now this skolion (No. 10) is one of four (Nos. 10–13) preserved by Athenaeus (15.695ab) that celebrate the deed of the tyrannicides. These in turn form part of a larger collection of twenty-five skolia designated by Athenaeus as "Attic drinking songs." Athenaeus wrote c. 200 A.D. and in all probability derived this collection from a single source.[27] We do not know the name or the date of the original compilator, or the method he used to collect the songs. These skolia must therefore be dated individually by the internal evidence they supply, an endeavor that even those who have engaged in the process will readily admit is fraught with uncertainty.[28] The easy part of the work, comparatively, is to determine the terminus post quem —that is, the date after which the poems must have been composed. The skolia celebrating Harmodius and Aristogeiton present no difficulty, for we know the date of the assassination of Hipparchus. Comparable indications in the other drinking songs have enabled modern scholars to conclude that Athenaeus's twenty-five skolia fall into three categories, corresponding to three different periods of Athenian history—the tyranny, opposition to the tyranny, and the Persian Wars.

As the preceding discussion of proposed explanations of isonomia in the drinking song makes clear, modern students of this question take for granted that the terminus post quem is in effect also the approximate time of composition. The assumption is reasonable, since ephemeral songs of this type are best explained as having been composed soon after the events inspiring them. But something more remains to be considered: an important step in the process of the transmission of these songs seems to have been overlooked. What justifies the assumption that the versions we possess are identical with the songs as they originally were composed? These songs could not have been collected (on any view of the compilator) before the end of the fifth century, or perhaps later still.[29] As recorded, they are at best authentic copies of skolia

[26] Wilamowitz, AuA, 2.319.

[27] R. Reitzenstein, Epigramm und Skolion (Giessen, 1893), pp. 13–14; Wilamowitz, AuA, 2.316–22; C. M. Bowra, Greek Lyric Poetry (Oxford, 1961), pp. 375–76; Ostwald, Nomos, p. 126. But see n. 29.

[28] Ostwald, Nomos, pp. 126–27. On the classification of the skolia, see id., p. 130.

[29] Reitzenstein, Epigramm und Skolion, pp. 13–24, dates the collection to the mid fifth century; Bowra, Greek Lyric Poetry, pp. 375–97, puts it earlier still, c. 510 or c. 477for the "Harmodius" songs, nos. 10–13 (pp. 394–96). He infers that the collection Athenaeus quotes also originated in this period since it formed "the whole or part of a song-book intended for those participants at feasts who felt that they could not improvise songs" (p. 375, citing Wilamowitz, AuA, 2.316–22), and since skolia flourished in the late sixth and early fifth centuries but were an aristocratic art form "not ideally suited to democratic conditions" (p. 397). One may legitimately object to guesses of this kind, the chief purpose of which seems to be the alignment of the termini post and ante of these products. Bowra's assumptions about "democratic society" in the fifth century are not persuasive. We know something about the aristocratic society of the late fifth century (and beyond) that flourished in Athens from the dialogues of Plato; the idea that well-bred Athenians needed a song-book to remember (and elaborate) these simple refrains is unfortunate. Compilations of notabilia begin in the last third of the fifth century at the earliest (see Fornara, Nature of History, pp. 190–91), and this collection is most reasonably explained as one of the type.


sung by the Athenians in the last half of the fifth century. In view of the nature of the genre—drinking songs—the most elementary grasp of how oral poetry is transmitted should be enough to persuade us of the likelihood that the songs underwent modification as they were sung in rotation at parties day after day for generations. Would liberties not have been taken with the text, extemporizations and "improvements" not have been attempted from time to time? The tacit assumption, in other words, that the skolia preserved their integrity without alteration or transformation over the course of (say) a century is not inherently a likely one. Even that (slim) probability is in this case substantially reduced by our possession of at least four different versions of the Harmodius song.[30]

It becomes methodologically incumbent on us, therefore, to keep open the possibility that these songs have a history of their own. We must examine the skolia to see whether they show signs of later rather than earlier date—anachronisms that might betray their evolution from an "archetype" to their present form. Viewed in this light, the songs exhibit peculiar characteristics that may best be explained by anachronistic embellishment. Thus the idea, reflected in the skolion, that Hipparchus was "the tyrant," perhaps inconceivable in 511/10–508/7, was a historical mistake made by subsequent generations, as we know from Thucydides, who notes it particularly in 1.20.1 (cf. 6.53.3):

Having now given the results of my inquiries into early times, I grant that there will be a difficulty in believing every particular detail. The way that most men

[30] Clearly Harmodius and Aristogeiton were a favorite topic in songs of this kind, and one can well imagine that in the continuous ebb and flow of recitation these four versions merely represent some of the permutations extant when the skolia were collected. Other versions undoubtedly existed in the fifth century; see Ar. Acharn. 980, 1093 with schol., Wasps 1222–26, and cf. Ostwald's discussion, Nomos, pp. 123–25, with nn.


deal with traditions, even traditions of their own country, is to receive them all alike as they are delivered, without applying any critical test whatever. The general Athenian public fancy that Hipparchus was tyrant when he fell by the hands of Harmodius and Aristogeiton; not knowing that Hippias, the eldest of the sons of Pisistratus, was really supreme. (trans. Crawley)

Thucydides therefore demonstrates the prevalence of this misconception in the last third of the fifth century, and in this light, the appearance of the word isonomia in the skolion casts a notably different shadow. For what has been postulated by some as a progagandistic tour de force in 508/7 finds easy and natural explanation in the later period as the poetic statement of a popular legend anachronistically framed.

We may infer that after sufficient time had passed, the tyrannicide, liberation, and foundation of democracy were telescoped, so that this group of events became regarded as one matrix of epochal change. From a later perspective, the sequence initiated by the tyrannicides could be regarded, not illegitimately, as a set of connected events, of which the establishment of democracy was the natural culmination. Since our tradition makes it clear by its silence that the Cleisthenic origin of the democracy was a point not even Cleisthenes' family and adherents chose to emphasize, and that the Athenian people similarly neglected to glorify as the individual accomplishment of its founder, credit for the establishment of the new government could, after the passage of time, be conferred naturally and plausibly on the Athenian national heroes. Guided by tact, sensibility and, probably, general recollection of the actual fact of the matter, the Athenians chose a word in this hymn to the heroes, isonomia, that implied the reform but suggested an accomplishment transcending its formal institutional basis.

Isonomia, on this hypothesis, may be accorded its full force as an anachronism in the skolion at approximately the time Herodotus guarantees its currency as a "democratic" word and the "political equality" of which it seems to speak became the predicate of Periclean democracy (Thuc. 2.37.1, quoted below). Thus the skolion becomes an intelligible document principally celebrating, as was its intention, not the democracy but the tyrannicides, whose cult demonstrably grew by accretion. The heroic legend began with the tyrannicide, eventually assimilated the liberation (Hdt. 6.123.3) and ended by incorporating the democracy and isonomia.[31] Such a magnification of the accomplishment of the Athenian national heroes seems economically to explain the much-

[31] See Fornara, Philologus 114 (1970), 155–80.


disputed skolion, even if it removes isonomia from the list of names some scholars would like to use to define the spirit of Cleisthenic democracy.

We may turn now to the consideration of demokratia as the word with the best title to be judged the early name of the Athenian democracy, though whether the term was applied (if it was applied at all) prospectively by Cleisthenes or retrospectively a generation or so later is a question that can be deferred for the time being. It will prove more useful here to uncover, if we can, the meaning of the term demokratia as it would have been understood at the time of its earliest application to the government of the Athenians.

The first part of the compound, demos, meant to Homer "district" or "locality"—for example, "the fertile demos of Lycia" (Iliad 16.437). By easy extension, the same term could apply in Homer to the inhabitants of a locality—for example, "the city [polis ] and all the people [demos ]" (Iliad 3.50). By yet further extension, since the people who inhabited a locality generally stood in implicit contrast to leaders of the people, the aristocracy, the term could designate, still in Homer, the "common people" (Iliad 2.98). After Homer, the word demos continued to be applied in all of these different senses, depending of course on the intentions of the writer and the scope of his subject. In political poetry, as it is known to us from Theognis, Solon, and others, the meaning of demos shifts from "people as a whole" to "the common people" in alignment with the comparisons, explicit or implicit, in the mind of the poet. Theognis, for example, likes to deride the "empty-headed [common] people [kenophron demos ]" in 1.233, 847; and Theognis's repetition of the phrase may suggest that it already had become a stock epithet in certain quarters.

Solon, who does not share Theognis's contemptuous attitude, and has no sympathy for pejorative adjectives, has the same understanding of the term—for example, in 4.7, 6.1, 36.22 (ed. West). He expresses it most clearly in 5.1 (cf. No. 37 in West's collection): "I gave to the people [demos ] as much privilege [inline image: Aristotle; inline image: Plut.] as suffices," in comparison, as he further states, with the other social element of the city, "those who were powerful and were admirable for their wealth" (5.3). These too suffered no injury: "I stood fast, having thrown my strong shield over both groups, / And did not allow either group to defeat the other unjustly." It is important to observe, however, that this particular sense of demos was neither fixed nor invariable (like a technical term). Rather, like the chameleon, it derived its coloration from the locality in which it was placed. In a context suggesting di-


chotomy between rich and poor, demos expressed the notion of "the common people." But in other contexts, where the point of emphasis was "the people" of a city or a district, demos quite as automatically shifted in nuance in order to embrace the notion of "the people as a whole" without any suggestion of exclusion. That meaning applies in Theognis 1.1005 and Solon 4.23, 9.4, 36.2. In Alcman, who flourished in the second half of the seventh century, the broader meaning is probable in 3.174 (ed. Page) and certain in No. 119; Alcman used the word in the other sense in 17.7. The slightly younger contemporary of Solon, Alcaeus of Mytilene, who used the word only twice in the extant poetry, also denoted by demos the "people as a whole" (D12.12, G1.10, ed. Page).[32] Assuming for the moment, then, that demokratia became the early name of the government instituted by Cleisthenes, the question arises whether the kratos, the power, conveyed to the demos in the revolution gave over the sovereignty to the "people as a whole," or instead rather brutally expressed the triumph of "the common people" over their adversaries, so that this word, too (like isonomia, according to exponents of that view), rang out as a kind of slogan, though a slogan, unlike isonomia, expressive of factional triumph.

There can be no doubt about the ruling interpretation of this word among the Athenians of the last third of the fifth century. It is defined for us in the exclusive and implicitly brutal sense not only by the "Old Oligarch" (see below), an opponent of the regime, but by its most idealistic expounder, Pericles, in words attributed to him by Thucydides in the great funeral oration (2.37.1):

We live according to a constitution that does not emulate the laws of our neighbors, but we are rather a model to some than the imitators of others. Although in name it is called a democracy [demokratia ] because it is disposed in the interests not of a few but of the majority, equality is shared by all in private disputes in accordance with the laws, and honor is apportioned in accordance with worth.

Apart from the all-important definition given by Pericles-Thucydides, the formulation of the sentence itself seems significant. By uniting a limitative definition of the regime with other principles that mitigate it—equality for all, honor, and so on—the impression is conveyed that Periclean democracy represents a humane and civilized achievement

[32] See D. Page, Sappho and Alcaeus (Oxford, 1955), p. 177. For the occurrences of demos in ancient literature, see E. C. Welskopf, ed., Soziale Typenbegriffe im alten Griechenland und ihr Fortleben in den Sprachen der Welt, vol. 1 (Berlin, 1981), cols. 552–57.


that transcends the definition of the form—an improved version, as it were, of the democracy defined for us by Herodotus in 3.80.6. In that light, we might be tempted to read this sentence as if it were a condensed statement of the evolution of the democracy from factional government in the hands of the "common people" to a more broadly encompassing government of all the people achieved during Pericles' tenure of power. But although this inference may have a certain appeal because the evolutionary process it suggests possesses historical verisimilitude, we must bear in mind that the course of Athenian democratic development from 508/7 to 430 involved a good deal more than (as Aristotle might have phrased it) the realization of the potentialities of the Cleisthenic politeia .

Factional struggle demarcates the century, for in 462/1 the great Ephialtean reform took place, which, among other things, resulted in the repudiation of the leadership of the aristocracy. If we are right, therefore, in sensing that Pericles-Thucydides' intellectual appeal to the finest aspect of democracy, isonomia, constitutes an expansion of democratic vision and the evolution of the theoretical foundations of the government, the implicit contrast may well be with the government of Ephialtes, where the triumph of faction unquestionably altered its political character. To retroject the "narrow" meaning of demokratia into a period some eighty years earlier, although we know that the reform of Ephialtes not only intervened but unquestionably sharpened the antithesis between "the people" and the aristocracy, is open to the same objection as that raised against a similar retrojection of the concept of isonomia. Perhaps we can learn more by considering directly the implications of Cleisthenes' great tribal reform. These indirect routes, although they seem promising, prove ultimately to be circular.

The essence of the tribal change, as is well known, was the establishment of ten new tribes into which all of the demes contained within Attica were distributed on an equal basis (Ath. Pol. 21). Here Cleisthenes adopted a radical new principle. He separated all of the demes—demoi meaning localities such as villages that were scattered throughout Attica and served as reasonable subdivisions of the people as a whole—into three distinct geographical categories: the coast (paralia ), the city (astu ), and the interior (mesogeion ). Then he subdivided each of these territorially circumscribed blocks of demes into ten parts, making a total of thirty groups of demes, ten from the coast, ten from the city, and ten from the interior. Cleisthenes now established the ten tribes (as purely artificial units) by making every single tribe an amalgamation of


one of the (ten) coast groups, one of the (ten) city groups, and one of the (ten) interior groups. Hence the term trittyes, "thirds," since each tribe equally consisted of portions drawn from the three local divisions. The result was to fuse together three disparate localities in each of the ten tribes so that the tribe became a microcosm of the entire land of Attica, with every trittys in the territory formally equal to every other.[33]

It has often been held that Cleisthenes' reform was directly aimed at the power of locally entrenched dynasts, aristocrats, whose control of the surrounding countryside ensured their disproportionate importance in the body politic.[34] Indeed, that is the latent premise underlying the notion that demokratia is a brutal, restrictive word emphasizing the seizure of power by the "common people." This inference, however, attractive though it appears in principle, really arises from assumptions extraneous to the tribal reform. If baronial control or clan dominion was the problem addressed,[35] Cleisthenes met it with singular obliquity. Reallocation of the dependants of the great families into new abstract units would not strike off their chains, since the demes in which they were clustered remained individually untouched by the reform.[36] The tribes may have been formally changed, but the people and their loyalties remained the same.[37] It was old wine in new bottles. Business would proceed as usual; power would continue to be striven for by the "city men," the "men of the coast," and the "men of the plain." For these people, residents of the localities, ready access to Athens remained

[33] For more technical treatments, see C. W. J. Eliot, Coastal Demes of Attika: A Study of the Policy of Kleisthenes, Phoenix Suppl. 5 (1962); W. E. Thompson, "The Deme in Kleisthenes' Reforms," SO 46 (1971), 72–79; J. S. Traill, The Political Organization of Attica, Hesperia Suppl. 14 (Princeton, 1975); P. Siewert, Die Trittyen Attikas und die Heeresreform des Kleisthenes, Vestigia 33 (Munich, 1982), with D. Lewis's review, Gnomon 55 (1983), 431–36; G. R. Stanton, "The Tribal Reform of Kleisthenes the Alkmeonid," Chiron 14 (1984), 1–14; M. K. Langdon, "The Territorial Basis of the Attic Demes," SO 60 (1985), 5–15; D. Whitehead, The Attic Demes, 508/7–ca. 250 B.C. (Princeton, 1986); and J. S. Traill, Demos and Trittys (Toronto, 1986).

[34] E.g., by E. M. Walker, CAH, 4.147–48; D. M. Lewis, "Cleisthenes and Attica," Historia 12 (1963), esp. pp. 26–37; P. Lévêque and P. Vidal-Naquet, Clisthène l'Athénien (Paris, 1964), pp. 17–18; Sealey, Essays, pp. 27–28, and id., History, pp. 153–55.

[35] Ostwald, Nomos, p. 152.

[36] In other words, competition within each tribe would have reflected precisely the same tensions that were manifest in large scale before the reform, presumably with similar results.

[37] This is not to deny that by fracturing the ancestral mold, greater individual liberty might have been encouraged because of the establishment of a novel routine in which inhibiting influences, if felt, might, perhaps, be more easily resisted. If such was the reasoning guiding Cleisthenes to make this reform, the subtlety of his mind can have been exceeded only by his political incompetence.


as before. If they were mixed up in new tribal groups, their proportional numerical superiority in their particular trittys (guaranteed by their proximity to Athens) would continue to swing the tribal vote and thus validate the preferences of the dynasts to whom they were obligated. It would be a rare occasion, and not one easily conceived, that could galvanize the electorate to march on Athens from the outlying areas, and even in such a case as this, representation of the most distant trittys would be thinner than that of the other two. Surely Cleisthenes was aware of this, and no doubt approved, for in the alternative he would have abolished the power of his own family.[38] To put it somewhat differently, the standard theory is incompatible with the practical realities defining rural Attica in 508/7. To work properly, the theory requires the conditions that developed in 431, when the boundaries of the city-state and the boundaries of the city became, perforce, the same. But there is no need to belabor this point: the history of Athens continues to be the history of the great clans at least until Ephialtes' reform.

Perhaps, therefore, analysis of the tribal change has been over subtle and rather more concerned with possible ramifications of the epochal development than with its most important and salient feature—namely, the registration of every Athenian male in Attica as a citizen of one of the ten tribes. The propriety or desirability of such legislation is the cardinal fact investigation is required to explain, but seems to have been secondary in interest to the pursuit of seemingly more momentous possibilities.[39]

We begin with a simple question. At what point in the historical development of Athens did "the demos of the Athenians" acquire its conventional fifth-century significance and character? When, in other words, did the demos first legally comprise the male population of a certain age, born of Athenian parents, who dwelt anywhere within the borders of Attica? And whenever this occurred, how could it have been achieved except by a political revolution exactly of the type we know Cleisthenes to have initiated?

Every student of archaic Athens is aware that we are compelled to tolerate certain ambiguities because tradition fails to provide the infor-

[38] For the view that Cleisthenes sought to enhance the power of his family or clan, see D. M. Lewis, Historia 12 (1963), 37, 39–40; Bicknell, pp. 1–45; and G. R. Stanton, Chiron 14 (1984), 1–14. Cf. J. Martin, "Von Kleisthenes zu Ephialtes," Chiron 4 (1974), 12–18, and Rhodes, Boule, pp. 209–11.

[39] E.g., isonomia, the suppression of clan power, gerrymandering. In Die Trittyen Attikas (esp. pt. 3), Siewert argues that the reform was designed to expedite mobilization of the army; contra Stanton, Chiron 14 (1984), 3–7; Rhodes, JHS 103 (1983), 204.


mation necessary to resolve them. We do not know when the consolidation of Attica occurred, and we are equally ignorant of the political relationship between the city of Athens and the surrounding territory. Ancient tradition, even Thucydides, accepted as fact the "synoecism" of Attica by Theseus, although we well know that not long before the time of Solon, Athens waged war with Eleusis (Thuc. 2.15.1–2; cf. Hdt. 1.30.5). We should recognize, therefore, that as far as this question is concerned, the ancient tradition is without value because it was unconsciously anachronistic and capable, therefore, of seriously misleading us. Consider, for example, how our primary authority, Herodotus in 1.59.4–6, describes an event occurring in 561/60. Here he tells us of the manner in which Peisistratus acquired his bodyguard.

[Peisistratus] wounded himself,[40] and drove his chariot into the agora, alleging that he had escaped his enemies who (of all things!) had wished to kill him as he was driving out to his farm. He begged the demos to get some kind of guard for his defense. . . . The demos of the Athenians [inline image] was thoroughly fooled and, having made a selection from the city residents [astoi ], gave him those men who became not his "spear-bearers,"[41] but his "club-bearers."

Peisistratus then took the acropolis. "From that time Peisistratus ruled over the Athenians [inline image]"

From Herodotus's description of the operation of the demos we observe that it was habitual for him to register "sovereign" decisions, "decisions of state," in accordance with contemporary usage.[42] But there is no reason to believe, and every reason to deny, that his language correctly represents the actual political relationships. Herodotus's "demos of the Athenians," which Peisistratus so thoroughly fooled, can have been no other than the residents of the city, the astoi, from whom Peisistratus also received his club-bearers. If a decree were required (a remote possibility), it was passed as a purely local decision made without reference to the outlying districts of Attica or, for that matter, the districts lying close to the city (the paralia and the pedion ). Peisistratus's warrant as tyrant came from the city of Athens, not from "the demos of the Athenians" as Herodotus, in the fifth century, understood this term.

What of earlier events? Solon, assuredly, was empowered as diallaktes

[40] See Busolt, 2.311, for judicious analysis of this episode, which is sometimes rejected hypercritically.

[41] The popular allegation and one that, notably, stands in Thucydides, 6.56.2, 57.1.

[42] Moderns invariably do the same.


of the city by no other group than its residents; indeed, it was stasis in the city that animated his concern and explains his elevation. All this is clear from the words Solon used in his great Eunomia (4 West). "Our city will never be destroyed" by the will of the gods; "but the astoi desire to destroy our great city in their foolishness because they are persuaded by wealth [i.e., desirous of obtaining it], and the leaders of the people have unjust intentions because they are prepared to suffer many evils incited by great hybris" (1–8). These ills (and others) "have now invaded the entire city" (17), threatening stasis. "Soon will the lovely city be consumed" (21). "These are the evils encircling our people [inline image], and many of the very poor arrive in foreign country, having been sold and bound in disgraceful chains" (23–25). No one (he continues) will escape this calamity even if they hide in their houses. "This my spirit bids me to teach the Athenians, how Civil Disorder subjects the city to the greatest evils" (30f).[43]

The idea of the "sovereignty of the demos, " not to say the "sovereignty of all the people of Attica," postdates by many years the era of Solon and, of course, the period 561/60–511/10 in which Peisistratus and his sons held the tyranny. It is almost redundant to observe that the tyrant's treatment of the people of Attica was that of a patron to his clients (Ath. Pol. 16.3). Aristotle notes that Peisistratus tried to keep people out of the city and in the country "so that in moderate comfort and occupied with their private affairs they would neither desire nor have the leisure to involve themselves with public affairs" (Ath. Pol. 16.3). The anachronistic assumption notwithstanding, the implication of these words is acceptable—viz., that the city government represented by its tyrant ruled the surrounding country while the expression "people of the Athenians," when it did not mean the city men, was, legally, a vox nihili, merely serving as a symbol of the larger community, as in the poems of Alcman, Alcaeus, and others. That Peisistratus attempted to compensate for the imbalance between town and country at least in the administration of justice (Ath. Pol. 16.5) by establishing "district judges" is noteworthy if true: the need for such an institution is a sign of swelling discontent in Attica, which Peisistratus attempted


to allay. It is poetic that the end of the harmonious relationship between Peisistratus (and his family) and the city, which was recalled by the Athenians (= "men of the city") as "life (as) in the time of Cronus" (Ath. Pol. 16.7), was precipitated by an act of hybris committed by Hipparchus against a pair of lovers, Harmodius and Aristogeiton, of whom the latter, at least, was a "city man" (Thuc. 6.54.2).[44] Even in 511/10, however, the people of the city of Athens only reluctantly abandoned their tyrant.[45]

After the rejection of the oligarchs by Cleisthenes in 508/7, the great tribal reform was put in place. The evidence conjoins with likelihood to indicate that its purpose was to reorganize the entire land of Attica as a city-state comprising one whole. Athens now became a direct democracy and the concept of citizenship in the polis by virtue of local origin in any of the demes of Attica was born. Athens became a "modern" city-state;[46] and the ecclesia of Athens by law became open to every qualified inhabitant of Attica. In their collective name, the decrees of the city-state (psephismata probably begin at this time) are now introduced with the formula: "Resolved by the boule and the demos. " In fact, the decree concerning Salamis,[47] our oldest preserved decree, suggests that initially, at least, the Athenian demos indulged in a certain prideful supererogation, for that decree simply reads: "Resolved by the demos. "

[44] See Davies, pp. 472–74.

[45] Cf. Ostwald, Nomos, pp. 147ff.

[46] On the lack of "political importance" of the demes and deme membership in Attica before Cleisthenes, see Whitehead, Attic Demes, ch. 1. Cf. H. Schaefer, Probleme der alten Geschichte (Göttingen, 1963), p. 139. Why Cleisthenes needed to create a new and artificial structure could be better understood if we knew enough about the original four Ionian tribes and the function they served in the archaic state. These tribes were primarily religious associations based on ancient tribal divisions of the original population, and had been formed prior to the settlement of Ionia in the diaspora associated with the Dorian invasion. It is significant that Cleisthenes left this ancient system essentially undisturbed (Arist. Ath. Pol. 21.6), for it confirms our assumption (inevitable in any case) that the new tribal organization was created to serve purely secular and political ends irrelevant to the old tribal structure. Aristotle's assumption in Politics 1275b37 (cf. 1319b20) that tribal reorganization was a means of augmenting the citizen body is certainly correct, though perhaps not in the sense he intended. See Fornara, CP 65 (1970), 243–46. For his inference that it supplied a means of enrolling foreigners and slaves (which may well have occurred in 508/7) expresses a fourth-century political theorem, not the essential reality; cf. J. H. Oliver, "Reforms of Kleisthenes," Historia 9 (1960), 503–7, and D. Kagan, "The Enfranchisement of Aliens by Cleisthenes," Historia 12 (1963), 41–46. On tribes, see RE 20.1, s.v. "phyle," cols. 1000–1001. It may be relevant that the word pandemos does not appear before Aeschylus; cf. Aristotle, F 389 Rose; Pollux 8.16 is also suggestive.

[47] IG i 1 = ML 14 = Fornara 44B; SEG 31.1. Reference to the boule is possible but not certain in the last line of the inscription.


Without a doubt, legally and in fact, the kratos of the city-state was taken in possession by its citizenry, the demos.[48] Thus demokratia, in this sense of the word, but not in the sense of "the triumph of the common people," is fully in keeping with the spirit of the Cleisthenic reform; demokratia in this sense is conceivable as the "original name" of the new government.[49]

The more precise nature of Cleisthenes' tribal reform and the circumstances surrounding it escape us, and neither are we comfortable with the numerous conjectural reconstructions promoted by scholars from Aristotle to the present.[50] The evidence is simply too thin to make them compelling. Herodotus is our only safe guide; he stood in close proximity to the living tradition and, not less important, his narrative intentions did not require him to engage in inferential amplification of the rudimentary historical record. On that basis it becomes reasonable to assume that Cleisthenes' tribal reform was enacted and a democratic boule was formed in a revolution that commenced either in 508/7 or shortly thereafter.[51] That boule disavowed Cleisthenes when, on his return from temporary exile (after his expulsion by Cleomenes), he signified his willingness to compromise the new government by subordinating Athens to Persian authority and, presumably, to the Peisistratids. Hence the surprising obscurity of Cleisthenes' name in antiquity.[52]

Nevertheless, the political genius of Cleisthenes is manifest in the single revolutionary act with which his name is connected, and the importance of his action is such that it can no more be overstated than it needs belaboring. The conveyance of sovereign power to the united demos by Cleisthenes is the hallmark of his reform, underrated because taken for granted by modern scholars, whose preconceptions have been

[48] From a later perspective, the statement made in the text might seem extravagant. The great houses continued to govern the city-state, the timocracy was left untouched, and in spite of the "sovereignty" imputed to the demos, Athens's "hoplite government" can legitimately be regarded as an oligarchic politeia. None of this invalidates the principle asserted by the demos, or undercuts this establishment of a government in which all the citizenry become the validating body of the government by way of the ecclesia and the tribal elections.

[49] For the possible relevance of isonomia to the reform, see Appendix 5.

[50] See Busolt, 2.405–40; Hignett, HAC, pp. 124ff.; D. M. Lewis, "Cleisthenes and Attica," Historia 12 (1963), 21–40; Ostwald, Nomos, pp. 137ff.; Bicknell, pp. 1–53; J. Martin, Chiron 4 (1974), 5–42, esp. 40–42; and see nn. 33, 38 above.

[51] See Appendix 6 for the chronology; cf. on the boule, D. J. McCargar, "New Evidence for the Kleisthenic boule, " CP 71 (1976), 248–52.

[52] See the (few) references in J. Kirchner, Prosopographia Attica (Berlin, 1901), 8526; cf. ch. 1, p. 22.


guided by the false premise that Cleisthenes' reforms contemplated the elimination of privilege, the "political monopoly which birth and wealth had enjoyed so far"[53] —in spite of the inability of its advocates to sustain this contention with reference to the actual legislation passed.[54] Indeed, proponents of this view have little to offer except their own insistence that isonomia aptly labels the reform. In fact, property qualifications for the magistracies were left undisturbed.[55] Save for the consolidation of the demos and the transfer of formal sovereignty to it, those institutions of the archaic state relevant to the possession of birth and wealth remained intact as the prerogatives of the well-born and the rich. De facto control of the city-state remained aristocratic as before; the implications of the reform (though unintended), when realized, would indeed arrive at the concept of political egalitarianism, but that development came well after Cleisthenes. To compare things Roman, the analogy is Rome's incorporation of Latium, not, for instance, the Gracchan reforms.

As for Cleisthenes himself, and the intentions that may have motivated him, the historical evidence, though limited, suggests a less edifying set of developments than those woven around the fact that democracy was established by his agency. In 508/7 Cleisthenes followed family tradition as the ultimate "outsider." He separated himself from his peers in birth and station by attempting to attain a predominant political position by forging an alliance with the enemies of his enemies, the people hitherto protected under the banner of the tyrants. This repetition of the Megacles II affair suggests rather more than the operation of coincidence. Indeed, the association of the Alcmeonids with the house of Peisistratus is a red thread running continuously through the fabric of archaic and fifth-century Athenian history—viz., Megacles' marriage, Cleisthenes' archonship, Cleisthenes' embassy to Persia, the shield signal at Marathon, even the tradition that Pericles and Peisistratus looked alike. It is pertinent to repeat, moreover, that Cleisthenes' "clients" in 508/7 were, at least in the city, the former constituents of Peisistratus and his sons.[56] The inference that Cleisthenes in 508/7 tapped a vast reservoir of resentment against the aristocracy

[53] Ostwald, Nomos, p. 154.

[54] Cf. Ostwald, Nomos, p. 150, whose own explanation, pp. 154ff., even if granted, seems incommensurate with the substantial claims that are made on behalf of Cleisthenes' reforms.

[55] Hignett, HAC, pp. 142ff. and 174.

[56] See Hignett, HAC, pp. 125–26, 146, Ostwald, Nomos, p. 139, and pp. 38f. above.


percolating in the city and in the country in order to prevail over his ancestral enemies and, in all probability, the enemies of his friends, is at least a hypothesis guided by the facts of our tradition. When the dam burst, the flood took Cleisthenes with it and the democracy proceeded on its independent course.

Over the next twenty years (Ath. Pol. 22–25), the new democracy attempted to preserve itself against the threat it perceived, realistically or not, from would-be tyrants. Hence the law about ostracism, of disputed date, which provided a surprisingly moderate avenue by which to expel potentially dangerous men from the city-state without imposing exile and confiscating property.[57] In 487/6 the nine archons ceased to be elected directly, now owing their appointment in part to use of the lot.[58] It is significant that this measure was adopted at the same time that a rash of ostracisms occurred, just as it is revealing that the ostracisms connect with charges against friends of the Peisistratids and the suspicion of an attempted betrayal of the regime at Marathon.[59] The people wished to bar these high offices, especially, perhaps, the polemarchy, to well-known and influential men. Use of the lot after procrisis, the prior election of a larger group of candidates, naturally broadened the base of possibilities and proportionately reduced the odds of the election of a dangerously ambitious and powerful individual without violating the traditional principle that eligible men (i.e., those of the highest census class) could vie for the office.

No quarrel need be undertaken with Aristotle, consequently, because of his belief that measures of this kind represented the development of the potentialities of the Cleisthenic state, which was essentially systematizing its constitution by ridding itself of anomalies. The attack on the Areopagus in 462/1 should not, however, be viewed in the same light, as if this too were "entailed" by the reforms of 508/7. For it came in a

[58] Ath. Pol. 22.5, with Sandys and Rhodes ad loc. For the effect of this change on the strategia, see Fornara, Generals, pp. 11ff.

[59] See ch. 1, pp. 18ff.


great explosion punctuating the most radical departure taken by fifth-century Athenians in ideology and foreign policy at one and the same time. Within the span of a mere four years (462–459) there occurred the embarrassment of Cimon at Sparta, the rise of Pericles to power, and the first Peloponnesian War.[60]

The great issue of the day, producing the series of dramatic developments, was foreign policy. Relations with Sparta cannot have been easy from the time the Athenians established the so-called Delian League in 478/7. The demos remembered Cleomenes' intrusion into Athenian affairs, and because of it not implausibly regarded Greece's leading aristocratic state as a natural enemy. That Themistocles, the founder of the Athenian navy and hero of the Persian War, incorporated and exacerbated anti-Spartan sentiment even in the seventies follows from three considerations: the ostracism of 471 (or somewhat earlier);[61] Themistocles' residence thereafter in Argos, Sparta's enemy, whence he conducted apparently anti-Spartan political activities (Thuc. 1.135.3); and the incomparable praise accorded him by Thucydides (1.138.3) for his prescience in that part of his narrative detailing the development of Spartan-Athenian enmity. The last two considerations speak for themselves; as to the first, we infer the temporary resolution of a serious dispute about foreign policy, in which Cimon carried the day against Themistocles. Like most of the cosmopolitan aristocrats of the time, Cimon, who named his sons Lacedaemonius, Eleius, and Thessalus, was an admirer of the Lacedaemonians by tradition, education and ethos. It does not, therefore, seem adventurous to infer that a split had already developed among the Athenians, with some wishing to complicate Sparta's problems in the Peloponnesus and others bent on imperial expansion, attempting harmony with Sparta while acknowledging its age-old claims to supremacy in Greece.[62]

Cimon was a member of one of the great Athenian clans whose sway

[60] See chs. 1, 3, 4.

[61] On the date, see E. Badian, "Towards a Chronology of the Pentakontaetia down to the Renewal of the Peace of Callias," EMC 23, n.s., 7 (1988), 302–3, who places the ostracism in 471/70 (as Fornara, Historia 15 [1966], 271), and Frost, Them., pp. 188–91, at Plut. Them. 22.4 (472 ± 1), following R. Lenardon, "The Chronology of Themistokles' Ostracism and Exile," Historia 8 (1959), 23–48; but cf. P. J. Rhodes, "Thucydides on Pausanias and Themistocles," Historia 19 (1970), 395–400 (between 478 and 465). E. Bayer and J. Heideking, Die Chronologie des perikleischen Zeitalter (Darmstadt, 1975), pp. 109–10, provide references to ancient and modern literature. See ch. 4, n. 35, below.

[62] Thuc. 1.102.4; see G. Busolt, Die Lakedaimonier (Leipzig, 1878), pp. 394–97, and U. Kahrstedt, Griechisches Staatsrecht (Göttingen, 1922), 1.27, 183.


in Athens had been unimpaired by the Cleisthenic revolution.[63] His father, Miltiades, had won fame at Marathon (and disgrace at Paros) after losing a tyranny in the Chersonese. The ancients speak of Cimon's patrician liberality and great wealth,[64] but a better explanation of his commanding prestige is the enormous increase of power and prosperity that the empire, of which he was the chief architect, had brought to Athens and its citizenry. Unfortunately for Cimon, his very success created conditions adverse to his policies. The Athenians had come to conceive a new and higher opinion of themselves, boding no good for the Spartans. We admire its vitality and optimism in the plays of Aeschylus; it is implied in the beautification of the city begun by Cimon, and in the custom initiated by the Athenians in the seventies of burying their war dead, as heroes, outside the city gate instead of on the battle-field, as had been the invariable tradition.[65] It was proudly symbolized in the return of Theseus's bones to Athens after the conquest of Scyros; and it was epitomized by the famous painting in the Stoa Poikile, of about 460, depicting the battle of Marathon.

National pride, moreover, had intensified with the astonishing increase of Athenian power in the Hellenic world. The Athenians had seized the acknowledged leadership of the Ionians; and their control over the "allies" was in process of becoming rigid (Thuc. 1.99).[66] The administration of the empire, the political management of the allies and the prosecution of military activities imparted experience of the world and self-importance to a comparatively large segment of the population. Athens, of course, was now a sea power, and this meant that the demos, as rowers and sailors, came to constitute a preponderance in the armed forces, unlike in traditional city-states, where hoplites, men of property, possessed the greatest weight.[67] It is self-evident that this influence of the demos was brought to bear on the ten Athenian generals,

[63] For the family, see Davies, pp. 293ff., esp. 301ff. For Miltiades, Cimon's father (Hdt. 6.40–41, 103–4, 132, 136), see Wade-Gery, Essays, pp. 155–70 (highly speculative).

[64] See below, pp. 68f.

[65] See F. Jacoby, JHS 64 (1944), 37ff., after Meyer, 3.505, and Meyer, Forsch. 2.219f. The objections raised by Gomme, HCT, 2.94ff., are insubstantial.

[66] See ch. 3.


by now politicized as the executives of the city-state for foreign affairs. As elected representatives,[68] they were sensitive to the demands and expectations of this newly empowered class of people. In Athens itself, meanwhile, the assembly (ecclesia ) necessarily took an increasingly active role in the settlement of public questions, ratifying the multitudinous proposals affecting the conduct of foreign affairs, the range of which had by now so greatly expanded.[69] In all these circumstances, Athenian public opinion was not easily reconcilable with Cimon's deference to the Lacedaemonians, in spite of Themistocles' reverse; dissatisfaction with philo-Laconism, with Cimon and the class of Athenians he represented, reached a head when Cimon risked his reputation to go to the assistance of the Lacedaemonians when their civil order was endangered by the Messenian Revolt.[70] Like the renunciation of the Panhellenic alliance against the Persians (Thuc. 1.103.4) and the ostracism of Cimon in 461, the attack on the Areopagus (Ath. Pol. 25) amounted to a repudiation of the leadership of the ruling elite and of the political principles of the Cleisthenic politeia.[ 71]

Our knowledge of the details is surprisingly inadequate considering the importance of the constitutional change and the comparatively late date at which it was effected. The nearly contemporaneous historians Herodotus and Thucydides did not include legislative history in their definition of "memorable events,"[72] and by the fourth century, when independent interest in such matters developed, the tradition had become confused and imprecise. Even Aristotle has little to tell us. In Politics 1274a7 he asserts that the boule of the Areopagus was "curtailed," while in Ath. Pol. 25.2 he observes that Ephialtes stripped away

[68] See Fornara, Generals, pp. lff., and ch. 1, n. 71.

[69] For the ecclesia, see Hignett, HAC, p. 233, who, however, emphasizes its power after the reforms of Ephialtes.

[70] One is reminded of a remark of Creon's in Sophocles' Antigone 178–83, a play performed sometime in the late forties (though cf. R. G. Lewis, "An Alternative Date for Sophocles' Antigone, " GRBS 29 [1988], 35–50), approximately when the Old Oligarch had produced his treatise (see n. 86 below):

The man who rules the entire city
And fails to attach himself to the best counsels,
But keeps his mouth firmly closed because of fear,
Has ever and always seemed to me to be the basest of men;
That man too, who regards his friend as more important than his very own fatherland,
Him I regard as of no worth whatever.

[71] For the chronology, see Beloch, 2.2.194–98.

[72] See Fornara, Nature of History, pp. 63, 96–97.


"all of the acquired powers [epitheta ]" of the Areopagus "through which it had become the guardian of the constitution, and he gave them to the boule of Five Hundred, the people (in assembly) and the law courts [dikasteria ]."[73]

Of this attack on the Areopagus it is possible to speak only in general terms. The council consisted of ex-archons, men selected from the two highest census classes, whose experience as supreme magistrates and whose lifelong tenure in the Areopagus rendered them both influential and unaccountable to the people.[74] It is an open question, therefore, whether the attack on the institution was not also in part an attack on a tight-knit group of people representative of the more conservative and aristocratic element in the city. But the attack on the institution itself[75] was, in any case, epoch-making, and served to convince subsequent generations that the "ancestral constitution" had been disestablished (Diod. 11.77.6, Plut. Cim. 15.2). Nor may we regard rhetoric of this type as the fanciful exaggeration of a later century, when the "ancestral constitution" became an object of speculation, debate and fulsome praise (Isocrates, in the Areopagiticus ). The significance of this cataclysm is underscored by Aeschylus in the Eumenides (verses 681–90, 861–66), produced in 459/8,[76] and, most important, by the Thirty Tyrants in their "moderate stage" (Ath. Pol. 35.2), who specifically tried to undo the laws about the Areopagus passed by Ephialtes and Archestratus.

Various explanations of the specifics of the reform have been advanced by students of the question. Wade-Gery argued that the archons were deprived of their authority to give verdicts in the law courts, so that the popular courts acquired direct responsibility for their decisions without the intrusion or control of a higher magistrate.[77] Sealey objects, however, that such a measure would have served to diminish the

[74] See Hignett, HAC, pp. 89–91, 147–48, 194–213; Sealey, Essays, pp. 46ff., and "Ephialtes, Eisangelia, and the Council," in McGregor Studies, pp. 125–34 (responding to Rhodes, Boule, pp. 144ff., esp. pp. 201–7); R. W. Wallace, "Ephialtes and the Areopagus," GRBS 15 (1974), 259–69; Ruschenbusch, pp. 57–61; and Ostwald, Sovereignty, pp. 28ff., 70–73.

[75] See Ostwald, Sovereignty, pp. 47–77, with nn.; see also below, with nn. 77–79.

[76] See V. Ehrenberg, From Solon to Socrates (London, 1973), p. 212f.

[77] Wade-Gery, Essays, pp. 180–200.


power of the nine archons, and that it was not, therefore, properly an attack against the Areopagus as a corporation possessing powers in its own right, although it is of this that the tradition speaks.[78] Sealey's own view is that the Areopagus was deprived of the authority to call retiring magistrates to account (a procedure called euthynai ) on the expiration of their term of office, and that this authority was now transferred to the popular courts. Rhodes accepts the hypothesis about the transferral of the euthynai, but supposes also that certain cases involving fines not more than 500 drachmas were assigned to the Council of Five Hundred.[79]

A related question, no less obscure, is the degree to which Ephialtes' reform was comprehensive. One result of the transferral of power from the Areopagus to the dicasteries was the proliferation of the law courts, which took up the slack, and we would like to know how quickly they were put in place. To what extent did Ephialtes supplement his attack on the powers of the Areopagus (which was left its initial function of trial over blood-guilt) with a positive and detailed program distributing the erstwhile functions of this council among the other institutions of government, especially the dicasteries? Aristotle, to be sure, seems to supply the answer with the succinct sentence in Ath. Pol. 25.2 already quoted. But Aristotle is giving an abbreviated account uniting the negative feature of the reform (abolition of the major powers of the Areopagus) with its positive consequences, and his sentence should therefore not be pressed as if it were formulated carefully to define more than the operation of cause and effect. But although the decision of principle made by Ephialtes to remove judicial oversight from the Areopagus could have been done in a stroke,[80] the distribution of these powers, especially to the dicasteries, is better understood as proceeding gradually as the impact of this measure raised practical difficulties solved by the invention of new procedures and the opportunity of exploiting latent possibilities was appreciated and grasped. For these reasons, admittedly slim, we infer that the proliferation of the dicasteries was not a single act but developed from a set of enactments in the late sixties and early fifties.[81]

[78] Sealey, Essays, pp. 46–52.

[79] Rhodes, Boule, pp. 168–69, 204, with n. 1.

[80] See Busolt-Swoboda, p. 894 n. 5, for the modus operandi .

[81] Hignett, HAC, pp. 216–19, supposed that the expansion of the courts (including pay for jurors) followed quickly. More recently scholars prefer a more gradual development, e.g., Rhodes, Boule, p. 168; cf. Ostwald, Sovereignty, pp. 66–67.


A great stride had nonetheless been taken, in a positive no less than a negative sense. The removal of judicial power from a timocratic body to the purview of Athenian citizens generally was not conceptually implicit in the Cleisthenic constitution.[82] The government had been decidedly hoplite in character, if not elitist and "traditional" in its allocation of the political offices according to the possession of property, and we may safely infer that this was the universal rule for democracies elsewhere as well as for the other forms of government prevailing in Greece at that time. And just as it was bound into the very nature of things, until the time of Ephialtes, that the condition of service in political office was the possession of property, nowhere was the requirement more embedded in ancestral tradition, at Athens as elsewhere, than in the adjudication of civil disputes, which ordinarily required judges to be property-holders. Ephialtes' transferral of jurisdiction to the generality of Athenians by distributing the powers of the Areopagus to the Boule of Five Hundred, the people in assembly, and the dicasteries was an extraordinary and unpredictable political act, which presupposes, by its novelty and daring departure from tacitly accepted premises, the adumbration of a new theory of citizenship or, rather, a new theory of popular sovereignty.[83]

The rationale behind this reform, as the ancients inferred, is the same as that which produced the break with Sparta:[84] the rejection of an aristocratic polis and its replacement with a democracy that, as Pericles-Thucydides acknowledged, frankly was disposed in the interests of the many—demokratia as the "power of the common people," in contrast with its initial sense as the sovereignty of the consolidated demos as the validating body of the city-state. This proposition is presented in its unvarnished state by Pseudo-Xenophon, the writer whom we designate, hyperbolically, as the Old Oligarch.[85] The work (transmitted to us in the corpus of Xenophon's writings) probably saw the light of day

[82] See Hignett, HAC, pp. 153–55 for the older Heliaia, which apparently allowed the assembly to sit as a court of appeals in certain matters. Cf. M. H. Hansen, "The Athenian Heliaia from Solon to Aristotle," C&M 33 (1981–82), 27–39.

[83] See Ostwald, Sovereignty, pp. 47–77, for discussion and bibliography, and n. 73 above.

[84] The correlation is implied by Plut. Cim. 10.8, 15.3; the repudiation of the policies of Cimon by Ephialtes at home and abroad is clear from the simultaneity of these events. Naturally, the precise form of Ephialtes' attack on the Areopagus was dictated by considerations independent of Athenian foreign policy except insofar as it too reflected anti-aristocratic bias.

[85] R. Sealey, "The Origins of Demokratia, " CSCA 6 (1973), 261–62, takes the view that the "Old Oligarch" was probably a young convert to the oligarchic party.


in the late forties of the fifth century,[86] so that it is not only the earliest piece of political analysis we possess but also stands comparatively close in time to the events we are considering here. The approach of the writer, who was an Athenian (1.12) and probably an exile (2.20), may therefore legitimately be explained by his impression of political discourse in Athens in the aftermath of the reform of 462/1 and Pericles' further radicalization of the government in the fifties.

The beginning of the work is sufficiently illuminating to deserve translation:

Concerning the Athenian constitution, I do not praise them as to their selection of this kind of constitution for this reason: by choosing it they have chosen to favor the low element [poneroi ] rather than the best element [chrestoi ]. . . . But since they have made this decision, I shall demonstrate how they are preserving their constitution and [successfully] managing everything else, which they appear to all other Greeks to do wrongly.

The author of the treatise then makes the following point: "the poor and the demos " deserve to have the advantage of the well-born and the rich because the demos runs the navy and is responsible for the city's power (1.2)—not the hoplites, the well-born and the best element. "For this reason it seems just that the magistracies be shared by all the people both by lot and by election." The bulk of this essay is devoted to the enumeration of the many ways the demos enhances its position at the expense of the "better element."

The analysis provided by the Old Oligarch is susceptible to two interpretations. He may be conveying to us in the spirit of a cynical theorist a self-consistent interpretation of the implicit biases of the demokratia instituted in 462. In this case, a certain intellectual distance would separate his identification and exposition of the inner character of the government from the political rhetoric of the time. Alternately, the Old Oligarch is rather quoting the Athenians against themselves, repeating and theoretically justifying (in accordance with the "sophistic" purpose of the essay) a rationale the Athenians themselves promoted. The first alternative can be dismissed out of hand. The Old Oligarch never conveys the sense that he is piercing a veil on the

[86] G. W. Bowersock, "Pseudo-Xenophon" HSCP 71 (1966), 33–38; a later date has been defended by D. M. MacDowell, "An Expansion of the Athenian Navy," CR 15 (1965), 260, and D. Lewis, CR 19 (1969), 45–47; cf. Ostwald, Sovereignty, p. 183 n. 23 (before 424, c. 429); Sealey, "Origins of Demokratia, " 257–60, places the work between c. 443 and 431. Bowersock's view remains compelling in view of the limitation of the historical examples contained in the work to the mid fifth century.


strength of his superior insight and, in fact, only once presents a conclusion as if it were an extrapolation of his own.[87] Throughout the essay he is telling us what the demos or the demotikoi think or believe or have resolved. The Old Oligarch's contribution to the debate is not the premise of demokratia but the accumulation of detail illustrating how the principle of helping the worst element and harming the best (1.4) is subserved.

The result of Ephialtes' reform of 462/1, like the rhetoric of the Old Oligarch, leaves no room for doubt that its purpose was to convey power (kratos ) to the demos and to eviscerate the aristocratic establishment. Its kratos is most manifest in the proliferation of the dicasteries, in which civil litigation was decided by Athenian juries for the propertied, resident aliens, and imperial subjects. At the same time, the control of the demos over the Athenian magistrates was assured by its authority to scrutinize their credentials before entering office and to subject them to a rendering of accounts after leaving it (cf. Ps.-Xen. 3.2, 4).[88] That the demos helped its friends and harmed its enemies, which the Old Oligarch took as a matter of course, and, indeed, was universally regarded as a principle of sound ethical conduct, was as much the purpose of the newly established demokratia as an effect of the legislation. The political history of Athens is no less instructive than it is fascinating. Democracy did not grow from a seed planted by Solon; nor did Cleisthenes foresee a day when the "common people" of Athens would, in a premeditated spirit, take the reins of government into their own hands. The confrontation between the demos and the upper class in 462/1 is different from stasis only because blood did not flow, though, indeed, Ephialtes fell victim to an assassin and the threat of counterrevolution turned serious.[89] This triumph of demokratia signals the transmutation of a government in which, since Cleisthenes, the demos had been united as the sovereign de iure to one in which it now intended to exercise control for its own sake. It was the political victory of a self-constituted faction, not an anticipation of Periclean isonomia.

[88] Cimon was tried in 463 (see Appendix 2) probably under a different dispensation (cf. J. Lipsius, Das Attische Recht und Rechtsverfahren [Hildesheim, 1966; repr. ed.], 2.296f., Busolt-Swoboda, p. 884 n. 1, and Ostwald, Sovereignty, pp. 40–41, on the possible participation of the Areopagos), which may be why he escaped conviction.

[89] On the conspiracy at Tanagra, see ch. 4, p. 136.


Of the measures subsequently taken by the demos to bring the city-state into new balance, as it were, the lowering of the property requirement for the archonship effected in 458/7 (Ath. Pol. 26.2)[90] needs no special explanation, for it obviously democratized the office, partially fulfilling the requirement (Ps.-Xen. 2.1) "that the magistracies be shared by all the people both by lot and by election." In addition to the two highest census classes (the Pentakosiomedimnoi and the Hippeis), the Zeugitai, whose census implied the relative wealth enjoyed by the hoplite class, were now allowed to vie for the office. Only the Thetes, who possessed no property, were excluded. Needless to say, to have included them in this reform would have been tantamount to degrading the magistracy.

Far and away the most important piece of legislation to follow Ephialtes' reform was that which, on the proposal of Pericles, introduced jury payments. The decision was truly epochal, for it opened up the coffers of the state to the citizenry at large and registered the fact that henceforth the possession of Athenian citizenship would entitle its holder to payment for public service in one of the most critical areas of public policy, and this without education, qualification, or, indeed, even the serious expenditure of mental or physical energy—unless vicarious participation in oratorical display (cf. Plato Rep. 492b) qualifies as such. No measure passed by the Athenians in the mid fifth century rivals this Periclean enactment in its narrow[91] and more extended significance, and the date of its passage, as well as its relationship to the reform of Ephialtes, is a question of singular interest.

Unfortunately, the extant literature fails to provide a firm date for the passage of this measure and, what is worse, uses language to describe it that is susceptible to more than one interpretation. Thus Wade-Gery infers that Pericles introduced this bill before Ephialtes' assault on the Areopagus in 462/1,[92] and although a consensus[93] is presently united in rejecting Wade-Gery, and places the legislation in the fifties,

[90] Cf. Hignett, HAC, p. 225, with n. 2, Rhodes, AP, ad loc. (p. 330), and Ruschenbusch, pp. 66–72.

[91] See Hignett, HAC, pp. 219–21, Ostwald, Sovereignty, pp. 82–83, 182–83.

[92] Wade-Gery, Essays, pp. 235–38, esp. p. 237; followed by Badian, JHS 107 (1987), 9.

[93] The conventional view places the measure shortly after Ephialtes' reform: see Busolt, 3.1.263–64, Hignett, HAC, pp. 219, 342–43; Ostwald, Sovereignty, pp. 182–83, is more cautious; Walker, CAH, 5.101, set the measure in the late fifties; Jacoby, at FGrHist 328 F 33 (IIIb 1, p. 319), declared that the payment of the jurymen "cannot have been introduced until 449/8 B.C. " His entire commentary on this fragment of Philochorus deserves close study.


modern scholars continue divided as to its more precise date, some dating the introduction of pay to juries to the early fifties, others preferring a time very late in the decade, if not early in the forties.

The problem centers on two important texts, Arist. Ath. Pol. 27 and Plut. Per. 9.1–5, both of which, for the sake of the argument, require quotation in their entirety:

Ath. Pol. 27: After this [i.e., legislation culminating in the citizenship law of 451/50], Pericles proceeded to leadership of the people [inline imageinline image], first having won fame when he prosecuted Cimon at the rendering of his accounts as general, and he was a young man; and it happened that the politeia became still more democratic. For he took away some of the powers of the Areopagus and, above all, impelled the city to acquire its naval power, from the acquisition of which it happened that the many increasingly brought the politeia under their control. [2] In the 49th year after the sea battle of Salamis in the archonship of Pythodorus [432/1], the war against the Peloponnesians commenced. The demos was enclosed in the city and became accustomed to being paid on the campaigns, and partly willingly, partly unwillingly, it decided to administer the politeia itself. [3] Pericles was the first to provide payment to the juries in the dicasteries, using demagoguery in opposition to the wealth of Cimon. For Cimon, since he possessed wealth characteristic of a tyrant, in the first place conducted his public liturgies in splendid fashion, secondly, he supported many of his fellow-demesmen. Any member of the deme Lakiadai who wished was able to come to him daily and receive a reasonable sustenance. Furthermore, his lands were unfenced, so that it was possible, for anyone who wished, to enjoy the benefit of his produce. [4] Since in comparison with this wealth Pericles fell short in respect to his own, Damonides [ = Damon] of Oa, who was reputedly Pericles' adviser for most of his legislation, which is why they later ostracized him, advised Pericles to give the many what was their own, since he could not compete with [Cimon's] private fortune. [Thus] Pericles arranged payment for the juries. As a consequence of these [measures], some blame him to the effect that the dikasteria became worse since it was not the respectable sort of man but random types who took care to have themselves allotted to the juries. [5] Bribery started after this, Anytus having introduced the practice after his strategia [of 410] in Pylus. . . .

Plut. Per. 9.1–5: Since Thucydides describes the politeia of Pericles as an aristocratic one, "theoretically a democracy but in fact rule by the first man," but many others say that the demos was first introduced by him to cleruchies, theorika and the distribution of pay, acquiring a corrupt character, and becoming spendthrift and undisciplined because of the legislation passed at that time, instead of moderate and self-sufficing, the reason for this change is to be sought in the historical circumstances. [2] In the beginning, as stated, ranging himself against the repute of Cimon, he tried to ingratiate himself with the demos. Falling short in wealth and possessions, which Cimon used to raise up the poor, providing a daily meal to any Athenian in need of it, clothing the elderly, and removing the fences from his properties, so that those who wished could


gather his produce, Pericles applied demagoguery against this liberality. He turned to the distribution of the public resources, Damonides [ = Damon] of Oa having advised him, as Aristotle has related. [3] He speedily managed to bribe the many with theorika and jury pay and other payments and expenditures, and used this against the boule of the Areopagus, of which he was not a member. . . . [5] Thus, having acquired greater influence among the demos, he attacked the boule [of the Areopagus] so as to secure the removal of most of its juridical business through the agency of Ephialtes and got Cimon ostracized as a philo-Lacon and enemy of democracy. Yet Cimon fell short neither in wealth nor in family position, and had won the most splendid victories against the barbarians and had filled the city with much wealth and many spoils. . . . So great was the power of Pericles among the demos .

A careful comparison of the passage in Plutarch with Ath. Pol. 27 will convince the reader that Plutarch has closely followed Aristotle. For example, it is evident that the narrative sequence is closely parallel, the same error is committed about Damon's name, and the general thrust of these passages is identical. At the same time, Plutarch's loose paraphrase includes slight alterations (Aristotle's reference to the removal of some authority from Areopagites has become a general attack on the Areopagites [i.e., Ephialtes' assault]) and he also expands on Aristotle by speaking generally of a variety of measures, "the theorika . . . . and other payments and expenditures" instead of the jury payment bill alone, and assigns all of them to the period before 462/1. Now whether this obvious misstatement of fact (some of these bills were passed no earlier than the fifties) arose because Plutarch misunderstood Ath. Pol. 27 or for some other reason need not exercise us; the relevant point is that it is methodologically improper to combine the two accounts (as Wade-Gery attempts to do) as if each possessed independent authority. Since Plutarch relied on Aristotle, the question reduces itself to whether or not Plutarch's interpretation of Aristotle is correct.

Aristotle's chapter 27 is devoted to two interrelated subjects, the fruit of Pericles' demagoguery and the motivation ascribed to him for proceeding on this path. But if Aristotle alleges that Pericles passed this legislation because of his inability to follow Cimon's practice of bribing the public with his private wealth, he simultaneously sets the introduction of misthos into a narrative context of which the terminus post quem is the citizenship law of 451/50. The motivation ascribed to Pericles is logically subordinate to this account of Pericles' activities just after the citizenship law was passed, and the notion that it is all a flashback and that Aristotle went backwards in time to a period before 462/1 is supported neither by Aristotle's explanatory allusion to Pericles' first attack


on Cimon (Ath. Pol. 27.1) nor, more important, by the indications of the narrative method he follows in this section of the Ath. Pol.

Aristotle pursues a chronological thread in chapters 25–28, discussing events of major interest in temporal order. Chapter 23 centers on the political situation after Xerxes' invasion and deals with the organization of the Athenian empire. The benefits of the empire to the Athenian people are discussed topically and prospectively in chapter 24, where Aristotle speaks of the ultimate employment of more than 20,000 Athenian citizens in various ways, including their payment as jurors. The chronological framework is resumed in chapter 25, where Ephialtes' attack on the Areopagus, dated by Aristotle to 462/1, forms the main subject. This leads to chapter 26, the burden of which is the post-Ephialtean expansion of the democracy. Three measures are selected for special notice, the alteration in the property requirements for the archonship (458/7), the establishment of thirty itinerant judges in 453/2 and, two years later, Pericles' citizenship law. Chapter 27, quoted above, devotes itself to the entire period of Pericles' tenure of power, and though Pericles' introduction of jury pay is explained somewhat intricately, with Damon[ides], whose activity apparently fell in the forties,[94] given the role of adviser and Cimon's philanthropy cited as the precedent, this legislation forms Aristotle's centerpiece on the subject of the extension of democracy by Pericles. The logic of this narrative does not suggest that Aristotle intended to convey the idea that this reform occurred immediately after (much less before)[95] the destruction of the Areopagus. On the contrary, obscure as the temporal connections are in this chapter, we have more reason to date this legislation to a period after 451/50 than before it—between his rise to power and his death in 429; and if it be objected that Aristotle also implies direct competition between Pericles and Cimon, the solution to this dilemma may be sought along the lines adumbrated by E. M. Walker.[96] When Cimon returned from ostracism in 452, his liberality unquestionably recommenced and the appearance of direct rivalry can have been blown into a topos thus reflected in the Aristotelian tradition.

Nevertheless, many scholars insist that the Periclean measure providing pay to juries is logically most suitable to the early fifties. Thus the claim is often made that the removal of judicial authority from the Areopagus to the courts required that Pericles provide pay for juries to

[94] See Appendix 3.

[95] See ch. 1, p. 27, above.

[96] Walker, CAH, 5.101.


enable ordinary individuals to participate, and not merely those "of the better element" who possessed the wealth and leisure to act as jurors without economic inconvenience. In other words, this question is capable of being viewed in two different ways: either the measure was in response to a problem created by Ephialtes' reform—namely, an inadequate supply of Athenian jurors—or it represents an innovation by Pericles intending to bestow a benefit on Athenian citizens by sharing the wealth of the state with them.

General probability does not suggest that Ephialtes' transferral of the judicial powers of the Areopagus would suddenly have created a problem of such dimensions that money would have been required to entice Athenians to serve on juries; nor is that the implication of the tradition as we find it in Aristotle and Plutarch. The plain fact is that we do not know that the "proliferation" occurred before Pericles' introduction of misthos, and it seems at least as reasonable to conjecture that the jury system radically expanded only when it was pecuniarily desirable for as many Athenians as possible to include themselves in the operation. The reform of Ephialtes destroyed one institution; it does not follow that it simultaneously created what eventually turned into a judicial bureaucracy. The void was probably filled gradually, by a series of decrees in the fifties; but the watershed, not improbably, was the very introduction of jury pay, which rendered jury service desirable because it was remunerative, and thereby created a constituency that pressed for an increase in judicial activity.

If the case for early passage is not very strong, what is the case for later passage? The fact that Ath. Pol. 27 places this measure after the citizenship law should perhaps not be pressed unduly, since some students of the material will prefer other interpretations of the passage. Yet some things should be beyond dispute. First,

("after this") in 27.1 incontestably makes the law of 451/50 a terminus post quem for the further democratization of the city-state, as evidenced by the removal of some (remaining) functions of the Areopagites, the extension of the navy, and the introduction of jury pay. Second, although this is a subjective argument, the idea that Pericles' fateful bill, which the ancients regarded as his crowning piece of radical legislation,[97] came at the beginning of his career and was less Pericles' own innovation and the crowning act of his independent policy than a logically entailed consequence of the Ephialtean reform, runs counter to likeli-

[97] Plato Gorgias 515e, Arist. Pol. 1317b35ff.


hood. It is possible, of course, that the ancients misconceived the pattern, inferring Pericles' radicalism from the effects of a bill less extraordinary than they supposed, but it is at least as likely that moderns have been drawn to make this assumption for the reverse reason—the desire to extenuate Periclean demagoguery. "He did not bribe the people; he ensured that the courts would run efficiently."

The net result of this curious state of affairs is that Pericles, who bears the credit and the responsibility for having introduced radical democracy, is virtually deprived of any credit for the legislation that accounted for his fame in the fifth century and thereafter. Except for the building program and the citizenship law, Pericles, as viewed through modern eyes, becomes a rather ordinary but highly respectable politician. This probably would have amused him. However that may be, the real question we must consider is whether the introduction by Pericles of misthos for juries was an isolated piece of legislation (entailed by the fall of the Areopagus) or part of a set of proposals in which the principle of public pay was implemented in a variety of different areas as a new departure in public policy. That the latter alternative is the correct one seems difficult to deny, at least if we are prepared to follow the indications, slight as they are, of the ancient evidence.

In Per. 9.1–3, Plutarch twice mentions Pericles' demagogic legislation, and in both cases the list is the same: "the theorika, dicastic pay, other pay for public service, and the choregiai. " Since the order of this list was not dictated by the relative importance of the items in the string, for in that case jury pay must have come first, we may infer that Plutarch is reproducing this set of measures in its chronological order. If so, since the theoric fund was probably not instituted until the early forties,[98] pay for juries can have been introduced no sooner. And even if the inference about chronological order is disallowed, the general implication remains the same: Aristotle and Plutarch regarded this measure as one of a set of transfer payments devoted to the people; the implicit charge leveled against Pericles is the institution of new public policy incarnated in the jury-payment bill.

If we now consider the appropriate time for these enactments taken

[98] For the theoricon, which provided payments to the Athenians to permit them to attend the major festivals, see Busolt-Swoboda, pp. 899–900, with n. 5. Disagreement exists as to the Periclean origin of the theoricon, since the fund is unattested epigraphically for the fifth century. See the discussion of Rhodes, AP, pp. 514–16. Rhodes prefers a date for its institution in the mid fourth century, while we follow Jacoby, FGrHist 328 (Philochorus) F 33, who, on general considerations, is inclined to date this fund to the early forties (IIIb, p. 319).


as a whole, other evidence becomes relevant. The most important testimony is Aristotle's (topical) review in Ath. Pol. 24.3, which establishes the connection between receipt of imperial revenues and the creation of the enmisthos polis: "For it resulted that more than 20,000 men were sustained by the tribute and the taxes and the allies. There were 6,000 jurors, 1,600 toxotai; in addition there were 1,200 cavalry, 500 members of the boule, 500 guards of the shipyards, etc."

Aristotle's inference or knowledge that the empire provided the revenues necessary to maintain the jurors seems not only acceptable but mandatory. Vast sums were involved, jury pay alone amounting to a theoretical maximum of just under 122 talents annually.[99] Such a maximum is undoubtedly unrealistic, though the juries were already busy (Ps.-Xen. 3.6–7) in the forties and Aristophanes, in 422, estimated that the dicasts (from a quorum of 6,000) served for an average of 300 days in the year (Wasps 661f.) But we must add the other expenses—the theorika, public payment for the navy and army, the boule, and so on.[100] The aggregate sum must have been larger than the annual expenditures allocated for public buildings,[101] and the source of this money can only have been the tribute. Whatever the actual expense, it is apparent that Pericles' commitment was open-ended, and that a flow of money into the city therefore needed to be assured. For this reason, a date after 454 gives the upper terminus, independently of the arguments already deduced from Ath. Pol. 27,[102] which suggest a slightly later date.

Since, therefore, the evidence points to the introduction of jury pay by Pericles no earlier than the late fifties, it follows that his legislation should be regarded as part of a sweeping policy allowing the Athenians to participate in all aspects of their government at state expense. The logic driving this legislation is identical with that Pericles used to justify his building program, commenced at approximately the same time

[99] I.e., 365 days × 6,000 jurors at two obols daily.

[100] See Hignett, HAC, pp. 216ff.

[101] On this subject, see Beloch, 2.2.335f., and ML, pp. 164–65, with literature cited there. We take it as certain that the imperial funds were used to this end.

[102] It is worth noting that Ar. Eccl. 303–6 has the chorus assert that no one would have considered taking pay for public service in the time of Myronides. Myronides' last known action occurred c. 457, just after Tanagra, at Oenophyta (Thuc. 1.108.2). Busolt, 3.1.267 n. 2, it is true, observed that "Aristophanes has essentially in view the ecclesiastic pay." But as Busolt's own qualifying word (wesentlich ) indicates, his limitation of the remark to pay for members of the ecclesia is somewhat constrained. The choral statement suggests epochal division (no pay / state pay) rather more than the introduction of one type of misthos (for the ecclesia ) after another (for juries) had already been effectuated. Thus a time after 457 becomes a binding theoretical terminus post quem.


(Plut. Per. 12), which also was premised on the concept of public compensation. Thus Pericles realized the goal of conveying to the demos the resources of the state. The Athenians acquired high privilege thanks to their empire: the Spartans had their helots, the Athenians their subjectallies. In neither case should the egocentric and expropriative basis of the prosperity of a relative few be left unnoticed.

On this view of the date and purpose of Pericles' introduction of misthos, the motivation of the citizenship law of 451/50 (Ath. Pol. 26.4) becomes something less of a mystery. According to its terms, which were hardly retroactive, only those born of Athenians on both sides of the family were entitled to the franchise. Many explanations of this measure have been proposed,[103] but its primary intention should now be manifest. The decision to support the many by means of the revenues of the empire made it crucial to limit this benefit to "true Athenians." It might be argued that the measure could only achieve its purpose some twenty years thereafter, since only the newborn fell under its restrictions. But the counterargument is persuasive: was Pericles to attempt no limitations, and not look to the future, because the nature of the case precluded retroactive exclusion? We are reminded of Plato, who conceded that though the "noble lie" might be detected by the first generation of members of the ideal state, the idea would work for a second generation. So here something had to be done, and this measure, with its corollary, the diapsephismos of 445 (Philochorus, FGrHist 328 F 119),[104] attempted to anticipate the future in an orderly manner by putting a stop to undesirable marriages.

Thus the citizenship law is strictly in keeping with the spirit of demokratia as it by then had developed. It was incumbent on the demos to preserve itself intact and secure the privileged position that it had won by insistence on the monopoly of birth. No doubt other considerations combined to make the law attractive—repugnance at intermixture with the sons and daughters of metics, with all the inevitable complications of inheritance laws; fear of intermarriage with Ionians, especially in the cleruchies, but a serious possibility for the many Athenians domiciled or stationed abroad. One can readily imagine that "foreign marriages"

[103] See Hignett, HAC, pp. 343–47; Humphreys, "The Nothoi of Kynosarges," JHS 94 (1974), 93–94; J. K. Davies, "Athenian Citizenship: The Descent Group and the Alternatives," CJ 73 (1977–78), 105–21; Ruschenbusch, pp. 83–87; C. Patterson, Pericles' Citizenship Law of 451–450 B.C. (New York, 1981); Rhodes, AP, pp. 331–35; Badian, JHS 107 (1987), 11–12; and Busolt, 3.1.337–39.

[104] Cf. Plut. Per. 37.2; see Hignett, HAC, pp. 343–47, F. E. Adcock, CAH, 5.167–68, and the preceding note.


might be regarded, from a strictly Athenian point of view, as a corrupting influence on the mores and single-minded loyalty of representatives of the demos.[ 105] But all such considerations reduce to an unwillingness to dilute the demos now that the principle was established that possession of citizenship entailed tremendous and hitherto undreamed of economic advantages. Athenian public policy became the mirror-image of Athens's reduction of its allies to subjects, thus generating the paradox that the perfect democracy of the ancient world required the subservience of others in order to succeed.

[105] The scurrilous gossip about Aspasia (see Appendix 4) is probably at least in part connected with this prejudice.


Chapter III—
Athenian Imperialism

Athens's acquisition of the rule over most of the peoples inhabiting the Aegean and the coast of Anatolia in the first half of the fifth century, like Pericles' disposition of this empire, is a controversial subject of study. Much of the reliable evidence derives from Thucydides' account of "the manner in which the Athenian rule was established" (1.97.2ff.), augmented, principally for the period after 450 B.C. , by epigraphic material that is often problematic in its own right. Many inscriptions are mere fragments, the context of which are frequently as uncertain as the date of the decisions they record; and though sometimes the style of the letter-forms suggests an approximate date for one decree or another, even these stylistic criteria can be misleading. Study of the problem is further complicated by the inflammatory nature of the subject. "Athenian imperialism" evokes differing interpretations and competing ideological estimates. It might be another matter had the Athenians not created the first democracy simultaneously with the first Greek empire. But it is easy to idealize Periclean Athens, for reasons that are perfectly understandable, and it is no less difficult to accept the odious implications of Athens's imperial rule. Pericles perceived the contradiction, too, but did not attempt to extenuate it when he remarked, in a speech attributed to him by Thucydides (2.63.2) that the empire was "like a tyranny." To Pericles, like Cimon before him, the empire was Athenian property earned by Athenian enterprise, and its liquidation was neither practical nor safe. Moderns are inclined to be more sentimental and to palliate the unpleasant facts.


A further complication in evaluating "Athenian imperialism" is a corollary of the fact that the city-state was a democracy The nature of Athenian rule was such as to encourage and, if necessary, impose, democratic governments on allied subjects. To moderns, viewing an ancient world in which oligarchy was the usual form of government, Athens's procedure has been taken to be a progressive step in the right direction. That argument is irrefutable in its own terms, but reallocation of power to a wider segment of the population in Athens itself was balanced by the subordination of her allies to the imperial city. The allies, with few exceptions, were required to pay tribute to Athens; their control of their own judicial processes was vitally limited; disputes with Athenians were resolved by Athenian juries; and they endured the abuse by Athenians of special privileges in their own lands. In general, they were regarded as city-states of inferior status, which, if they wished to succeed with the Athenians, were required to behave like sycophants. Any view proposing that "popularity" or its opposite can be inferred simply from narrow ideological considerations is superficial.[1]

Our purpose in this chapter, however, is neither to be moralistic nor to assume the role of judge. Our aim is to chart, and, when feasible, to explain, the development of the Athenian empire. Inevitably, our progress will be snail-like; we are compelled at almost every stage of our reconstruction to take issue with what must be called the prevailing view.[2] Polemic, unfortunately, is unavoidable, and sometimes the questions addressed become technical. But the orthodox view has by now evolved into a seamless and internally consistent set of interlocking arguments, which must be tested in detail as well as considered as a whole. In our opinion, the conventional view represents a substantial departure in emphasis from the main lines of the ancient tradition, while its inferential structure proceeds for the most part from the re-

[1] For the debate on this question initiated by G. E. M. de Ste. Croix, "The Character of the Athenian Empire," Historia 3 (1954–55), 1–41, see D. W. Bradeen, "The Popularity of the Athenian Empire," Historia 9 (1960), 257–69; T. J. Quinn, "Thucydides and the Unpopularity of the Athenian Empire," Historia 13 (1964), 257–66; C. W. Fornara, "IG i 39.52–57 and the 'Popularity' of the Athenian Empire," CSCA 10 (1977), 39–55. See also pp. 111ff. below.

[2] As all students of the subject are aware, the work of the editors of ATL (vols. 1: 1939, 2: 1949, 3: 1950, 4: 1953) represents a watershed in our study of the history of the Athenian empire. Their brilliant achievement became immediately authoritative, though certain modifications to their view have been introduced in the subsequent literature, notably by Russell Meiggs in AE and Meiggs and D. M. Lewis in ML. The work of Harold Mattingly (see Appendix 10 and below) in opposition to the "orthodox view" deserves special mention here.


quirements of a hypothesis rather than from the implications of the various pieces of our evidence.

The "orthodox" view of the development of the Delian League into an empire holds that the vital change from allied harmony to imperial subjugation occurred in the middle of the fifth century, the critical factor being the conclusion of peace with Persia in 449/8 (often dated to 450/49)[3] —the "Peace of Callias." Formal recognition of the end of a state of war between the Athenian alliance and Persia, it is supposed, eliminated the rationale for the Delian League and raised the question of whether the alliance should be abandoned.[4] At this time, accordingly, a series of measures tightened Athenian control over the subject-allies, and Pericles is squarely given responsibility for the harsher rule.[5] Several public documents possessed of stern imperialistic tone, formerly regarded as post-Periclean, now redated, are understood to bear Pericles' impress.[6] The transition to empire, again according to this view, entailed consequences of great advantage to the city of Athens. Thus the allied treasury, which had been brought from the island of Delos to Athens in 454,[7] became, after the Peace of Callias and because of it, the source of revenue for Athens' astonishing building program, which resulted in the construction of the Propylaea and the Parthenon.[8]

[3] The editors of ATL (3.275ff., following Wade-Gery, HSCP Suppl. 1 [1940], 121–56 = Essays, pp. 201–32 [esp. 226ff.]) press 450/49 as the date for the Peace of Callias, and this date has been supported by Meiggs, AE, pp. 125ff. Badian, JHS 107 (1987), 38–39, returns the peace to its traditional setting, 449/8 (Diod. 12.4 = Fornara 95G).

[4] Fornara 95M. See, e.g., Meiggs, AE, p. 152. Indeed, some infer that no tribute was collected in the immediately succeeding year (449/8; but see n. 3 above), e.g., Wade-Gery, BSA 33 (1932–33), 112; B. D. Meritt, Documents on Athenian Tribute (Cambridge, Mass., 1937), pp. 65, 69; ATL, 1.138, 175, 3.39–52, 278–79. Against this view, see S. Dow, AJA 45 (1941), 642; A. W. Gomme, CR 54 (1940), 65–67; W. K. Pritchett, "The Height of the Lapis Primus," Historia 13 (1964), 129–34; id., "The Top of the Lapis Primus," GRBS 7 (1966), 123–29; id., "The Location of the Lapis Primus," GRBS 8 (1967), 113–19 (cf. B. D. Meritt, "The Second Athenian Tribute Assessment Period," GRBS 8 [1967], 121–32); and cf. Sealey, History, 282–87.

[5] Meiggs, AE , pp. 156–57.

[6] Namely, e.g., the Coinage Decree (IG i 1453 = ML 45 = Fornara 97); the Cleinias Decree (IG i 34 = ML 46 = Fornara 98); the Colophon treaty (IG i 37 = ML 47 = Fornara 99); the foundation of the Athenian colony at Brea (IG i 46 = ML 49 = Fornara 100); the regulations for Eretria (IG i 39 = Fornara 102); and for Chalcis (IG i 40 = ML 52 = Fornara 103). Cf. ATL, passim, Meiggs, AE, pp. 152ff. See also pp. 97ff. below and Appendix 10.

[7] For the standard date, see ATL, 3.262–64; Meiggs, AE , p. 108; Fornara 85. W. K. Pritchett, "The Transfer of the Delian Treasury," Historia 18 (1969), 17–21 (cf. Meiggs, AE, pp. 420–21), and N. D. Robertson, "The True Nature of the Delian League," AJAH 5 (1980), 124–25 n. 93, propose an earlier date.

[8] For the date, see ML 59, 60 = Fornara 120, 118B. See, in general, G. Zinserling, "Das Akropolisbauprogramm des Perikles: Politische Voraussetzungen und ideologischerKontext," in E. Kluwe, ed., Kultur und Fortschritt in der Blützeit der griechischen Polis (Berlin, 1985), and W. Ameling, "Plutarch, Pericles 12–14," Historia 34 (1985), 47–63. For the use of this money for payments to the people, see ch. 2, pp. 73f.


The decision to move the treasury, it is held, marks the transformation of Athens in the early forties from idealistic hegemon to predatory ruler, while the amalgamation of the allied treasure and Athenian revenues created a stockpile of money that enabled Pericles to embark on war in 431 in expectation of a successful outcome.[9]

We begin with the conception—standard, we think, though more often latent than explicit—that the empire developed "gradually," an assumption that envisages a process roughly comparable to the progress of a play, with a beginning, a middle and an end. The beginning was the league, Pericles enters in the second act, and Cleon ends the tragedy. The operative assumption, in other words, is that the league's "development" into an "empire" resulted from natural centripetal processes over an extended period of time. Athens, first among equals, gradually gained overwhelming power out of her need to exert an executive authority that tightened increasingly because of the recalcitrance of undisciplined and fractious allies.[10] This view takes its departure from Thucydides' explanation of the alteration in the balance of power between Athens and her allies. Having stated (1.98.4) that Naxos was the first allied city to be enslaved contrary to established principle (inline image), and that other allies thereafter suffered the same fate, Thucydides adds by way of explanation (1.99) that the main causes of subjugation were nonpayment of tribute, failure to provide ships for the campaigns, and defection from expeditions in the field.

For the Athenians were very severe and exacting, and made themselves offensive by displaying the screw of necessity to men who were not used to and in fact not disposed for any continuous labor. In some other respects the Athenians were not the old popular rulers they had been at first; and if they had more than their fair share of service, it was correspondingly easy for them to reduce any that tried to leave the confederacy. (trans. Crawley)

However, the "orthodox view" interpolates at least three conclusory judgments into 1.99 that run counter to the meaning of this important piece of Thucydidean analysis. The first is that the process was gradual—yet Naxos was subjugated less than ten years after Athens acquired the hegemony. The second is that Athens acted legitimately, in a man-

[9] See ATL, 3.263–64, and pp. 93ff. below.

[10] Cf. ATL, 3, pp. 225ff., 244ff., 275ff., and Meiggs, AE, pp. 42ff., 68ff., 152ff.


ner that was "formally justified"[11] —yet Thucydides informs us that the reduction of an allied city was

, "contrary to settled custom, law, principle."[12] The third is that Athens was a reactive agency responding appropriately to failure on the part of the allies, who were reneging on their responsibilities. Let us consider these points in reverse order, commencing with the last two, which logically belong together.

The question of whether the Athenians did or did not have the "right" to compel their allies to perform as the Athenians wished is usually regarded in isolation from the context in which it is placed by Thucydides. Obviously, depending on one's notion of the intent and prior understanding of the initial "contract" made in 478/7,[13] one can side with the Athenians or with the allies as one prefers; a good logician, a Thucydides, for example, could provide compelling speeches outlining the case on either side. The relevant observation, however, is that Thucydides has linked allied recalcitrance with the causes of revolts, and these, in turn, with their suppression

. It would follow that the Athenians, in Thucydides' view, acted harshly in their exactments and contrary to common understandings in the means they took to bring the allies to heel. The situation, at best, is clouded by competing rights: the right to demand compliance with league aspirations or rules, and the right to the autonomous acceptance or rejection of the conditions of a voluntary association. The free conferral of hegemony does not convey absolute power with it; yet the Athenian insistence on punctilious performance was used as a tool to tyrannize over the allies. On the basis of this text, therefore, it seems gratuitous to infer that the Athenians were the benevolent champions of the integrity of a league whose obligations took priority over the free will of its constituent members.

Thucydides in fact conveys a somewhat different impression. In the context of the enslavement of the first allied city (1.99), speaking of the violation of "established principle," he informs us that the Athenians were hard taskmasters, who used failure to meet their requirements as a pretext to reduce their allies to dependent subjects. The difference

[11] Meiggs, AE, p. 46; cf. ATL, 3.244, Hammond, Studies, pp. 337–38.

[12] Cf. Gomme, HCT, 1.282 (ad loc.). The plain meaning of this perfect participle cannot be evaded by special arguments designed to obscure it as, e.g., by the editors of ATL, 3.156–57, 228.

[13] Fundamental are ATL, 3.187ff., Hammond, Studies, pp. 311ff., and Meiggs, AE, pp. 42ff.; for more recent bibliography, see P. J. Rhodes, The Athenian Empire, G&R Survey No. 17 (Oxford, 1985), 5–11.


from what is usually alleged is subtle but real. Thucydides presumes the active potency of Athens in acquiring an empire; adherents of the conventional view presume that the Athenians were compelled to act in subservience to a higher cause (which did not fade away until the Peace of Callias). In fact, that higher cause was really the self-interest of the Athenians. In 1.95.2, when the Greeks, especially the Ionians and those newly liberated from the Persian king, complain of Pausanias's violent behavior and request that the Athenians become their leaders, Thucydides significantly adds that the Athenians intended to use the opportunity to enhance their own best interests:

, "the Athenians accepted their proposals and took the matter up, with a determination to endure Pausanias' conduct no longer, and to settle the affairs of the confederacy as seemed best for their interests" (trans. Forbes).

Our best account of the foundation of the Delian League is also our earliest, for Thucydides describes the event in 1.96–97.1:

After taking the hegemony in the manner just related over allies who desired it because of their hatred of Pausanias, the Athenians made an assessment of those cities that were required to provide ships. Their professed purpose [proschema ] was to avenge themselves for what they had suffered by ravaging the land of the king. The treasurers of the Hellenes [Hellenotamiai ] were first established at that time as an Athenian magistracy to receive the tribute [phoros ]. For the payment of monies was given that name. The first tribute assessed was four hundred sixty talents. Delos was their treasury and the revenues accrued in the temple. [97.1] Though at first the Athenians commanded allies who were autonomous and who made decisions that arose from common meetings, they accomplished the following things by wars and the management of affairs.

To this picture our other sources (e.g., Diod. 11.46.6–47, Plut. Arist. 23–25.1 and Cim. 6.2–3) add little further detail; Aristotle, Ath. Pol. 23.5, provides the date, the archonship of Timosthenes, 478/7, as well as the information that the alliance was an epimachia (all members possessed "the same friends and enemies") and that pieces of red-hot iron were sunk into the sea as a formality of the oath of alliance.

The information presented by our sources makes it apparent that the announced purpose of the league was retaliative and punitive.[14] Such

[14] R. Sealey, "The Origin of the Delian League," in Ehrenberg Studies, 233–55, W. K. Pritchett, The Greek State at War (Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1971), 1.61–62 (cf. Aesch. Persae 751f.); opposed by Meiggs, AE, pp. 462–64; cf. K. Raaflaub, "Beute, Vergeltung, Freiheit? Zur Zielsetzung des delisch-attischen Seebundes," Chiron 9 (1979), 1–22.


intentions harmonize with ancient value systems and are consistent with the historical situation prevailing in 478/7. We are also entitled to presume that the allies were induced to wage this war in the expectation of booty: vengeance carried recompense. Lastly, the league was implicitly or explicitly one of self-defense, ensuring the autonomy of the allies in the face of a Persian threat. The special conditions out of which this alliance developed also permit reliable negative conclusions. It is clear, for example, that the offensive thus initiated could not have contemplated as a fixed objective or end point the defeat of the rival power or the establishment of peaceful relations with it.[15] Persia, except at the fringes, was unassailable, and the majesty of Persia could be expected to renounce its enmity only on formal capitulation of the Greeks. To be sure, a radical change in the strategic situation developed around the time the battle of the Eurymedon was fought. But this startling alteration in the balance of power in the Aegean could not have been anticipated so early as 478/7. It would go considerably beyond the evidence, therefore, to assume that the allies contemplated anything more than limited objectives and perpetual enmity when the league was formed.

The editors of ATL (3.226f.), on the other hand, have expressed a substantially different view:

But although this [spoiling of the king's land] was the immediate programme, it was not the end; the Confederacy was to be permanent. The allies knew that the war with Persia would someday come to an end; their statesmen were farsighted enough, in 478/7, to realize that the end of the war would not bring them safety for ever. Greek resources must continue to be integrated; when the Athenian power was weakened and the Confederacy shattered, early in the Dekelean war, this was the prelude to the reincorporation of the Asiatic Greeks in the Persian satrapies. The clarity of vision which the exalted days of 479 and 478 brought to the allies was soon blurred by the strains of campaigning; only Athens remembered the bright prospects of 478/7. And Athens, it could be charged, had most to gain.

What was to be the Confederacy's permanent function when the war was over? To answer this question we naturally turn to the Congress Decree (D12), to the plan which Perikles offered for the consideration of Greece just after peace had been made with Persia. As Plutarch [Per. 17.1] reports the proposals, the states were to discuss (1) the Hellenic sanctuaries destroyed by the barbarians, (2) the sacrifices owed to the gods on behalf of Hellas, and (3) the policing of the seas, security and peace for travelers in normal times.

Any relationship the first paragraph quoted above may share with Thucydides 1.99 ends with the semicolon dividing its leading sentence.

[15] See Appendix 7.


The editors of ATL have injected a principle into the "Covenant," the permanency of the organization, which allows for the elaboration of a series of connecting ideas that, granting the principle, might appear to be valid. The fatal objection is that the principle has been misconceived. A facilitating condition (the framework of the league) has been misidentified as a defining cause, as if the foundation of an alliance were the primary object of the allies. But the allies swore a solemn oath to combat the Persians (as they then supposed) in perpetuity; they did not swear to pay tribute to the Athenians in perpetuity whether or not it was necessary to fight the Persians. The editors of ATL have driven a wedge to sunder the interlocking parts of one unitary idea—namely, "a perpetual alliance against the Medes"—by insisting that the "perpetual alliance" should be regarded independently and as logically prior to its predicate—"to fight the Mede"—as if the purpose of the allies were primarily to set up an organization and secondarily to use it against an enemy. Consideration of this idea should be enough to ensure its rejection. Perpetuity of the league was contemplated because the state of war initially was regarded as indefinite and without end, and the oath of permanency reflected precisely this view of the circumstances. Naturally, if and when circumstances altered, the conditions under which the league operated were open to reappraisal, regardless of the red-hot irons sunk into the sea (cf. Hdt. 1.165). It should be apparent, therefore, that it misstates the historical circumstances and the ostensible intentions of the participants to allege (with the editors of ATL ) that the alliance was forged to secure the Peace of Callias, much less to fulfill the grand objective of raising up sanctuaries, performing sacrifices, and maintaining the freedom of the seas under the auspices of a permanent bureaucracy staffed by Athenians. The chief difficulty with the explanatory hypothesis adumbrated by the editors of ATL, apart from the absence of evidence to support it,[16] is that the end simply does not justify the means. The allies in 478/7 contemplated another set of goals when they banded together; to explain the antecedents of Pericles' Congress Decree by an extrapolation of the terms of that decree is a little like imputing to Solon the idea of Ephialtes' reform. It is not self-evident that the concluding event in a lengthy and unpredictable historical sequence provides a proper explanation for the initiation of that sequence, and even ordinary observation of human affairs suggests the contrary.

[16] Was the "model" for this conception perhaps the establishment of the United Nations after World War II?


Let us return to Thucydides. The reader will recall that in describing the Athenians' purpose in establishing the league, Thucydides implies a divergence between their real intentions and what they formally announced—"their pretext [proschema ] was to retaliate for their sufferings by ravaging the land of the king" (1.96.1). Nothing can be done with the word proschema except to translate it as "pretext" or an equivalent word. That is its conventional meaning (when its other sense, "ornament," is inapplicable) and it is precisely so used by Thucydides in the other two passages in which it occurs (3.82.4, 5.30.2). Gomme offers "announced intention"; Meiggs, "the declared purpose."[17] These renderings (though somewhat charitable) will suit provided we understand that the "alleged program" was regarded by Thucydides as somehow spurious. Curiously enough, Herodotus uses a similar word in almost the identical context. In 8.3.2 Herodotus characterizes the Athenian acquisition of hegemony as follows: "For when the Athenians, after repelling the Persian, made it a contest [not in Greece but] in his own territory, they deprived the Lacedaemonians of the hegemony by alleging [proischomenoi ] the hybris of Pausanias as their pretext [prophasis ]." This language dovetails with that of Thucydides. Both writers imply that Athens acquired leadership of the league for purposes at variance with their pretensions in 478/7.

The fundamental incompatibility of our best ancient sources with the assessments of some modern scholars could not, therefore, be clearer. On the other hand, the apparent unanimity of Herodotus and Thucydides proves nothing more than that conventional opinion was cynical in 431 or thereabouts, and we might be hasty in assuming that this opinion necessarily represents the actual situation prevailing in 478/7. These judgments are retrospective, indicating that Herodotus and Thucydides had concluded from Athens's subsequent actions that the "purpose" of the league was a sham. We do not know the basis of Herodotus's judgment; Thucydides, on the other hand, makes it abundantly clear that an epochal change occurred in the period stretching from the Naxian rebellion to the battle of the Eurymedon River. For the Naxian revolt is mentioned in 1.98.4; the (explanatory) excursus on Athenian sharp practice follows in 99; 100.1 contains the informa-

[17] Gomme, HCT, ad loc., Meiggs, AE, p. 44; ATL, 3.226 translates "programme." See H. R. Rawlings III, "Thucydides on the Purpose of the Delian League," Phoenix 31 (1977), 1–8. A. French, "Athenian Ambitions and the Delian League," Phoenix 33 (1979), 134–41, exonerates Athens by denying a distinction between the "pretext" and the Athenians' real purpose. See below.


tion about Cimon's grand victory at the Eurymedon; 100.2 specifies the revolt of the Thasians "in a quarrel about the possession of the marketplaces on the Thracian coast [opposite Thasos] and the mines the Thasians controlled."

Thucydides is terse, but informative. First Naxos, then the Eurymedon, then Thasos, the last instance supplying a peculiarly ugly and obvious example of Athenian imperialism.[18] The function served by the presence of the battle of the Eurymedon in this series is virtually self-explanatory. This great victory, though anticipated by the secession of the Naxians, was the pivot for the abrupt transition from "league" to "empire."

Eduard Meyer, in a brilliant piece of source-criticism, distinguished the traditions, developed by the fourth century, that erroneously combined Cimon's exploit at the Eurymedon with the later Cyprian campaign of 450/49, where another double battle by land and sea was fought and won by Cimon's troops, after his death on campaign (Thuc. 1.112.4)[19] The fact that two epochal events were later telescoped in the popular mind is readily explicable. Cimon's great victory at the Eurymedon not only shared common characteristics with the later battle but attained similar objects. The Eurymedon campaign, like the Cyprian campaign, which resulted in the Peace of Callias, secured the removal of the Persian navy from the Aegean and eliminated pressure from the east on the allied city-states. By his first victory on land and sea, Cimon cleared the seas; after the second, Callias (in 449/8) ratified the peace and secured this object de iure.

The confusion in the tradition of Cimon's campaign at the Eurymedon with the subsequent action at Cyprus (and the ensuing peace) is highly significant. Though it should not be inferred that a formal peace resulted from Cimon's victory at the Eurymedon,[20] the factually

[18] Modern apologists of the empire seek special reasons or extenuations for Athenian intrusion into the affairs of Thasos in 465 (e.g., Meiggs, AE, pp. 83–85, 570–72). G. E. M. de Ste. Croix, Origins, p. 43, in speaking of this episode, "wonders whether Athenian intervention in 465 may not have been invited by one or more of the emporia in question, including Neapolis, which perhaps regarded Athenian control as less burdensome than Thasian." Does the fact that some Athenians invited the Spartans to Athens before the battle of Tanagra imply that it would have been proper for the Lacedaemonians to march on the city? Any action involving a shift in authority will be conducive to some interests as it will be destructive of others; and it is a novel argument that the significance of the reduction of one city-state by another lies in the possible views of those who became in turn the subjects of both.

[19] Meyer, Forsch., 2.1–25; cf. Fornara 95.

[20] See Appendix 7.


erroneous fourth-century assumption is true to the realities of the situation after the battle was won. This victory marked an epoch such that it was legitimate for contemporaries as well as posterity to regard the Persian menace in the Aegean as ended once and for all,[21] and to consider that the league, having vindicated itself superbly, was now redundant. Even prescient statesmen could no more foresee what might occur during, say, the Decelean War, than modern diplomats could have predicted the aftermath of the First World War. Cimon did in fact sweep the Aegean clear of the Persian navy as far as Pamphylia, and a de facto state of peace (i.e., a peace of inanition) resulted from his success.[22] Hence the inclusion of a reference to this battle by Thucydides in 1.100.1; as Meyer correctly observed, "this event was well-known, a comprehensive narration of the war was not the task of the writer, who intended to present briefly the epochal events in the development of the power of Athens. Thus a brief reference to the brilliant deed of arms sufficed; indeed, the dry chronicle-like style had all the greater effect in regard to this tremendous success."[23]

The "brilliant deed" that secured the Aegean is firmly linked by Thucydides with the context of the first allied rebellion and the unwillingness of the allies to continue with the operation, just as it becomes the antecedent of the war with Thasos.[24] It is illuminating that although Thucydides fails to specify the exact reasons prompting the Naxian revolt, he implies by his general characterization of allied apathy and Athenian vigor in 1.99 that it was reluctance

, "to endure the burden." Thucidydes does specify the causes of the rebellion of the Thasians after Eurymedon, however, and we may infer that he previously refrained in the case of Naxos because the ground of dispute was irrelevant to league business and represented an extension of Athenian

[21] See Meiggs, AE, pp. 76ff., for a general discussion.

[22] Plut. Cim. 13.4–5. Thus one of the "goals" of the Congress Decree was in fact accomplished, unexpected though it must have been by the allies when they joined the league in 478/7.

[23] Meyer, Forsch. 2.1. Meyer's interest, however, is in justifying the appearance of this reference in Thucydides' text; he does not pursue the inference we derive from the structure in which it is set.


aggrandizement. If Thucydides has organized this sequence with care, and if he has limited himself to epochal events marking "in what way the role of the Athenians was established" (1.97.2), he leaves no doubt of the critical importance of the series Naxos-Eurymedon-Thasos.[25] Indeed, that is precisely the view our historian attributes to the Athenians themselves in the speech they delivered at Sparta before the outbreak of war in 431 (1.75.2–4):

For we did not use force in acquiring [the hegemony]. But you [Lacedaemonians] did not wish to remain by our side for what was left to accomplish against the barbarian, and the allies approached us and by their own pleading caused us to become hegemon. Because of that very fact we were compelled at first to advance our rule to its present extent, most of all, because of fear, then also because of honor and, lastly, also because of self-interest. And it did not seem to be safe any longer to endanger ourselves by letting it go: we had become hated by most of our allies, some of them by that time having rebelled and been subjected, while you were no longer friendly, but objects of suspicion and dislike. In these circumstances, the defectors would have come over to you.

The correlation is almost exact: the "secret promise" of aid to the Thasians (1.101.3)—the time of "suspicion"—was allegedly made by the Lacedaemonians c. 465; "open enmity" between Athens and Sparta—the time of "grievance"—flared in 462 (1.102.3).[26]

Thucydides' case for the rapidity of the transformation of Athens from hegemon to imperial mistress is unambiguous, self-consistent and supported by what must have been the crucial element determining the psychology of the allies—namely, Cimon's victory at the Eurymedon.[27] An alliance formed for the sake of vengeance, in the expectation of booty, and in the further hope of gaining security in the Aegean had gained its object. From this point, the sole party benefiting from the institution of tribute payment and the development of an invincible fleet was, of course, the former "hegemon" of the league. Thus the centrality claimed by some for the Peace of Callias in the evolution of Athens into an imperial power is late by almost twenty years and is, in fact, irrelevant to the "allied question." This does not imply that the peace itself was unimportant, though in this regard it is an anticlimax. On the contrary, the formal cessation of hostilities with Persia was vital.

[25] Indeed, Pritchett, Historia 18 (1969), 17–21, even places the removal of the Delian treasury to Athens in this period.

[26] See ch. 4, pp. 121ff.

[27] For the use of compulsion and extortion against Phaselis just before the Eurymedon was fought, see Plut. Cimon 12.3–4.


It secured Pericles' flank from Persian interference with Athens's subjects at a time when his chief object was the maintenance of Athenian rule with a view to the reduction of Greece.[28]

In 451 Athens and Sparta arranged a five-year peace, assisted thereto by Cimon, now home from ostracism.[29] Never more than during the preceding decade, when Cimon had been away, did the Athenians give further proof of their adventurous character, fearlessness, and militancy.[30] It might have seemed enough, for any city-state, however powerful and ambitious, to wage full-scale war on a single front. But the Athenians, though they committed themselves to an adventurous struggle with Persia in Cyprus, Phoenicia and, above all, Egypt, in the year 459, also found the prospect of engaging with the Peloponnesians irresistible, fighting battles in Halieis, Aegina, and Megara in the same year.[31] The great Egyptian campaign ended disastrously in 454, having been continued for six years at immense cost.[32] The lure of Egypt was no doubt strong. That great country had worked powerfully on the imaginations of Greeks—poets, historians, mercenaries, traders—as the symbol of immeasurable antiquity and fabulous wealth. It was also an unwilling subject of the Persian kings, since the time of Cambyses, whose contempt for the Egyptians and whose desecration of their religious shrines (Hdt. 3.16, 27–30) was never forgotten. When, therefore, the Libyan Inaros attempted to wrest Egypt away from Artaxerxes and sought Athenian assistance (Thuc. 1.104.1), the Athenians succumbed to the temptation. The strategic conception underlying this Athenian effort, which included allied contingents, is only in appearance a continuation of the goals of the "Covenant" of 478/7, for Athenia aims now advanced beyond vengeance, retaliation, and self-defense; a proper parallel is the Sicilian Expedition of 415, except that the temerity displayed by the Athenians in the earlier expedition exceeds the later by a degree of magnitude. Nothing less than the independence of what the Greeks must have considered the greatest appan-

[28] See ch. 4, pp. 137f.

[29] See ch. 4, pp. 138f; Fornara 76.

[30] Thucydides' frequent allusions to this trait of Athenian character (e.g., 1.70) are probably based on the reputation the Athenians won from their activities during this decade (as well as from their intrepid behavior during the preceding years), which by 431 had hardened into a stereotype. Myronides (see Ar. Lysistr. 801, Eccl. 303, with Busolt, 3.267 n. 2) was an exemplar of this generation.

[31] IG i 1147 = ML 33 = Fornara 78; cf. Meiggs, AE, pp. 92ff.

[32] Cf. Ctesias, FGrHist 688 F 14 (36); Justin 3.6.6–7. See Meiggs, AE, pp. 103–8, 473–76, who defends Thucydides' account of the disaster, which has often been minimized, e.g., by ATL, 3.262f., and Gomme, HCT, 1.321–22; cf. J. M. Libourel, "The Athenian Disaster in Egypt," AJP 92 (1971), 605–15.


age of the Persian empire was the hope; and with that independence secured, needless to state, Athenian power derived from alliance with the liberators would increase exponentially closer to home.[33] The Athenians played for the highest stakes yet seen in the fearful game of Greek warfare. Even if it should prove hopeless, the demonstration of Athenian ability to harass Persian territory might at last result in the peace treaty desired since c. 462.[34]

Simultaneously with this stupendous operation, the Athenians launched a general Greek war, braving the Dorians in their own stronghold.[35] In part they were encouraged to make the effort because the Lacedaemonians were occupied with the helot revolt; their audacity, even so, leaves one amazed. That they were able to seduce the Megarians into alliance, conquer Dorian Aegina, and even reduce Boeotia is as striking as the effrontery they displayed by sailing round the Peloponnesus in 456/5 and setting fire to the Spartan dockyards.[36] All of these actions betray the development of a new strategy or, rather, the application of "imperial policy" to city-states in Greece. Renewal of the old war with Aegina must not be regarded in isolation, as if it were one of those limited and local outbreaks that characterize the history of Greece from archaic times, for it presupposed an ambitious and premeditated strategy. The Megarians withdrew from the Peloponnesian League and formed an alliance with Athens c. 460 (Thuc. 1.103.4); the Athenians immediately proceeded to construct long walls from Megara to Nisaea, its southern port, and to Pegae, its port on the Corinthian Gulf. Megara would become another "land island" guaranteed access to the sea with fortifications that might render it impervious to attack. By this means the Athenians could control the Isthmus of Corinth. It is equally significant that the next action was a descent on Halieis, situated on the southwestern tip of the Argolid; taking this movement in conjunction with the immediately subsequent raid on Kekryphaleia, an island between Aegina and Epidaurus, it becomes apparent that the motives of the Athenians (now in alliance with Argos, the enemy of Sparta [1.102.3], were to neutralize the Argolid, maintain their foothold in the Isthmus, and, as the event proved, compel Aegina to become a tributary member of the Athenian empire. It is curious that debate about the Athenians' acquisition of their "imperial psychol-

[33] Cf. Meiggs, AE, pp. 93–94.

[34] See Appendix 7.

[35] See Meiggs, AE, pp. 95ff.

[36] Thuc. 1.103ff.; Fornara 84, and ch. 4, pp. 137f. On the date, see Badian, ECM 22, n.s., 7 (1988), 319, with n. 46.


ogy" continues when we can observe the envelopment of a Greek city-state on the mainland in the toils of the tributary apparatus of the empire.[37] Meanwhile the Athenians were erecting the Long Walls from Athens to its coastline for purposes that are self-evident.[38]

Two observations seem appropriate. Athens had become predatory in Greece itself, openly challenging the Peloponnesian League and intending to apply the same principles by which she had imposed her rule in the Aegean to enemies closer at hand. Secondly, the indispensable precondition for such a policy was the firmly settled decision to maintain strict control over subject allies. The Long Walls at Athens (and those at Megara) illustrate the conjuncture of two hitherto independent policies brought into alignment: the preservation of the empire and the contemplation of continuous warfare with the Peloponnesian League. For without the empire, the Long Walls would have been useless; in the absence of a militant policy in Greece itself, they would have been unnecessary.

That the peace of 451 arranged by Cimon between Athens and the Peloponnesians implies the renunciation of Athenian militancy can be rejected out of hand. The leopard does not change his spots and, if later in 447, when Athens discovered the impracticality of controlling either Megara or Boeotia, Pericles decided to proceed more cautiously, that development is irrelevant to the situation as it appeared in 451. Some modern scholars (like the ancients) seem almost to suppose that a return from ostracism by Cimon implies the automatic reemergence in Athens of the political power of the victim and of the advent of a new psychology in the city,[39] but it is more pertinent for us to remember that in the ten years of Cimon's absence, nothing had occurred to strengthen his following.[40] The democratization of the polis had proceeded even to the point of chauvinism in the year following Cimon's return, when the citizenship law was passed (451/50); because of this

[37] Aegina's assessment was 30 talents, the highest of any single city-state (ATL, 3.20, 270, and Meiggs, AE, p. 98).

[38] See ch. 4, pp. 132, 138; Fornara 79.

[39] See ch. 1, p. 29. For the citizenship law of 451/50, see ch. 2, pp. 74–75, and Fornara 86.

[40] The Egyptian catastrophe cannot be counted as a political gain for Cimon's adherents unless it also be supposed that the conservatives became isolationist; as for the peace with Sparta, there is a world of difference between cessation of hostilities and rapprochement; nothing suggests that the Athenians viewed Sparta with a more tolerant eye because the First Peloponnesian War had turned into a disappointment. If Cimon was useful in 451, it does not also follow that his policies commanded more respect than a decade before.


measure and a variety of others, Pericles' position had been proportionately strengthened. That the Athenians desired respite in 451, while still in control of Megara and Boeotia, does indeed suggest that Cimon served a useful purpose on his return. Similarly, a lull in hostilities at home was as highly desirable as was the return of the famous general if further hostilities against Persia were intended. Both sides of this equation deserve equal consideration: peace in Greece in 451 allowed Athens to proceed against Persia in the hope (as we infer) of extracting a concession from Artaxerxes. That concession—recognition of the status quo—was mandatory if Athens were to maintain her empire and pursue her militant foreign policy closer in Greece. Precisely this object was gained by the Peace of Callias. Persia was formally removed as a menace to stability in the Aegean; Athens could concentrate her attention on the home front, dealing with revolts on the part of the allies without fear of Persian intervention. That ideas of a wholly different nature—for example, of disbanding the "league"—entered the minds of the Athenian leadership at that time is belied both by the political situation in Greece and by the antecedent hardening of Athens's rule since the battle of the Eurymedon. Pericles' "Congress Decree" was peddled for home consumption.[41]

Since the importance of the Peace of Callias appears to have been overstated as a cause of Athens's attainment of an "imperial psychology," the possibility becomes real that comparable exaggeration invests the claim that the conclusion of the Peace in 449/8 unlocked the allied treasury for the first time and thus inspired the wholehearted reorganization of Athenian finances. It is certainly true that the Athenian building program commenced a year later;[42] and it is possible that Pericles' introduction of jury pay, certainly a drain on the treasury presupposing allied subvention, began around this time.[43] The difficulty is the special emphasis placed on the peace of 449/8. One cannot but be struck by the fact that the omnibus legislation supposedly triggered by the Peace of Callias was preceded by a full five years by the transfer of

[41] See p. 87 above. On the historicity of this decree, see R. J. Seager, "The Congress Decree: Some Doubts and a Hypothesis" Historia 18 (1969), 129–41; A. B. Bosworth, "The Congress Decree: Another Hypothesis," Historia 20 (1971), 600–616; G. T. Griffith, "A Note on Plutarch Per. 17," Historia 27 (1978), 218–19; J. Walsh, "The Authenticity of the Peace of Callias and the Congress Decree," Chiron 11 (1981), 31ff.; B. R. MacDonald, "The Authenticity of the Congress Decree," Historia 31 (1982), 120–23.

[42] See n. 8 above.

[43] See ch. 2, pp. 71–74.


the allied treasury from Delos to Athens in 454. This action, it would appear, anticipated the state of mind generated, allegedly, in 449/8. Five years may seem "close enough" when we view the whole synoptically. Yet the fact remains that the transfer of the treasury, an imperialist measure par excellence, according even to the received view, was passed a little too soon. As Gomme wrote, taking issue with Thucydides for his omission of this event and others, Thucydides says nothing about the transfer of the allied treasury to Athens "and the consequent institution of the quota of 1/60 . . . of every state's phoros  . . . measure which more clearly than any other marked the change from the simple leadership, hegemonia, to the rule, arche, of Athens over the members of the League."[44]

The decision to transfer the treasure from Delos to Athens and to dedicate a quota of the tribute payment to Athena has been explained in various ways.[45] It need not be argued that this measure must have been unpopular with the subject-allies (cf. Plut. Arist. 25.3),[46] who until now had had at least the meagre satisfaction of watching the money they were compelled to pay, in effect, to Athens accumulate on Apollo's island in a shrine central to the common Ionian heritage. Nor could observers in Greece, whether hostile or neutral, have adopted a favorable view of the transaction. It is reasonable to suppose, therefore, that the measure came late, at a time when the transfer formalized an already existing situation—not, in other words, as a wantonly provocative act in anticipation of some further intensification of Athenian control.

Now though the transfer is ignored by Thucydides, presumably for the reason just given, more was evidently made of it by Ephorus, for Diodorus (who followed Ephorus) alludes to the removal of the treasury from Delos on each occasion that he makes reference to the treasure (12.38.2, 41.1, 54.3, 13.21.3).[47] Plutarch as well refers to Delos, not to the Peace of Callias (Per. 12, that well-known passage in which he describes the opposition of Thucydides son of Melesias to Pericles' building program).[48]

[44] Gomme, HCT , 1.370.

[45] E. M. Walker, CAH, 5.84–85, regarded the move as a defensive measure (cf. Plut. Per. 12.1). Rhodes, "Athenian Empire," p. 23, considers it a consequence of the Egyptian disaster, though see Beloch, 2.2.204. De Ste. Croix, Origins, p. 312, combines both notions. See also n. 7 above.

[46] H. Nesselhauf, Untersuchungen zur Geschichte der delisch-attischen Symmachie, Klio Supplement 30 (1933), pp. 11–13 (cf. ATL, 3.249–50), considers the transfer a cause of allied disaffection after 454.

[47] Cf. also Nepos Arist. 3.1; Justin 3.6.4; Aristodemus 7.

[48] See Meiggs, AE, pp. 132–33, and pp. 29 above and 96 below.


The Ephoran tradition, which in all probability underlies Plutarch Per. 12, thus connected the transfer of the treasury with the use of the money for public buildings. The inference was reasonable enough—a comprehensible amplification of the material provided by Thucydides in 2.13. Therefore, if (as is generally done) we ourselves telescope the building program (the Parthenon was begun in 447/6)[49] with the Peace of Callias, we become guilty of an arbitrary correction of the ancient tradition. If Athens transferred the treasury from Delos to the acropolis in 454, it must have been in 454, not in 449/8, that Athens laid claim to the treasure as her own (as is signified by the quota paid Athena), and any further decisions made by the Athenians as to its more precise use were mere consequences of that initial decision; they cannot have been radical departures in their own right.

One irony of imputing central importance to the Peace of Callias is that the consequences of the peace, no less than the peace itself, have left only the slightest trace of themselves (if even that) in the historical tradition. Though we normally assume that a given event is significant because of its measurable impact on the historical record, in this instance the effects are inferred and blandly retrojected into a historical lacuna. One piece of evidence there is, indeed, that can (inferentially) be associated with the Peace of Callias, though even here an unjustifiable chronological liberty is required to make the hypothesis work. The evidence is the Strasbourg Papyrus (Anonymus Argentinensis ).[50] It is a fragment of a commentary on Demosthenes 22.13, and what is preserved, with a minimum of uncontroversial supplements, may be reproduced and translated as follows:[51]


[49] IG i 436–50, with SEG 10.246–56; cf. ML 59 = Fornara 120 and n. 8 above.

[50] Fornara 94, where alternative restorations are provided. Cf. ATL, 2. D13, p. 61, H. T. Wade-Gery and B. D. Meritt, Hesperia 26 (1957), 164–88.

[51] Cf. Fornara 94A; the text is that of U. Wilcken, "Der Anonymus Argentinensis," Hermes 42 (1907), 414–15. Italicized words in the translation indicate that enough traces exist on the papyrus to make the reading plausible, but not certain. Whether the sum of 5,000 talents is modified in any way in the missing portion of the papyrus is unknown.



3   [Constructed the Propylai]a and the Parthenon." After . . .  years
[—————] they began construction and mad—
5   [e——In (the archonship of) Eu]thydemos Pericles's motion . . .
     [and the People decreed that] the talents stored in the public treasury
     [———] five thousand  collected according to Arist[ei]—
     [des' assessment] for/to the city. After that [—4—]
     [————] the  boule  (shall see to it that account) of the old trie—
10 [remes ———is] rendered and construct new ones

The background of this controversial fragment is as follows. Demosthenes, in this portion of his speech "Against Androtion" (22.12f.), praises the Athenians of yore for having built the Propylaea and the Parthenon from the spoils of the barbarians, making the observation that they owed everything they possessed to the naval power based on their trireme policy. The ancient sholiast of commentator, within a space of eleven lines of this papyrus, so poorly preserved that its first editor, Ulrich Wilcken, declined even to restore it, apparently devoted himself to the explanation of two rubrics, (1) "the Propylai]a and the Parthenon" and (2) Athenian trireme policy. The latter rubric, however it was expressed, commenced in line 8 or 9 (if not before) of the papyrus.[52] The assumption is therefore cogent that lines 3–9 (at most) provided information about the Periclean buildings, while what followed explained Athenian practice with regard to the maintenance of the fleet.

The preserved portion of lines 3–8 gives the date in which the buildings were begun.[53] Line 6 contains a reference to a decree of Pericles dated in the archonship of [Eu]thydemos. Euthydemos was archon in 431/30. His name was apparently cited in connection with a reference to 5,000 talents, collected in reserve as tribute accumulated "in accordance" with the assessment of Aristeides.[54] It would appear, therefore, that the commentator (1) gave the date of the construction of the Propylaea and the Parthenon; (2) referred to a fund of 5,000 talents mentioned in a decree of 431 passed by Pericles; (3) gave information about trireme policy.

[52] This is certain because the phrase "of the old tri[remes]" (the new rubric) occurs in lines 9–10 while in line 10 there is an indisputable reference to "shipbuilding" and new (triremes).

[53] The sum of years is not preserved but since the next line contains the words "began construction," the inference is safe.


According to Wilcken, the commentator here refers to Thucydides 2.24.1, a passage in which a decree is noted setting aside 1,000 talents as a special reserve, leaving the rest (5,000 talents, as we know from Thuc. 2.13) for use in the war if it should prove necessary. Wilcken's view, however, has been rejected by many scholars, including Beloch, the editors of ATL, and, most recently, Russell Meiggs,[55] who contends that the decree of Pericles in 431

would seem to be completely irrelevant to a commentary on Demosthenes' speech against Androtion, and the note which includes a reference to the League reserves seems to arise from Demosthenes' reference to the buildings of the Acropolis. The most reasonable inference would seem to be that the commentator has made the same mistake as Diodorus, naming the archon of 450–449 Euthydemos instead of Euthynos. We should therefore place the Congress Decree and its sequel, the decision to use League funds on Athenian buildings, after the Peace of Callias which we have dated to 450,[56] and before the change of archons in midsummer 449.

Although one does not willingly disagree with Meiggs, the relationship between what is preserved of the commentary and what appears in Thucydides 2.24 is too close to be accidental. The essential matter in Demosthenes 22.13 was trireme policy, the public buildings having been adduced as a singular example of its success. The scholiast dates the buildings and relates something now lost to us about 5,000 talents in a context devoted to the subject of triremes and dated to 431, the archonship of Euthydemos. Thucydides 2.24 speaks of a financial measure passed in that year setting aside 1,000 talents (from a total of 6,000: 2.13) as a reserve fund, which also ensured the selection of 100 triremes to be held on reserve: "And together with the money they made a reserve of 100 triremes, reserving those which would be the very best[57] in each year, not one of which they were to use for any other purpose than for the same danger to which they would apply the money (the reserve of 1,000 talents) if it became necessary."

On the basis of these correspondences, it is impossible to subscribe to the view that the scholiast wrote Euthydemos when he should have written Euthynos—a name, incidentally, attested only for the archon of 427/6—or that he quoted from a suppositious decree of 450/49 (a year

[55] Beloch, 2.2.388, ATL, 3.281, and Meiggs, AE, p. 155, the source of the quotation given immediately below. Doubts have been expressed by Badian, JHS 107 (1987), 19.

[56] See n. 3 above.

[57] See n. 54 above.


earlier than the Peace of Callias) in order to explain how the Propylaea and the Parthenon were financed. The essential matter in Demosthenes 22.13 was trireme policy; resort by the commentator to Thucydides 2.24, which underscores the significance attached to the vessels in a decree passed in 431, in combination with 2.13, which mentions the Athenian building program and identifies the total fund of 6,000 talents, would not have been a major enterprise for the scholiast, though it is perhaps more likely that this work of combination had already been done for him by his (Atthidographic) source. We conclude, therefore, that the alleged decree of the alleged Euthynos is imaginary.[58]

Our review of the insubstantial nature of some of the chief consequences inferred from the conclusion of peace with Persia in 449/8 may help to explain why an event regarded as epochal by some modern scholars was ignored by Thucydides in his study of the development of the Athenian empire. So far as the subject-allies were concerned, the peace ratified a fait accompli. Even in the heated debate between Thucydides son of Melesias and Pericles over the use of the allied treasury for public building at Athens (Plut. Per. 12, after Ephorus), the Peace of Callias is never mentioned, though it was certainly known to Ephorus.[59] Instead, the issue was associated with the transfer of 454 without reference to the allegedly decisive event that occurred in 449/8. As Meiggs writes:

In Plutarch's version there is no hint of a peace with Persia; the natural inference from the speeches of both sides is that the allies still think they are paying tribute for operations against Persia and that a state of war still exists. If peace had been made, it should have been at the centre of the argument on both sides and some clear hint should have survived even in a short summary.[60]

The attention devoted to this chapter of Plutarch is somewhat curious in view of the virtual unanimity which rules that the speeches preserved by the Greek historians (not to say Plutarch) are essentially fic-

[58] For Euthynos, see H. Mattingly, Historia 30 (1981), 113–17, esp. 117, and id., "The Athenian Coinage Decree and the Assertion of Empire," in I. Carradice, ed., Coinage and Administration in the Athenian and Persian Empires (Oxford, 1987), pp. 68–70. R. Sealey, "P. Strassburg 84 Verso," Hermes 86 (1958), 440–46, and "A Stop in the Strassburg Papyrus" JHS 85 (1965), 161–62, associates this commentary with the year 431. Gomme, HCT , 2.28–33, is indecisive; so also De Ste. Croix, Origins, pp. 310–11. See Appendix 8 for the Callias Decrees and their connection with this matter.

[59] Mention of the peace in Diod. 12.4.4–6 (Fornara 95G) is sufficient evidence; cf. Meiggs, AE, p. 129, and Appendix 7.

[60] Meiggs, AE, p. 133.


tional.[61] Somehow, with equal unanimity, modern scholars here detect "authenticity" in the Plutarchean debate[62] and subject it, therefore, to close analysis.[63] Since, however, the ultimate source of this account probably is Ephorus and certainly is a fourth-century historian who invented the speeches[64] (whatever the normal practice of Greek historians when they wrote contemporary history) so as to make them correspond with what he thought to be the historical reality, the most that should be concluded from the debate Plutarch provides is that the Peace of Callias did not figure in later reconstructions as the pivotal issue. The telling consideration, as it was remembered, was the transfer of 454. The omission of the peace in such reconstructions permits, therefore, merely a negative conclusion, though one perfectly consistent with the analysis presented above—namely, that we impose a purely modern view on recalcitrant sources if we insist that the Peace of Callias was fundamental to the development of the empire.

What, then, of other imperialistic measures allegedly taken by Pericles in consequence of the peace? Certainly there is no disputing that several decrees associated with Pericles' regime, especially the Cleinias Decree and the so-called Coinage Decree, betray a harshly imperialistic tone. But the conviction that the Cleinias Decree[65] (for instance) represents an alteration in policy rather than a modification or improvement in the method of tribute collection seems gratuitous.[66] The Hellenotamiae had been collecting tribute since 478/7. Whatever may have been their methods, they presumably underwent alteration between 478/7 and 454. Why not thereafter? In case of disputes, the payment of tribute money was laden with danger to the payer, the collector, and the final recipients. Knowledge of the bureaucracies of the nineteenth

[61] See, in general, Forara, Nature of History, pp. 142–68, who opposes this view.

[62] "This vivid passage has generally been considered to be an authentic echo of a real scene," Meiggs, AE, p. 133; see also D. Stockton, "The Peace of Callias," Historia 8 (1959), 69–70, and Badian, JHS 107 (1987), 19.

[63] See Badian, JHS 107 (1987), 19, for an example.

[64] The organization of Plut. Per. 12 makes it clear that Plutarch's source is a writer who presented two set speeches, one against the building program, the other a defense by Pericles. That structure guarantees that our source is a traditional historian. Coincidences in the speech with the data preserved in Diodorus and Aristodemus (see p. 92 above) make Ephorus the obvious candidate. The mise en scène (it should not be necessary to add) excludes memoire literature.

[65] The Cleinias Decree: IG i 34 = ML 46 = Fornara 98.

[66] Though Meiggs, AE, p. 165, also emphasizes the procedural aspect, he speaks as well of the "tone and temper" of the decree (p. 167), connecting these qualities with the allegedly contemporaneous Coinage Decree. In ML, p. 120, we read of its "strongly imperial flavor." The impression conveyed is of a change in policy.


and twentieth centuries should suffice to persuade us that alteration in procedure predictably followed every major defalcation. That the Cleinias Decree addresses the problem of the responsible management of money is explicable with or without a Peace of Callias. If we possessed the entire record of the administrative measures taken by the Athenians from 478/7 to c. 447, where many scholars currently date the Cleinias Decree, we would in all probability observe a consistent increase in the restrictions on all parties; the preservation of one decree within that matrix should not lead us to infer the advent of a new policy.

A more interesting question arises in respect to the "Coinage Decree."[67] This decree required that Athenian coins, weights, and measures be employed exclusively by all members of the Athenian empire. Foreign currencies were to be brought to Athens, melted down and converted, at a fee, into Athenian "owls." Any persons failing to comply would lose their citizen-rights and suffer the confiscation of their property. Every city was ordered to set up a copy of the decree in the agora; if any was unwilling, the Athenians would do it for them.

Though the Athenian copy is lost to us, fragments of the decree have been found in such places as Aphytis, Cos, and Syphnos, and they have been pieced together so as to provide a composite (but incomplete) text. Until 1938 it was confidently assumed that the measure belonged to the period 430–414. A parody of the decree appears in Aristophanes' Birds (produced in 414); and the tenor and tone of the measure, harshly imperialistic, seemed appropriate to Cleon's time or later, when the Athenians conquered the island of Melos and attempted the Sicilian Expedition.[68] But 1938 witnessed the discovery of a new fragment[69] on the island of Cos with Attic lettering, and among the letters is a sigma written with 3 bars (inline image), not the 4 bars (inline image) we usually associate with Athenian decrees inscribed in the last half of the fifth century. A scholarly about-face promptly followed, although some voiced their doubts about dating the decree much earlier.[70] Arguments theretofore cogent were obviously not invalidated. Yet a three-bar sigma seemed to

[67] IG i 1453 = ML 45 = Fornara 97.

[68] See ML, p. 114.

[69] M. Segre, "La legge ateniese sull'unificazione della moneta," Clara Rhodos 9 (1938), 151–78. Segre incorrectly identified the marble as Pentelic; see A. Georgiades and W. K. Pritchett, "The Koan Fragment of the Monetary Decree," BCH 89 (1965), 400–440.

[70] E. Cavaignac, "Le Décret dit de Kléarchos," Rev. Num. 13 (1953), 1–7; H. Mattingly, "The Athenian Coinage Decree," Historia 10 (1961), 148–69; W. K. Pritchett, "The Three-barred Sigma at Kos," BCH 87 (1963), 20–23.


mandate an earlier period, with the result that a new occasion for the decree was found in the context of the Peace of Callias. Thus the question turns on the relative weight we are willing to assign to categorically different types of evidence—general historical considerations, literary allusions, and stylistic criteria—when they come into conflict.

The well-known and sometimes lively debate about "three-bar sigma" hinges on the recognition that all of the letters of the Greek alphabet, but especially alpha, beta, nu, rho, sigma, and phi, show clearly marked stages of development into maturity.[71] Thus we can generally infer from their shapes the relative date of many inscriptions, especially when all or most of the letters are equally primitive or developed. The problem arises when a letter that looks like an early form appears in an inscription otherwise presenting more developed letters. To what extent is the apparent "anomaly" decisive? At one time, indeed, it was considered appropriate methodologically to assume that the latest date known for the appearance of a key archaic letter—one of those already listed—was the lower limit for undated documents also containing it. And though the application of this principle, which assumes the superior evidential value of form to substance, has been abandoned in the case of most of these letters, the shape of sigma continues to be regarded as an invariable indication of date. (In the case of the other letters the gradations are subtle; the presence or absence of a stroke on sigma is indisputably clear.) Since no inscription dated with absolute certainty after 445 displays the three-bar sigma, the ruling view insists that c. 445 must be the lower terminus for its use in any undated document. But though physical laws are framed to avoid anomaly, artistic technique follows less ironclad rules. It may be that when the inflexible application of this "rule" results in an assault on historical probability and countervailing evidence, it is better to accept anomaly.[72]

One is apt, therefore, to feel led about by the nose when one considers the ease with which such a crucial inscription as the Coinage Decree has been updated because of the three-bar sigma, especially when the new date serves in turn as corroborative testimony for a hypothesis about the far-reaching importance of the Peace of Callias.[73] Surely, even

[71] The doctrine is set forth by B. D. Meritt and H. T. Wade-Gery, "The Dating of Documents to the Mid-Fifth Century," JHS 82 (1962), 67–74, and 83 (1963), 100–117 (against Mattingly, Historia 10 [1961], 148–88), and R. Meiggs, "The Dating of Fifth-Century Attic Inscriptions," JHS 86 (1966), 86–98. See H. Mattingly's review of IG i in AJP 105 (1984), 340 (for four-bar sigma in the early forties).

[72] See Appendix 10.

[73] See, e.g., Meiggs, AE, pp. 165ff.


were the current dogma always applicable, it is an illicit extension to infer that masons on the island of Cos were equally in tune with the Attic mode, just as it is gratuitous to infer that the mason might have been an Athenian.[74] On the other hand, the lettering of the other fragments seems appropriate to the twenties;[75] yet they too should show signs of archaism if the decree were early. Thus the stylistic evidence, taken as a whole, is inconclusive.

Other considerations combine to make an early date unlikely.[76] The most important, to which we have already alluded, is a parody of the decree by Aristophanes that appears in the Birds, produced in 414. The "decree-monger" of the play speaks in verses 1040f. of "using the same weights and measures and decrees"—a clear echo of a phrase in section 12 of our decree, a portion especially noteworthy to the Athenian audience because it was part of an addition made to the bouleutic oath:[77]

An addition shall be made to the oath of the boule by the secretary of the boule, in future, as follows: "If someone coins money of silver in the cities and does not use Athenian coins or weights or measures, but uses instead foreign coin and measures and weights, I shall exact vengeance and penalize him according to the former decree that Clearchus moved."

Allusions of this kind are naturally understood to imply close temporal relation to their objects; it is not credible that Aristophanes, whose genius was as topical as the genre of which he was the master, alluded here to a stale phrase embedded in the bouleutic oath for thirty-five years.[78] Something about this measure, its passage or its ineffectuality, made a stir still perceptible in 414.

[74] The marble is not Pentelic (see n. 69 above). Attempts have been made (e.g., by Meiggs, AE, p. 170) to place an Athenian mason on Cos at the appropriate moment, as part of an Athenian policy of imposing her own masons on disaffected cities. Pritchett suggests, BCH 87 (1963), 20–23, that an older Athenian mason who happened to be at Cos cut the letter in the old-fashioned way. For the Coan fragment, see further, Georgiades and Pritchett, BCH 89 (1965), 400–440.

[75] F. Hiller, IG i , p. 295; SEG 3.713; D. M. Robinson, "A New Fragment of the Athenian Decree on Coinage," AJP 56 (1935), 149–54. Cf. Mattingly, Historia 10 (1961), 148ff., JHS 101 (1981), 75–86, and Historia 33 (1984), 498–99.

[76] See Cavaignac, Rev. Num. 13 (1953), 6–7; H. Schaefer, "Beiträge zur Geschichte der attischen Symmachie," Hermes 74 (1939), 253–57; Mattingly, Historia 10 (1961), 148, with n. 3.

[77] See Rhodes, Boule, pp. 194–99, for its reconstruction.

[78] Aristophanes' unexpected exchange of the word "decrees" for "coins" is significant in itself, for it is humorous only if we assume it to be a play on the demand contained in this very decree that all cities of the empire set up a copy. The double joke presupposes its recent enactment.


The numismatic evidence, though necessarily ambiguous because it is scarce as well as difficult to date sequentially, also implies a later, rather than an earlier, date for the decree.[79] Evidence of breaks in the minting of non-Attic coinages cannot be adduced for the early forties;[80] city-states like Samos and the Thracian and Maroneian towns are believed to have minted continuously during this period; and if it be urged that Samos was still autonomous in the early forties, the Thracians clearly were not.[81] Also negative to the current view is the (very slim) evidence from foreign weights and measures, for as Mattingly has shown, accommodation of Thasian measures to the Attic system appears not to begin until the twenties.[82]

The negative evidence is significant. If the Athenians had passed this measure in the early forties, an entirely different pattern must have emerged.[83] In the forties, Athens held the power to impose its will across the board and to exert it for a continuous period of time—more than thirty years. There can be no mistaking the seriousness of Athenian intentions: a sentence in section 8 of the decree specifically provides against its abrogation, while the presence of the fragments in allied cities attests its wholesale introduction. Yet if the decree was passed as early as now is generally supposed, the only conclusion open to us is that, inexplicably, it failed to be enforced. If, on the other hand, the decree was passed in the twenties or thereafter, its ephemeral character is understandable, for by 414 the Athenians were in no position to compel their allies to obey an unpopular measure.

[79] Cf. the contributions in Carradice, ed., Coinage and Administration, especially those of M. J. Price, pp. 43–51, D. M. Lewis, pp. 53–63, and H. Mattingly, pp. 65–71; see also the assessment of Mattingly, JHS 101 (1981), pp. 78–85.

[80] ML, p. 115; see E. S. G. Robinson, Museum Notes 9 (1960), 3, who writes that "the measure as a whole never came near permanent success"; C. G. Starr, Athenian Coinage, 480–449B.C. (Oxford, 1970), p. 69 n. 19, maintains that "local mints had largely resumed coining by the 430s, and some may never have halted operations," and Price, in Carradice, ed., Coinage and Administration, esp. p. 47. Cf. Meiggs, AE, pp. 600–601, with bibliography, and Mattingly, JHS 101 (1981), 78–86.

[81] See E. S. G. Robinson, "The Athenian Currency Decree and the Coinage of the Allies," Hesperia Suppl. 8 (1949), 324–40; J. P. Barron, The Silver Coins of Samos (London, 1966), 50–93; P. Gardner, "Coinage of the Athenian Empire," JHS 33 (1913), 147–88. ML, pp. 115–17, provides brief discussion. Breaks in the coinage of Ainos, Abdera, and Knidos have apparently been detected (Meiggs, AE, p. 601), but the chronology is quite uncertain.

[82] Mattingly, JHS 101 (1981), 85f., and in Carradice, ed., Coinage and Administration, p. 65, with n. 2, where he emphasizes that the evidence is most "limited."

[83] Surely its omission by Pseudo-Xenophon, when it would have been so relevant to his discussion, is a case in point.


To speak of the "imperialistic tone" of the Coinage Decree as being more suitable to the time of Cleon will not be persuasive to those who have assimilated this decree into what they conclude was the "temper" of the era of the peace—notwithstanding that, except for the Cleinias Decree, itself of uncertain date,[84] there is nothing to tell us about the psychology of the period, though it is certainly clear that the importance of the Peace of Callias was not exactly trumpeted by contemporaries. Even so, it seems undeniable that the heady days of Athenian imperialism under Cleon and his successors, when the Athenians acquired the frame of mind that proved to be the ruin of Melos, suit perfectly the spirit of this peremptory and unnecessarily intrusive decree.

When we take together, then, the negative numismatic evidence, which seems corroborated by the apparent alteration in Thasian measures in the twenties, with the allusion in Aristophanes to a topical and strident analogue of the decree, the argument from letter-forms, in this case already tenuous because the fragment is Coan, may legitimately be resisted. The conclusion based on the association of this decree with the advent of the Peace of Callias appears no more substantial than the current interpretation and restoration of the Strasbourg Papyrus. The inclination to impute "imperialistic decrees" to Pericles on the basis of a hazardous theory about the momentous effect of the Peace of Callias can only be deprecated. Reverberations of the peace have been amplified in the modern literature well beyond what the testimonia suggest or allow.

The preceding arguments, though negative in the sense that they attempt to clear away the odd pieces of furniture arranged around the Peace of Callias and to detach that peace from our conception of the manner in which the Athenian empire developed from the league of 478/7, if they seem reasonable, will adjust and correct our perspective about that momentous development. The conceptual error has been to consider the date 478/7 as the start of a new epoch—thereby encouraging the biological analogy holding that all things have a tender beginning (i.e., 478/7), grow to maturity (i.e., 450) and then old age (i.e., 425), instead of recognizing that the acquisition of hegemony was itself part of a larger sequence in which Athenian behavior had already become pronouncedly aggressive. The "new" era properly began in

[84] The "close connection" with the Cleinias Decree is stressed by Meiggs (among others) in AE , pp. 165ff. For the date of the Cleinas Decree, see Appendix 10.


508/7, when the Athenians acquired their democracy and began the process of expanding their power.

When isagoria[85] was established in consequence of the liberation from the tyranny, the Athenians became, as Herodotus judged (5.78), a people like unto no other. In speaking of their actions immediately subsequent to the reforms of Cleisthenes, Herodotus emphasizes their metamorphosis. He asserts that

freedom is an excellent thing; since even the Athenians, who, while they continued under the rule of the tyrants, were not a whit more valiant than any of their neighbors, no sooner shook off the yoke than they became decidedly the first of all. These things show that, while undergoing oppression, they let themselves be beaten, since then they worked for a master; but so soon as they got their freedom, each man was eager to do the best he could for himself. (trans. Rawlinson)

The facts more than bear out the truth of Herodotus's appraisal. The Athenians, having already expelled Cleomenes, the king of Sparta, from Attica, then defeated the armies of Boeotia and Chalcis in 506 in two battles on the same day (Hdt. 5.74ff.). What is more astonishing and relevant, they expelled the aristocrats of the land, the Hippobotai, from Chalcis, and in contravention of established principles of warfare (we are reminded of the phrase used by Thucydides to characterize the Athenian reduction of Naxos,

)[86] they appropriated the land for themselves by turning the plain of Lelantos into a cleruchy of two thousand men at the least, though Herodotus sets the number at four thousand (5.77).[87] Around the same time, moreover, they repeated this audacity by expelling the Salaminians from their island and settling their own citizens there too.[88] Then came the battle of Marathon. Thereafter, the sudden increase of wealth that fell to them by the discovery of rich silver at Laureion was immediately employed for the construction of ships of war (Hdt. 7.144). Thucydides believed (1.14.3) that they were built in prevision of the coming invasion of Xerxes. At any rate, even if this were true and not part of the Themistocles legend,[89] Themistocles promoted the argument that they would be useful for the war against the Aeginetans. Then, after using that fleet

[85] For this word, see Fornara, Philologus 114 (1970), 178–79, and, most recently, M. H. Hansen, "Was Athens a Democracy," Hist. Fil. Medd. 59 (1989), 24–25.

[86] See pp. 79ff. above.

[87] See Fornara, CSCA 10 (1977), 45ff.

[88] Schol. Pindar Nem. 2.19; IG i 1 = ML 14 = Fornara 44.

[89] See ch. 4, pp. 118ff.


with great success in the Persian War, they persisted in the face of Spartan objections in erecting defensive walls just after Xerxes' departure.[90] The next step was to impose the hegemony over the allies.

Let us now pass on to the immediately subsequent events. First we must ask what the Athenians actually accomplished with the potent force raised in order to pay back the barbarian by ravaging his territory. It is virtually impossible to read Thucydides 1.98–101 and not observe that the pattern already set by Athens continued egocentric and aggressive. Thucydides does little more than list the conquests of Eion, Skyros, Karystos, the revolt of Naxos, the battle of the Eurymedon River, the dispute with Thasos leading to its conquest, and the dispatch of 10,000 settlers to Ennea Hodoi in Thrace.[91] The attempted colonization of Ennea Hodoi was clearly a part of the same expansionist drive that before the establishment of the league had placed cleruchies on Chalcis and Salamis and, after it, had led to the enslavement of the people of Skyros and Karystos, whose lands also were given over to Athenian colonists. At Naxos, too, the Athenians perhaps established a cleruchy.[92]

Clearly, the focus of the actions under review here is not Delos but the Athenian prytaneion. Athens's stipulated goal, payment in kind to the barbarian, is implied almost by way of exception in Thucydides' list with his mention of the battle of the Eurymedon. Those who emphasize Athens's promotion of Hellenic interests at the head of the Delian Confederacy and explain her subversion of Naxos and Thasos as the principled reduction of "rebellious" allies stemming from Athens's wish to keep the alliance against the Mede intact surely must note that most of the action is on the wrong side of the Aegean. Thucydides' belief that the war against the Mede was a proschema for Athenian aggrandizement not only makes far better sense but serves also as the signpost vital for our proper appreciation of his purposes in writing the particular account of the Pentacontaetia that he has given us. Our tendency to concentrate upon the league and its "development" has diverted our attention from the larger issue that is Thucydides' proper theme: the utilization by Athens of an instrument of rule in order to become, in respect of power, the equal of the Peloponnesians. It would appear that

[90] See ch. 4, pp. 118ff.

[91] Fornara 62.

[92] Plut. Per. 11.5; Diod. 11.88.3; Paus. 1.27.5. Meiggs, AE , pp. 121ff., 530, argues for a date c. 450 for the cleruchies at Naxos and Karystos.


Thucydides' term, arche, used in 1.97.2, when he states that he will demonstrate how the "empire" arose, has been understood too precisely, as if he were speaking of the structure of what we call "the Athenian empire," much as we speak of the Roman or the British empire, thinking primarily of their institutional frameworks. Consequently, Thucydides' account, which actually is concerned with the development of Athenian power by way of the city's control over others, is studied with the wrong lens, as if his intention were merely to detail the transformation of the Delian League, and to trace the decline of the allies from partners to subjects. Hence the frequent charge that Thucydides' account stands incohesive and incomplete. To take one example, consider Gomme's accusation that Thucydides has failed to mention, though he should have included it, how Athens "strengthened her empire and how she managed its affairs";[93] specifically, that Thucydides ignores the transfer of the allied treasury from Delos to Athens in 454. The unspoken premise is that the Athenian empire developed by way of organizational changes effected in a league of which Athens originally claimed only the "simple leadership." But the transfer of the treasury, however significant in itself, attests to the fact that by 455 the league had atrophied and its "charter" was not even worth lip-service.

If Gomme had considered the possibility of writing a section in his Commentary on "Details in Thucydides' Excursus that should have been omitted," as well as the one about the omissions, he would have perceived that by his lights Thucydides acted arbitrarily in both respects. What is the precise relevance of the Athenian conquest and assimilation of Scyros and Karystos to the Athenian metamorphosis from "simple leader" of the confederacy to its imperial master? And how, again, is it affected by the grandiose failure of the Athenians in their attempt to settle Ennea Hodoi?[94] Thucydides' sketch of Athenian imperialism, his narrative of the steps by which Athens achieved control of the Aegean, is only partially a history of the Delian League; and though we may well wish that Thucydides had provided us with such a history, to Thucydides the crucial matter was to provide us with an analysis of, among other things, Athens's swift destruction of the league. But he does mention other things as well, equally relevant to his theme, such as the

[93] Gomme, HCT, 1.370

[94] Meyer, 3.492–94, rightly emphasized that Thrace was a logical target needing to be cleared of Persian garrisons, but the colonization of Ennea Hodoi transcends that strategy. For the successful resistance of Maskames at Doriskos, see Hdt. 7.106.


cleruchies, the battle of the Eurymedon, and, interestingly enough, those undertakings of Athens, also a measure of her power, that ended in failure—the disaster at Ennea Hodoi and the Egyptian Expedition.

If the reader will grant that the transformation of the alliance into a coercive instrument benefiting Athens came early, the rapidity postulated is nevertheless startling, and may require special explanation in order to render it psychologically comprehensible. The Athenians, if militant, were a people with a conscience: how could they have justified the naked egotism implicit in our reconstruction? The answer, paradoxically, lies in a bias against Asiatic Greeks, Ionians included, for the inference is compelling that the Athenians regarded even the Ionians, qua Asiatics, as a debased branch of the species. The situation, like many in the real world, is not without its internal contradictions. The Athenians were, of course, Ionians themselves. However, unlike the rest, who were, according to the received view, not indigenous to Attica, the Athenians believed themselves to be autochthonous. They had never migrated; above all, they had defeated the Persians twice in war, in 490[95] and in 480–79. But as to the Asiatics, Ionians included, it appears that the Athenians acquired the ruling prejudice of the Dorians who inhabited the harsh and poor Balkan peninsula,[96] and they worked out the contradiction by believing that they were superior to their Asiatic kindred.

That the Asiatic Greek was subject to denigration even early in the fifth century is as certain as these things can be. The Greek value-system placed stress on moderation, love of liberty, manliness, lack of ostentation, and a whole train of associated qualities that were, or seemed, the polar opposites of those for which the Ionians (as, for simplicity, we

[95] Consider the words of Herodotus in 6.112.3. Of Marathon he writes that "the Athenians were the first of all Hellenes of whom we know to have made a charge against [this] enemy, and were the first to endure to look upon Median dress and the men clothed in it." Herodotus, though Dorian and proud of it, was hardly an enemy of the Athenian branch of the Ionian race. His use of the word "Hellenes" in this passage is intriguing. On Herodotus's attitude to the Ionians, cf. D. Gillis, Collaboration with the Persians, Historia Einz. 34 (1979), 1ff., and see below.

[96] Though Ed. Meyer was rather inclined to gloss over this inherently ugly attitude, his perception of its existence is revealed in the following words: "Streng hielt man auf ehrbare Sitten, auf straffe Zucht der Jugend; man forderte die Hingabe jedes Bürgers an den Staat; man hatte zwar die neuen Formen der Dichtung und Kunst aufgenommen, aber von der radicalen Strömung und den weichlichen Formen, die aus Ionien kamen, wollte man nichts wissen" (Meyer, 3.477). On Ionian music, see Plato Rep. 399a–e. J. Adam, The Republic of Plato (Cambridge, 1963), ad loc., unjustifiably extenuates and delimits Plato's criticism.


shall denote the entire group) had become notorious before the end of the sixth century. They were famous for their luxury; they became symbols of the moral disaster and civic turmoil it could work. Both Callinus and Archilochus—who not so incidentally bragged of throwing away his shield—sang or warned of the fall of Magnesia as a result of the pursuit of pleasure (Athenaeus 525c). These memorable lines we owe to Xenophanes (DK 21 B 3) who, proving the exception to the rule, left Ionia to avoid enslavement: "They [the Colophonians] learned idle luxuries from the Lydians and, so long as they were free from hateful tyranny, they advanced into the agora dressed in purple robes, a thousand at a time, boastful men, reveling in their lovely locks, drenched with the odor of prepared unguents." This passage manages allusively to condemn the Colophonians for a whole group of connected vices: Lydianization, dandification, arrogance, and even the approaching descent into tyranny. But there are a number of other examples. In a fine verse, 1103, Theognis speaks of the destruction of Magnesia, Colophon, and Smyrna because of hybris. Enough remains to infer safely that, for all their great achievements, the Asiatic Greeks were chiefly conspicuous as the exemplars of the life of pleasure and effeminacy, an image confirmed by climatological theories and further reinforced by their reduction to slavery, as the Greeks put it, by Croesus, Cyrus, Darius, and Xerxes.[97] It is consequently to the point that the Athenians abandoned Ionian dress sometime after 500 by putting away their linen chitons and the golden grasshoppers with which the eudaimones adorned their hair (Thuc. 1.6.3). Thucydides perhaps implies that they wished to emulate the Spartans. A trend of this kind, in any case, does not come about by accident, and whether it be viewed as Dorianizing or as anti-Ionian, it is the same at bottom and attests to the repudiation by the Athenians of their Ionian kin.

We are entitled to believe, therefore, that the very bad reputation of the Ionians reflected in fifth century and later literature carried down

[97] There is a note of contempt in Aesch. Persae 771, referring to the subjugation of Ionia; H. D. Broadhead, The Persae of Aeschylus (Cambridge, 1960), ad loc., evaluates it incorrectly; Hdt. 6.32 deserves quotation here: "And now the generals made good all the threats wherewith they had menaced the Ionians before the battle. For no sooner did they get possession of the towns than they chose out all of the best favoured boys and made them eunuchs, while the most beautiful of the girls they tore from their homes and sent as presents to the king, at the same time burning the cities themselves, with their temples. Thus were the Ionians for the third time reduced to slavery; once by the Lydians, and a second, and now a third time, by the Persians" (trans. Rawlinson); cf. Aesch. Pers. 900f.


from the sixth century and was not simply a prejudice of recent origin. The emphasis is on Ionian hedonism and its attendant vices—weakness of will, an unmanly nature, and, most important, lack of devotion to freedom. Thus, though Herodotus's unconcealed contempt for the Ionians may well proceed from his own status as a Dorian and have been heightened by their ignominious subjection to Athens, his insistence on this aspect of their character undoubtedly reflects his belief that they were running true to form. Fifth-century conditions alone will not explain why Herodotus (4.142) makes the Scythians say of the Ionians (the dramatic date is 512) that "if viewed as free men, they were the basest and most unmanly of all mankind, while, if considered as slaves, they were creatures who loved their masters and were beyond all others least likely to escape." An even more suggestive passage, too long to quote in its entirety, is provided by Herodotus in 6.11–12. Just before the battle of Lade, the Ionians prove incapable of obeying the orders of Dionysius of Phocea, even though they have been persuaded that their only salvation lies in the adoption of discipline—talaiporein, Thucydides would say. But the Ionians give it up, Herodotus imputing the following sentiments to them:

Fools and distracted that we were to put ourselves into the hands of this Phocean braggart, who furnishes but three ships to the fleet. He, now that he has got us, plagues us in the most desperate fashion; many of us, in consequence, have fallen sick already—many more expect to follow. We had better suffer anything rather than these hardships; even the slavery with which we are threatened, however harsh, can be no worse than our present thraldom. Come, let us refuse him obedience. (trans. Rawlinson)

The passage is so apt that if one did not know better, one could almost believe that it was drafted in order to illustrate Thucydides 1.99. Thucydides himself, however, provides his own commentary in book 6 in the speeches he attributes to Hermocrates and Euphemus at Camerina in 415/14. Hermocrates excoriated the Ionians for their willingness to exchange one master, Persia, for another even worse (6.76.4); Euphemus, the Athenian ambassador, willingly conceded the point. We have, he says (6.82.4), done nothing unfair in building our empire; "they, our kinsfolk, came against their mother country, that is to say, against us, together with the Mede, and instead of having the courage to revolt and sacrifice their property as we did when we abandoned our city, chose to be slaves themselves, and to try to make us so" (trans. Crawley).


However refined and subtle Thucydides' rhetorical purposes, no doubt should exist that both speakers are manipulating, not inventing, what was a stock allusion prevalent even in 479. The contrast, indeed, could not have been more striking. The hardy and relatively poor men of Greece had conquered Xerxes, Ionian contingents and all. The Ionians, notorious for their luxury, seemed inured to servitude. In such circumstances, the Athenians' intolerant exercise of power becomes comprehensible. In the cliché, the Athenians forced the Ionians to be free; from their point of view, the Ionians were a pusillanimous group needing to be ridden hard. Any lapses in contributions or in military service required strict accounting, while defection from the league could be regarded as a typically irresponsible act deserving correction even in the face of "established usage." It may be, too, that Athens, as the metropolis of the Ionians, felt that she merited a freer hand to chastise these wayward children, who, left to their own devices, would probably revert to Medism as the easier course. Nothing, of course, is black and white; the Athenians' prejudice need neither have been extreme nor the Ionians unduly caricatured for them to be put at a distinct disadvantage, initially autonomous though they were, in their relations with the Athenians just after 478/7. Just as the Athenians believed in their own greatness, so also would they have been persuaded of the political inferiority of the Greeks with whom they forged alliance. In the circumstances, by an almost chemical reaction, the aggressive tendencies of the Athenians became more pronounced. Invested with the authority to tax these allies, and possessing superior military power, they quickly exploited a people not even theoretically their equals.

The rapidity of this development, therefore, becomes psychologically explicable when we consider the history and reputation of the Ionians, on the one hand, and, on the other, the heady self-confidence and pride of the Athenians, who had beaten the Persians at Marathon and endured to watch their city become ashes without losing heart before the conflict at Salamis. One is reminded of the arrogance of the French revolutionaries when they encountered the representatives of the old aristocracy as they conquered them, one by one, in Europe before and during the Napoleonic Wars. Hence the early foundation and solidification of the "rule" or "empire" by Cimon in his several capacities as general, administrator, and leader of the demos. After his rejection in 462, opinion in Athens about the arche and its propriety remained unaltered, though peace with Persia was another matter en-


tirely. Thus the Athenians made an effort late in the sixties (which we may associate with Ephialtes) to formalize the arrangement Cimon had already secured for the Aegean by attempting to negotiate with Artaxerxes,[98] a hope that proved unavailing until 449/8. When Pericles took up the reins of power after the passing of Ephialtes, apart from the question of peace with Persia, on which (we suppose) the democratic faction and Cimonid supporters were split, his chief theoretical difference from Cimon in foreign policy centered on Sparta and his presumed unflagging hostility to that power.[99] As to the empire itself, Pericles was Cimon's heir. The conclusion of peace with Persia simply freed him from constraint in what would become the next step in his plan of containing Sparta by a web of alliances from Phocis to Acarnania to Italy and Sicily—always keeping open the possibility of war with the Peloponnesians.

The older view of Pericles, therefore, which contrasted his policies with those of the succeeding "demagogues," most notably Cleon, is preferable to the opinion that he was the radical founder of a new imperialism and not the continuator of Cimonian rule.[100] We may surmise that their goals would not often have diverged in respect to imperial affairs. Defections, for instance, would be repressed with comparable vigor; it was a matter of public policy on which all Athenians united. Both leaders, Cimon and Pericles, unquestionably were quite as much the agents of the popular will in imperial affairs as they were its creators. If anyone lived in Athens who wished to renounce the empire, his name escapes us; the expression of such a view, whether guided by moral principle or political ideology, would have been taken by the citizenry as a mark of insanity.[101] "Periclean imperialism" connotes refinements in administration, whereby it was regularized and tightened, particularly in regard to judicial practice, [102] and a shift in attitude about the utilization of the "allied treasury"—with the exception of one other very important change indeed.

[98] See Appendix 7.

[99] See ch. 1, pp. 28f., and ch. 4, pp. 128ff.

[100] The "older view" may be found in Walker and Adcock, CAH, 5.106–10, 202–4; cf. Hignett, HAC, pp. 252 ff.; for a partial return to it, see F. J. Frost, Historia 13 (1964), 392–99.

[101] No "class" or political faction at Athens repudiated the empire. Thucydides son of Melesias, of course, repudiated the peace. See ch. 1, pp. 29f., with nn. 64ff.

[102] See Fornara, "The Phaselis Decree," CQ 29 (1979), 49–52, against G. E. M. de Ste. Croix, "Notes on Jurisdiction in the Athenian Empire," CQ 55 (1961), 94–112, 268–80. Cf. Meiggs, AE, pp. 220–33.


It is reasonable to suppose that Athens began the practice of installing democracies in subject states sometime after the departure of Cimon in 461. Cimon's political and social position makes unlikely the assumption that he actively promoted the expansion of democracy in the Aegean.[103] It is a fair inference for the same reason, that Pericles interfered whenever opportunity allowed, whether because of the outbreak of factional disputes (Ps.-Xen. 3.10) or on the occasion of the reduction of a rebellious government.[104] The practice arguably reflects Pericles' ideological commitment and the negative attitude towards more restrictive governments the possession of such a commitment implies. But motives of political expediency cannot be discounted, especially as time progressed, when governments of other types would have been readier to rebel.[105] The innovation had serious consequences, for ideological discord was introduced into communities comparatively free from such evils until that time.[106] For to observe that the city-states of the region were inevitably less politicized than the Athenians is not to idealize the Aegean landscape. The Athenians, after all, formed the vanguard of the new democratic movement. Being less advanced, and isolated from the ideological struggle Athens was waging with the Dorian aristocracies or oligarchies, Athens's subjects found themselves embroiled, suddenly and without preparation, in an internal social struggle. Unless we regard civil war as a justifiable means to a goal desired by a faction, the effect of this policy can only be lamented. Furthermore, the polarization of the people of the empire only complicated Athenian relations with the Spartans, who now began to appear to some members of the local propertied classes as potential champions, just as the Peloponnesians came to view them as possible allies to whom aid might be rendered with profit (Thuc. 1.40.5).

It was perhaps partly to contain this explosive situation that the allies were deprived of their jurisdiction over certain kinds of legal disputes.[107] Athens became the final court of appeal for trials involving the punishment of exile or death. (It was easier to stipulate the penalty than to categorize the relevant charges.) But the consequence was to strip

[103] Ps.-Xen. 3.11 refers to Athenian support of the "best" people on three occasions before c. 445, when they were aided in Boeotia, Miletos, and Sparta itself. See G. W. Bowersock, HSCP 71 (1966), 35–38.

[104] E.g., Erythrai, IG i 14 = ML 40 = Fornara 71.

[105] Cf. De Ste. Croix, Historia 3 (1954–55), 1–41.

[106] See H.-J. Gehrke, Stasis (Munich, 1985), pp. 268ff.

[107] IG i 40 = ML 52 = Fornara 103; see Meiggs, AE, pp. 224ff., Fornara, "IG i 39.52–57 and the 'Popularity' of the Athenian Empire," CSCA 10 (1977), 39–55.


the "allies" of their local autonomy, for to deprive these city-states of their legal jurisdiction over their own citizenry was to destroy their ultimate control over local affairs, making the Athenians the dispensers of punishment and favor. Nor is it tenable to suppose that Pericles was merely adopting an intrinsically appropriate means of ensuring fair play to proponents of Athens in the "allied" states. For the system applied in the very democracies the Athenians helped establish.[108] And this suggests that the motive of Athenian intervention was a consequence, not of condign assistance, but of the desire to rule actively. It is a sign of the arrogation of authority characteristic of all large bureaucracies, especially those with a reason to believe in their superiority. Such a spirit as this, certainly, is in keeping with the temper of Periclean Athens. If anything characterizes the Athenian attitude towards their "allies" from the fifties on, it is that they considered themselves superior beings ruling over natural subjects.

Whatever the reasons for removing the allied treasury to Athens in 454, for example, appropriation of the tribute money formalized the Athenians' "imperial" view of themselves and perception of the inferiority of their subjects. Dedication of a quota to the city's tutelary deity and the erection of a monumental block of marble on which to inscribe the names of tribute payers rather reminds one of oriental practice; in fact, it is precisely the kind of action we normally associate with the arrogance of despotism, whether Persian or Egyptian. The first tribute-quota stele attests to an extraordinary degree of pride, just as the size of the block[109] indicates vaulting self-assurance. Pericles' resolve to spend this treasure on Athenian citizens not only in return for public service but for the beautification of the imperial city was the next logical step. Most interesting, however, is the fact that Pericles' proposal to construct public buildings with these funds developed into a heated issue. It follows that this aspect of Athenian autocracy was resented even in Athens. Thucydides son of Melesias presumably felt that the treasure was allied money over which Athens had no exclusive moral claim, which should be kept apart in anticipation of the hour in which it would be needed once more against the Persians. The mere fact that Thucydides dared to provoke a conflict armed only with a moral principle with which to counter a policy in every respect bound to attract the Athenians tells us much. We are reminded of Cimon's expedition in

[108] See, e.g., IG i 40 = ML 52 = Fornara 103 (the Chalcis Decree).

[109] The dimensions of the lapis primus were 3.663 m × 1.109 m × 0.385 m (ML, p. 84); for photographs and diagrams, see ATL, 1.4ff.


aid of the Spartans. If there is a correlation between quixotic politics and personal integrity, Pericles' opponents, though perhaps old-fashioned, were as principled as they were myopic.

The same prideful spirit shines in other measures adopted by the Athenians under Pericles' leadership, and they are the more noteworthy because of their purely symbolic meaning. Perhaps the most remarkable was the procedure followed at the Dionysia. Every year, at this festival, the Athenians would fill their theatre and watch the porters carry in, talent by talent, the tribute received for the year. This display was censured even by Ioscrates (8.82), who cites it as a cause of Athenian unpopularity. The truth of his observation is not to be denied.

In truth, the Athenian empire evokes conflicting emotions in the heart, as well it should, for they reciprocate to the contradictions inherent in the "imperial democracy" that glorified self-rule but owed its material greatness to the subjection of others. We admire the dynamism and ability of the Athenians but deplore the hybris that, as Herodotus all but says, was the inevitable defect of the virtues raising them on high.


Chapter IV—
Athens and Sparta

Spartan-Athenian relations began in 511/10 B.C. as they ended in 404, with Athens conquered and placed in the hands of a clique of rich friends of Sparta. The inauspicious beginning presaged the travail of a century, and it is very hard to doubt that the initial brutality, as the Athenians could not but consider it, left its mark, made all the more indelible by Cleomenes' intervention c. 508/7. The Lacedaemonians accepted the repulse of Cleomenes; but had they been capable of predicting the future, the king of Sparta and the Lacedaemonians would have exerted themselves to the very limit to stifle the militant young democracy.

Sparta marched on Athens in 511/10 in order to put an end to Hippias's rule.[1] Although Spartan attention to the problem of Athenian tyranny may have been concentrated by the repeated injunctions of Delphi (Hdt. 6.123) requiring that the Lacedaemonians take this action,[2] it is plain that the liberation fully consorted with the Spartan policy of extirpating tyranny whenever opportunity allowed. The reason was the exact reverse of that which made Peisistratus well-remembered by the people of Athens. To Sparta, as the leading city-

[1] Hdt. 5.62–65. See G. Busolt, Die Lakedaimonier (Leipzig, 1878), 301ff.; id., Griech. Gesch., 2.369–400; G. L. Huxley, Early Sparta (Cambridge, Mass., 1962), p. 80; W. G. Forrest, A History of Sparta (London, 1980), pp. 80–81, 86–87.

[2] See ch. 1, p. 8.


state of aristocratic Greece, any regime repressive of the upper class was its natural enemy; in archaic times it was the tyranny, in later, democracy, and in the sixth century the Lacedaemonians vigorously prosecuted this policy.[3] A century later, it is true, the Lacedaemonians were "not quick to go to war" unless their interests were directly threatened. The judgment is Thucydides', and it should be taken at face value as an accurate statement of Spartan psychology as it developed by the mid fifth century.[4] But if Thucydides intended to memorialize an eternal verity, he was mistaken. The Lacedaemonians display an active foreign policy in the sixth century, which, after the war against Argos, resulted in the solidification of the Peloponnesian League; the alliance with the Lydian Croesus is not intrinsically suspicious, though it has been doubted, and it is certain that the Lacedaemonians involved themselves in Samian affairs in 524.[5] Even the disposition of Plataea in 519/18 attests the reach of their arm (Hdt. 6.108.2). If they declined to take Plataea under their own protection, it was but the sensible thing to do.[6] Indeed, though we may regard their opposition to Xerxes as inevitable regardless of their "policy," it is notable that Pausanias continued to prosecute the war in Ionia until he was removed by a conspiracy of the Athenians and the Ionians in 478/7 while Leotychides engaged, in Greece, in a Thessalian campaign (Plut. Moral. 859c). Herodotus informs us (9.35.2) that the Lacedaemonians fought two great battles, one in Tegea, the other in Dipaia, between the time of Plataea and

[3] Thuc. 1.18.1; see Rylands Papyrus 18, col. 2, lines 12–24 = Fornara 39B, and Plut. Moral. 859d for (problematical) lists of tyrants expelled by the Lacedaemonians, with Huxley, Early Sparta, pp. 69–71, 75. See also, however, Ath. Pol. 19.4 with Rhodes.

[4] It inverts his meaning to interpret the phrase, with De Ste. Croix, Origins, p. 95, as if it expressed the idea that the Lacedaemonians "did not lightly undertake wars of aggression;" Thucydides' frame of reference is the "typical" Greek state, one renowned neither for bellicosity nor passivity, and no such polis lightly undertook such wars. Thucydides means that Sparta, judged by normal standards was reluctant to go to war—that is, to engage in major conflicts.

[5] Hdt. 1.88; cf. 1.68.6; 1.69; 3.47–48; 3.46ff. The Lydian alliance was doubted by Jacoby, RE, Suppl. II, col. 383. For the Samian expedition, see Busolt, Die Lakedaimonier, pp. 275–277; Huxley, Early Sparta, p. 74; Forrest, History of Sparta, pp. 80–82. On the origins and organization of the Peloponnesian League, see Busolt, 1.710; Wade-Gery, CAH, 3.565–69; J. A. O. Larsen, "Sparta and the Ionian Revolt: A Study of Spartan Foreign Policy and the Genesis of the Peloponnesian League," CP 27 (1932), 136–50; "The Constitution of the Peloponnesian League," CP 28 (1933), 257–76, 29 (1934), 1–19; Kagan, Outbreak, pp. 9ff.; De Ste. Croix, Origins, pp. 101ff.

[6] Herodotus's explanation is not wide of the truth. The date is derived from Thuc. 3.68.5, and was disputed by Macan at Hdt. 6.108. See Gomme, HCT, ad loc., 2.358; De Ste. Croix, Origins, p. 167 n. 2; Forrest, op. cit., p. 85.


Tanagra. Although we do not know the details,[7] the inference that the Lacedaemonians were "not quick to go to war" during this time is gratuitous. A major shift in Spartan policy occurred, no doubt, after the great Helot Revolt of 464; fear of the helots together with a decline in manpower were vital factors in the evolution of the conservative Sparta Thucydides seems to have taken for granted.

If the aborted invasion of c. 506 is historical (Hdt. 5.89ff.), the Lacedaemonians made one further effort to dislodge the young democracy before accepting its existence as an accomplished fact. It is considerably more likely, however, that the entire episode is the invention of a later age that credulously piled up precedent upon precedent for the great clash of 431. This affair, in the first place, is set into the wrong context. In all probability, Athens's war with Aegina, to which the alleged invasion is tied, actually began about twenty years later, in the eighties.[8] Moreover, the motivation ascribed to the Lacedaemonians seems anachronistic. They allegedly were induced to initiate the campaign because of oracles taken from the acropolis of Athens by Cleomenes, which convinced them that "the Athenians were growing in power and no longer willing to obey them; they understood that if the Attic race remained free, it would become a force countervalent to their own" (Hdt. 5.91.1). Third, Sparta is supposed to have intended to reinstate Hippias, the son of Peisistratus, the tyrant who had been driven out by Cleomenes in 511/10—a turnabout involving too many internal contradictions to be taken seriously. Finally, the invasion never took place.

In the face of all these considerations, the Herodotean story should be rejected as a tendentious invention told him by the Athenians. In any event, accommodation between Athens and Sparta was reached at that time or shortly thereafter: the Lacedaemonians supported Athens against Aegina in the flare-up of 491 and came (though belatedly) to her assistance in 490, when the Athenians faced both the Persians at Marathon and the prospect of the return of Hippias (Hdt. 6.120).[9] If, therefore, the absence of information can legitimate conjecture, we may assume that Sparta, without the benefit of hindsight, viewed events

[7] Cf. Paus. 3.2.7, 8.8.6, and Isoc. 6.99; see also Busolt, 3.1.120–23; Macan, ad loc.; A. Andrewes, "Sparta and Arcadia in the Early Fifth Century," Phoenix 6 (1952), 1–5; W. G. Forrest, "Themistocles and Argos," CQ 10 (1960), 229–31.

[8] Hdt. 6.49ff.; see Meyer, 3.352f. For another view, cf. A. Andrewes, "Athens and Aegina, 510–480 B.C. " BSA 37 (1936–37), 1–7; on Aegina's membership in the Peloponnesian League at this time, see De Ste. Croix, Origins, pp. 333–34.

[9] See Macan, IV–VI, 2.97ff.


imperturbably. Cleomenes had made an effort to shore up the regime of Isagoras, who was his friend, and it had failed. But since the Cleisthenic politeia continued traditional practice, constituted no dangerous threat to Dorian superiority,[10] and was, if possible, even more antityrannist than the Lacedaemonians, there is no reason to suppose that Sparta greatly cared one way or the other. Surely, the Lacedaemonians could not have perceived with the clarity of Herodotus that Athens, now free, would become a counterpoise to Spartan hegemony.

Xerxes' invasion brought the two city-states into close contact without evident friction. The Themistoclean fleet may have vexed Aegina, and Themistocles Adeimantos of Corinth; but the emphasis placed by Herodotus on the rivalries of the Athenians, Corinthians, and Lacedaemonians presupposes the conditions of his own times, which he retrojected back into the Great War.[11] Unfortunately, little else exists to permit a ssessment of their relations.[12] The subordination to the Spartans necessitated by that crisis may well have grated, especially when the Athenians were compelled to suffer the devastation of their city while their enormous and newly acquired fleet[13] retrieved Greek fortunes at Salamis (Hdt. 8.40ff.). But they must have recognized at the time, as Herodotus failed later to see, that their fate was a consequence of strategic necessity, Boeotia being in Persian hands with the barbarian fleet still strong.[14] Artemision was not tenable after the capture of Thermopylae, and whether or not the Themistocles Decree is "historical,"[15] the decision to pull back to Salamis (and sacrifice Athens) was the only option open to the allied forces. More revealing, perhaps,

[10] A discerning eye might have observed with concern the actions taken c. 506 by the Athenians against Thebes and Chalcis (Hdt. 5.77), and against Salamis shortly thereafter (IG i 1 = ML 14 = Fornara 44B). But though these defensive and offensive operations may validly be regarded as precedents for Athens's development into a powerful city-state (see ch. 3), they probably were not viewed as more than local clashes at the time they occurred. It is also difficult to suppose that the Spartans were greatly interested in the fate of Ionian Chalcis. In any event, the enfranchisement of the demesmen of Attica (ch. 2) was presumably not inherently startling to the other members of the Greek community, which had already undergone comparable development.

[11] See Fornara, Herodotus, pp. 75–91.

[12] See Busolt's review of the sources, 2.600ff.

[13] Hdt. 7.144, Ath. Pol. 22.7, and n. 31 below.

[14] See Meyer, 3.384, and C. Hignett, Xerxes' Invasion of Greece (Oxford, 1963), 193ff.

[15] ML 23 = Fornara 55 and literature cited there. More recently, cf. N. G. L. Hammond, "The Narrative of Herodotus vii and the Decree of Themistocles at Troezen," JHS 102 (1982), 75–93; N. Robertson, "The Decree of Themistokles in Its Contemporary Setting," Phoenix 36 (1982), 1–44; A. J. Holladay, "The Forethought of Themistocles," JHS 107 (1987), 182–87.


of the mentality operating after the conclusion of the Great War is the remarkable reception given to the Athenian Themistocles by the Lacedaemonians. Themistocles apparently received more honor in Sparta than any other foreigner to visit the city (Thuc. 1.74.1, a speech).

The same individual, Themistocles, was actively involved in what tradition remembered as the first postwar rebuff of Sparta by the Athenians. The date of the episode is 479, when the Persians withdrew from Greece, probably before the winter; the Athenians and their Ionian and Hellespontine allies were laying siege to Sestos,[16] while the Athenians at home decided to rebuild their city walls.

The Lacedaemonians, perceiving what was intended, sent an embassy, in part because they would be happier to see neither the Athenians nor anyone else in possession of walls, but mainly because their allies urged them to do so, since they feared both the size of the Athenian fleet, which had not existed before, and that audacity of theirs, which had come into existence for the war against the Mede. (Thuc. 1.90.1)[17]

The ruse of Themistocles (1.90.3–92) that enabled the Athenians to build their wall in opposition to Sparta is a famous story, which became a central feature of the Themistocles legend, testifying at once to his fiery patriotism and his masterly ability to extemporize and deceive. This account, moreover, came to figure importantly in later reconstructions of the status of Athenian-Lacedaemonian antipathy and continues today to captivate modern students.[18]

[16] Thucydides temporally coordinates 89.3 with 89.2; it is a case in which he does not follow strict relative order.

[17] Diodorus 11.39.2 characteristically simplifies, imputing to the Lacedaemonians what Thucydides attributed to their allies. It is one of the signs of the inferential and unreliable procedure of Ephorus, who sought to expand and improve on Thucydides' account. See Busolt, 3.1.15; Meyer, 3.254; and Beloch, 2.2.8, 152 n. 1. Modern scholars must tread very warily if they attempt to supplement our major source, Thucydides, by resort to him. Ephorus is of course only as good as his own sources; until just prior to the Peloponnesian War, these sources were limited. The Atthidographic tradition was a great help (better by far than comedy) and to it we owe, for instance, Ephorus's date of the Peace of Callias (see ch. 3 and Appendix 7). But when some modern scholars appear to treat Ephorus as if he were the contemporary of Thucydides and the recipient of a viable tradition, especially for Spartan affairs, they merely compound Ephoran fiction. Such supplementation does not improve, though it may augment, the historical record. For Ephorus, see Ed. Schwartz, Griechische Geschichtschreiber (Leipzig, 1959), pp. 3–26, esp. pp. 22f. (reprint of RE, 6.1–16), and Fornara, Nature of History, pp. 42ff.

[18] Cf. Diod. 9.39–40, Plut. Them. 19. Beloch, 2.2.149f. rightly rejects the legend. It is accepted, with reservations, by Meyer, 3.48. More recent scholars are more credulous: see Kagan, Outbreak, pp. 35–37; Sealey, History, pp. 239–41; Frost, Them., p. 174 (ad Plut. Them. 19.3). De Ste. Croix, Origins, p. 168, supposes that the Athenians fearedactual "forcible intervention" by Sparta or they would not have risked angering the Spartans by such a ruse. It is precisely this illicit paradox which establishes the legendary character of the story.


The story, however, invites caution. Themistocles was the very type of early Athenian about whom exaggerative stories were bound to accumulate as a matter of course, for he became greatly admired, not merely for the fertility of his wit or the manner of his death, but for his role as the founder of the "modern" city-state of Athens.[19] That Themistocles became a cult-hero of the Pericleans is evident from the extraordinary interest he excited in Thucydides;[20] it may be inferred, as well, from the fact that his adventure, like the others, became a topos in later writers like Andocides (3.38; cf Plato Gorgias 455d). Certainly Themistocles' reputation cannot have been redeemed until a generation or so after his death at the earliest; and the obvious explanation, apart from his charismatic life, is the singular correlation between Themistoclean and Periclean policy.[21] This, of course, does not make the story into a fable. But it does suggest that we need to be cautious in assessing an anecdote forming an important part of the larger legend. Suspicion intensifies when we recollect that, from a later perspective, the construction of the walls could be regarded by the Athenians as the vital step in the creation of imperial Athens.[22] It might have followed, then, that a decision of such fateful significance would inevitably have been opposed by Sparta. If this were all, reverence for a Thucydidean tradition might dictate the suppression of our doubts. But there is something more: the speedy pace of the wall-building could be inferred, and exaggerated, because of the conglomerate nature of the material used—the ruins of the devastated city—while this in turn easily can have suggested that the wall had been hastily constructed in order to repel an imminent attack (1.93). This story has all the features we associate with aetiological fictions.

In the light of that possibility, let us consider the implication of Thucydides' attribution of the potentially anachronistic motive not to Sparta but to her allies. The detail is intriguing and suggests that Thu-

[19] See Thuc. 1.93.3 with 1.138.3–4; cf. Ar. Eq. 811–16, 884f.

[20] See the preceding note. It is worth mention that critics of the demos among the comic poets did not take to Themistocles (see W. Schmid and O. Stählin, Geschichte der griechischen Literatur [Munich, 1946], 4.126 n. 8), though Aristophanes (see n. 19) conceded his importance and further indicates (Eq. 83f.) that the legend was in the air.

[21] See ch. 2, p. 59.

[22] Andoc. 3.37–38 (wall and the fleet), Diod. 11.39.2 (the Peiraeus); cf. Plut. Them. 19 (ad fin.), Aristod. 5 (FGrHist 104).


cydides himself had certain difficulties with the story. Obviously, he could not know what was in the minds of the Lacedaemonians in 479, yet he felt it necessary to split hairs and distinguish them from their allies in this particular. The reason must lie in the fact that he did not consider this motivation yet appropriate to the Spartans (for reasons he provides in 1.95.7). So he compromised by imputing to a third party or parties what may, in general terms, have seemed just plausible enough—viz., that Athens's new seapower would render her dangerous if it was accompanied by city walls. But whether he had the Corinthians or the Aeginetans in mind—if, indeed, he isolated anyone in particular when he wrote these words—makes little difference. The telling observation is that Thucydides' account bears the signs of an attempt to accommodate the legend to historical reality by transferring the motive to a secondary political actor because it was implausible to assign it to the Spartans.

Thucydides' recourse to a third party helps us to appreciate his subtlety but undermines the story as insufficiently grounded in historical likelihood. For, as we have observed, the basic presupposition of the episode is that the Athenians tricked Sparta and accelerated the building of their walls in anticipation of a Spartan invasion.[23] Are we prepared to believe that the history of 431 repeated itself in 479, and that the Lacedaemonians, "who simply preferred that every city be unfortified," to paraphrase Thucydides, nevertheless contemplated an invasion of Attica at the behest of others because they predicted the consequences of that activity? The presumption does not suit the requirement of the historical moment. Thucydides' report of the Spartan demand and contemplation of war will not square with the approval given shortly thereafter by the Lacedaemonians of Athens's assumption of the hegemony of the Delian League (Thuc. 1.95.7).[24] It was the acquisition of the league, not her possession of a fleet in 479/8, much less her city walls, that permitted Athens to become, eventually, a formidable threat. In fact, the fleet was not even then—in the seventies—a serious menace to the Greeks of the mainland; that development awaited the construction of the Long Walls, which made the city immune to invasion and secure in its navy. The psychology attributed to the allies of the Lacedaemonians is anachronistic and the policy imputed to the Lacedaemonians on their behalf is absurd.

[23] See n. 18 above.

[24] See n. 25 below.


In the form in which it it presented, therefore, the episode should be rejected. Its origin may lie in the fact that the Lacedaemonians indeed urged Athens to refrain from fortifying the city. They would have liked, no doubt, to see the Athenians vulnerable, if only because the cardinal principle of Spartan policy was to preserve and enhance Sparta's hegemony over the Greeks. Even so, the Lacedaemonians probably meant what they said. The return of a new Persian expedition was a distinct possibility, insofar as this could be known, and if such a thing occurred, Sparta would place the final line of defense at the Isthmus, making Athens expendable once again. The existence of walls at Athens, on the other hand, might complicate this strategy by requiring the defense of Athens. Granting the request, we may also grant the dispatch of Themistocles to Sparta in order to justify the Athenian decision to press on with the fortifications. It is at this time, in all probability, that Themistocles was lionized at Sparta. On this foundation was erected a fabulous structure, which came to include some of the standard features of the Themistocles legend—for instance, his resort to bribery.[25] By the time of Thucydides, the unsophisticated considered the event a precursor of Spartan-Athenian enmity, leading still later writers to "correct" the tradition about Athens's acquisition of the leadership in the Ionian war against Persia. Thus Aristotle (Ath. Pol. 23.2), who inferred that the Lacedaemonians must have been "unwilling" when Athens supplanted Sparta because of the Pausanias affair.[26] Thucydides himself made a compromise allowing him to save a tradition at odds with his own theory of the development of Spartan fear.

If we have concentrated our attention on the historicity of this episode, it is chiefly because of the importance it attained in the post-Thucydidean tradition, where it becomes the justification of an elabo-

[25] Cf. Andoc. 3.38; Theopompus in Plut. Them. 19.1 = FGrHist 115 F 85; see Fornara, Historia 15 (1966), 257–61.

[26] Attempts have been made to reconcile Ath. Pol. 23.2 and Thuc. by emending the text (J. B. Mayor, "Notes on the Text of the ATHENAION POLITEIA ," CR 5 [1891], 112; W. Vollgraff, "Ad Aristotelis librum de Republica Atheniensium," Mnemosyne 50 [1922], 293–94) or by forced interpretations, e.g., that the Spartans were "unwilling to keep the leadership" (Gomme, HCT, 1.272; ATL, 3.192 n. 30). Rhodes, AP, ad loc., pp. 291–92, accepts the reading of the papyrus and its natural sense; M. H. Chambers (as he informs us; cf. his Aristoteles Staat der Athener [Berlin, 1988], ad loc.) thinks the phrase means the Athenians took over the leadership "despite the unwillingness of the Spartans to have them do so." These attempts are invalidated by Plut. Arist. 23.7, which shows that the Thucydidean tradition, understood in the normal way, survived in spite of the fourth-century revisionism. Meyer, 3.472–74, provides a valuable commentary on the status of Sparta at that time.


rate and fictitious reconstruction of immediately subsequent events. As has been noted, Aristotle considered it necessary to insist (against Thucydides) that the Lacedaemonians were hostile to the transfer of the hegemony of the naval league to Athens. Now here we must be careful to separate the historical question from a historiographical one. That some Lacedaemonians possessed the vision to back Pausanias and desired to maintain a presence in the east is entirely credible,[27] and it is confirmed by the dispatch of Dorcis after Pausanias's recall (Thuc. 1.95.6). The question, however, is whether a tradition existed unknown to Thucydides or silently rejected by him, which was accessible to the fourth century, to the effect that this issue prompted division in Sparta such that, if not in 479, then five years later, debate raged as to the desirability of wresting back the hegemony from the Athenians by force.

Diodorus 11.50.2, under the year 475/4, reports precisely such a tradition, in reliance on Ephorus, the fourth-century historian who served as his primary source for the period. According to Diodorus-Ephorus:

The younger men and most of the others were zealous in their desire to regain the hegemony in the belief that, if they made it their own, they would enjoy the benefit of much revenue and, in general, make Sparta great and more powerful. Meanwhile, the homes of private individuals would acquire a great enhancement of their prosperity.

They alluded to the old oracle forbidding them to allow their hegemony to become "lame," pointing out that this would occur if they renounced "the other of the two hegemonies" (11.50.4). But Hetoimaridas, a member of the gerousia (who takes the role played by Archidamus in 431), dissuaded them from going to war with "surprising arguments," which, alas, Diodorus does not provide. And so the threat died.

This tradition, which, incidentally, was quite unknown to Xenophon (Hellenica 6.5.34), is a logical development of the situation inherent in the episode of the walls, and it stands or falls together with it.[28] Let us not forget, moreover, that this tradition (which also implies the obsolescence of the Lycurgan reform and the increase of wealth brought

[27] Ernst Badian, letter to C. W. Fornara.

[28] "Freie von Thuk. I, 95, 7 angeregte Komposition," Busolt, 3.1.16. Cf. Meyer, 3.481, 488f. This episode is accepted by Kagan, De Ste. Croix et al.; cf. E. Badian, EMC 23 n.s. 7 (1988), 302 n. 19.


Sparta by Lysander at the end of the century) obfuscates the distinction pressed by Thucydides. Here the Spartans, not the allies, are the farseeing proponents of a preemptive war. Indeed, they read the future so well that they apparently predicted the transformation of the "league" into an "empire" as the basis on which Sparta was lamed and the houses of private Athenians filled with riches.

The story of Hetoimaridas is one of the most transparent fictions of fifth-century history, and its acceptance by Kagan and de Ste. Croix, among others, seems surprising. What is presupposed, after all, is a fifth-century historical account, later available to Ephorus, providing an analysis of Spartan-Athenian relations in the Thucydidean vein, in rich detail but in counterpoint to Thucydides' own. Such an account would in the first place be a historiographical anomaly, for the putative source of Ephorus (if we wished seriously to pursue this will-o'-the-wisp) must be (at least) the contemporary of Thucydides and the author of a full-dress history of Spartan-Athenian relations during the Pentacontaetia. More important, Thucydides' sketch is explicitly incompatible with any such development as that postulated by Diodorus. According to Thucydides, when the Spartans received their check in the matter of the Athenian wall-building, they were "secretly vexed" (1.92) though still "friendly" at the time of the transfer of the hegemony (1.95.7).[29] When the Thasians rebelled in 465, the alleged Spartan promise to come to their aid was kept a "secret" (1.101), and the "secret" had obviously not come out by the time Cimon persuaded the Athenians to send a force to Sparta's assistance after the great earth-quake precipitated the Third Messenian War. It was only then, when, in that curious volte face of the Lacedaemonians, they dismissed Cimon's forces, that the first sign of "open enmity" appeared (1.102.3; cf. 1.18.3).

The story about Hetoimaridas presupposes events of later occurrence that Thucydides provides to explain the development of hostility between the Spartans and the Athenians. It is not, therefore, a mere

[29] That Thucydides' analysis is itself conjectural goes without saying, and one may doubt whether his systemization of the "development of enmity" is wholly satisfactory. But his analysis followed from his understanding of the tradition; it did not precede it or develop independently from it—he had no motive to cook the books. We therefore have no warrant to believe that he ignored relevant facts that would have contradicted his system. If the traditions were otherwise pointed, Thucydides would have developed some other hypothesis in conformance with them. His conception of Spartan "fear" may be integral to his account of the Pentacontaetia, but that is very different from assuming that he blindly proposed this thesis in the face of extant evidence that could have overturned it.


argument from silence—a conclusion from Thucydides' "omission" of the episode—to insist that Hetoimaridas's alleged suasion of the Spartans comes at the wrong end of a psychological progression carefully charted by Thucydides. If the Lacedaemonians had been on the point of declaring war in 475 (and on this Thucydides 1.118.2, already mentioned, is a useful commentary) or the possibility had been even raised in public debate, Thucydides incomprehensibly distorted the historical record by suggesting that Spartan fear of Athens, the kind that would be capable of leading to war, required time and a prehistory of suspicion for its development.

What Ephorus has done is clear. His own perfect understanding of the importance of Athens's acquisition of the leadership of the naval league made it obvious to him that all the world must have shared his perception of its significance at the very time it occurred. The error of judgment at least had the advantage of permitting him, more suo, to improve rhetorically the more arid stretches of early fifth-century history and, no small gain, to let loose a broadside against the Spartans.

None of this should be taken to suggest, however, that the Lacedaemonians were unconcerned about Athenian behavior, at least by the late seventies, though the cause for displeasure was located on the home front, not across the Aegean. Unfortunately, it is one of the most serious gaps in our chain of evidence that we are unable to reconstruct the inner politics of Athens in the decade of the seventies so as to be able to speak with any confidence about Themistocles' activities during this period.[30] Themistocles had been archon in 493; a decade later he carried the proposal to create an Athenian navy;[31] in 480 he was the general most responsible for the victory at Salamis; after 478/7 he rendered himself obnoxious to the new allies because of his rapacity (Plut. Them. 21.3–4). As stated earlier in chapter 2,[32] there can be little doubt that his patriotism took the form of antagonism to the Lacedaemonians. He was old enough to remember Cleomenes' invasion c. 508/7 and may well have been a follower of Cleisthenes, whose allegiance to the demos excluded admiration for the Spartan aristocracy. If we may infer so much from Thucydides' admiration of this figure, he was a fierce proponent of Athens's autonomous position in Greece—one of those, in

[30] See W. G. Forrest, CQ 10 (1960), 221–41; F. J. Frost, "Themistocles' Place in Athenian Politics," CSCA 1 (1968), 119–24, and id., Them.

[31] On Thuc. 1.93.3, see M. Chambers, "Themistocles and the Peiraeus," in Dow Studies, GRBS Monographs no. 10 (1984), pp. 43–50.

[32] P. 59.


other words, who regarded the claim of Sparta to be hegemon of the larger Hellenic symmachy against the Mede (Thuc. 1.102.4) as a supererogation, insisting, instead, on Athenian equality and independence.

For we must bear in mind that ideas like "independence" and "equality" are subjective terms as well as objective descriptions of the legal status of states and people. That Athens was not the "inferior" of Sparta but its independent equal is a correct statement in theory. It does not, however, even remotely do justice to the realities of the situation. It was a part of the nature of things that the Spartans were the ultimate arbiters of Greek affairs; indeed, their authority was so unquestioned that armed interference was a rarity.[33] Together with their position of military supremacy, they also possessed what most Greeks considered to be the finest system of government in the land, and they represented, in addition, the flower of the Dorian aristocracy, then the ruling element in Greece. Such authority as derived from the Spartan preeminence was ultimately extralegal, however much it was validated and objectified by the Spartans' leadership of the Peloponnesian League, and they retained the superiority it implied throughout the fifth century, when it was recognized even by many upper-class Athenians.[34] The point is important, for one of the main causes of the antagonism between these powers is that Sparta could no more contemplate Athens's real equality than Athens could accept any limitation on her ability to act in pursuit of her own interests.

Themistocles, we infer—not the allies of the Spartans in 479 or the Spartans themselves in 475—was endowed with the prescience to understand the latent incompatibility of the two cultures and labored in the seventies to isolate and diminish Spartan authority in Greece itself. That, at least, is the only assumption that seems sufficient to explain the otherwise puzzling report of the activities he pursued in the Peloponnesus between the period of his ostracism and the date of his banishment on the charge of Medism, which latter we very tentatively set in the year 471/70.[35] The implication that he was vexatious to Sparta

[33] See p. 115 above. Of course, the nature of the case precludes the existence of testimonia.

[34] FGrHist 107 F 4 = Plut. Cim. 4–5 illustrates the principle.

[35] See Frost, Them., pp. 187–92, who discusses the debate. The question of whether 471 dates the exile or the ostracism (cf. Fornara, Historia 15 [1966], 271) rests on alternative considerations so evenly balanced that we would perhaps be wiser to avoid taking any position here; another thorough review of all the evidence is desirable. Seeabove, ch. 2, n. 61. On Themistocles' activities in the Peloponnesus, see W. G. Forrest, CQ 10 (1960), 221–41; Frost, Them., pp. 192–93; A. J. Podlecki, The Life of Themistocles (Montreal and London, 1975), pp. 37–38.


when he lived at Argos after the ostracism is the core of what we actually know; the rest is speculation. We do not know on what issue his ostracism turned, and we are in no position to confirm or deny that his banishment for Medis as justifiable. The presumption should be that it was. If Pausanias trafficked with the Great King, Themistocles may also have done so, as the Athenians believed.[36] It was a line of approach taken earlier by Cleisthenes and, eventually, by Pericles. It need hardly be said, moreover, that any power in Greece that could become the representative of the Great King might well rule the destiny of Hellas. The idea is not inconceivable, therefore, that Themistocles urged accommodation with Persia on the basis of the status quo in the late seventies, and that the issue not only brought him squarely against Cimon but gave color to the charge the Lacedaemonians later raised against him (Thuc. 1.135.2). But conjecture of this kind is ultimately self-defeating. We are supposed to be writing history, "what Alcibiades actually did," not tragedy,[37] and for that we need corroborative detail.

That the Athenians were as yet unprepared to risk opposing Sparta in Greece, and still preferred to follow the traditionalist leadership of men like Cimon is a reasonable inference from the data preserved by Thucydides concerning the ostracism and the exile. Cimon was undoubtedly a central figure in this context. As Athens's greatest military commander, he was an avowed imperialist to whom (one supposes) the extension of Athenian power must have been life's greatest glory. But his instincts were conservative and he knew the value of half a loaf. Sharing the common attitude of his class towards Sparta, he could only deplore Themistocles' anti-Spartan policies. If we may believe Cimon, as he expressed himself at a later time, there was no necessity why Athens and Sparta, yoked together as equals, should not exercise dominance over Greece without mutual hostility (Plut. Cim. 16.10). Such acceptance of a "dyarchy" would also have had inner political ramifications, for the radical wing of the Athenian demos, of which we presume Themistocles to have been the leader, nurtured or began to nurture certain views about the Athenian politeia that would have been

[36] Cf. J. F. Barrett, "The Downfall of Themistocles," GRBS 18 (1977), 291–305; N. D. Robertson, "The True Nature of the Delian League," AJAH 5 (1980), 78–80, supposes, oddly, that the refusal of Pausanias and Themistocles to participate in the extortion of payments from Medized states earned them the accusation.

[37] Arist. Poet. 9. See Fornara, Nature of History, pp. 93–96.


abhorrent to the Spartanophiles and disruptive of the establishment over which they presided. Cimon's alignment with Sparta and against Themistocles therefore represents a distinct and coherent position unifying foreign and domestic policy, in which each corroborated the other.[38]

That policy, however, was irreparably impaired in consequence of a natural disaster, the great earthquake at Sparta in 464. The revolt of the helots triggered the Spartan request for assistance from Athens. Cimon, by endorsing it, and even while providing it, undermined his political support at home.[39] The "First Peloponnesian War" soon followed.

The psychology prevailing at Sparta between 465, when Thasos rebelled, and 461, when Cimon was ostracized, is as open to dispute as is the interpretation of the factual record. It may be doubted, for example, whether the Lacedaemonians actually granted the "secret promise" to remove pressure from the Thasians by invading Attica, a promise that, according to Thucydides, failed of implementation only because the great rebellion of the helots diverted Spartan attention from it (1.101.2). For it is difficult to believe that the Spartans were sufficiently frightened of Athenian power to contemplate invasion of Attica for the sake of Thasos, and virtually at the same time trusting enough to introduce the Athenians in force into their desolated country. Therefore, since it is a "non-event," and, what is more, a secret unfulfilled promise, skepticism is permissible, particularly when one considers the freedom with which propaganda will have been invented at the time, or shortly after it, to justify anti-Spartan behavior.

A more complicated problem is posed by the apparently inconsequential actions of the Spartans. Having invited Cimon into their country, they insulted him and Athens by abruptly dismissing his army, though they kept their other allies at hand (Thuc. 1.102). To those who are prepared to impute any absurdity to the Spartans, provided that it is sufficiently stupid or insensitive,[40] Thucydides' narrative may present no difficulties whatever. Let us, however, consider what is involved. Deeply mired in crisis, the Spartans begged assistance of the Athenians

[38] It is dangerous to extrapolate from the events of 462/1, and our conjectures could be erroneous; but in the absence of other evidence, the hypothesis seems relatively straightforward.

[39] See ch. 2, p. 59.

[40] A. J. Holladay, "Sparta's Role in the First Peloponnesian War," JHS 97 (1977), 55, argues that Sparta had no intention of insulting Cimon. Paradoxical arguments about "intentions" when the historical sequence is unproblematical require no rebuttal. For another attempt at exculpation, see J. R. Cole, "Cimon's Dismissal, Ephialtes' Revolution, and the Peloponnesian Wars," GRBS 15 (1974), 369–85.


(Pericleidas, as Aristophanes burlesqued it, sitting as a suppliant at Athenian altars, "pale in his dark red cloak").[41] At such a pass, when the consequences could be dangerous, they would not have incited the Athenians capriciously. Moreover, it was no secret that Cimon had staked his political future on rendering aid to Sparta, knowing full well the unpopularity of his proposal. His speech was a famous one; his contemporary Ion of Chios even recorded it.[42] Thus the Spartan insult would have fallen most heavily on Cimon, the friendly leader of a potentially hostile Athens—and this at a time when friends were greatly needed. Some better explanation seems required for Spartan behavior than the reason Thucydides gives us in 1.102.3 for Cimon's dismissal:

When the Lacedaemonians did not take the place by storm, fearing the daring and revolutionary spirit of the Athenians, and at the same time considering that they were of an alien race, they worried that if they remained at hand they might be persuaded by the helots in Ithome to start trouble. So they sent them away.

Now it will be noticed that the Lacedaemonians did not discover in 462 that the Athenians possessed a "daring and revolutionary spirit" or learn for the first time that they stemmed from an alien race. These facts were known before they requested assistance and Cimon was called in. Therefore, they provide no cogent explanation for his astonishing dismissal. Unless we assume that Cimon's troops actually conspired with the Messenians in 462 (and that notion is inadmissible), the real explanation of this otherwise gratuitous humiliation must be sought not in Lacedaemonia but in Athens.

The revolution in Athens explains the abrupt about-face.[43] Not only was it the concrete manifestation of the "daring and revolutionary spirit" to which Thucydides vaguely refers, which was (as the event proved) explicitly anti-Spartan, but it involved a sudden new approach to foreign policy that cannot but have frightened the Lacedaemonians. Thucydides (1.102.4) reports that, after Cimon's dismissal, the Athenians, "taking this [insult] dreadfully and not deeming it acceptable to suffer such treatment at the hands of the Lacedaemonians, immediately after [Cimon's] withdrawal, having renounced the offensive and defensive alliance with them that was formed against the Mede, became the allies of the Argives, who were the enemies of the Lacedaemonians."

[41] Ar. Lys. 1137–44; Fornara 67.

[42] FGrHist 392 F 14 = Plut. Cim. 16.10; cf. Cim. 9, Per. 5.

[43] Ch. 2, pp. 61ff.


They further concluded still another alliance, this one with the Thessalians.[44]

One wonders whether Thucydides was intentionally opaque, and even whether he may perhaps have been misled by the "imprecise" Hellanicus, so that the sequence of events he reports may be in error. But we have no warrant to rewrite the tradition to suit ourselves, and, in any case, the alliance with Argos presupposes the dispatch of embassies before it was ratified: nothing prohibits the assumption that the news of Ephialtes' revolution, combined with the tidings of a reversal in foreign policy, gave Sparta no choice but to send Cimon away.[45] Cimon underwent ostracism shortly after his return to Athens, and a new chapter in Athenian-Spartan relations, one of "open enmity," was soon initiated under the leadership of Pericles.

The genie was out of the bottle. Athens aggressively pursued her own interests (or Spartan discomfiture)[46] in Greece while, at the same time, extending her power far eastward, even into Egypt. Megara was brought into the Athenian alliance and the Athenians commenced full-scale war against the Peloponnesian states of Corinth, Epidaurus, and, above all, Aegina, "the eye-sore of the Peiraeus," while Pericles commenced the building of the Long Walls (Thuc. 1.107.1).[47] The walls ran west-southwest and southwest, connecting Athens with both the Peiraeus (the "northern wall") and Phalerum, Athens's old harbor, making the entire area a self-contained triangle, with Athens at the apex, enclosed by walls but open to the sea. This labor, more than any other,

[44] For this alliance, see Busolt, 3.1.71f. Busolt's discussion of the Argive and Thessalian alliances (3.1.297f.) is inadequate; De Ste. Croix, Origins, pp. 180ff., causes the Athenian/Argive alliance to grow out of Athenian fear of the Spartans after Cimon's dismissal. See Meiggs, AE, p. 89 n. 3.

[45] One cannot but be struck by the fact that two events separately described by Thucydides (renunciation of the alliance against the Mede and alliance with Argos) are susceptible of natural mutual relation: Argos was a Medizing city-state. For the relation of this set of events to Athens's first attempt to make peace with Persia, see Appendix 7.

[46] Attempts have been made to separate the First Peloponnesian War from Sparta and to limit it to Athens and Corinth (e.g., by D. M. Lewis—see n. 58 below). But though the enmity chiefly flared between Athens and Corinth, Sparta was hardly unconcerned or capable of maintaining her distance. Sparta was as obligated to come to the assistance of Corinth, Aegina, and other trouble spots in 459 as in 431; the arguments floated by Corinth in 432/1 (Thuc. 1.68–71, 120–24) would have been no less pertinent during the First Peloponnesian War: if anything, they would have been more to the point, since the nature of Athens's activities was directly offensive. We must grasp the nettle and provide an explanation for Spartan actions. The explanation is the Messenian War, which not only explains Spartan inactivity but Athenian aggression. See below.

[47] Fornara 79.


provides a reliable indication of Athenian aims at this time, signifying the adoption of an ambitious, well-calculated policy. The magnitude of the operation and the importance attached to it make it indubitable that it was conceived for the long term. The program marks the acknowledgement and implementation of Pericles' strategy of ensuring Athens's control of the sea, whatever she might experience on land. That in turn implies that the empire was henceforth regarded as permanent.[48]

The crucial importance of the new policy making an island out of the city by the construction of the Long Walls and, later, the Middle Wall,[49] is reflected in the attention Thucydides paid to the stages of their construction. He alludes to the first stage of building in 1.107.1 and inserts a reference to their completion in 1.108.3, between his allusion to the conquest of Boeotia and the capitulation of Aegina. His scrupulous precision, conjoined with the fact that his account of the entire sequence of events is brief and limited to essentials, emphasizes the critical nature of this development,[50] and it is further corroborated by the information that, before the battle of Tanagra, some Athenians attempted to induce the Lacedaemonians to advance on Athens, hoping "to put an end to the demos and the construction of the Long Walls" (Thuc. 1.107.4).

Thucydides' emphasis concisely reflects the centrality of the policy. In the same vein, it is relevant to observe that the Corinthians, just before the declaration of war in 431, in their "friendly criticism" of the Lacedaemonians, accused Sparta of complacency in regard to two matters of epochal importance (as they/Thucydides viewed it: 1.69.1): the toleration by Sparta of the Themistoclean walls "and, later, the Athenian erection of the Long Walls"; and though the first example is one

[48] See pp. 89–90 above. No doubt the Athenians would have liked the security that the walls would offer with or without an empire, but the fact is that they had an empire when they built these walls. Certainly there is nothing in our sources to suggest the development of a siege-mentality; on the contrary, if Thucydides is a good judge, boundless optimism was a leading characteristic of the people. The annexation of the sea secured by this policy of wall-building is best explained on the assumption that the Athenians regarded mastery of the sea as an integral part of their ability to sustain attack on their city without the interruption of supplies. By the same token, fortified access to the sea guaranteed that under an attack the Athenian fleet would be in a position to control the allies. It was a well-thought-out policy, though obvious enough for a city situated as Athens was.

[49] See Gomme, HCT, 1.311–13, R. W. Wycherley, The Stones of Athens (Princeton, 1978), pp. 9ff.

[50] Hellanicus is probably the source, and that tells us something too, for the first Atthidographer, who "was succinct and chronologically inexact" (Thuc. 1.97.2), found this datum sufficiently important to recommend its inclusion.


in which the importance was, as we have seen, acquired retrospectively, the second speaks for itself. This new policy, perhaps because it was vigorously opposed by the Athenian ultraconservatives (the implication of Thuc. 1.107.4), subsequently became a test of loyalty to the demos. That is why later conservatives tried to appropriate some of the credit for it. Thus Andocides (3.5) speaks of the fortifications as a good thing and improperly associates them with Cimon, who, at the time, was out of Athens, ostracized and living in the Chersonesus;[51] Aeschines, the opponent of Demosthenes, parrots the same version in 2.173. By this route, probably, Plutarch in Cimon 13.6 gives Cimon the false credit of laying the foundations of the walls (but not of building them)—an inefficacious compromise. The explanation for this liberty taken in the literary tradition is simple enough. The walls became the symbol as well as the safeguard of the democracy and its imperial appanage, and conservatives were anxious to prove that their forebears were good democrats in the decisive middle fifties (cf. Plato Gorgias 518c–519a) and so they invented the notion (followed by some moderns) of still another "union of hearts" on Cimon's return from ostracism,[52] evoking the pleasant picture of a new establishment presided over by Pericles and including the new representatives of the Old Guard.[53]

A clearer view of the issue can be gained by consideration of what the Old Oligarch has to tell us, in somewhat general terms, in 2.14–16.[54] Though the passage is somewhat lengthy, all of it deserves to be translated:

The Athenians lack one thing. For if the Athenians inhabited an island and controlled the sea, they would have the ability to inflict harm, if they wished, but not to suffer it, as long as they controlled the sea; their land would not be open to ravagement nor would they need to confront their enemies. As it stands now, the farmers and the rich are disproportionately open to the enemy, while the demos, since it well knows that the enemy will neither burn nor ravage anything it possesses, lives without concern and without shrinking from them. [2.15] Furthermore, the Athenians would be released from another fear, if they lived on an island—that the city would ever be betrayed by a small group of

[51] Andoc. 3.3 with Busolt, 3.1.317 (note).

[52] See Badian, JHS 107 (1987), 13–14. Meiggs, AE, p. 111 (cf. pp. 422–23), accepts an early recall but more credibly places it in 452; see further pp. 138–39 below. On possible cooperation between Cimon and Pericles, see ch. 1, n. 64, above.

[53] E.g., Hignett, HAC, p. 347: since "both statesmen were patriotic enough to subordinate their private quarrels to the welfare of Athens, [the citizenship law] must have been either a concession to conservatives or a measure on which both they and the radical leaders were in agreement."

[54] For the date of this author, see ch. 2, n. 86.


men, or the city gates be opened wide, or the enemy pour in. For how could these things happen if they inhabited an island? Nor, again, would they fear revolution against the demos if they lived on an island. For, you see, as things are, if they should rise in rebellion, they would do so by placing their hopes in the enemy in the belief that they could bring them in by land. But if they lived on an island, this too would be no problem. [2.16] Therefore, since they have never dwelt on an island, they do this: they place their property in the islands trusting to their control of the sea, and they tolerate the ravagement of Attica in the knowledge that if they feel pity for the land they will deprive themselves of other benefits that are greater still.

The premise of this argument, which appears to glance at Tanagra and the invasion of Pleistoanax of 446, is the (recent) fortification, and the inference is clear that the Old Oligarch echoes the kind of rhetoric used by Pericles when he advocated the program. Since this was the consistent policy of Pericles, moreover, it does not surprise us to hear the strategy reconfirmed in Thucydides 2.13.2, where the historian reports the substance of Pericles' advice to the Athenians on the eve of the war of 431:

As to the needs of the present, he urged them, precisely in the same way as previously, to prepare themselves for the war and to bring in their property from the fields; not to go forth in battle, but to guard the city from inside it; to maintain the fleet, the source of their power, in a state of readiness; and to keep the allies in hand, pointing out that Athenian strength derived from the revenue provided from the resources of the allies, and that in war, for the most part, intelligent decision and superabundant resources bring victory.[55]

Thus we perceive a clear line of development from the revolution of Ephialtes and the ostracism of Cimon to the engagement in war with Aegina and the other Peloponnesians, the conquest of Boeotia and the completion of the walls to the Peiraeus and Phalerum. The sequence marks a break with the past and signals the emergence of Athenian militancy under the leadership of Pericles. The goal of the polis was not merely to maintain control over the subject-allies but, without evident concern for the consequences, to acquire mastery over (at least) contiguous territories, one of them Dorian. This policy implies, somewhat problematically, little regard for possible Lacedaemonian reprisal. Yet it seems apparent that, other things being equal, the Athenians would have been reluctant to risk general war with the Peloponnesians unless

[55] Cf. A. J. Holladay, "Athenian Strategy in the Archidamian War," Historia 27 (1978), 399–427; J. Ober, "Thucydides, Pericles, and the Strategy of Defense," in Starr Essays, pp. 171–88.


they possessed some reasonable expectation that the Spartans would be incapable of supporting their allies in a major way. Indeed, as we know, their contribution was nil until 446/5, some fifteen years later. These facts mutually illuminate each other: the explanation of Athenian aggression and Spartan inactivity is to be sought in the life-and-death struggle Sparta faced with the helots between 464 and 455 B.C.

According to Thucydides (1.103.1), the Messenian War lasted ten years. Other considerations based ultimately, but not exclusively, on Thucydides' order of events yields 464 as the date of the war's commencement.[56] This chronology easily explains what otherwise would have been unpardonable remissness on Sparta's part when her allies came under Athenian attack. For although it is possible to explain Sparta's failure to invade Attica by the Athenian possession of the Megarid and control of the Geraneian Heights,[57] the fact remains that Sparta made no attempt to wrest back the Megarid; nor did she join with her allies in any of the fighting, even the siege of Aegina, which narrowly concerned her and her league, except for the battle of Tanagra, a very special case, indeed, to which we shall come shortly.

Many scholars, however, adopt a different view of the chronology and wish to make Thucydides' decade-long war into one of four years' duration[58] or otherwise alter the dates—for example, by assigning the commencement of the Messenian War to 469, where Diodorus placed it (11.63).[59] For the opinion is prevalent that in this Pentacontaetia, Thucydides never varies his procedure of presenting events in strict rel-

[56] The date has been much debated. See Busolt, 3.1.201 n., and references given in nn. 58 and 59 below.

[57] Thuc. 1.103.4 with 107.3. The problem is discussed by De Ste. Croix, Origins, pp. 190–96; J. B. Salmon, Wealthy Corinth (Oxford, 1984), appendix ii; and A. J. Holladay, "Sparta and the First Peloponnesian War," JHS 105 (1985), 161–62.

[58] The argument for the emendation of Thucydides' text remains best represented by Busolt, 3.1.298 n. 2, and Beloch, 2.2.195f.; cf. Gomme, HCT, 1.401–11, and ATL, 3.162–68. D. W. Reece, "The Date of the Fall of Ithome," JHS 82 (1962), 111–20, defends the reading of the MSS., and Jacoby, FGrHist, III b, Suppl. 2.366–68, is sympathetic to this position. See, further, G. Klaffenbach, "Das Jahr der Kapitulation von Ithome und der Ansiedlung der Messenier in Naupaktos," Historia 1 (1950), 231–35; N. G. L. Hammond, "Studies in Greek Chronology of the Sixth and Fifth Centuries B.C. ," Historia 4 (1955), 371–81; Reece, JHS 82 (1962), 111–20; R. A. McNeal, "Historical Methods and Thucydides 1.103.1," Historia 19 (1970), 306–25; De Ste. Croix, Origins, p. 181. D. M. Lewis, "The Origins of the First Peloponnesian War," in McGregor Studies, pp. 71–78, believes (as do we) that the revolt continued until 456, although his inference that the revolt dragged on "perhaps in a rather minor way" (cf. E. M. Walker, CAH, 5.79) seems gratuitous.

[59] E.g., J. Scharf, "Noch einmal Ithome," Historia 3 (1954–55), 153–62; Hammond, Historia 4 (1955), 371–81, E. Badian, EMC 23 n.s. 7 (1988), 304–10.


ative order, a policy he explicitly announces (2.1, 5.26) he will follow in his account of the Peloponnesian War itself.[60] If so, the "First Peloponnesian War" (1.103.4ff) must have begun when the Messenian War (1.103.3) came to an end. Secondly, it is also a common opinion that the battle of Tanagra, fought by the Spartans and the Athenians c. 457, presupposes that the Lacedaemonians had already been released from the pressure of the helot rebellion, and therefore confirms the orthodox view of the chronology.[61]

The conviction that, because he usually places events in strict relative order, Thucydides intended his reader to understand that the conclusion of the Messenian War antedated the adhesion of Megara to Athens c. 460 postulates the existence of an implicit methodology that he expected his readers automatically to know and to apply, though he makes no such claim for his account of the Pentacontaetia, only for the Great War (2.1). The presumption that events are retailed in relative order is, of course, a natural one in any linear sequence, and the predisposition of the reader to assume that one event in a list follows another temporally is in fact automatic unless some signpost, some counterindication, is provided by the writer to warn of a disruption of the sequence. That is the significance of the absolute chronological datum Thucydides provides, for it informs the reader of the continuity of one episode that, unlike the others that are listed, was ongoing for a period of time.

If, therefore, Thucydides had let the matter rest in 103.1 without adding the information that Ithome capitulated "in the tenth year," the matter would stand differently. We would assume strict relative placement. But that is why Thucydides, contrary to his custom, presents us with an absolute interval of time, confronted, as he was, with the serious narrative difficulty of relating events that commenced after the earthquake struck but before the rebellion was terminated. Thucydides could not have known that the particulars of his account, even when contextually unambiguous, would come to be arranged according to principles mechanically extrapolated from his method in general—as Diodorus and Ephorus seem to have done. Since he was resuming his discussion of the Messenian affair (after detailing the Athenian reaction

[60] But see R. K. Unz, "The Chronology of the Pentekontaetia," CQ 36 (1986), 68–85, and Badian, JHS, 107 (1987), 4, with n. 9.

[61] This is presupposed in the orthodox reconstruction of the events leading to the battle of Tanagra; see Holladay, JHS 105 (1985), 62–63. The editors of ATL (3.167 168) infer from Ps.-Xen. 3.11 that the Messenians had already been subjugated when the Spartans fought at Tanagra, but see Reece, JHS 82 (1962), 113.


to the dismissal of Cimon) and finishing with it in 1.103 by conveying the information that it continued for ten years, a flexible reader might suppose that the pluperfective aorist in 103.4 (inline image) marked resumption of the relative order he had momentarily left. There is no reason to believe that it ever occurred to Thucydides, when he wrote "in the tenth year," that the reader would in spite of that datum assume strict relative placement between the end of the revolt and the next event in the series Thasos-earthquake-Megara. If Thucydides' datum is sound, the procedure he followed is not intrinsically difficult to understand.

The proof, moreover, that the view of the chronology presented here is the right one follows from consideration of Thucydides' account of Tanagra and certain conclusions we are compelled to deduce from it. According to the usual conception, this great contest is supposed to have been the outcome of a premeditated invasion by the Spartans, which thus implies an end to the period of their greatest stress.[62] In view of the pains taken by Thucydides to set forth the sequence of events leading to Tanagra in the correct perspective, this interpretation of the affair is baffling—or would be baffling were it not for the lamentable intrusion, once more, of Ephorus. For when one reads Diodorus 11.81.1–4 (derived from Ephorus), the point of central interest, and the apparent motivation inducing the collision at Tanagra, is collusion between the Boeotians and the Spartans, as if the Spartans had intended to rearrange Boeotian affairs when they commenced their expedition. Thus Kagan, for example, who writes of "Sparta's strange willingness to take a large army out of the Peloponnese to reestablish Theban supremacy in Boeotia at the same time that it was unwilling or unable to invade Attica."[63] In fact, the sequence of events leading to the battle of Tanagra requires a radically different set of assumptions.

Thucydides provides the motivation of the Spartan expedition crisply and distinctly in 1.107.2: "The Phocians made an attack against Doris, the ancestral home of the Lacedaemonians . . . and the Lacedaemonians . . . came to its assistance." Never were cause and effect more clearly conjoined.

Once assistance had been rendered, Thucydides informs us, the Lacedaemonians attempted to return home the way they had come, through the Corinthian Gulf. They discovered, however, that their pas-

[62] E. M. Walker, CAH, 5.79–80; B. H. Fowler, Phoenix, 11 (1957), 164ff.

[63] Kagan, Outbreak, p. 90. Lewis, in McGregor Studies, p. 77, recognizes that Sparta's only motive for being at Tanagra was the expedition to Doris.


sage was blocked by an Athenian fleet. The Athenians showed that they would use force to prevent the return of the Spartan expedition, Thucydides says, and the Spartans and their allies were at this point unwilling to try to force the Geraneia and the Megarid, observing that the Athenians intended to bar their passage by that route as well. As a result, according to Thucydides, "they resolved to stay in Boeotia and devise a way to get back safely."

Far from attempting to reestablish Theban supremacy in Boeotia, the Spartans thus found themselves trapped by the Athenians in central Greece after a campaign narrowly restricted to Doris, and one they must have considered obligatory (for it was their "mother city" and had appealed for assistance) as well as susceptible of speedy and safe fulfillment. At this stage in his narrative, it is true, Thucydides inserts what has been taken as a secondary motivation for the Lacedaemonian presence in Boeotia, the fact that certain Athenians had invited them to march on their city. Thucydides is somewhat mysterious at this juncture of his narrative, perhaps because he is fusing together two disparate traditions (see below), and he leaves it unclear whether the Lacedaemonians, when they "resolved to remain in Boeotia to consider the safest means to depart" (107.4), also had in mind a sudden move against Athens because they were "led on" by Athenian traitors or whether, instead, it was the presence of the Lacedaemonians in Boeotia that induced the traitors to take advantage of the situation if they could. But surely it is patent that this detail is irrelevant to the Spartan predicament, though it was (mis)remembered later, and mentioned by the Corinthians (1.69.1) as a telling example of Lacedaemonian lethargy.[64] In 431, no doubt, the Lacedaemonians and their allies counted over their missed opportunities and allowed themselves to forget the conditions under which the Spartan army labored at Tanagra; Thucydides apparently combined this topos with his account of the battle. As his own report attests, however, the Lacedaemonians had been cornered; and they were forced, at Tanagra, to fight their way out of Boeotia,

[64] The allusion appears in a direct oration attributed to the Corinthians by Thucydides, and there is no reason, on any view of the historicity of the speeches, to insist that the Corinthians must have cited this instance of Spartan indecisiveness. It is as conceivable that Thucydides added the detail as it is that he did not, and if he did so, the reason will have been that it suited the "gist" of the speech actually delivered by the Corinthians, who, we take it, did in fact criticize the Lacedaemonians for their timidity. Either way, it hardly matters. Thucydides intended his speech to be comprehended by his readers as a realistic portrayal, and the historical allusions, even if skewed polemically, constitute evidence as to the recollection of contemporaries. The same applies to other material cited from Thucydidean speeches, which we try to use cautiously, without assuming an exact correlation between what he wrote and what men said. See also n. 84 below.


their only route being through an Athenian army and across the Isthmus. In that impasse, it is unlikely that they gave serious consideration to the Athenian oligarchs or to pressing home their victory instead of taking a straight course homeward.[65]

The choice before us is clear. Either Thucydides was naive in supposing that the Phocian attack on the Dorian metropolis was sufficient explanation for the Lacedaemonian campaign, when in fact it was really a "cover" for a highly complex operation, planned in sophisticated anticipation of Athenian movements, or Ephorus has as usual falsified the picture by becoming exclusively concerned with the battle itself, as if the battle were a natural and predictable culmination of the Spartan expedition. Since Ephorus's alternative deserves no credit, it follows that the battle was ultimately induced by the Athenians, who thus attempted to cripple Sparta at a stroke by hemming in her army. That the battle of Tanagra (or a battle of that type in some other locale) was initially anticipated by the Athenians probably should not be assumed, for it is likely enough that the Athenians were content to wait on developments. But they intentionally trapped a Spartan army by refusing it free passage home and they eventually met it in battle. These are the salient facts, and their relevance to the psychology of the Athenians in c. 457 is as obvious as the conclusion to be drawn from the Spartan avoidance of battle until it became inevitable. The Messenian War, it follows, was still in progress and the army could not be risked.[66]

Even after the defeat they had suffered at Tanagra, and though they were occupied in Egypt (Thuc. 1.104,109), the Athenians continued to take advantage of Sparta's preoccupation with her own affairs by attacking her allies with great effect. Two months after the battle of Tanagra had been fought, Myronides advanced into Boeotia and subjugated the Boeotians and the Phocians after winning a great victory at Oenophyta (1.108.2–3). The capitulation of Aegina followed (108.4), and after that, abandoning all reserve, the Athenians, under Tolmides, sailed in force around the Peloponnesus (456/5).[67] They set fire to the Lacedaemonian dockyards at Gythion, surely a greater insult than injury, captured a Corinthian city, presumably razing it to the ground, and defeated the Sicyonians in a pitched battle (Thuc. 1.108.5, schol.

[65] Against Holladay, JHS 105 (1985), 59–60.

[66] So Lewis (cited above, n. 63). We may add that the large force sent by the Peloponnesians (10,000 allied troops, 1,500 Spartans) is best understood as insurance for the safety of the Spartan corps. The Lacedaemonians expected to accomplish their mission quickly and efficiently by overawing the Phocians and speedily returning home, a plan that was circumvented by the Athenians.

[67] Schol. Aesch. 2.75; Fornara 84.


Aesch. 2.31). Then they invaded Thessaly, though without successful issue, defeated the Sicyonians a second time, and advanced to Oiniadai in Acarnania, putting the town to siege (Thuc. 1.111).

Three "empty" years passed (Thuc. 1.112.1), during which the Lacedaemonians did nothing to retrieve the situation. As for the Athenians, their previous highly aggressive record suggests that it is incorrect to assume that their lack of recorded enterprise was due to the Egyptian disaster (454) and an outbreak of allied rebellion putatively connected with it.[68] The only proper gauge of Athenian "exhaustion" would be the degree to which their enemies attempted to win back their own, and such attempts, evidently, were not forthcoming.[69] A compelling indication of Athenian intent (or expectations) is their continuance of the work of fortifying Athens against an invasion that might cut them off from the sea. Around this time, they began the construction of the so-called "middle" or "south" wall. This defense connected with the Long Wall to the Peiraeus, running south from it to enclose the harbor of Munichium. If the wall to Phalerum should be taken, the new southern projection would ensure the safety of Munichium and the Peiraeus. Pericles personally argued for the measure (Plato Gorgias 455e), and delay in its construction apparently vexed the Athenians.[70]

A five-year peace was concluded in 451 with Cimon's help. After his ostracism in 461, Cimon had returned to Athens in 452, though a tradition was either invented or preserved by Theopompus (FGrHist 115 F 88) to the effect that "the demos recalled Cimon when five years [of his ostracism] had not yet elapsed because of his proxenia (public friendship with the Spartans). When he was present in the city he ended the war."[71] However, this tradition should be rejected. What is alleged

[68] As inferred by Meiggs, AE 109–28, and Badian, JHS 107 (1987), 13, although the editors of ATL, 3.262ff., doubt a great debacle in Egypt after 454. Naturally the Athenians had suffered a genuine loss, and the cessation of military operations was no doubt desired by the Athenian citizenry. But there is no reason to infer a change in Athenian foreign policy on the Greek mainland. On the series of rebellions allegedly occurring after 454, see Meiggs, AE, pp. 109–24. As to the occasion of the transfer of the allied treasury to Athens, Beloch, 2.2.204, correctly observes that it preceded the catastrophe.

[69] On Sparta's acceptance of Athenian gains, see Holladay, JHS 105 (1985), 60–61.

[70] Cratinus, quoted by Plut. Moral. 351a, Per. 13.8, Fornara 79A; see also at n. 48 above.

[71] Cf. Plut. Cim. 17.8–18.1, Per. 10.4. This tradition is rejected by Beloch, 2.2.210f.; it is accepted, with reservations, by Badian, JHS 107 (1987), 12–13; cf. Meiggs, AE, pp. 422–23; Fornara 76.


of Cimon c. 457 ("ending the war") did not take place c. 457, while Thucydides coordinates the peace of 451 with Cimon's campaign to Cyprus (1.112.1). The inference is that Cimon returned at the regular time (452); Theopompus's adjustment of the tradition is part and parcel of the manipulation of the record to secure Cimon's collaboration with Pericles in the erection of the Long Walls; it is a combination of Cimon's alleged patriotic presence at Tanagra and the actual peace of 451 telescoped together.

The five-year peace marks a staggering victory for the Athenians. They had gained Aegina and Megara, with its connecting ports, and were also in control of Boeotia. Though Thucydides in effect disparages the significance of the achievement, probably because most of the gains slipped away within a short five years, it would be an error for us to adopt his perspective in assessing the accomplishment. By pledging this peace the Lacedaemonians gave formal recognition to the status quo; for the first time in living memory, they had been forced to acknowledge a bruising defeat to their alliance, as well as the demonstrated potency of the upstart Ionian democracy.

But Athens's reach exceeded its grasp. Boeotia broke away, probably in 448, and Tolmides and his army met with disaster at Coronea.[72] Not long after the Athenian renunciation of Boeotia, Euboea rebelled, and Pericles was no sooner there than word was brought him that the Megarians had risen and a Peloponnesian army was on the way to Athens. Under the leadership of Pleistoanax, son of Pausanias, this army advanced to Eleusis and Thria, ravaged the country, and then withdrew, having achieved its probable purpose, to prevent Pericles from advancing to Megara and recapturing it. (Shortly thereafter, the Spartans supposed Pleistoanax to have been too timid; they persuaded themselves that he and his lieutenant had been bribed away from Athens by Pericles.) Pericles, crossing over to Euboea for a second time, subjugated the island, expelling the Hestiaeans and appropriating their land, and making treaties with the other city-states on terms very adverse for them. A portion of one of those treaties has survived in the Chalcis Decree.[73] In the following spring, 445 B.C. , a peace of thirty years was concluded between "the Lacedaemonians and their allies" and "the Athenians and their allies," thereby legitimizing the Athenian empire as an established fixture in the international relations of the Hellenic

[72] Thuc. 1.112.1–115.1 describes these events.

[73] IG i 40 = ML 52 = Fornara 103. For Mattingly's lower date, see Appendix 10.


world. Among other conditions, the allies of one side were precluded from joining the other, though neutrals could enter whatever alliance they chose.[74]

The peace of 446/5 can be regarded as a realistic version of the one concluded five or six years before, which had been as difficult for the Peloponnesians to accept as it was for the Athenians to maintain. Athens had not the power to retain mastery of Boeotia, while the line of communications from Megara to Corinth and Epidaurus rendered Megara so assailable, if the population became hostile to Athens, that a disproportionate presence would have been required to hold it. That, however, ran counter to Athens's general strategy of drawing within herself, like a tortoise, in the event of a general war. In this respect, Athens was well rid of Boeotia and Megara, though, obviously, this is not a view most Athenians would have shared; if they accepted, they must also have regretted, this diminution of their sway. But the central fact is unambiguous. Athens had been placed in the greatest jeopardy in the year before the peace, menaced on all sides by the Euboeans, Megarians, and a Peloponnesian army, and had as a result been deprived of Boeotia and Megara. That she kept Aegina and was able to conclude a peace seems a major triumph.

Fourteen years later, the Peloponnesian War broke out.[75] The causes of that great struggle are as much discussed as any subject connected with the ancient world.[76] One can study the "causes" from the perspective of the outbreak itself and of its immediate antecedents, on the assumption that the peace of 446/5 stabilized relations and initiated a new epoch comprehensible in its own terms, or one can take a longer view by regarding the general tendencies of Athens and Sparta, but especially of Athens, as continuously displayed from a more remote time. The latter procedure has been followed here, not in formal deference to Thucydides but because, with unexcelled historical vision, he recognized the extent to which the concrete "causes" of the war of 431

[74] See the remarks by Badian, JHS 107 (1987), 18, 21, on Thucydides' silence about this treaty.

[75] For the intervening domestic political crisis, associated with the Samian War, see ch. 1, pp. 34–35.

[76] For references to the modern scholarship, see Gomme, HCT 1; Kagan, Outbreak; De Ste. Croix, Origins; see also D. W. Knight, Some Studies in Athenian Politics in the Fifth CenturyB.C. , Historia Einz. 13 (1970), 1–12; C. A. Powell, "Athens' Difficulty, Sparta's Opportunity: Causation and the Peloponnesian War," AC 49 (1980), 87–114; P. A. Stadter, "The Motives for Athens' Alliance with Corcyra (Thuc. 1.44)," GRBS 24 (1983), 131–36. Much recent work has focused on the role of the Megarian Decree, for which see below, n. 82.


were accidental to its truest cause—the development of Athens into a militant and powerful city-state, which eventually became too dangerous a threat to the Lacedaemonians and their allies to be allowed to continue unchecked. As the Lacedaemonians viewed it, not unreasonably, the alternative to full-scale war was the further isolation and encirclement of the Peloponnesus, to Sparta's ultimate destruction as a political power.

Thucydides himself seems to have reached this opinion comparatively late. Every indication suggests that he began, in 431, by stressing the "proximate" causes or, rather, that when he started to write his history, his concept of causation was conventional and circumscribed by attention to the immediate antecedents of the war.[77] That is why, probably, his account of the Corcyraean and Potidaean episodes is so extensive and detailed. That his sense of proportion had not fully matured may also be inferred from his exhaustive investigation of the Plataean episode,[78] a matchless piece of historical writing but, in relation to what follows, excessively detailed. One may observe that the richness of the fabric is unequaled later, though historical events arise of far greater importance. Eventually, Thucydides seems to have adjusted his perspective. Indeed, the assumption[79] is plausible that Thucydides initially intended to attribute to Corinth a larger importance in bringing the war about, but as time passed was increasingly dominated by the idea of opposition on all levels between Sparta and Athens. Thus he came to take a sweeping view of the more distant past, regarding each city-state as the natural opponent of the other, a conception reflected in his designation of Lacedaemonian "fear" in the all-important passage, 1.23.5–6, as the "truest cause" of the Peloponnesian War:

The Athenians and the Peloponnesians began the war after having renounced the thirty-year peace they made after the conquest of Euboea. As to the reason why they renounced it, I have written down in advance of what follows, first of all, the grounds of complaint [aitiai ] and the differences [diaphorai ] in order to prevent anyone from ever needing to make inquiry into the matter out of which so great a war came about among the Greeks. For in my opinion the truest cause [inline image] but the one least manifest in open discussion, is that the Athenians, because they were in process of becoming

[77] The statement seems self-evident; cf. Ed. Schwartz, Das Geschichtwerk des Thukydides (Bonn, 1919), esp. pp. 102ff., 117ff., and A. Andrewes, "Thucydides on the Causes of the War," CQ 9 (1959), 223–39.

[78] Theban attack, 2.2.ff.; Spartan attack, 2.71ff.

[79] A. Andrewes, CQ 9 (1959) 223–39.


great and were making the Lacedaemonians afraid, compelled the Lacedaemonians to go to war.

Now although there is a voluminous literature that takes another view, G. E. M. de Ste. Croix is entirely correct (in our opinion) to insist that Thucydides "does not try to distinguish, either here or anywhere else in his work, between immediate or significant and underlying or profound causes."[80] Thucydides distinguishes in 1.23.5–6 between the allegations raised and the actual cause, as he saw it, of the war.[81] The use of the superlative, "truest cause" (which seems to have "attracted" the following superlative, "least manifest," into its orbit) is emphatic and does not imply that "the grounds of complaint" and the "differences" were "less true" as grounds of complaint and differences; it merely states that, in Thucydides' opinion, they were not the real cause of the war. It does not follow, however, that modern discussions of "proximate" and "immediate" or "ultimate" or "underlying" causes are invalidated by Thucydides' preference for an antithesis between "allegation" and "cause." For Thucydides' "allegations" and "grounds of complaint" are precisely what we mean by "proximate causes," while his "truest cause" is exactly what we express by "ultimate" or "underlying cause." De Ste. Croix makes things a little too easy for himself when he dismisses these aitiai and diaphorai as pretexts cooked up by the Spartans, just as Thucydides made things altogether too easy for himself by implicitly understating the importance of such proximate causes. In brushing aside the Megarian Decree (by concentrating his specific attention on Corcyra and Potidaea) and by minimizing the other allegations of wrongdoing, Athens's responsibility for the great war was proportionately reduced.

It should not be necessary, in the twentieth century, after we have been instructed by the study of two millenia of wars, to subject the Thucydidean "grounds of complaint" to microscopic analysis; and it


seems idle to seek to prove that one side or the other "started" the war. Such causes ramify endlessly and they are complex in proportion to the number of the combatants and the scale of the war itself. Even a border war between two states cannot be explained simply in terms of the legal ownership of disputed territory. Such a piece of land will have had a history of ownership itself determined by claims, counterclaims, and the issue of prior battle. Adjudication of disputes being possible at all times, the question why it is willingly accepted at one time and resisted at another is not susceptible to "scientific" resolution. Fear, detestation, ambition, miscalculation, and any number of other considerations play their part in the genesis of wars. Without them general conflicts would probably never come about.

Certainly all of these seem to have contributed to the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War; and it seems labor misspent to attempt to assign responsibility with reference to the conditions set down in the peace treaty of 446/5, since even the participants held conflicting views about whether its terms had or had not been truly abrogated. Aegina, for instance, insisted (in secret) that she was not being treated as an autonomous state, though the peace required it (Thuc. 1.67.2). An assertion of this kind, since it is unverifiable, cannot be properly assessed. Megara complained that her "exclusion from the harbors of the Athenian empire and from the agora of Athens was contrary to the treaty" (1.57.4).[82] How is this to be judged? We should probably not suppose that "free trade" had been a stipulation of the treaty, as if something like the Megarian Decree had been anticipated—though the presence of a clause to the effect that "allies of both sides shall be permitted to sail wherever they wish without hindrance, though not in ships of war" is not unthinkable.[83] But if such an exclusionary measure as the Megarian Decree was not precluded by the terms of the peace, it was nevertheless contrary to its general intent, the matrix of understandings forming the general context of the specific language of the treaty. No peace treaty will survive if its signatories take the attitude that they may do as they please to parties of the other side so long as what they do is

[82] Fornara 122, 123. Recent literature, prompted by De. Ste. Croix, Origins, pp. 225ff., is extensive. Against De Ste. Croix, who argued that the Megarian Decree was not, in fact, a trade embargo, see, among others, Fornara, gCS 24 (1975), 213–28; cf. P. Stadter, "Plutarch, Charinus, and the Megarian Decree," GRBS 25 (1984), 351–72; B. R. MacDonald, "The Megarian Decree" Historia 32 (1983), 385–410; A. French, "The Megarian Decree," Historia 25 (1976) 245–49; and E. Bar-Hen, "Le Décret mégarien," SCI 4 (1978), 10–27.

[83] See Ps.-Xen. 2.3, and esp. 2.12.


not specifically prohibited. Potidaea's situation is also unclear. This city was a tributary ally ordered by the Athenians to tear down a wall, surrender hostages, and expel Corinthian demiourgoi, magistrates of the city, because Athens feared a rebellion. We may decide that it was a private matter between Athens and Potidaea, since Potidaea was Athens's "ally." But the Potidaeans were also a Corinthian colony and believed that their deprecation of such measures was reasonable (Thuc. 1.58), and the Lacedaemonians concurred. We do not know enough about the general understandings of people in that time to be dogmatic about the rights and wrongs of particular cases. Indeed, the grayness of this whole area is well indicated by some of the argumentation presented by Thucydides in the Corcyraean Debate (1.32ff.)

The legal situation is murky, since a problem of the type presented by the Corcyraean bid for an Athenian alliance had obviously not been envisaged in 446/5. Corcyra was at war with Corinth when she appealed for assistance from the Athenians and received it; the predictable result was that Athens was led to do battle with a signatory of the peace. It is clear from the debate, however, that no one understood the "legal" implications of what was contemplated.[84] The Corcyraeans pointed out that, technically, the proposed alliance was not an infraction of the treaty (1.35.1). But they also made the argument that any Athenians who were fearful that the alliance would break the treaty should recognize that the real issue was to secure as much support as possible for a contingency that was no longer in doubt: the war was all but upon them (36.1).[85] The Corinthians, for their part, maintained that the neutrality clause in the treaty was assuredly not inserted so that alliance with a neutral power would contribute to the injury of a signatory (40.2). Finally, the Athenians themselves made their decision, after prolonged consideration, making their choice, as it were, with their fingers crossed. They formed a purely defensive alliance, perhaps justifying this bond by their avoidance of one even closer, an offensive-defensive alliance. But the basis of their decision was not that it was consistent with

[84] The speeches attributed by Thucydides to the Corcyreans and Corinthians, however contrived and artistic their language, must be true to the requirements of the historical moment, even if the arguments have been clarified and pointed by Thucydides himself. Unless it be argued that he intentionally obfuscated, it follows that we may use the speeches as evidence for the absence of clear-cut legal principles applicable in this instance.

[85] Cf. Thuc. 1.33.3, 44.2, 140.2, Plut. Per. 8.7, 23.2, 29.1. For the possible relevance of the Callias Decrees, see Appendix 8. On the trial of Pericles' friends as a "cause of the war," see ch. 1, pp. 34–35; cf. Appendix 4.


the treaty or juridically proper but that the war was coming anyhow and Corcyra was too good an ally to lose (44.2). The legal aspect of this transaction, in fact, was so very unclear that the Corinthians did not know, after the battle of Sybota, whether or not the peace had been violated because of their combat with the Athenians (52.3), though they assumed the worst (53.1).

The Athenian conviction, in the summer of 433, that war was inevitable is probably the best explanation for its having occurred. When a city-state or nation decides that war is unavoidable (and winnable), there is a natural disinclination to pursue "sweet reasonableness" in the spirit of compromise and a corresponding tendency to unqualifiedly aggressive behavior that becomes provocative in its own right. Though the border dispute with Megara and the death of the herald Anthemocritus,[86] for example, were inciteful incidents, the Athenians intemperately and extravagantly made a great issue of them. The retaliation against Megara was out of all proportion to the affront (of which we hear only one side). But if that was the aitia for Athens's retaliative action, surely the "truest cause" of it was Athenian detestation and hatred of this neighboring state. We tend to regard such measures with the presumption that behavior of this type served a rational and logical purpose, though it is hard to discover it here, and in spite of the fact that the premise of rationality is constantly belied by the phenomena of our daily world. Megara and Athens had been neighbors at war with each other off and on for centuries. They were of different ethnic stock, possessed mutually antipathetic governments and were trading competitors. It requires no demonstration that, historically, near neighbors acquire intense mutual animosity if they compete against each other. Was Periclean Athens then incapable of a spiteful act? If war were coming anyhow, such hostility might easily be indulged—and become provocative of the coming war.

The most interesting question, therefore, is why the Athenians believed in the war's inevitability. The explanation that best suits is precisely the one Thucydides assigns as the cause of the war: Spartan fear of Athenian expansion. Pericles recognized, or believed, that a parlous future lay in store for Athens. It was not merely that Athens was surrounded by ancestral enemies on all sides or that her hold on the empire had to be maintained in the face of the "reactionaries" in Greece

[86] [Demosthenes] 12.4, Paus. 1.36.3, Harpocration, s.v. "Anthemokritos" = Fornara 122B, C, E.


and elsewhere, who were only waiting for Athens to display a sign of weakness before actively promoting revolts. These difficulties the Athenians could meet—if they were prepared to rest satisfied with the status quo; and, as Thucydides notes, they possessed in the Spartans a convenient enemy, unimaginative and slow to attack. But the Athenians, if they have been characterized correctly, were unwilling and unable to remain confined, as they felt they were, by the terms of the peace of 446/5, or rather by those terms in logical extension. Now that the Athenians had pushed their way to the eastern frontier, it was time for them to consider possibilities in the west. The Corcyraeans' allusion to the excellence of their island as a springboard to Italy and Sicily (Thuc. 1.44.3) is as revelatory of Athenian aims as is the framework of alliances Athens had begun to build in 433/2 with Rhegion and Leontinoi.[87] That the Athenians contemplated the expansion of their power into the west is intrinsically likely and thoroughly in character. The unrelenting opposition of Corinth would follow as a matter of course. But Spartan fear and malevolence were equally certain. The Lacedaemonians would inevitably have felt threatened by such encirclement and would have had to oppose it by force if only to maintain their own alliance intact. Pushed to the wall, they would have had to invade Attica when their allies or the allies of their allies, Syracuse, for example, fell under Athenian attack. Athens, therefore, must either reconcile herself to the status quo of 446 or prepare for the eventual outbreak of war with the Spartans. In Pericles' opinion, Athens would never be better equipped, relatively to the Spartans and their allies, to wage such a war effectively (Thuc. 1.140–44). In that conviction, though not bellicose in the extreme, Pericles pursued a policy that implied no compromise, and he proceeded to alliance with Corcyra and the repression of Potidaea, essentially leaving it to the Lacedaemonians to determine whether such acts qualified as causes of war. To Sparta, meanwhile, it had become obvious that the Peloponnesian League would not survive further pressure and peacetime attrition. The Spartans, too, looked to the future and were afraid of the consequences if the Athenians were allowed to continue unchecked. The "inevitable" result was the Peloponnesian War.

[87] IG i 53, 54 = ML 63, 64 = Fornara 124, 125. Cf. T. E. Wick, "Athens' Alliances with Rhegion and Leontini," Historia 25 (1976), 288–304.



In the preceding study we have pursued four separate lines of inquiry into the history of sixth-and fifth-century Athens, choosing our subjects in the belief that they will prove mutually informative when balanced against each other. Pericles is of course the center figure in all of them, for this great representative of the Alcmeonids was Athenian democracy and, in addition, the resolute exponent both of Athenian imperialism and of consistent enmity to Sparta.

The importance, to him, of the Alcmeonid tradition should not be belabored. Whether or not Pericles was technically an Alcmeonid, he was definitely regarded as one by others, and presumably so regarded himself, and it is a heritage that helps to explain much about his public activity as well as the idiosyncrasies of his private life.

As we have seen, the family, apparently a latecomer in Athenian dynastic politics, attained unusual power by time and again departing in unexpected ways from the conventional interests of the aristocracy. That fateful course was partly predetermined by the stigma of guilt rashly incurred by the murder of the adherents of Cylon late in the seventh century. Cleisthenes was expelled from Athens because of it, and his grandnephew was charged, again by the Spartans, with the onus of the same curse in 431. In all probability, therefore, the invidious position in which the family found itself partly accounts for the pragmatism and renunciation of aristocratic solidarity indicated first by Megacles II when he married his daughter to Peisistratus, the inveterate


opponent of the aristocrats, and then by his son Cleisthenes, who served as archon under the sons of Peisistratus in 525/4.

For these actions the Alcmeonids must have paid a price that only reinforced the stigma of the curse. They had made enemies of the men of their own class. Therefore, the democratic reform of Cleisthenes, since it cut against the aristocracy, may not unjustifiably be taken to reflect these hostilities, just as it also confirms the implications of his earlier association with the tyranny. As to that, we see further signs of the connection between the houses of the Alcmeonids and the Peisistratids in the tradition of the traitorous behaviour of the Alcmeonids at the battle of Marathon.

The low fortunes of the family after Marathon were revived about a generation later by Pericles. His first years as a politician are difficult to date or to assess because of the highly problematical nature of the tradition surrounding him. Nevertheless, we see no reason to associate him with Ephialtes' reforms. In any case, his dominion over the public scene is securely anchored to the fifties, and it is marked (late in that decade) by his introduction of pay for juries and associated legislation. The bent of his policy is probably a sign that he continued the family tradition of antagonism to the main body of the aristocrats, for by his extension of the democracy the element of privilege lost all hope of regaining the status it had enjoyed in the time of Cimon. The unsuccessful career of Thucydides son of Melesias is a clear case in point. Pericles bought himself primacy by distribution to the people of the revenues of the empire and thus realized, as Aristotle might say, the latent implications of pure and direct democracy.

The democracy in its initial form had developed out of reaction against the body of aristocratic Athenians returned to power after the Spartan capture of the city in 511/10, and it is all too easy to overestimate the ideological component of this revolution. The new institutional framework set in place by Cleisthenes guarantees the participation in the government of all Athenian males resident in Attica; thus the achievement of the new government was to assure the triumph of the people as a whole over the reactionaries who had wished to install a narrowly based oligarchy. In a sense, therefore, Cleisthenes continued the tradition of Peisistratus, but transcended it by setting the rights of the people on a secure legal and institutional basis—the new tribal arrangement and the Council of 500. Although we can only speculate about Cleisthcnes' motives, the fact that he swept away an oligarchic government is cardinal; self-interest is also consistent with the prag-


matism he displayed in the attempt at rapprochement with Persia, something his own new government regarded as a betrayal of the cause.

Further development of the democracy, marked by Ephialtes' reform, coincides with a turnabout in foreign policy and the rejection of Cimon's leadership. For if, thanks to Cimon, Athens now had become an imperial city, that very fact provided the Athenians with the self-confidence, the experience and the resources to assert fuller control of the democracy and its policies. The Council of the Areopagus, which had been a bastion of aristocratic privilege and, more concretely, exercised effective control over the magistracies, was deprived of its powers, which were allocated among the people. But it was Pericles who took the next bold step by creating the enmisthos polis. This decision required access to the resources of the empire, and therefore marks a fateful turn in the destiny of Athens, for henceforth the empire and the democracy presupposed each other. The great speeches in Thucydides provide the best of all commentaries on the resultant ethical dilemma.

It is a nice question whether Pericles' appropriation of imperial revenue for domestic purposes represents an alteration in degree, rather than in kind, of the prevailing status quo. The Delian League had hardened into an Athenian instrumentality about a decade earlier than Pericles' entrance into politics. The suppression of the Naxian revolt c. 470, like the subjugation of Thasos in 465–463, points indisputably to Athens's use of compulsion, and this suits the ordinary definition of imperial control. Above all, the victory at the Eurymedon, achieved within this period, seemed (correctly) to end the Persian threat and to fulfill the ostensible purpose of the original league. The empire, explicitly or not, had acquired permanency. After Ephialtes' revolution and Athens's renunciation of alliance with Sparta, its value proportionately rose as a means of self-preservation, if not as a weapon, in the time of troubles with Sparta in the fifties. That, probably, is the real explanation of the Peace of Callias concluded with Persia: it served to protect Athens's exposed eastern flank at a time when warfare might be expected in Greece itself. The alternative view—that the peace marks a milestone in the transition from "league" to "empire"—has little to recommend it. The tribute-quota stele was already in place, and evidence is lacking to suggest that the early forties witnessed anything more than a regularization of prevailing imperial practice. Peace with Persia signifies Athens's abandonment of a policy of adventurism in the east. But the catalyst of the peace was the intention to compete in Greece with Sparta, a decision fired by the passionate patriotism of Pericles himself.


Spartan interference with Athens had commenced in 511/10 with the expulsion of Hippias. It intensified shortly thereafter with an attack both on Cleisthenes' person and on his government. But the Spartans evidently accommodated themselves to the new regime, which certainly constituted no threat to themselves so early as this, and they worked amicably with the Athenians during the Great Persian War. Since the Spartan government did not object even when the command over the Ionians was taken out of their hands in 478/7, when the Athenians organized the Delian League, the tradition of acrimony over the fortification of Athens in the winter of 479/8 can be regarded as a historical fiction. One element of the Athenian population unquestionably regarded Spartan supremacy with dislike and suspicion, but the traditionalist government associated with Cimon's name ensured good relations until the late sixties. A combination of factors then worked a radical change. The acquisition of empire had altered the political complexion of the city and changed the balance of power between the city and Sparta. Democracy, always implicitly anti-Spartan, now became virulent, while the weakness of Sparta, caused by the great helot revolt, encouraged Athens, fortified as she was by the empire, to engage in aggressive activities in the Peloponnesus.

Pericles epitomizes the new patriotic spirit. After the disaster in Egypt, he concluded peace with Persia in order to wage war at home, and he devised the strategy of the Long Walls so as to make the rule of the seas a means to survive and even win a conflict with the great land power. He amassed treasure, repressed a dangerous revolt undertaken by the hitherto autonomous city-state of Samos, and applied various pressures against members of the Peloponnesian alliance or their close connections. Megara was humiliated, Aegina was treated improperly, Potidaea felt the edge of Athens's hostility to Corinth, whose own hated enemy, moreover, Athens also took into alliance. Under these circumstances, which fostered the impression that Sparta was timid and impotent, undermining the basis of her leadership and security, Sparta declared war on Athens in 431.


Appendix 1—
Herodotus and Aristotle on Peisistratus's Rise to Power


—Herodotus 1.59.3–6, ed. C. Hude (Oxford, 1927)




—Aristotle, Ath. Pol. 13.4–5, ed. M. Chambers
(Leipzig, 1986)

Twentieth-century reconstructions of the political alignments in Athens shortly before Peisistratus seized power for the first time as tyrant of Athens in the archonship of Comeas (561/60) take their point of departure from the new material in the Athenaion Politeia of Aristotle discovered in 1890. The primacy of Herodotus's account, indeed, was no more formally denied than was Aristotle's dependence on Herodotus, who, of course, not only stood much closer to the events but was the first writer to establish the literary tradition before oral history was dissipated by time. However, the sudden concentration on Aristotle, not only as a new source but as an intellect entitled to the greatest respect, resulted in a subtle but nonetheless decisive shift in the weight assigned to the testimony of each writer—with results that have not greatly aided our understanding of this vital epoch of Athenian history.

The influence of that greatest of scholars, Wilamowitz, has proved commanding in his willingness to accommodate Ath. Pol. 13.4–5 to the parallel passage in Herodotus (1.59). He asserted that "rather close agreement" prevails between Herodotus and Aristotle in their description of the three parties that controlled Attica when Peisistratus rose to power—except for Aristotle's correction of hyperakrioi to diakrioi and his characterization of Peisistratus's party as democratic.[1]

To Wilamowitz was added the prodigious influence of Georg Busolt, who reaffirmed the existence of the three great parties.[2] Busolt explained, in accordance with Aristotle, that "Peisistratos had acquired repute and influence because of his deeds in war. His friendly ways and nurturing of decidedly democratic principles won him the favor and trust of the people. Then he succeeded in forming the third party, the core of which consisted of the poor country people of the Diakria."[3] To this group Peisistratus added those impoverished by the seisachtheia and still another element—those who, though freed from debt by Solon, remained without means—and, further, the former hektemeroi. These people (Busolt continued) wanted redistribution of land and a change in the state.

[1] Wilamowitz, AuA, 1.31; cf. 260.

[2] Busolt, 2.302ff.

[3] Busolt, 2.308f.


In essence, therefore, it was an agrarian Volkspartei that stood in direct opposition to the rich possessors of land whom they hated, the "men of the plain." The revolutionary character of the group naturally attracted all of those who had anything to fear from the existent order of the state or something to hope from a revolution.[4]

It should be observed that Busolt concentrated on Peisistratus's opposition to the "men of the plain," downplaying the paralioi (men of the seacoast) in this context. The reason (one may infer) is to be found in a subsequent development, the agreement between Megacles and Peisistratus, as well as in the conviction, promoted by Aristotle, that the Alcmeonids were political "moderates." (The underlying assumption proved attractive to later scholars; Hignett,[5] for instance, would later assert that the Hyperakrioi were "a wing" of the Paralioi that "decided to break away" in the interests of vigorous and progressive government.) On the other hand, Busolt made an important observation in the course of his discussion, which, unfortunately, he failed to develop—viz., that a state of feud existed between the men of the plain and the men of the coast before Peisistratus involved himself in the political struggle.[6] That fact, which derives from Herodotus, though duly noted by Busolt, is allowed to drop as if irrelevant to his reconstruction of the tripartite division of Athens before Peisistratus's seizure of the tyranny.

Beloch took essentially the same view of the territorial divisions and their importance, though he espoused an idiosyncratic view of the entire sequence of events.[7] He was followed by his pupil De Sanctis,[8] who distinguished between the political coloration of the Diakrioi and Paralioi on the grounds that the latter, though democratic in orientation, were as averse to tyranny as they were to oligarchy. Hignett continued along the lines sketched by Busolt. He was careful to note that Peisistratus's "revolutionary party" was created "when the other two parties were already in existence," that the nucleus of the party (except for the wing torn from the Paralioi) lay in east Attica, and that "its adherents must have been drawn from all parts of Attica."[9] Again following Busolt, Hignett asserted that "by feats of arms [in the war against Megara,

[4] Busolt, 2.309f.

[5] Hignett, HAC, p. 110.

[6] Busolt, 2.307.

[7] Beloch, 1.1.368f.

[8] G. De Sanctis, Atthis (Florence, 1975; rev. ed. S. Accame), p. 343.

[9] Hignett, HAC, pp. 110–11.


Peisistratus] . . . acquired fame and popularity, and before long he was able with the support of his party to seize the Acropolis and establish 'tyranny' in Athens."[10]

In 1973, building on work done shortly before,[11] Victor Ehrenberg well presented the discussion as it has been refined in recent years, writing that

the three regions undoubtedly existed, although they were by no means as accurately defined as is often assumed . . . The regions frequently overlapped, especially in the mesogaea, the plain of the interior. They are best understood as popular concepts, and therefore not clear-cut geographical units. . . . Nevertheless, if we avoid any strict definitions, it may still be right to divide sixth-century Attica into these three parts. It is less certain to what extent each region contained its own special type of people. . . . The main fault of the division, however, seems to be that the city has no place in it, or rather belonged to both pedion and paralia; moreover, it is known that Peisistratus as the head of the diacrii found substantial support in the city. Most of the real clashes among the groups must have occurred just there.[12]

Ehrenberg concludes:

There were three factions, led by individual members of the aristocracy and loosely connected with regional areas, where they probably found the bulk of their respective supporters. On the whole, it is the old picture of feuding clans, but the conflicts within the noble class went deeper now, as the aristocrats were facing a new developing society in which the non-nobles played a decisive part. . . . Moreover, the danger of a one-man rule had, by then, complicated the issues. We cannot be sure whether Lycurgus, or even Megacles, aimed at becoming tyrants, though we know from Solon that the idea was in the air. The rivalry of the great clans was probably as strong as ever.[13]

It will be apparent from this that the picture presented by Wilamowitz has acquired certain shadings, qualifications, and alterations of detail, but the tripartitive division, rooted in local segments of Attica and generative of the civil discord in which Peisistratus triumphed, remains clear to view. The dilemma, of course, consists in the fact that the local

[10] Ibid., p. 114.

[11] V. Ehrenberg, From Solon to Socrates (London, 1973), pp. 79ff. Cl. Mossé, "Classes sociales et régionalisme à Athènes au début du VI siècle," AC 33 (1964), 401–13; D. M. Lewis, "Cleisthenes and Attica," Historia 12 (1963), 22–40; R. J. Hopper, "'Plain,' 'Shore,' and 'Hill' in Early Athens," BSA 56 (1961), 189ff.; R. Sealey, "Regionalism in Archaic Athens," Historia 9 (1960), 178 = Essays, pp. 30f.; A. French, "The Party of Peisistratos," G&R 6 (1959), 46ff.

[12] Ehrenberg, Solon to Socrates , p. 79.

[13] Ibid., pp. 80f.


origins of the "three contestants" are irrelevant to the material facts, just as control of the city of Athens, which Peisistratus achieved, is irrelevant to the stasis between the men of the plain and the men of the coast. The vendetta between Megacles and Lycurgus was an aristocratic feud on which the existence of a putative "third faction" from beyond the hills in east Attica has no bearing whatever. It is equally plain that the local patriotism of the people in east Attica can have had no bearing on the decision of the city population in Athens to confer the tyranny.

The difficulty is not eliminated by allowing Peisistratus some measure of influence in the other regions: the nature of regional politics based on feudal loyalty makes it impossible to believe that any influence we may (gratuitously) confer on Peisistratus in these areas would have been allowed to operate. We are vainly superimposing two incompatible models of political behavior on one and the same landscape. Above all, the alleged intrusion by Peisistratus into the factional disputes splitting the men of the coast and the men of the plain, if it occurred, shows no obvious connection with his acquisition of the tyranny, a position conferred by the residents of the city of Athens.

The problem has all along been of Aristotle's making, for he introduced a schematic conception of the political situation in Attica that, he thought, made Herodotus's version more cogent and understandable, but in fact proceeded from a fatal misconception. Let us reconsider Herodotus's account. We notice, first of all, that Herodotus explains the precondition of Peisistratus's rise to power with a genitive absolute that speaks of the warfare between two groups, those led by Megacles and Lycurgus. Nothing here is problematic. It is the old story of aristocratic feud between the leaders of neighboring territorial units, and we may well believe that this vendetta raised havoc in the city of Athens as well as in the districts themselves. Now though Herodotus is terse, he is not obscure. The genitives absolute serve the purpose of clarifying not only the political situation but the nature of the opportunity presenting itself to Peisistratus.[14] The sentence structure implies that (as Herodotus viewed it) Peisistratus saw that this stasis made the conditions ripe for a tyranny (precisely as comparable conditions facilitated tyranny elsewhere in Greece, not to say in Athens just before 594).

The city was at the mercy of these marauders and someone—a ty-

[14] See R. C. Jebb, Electra (Cambridge, 1924), at 310f., on genitive absolutes of this type.


rant—would be needed to suppress their activities and give political independence and civil harmony to the state and, more especially, to the city of Athens. So Peisistratus acquired backing of his own—Herodotus's "third stasis" (compare his description of Cylon's supporters in 5.71)—and also claimed

that he was representing the interests of the Athenians of eastern Attica. Herodotus regarded that claim as either a pretense or a piece of propaganda capable of exploitation, as he showed by his use of the qualifying words. Now the Hyperakrioi play no part whatever in the unfolding of subsequent events, but it is clear enough why Peisistratus would have uttered such a claim, and why Herodotus commented on it. It announced that he was enrolling under his banner a hitherto ignored segment of the population. This, again, is typical of the pattern set in the origin of the other Hellenic tyrannies. Observe, however, that Herodotus separates the stasiotai (of the "third stasis") from the Hyperakrioi whom Peisistratus claimed to represent. The action took place at Athens, where these stasiotai played a role in persuading the residents of the city to grant him a bodyguard. At least that is what Herodotus intended us to infer. Natural implications flow from the strict economy of his presentation. Furthermore, his words dovetail perfectly. Herodotus is careful to observe that "the demos, " which in this case must be the residents of the city, gave him a guard of "city men" (astoi ) to serve as club-bearers, with whom he seized the acropolis. This time, however, unlike the time of Cylon, he was allowed to keep it. The Athenians did not, "when they perceived this, rush in a body from the fields against them and, encircling the acropolis, press the siege" (Thuc. 1.126.7, on Cylon). Instead, Peisistratus became the tyrant of Athens, "neither disrupting the existing magistracies nor making changes in the established laws" (Hdt. 1.59.6). The city appears to have been content; it was the consolidated power of the staseis that then drove him out.

Peisistratus possessed three advantages that permitted him to grasp the tyranny. He was of noble birth, without which the notion of aspiring to a tyranny would have been ludicrous; he had attained fame and a following in Athens as a leader in the Athenian war against Megara; and he was unconnected with, and therefore the natural opponent of, the great families on seacoast and plain, which were squeezing Athens from both sides. His own support in eastern Attica gave him suitable standing to become the natural protector of "all Athenians" while the distance of that region from Athens removed the element of danger from that quarter. To put it more accurately, Athens's insulation from


the area beyond the hills freed the city from the prospect that Peisistratus might use his new authority for the benefit of his own locality. In this sense, the Athenians were not exchanging King Log for King Stork. Since the time of Cylon the centripetal influence of Athens within the larger and historically fragmented land of Attica gradually intensified; it is marked by such milestones as the Code of Dracon, the expulsion of the Alcmeonids, Solon's virtual tyranny, and the occupation of Athens by Peisistratus in 561/60. His subsequent expulsion from the city, like the arrangement he then made with Megacles in order to secure his return, testifies to the comparative weakness of the city if the combined force of the local barons was arrayed against it. But Peisistratus knew how to make himself loved, and in the process fulfilled the historical role played throughout Hellas by the great tyrants.

To sum up. When Aristotle came to this tradition as it was sketched by Herodotus, the latter's emphasis upon regionalist division no doubt evoked for Aristotle the picture of a tripartite Attica enmeshed in reciprocal hostility, out of which Peisistratus emerged victorious. Aristotle was not oblivious to the unsatisfactory implications of this view, however, and he did the best he could to provide Peisistratus with a categorical assortment of natural allies. It was a process facilitated by Aristotle's tendency to retroject political motivations and ideologies of the fifth and fourth centuries into earlier times, where they properly do not belong. Ideological tendencies, to the extent that they existed, were subordinate to the ambitions of the great feudal families; apart from local patriotism and the prosecution of feuds, their aspirations so far as Athens was concerned went no farther than to control state offices and dispense the law. The need for a tyrant who could stabilize the situation had been felt in Athens by 594, if not earlier; Peisistratus's backing came from the citizens of the city.


Appendix 2—
Pericles' Prosecution of Cimon

Although we do not wish here to dispute the tradition (Ath. Pol. 27.1 with Plut. Cim. 14.3–4 and Per. 10.6) that Pericles made his first political appearance in the prosecution of Cimon in 463, thus resuming a family quarrel (Xanthippus having prosecuted Cimon's father in 489), this tradition presents singular features, which perhaps deserve more attention than they have received.[1] Aristotle asserts that "Pericles entered on his demagogic career having first won fame when he prosecuted Cimon at his euthynai,[2] when Cimon was general and Pericles was a young man." As the (same) story appears in Plutarch, however, Pericles acquired dubious fame in the affair because his prosecution was notably feeble. Plutarch's source was Stesimbrotus of Thasos (FGrHist 107), one of whose interests was the aberrant sexual behavior of the objects of his attack (in his pamphlet On Themistocles, Thucydides, and Pericles ). The point of this anecdote is that Elpinice, the sister of Cimon, offered herself to Pericles to buy him off, and though he refused the favor, he nonetheless pursued Cimon with the utmost restraint. Pericles, in rejecting Elpinice, was supposed to have sneered at her, calling her too old a woman to accomplish her purposes. It follows, of course, that (for the purpose of the anecdote) Pericles was a young man. Was this the basis for Aristotle's inference about Pericles' age, and did he simply reverse the Stesimbrotean "failure" into a Periclean "suc-

[1] Cf., e.g., Sealey, Essays, pp. 62–63, Meiggs, AE, p. 88, and Ostwald, Sovereignty, pp. 40–41.

[2] Ath. Pol. 27.1; see ch. 2, n. 88.


cess" because he supposed that Stesimbrotus, as usual, was intentionally malicious and capable of historical distortion? There are, of course, other alternatives: Aristotle may have assumed that Pericles, like other politicians, must obviously have been young at the start of his political career; it is even conceivable that

is an interpolation. One may doubt that Plutarch found this expression in his text of the Ath. Pol., for it makes nonsense of his declaration that Pericles refrained from politics when he was a young man (Per. 7.1). In sum, speculation about Pericles' relative age on the basis of Ath. Pol. 27.1 seems hazardous, even if we accept as fact this rather dubious anecdote retailed by Stesimbrotus.


Appendix 3—
Damon Son of Damonides

Of the two figures who loom large in Pericles' intellectual background, Anaxagoras[1] and Damon of Oa (an Athenian deme), the direct influence of Damon seems to have been considerable. Damon was a true representative of "the age of the sophists," whose exploration of knowledge and critical examination of institutions were unquestionably shared by Pericles himself. Damon's speciality was music and he theorized about the relationship of music to ethics and politics (DK 37 B4, 6, 10). But he was also capable of expanding on any subject (Plato Laches 180d) and was associated with Prodicus of Ceos (Laches 197d), a contemporary of Socrates known for his study of the meaning of words.

Damon's chief interest for us, however, arises from the fact that he was also an active politician (cf. Antiphon) whose association with Pericles is solidly attested. Arist. Ath. Pol. 27.4, as we have seen, credits him with "most" of Pericles' legislation, specifically, the introduction of jury payment. The association of the two men is confirmed by Isocrates 15.235 and [Plato] Alcibiades 1.118c. Even Aristotle's statement that Damon was ostracized receives partial confirmation from the discovery of an ostrakon bearing his name.[2] That the two men stood in a close relationship, moreover, is proven by two verses of Plato Comicus, who wrote c. 428–c.386.[3] The verses are quoted below.

[1] See, in general, H. Fränkel, Wege und Formen frühgriechischen Denkens (Munich, 1960), pp. 284–90; fragments and testimonia are collected in DK, 2.1–44. An engaging picture is painted by Plutarch, Per. 4.6, 6.1, 8.1–2, 16.8.

[2] ML 21, p. 46; Arist. Ath. Pol. 27.4; et al.

[3] W. Schmid and O. Stählin, Geschichte der griechischen Literatur (Munich, 1946), 1.4.145f.


Though we can never know, obviously, the precise debt, if any, of Pericles to Damon, the verses of Plato Comicus provide us with another piece of valuable information. They permit us to infer the approximate date of Damon's ostracism. The iambic verses, as preserved in Plut. Per. 4.4, are as follows:



Now first of all, if you please, tell me this. For
People say that you reared Pericles, like another Cheiron.

It does not seem adventurous to infer that these verses presuppose the chance meeting in Athens by one of the characters in this unknown play with the redoubtable Damon. The point of the allusion is that Damon, because of his relationship with Pericles, is in the position to answer a (hitherto unasked and unanswered) question about Pericles. The implication (borne out by the date of the comic poet) is that Pericles is dead. From the excitement and impetuosity of the question we may infer that Damon is a new arrival whose special knowledge can now conveniently be tapped. Damon, therefore, has been introduced onto the stage because of fresh interest in him: he has just returned from the ostracism.

Since Plato Comicus produced his first play in 428, the terminus post quem for the ostracism is 438/7, though, of course, the play could have been written a few years later. In view of the prosecution of Pheidias in 438/7, it is tempting to place the ostracism in that year or the one after that, so that the comedy of Plato would have been produced in 428/7 or 427/6. In any case, the implication of these verses is that Damon cannot have been ostracized before 438, and that is solid gain. It confirms the remark of Pseudo-Plato, Alcibiades 1.118c, that Pericles consorted with Damon when Pericles was well in the prime of life ("and even now, at his age, Pericles associates with him"). The early fifties, much less the late sixties, is far too early for the imputed association; Plato Rep. 400bc (dramatic date c. 410) speaks of Damon as still alive and intellectually vigorous. If Damon could credibly be supposed to have advised Pericles about jury pay, the context must be the late fifties or, better, the early forties.


Appendix 4—
Pericles' Marriages

Of Pericles' two marriages, the first was conventional and attracted little attention. We do not therefore even know the name of his first wife, though it is known that she was a relative and became the mother of his legitimate sons, Xanthippus and Paralus.[1] Plutarch Per. 24.8 asserts that this woman had earlier been the wife of Hipponicus son of Callias, though Beloch made a reasonable case that Plutarch has reversed the order of these marriages.[2] On this view, it was after the dissolution of her union with Pericles that this woman married the son of Callias. Since Callias was the brother-in-law of Cimon, the political opponent of Pericles, and a potent figure in his own right (he was the signatory of the "Peace of Callias"), something has therefore been made of this marital exchange. But the relationship is tenuous, nor is it clear how divorce implies rapprochement. The possible ramifications of this divorce and remarriage seem therefore too insubstantial to be worth pursuing.[3]

[1] Bicknell, pp. 77–83, speculates that Pericles' relative and wife was his Alcmeonid first cousin (the daughter of Megacles).

[2] Beloch, 2.2.35; see also Davies, pp. 262–63, 457; R. D. Cromey, "Perikles' Wife: Chronological Calculations," GRBS 23 (1982), 203–12.

[3] It is a misuse of prosopography to infer political implications without a grasp of the social preconditions governing intermarriage within the Athenian aristocracy. We may infer the implementation of dynastic policy when we detect reverberations of a political nature from a marriage alliance (cf. Xanthippus's marriage to Agariste and the subsequent ostracism), but we can hardly infer reverberations, as seems to be the case here. Compare the anecdote about Elpinice (Davies, p. 259), which is roundly condemned by Badian,JHS 107 (1987), 14 n. 28. It is interesting to consider that Cimon's wife, Isodice, was the daughter of the Alcmeonid Euryptolemus (Davies, p. 367), for no family alignment is otherwise indicated, while opposition is attested; cf. ch. 1, n. 45.


Problems of a different kind complicate our appraisal of Pericles' second marriage, for the union of Pericles with Aspasia of Miletus was inherently provocative, raising wave upon wave of comment and speculation. When the fiercely patriotic Athenian took into his house a woman whom his own citizenship law declared to be an invalid mate, the contradiction cannot but have excited rumor, which continued and expanded from Pericles' time well into the next century. The fact that Pericles was personally austere (Plut. Per. 16.6), kept to himself (7.5), and passed his time in intellectual discussion (36.4–5)[4] naturally raised questions about the Ionian charmer that would not have been asked about a traditional Athenian marriage. Since the marriage could only have been politically disadvantageous, Aspasia's personal character must have been as extraordinary as Pericles' aplomb in taking the step, and the result was the elaboration of myth.

It seems almost churlish to approach the legend of Aspasia with serious purpose, for some of the qualities attributed to her (not all of them) have an appealing paradoxical quality. But we deal with the tradition, not the person, and it may well be, for all we know, that the real Aspasia was more than a match for her fictional counterpart.[5] The facts known to us are that at some time prior to 441 (she was accused of causing the Samian War: Plut. Per. 24.2), she married Pericles and bore him a son, Pericles II, the only one of Pericles' children to survive him.[6] Aspasia was a native of Miletus and the daughter of Axiochos; since her marriage with Pericles followed the passage of the citizenship law of 451/50, Pericles II acquired citizenship by special dispensation (Suda, s.v.

et al.). On Pericles' death, Aspasia is said to have married the demagogue Lysikles (schol. Menex. 235e, Plut. Per. 24.6).

In the development of the myth, two stages of invention should be

[4] This passage, in which Pericles' son makes mock of his father's regular habit of discussing academic questions with sophists invited to his home, is an important testimony; as Jacoby saw (at FGrHist 107 F 11), its ultimate source was Pericles' contemporary, Stesimbrotus of Thasos. Although Stesimbrotus's prejudice leads him to make wild statements, the domestic arrangement described is a circumstantial detail not likely to have been invented.

[5] For rather credulous appraisals, see E. F. Bloedow, "Aspasia and the 'Mystery' of the Menexenos, " WS 88 (1975), 32–48; T. J. Cadoux, OCD , s.v. "Aspasia"; A. R. Burn, Pericles and Athens (London, 1948), pp. 128–29; cf. M. Montuori, "Di Aspasia milesia," AFLN 20 (1977–78), 63–85; for Aspasia in general, see Busolt, 1.505–13, Fornara 96.

[6] Davies, p. 458, sets the marriage between 451/50 and 440.


distinguished: (1) fifth-century comic exaggerations of her power over Pericles and her disreputable avocation; (2) fourth-century philosophical fiction centering on her intellectual capacity and rhetorical gifts. The traditions are complex, especially that which evolved in the fourth century, and we must be content here to state our conclusions succinctly.

Incited, no doubt, by the circumstance that Athens entered war with Samos on behalf of Miletus (Thuc. 1.115.2–3), the comic poets (see, e.g., Plut. Per. 24.9) took the opportunity of blaming it all on the Milesian Aspasia. Thus she became the "New Omphale," "Dianeira," "Hera" and "Helen." The comic tradition, once begun, continued after 431 by making her the cause of the Peloponnesian War (Ar. Ach. 526ff.). Since these jests are obviously not the kind that require the proverbial "grain of truth," we may dismiss them, noting the implication that Aspasia's sexuality gave her power over Pericles. Parallel reasoning applies to the fifth-century tradition that Aspasia was a harlot and managed houses of ill-repute, for the key to this development is once again the assumption of her lubricity coupled with her low civic status. For because of the citizenship law Pericles personally had proposed, his marriage with a Milesian was no marriage in respect of their issue, who could not be recognized as citizens of Athens. Hence the charge that Aspasia was a concubine and her son a bastard (Plut. Per. 24.9–11). This diminution in status made it easy to lower her further still, so that by the time Aristophanes accused the new Helen of causing the Peloponnesian War, her harlots had solidified out of the empty air as her likely associates, plying the same arts with which she had entrapped Pericles. It is plausible, moreover, to infer that Milesian women acquired notoriety in Athens as hetairai and that (for the purpose of Aristophanes' joke) Milesian hetairai became "Aspasias" because they were linked by a common ethnicity. But Aspasia was a woman of aristocratic birth, as her assumption of a patronymic implies.[7] Her long cohabitation with Pericles rather guarantees her decorous conduct.

The reasons behind her appearance in fourth-century Socratic literature[8] are more difficult to fathom. By that time, of course, the

[7] The name of her father, Axiochos, which is very rare, suggests that she may have been the issue of a collateral line of the Alcmeonid house, for the name recurs in the family of Alcibiades, himself an Alcmeonid on his mother's side; J. Kirchner, Prosopographia Attica (Berlin, 1901), 1330; cf. Davies, pp. 16–17.

[8] Plut. Per. 24.2–11 (Aeschines Socraticus F 45,46 Krauss); Athenaeus 13.589e (Antisthenes); schol. to Plato Menex. 235e.


"Omphale-tradition" was entrenched and thus could become fused with the equally solid (but authentic) tradition of Pericles' intellectuality and brilliant rhetorical gifts. Whether it was in a playful spirit or in an indirect attack, as seems more likely, Omphale was transformed into the omniscient wise woman. The paradox of the idea may have amused the Socratics, permitting them also to depreciate Pericles and the inspiration of his radical democratic politics. Yet a certain delicacy was required in criticizing Pericles; as we see from Plato's Gorgias, Pericles needed to be handled gently even in a frontal attack. The creation of Aspasia as Pericles' genius may have served the Socratics' turn, the idea having been stimulated by the evident devotion of Pericles to his wife (Plut. Per. 24.8) and his apparently unremitting devotion to intellectual pursuits.[9] It therefore became reasonable (and no doubt correct) to conclude that Aspasia possessed high intellect and was more conversant than the average Athenian woman[10] with the business of politics and the world of the mind. In any event, the Socratics, with the oblique humor and irony that characterize them, created the fictional character.[11]

[9] See Plut. Per. 36.4–5, and n. 4 above.

[10] W. K. Lacey, The Family in Classical Greece (Ithaca, N.Y., 1968), p. 163.

[11] The alleged trial of Aspasia for impiety (Athenaeus 13.589de; cf. Plut. Per. 32.1, 5) rests on a misunderstanding of the comic poet Hermippus, and should have been rejected by, among others, Burn, Pericles and Athens, p. 176.


Appendix 5—

It is proper to observe that the existence of isonomia as an anachronism in the Harmodius song, though it proves that the skolion is not archaic, fails to prove that isonomia could not have been an old word in use in the last part of the sixth century as a political expression. In fact, there is reason to infer the contrary—if, that is, Herodotus is a reliable guide and we interpret him correctly. For it is noteworthy that Herodotus restricts his use of this word to archaic contexts—the abolition of tyranny in Samos just after 522 (3.142.3), Aristagoras's alleged renunciation of power in 499 (5.37.2) and, of course, the Great Debate of the Persian nobles c. 522 (3.80). If this is not accidental, it might follow that the word possessed archaic associations broad enough to cover the emancipation of the people from a tyranny, on the one hand, and, on the other, its service as a predicate of fifth-century democracy. These two meanings need not be regarded as mutually exclusive, especially if the term is old, for they are not fundamentally incompatible. We can readily imagine a development of the word whereby "the distribution of equality to all members of the community" might culminate in "the state of equality among all the citizenry of a polis. " As it happens, moreover, Herodotus seems to gloss this word on two occasions of the three in which he uses it. In 3.142.3, Maiandrios says to the people: "I place my rule in your midst " inline image. In 3.80.1, Otanes is introduced as desirous of "placing matters in the midst of the Persians" inline image. As we know from study of Herodotean style, the leading sentence of a "paragraph"


carries the main weight of meaning for what will follow, so that his introduction of Otanes with these words makes them semantically equivalent to the notion resumed in 3.80.6, where isonomia occurs. Something similar, though not identical, appears in 5.37.2: "releasing the tyranny he established isonomia " (inline image

), is at least formed on the same design as "releasing the tyranny and placing the rule in the midst of the citizenry." Now this is not conceptually very different from the idea of "distributing political rights among the citizenry," a meaning that seems to be the root of isonomia (inline image), and the procedure is precisely the one Cleisthenes followed in his tribal reform, which can accurately be described as "placing the rule in the midst of the people." It is conceivable, therefore, that the term was indeed an old one, which could have been used by Cleisthenes to promulgate his intentions when he reorganized the tribes. But if so, the word had yet to acquire the nobler connotations some scholars have interpolated backward to the year 508/7.


Appendix 6—
The Date of Cleisthenes' Reform

Everything depends on chronology, and here the tradition leaves us virtually helpless. The coup is conventionally dated to 508/7 because Aristotle Ath. Pol. 21.1 sets the date of the reform in the archonship of Isagoras "in the fourth year" after the overthrow of the tyrants (511/10), and the date of Isagoras is confirmed by Diodorus 1.74.6, 5.1.1. On the other hand, Pollux Onomast. 8.110 contains the information that "the ten tribes were made in the year ofAlkmaion." Alcmeon's year is unknown, but the significance of his name is self-evident. The difficulties and hypothetical explanations of modern scholars are well presented by T. J. Cadoux;[1] for more recent discussion see Ostwald and Rhodes.[2] We do not know who the archons may have been in the years 506/5, 505/4, 503/2; even the conventionally accepted date of Hermocreon (501/500), when the bouleutic oath was passed (Ath. Pol. 22.2), is conjectural.[3] Thus Alcmeon can have been eponymous archon in any one of these unassigned years, though he is usually placed in 507/6. Now Aristotle probably believed that the tribal reform was carried through in the single year 508/7, though a difficulty arises in 22.2. Here he dates the introduction of the bouleutic oath in Hermocreon's year, but he sets it in "the fifth year after the (implementation of) the (Cleisthenic) katastasis (constitution)," that is, 504/3. Since, however,

[1] T. J. Cadoux, "The Athenian Archons from Kreon to Hypsichides," JHS 68 (1948), 114–15 n. 249.

[2] Ostwald, Nomos, pp. 142–45, Rhodes, AP, pp. 242ff.

[3] Cf. Cadoux, JHS 68 (1948), 115–16.


another archon (Acestorides) held office in that year, it has been deemed defensible to place Hermocreon in 501/500 by emending the "fifth" year to the "eighth."[4] That year is chosen because Aristotle links the oath with the establishment of the board of ten generals. For Aristotle, after mentioning the introduction of the oath, continues by asserting that "afterward," "after that" (inline image) came the board of ten generals, and he assigns the establishment of this board to the twelfth year before Marathon (Ath. Pol. 22.3), 501/500. The conventional solution has therefore been to place both pieces of legislation in the same year and to attribute that year to Hermocreon.[5] This solution seems unsatisfactory. Aristotle's temporal dislocation of the bouleutic oath from the strategia is assured by his use of the temporal adverb

. It implies that he found these enactments listed in separate years, whatever the interval between them; otherwise Aristotle would have presented them as if they were coincident measures.[6] The proper inference is that Hermocreon's year was anterior to 501/500.

To return to the chronology of the Cleisthenic legislation: we believe that it is sound method to insist on the primacy of the sequence of events as ordered by Herodotus, with one qualification added. One must suspend judgment about the intervals he implies to have separated one event from another in the chain. The tradition (we suppose) remembered the sequence of events but did not remember and report the hiatus between them as "events" in themselves. These intervals, in other words, merely represent Herodotus's assumptions about the relative rapidity of the course of events he describes, and if the events themselves appear to require more time than Herodotus allows in which to complete themselves, his assumptions need not encumber our reconstruction. We assume, therefore, that sufficient time passed between Isagoras's overthrow and Cleomenes' subsequent invasion of Attica to allow the tribal reform and the formation of a democratic boule. For that conclusion is mandated by Herodotus's assertion that "the boule " resisted Cleomenes even after Cleisthenes departed from Athens. Her-

[4] Suggested by F. G. Kenyon in the editio princeps (London, 1891); cf. Cadoux, JHS 68 (1948), 115–16, Hignett, HAC, p. 337, and Rhodes, AP, pp. 262–263.

[5] Cadoux, JHS 68 (1948), 115–16, Hignett, HAC, p. 337.

[6] Whether the sequence in Ath. Pol. 22 is "logical" or "temporal" (Rhodes AP, ad loc.) is irrelevant since the issue is the separation by Aristotle of two different measures. Unless it is supposed that the Atthidographic tradition would have recorded a hiatus within an archon year, it seems necessary to conclude that the separation of these measures was determined by their place in different years. See Fornara, Generals, pp. 4–5 n. 12.


odotus allows, and the circumstances require, that the boule in question was Cleisthenic. The tribal reform had therefore been implemented before Cleomenes entered Attica.

If we were to speculate about the absolute chronology, we would suppose that the date of the bouleutic oath (already incorrectly given by Aristotle) belongs in 506/5, the tribal reform having been carried out in 507/6, Alcmeon's year. Whether Cleisthenes' coup actually commenced in 508/7 depends on the answer to another question—viz., whether the presence of Isagoras's name in the archon list led Aristotle to combine it inferentially with Herodotus's account. If so, Isagoras's year would supply us with nothing more than a terminus post quem, and the reform came a little later than we normally suppose. But speculation about this point would not be profitable.


Appendix 7—
The "First" Peace of Callias

It seems self-evident that the wholly disparate nature of the combatants, the Greek allies and the Persian empire, made "peace" on any terms an inconceivable goal for the Greeks during the first years of the Delian League. The only terms acceptable to Persia were earth and water, while the Greeks, whatever their optimism, well understood the impossibility of extorting peace by conquest. Thus, when the defensive war against Persia was concluded in 479, it was open to the Greeks to walk away from the war, to hope that it would not be renewed, and to prepare for the next onslaught if it were. Peace, however, was a prospect beyond contemplation. Similarly, when Sparta initially attempted to lead a war of liberation and then left it to the Athenians to wage a "retaliative" offensive, some eventual formal end to hostilities with Persia was contrary to natural expectation. In the beginning, at least, the only question beyond vengeance faced by the allies was how deeply they might penetrate Asia Minor or wrest away those Greek and mixed-Greek city-states on the coast.[1] At some point, no doubt, the extraordinary success of the allies brought an alteration of perspective. That point would have been reached when the Athenians (for it makes no sense to speak of "the allies" in this connection) discovered that they had much more to gain than to lose by ending hostilities, if that could be managed. This discovery presupposes two developments: the consolidation of an imperial framework valuable enough to protect by inducing Persia to rec-

[1] Cf. Aesch. Pers. 904–7, to be understood with Aeschylus's preceding list.


ognize the status quo, and a display of power potent enough to encourage the Great King to consider the proposition of making peace. Such a display was provided at the Eurymedon, and since that battle was contemporaneous with the Athenians' decision to apply force against the allies in order to keep the league intact, both conditions were met. The historical moment, though it seems early, was not inappropriate to an Athenian desire to "end the war." Something is to be said, therefore, in favor of the case, recently argued by Ernst Badian, that a conclusion of peace was reached after the Eurymedon, negotiated by the same figure, Callias, who concluded the peace of 449/8.[2]

However, evidence sufficient to establish the existence of a Peace of Callias earlier than, and confirmed by, the Peace of 449/8, cannot be coaxed out of the ancient tradition. It is quite true that a consensus held in the fourth century that a peace with Persia, formal or de facto,[3] followed the battle of the Eurymedon, but in view of the objections raised against that belief in the same century and, especially, of Ephorus's dating of the Peace of Callias to 449/8, this uncertainty is plausibly explained by an oral tradition allocating credit to Cimon, who certainly deserved it, for making the Aegean into an Athenian lake; the later peace was then associated with the earlier accomplishment at the Eurymedon. This battle was truly epoch-making, and the splendor of the success made it easy enough for the Athenians to telescope the great event with the actual formalization of 449/8, since Cimon was associated with the latter event as well. For Cimon was involved (or virtually involved) in a similar contest with the Persians in the same geographical area in 450, and this military action formed the prelude to the peace.[4] That the "doublet" generated real confusion resulting in the assimilation of the later battle to the earlier has been amply demonstrated by Eduard Meyer.[5] Thus the mythopoeia of the fourth-century tradition in Plato, Isocrates, and others[6] is neither problematical nor

[2] E. Badian, "The Peace of Callias," JHS 107 (1987), 1–39; for the bibliography on the subject, see K. Meister, Die Ungeschichtlichkeit des Kalliasfriedens und deren Folgen, Palingenesia 18 (Wiesbaden, 1982), pp. 124–30.

[3] Badian's objection, JHS 107 (1987), 7, to this concept is not clear to us. A cessation of actual hostilities between Eurymedon and c. 460 that involved no "understanding" might legitimately be so conceived.

[4] On the Cyprian campaign, see Meiggs, AE, pp. 124–28. Cf. Badian's objections to Meiggs's chronology (450/49), JHS 107 (1987), 38–39. The chronological debate is immaterial to our present point, but see above, ch. 3, n. 3.

[5] Meyer, Forsch., 2.1–25.

[6] Plato Menex. 242a10; cf. Plut. Cim. 13.4–5, Isocrates 4.118–20, 7.80, and cita-tions/translations at Fornara 95. For discussion, see Badian, JHS 107 (1987), and see below.


necessitates a reason to infer, uneconomically, that the peace actually was duplicated.

What is needed to prove the conclusion of a peace both after Eurymedon and in 449/8 is a tradition to that effect known to a fourth-century source. Badian argues that the desired evidence can be deduced by combination of the Suda, s.v.

, and Aristodemus, FGrHist 104 F 13.[7] On this view, the testimony of each, taken together, allows the inference that Ephorus referred to both treaties in his history. For the Suda apparently refers to the confirmation by Callias with Artaxerxes of boundaries fixed by treaty in the time of Cimon. He is called general and reference is made to his "nickname," Lakkoploutos. Aristodemus, almost certainly an epitomator of Ephorus,[8] refers to Callias as general and repeats the name Lakkoploutos in his brief discussion of the peace of 449/8 concluded with Artaxerxes. These coincidences led Badian to suppose that Aristodemus and the Suda reflect a common source, which can only be Ephorus. If so, Ephorus referred to the conclusion of two peaces made by Callias, one in the time of Cimon, the other just after his death.

It is necessary to consider the testimony in the Suda closely. The text reads as follows:

. Before we attempt to extract conclusions from this sentence, it must be observed first that it is so compressed as to render its meaning problematical. Badian, indeed, fully recognizes that "we cannot be sure what this is intended to mean." "It may be taken to say that Callias fought as general against Artaxerxes and thus secured the boundaries fixed in Cimon's day", though he prefers to render it: "Callias, . . . while general, secured towards Artaxerxes the boundaries fixed in the treaty of Cimon's day." However,
regularly takes a dative, and word placement of
with the name Artaxerxes immediately following makes the first of the two possibilities distinctly preferable. The difference would not be material were it not also for the peculiarity of the phrase
. Not even tragic diction would happily invent this phrase to mean "the boundaries (arising) from the peace." The second meaning, moreover, is assuredly not what the Suda

[7] Badian, JHS 107 (1987), 15ff.

[8] F. Jacoby, FGrHist II c, p. 320; cf. Badian, JHS 107 (1987), 16, where the following quotations from Badian are to be found.


intended, as we learn from the use in the Suda of the same noun, s.v.

, to refer to "boundaries." In this notice, the Suda, after mention of the Eurymedon, continues:
—"he is the one who fixed the boundaries for the barbarians." Now since
cannot legitimately be translated as "the boundaries arising from the peace in the time of Cimon," we may conclude that the Suda, s.v.
, misleads by compression, the writer having intended to write something to the effect that "Callias confirmed by treaty the boundaries fixed in the time of Cimon." For, needless to state, the presence of similar language in both notices together with the absence of a reference to spondai, a peace, in the article on Cimon strongly supports the assumption that the spondai in the problematical Suda, s.v.
, were meant to refer to the peace of 449/8. Now this piece of information (Cimon's "boundaries") fits the standard view promulgated in the fourth century already mentioned above, and by itself, therefore, it is incapable of supporting Badian's hypothesis. Indeed, it is difficult to conceive of a situation in which the Suda, which apparently knows nothing of spondai when reporting on Cimon, would have preserved a recollection of that peace when speaking of yet another peace actually concluded by Callias in the article under his name. The preservation of such a detail s.v.
in what was an afterthought would presuppose the existence of a tradition in which the association of Cimon with his alleged spondai must have been well-ventilated, but the opposite is true—see, for example, Plut. Per. 9.5.

On the other hand, Badian's revaluation of Herodotus 7.151 makes it plausible to suppose that the idea of peace was entertained not long after the accession of Artaxerxes to the Persian throne, though a different context (from that adopted by Badian) for the diplomatic exchange may profitably be suggested. Herodotus 7.151 may be translated as follows:

Some Greeks say that the following report also accords with [the tradition that the Argives avoided service in 480 because a herald from Xerxes reminded them of their common origin through Perseus.] This story involves events of a much later time. It happened that Athenian envoys, namely Callias, son of Hipponicus, and those who had traveled up-country with him, were in Susa on some other business, and the Argives, having at the same time also sent messengers to Susa, asked Artaxerxes, son of Xerxes, whether the treaty of friendship they had made with Xerxes remained in effect for them, or whether they were considered by him to be enemies. King Artaxerxes said that the treaty of friendship was most firmly in place and that he considered no city more friendly than Argos.


Artaxerxes secured power in 465/4 at earliest.[9] Badian postulates the arrival of the Argive embassy late in 464—as soon, in other words, as humanly possible. He explains the singular rapidity of this sequence by "taking the Argives' apparent eagerness and anxiety into account."[10] These emotions, however, are a modern assumption; there is no substantive reason to assume haste—a year or more will square with the evidence more realistically. Argos stood in no danger that Persia was in a position to alleviate. On the other hand, the vital fact is that Herodotus states that the Argives and the Athenians were in Susa together: he neither implies nor disavows the possibility that the embassies were simultaneously dispatched from Greece (though their simultaneous arrival suggests a common embassy). If the embassies arrived together, and set forth together, this makes it likely that the renewal of friendship by the Argives partly served as a vehicle for the introduction of the Athenians to an audience with the Great King. The relevant fact for the chronology is the alliance formed between Argos and Athens c. 462, when Cimon's government was overturned. The consideration now becomes significant that as far as we know hostilities of a notable kind did not take place between the victory at the Eurymedon and the renewal of fighting at Cyprus and Egypt c. 460. If Badian is right that "an Athenian embassy had no business at Susa at all . . . as long as a state of war existed, except by special arrangement, to try to end that state of war,"[11] it is almost certain that the Athenians pushed the notion of peace, assisted thereto by the Argives, after the disavowal of Cimon, and that the date of the embassy fell in the late sixties. We may infer, therefore, that a breakdown in negotiations (if the Great King allowed them to proceed that far) pressed by the new Athenian government spurred the renewal of hostilities, the stick instead of the carrot, the end in view being to compel Persia to the bargaining-table, as eventually occurred in 449/8. Thus we are able to comprehend the turn in foreign policy taken by the Athenians after the Great King's rejection of a peace sought by the Athenians to confirm the status quo.

[9] Badian, JHS 107 (1987), 3.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid.


Appendix 8—
The Strasbourg Papyrus and the Financial Decrees of Callias

Something should be said about the alleged relationship between the Strasbourg Papyrus, in its most recent epiphany (Wade-Gery and Meritt),[1] and the Callias Decrees, conventionally dated in 434/3.[2] There are two decrees of Callias, denoted A and B, inscribed on opposite sides of the same piece of marble. Since the assumption that they were carved at the same time is arbitrary, we believe that Callias A must be interpreted according to its own terms, without regard to the conjectural association with it of Callias B. Now Callias A, lines 3–4, states that monies owed to the gods (i.e., the other gods) must be repaid "since Athena's three thousand talents, which were voted, have been brought up to the acropolis."

If the decree belongs in 434/3, the 3,000 talents may be viewed as a

[1] H. T. Wade-Gery and B. D. Meritt, "Athenian Resources in 449 and 431 B.C. ," Hesperia 26 (1957), 164–88; cf. ATL, 2.61 (D13); Fornara 94.

[2] IG i 52 = ML 58 = Fornara 119; cf. SEG 34.17. Arguments presented by H. Mattingly, BCH 92 (1968), 450–85, BSA 65 (1970), 147–49, Phoros, 94–97, GRBS 16 (1975), 15–22 (see Appendix 10, n. 1, below for his bibliography), and Fornara, GRBS 11 (1970), 185–96 (cf. D. W. Bradeen, GRBS 12 [1971], 469–83; W. E. Thompson, "Internal Evidence for the Date of the Kallias Decrees," SO 48 [1973], 24–46; and D. M. Lewis, "Entrenchment-clauses in Attic Decrees," in Phoros, 82–84), who opt for 422/1 and 418/7, respectively, have been countered by Meiggs, AE, pp. 519–23, 601, and the reader must make his own determination of the relative merits of these competing views. Cf. more recently, B. D. Meritt, "Thucydides and the Decrees of Kallias," Studies . . . Eugene Vanderpool, Hesperia Suppl. 19 (1982); Ch. Triebel-Schubert, "Zur Datierung der Kallias-Dekrete," QC 6 (1984), 355–75; and H. Mattingly, AJP 105 (1984), 355–57.


massive infusion of funds accumulated in installments in prevision of the coming war.[3] On that assumption, Wade-Gery and Meritt interpolate into the Strasbourg "Papyrus Decree of 450/49" (line 8) an anticipation of that ultimate bestowal.[4] Though the interpolation can be dismissed as tautologous, the reason motivating it deserves attention, for it may well seem plausible that the 3,000 talents mentioned in Callias A were in fact a payment by the Athenians to themselves for the purpose conventionally alleged—that is, the accumulation of a war-chest. Something of that nature, indeed, seems required if the date of Callias A is really 434/3, for by that time the Athenians had incurred no debts of such magnitude to Athena.[5] By the same logic, if these sums represent the cancellation of an actual debt, the date 434/3 is impossible.

The same ground need not be ploughed all over again. The context inescapably implies the elimination of state debt. "Repayment of the [other] gods" is predicated on the payment of the 3,000 talents to Athena; as the stone says, "it is resolved to pay back to the other gods the money owed them (inline image) since, now that, " Athena has received her money. Now the Athenians could hardly have conceived of the following sequence: "since we have paid Athena the installment money we obligated ourselves to give her in order to create a handsome surplus, we shall proceed to liquidate the sacred debt we have simulta-

[3] It should be observed that the notion of installments from c. 450 does not square with the accumulation of a war chest in 434.

[4] It is not a virtue of this hypothesis that it complicates what we would ordinarily suppose to have been straightforward Athenian financial management, perfectly in keeping with fifth-century practice, which did not run surpluses. The Athenians possessed 9,700 talents before 448/7 (pace ATL, 3.281, 338; cf. Meiggs, AE, pp. 65–66) and 6,000 talents in 431 or a little thereafter. The highwater mark presumably came in 454, when the size of the sum coupled with the circumstances of the transfer from Delos would have fixed it in memory. Now assuming that in 450/49 the Athenians had 9,700 talents or less (the theoricon and jury payments had probably been introduced by this time) and spent their income on their fleet and themselves (except for the quota paid to Athena), what inducement would they have had, when they possessed this fortune, to reduce their expenditures in order arbitrarily to increase their reserve?


neously incurred to the other gods." Just as the accumulation of sacred debt is a recourse incompatible with the simultaneous enhancement of a sacred surplus, so must the repayment of a sacred borrowing take priority over a secular promise to enhance a reserve; nor were the Athenians so unsophisticated as to be unaware that they were robbing Peter to enrich Paul. A certain semantic confusion seems unnecessarily to have obscured our view of this text, as if a self-imposed (and gratuitously invented) "obligation" is the same as a debt. This cannot be got around; and since independent arguments exist to date this decree to a later year, after actual debts were incurred, it seems perverse to assume, counter to the context of lines 3–6 of Callias A, that the debt to Athena was a metaphor. In any event, that conclusion cannot gain corroboration from restoration of the Strasbourg Papyrus.


Appendix 9—
The Cleinias Decree

The Cleinias Decree,[1] formerly dated in the twenties,[2] is now conventionally set in the early forties (c. 447) primarily because a subsequently discovered fragment discloses that the name of the man who proposed this decree was Cleinias,[3] so that the inference is made that he is one and the same as the famous Cleinias, the father of Alcibiades, who died at the battle of Coronea in 447/6.[4] Yet the name Cleinias is not uncommon enough to be decisive by itself.[5] Other indications of date prove ambiguous. The letter-forms could be earlier than the twenties, but parallels for some of the letters can be found in inscriptions dated to 414/13 and 411/10.[6] The "tone" of the decree has been judged compatible with the new date, c. 447, though the argument is based in large part on analogy with the Coinage Decree, and the date of this decree is also most uncertain.[7]

[1] IG i 34 = ML 46 = Fornara 98; cf. SEG 26.7, 34.1726.

[2] See ML, pp. 120–21.

[3] Hill and Merrit, Hesperia 13 (1944), 1–15; see ML, p. 120.

[4] Isoc. 16.28, Plato Alc. 1 (112c); see Davies, pp. 16–17.

[5] See H. Mattingly, Historia 10 (1961), 153; Alcibiades' brother and cousin were perhaps too young (Davies, pp. 17–18; Mattingly, id., 153).

[6] According to ML, p. 121, "The only objective argument is provided by the letter-forms. Raubitschek emphasized the angle at which the loop of the rho closes against the vertical, and the curved lines of the upsilon, as signs of an early date. Similar rhos may be found into and beyond the twenties, but, with very rare exceptions indeed, curved upsilons are not found after 430"; cf. R. Meiggs, "The Dating of Fifth-Century Attic Inscriptions," JHS 86 (1966), 97 n. 43. The exceptions are IG i 272 and 253, the Parthenon inventories of those years.

[7] See Meiggs, AE, pp. 165ff., 212ff.; cf. pp. 599–601; also pp. 98ff. above.


The decisive objection to the new and early date for the Cleinias Decree follows from its sequential connection with the decree Cleonymus passed in 426. The Cleonymus Decree[8] saw to the appointment of "tribute collectors," nationals from the tribute-paying states, who were made accountable for the amount of tribute brought to Athens. A record was to be made of those cities falling short and the names of the tribute collectors involved. The procedure in the Cleinias Decree implies the use of such tribute collectors; more important, the precautions taken against malfeasance are considerably more sophisticated than those that had contented Cleonymus. Cleonymus was satisfied to place the onus upon the collector and, through him, on the uncooperative city. According to the terms of the Cleinias Decree, however, the tribute-paying city was also to inscribe the sum sent to Athens in an account book, which was sealed, the sum being then sent off to Athens. The account book would be read out at Athens simultaneously with the paying down of the money This attempt to ensure the strictest accountability presupposes the demonstrated inadequacy of Cleonymus's more rudimentary procedure, which, of course, aimed at the same goal. It is difficult to see, therefore, how this decree can have preceded Cleonymus's by twenty years when, according to all logic, by which the simple moves to the complex, it appears to be an "improvement" on the earlier arrangement. Probably it resulted from some instance of gross mismanagement of the tribute funds whereby sums of money fell short, and everyone involved disclaimed responsibility—the Athenians, tribute collectors, and the allied states each blaming someone else for the shortfall. One thinks of the occasion when all but one of the Hellenotamiae were put to death for malfeasance in office although, as the event later proved (Antiph. 5.69), they were guiltless.

The proper context for the decree is therefore the twenties, precisely when the bureaucracy it implies had sprung into existence. For the first sentence of the decree speaks of the (Athenian) governors in the cities and the episkopoi as the persons responsible for the supervision of the tribute payments. Since no exceptions are indicated, any that existed must have been insignificant enough to be ignored. It assuredly needs no argument that Athenian ubiquity such as this is less credible in the forties than in the twenties, when the Peloponnesian War was in progress and the imposition of Athenian officers on the allied cities was a normal precaution. In this connection it is significant that when

[8] IG i 68 = ML 68 = Fornara 133; cf. SEG 34.20.


Pseudo-Xenophon speaks of the advantages accruing to the Athenians because of their custom of judging the allies at Athens, he points out (1.18) that by this means every Athenian was treated sycophantically whereas, if the trials were held in the allies' cities, the allies would honor only the Athenian generals, trierarchs, and envoys. In short, not even the revisionist view of Pericles' custody of the empire entails the thorough subjection of the allies presupposed by this decree.

The propriety of the later date is confirmed by a reference in lines 41f. to "cow and panoply." Cleinias declared that "if anyone acts improperly with regard to the bringing of the cow and panoply," he shall be indicted. "Anyone" in this context, is any allied city. Now it is known from the second decree of Thoudippos (the "Reassessment Decree")[9] that "all" tribute-paying states assessed in 425/4 were then required to bring a cow and panoply to the Panathenaea and to take part in the procession "just as [Athenian] colonists do." If the phrase just quoted is correctly restored, the priority of the Thoudippos Decree, enacted in 425/4, to that of Cleinias is assured.[10] For the usual explanation—that Thoudippos merely imposed a previously enacted requirement on newly assessed cities—is flatly contradicted by the terms used in the decree. "Just as [Athenian] colonists do" is the vital phrase. It indicates that this requirement had been limited, until 425/4, to Athenian settlements. In the Cleinias Decree, as here, the order is directed at tribute-paying states. The later date is mandatory.

[9] IG i 71 = ML 69 = Fornara 136.

[10] This argument, proposed by Mattingly, Historia 10 (1961), 187f., and in "Epigraphically the Twenties Are Too Late," BSA 65 (1970), 140ff., has been dismissed (cf. Meritt and Wade-Gery, JHS 82 [1962], 67–74; ML, p. 121), based on the contention that if Thoudippos's decree marked the beginning of this policy, "we should expect a longer formulation" (ML, p. 121). The formulation is long enough to achieve its purpose and no more should be required of it.


Appendix 10—
The Dating of Attic Inscriptions

Harold Mattingly, in a series of important articles,[1] has adduced various arguments to establish the propriety of a lower date for a set of inscriptions containing three-bar sigma and other archaic letter-forms. For example, he would date the so-called "Regulations for Miletus,"[2] now rather improbably assigned to 450/49, to 426/5; he suggests that the

[1] See Mattingly, "The Athenian Coinage Decree," Historia 10 (1961), 148–88; "Athens and Euboea," JHS 81 (1961), 124–32; "The Methone Decrees," CQ 11 (1961), 154–63; "The Growth of Athenian Imperialism," Historia 12 (1963), 257–73; "The Financial Decrees of Kallias (IG i 91/2)," PACA 7 (1964), 35–55; "Athenian Imperialism and the Foundation of Brea," CQ 16 (1966), 172–92; "Periclean Imperialism," in Ehrenberg Studies, pp. 193–224; "Athens and Aegina," Historia 16 (1967), 1–5; "The Date of the Kallias Decrees," BSA 62 (1967), 14–17; "Athenian Finance in the Peloponnesian War," BCH 92 (1968), 450–85; "Epigraphically the Twenties Are Too Late," BSA 65 (1970), 129–49; "The Language of Athenian Imperialism," Epigraphica 36 (1974), 33–51; "Athens and Eleusis: Some New Ideas," Phoros, 90–103; "The Mysterious 3000 Talents of the First Kallias Decree," GRBS 16 (1975), 15–22; "Three Attic Decrees," Historia 25 (1976), 38–44; "The Tribute Quota Lists from 430 to 425 B.C. " CQ 28 (1978), 83–88; "The Athenian Decree for Miletos (IG i , 22+ = ATL II, D11): A Postscript," Historia 30 (1981), 113–17; "Coins and Amphoras-Chios, Samos, and Thasos in the Fifth Century B.C. ," JHS 101 (1981), 78–86; "The Athena Nike Temple Reconsidered," AJA 86 (1982), 381–85; "The Tribute Districts of the Athenian Empire," Historia 33 (1984), 498–99; review of IG i , D. Lewis (ed.), AJP 105 (1984), 340–57; "The Alliance of Athens with Egesta," Chiron 16 (1986), 166–70; "The Athenian Coinage Decree and the Assertion of Empire," in I. Carradice, ed., Coinage and Administration in the Athenian and Persian Empires (Oxford, 1987), pp. 65–71.

[2] IG i 21 = Fornara 92, SEG 34.7. See, e.g., Mattingly, Historia 10 (1961), 174–81; Phoros, 98–101; AJP 105 (1984), 340–48.


treaty with Hermione,[3] with three-bar sigma, finds its proper context in 425. The Colophonian Decree[4] he would move from c. 446 to 427, and the Egestaean Decree[5] (with immense probability) from 458/7 to 418/17. The difficulty with these proposed dates is that they are all of them plausible, some of them likely, none of them mandatory. The traditional and relatively early context for at least the greater number of the inscriptions discussed by Mattingly is no less acceptable than the later, and it has, on its side, the inference from letter-forms. To jettison the epigraphical criterion would be unjustifiable. We must decide, case by case, whether it is reasonable or unreasonable to allow for exceptions to the rule, keeping open the possibility that Mattingly's systematic redating may yet be vindicated when all of the evidence is more thoroughly assimilated and tested.

In the meantime, it will be enough to argue that "anomalies" do indeed exist. One is the decree of Athena Nike, which has been set into the period 450–445 solely because it was cut with three-bar sigma.[6] Significantly, other telltale letters (beta, phi, and rho) exhibit "developed" characteristics. This decree authorized construction of the temple of Athena Nike and provided for the selection of her priestess. The temple was constructed in the 420s.[7] Moreover, a decree on the reverse side of the stele,[8] apparently carved at the same time, or shortly thereafter, sets the procedure to be followed for the payment of the priestess's salary—a natural consequence of her creation in accordance with the terms of the decree on the obverse side of the stele. This decree is dated with certainty to the year 424/3.[9] It would therefore be a gross

[3] IG i 31, cf. SEG 10.15, 34.9. See Mattingly, Historia 10 (1961), 173; BCH 92 (1968), 484–85; AJP 105 (1984), 348–49.

[4] IG i 37 = ML 47 = Fornara 99; cf. SEG 34.12. See Mattingly, Historia 12 (1963), 266f.; Ehrenberg Studies, pp. 210–12; Epigraphica 36 (1974), 44ff.; AJP 105 (1984), 344.

[5] IG i 11 = ML 37 = Fornara 81. See Mattingly, Historia 12 (1963), 268f.; AJP 105 (1984), 344; Chiron 16 (1986), 166–70. Cf. T. E. Wick, CP 76 (1981), 118–21.

[6] IG i 35 = ML 44 = Fornara 93; cf. SEG 32.2. For the dating, see Meritt and Wade-Gery, JHS 83 (1963), 109–11; ML, pp. 109–11, Meiggs, AE, pp. 496–503; Contra, Mattingly, Historia 10 (1961), 169–71, and AJA 86 (1982), 381–85. The presumption that the plans for the temple had been used for another (the Ilissos temple) built earlier is no longer tenable. On the possible identification of the hand, see S. V. Tracy, "Hands in Fifty-Century B.C. Attic Inscriptions," in Dow Studies, pp. 277–82.

[7] See Meiggs, AE, pp. 496–503, esp. 501; R. Carpenter, The Architects of the Parthenon (London, 1970), p. 85; Mattingly, AJA 86 (1982), 381 n. 1.

[8] IG i 36 = ML 71 = Fornara 139.

[9] The decree is dated by the secretary (Neokleides); cf. ML 70; Wade-Gery, Essays, pp. 308f.; ML, p. 205.


understatement to declare that, by all the rules we customarily apply to the assessment of data, the decree of Athena Nike belongs in the 420s. The architect Callicrates has received his commission; financial officials are given the date on which to farm out the contract and commence the building. These details compel the obvious inference, which even without them would seem necessary—namely, that a precise correlation existed between the passing of this resolution and its effectuation.

Explanations to justify a date in the early forties, entailed by the archaic sigma, seem contrived merely to neutralize the straightforward implications of the evidence. We know, for example, that the first priestess of Athena Nike died sometime after 411,[10] which makes the assumption improbable that she had served in office since the early forties—a tenure of almost forty years. The response is not cogent—when we try to assess the sum of the evidence in order to judge the probabilities—that this priestess must have enjoyed unusual longevity, like the priestess of Hera at Argos who served for more than fifty years.[11] In any event, our priestess, on that assumption, would have been without her temple for some twenty years. Again, the regulation of 424/3 makes the Kolakretai the paymasters of the priestess, referring explicitly to the decree in question. The counterargument is here that some alteration was effected in substance or procedure at that time, though it is neither implied by the sentence nor otherwise known to us.[12] In fact, the decree of 424 states that "the fifty drachmas designated on the stele [i.e., on the obverse side] are to be dispensed by the Kolakretai." The mutual relation of these two decrees is natural and complementary; the assumption of a hiatus of twenty years is not.

How, above all, is the twenty-year wait for the building of the temple to be explained? It has been suggested that construction was delayed because the architect was involved in other programs.[13] The argument is special pleading. The magnitude of the Athenian building program is reflective of optimism and affluence. Money was in abundant supply;

[10] J. Papademetriou, "ATTIKA I," Arch. Eph. (1948/49), 146–53; D. M. Lewis, "Notes on Attic Inscriptions (I)," BSA 50 (1955), 1–7; ML, p. 109. The first priestess, Myrrhine, is identified with the Myrrhine of Ar. Lys., produced in 411. See Mattingly, AJA 86 (1982), 381–85.

[11] Thuc. 2.2.1, 4.133. See Meritt and Wade-Gery, JHS 83 (1963), 110; ML, p. 109. Cf. Pliny NH 34.76, with Lewis, BSA 50 (1955), 4–6, for a tenure of office of 64 years for Lysimache, priestess of Athena.

[12] Suggested by Meritt and Wade-Gery, JHS 83 (1963), 111; cf. ML, pp. 204–5.

[13] Carpenter, Architects of the Parthenon, pp. 84–85, holds that the temple was voted to honor Cimon's victory and Callias's diplomacy and then scrapped by Pericles after the Cimon's death (!). Cf. Meiggs, AE, p. 597.


public works were planned and executed with more élan than at any other time in Athenian history. Did the Athenians build the Parthenon and the Propylaea at the price of the tiny temple of Athena Nike? The adoption of this resolution, whatever its date, is the best possible evidence of the people's commitment to bear the expense and commence construction. The proper moment for the cancellation of a project is not after it has been decreed but when the pressure of other burdens comes to make its completion inexpedient. A pinch of this kind did not remotely afflict the Athenians until just before the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War when, indeed, they left the Propylaea unfinished.

It is more realistic to allow for an apparent epigraphical anomaly than to make Athenian behavior arbitrary and fitful in a matter bearing all traces of studied concern. A resolution by the people is a law; the substance of that decree is weightier evidence than one of the letters comprising it. And, indeed, simple reflection should assure us that the style of engraving cannot have been as uniform and unvarying as the present doctrine requires. As W. K. Pritchett writes:

We know of no ancient law that Athenian masons must give up the use of the three-barred sigma precisely in the year 446 B.C.  . . . There is no parallel in the history of the Attic script for such precision in the abandonment, not of a style of lettering, but of one letter-form in one particular year.[14]

Certainly the style of engraving must depend on idiosyncratic practice as well as on changing trends. Too many unknowns dictated the choice of a workshop or engraver for modern scholars to presume, on the basis of a random sample,[15] what could or could not have been done at a specific time. The Poletai no doubt preferred certain masons over others when they let the contracts, which may help to explain the comparative homogeneity of style, now elevated to the status of an ironclad rule. What are we to suppose occurred, however, in a busy year or as the result of illness, death, or military conscription? What of older stone masons who had learned their craft in the fifties? What of old-fashioned

[14] W. K. Pritchett, BCH 89 (1965), 425.

[15] E.g., Meiggs, JHS 86 (1966). As he recognized, the small sample also hindered A. S. Henry's attempt to provide firm stylistic criteria for dating from the decree prescripts ("The Dating of Fifth-Century Attic Inscriptions," CSCA 11 [1978], 75–108). However, Henry's observations, here and elsewhere (e.g., The Prescripts of Athenian Decrees, Mnemosyne Suppl. 49 [1977]; "Negative Coordination in Attic Decrees," JHS 97 [1977], 155–58; "Archon-Dating in Fifth Century Attic Decrees: The 421 Rule," Chiron 9 [1979], 23ff.; and Honours and Privileges in Athenian Decrees [Hildesheim, 1983], etc.) possess sound evidential value. Cf. Mattingly, AJP 105 (1984), 355–57.


curmudgeons? Did everyone prefer the appearance of the sigma with the extra bar?

There is no reason to believe that the masons marched in lockstep or that the dictates of style were sharply defined and rigorously followed. The expectations of the Athenians, official and ordinary citizen alike, were indulgent in matters of style. The importance the Athenians attached to the massive stele containing the first series of the tribute-quota lists perhaps suggests that the presence of four-bar sigma in the list cut for the year 453/2[16] was due primarily to aesthetic considerations; and it may similarly have been chosen for style when it was used in the Erechtheid casualty list of 459—though its appearance there is in itself an "anomaly." But the Athenians were usually indifferent. No other explanation will cover the indiscriminate use of Ionic and Attic together in the same inscription, the appearance of different forms of the same letter, though often carved by a single person, and other like discordancies.[17] There is a strong possibility that our own appreciation of the aesthetics of Attic inscriptions has caused us subliminally to postulate the refined and self-conscious progression of style more appropriately ascribed to the practicing sculptor. Although one may willingly agree, therefore, that the style of significant letters is a good index of the relative date of Attic decrees, one must insist at the same time that no internal necessity guarantees its universal validity. When ordinary rules of probability indicate a historical context later than that suggested by the exceptional letter-form, it is sounder method to assume an abrogation of our stylistic criteria than to reshuffle the historical sequence.

This conclusion is hardly radical. Too many exceptions to stylistic norms exist to make any one of them invariably decisive. Stone masons carved decrees in the Ionic alphabet fifty years before the archonship of Eucleides (403/2), when the practice became standard.[18] Indeed, some inscriptions nineteenth–century scholars dated to the fourth century in deference to that criterion have now found their proper place because

[16] ATL, vol. 1, figs. 5, 8, 11, 12. Cf. Meiggs, JHS 86, 91–92, Mattingly, AJP 105 (1984), 340, and the following note.

[17] IG i 929 = ML 33 = Fornara 78; cf. SEG 33.34. The line containing four-bar sigma is considered a different hand from that preceding it (ML, p. 73). Other cases of four-bar sigmas in the corpus dated before 445 are collected and briefly discussed by Mattingly, AJP 105 (1984), 340. For examples of variant letter forms in a single inscription, see, from the Attic deme Rhamnous, ML 53 (dated c. 450–440 B.C. ), and the Chalcis Decree, ML 52 (dated 446/5).

[18] E.g., ML 51.


of their substantive requirements.[19] Such anomalies are surely as "unallowable"—even harder to explain—as those involving letter-forms. It has already been observed that consistency is lacking in some decrees carved by one hand alone—Ionic letters are used randomly, as are different forms of the same letter. And as to style and the relative maturity of lettering, the inscription on the altar of Pythian Apollo[20] displays maturity of execution twenty years ahead of its time. The inscription is not unique.[21] We must therefore not be misled by the apparently "objective" evidence of the letter-forms into assuming its intrinsic superiority to other kinds of evidence. For "history," institutional and political development, is broadly governed by its own internal logic. For example, extreme measures of coercion in the ancient world presuppose an originally more moderate approach; complicated bureaucratic procedures do not precede but follow more rudimentary ones. The "tone" of a decree acquires its timbre from a people's developing attitudes, and this tone is subject to discrimination. Such tone is no less "objective" a criterion of date than the shape of a letter, even though the latter can be measured and denoted schematically, while the former requires more subtle analysis and exposition. A perceptible consistency in attitude and expression unifies the decrees of a specific period and demands less peremptory judgments than one based primarily on stylistic criteria.

[19] Ibid., and p. 137.

[20] IG i 761 = ML 11 = Fornara 37; cf. SEG 31.31. See ML, p. 20.

[21] See, e.g., the descriptions of the epigraphic styles in ML 31, 33, 37, 44, 45, and 52. Especially note the phrase "developed Attic letters except [three-bar sigma]" (pp. 80, 107, 111); see also nn. 16, 17, 18 above.


Index of Personal Names and Places

(N.B. Because of the frequent appearance of the names "Athens," "the Athenians," "Sparta," "the Spartans," "the Lacedaemonians," these will not be found in the index.)


Acarnania, 110 , 138

Acestorides, 169

Adeimantos, 117

Aegina, 29 , 88 , 89 , 103 , 116 , 117 , 129 , 130 , 132 , 133 , 137 , 139 , 140 , 143 , 150

Aeschines, 131

Aeschylus, 60

Agariste, daughter of Cleisthenes of Sicyon, 7 , 8 , 10 , 13 , 162 n.3

Agariste, daughter of Hippocrates, 22

Akamantis, 31

Alcaeus, 49 , 54

Alcibiades, 164 n.7, 179

Alcman, 49 , 54

Alcmeon (alleged contemporary of Theseus), 4

Alcmeon (archon eponymous), 168 , 170

Alcmeon I, 3 n.7, 8 , 9 , 10 , 11 , 12 , 13 , 14

Alcmeonids, 1 –24 passim, 35 –36, 57 , 147 –48, 153 , 164 n.7

Alyattes, 9

Anatolia, 76

Anaxagoras, 30 , 30 n.68, 35 , 160

Andocides, 119 , 131

Anthemocritus, 145

Aphytis, 98

Apollo, 5 , 92

Archestratus, 27 , 28 , 62

Archidamus, 122

Archilochus, 107

Argolid, 89

Argos, 59 , 89 , 115 , 128 –29, 174 –75

Aristagoras, 166

Aristeides, 94

Aristodemus, 173

Aristogeiton, 18 , 42 , 43 , 44 , 45 , 46 n.30, 55

Aristonymus, son of Megacles, 22

Aristophanes, 100 , 128

Aristotle, 14 –15, 54 , 56 , 58 , 61 , 63 , 69 , 70 , 73 , 121 –22, 152 –57, 159

Artaxerxes, 29 , 88 , 91 , 110 , 173 –75

Artemision, 117

Aspasia, 30 n.68, 163 –65

Athena Nike, 183 –85

Athena Polias, 5 , 11 , 92 , 177 –78

Athenaeus, 45


Attica, 1 , 4 , 7 , 10 , 11 , 12 , 14 , 34 , 37 , 50 , 51 , 52 , 53 , 54 , 55 , 103 , 106 , 127 , 132 , 133 , 135 , 152 –57, 169 , 170

Axiochus, 163 , 164 n.7


Badian, E., 172 –74

Beloch, K. J., 95 , 153

Boeotia, 29 , 89 , 90 , 91 , 103 , 117 , 130 , 132 , 136 , 137 , 139 , 140

Busolt, G., xvii , 152 –53


Callias, son of Hipponicus, 10 , 85 , 172 –74

Callias, son of Phainippus, 18 , 23 n.50

Callias Lakkoploutos. See Callias, son of Hipponicus

Callicrates, 184

Callinus, 107

Callixenus, son of Aristonymus, 22

Cambyses, 88

Camerina, 108

Chalcis, 103 , 104

Cheiron, 161

Chersonese, 60 , 131

Cimon, 25 , 26 , 27 , 28 , 29 , 31 , 32 , 35 , 59 , 60 , 61 , 68 , 69 , 70 , 76 , 85 –86, 87 , 88 , 90 –91, 109 , 110 , 111 , 112 , 123 , 126 –27, 128 , 129 , 131 , 132 , 135 , 138 –39, 148 , 149 , 150 , 158 , 162 , 173 –75

Clearchus, 100

Cleinias, 179

Cleisthenes of Athens, 1 , 11 , 12 , 13 , 15 , 17 , 19 , 20 n.38, 21 , 22 , 36 , 38 , 39 –41, 44 , 47 –52, 55 –58, 66 , 103 , 124 , 126 , 147 , 148 , 150 , 167 , 168 –70

Cleisthenes of Sicyon, 7 , 8 , 10 , 11 , 13

Cleomenes, 12 , 16 n.32, 38 , 56 , 59 , 103 , 114 , 116 , 117 , 124 , 169 –70

Cleon, 31 , 79 , 98 , 102 , 110

Cleonymus, 180

Colophon, 107 , 183

Comeas, 152

Corcyra, 142 , 144 –45, 146

Corinth, 11 , 117 , 129 , 129 n.46, 140 , 141 , 144 , 146 , 150

Corinthian Gulf, 135

Corinthians, 130 , 136 , 136 n.64

Coronea, 139 , 179

Cos, 98 , 100

Crisa, 8 , 14

Croesus, 8 , 9 , 107 , 115

Cronus, 55

Cylon, 5 , 147 , 156 , 157

Cyprus, 85 , 88 , 139 , 175

Cyrus, 107


Damon, 35 , 68 –70, 160 –61

Damonides. See Damon

Darius, 42 , 107

Datis, 19

Davies, J. K., 4

Deianeira, 164

Delos, 78 , 92 , 93 , 105

Delphi, 4 , 5 , 8 , 9 , 10 , 11 , 13 , 114

Demosthenes, 131

De Sanctis, G., 153

de Ste. Croix, G. E. M., xvii , 123 , 142

Diodorus, 92 , 122 , 123 , 133 , 134 –35

Dionysius of Phocea, 108

Dipaia, 115

Dorcis, 122

Dorians, 89 , 106

Doris, 135

Doriskos, 105 n.94

Dracon, 6 , 157


Egesta, 183

Egypt, 88 , 106 , 129 , 137 , 150 , 175

Ehrenberg, V., 154

Eion, 104

Eleius, 59

Eleusis, 53 , 139

Elpinice, 158 , 162 n.3

Ennea Hodoi, 104 , 105 , 106

Ephialtes, 25 , 26 , 27 , 28 , 50 , 52 , 61 , 62 , 62 n.73, 63 , 64 , 66 , 67 , 69 , 70 , 71 , 83 , 110 , 129 , 132 , 148 , 149

Ephorus, 30 n.68, 92 –93, 97 , 122 –24, 134 –35, 137 , 172 –74

Epidaurus, 89 , 129 , 140

Epimenides, 7 , 7 n.16

Erinyes, 5

Euboea, 139

Eucleides, 186

Euphemus, 108

Eurymedon, 82 , 84 –85, 86 , 87 , 91 , 104 , 106 , 149 , 171 –75

Euryptolemus, son of Megacles, 22 , 162 n.3

Euthydemos, 94 , 95

Euthynos, 95 –96


Geraneia, 133 , 136

Gomme, A. W, 84 , 92 , 105

Gythion, 89 , 137



Halieis, 88 , 89

Harmodius, 18 , 42 , 43 , 44 , 45 , 46 , 46 n.30, 55 , 166

Helen, 164

Hellanicus, 129 , 130 n.50

Hermione, 183

Hermocrates, 108

Hermocreon, 168 –69

Herodotus, 5 –6, 12 –13, 13 n.28, 19 , 35 , 53 , 56 , 61 , 84 , 113 , 117 , 155 –56, 166 , 169 –70, 174 –75

Hestiaeans, 139

Hetoimaridas, 122 –24

Hignett, C., 153

Hipparchus, son of Peisistratus, 17 , 18 , 19 , 21 , 42 , 43 , 45 , 46 , 55

Hippias, son of Peisistratus, 17 , 18 , 19 , 42 , 43 , 114 , 116 , 150

Hippocleides, 13 n.28

Hippocrates, son of Megacles, 22

Hipponicus, son of Callias, 162

Homer, 48


Inaros, 88

Ionians, 60 , 80 , 106 –9, 115

Ion of Chios, 128

Isagoras, 12 , 22 , 36 , 38 , 39 , 117 , 168 , 169 –70

Isocrates, 62 , 113 , 172

Isthmus of Corinth, 89 , 121 , 137

Italy, 110 , 146

Ithome, 128 , 134


Jacoby, F., 13 n.28


Kagan, D., xvii , 123 , 135

Karystos, 104 , 105

Kekryphaleia, 89


Lacedaemonius, 59

Lade, 108

Latium, 57

Laureion, 103

Leipsydrion, 21

Lelantos, 103

Leontinoi, 146

Leotychides, 115

Lycurgus, son of Aristolaidas, 14 , 15 , 154 –55

Lydia, 10 , 12 , 14 , 107

Lysander, 123

Lysikles, 163

Lysimache, 184 n.10


Magnesia, 107

Maiandrios, 166

Marathon, 10 , 13 , 18 , 20 , 22 , 23 , 57 , 60 , 103 , 109 , 116 , 148 , 169

Maroneia, 101

Maskames, 105 n.94

Mattingly, H., 77 n.2, 101 , 182 –83

McGregor, M. (ed. ATL ), 82 –83, 95

Megacles, son of Hippocrates, 22

Megacles I, 4 , 5 , 16 n.32

Megacles II, 7 , 8 , 9 , 12 , 13 , 14 , 15 , 16 , 19 , 22 , 35 , 57 , 147 , 153 , 154 –55, 157

Megara, 5 , 29 , 88 , 89 , 90 , 91 , 129 , 134 , 135 , 139 , 140 , 143 , 144 , 150 , 153 , 156

Megarid, 133 , 136

Meiggs, R., xvii , 84 , 95 , 96

Melos, 98 , 102

Meritt, B. D. (ed. ATL ), 82 –83, 95

Messenians, 128

Meyer, Ed., 85 , 86 , 106 n.96, 172

Miletus, 163 –64, 182

Miltiades, 23 n.50, 60

Munichium, 138

Mycale, 23

Myronides, 88 n.30, 137

Myrrhine, 184 n.10


Naxos, 79 –80, 84 , 86 , 87 , 103 , 104 , 149

Neleids, 3

Neokleides, 183 n.9

Nisaea, 89


Oedipus, 2

Oenophyta, 137

Oiniadai, 138

Old Oligarch. See Pseudo-Xenophon

Olympia, 9

Omphale, 34 , 164 , 165

Ostwald, M., xvii

Otanes, 42 , 166 –67


Pallene, 17 , 21

Pamphylia, 86

Paralus, son of Pericles, 162

Paros, 60

Parthenon, 78 , 93 , 94 , 96 , 185

Pausanias, 81 , 84 , 115 , 121 , 122 , 126

Pegae, 89

Peiraeus, 129 , 132 , 138

Peisistratids, 36 , 38 , 56 , 58 , 148

Peisistratus, 11 , 12 , 13 , 14 , 15 , 16 , 17 ,


      19 , 21 , 24 –25, 35 , 53 , 55 , 57 , 114 , 147 , 148 , 152 –57

Peloponnesus, 125 , 137 , 141

Pericleidas, 128

Pericles, 1 , 2 , 3 , 11 , 22 , 23 , 24 –36, 49 , 50 , 57 , 59 , 64 , 65 , 67 –73, 76 , 78 , 79 , 88 , 90 , 91 , 92 , 96 , 102 , 110 , 111 –12, 113 , 129 , 130 , 131 , 132 , 138 , 139 , 145 –46, 147 –50, 158 –59, 160 –61, 162 –65, 181

Pericles, son of Pericles, 163

Perseus, 174

Persia, 29 , 57 , 78 , 82 , 87 –88, 91 , 108 , 109 , 110 , 149 , 150 , 171 , 172 –75

Phalerum, 129 , 132 , 138

Pheidias, 30 n.68, 34

Philaids, 11

Phocians, 135 , 137

Phocis, 110

Phoenicia, 88

Pindar, 19

Plataea, 115

Plato, 74 , 172

Plato Comicus, 160 –61

Pleistoanax, 132 , 139

Plutarch, 69 , 92

Potidaea, 142 , 144 , 146 , 150

Pritchett, W. K., 185

Pseudo-Xenophon, 49 , 64 –66, 131 –32

Pylos, 4

Pythia, 18

Pythian Apollo, altar of, 187

Pythodorus, 68


Rhamnous, 186 n.17

Rhegion, 146

Rhodes, P., 63

Rome, 57


Salamis, 55 , 68 , 104 , 109 , 117 , 124

Samos, 101 , 115 , 150 , 164 , 166

Sardis, 9 , 20

Scyros, 60 , 104 , 105

Sealey, R., 62 , 63

Sestos, 118

Sicyon, 7

Sicyonians, 137 , 138

Sicily, 110 , 146

Smyrna, 107

Socratics, 164 –65

Solon, 7 , 8 , 9 , 15 , 25 , 38 , 48 , 49 , 53 , 54 , 66 , 83 , 154 , 157

Sophocles, 2

Stesimbrotus of Thasos, 30 , 158 –59, 163 n.4

Susa, 174

Sybota, 145

Syphnos, 98

Syracuse, 146


Tanagra, 116 , 130 , 132 , 133 –37, 139

Tegea, 115

Thasos, 85 , 86 , 87 , 104 , 123 , 127 , 135 , 149

Themistocles, 22 , 27 , 59 , 61 , 103 , 117 , 118 –19, 121 , 124 , 125 –26

Theognis, 48 , 49 , 107

Theopompus, 139

Theseus, 4 , 53 , 60

Thessalians, 129

Thessalus, 59

Thessaly, 115 , 138

Thoudippos, 181

Thrace, 101 , 104

Thria, 139

Thucydides, 6 , 33 n.75, 35 , 53 , 61 , 68 , 76 , 79 –81, 84 , 86 –87, 92 , 104 , 105 , 109 , 115 , 116 , 119 –20, 122 , 123 –24, 127 , 128 , 129 , 130 , 133 –37, 139 , 141 , 142

Thucydides, son of Melesias, 29 , 30 , 31 , 32 , 34 , 35 , 92 , 96 , 112 , 148

Timosthenes, 81

Tolmides, 137 , 139


Wade-Gery, H. T. (ed. ATL ), xvii , 25 , 62 , 67 , 69 , 82 –83, 95

Walker, E. M., 70

Wilamowitz, U., 45 , 152 , 154

Wilcken, U., 94 , 95


Xanthippus, son of Ariphron, 22 , 23 , 23 n.48, 158 , 162 n.3

Xanthippus, son of Pericles, 162

Xenophanes, 107

Xenophon, 64 , 122

Xerxes, 103 , 104 , 107 , 109 , 115 , 174


Index of More Important Terms and Subjects


Agos,1 –3, 4 –6, 8 , 11 –12, 16 , 23 n.48, 35 , 36 , 147

Amphictiony, 10

Archon list, 17

Areopagus, 25 –28, 58 , 61 –64, 67 –72, 149


Boule,41 , 55 , 55 n.47, 56 , 62 –64, 73 , 100 , 148 , 169 –70

Bouleutic oath, 41 , 169 –70


Choregiai, 72

Citizenship law, 68 , 69 , 70 , 72 , 74 –75, 90 , 131 n.53, 163 –64

Cleruchies, 103 –4, 106 , 139

Council of 500. See Boule

Cow and Panoply, 181



Athena Nike, 183 –85;

Brea, 78 n.6;

of Callias, 144 n.85, 176 –78;

Chalcis, 78 n.6, 112 n.108, 139 –40, 186 n.17;

of Clearchus, 100 ;

of Cleinias, 78 n.6, 97 –98, 102 , 179 –81;

of Cleonymus, 180 ;

"Coinage," 78 n.6, 97 , 98 –102;

Colophon, 78 n.6, 183 ;

"Congress," 82 –83, 91 ;

Egesta, 183 ;

Eretria, 78 n.6;

of Euthynos, 95 –96;

"Megarian," 142 –44;

Miletus, 182 ;

of Pericles, 94 –95;

Salamis, 55 ;

of Themistocles, 117 ;

of Thoudippos, 181 .

See also Strasbourg Papyrus

Delian League, 59 , 60 , 76 –113 passim, 120 –23, 149 –50, 171

Demes, 50 –51, 55 , 55 n.46

Demokratia, 37 n.1, 41 , 41 n.15, 42 , 48 –51, 56 , 64 –66, 74

Demos,18 , 20 n.38, 22 , 24 , 33 –36, 42 n.16, 48 –49, 52 –57, 59 –60, 64 –66, 68 , 75 , 109 , 119 n.20, 130 , 131 –32, 156

Diakrioi, 14 –15, 152 –57


Dikasteria, 26 , 33 , 62 –64, 66 , 68 –74

Dionysia, 113


Ecclesia, 31 –32, 33 , 55 , 56 n.48, 61 , 62 , 64 , 73 n.102

Egyptian Expedition, 106 . See also Egypt in the Index of Personal Names and Places

Episkopoi, 180

Eupatrids, 10 , 21

Euthynai, 63 , 66 , 68 , 158


Fortifications, of Athens. See Long Walls; Middle Wall; Themistoclean Walls

Fortifications, of Megara. See Long Walls (Megara)


Hellanotamiai, 81 , 97 , 180

Helot Revolt. See Messenian War (Third)

Hippobotai, 103

Hyperakrioi, 14 –15, 152 –57



Isagoria, 103

Isonomia, 40 , 41 , 41 n.15, 42 –50, 52 n.39, 56 n.49, 57 , 66 , 166 –67


Jury pay, 25 , 26 , 67 –74, 91 , 148 , 160, –61, 177 n.4


Long Walls, 29 , 90 , 120 , 129 –32, 138 , 150 . See also Middle Wall

Long Walls (Megara), 89 –90


Medism, 20 , 109 , 125 –126

Messenian War (Third), 89 , 116 , 123 , 127 –29, 133 –37

Middle Wall, 130 , 138

Misthos, 26 , 28 , 69 , 72 –74, 161 . See also Jury pay


Naukraries, 5 –6


Ostracism, 18 , 20 n.38, 22 , 23 , 25 , 26 , 28 , 29 , 30 , 30 n.68, 32 , 33 , 34 , 58 , 61 , 88 , 90 , 125 –26, 129 , 138 , 160 –61


Panathenaea, 181

Paralia,7 , 14 –15, 50 , 53 , 154 –57

Paralioi, 16 n.31, 153 –57

Parthenon, 78 , 94 , 96 , 185

Peace of Callias, 78 , 81 , 83 , 85 , 87 , 91 –93, 96 –99, 102 , 149 , 162 , 171 –75

Peace of 446/5, 140 , 143 , 146

Pediakoi, 14 –15, 16 n.31, 153 –57

Pedion, 53 , 153 –57

Peloponnesian League, 89 , 90 , 115 , 116 n.8, 125 , 133 , 146

Peloponnesian War:

First, 29 , 36 , 59 , 89 –91, 127 , 129 –38;

Great, 23 , 30 n.68, 33 , 36 , 68 , 140 –46, 164 , 177 , 180 , 185

Pentacontaetia, 104 , 123 , 133 , 134

Phoros. See Tribute

Propylaea, 78 , 94 , 96 , 185


Sacred War, 8 , 10 , 12 , 13

Samian War, 34 , 163

Sicilian Expedition, 88 , 98

Skolion, skolia,42 –48, 166

Socratics, 164 –65

Stoa Poikile, 60

Strasbourg Papyrus, 93 –94, 102 , 176 –78

Strategia, 31 , 41 , 58 , 58 n.58, 60 –61, 169


Themistoclean Walls, 118 –24, 130 , 150

Theorika, 68 –69, 72 , 73 , 177 n.4

Thirty Tyrants, 27 , 62

Three-bar sigma, 98 –102, 182 –87

Tribal reform, 40 , 50 –52, 55 –57, 148 , 167 , 168 –70

Tribute, 73 , 77 , 79 , 81 , 87 , 90 , 90 n.37, 92 , 93 –96, 97 –98, 109 , 112 , 180 –81

Trittyes, 51 –52

Tyrannicides. See Aristogeiton; Harmodius in the Index of Personal Names and Places


Index of Important Passages

Ancient Authors



Varia Historia

13.24: 20 n.38


2.31 with schol.:137 –38

2.75 with schol.:137 n.67

2.173: 131



681–90, 861–66:62


751f.: 81 n.14

771: 97

Alcaeus (ed. Page)

D12.12: 49

G1.10: 49

Alcman (ed. Page)

3.174: 49

17.7: 49

119: 49


3.5: 131

3.37–38:119 , 119 n.22

Anonymus Argentinensis:93 –94 with

nn., 102 , 176 –78


5.69: 180

Aristodemus (FGrHist 104)

F 13: 173



67 with schol.:34

526ff.: 164

Birds (Aves)

1040f.: 100 , 100 n.78


303–6:73 n.102


83f.: 119 n.20


1137–44:128 n.41

Wasps (Vespae )

661f.: 73

947 with schol.:31


Athenaion Politeia

1:6 , 7

13.4–5: 151ff., 157

16.3, 5: 54

16.7: 55

19.4: 115 n.3

21: 50

21.1: 168

21.6:55 n.46


22: 41


22.2: 168

22.3: 169

22.5: 22


23.2: 121 , 121 n.26

23.5: 81

24.3: 73

25: 61


25.2:61 –62, 63

26.2: 67

26.4: 74

27:25 , 68 –73

27.1: 158 –59

27.4: 160

28.2: 32

35.2:27 , 62



1274a7: 61

1274a8: 26 –27


12.29 525c:107

13.56 589de:164 n.8, 165 n.11

15.50 695ab:42 –46


Castor (FGrHist 250)

F4:4 n.8


Damon (DK 37)

B4, 6, 10: 160


22.12–13:93 –96


1.74.6: 168

5.1.1: 168

11.39.2: 118 n.17, 119 n.22


11.50.2, 4:122

11.63: 133

11.77.6: 62


12.4:78 n.3, 96 n.59

12.38.2: 92

12.41.1: 92

12.54.3: 92

13.21.3: 92

Diogenes Laertius

1.110: 7



inline image4 n.8

inline image62 n.73


1.30.5: 53


1.59ff.: 13 –15

1.59.3-6: 53 , 151 –57

1.63.1: 17

1.64.3: 17

1.165: 83

3.16: 88


3.80: 166

3.80.6: 40 , 42 , 44 , 50 , 167

3.142.3: 166

4.142: 108

5.37.2: 166 –67

5.62:4 n.8

5.66: 39

5.69: 22


5.70.2: 12

5.71:1 , 5 , 156

5.71.1: 16 n.32

5.73:20 , 22 , 23


5.89ff.: 116

5.91.1: 116


6.32: 107 n.97

6.112.3: 106 n.95

6.120: 116

6.121–24:18 , 23

6.123.3: 47

6.125ff.: 13

6.125:4 n.8, 9 , 10

6.125.2: 8

6.126–30:7 , 10

6.131: 23 , 23 n.49, 39

6.131.1: 10 –11, 40

7.106: 105 n.94

7.144: 103

7.151: 174

8.3.2: 84

8.40ff.: 117

9.35.2: 115


inline image4 n.8



2.98: 48

3.50: 48

16.437: 48


Idomeneus (FGrHist 338)

F 8:28


Ion (FGrHist 392)

F 14: 128 n.42


8.82: 113

15.235: 160

16.26: 21



1.25.1: 23

2.18.8:4 n.8

10.9.7: 10

Philochorus (FGrHist 328)

F 20:30 n.68

F 64:62 n.73

F 115:8 n.19

F 119: 74


Nemean Odes

2.19 with schol.:103 n.88



455d: 119

455e: 138



180d: 160

197d: 160


235e with schol.:163 , 164 n.8

242a10: 172 n.6


400bc: 161

492b: 67



1.118c: 160 , 161

Plato Comicus

apud Plut. Per.

4.4: 161



5: 10


25.3: 92


4.16:22 n.45


10.8:64 n.84

12.3–4:87 n.27

13.4–5:86 n.22

13.6: 131


15.2: 62

15.3:64 n.84

16.10: 126 , 128 n.42


812d: 27

859c: 115

859d: 115 n.3


4.4: 161

4–5: 3

6.3: 32


7.1:28 , 159


7.5: 163

7.8: 27

9.1–5:25 , 27 , 68 –69, 72

10.6: 158

10.7: 28

11.1: 31

11.2:29 , 30

12:74 , 92 , 93 , 96 , 97 n.64


16.3:31 , 32

16.6: 163

17.1: 82

24.2: 163

24.2–11:164 , 164 n.8

24.8: 162 , 165

32.1, 5: 165

33: 31

35: 31

36.4–5:163 , 165 n.9


4–6: 7 n.15


12.1: 5



19.1: 121 n.25



8.110: 168


Rylands Papyrus

18, col. 2, lines 12–24:115 n.3


Solon (ed. West)

4: 54

4.7: 48

4.23: 49

5.1, 3: 48 –49

6.1: 48

9.4: 49

36.2: 49

36.22 : 48


37: 48



178–83:61 n.70


361: 142 n.81

Strasbourg Papyrus. See Anonymus Argentinensis

Stesimbrotus (FGrHist 107)

F 11: 163 n.4


inline image4 n.8

inline image163

inline image173 , 174

inline image174



1.233: 48

1.847: 48

1.1005: 49

1.1103: 107

Theopompus (FGrHist 115 )

F 85: 121 n.25

F 88: 138


1.6.3: 107

1.14.3: 103

1.18.1: 115

1.18.3: 123

1.20: 6

1.20.1: 46


1.29: 123

1.32ff.: 144

1.35.1: 144

1.36.1: 144

1.40.2: 144

1.40.5: 111

1.44.2: 145

1.44.3: 146

1.52.3: 145

1.53.1: 145

1.57.4: 143

1.58: 144

1.67.2: 143

1.69.1: 130 , 136

1.74.1: 118


1.90.1: 118


1.93: 119

1.95.6: 122

1.95.7: 120 , 123


1.96.1: 84

1.97.2ff.: 76 , 87 , 105 , 130


1.98.4: 79 –80, 84

1.99:60 , 79 –80, 82 , 84 , 86 , 108

1.100.1: 84 , 86 , 86 n.24

1.100.2: 85

1.101: 123

1.101.2: 127

1.101.3: 87

1.102: 127

1.102.3: 87 , 89 , 123 , 128

1.102.4: 125

1.103: 133 –35

1.103ff.: 89

1.103.4: 61 , 89

1.104: 137

1.104.1: 88

1.107.1: 129 , 130

1.107.2: 135

1.107.4: 130 , 131 , 136


1.108.3: 130


1.109: 137

1.111: 138

1.112.1: 138 , 139

1.112.4: 85


1.118.2: 124

1.126f.: 1 , 2

1.126.3–12:1 , 5

1.126.7: 156

1.135.2: 126

1.135.3: 59

1.138.3: 59


2.1: 134

2.13:93 , 95 , 96

2.13.2: 132

2.13.3, 5: 177 n.5


2.24.1: 95 , 96

2.37.1: 47 , 49

2.59.2: 2

2.63.2: 76

2.64.1: 2

2.65.5, 8: 33 –34, 33 –34n.75

3.82.4: 84

5.26: 134

5.30.2: 84

6.53.3: 43 , 46


6.54.2: 55

6.55: 43

6.59.2: 43

6.76.4: 108

6.82.4: 108


Xenophanes (DK 21)

B3: 107



6.5.34: 122

[Xenophon] = "The Old Oligarch"


1.4:42 n.16, 66

1.12: 65

1.18: 181

2.1: 67


2.19:66 n.87

2.20: 65

3.2, 4: 66


3.10: 111

3.11: 111 n.103



IG i3







55 n.47, 103 n.88








111 n.104




182 –83








78 n.6, 97 n.65, 179 –81












78 n.6, 183




78 n.6




78 n.6, 111 n.107, 112 n.108,
139 n.73, 186 n.17




78 n.6




176 –78




146 n.87




146 n.87












93 n.49




78 n.8, 93 n.49




78 n.8




88 n.31




78 n.6, 98 n.67




17 , 17 n.34




22 , 22 n.45




186 n.17

IG i 2







187 n.20




186 n.17

IG ii2







24 n.52



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Preferred Citation: Fornara, Charles W., and Loren J. Samons II Athens from Cleisthenes to Pericles. Berkeley:  University of California Press,  c1991 1991.