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1. Orwin (1994) gives a central role to the Athenian thesis: see, for example, pp. 75–86, 90–96; Johnson (1993, 3) introduces the Athenian thesis in the opening paragraph of her book and spends much of her time analyzing it; see also Strauss 1964, 171–172. [BACK]

2. See Ashley 1986 and 1995; Derian 1995b. [BACK]

3. Strasburger 1958. [BACK]

4. Strauss 1964, 172. [BACK]

5. See Hornblower 1987, 185–186. [BACK]

6. Schwartz 1929, 106. [BACK]

7. De Romilly 1963, 272 (italics mine). [BACK]

8. The most famous statement of this position is Connor 1977a; cf. Hunter 1973; Hornblower (1987, 196) argues that Thucydides practices so effectively on our emotions because the mask of objectivity so rarely slips; see also Walker 1993; note as well Connor 1984, 4ff., for a useful discussion of how the old “scientific” historian affected scholarship in the 1950s. [BACK]

9. Connor 1984, 6. [BACK]

10. Connor 1984, 153. [BACK]

11. Erbse 1989, 106: “Power is not only a relative, but also a neutral quantity (Größe): it can accomplish good and deal out bad, depending upon the attitude with which one unleashes it.” [BACK]

12. E.g., Connor 1977a; Badian (1990, 47–48) emphasizes that this vision of Thucydides’ work as “highly personal and committed” was present in earlier twentieth-century criticism. [BACK]

13. Although this remains a goal for many ancient historians: see, for example, Badian 1990, 47; Fornara and Samons 1991, xvii; the boldest exploration of such selectivity and its possible operation in Thucydides remains Hunter 1973. [BACK]

14. For “rationality” as a common assumption among political realists, see chapter 2. [BACK]

15. Hornblower 1987, 55; Hornblower takes issue with interpretations based on this tactlessness, but not with the tactlessness itself. [BACK]

16. Cogan 1981a, 28. [BACK]

17. Gomme 1945, 1: 253–254. [BACK]

18. Kagan 1969, 294–295 [BACK]

19. Raubitschek 1973, 48. [BACK]

20. Raubitschek 1973, 48. [BACK]

21. Erbse 1989, 112. [BACK]

22. Connor (1984, 37) suggests that “up to this point the analysis has been based almost entirely on the quantifiable factors of—above all, ships and money.” For him, the four speeches at Sparta contrast with what follows, explicating the “less tangible considerations, the morale and the determination of the belligerents.” I would suggest that there is less contrast than synthesis: Thucydides allows us to see the complex symbiotic relationship between determination and the material attributes of power. For Thucydides’ speakers (including Sthenelaidas who recognizes the importance of Sparta’s allies), moral considerations are only important insofar as they affect the ability to project physical power. [BACK]

23. On the representations of Spartan power in Herodotus and Xenophon, see chapter 3 above. [BACK]

24. For the strain that Athenian power placed upon Sparta, see chapter 8. [BACK]

25. See, for example, the use of the verb at Thuc. 5.63.3, where Agis begs to avoid a harsh penalty from his enraged countrymen; see also Hdt. 1.24.2, 3 (Arion begs for concessions before his shipmates cast him overboard), 1.90.2, 3 (Kroisos begs a favor of Kyros), etc. [BACK]

26. De Romilly (1963, 244–250) cannot praise this speech too highly: e.g., “It represents everything which a sympathetic view can accord to Athens, but nothing that goes beyond this.…When the Athenians describe the service which they rendered to the whole of Greece, they are clearly doing nothing more than stating the truth” (p. 246). [BACK]

27. Virtually no one has considered how unconventional this argument based on advantage really is; those few who even cite it generally take it for granted: e.g., Pouncey 1980, 62–63; Cogan (1981a, 25), however, stresses another neglected oddity of the Athenian speech, the fact that the Athenians do not respond to particular grievances but produce instead a model of empire in general; likewise Ste. Croix 1972, 13. [BACK]

28. E.g., Thuc. 1.118.2, 2.71.3, 3.56.5 (where Crawley translates it “patriotism”), etc. [BACK]

29. See chapters 4, 7, and 8. [BACK]

30. Thuc. 2.35.1,. 2.36.1, 2.37.1, 2.40.4 (twice), 2.42.2 (twice), 2.43.1, 2.45.1, 2.45.2 (twice), 2.46.1. [BACK]

31. For this, Loraux 1986a has become the standard work, but Ziolkowski 1981 remains a more succinct and accessible introduction to the main points. [BACK]

32. On Marathon’s special place in the funeral orations, see Loraux 1986a, 155–171. [BACK]

33. Strauss (1964, 171) surprisingly argues that no part of the speech praises Athenian power. [BACK]

34. Erbse 1989, 109. [BACK]

35. Note, however, that the Athenians are not entirely immune to calling upon the gods to make a rhetorical point: at the conclusion of the speech they call upon the theoi hoi horkioi, “the gods of oaths,” as witnesses if the Spartans attack without seeking negotiations first (1.78.4). [BACK]

36. Note that the verb that the Athenians use at 1.75.2 (elabomen, aorist of lambanô: “we took” our archê) does not specify whether the archê was freely offered or seized by force. By using the term dechomai, the Athenians could have implied from the start that their rule was a gift freely offered. Only later do the Athenians resolve this ambiguity, using instead the verb dechomai, and describe their archê as a “gift freely given” (archê didomenê). On the drama and importance of “acceptance,” see chapter 4 above. [BACK]

37. A few sentences later, the Athenians restate these three motives, but not in quite the same order: at 1.76.2 they state that they were overcome by timê, deos, and ôphelia. If these three were to be chronological, then we might have to interpret the timê as the pleasure that the honor of leading the Delian League brought and the deos as the subsequent fear of breaking up the league. The fact that these two qualities are reversed in this second reference suggests that chronology, at least for the first two items, was not primary in the speaker’s mind. The fear probably was generally that of Persia, of sullen allies, and of simply losing control. Note, however, that ôphelia caps both lists. Thucydides does, I think, clearly imply that Athenian rule evolved and that ôphelia became more important as time progressed. [BACK]

38. Note that the verb huparchô appears only infrequently with the genitive in Thucydides and Herodotus and, when it does, indicates the actor has initiated an unjust act; Hdt. 1.5.3: Kroisos was the first who huparxanta adikôn ergôn es tous Hellênas, “instigated unjust acts against the Hellenes”; Hdt. 7.9 (another programmatic section): a Persian refers to Hellênas huparxantas adikiês, “the Hellenes who instigated injustice.” [BACK]

39. Compare the manner in which the Mytileneans acknowledge the good treatment and respect that they have received from their Athenian allies at 3.11–12. They also see in eunoia a weak emotional force, contingent on external circumstances (in this case, relative balance of power). [BACK]

40. Herodotus’s account of Sparta is, as a whole, normative. Even when it praises Sparta, it simultaneously sets conditions to which Sparta must, at least nominally, adhere if it is to retain that praise in the future. [BACK]

41. Cf. Thuc. 5.103.2 (discussed in the previous chapter), where the Athenians make similar charges against the Melian elite with whom they negotiate. [BACK]

42. On the traditional fiction of equality and hard limits on hegemony, see chapters 3 and 8 above; Raaflaub (1979, 251) accepts the Athenian argument here: the previous fiction of equality rendered Athens much more vulnerable to the charge of tyranny when the league evolved into an empire. [BACK]

43. A simple word search of Pindar or Bacchylides will turn up the dense references to phthonos and its linguistic derivatives; for one recent survey, see Bulman 1992; Kurke (1991) is especially good at revealing the ways in which these poets sought to resolve the tensions between victor and community. [BACK]

44. Thus one of the most damning charges that Otanes directs against tyrants is that although they possess the greatest power and wealth of any men, they are at the same time obsessed with phthonos and envy (Hdt. 3.80.4); cf. also Herodotus’s story of Thrasyboulos’s advice to Periander (5.92z). [BACK]

45. See Crane 1996c. [BACK]

46. See, for example, Hornblower (1992), who uses Thucydides’ own text to show that he underrepresents the importance of religion; on topics excluded by Thucydides generally, see Crane 1996a. [BACK]

47. On this, see Euben 1990b, 169–171; White 1984, 59–92; Parry 1981. [BACK]

48. See Wilson 1982. [BACK]

49. Cogan 1981a, esp. 234–254. [BACK]

50. For comparisons, see de Romilly 1963, 243–250; Rawlings 1981, 117–122. [BACK]

51. Strasburger 1958, 521. [BACK]

52. Book 6 opens with an explicit statement that the Athenians planned to conquer Sicily (see 6.1.1). [BACK]

53. The limits of rationality in Thucydides have, of course, been the subject of extensive debate; see Stahl 1966; Edmunds 1975a. [BACK]

54. On this change of attitude, see Cogan 1981a, 92; Macleod 1974, 392. [BACK]

55. Althusser 1971, 142: “In order to advance the theory of the State it is indispensable to take into account not only the distinction between State power and State apparatus, but also another reality which is clearly on the side of the (repressive) State apparatus, but must not be confused with it. I shall call this reality by its concept: the ideological state apparatuses.” [BACK]

56. De Romilly 1963, 272. [BACK]

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Athenian Theses
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