The Athenian Empire in the Mid Fifth Century


The First Peloponnesian War and the Egyptian Campaign

After the dismissal of Cimon and his hoplites (cf. pp. 31–2), the Athenians broke off their alliance with Sparta, and instead made alliances with enemies of Sparta, Argos in the Peloponnese andThessaly in the north of Greece. There followed a period in which they accepted an invitation to take the war against Persia to Egypt, and at the same time, in what is known as the First Peloponnesian War, built up their power in mainland Greece (Thuc. I. 102. iv-112. iv).

Megara, on the Isthmus of Corinth linking the Peloponnese to central Greece, and involved in a border dispute with Corinth, broke with Sparta and joined Athens: Athens set an example which was to be followed in the next few years in Athens itself and in Corinth by building long walls to join Megara to Nisaea, its harbour town on the Saronic Gulf, in a single fortified area; and Megara’s other harbour, Pegae, gave Athens access to the Corinthian Gulf. Athens campaigned against Argos’ enemy in the Argolid, Epidaurus (which was supported by Corinth and Sicyon), and was defeated on land at Halieis but victorious in a naval battle off Cecryphalea, in the Saronic Gulf. An on-going dispute between Athens and the island of Aegina had been settled at the time of Xerxes’ invasion, but now the Athenians resumed the offensive, winning a naval battle and landing on the island. Corinth sent some hoplites to support Aegina, and also moved into the Megarid. Athens did not withdraw from Aegina, but sent a reserve force (the oldest and youngest) to the Megarid: these first had the better of a closely fought battle, and a few days later, when the Corinthians claimed victory, defeated them more decisively. Thucydides mentions at this point the beginning of work on the long walls linking the city of Athens to the coast at Piraeus and Phalerum (cf. map 3); but at least the idea and perhaps the formal decision and the first work should be earlier than the building of the long walls for Megara. Eventually Aegina submitted to Athens and joined the Delian League: until the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War it paid 30 tal. a year, a rate matched only by Thasos. (About the middle of the century the design on Aegina’s coins changed from a sea-creature, a turtle, to a land-creature, a tortoise - see ill. 4 - but the suggestion that that is a sign of submission to the naval power of Athens is fanciful.) Corinth had supported Athens against Aegina in the 490’s , and we have no information on it in the 470’s and 460’s . Presumably it was provoked by Megara’s joining Athens; while for Athens Megara represented an important gain, providing security against attacks from the Peloponnese. In these campaigns there is no mention of Sparta, which presumably was still kept busy by the rebels in Messenia.

Athens had not given up the war against the Persians. A League force (one inscription, M&L 34, commemorates a Samian achievement) of two hundred ships was sent to Cyprus, where Pausanias had campaigned in 478 (cf. p. 18),

Ill. 4 Aegina: turtle (c.480) and tortoise (fourth-century) (2dr.). Ashmolean Museum, Oxford


and while there accepted an invitation to go to Egypt, where a Libyan king called Inaros had raised a revolt against Persia, killing the satrap Achaemenes (cf. Hdt. II. 12. iv, VII. 7). Egypt could not be represented as Greek, as Cyprus could, but it was part of the Greeks’ world - Greeks had been there as traders and as mercenaries for two hundred years - and could reasonably be included in a Greek war against Persia. They got control of the Nile delta, and of most of the city of Memphis, and settled down to besiege the remainder. An Athenian casually list gives the names of men who died in six places in one year: Cyprus, Egypt, Phoenicia; Halieis, Aegina, Megara (M&L 33 = IG i3 1147: beginning and end Fornara 78): without it we should not have known that this campaign embraced Phoenicia as well as Egypt. It is conceivable, but far from certain, that a place called Dorus, said to have been assessed for tribute (Craterus, FGrH 342 F 1), was near Mount Carmel in Palestine; and that it was in 458 that the Persians sent Ezra to Jerusalem, perhaps in response to Athenian activity (Ezra vii. 7–8 - but it is disputed whether Ezra was sent by Artaxerxes I, king at this time, or Artaxerxes II or III); it is more certain that Nehemiah was sent to Jerusalem in 445, when Egypt was still or again in touch with Athens (Nehemiah ii. 1–8; Athens and Egypt 445/4 Philochorus, FGrH 328 F 119).

A Persian envoy called Megabazus failed to bribe the Spartans to distract Athens by invading Attica - the first time the Persians are known to have tried intervening in Greece in this way. One of the alleged fifth-century documents for which we first have evidence from the fourth century (cf. p. 17) is an Athenian decree outlawing from Athens and the League Arthmius of Zelea, a Greek city near the Propontis, for bringing Persian gold to the Peloponnese (e.g. Dem. XIX. Embassy 271, IX. Phil. Hi. 41–3, Aesch. III. Ctesiphon258, Din. II. Aristogiton 24–5): if that has a basis in truth, it may belong a few years later than this, to the time of Cimon’s return to Athens (cf. p. 51). In due course the Persians sent Megabyxus to Egypt with a large army. He expelled the Greeks from Memphis, besieged them for eighteen months in Prosopitis (the south-western part of the delta), and eventually drained a canal and captured them. Most of the Greeks were killed; a relief expedition arrived in time to join in the disaster; a man called Amyrtaeus, ‘king in the marshes’, held out for a while, but Inaros was betrayed and crucified. ‘Thus the Greeks’ affairs were ruined after six years of war’ (Thuc. I. 110. i): if we may trustThucydides’ narrative, this was a disaster on a very large scale, though some have used Ctesias (FGrH688 F 14 §36 [32] ~ Fornara 72) to argue that the Greek force was much smaller than Thucydides claims, either from the beginning or after the initial success.

The Spartans had not been roused against Athens by Persia; but in central Greece, when Phocis invaded Doris, alleged to be the original home of the Dorians of the Peloponnese, Sparta sent a Peloponnesian army which drove the Phocians out of Doris. They had gone by sea, across the Corinthian Gulf; but when they were ready to return the Athenians took advantage of their alliance with Megara to block both that route and the land route through the Isthmus. The Peloponnesians moved into Boeotia, and Athens sent an army (including Thessalians - who went over to the Peloponnesians - and Argives and also Delian League allies: M&L 35 records Argive casualties; M&L 36 ~ Fornara 80, at Olympia, commemorates Sparta’s victory over Argives, Athenians and ‘Ionians’). In a battle at Tanagra there were heavy losses on both sides, but the Peloponnesians did well enough to be able to return via the Isthmus. Two months later, however, the Athenians returned, defeated the Boeotians at Oenophyta, and gained control of much of central Greece (this is probably the context to which an Athenian treaty with the Delphic Amphictyony, IG i3 9 ~ Fornara 82, belongs).

Thucydides mentions that some Athenians hostile to the democracy made contact with the Peloponnesians at Tanagra. According to Plutarch (Cim. 17. iv-vii, Per. 10. i-iii), however, the ostracised Cimon tried to rejoin the Athenian army; he was rejected, but he urged his friends to fight valiantly and demonstrate their loyally, and they did so and were killed in the battle. Plutarch and other writers then claim that Pericles had Cimon recalled to Athens, without waiting for the end of his ten years of ostracism (Cim. 17. viii-18. i, Per. 10. iv); but despite their allegation the war was not ended at this point, and the early recall of Cimon is probably a fiction.

An Athenian naval force under Tolmides sailed round the Peloponnese, burned the Spartan dockyard at Gytheum (the basis for the plan [cf. p. 37] attributed toThemistocles?), sailed into the Corinthian Gulf and won victories there. It is probably now that the Athenians acquired Naupactus, where they settled the Messenians allowed to leave the Peloponnese (cf. p. 32; an inscription, SEG li 642, shows that they shared it with the previous inhabitants). After this, however, Athens’ expansion ran out of steam. An expedition into Thessaly, to restore an exiled ruler called Orestes, was unsuccessful; an expedition from Pegae into the Corinthian Gulf, commanded by Pericles, won a battle against Sicyon, near Corinth, but failed to capture Oeniadae, on the north side of the mouth of the Gulf. After that Thucydides moves directly to the making, three years later, of a five years’ truce between Athens and the Peloponnesians.

If the Spartan invasion of Attica which led to the Thirty Years’ Peace of 446/5 came shortly after the expiry of that truce, the truce can be dated to 451, and the Thessalian campaign and Pericles’ expedition to 454. Also in 451 a thirty-year peace was made between Argos and Sparta (Thuc. V. 14. iv).The end of the six-year Egyptian campaign, mentioned by Thucydides before those expeditions, should be 455 or 454; its beginning should therefore be 460 or 459; and the Athenian casually list enables us to put the beginning of the First Peloponnesian War in the same year. Dates of 458/7 for Tanagra (Theopompus FGrH 115 F 88 ~ Fornara 76) and of 456/5 for Tolmides’ expedition (schol. Aeschin. II. Embassy 75 ~ Fornara 84) are compatible with that; Diodorus narrates Tanagra under 458/7 and Oenophyta under 457/6 (XL 80, 82. iv-83. i), and since the battles were two months apart this could be correct (but probably by accident).

Some scholars have thought that, in addition to their combining war against Persia with expansion in Greece, this is the time when the Athenians began acquiring interests in the west. M&L 37 = IG i3 11 – Fornara 81, on the swearing of oaths to an alliance with Egesta, an inland city in the west of Sicily, has the older style of Athenian lettering (cf. p. 52), and its preamble included the archon’s name but only the last two letters of the name were read uncontroversially: -on, which unfortunately is the ending of many archons’ names. Claims to detect further letters and identify either [Ha]bron (458/7) or [Antjiphon (418/7) have finally been settled by the reading of [An]tiphon: there is evidence for Athenian involvement in the west before long, but this inscription belongs not long before Athens’ Sicilian expedition of 415, which was theoretically in support of Egesta (cf. pp. 74, 139).

If he was not recalled early, Cimon will have returned to Athens in 451, and his return may have had an effect on policy. The five-year truce was made, and after that ‘the Athenians held off from the Greek war’, and Cimon with a League force returned to Cyprus. Some ships went on to Egypt, where Amyrtaeus was still holding out. The rest besieged Citium, but Cimon died and the siege was abandoned; the Persians were defeated on both land and sea, but the League forces then returned home.

Athens, the League and the Persians

Thucydides moves on to further events in Greece: a Sacred War for the control of Delphi; and the revolt of Athens’ mainland possessions and the campaign leading to the Thirty Years’ Peace (cf. pp. 56–7). For developments in the Delian League about the middle of the century we are dependent on inscriptions, and a few passages in the later sources.

Originally the treasury of the Delian League had been at Delos, but in 454/3 the ‘Athenian tribute lists’ begin in Athens, a numbered series of lists (lists 1–15 on one large block of stone: a long series was clearly envisaged) of images of the tribute, given as an offering to the treasury of Athena, calculated not on the annual totals but on the individual payments (IG i3 259–90: extracts from 259 = list 1 M&L 39 ~ Fornara 85): there is no evidence for it, but probably an offering had previously been given to Delian Apollo. The move is generally attributed to Pericles (e.g. Plut. Per. 12. i), but in one text to the Samians (Plut. Arist. 25. iii, apparently envisaging an earlier date): after the disaster in Egypt there may have been genuine fear of a Persian resurgence (cf. p. 49, on Arthmius), and although the move has commonly been seen as a sign of Athenian imperialism it may not have appeared like that at the time. The advantage for historians is that, in so far as the lists are preserved or can be restored by comparison with adjacent lists, we can see which states paid tribute in which years, and how much they paid.

If a doctrine formulated more than a century ago could be accepted, developments in the middle of the century might also be seen in a number of decrees of the Athenian assembly. The Athenians did not make a regular practice of naming the archon of the year in preambles until c.420, though there are some earlier instances, and in some cases where the archon was named the relevant part of the text is lost or damaged (cf. p. 52, on Egesta). Often, therefore, other ways of dating fifth-century decrees have to be found: for instance, by finding a context in which the content makes sense, or by relying on the style of lettering used. In the course of the century the Athenian form of some of the letters of the Greek alphabet changed: in particular, sigma (s) from images to Σ, beta (b) and rho (r)from fe images to BP, phi (ph) from images or ⊖ to Φ. The newer forms of these letters can be found in dated public documents (e.g. tribute lists) before 450; older and newer forms can coexist in the same inscription; but in documents which could be dated on other grounds the old beta and phi seemed not to be found after c.445; later than that there was one inscription with the old sigma (IG i3 440, of 443/2), and there were two with a transitional rho (IG i3 445 and 460, both of 438/7). It therefore seemed that older forms in documents which happen not to be datable on other grounds ought not to be significantly later. For many years a campaign against this doctrine has been fought by H. B. Mattingly, who has argued for dating after c.430 many texts which according to the doctrine ought to be dated before c.445, and if he were right many signs of strong imperialism would first appear not in the time of Pericles but in the time of Cleon. His view that old-style lettering could persist much longer seems now to have been vindicated since others have confirmed on the stone the reading of [An]tiphon in Athens’ decree for Egesta. This means not that all his suggestions of lower dates are necessarily right but that they cannot be ruled out on the ground of letter-forms and that the arguments for individual texts must be considered individually on their merits. I shall cite in this chapter, with due warning, texts for which I think the early date still is or could be correct.

The early tribute lists show considerable fluctuation between years: in 454/3 about 137 members paid about 350 tal. (and 18 payments from small Carian states, totalling about 7 tal., at the beginning of the next year’s list are probably late payments for this year), in 453/2 (not counting the 18) about 144 paid, in 452A about 143, in 451/0 about 152 (including the small Carian states, so without them only about 134), in 450/49 about 163, with an appendix of late payments and second payments from states which had not originally paid in full. Athens seems to have had particular difficulties in 453, the first year of collection in Athens, and 450, but to have succeeded in exerting more pressure (or perhaps in a few cases in converting ship-providers to tribute-payers) in 449.

A decree for Erythrae, in Asia Minor (M&L 40 = IG i314 ~ Fornara 71), now known only from a printed facsimile based on a lost copy of a lost stone, dealt with offerings at the Athenian festival of the Panathenaea (Erythrae as an Ionian city in the strict sense could be represented as a colony of Athens), made arrangements for a council of 120 appointed by lot, to be established by epi-skopoi, Athenian ‘overseers’, and a phrourarchos, ‘garrison commander’, prescribed for this council an oath of allegiance to the people of Erythrae, Athens and the allies, which included undertakings not to revolt and (perhaps) not without permission from Athens to take back those who had fled to the ‘Medes’ or to exile others; anybody exiled for murder in Erythrae was to be exiled from ‘the whole Athenian alliance’; there is a reference to ‘tyrants’. It appears that Erythrae, under a regime which could be described as a tyranny, had revolted with Persian support; Athens had recovered control, installed a garrison, and had sent a commission of overseers who established a democratic constitution. The facsimile shows strongly old-style lettering; attempts to restore an archon’s name are unsafe, but the tribute record would justify a date at the end of the 450’s : the name of Erythrae first survives in 450/49, with the bulk of its payment in the second instalment.

From Miletus itself a decree of uncertain date (M&L 43 ~ Fornara 66) outlaws certain men and their descendants; a decree probably of 434/3 (Klio Hi 1970, 163–73 = Miletvi. iii 1218, dating it three years earlier) displays constitutional machinery on the Athenian model. A pamphleteer mentions Miletus as a city where Athens supported an oligarchic regime but without success ([Xen.] Ath. Pol. iii. 11). Miletus paid tribute in 454/3 and 452/1, and is perhaps to be restored in 453/2; the whole of its payment in 450/49 was late. It seems likely that Miletus was in revolt c.450; there may have been a second revolt later; the democratic constitution may have been imposed either c.450 or later. However, an Athenian decree for Miletus (IG i3 21 ~ Fornara 92) which has been dated 450/49 more probably belongs to 426/5: in that a commission of five Athenians aged over 50 (?) was to be sent to Miletus in connection with a series of trials; there was an Athenian garrison there. The late 450’s is probably still the time to which we should assign a decree for Phaselis, on the south coast of Asia Minor (M&L 31 = IG i3 10 ~ Fornara 68), making favourable arrangements for lawsuits involving citizens of Athens and citizens of Phaselis.

After the death of Cimon in Cyprus c.450 regular fighting against Persia seems to have come to an end; in 447/6 Athens began an elaborate building programme on the acropolis, which was ultimately to include a temple of Athena Nike, ‘Victory’, and Plutarch reports complaints that tribute which should have been spent on fighting the Persians was being spent on beautifying Athens (cf. pp. 67–70). This involves us in a major cluster of problems.

From the fourth century onwards everybody knew of a ‘Peace of Callias’ by which Athens bound the Persians to keep away from the Aegean and the west coast of Asia Minor; there was an inscribed text in Athens - but Theopompus denounced it as a forgery because it used the Ionian version of the Greek alphabet, not the local version which the Athenians used to the end of the fifth century (evidence collected Staatsvertrage 152 ~ Fornara 95). But this is another alleged fifth-century document for which there is no fifth-century evidence. It is not mentioned by Herodotus (unless it lies behind his reference to Callias’ presence at Susa ‘on some other business’: VII. 151), though it would be highly relevant to his theme of conflict between Greece and Persia; and it is not mentioned by Thucydides, though it would be highly relevant to his sketch of the growth of Athenian power, and when Persia supports Samos against Athens (cf. p. 73) he does not suggest that a treaty is being broken. Most scholars have been sufficiently impressed by the later evidence to believe in a treaty. It is clear that the fears of the late 450’s were no more and that Athens stopped prosecuting the war against Persia; there may even have been some kind of understanding with the Persian satraps in western Asia Minor; but the formal treaty was probably invented after 386, when the Greeks of Asia Minor had been handed back to Persia (cf. pp. 196, 228–30), to illustrate how much more glorious the past had been than the shameful present.

But if the war was, even without a treaty, at an end, what was to become of the Delian League, which had been formed to fight against the Persians? Almost certainly, there was one year in which no tribute was collected (cf. M&L 50 ~ Fornara 95. M). Lists 1–15 (IG i3 259–72: 454/3-440/39) were inscribed on a single large block of stone, but between 5 (263: 450/49) and 10 (267: 445/4) there seem to have been not four lists but three (cf. ills. 5 and 6: in ill. 5 these lists are labelled X, Y and Z). The first of these (264 = X: about 150 members paying) was not numbered; either 7 or 8 could be restored in the second (265 = Y: about 162); 9 can probably be restored in the third (266 = Z: about 156). Various explanations have been attempted, but the best suggestion is that in 449/8 no tribute was collected; in 448/7 collection was resumed, but met with some resistance, and thehellenotamiai were not sure whether to designate the list 6 or 7 so they omitted the number; in 447/6 collection was more effective, and that list was designated 8 as if there had been no interruption. A decree of Cleinias, with the newer forms of some letters but a curved upsilon (u), lays down procedures for the collecting and sending to Athens of the tribute, which assumes that Athenian episkopoi are widespread and threatens harsh justice in Athens for offenders; it also regards the sending of offerings to the Panathenaea as standard and threatens harsh justice in connection with that (M&L 46 = IG i3 34 ~ Fornara 98). Cleinias is a common name, but a possible identification would be Cleinias the father of Alcibiades, who was killed at

Ill. 5 The first stele of the Athenian tribute lists: arrangement of lists


Ill. 6 The first stele of the Athenian tribute lists: reconstruction of fragments, inv. nos. EM6647, 12453 and 13454. Epigraphical Museum, Athens. Photo: Archaeological Receipts Fund/TAP Service, Athens


Coronea in 447/6 (cf. p. 57), so the champions of early dates placed this in 448/7; but resemblances to the decree about weights, measures and coinage (M&L 45 = IG i3 1453 ~ Fornara 97), for which a later date seems more probable, suggest that this should be placed in the 420’s (cf. p. 99).

There is another alleged document which may be relevant here. We know only from Plutarch (Per. 17) of a decree proposed by Pericles, inviting all the Greek states to send representatives to a congress in Athens to discuss the rebuilding of temples destroyed by the Persians (a specifically Athenian concern), sacrifices to the gods on behalf of Greece and the preservation of peace at sea; but Sparta declined the invitation, and the congress never met. This too has been suspected of being a later invention, but it is hard to see why an unsuccessful invitation should have been invented. If it is authentic, Athens will have considered expanding the Delian League into a league of all the Greeks, and have remitted the tribute for a year while this was being planned, but when thwarted by Sparta’s opposition will have decided to continue with the League that it had.

The building programme on the acropolis started in 447/6, and it was alleged that this was financed from the tribute. A papyrus fragment of a commentary on a passage of Demosthenes which refers to that programme (most recent reconstruction reprinted Meiggs,The Athenian Empire, 515: Fornara 94 translates that and two earlier reconstructions) seems to refer to a proposal of Pericles in the archonship of Euthydemus (450/49? 431/0?) and to a sum of 5,000 talents connected with Aristides (an accumulation of unspent tribute collected in accordance with his assessment?). This could conceivably allude to a decree to transfer to an Athenian treasury an accumulation of unspent tribute; but 450/49 looks slightly early for such a decision, and the uncertainties are so great that no theory which depended on this text could be safe.

Even though some texts formerly dated now are to be moved to the 420’s , this appears to be a time when the nature of the Delian League was transformed (cf. the discussion of Athenian imperialism, p. 184). The League was kept in existence, but no longer in order to fight an unending war against Persia. All the members were required to send offerings to the Panathenaea, as if they were colonies of Athens. Democracies led by friends of Athens could be imposed on states which under other regimes had opposed Athens. Another treatment meted out to troublesome states was the confiscation of some of their land to be given to Athenian settlers, ‘cleruchs’, who would both benefit economically at the other state’s expense and serve as an informal garrison: Diodorus (XL 88. iii) attributes settlements in Euboea and Naxos to Tolmides, who died at Coronea in 447/6. Decisions were taken for the whole League by Athens, and it is likely that when the treasury was moved to Athens the meetings held at Delos were discontinued (cf. p. 20).The language of the League changes: in the decree for Erythrae we found an oath of allegiance to Erythrae, Athens and the allies, and a reference to ‘the.. .Athenian alliance’; but in settlements with Colophon (M&L 47 = IG i3 37 ~ Fornara 99: in 1. 49 demos, implying a democratic constitution at Colophon, or even demokratia, is probably to be restored), Eretria (IG i3 39 ~ Fornara 102) and Chalcis (M&L 52 = IGi3 40 ~ Fornara 103; the last two are still best dated 446/5, even if the first is later) allegiance is simply to Athens. However, decrees with the older style of lettering which refer to ‘the cities which Athens rules’ (IG i3 19, 27) are better dated to the late 420’s .

The Thirty Years’ Peace

After the Cypriot expedition in which Cimon died, Thucydides concentrates on events in Greece (I. 112. v-115. i). Delphi, with the surrounding region of Phocis, had come under Athenian control after Oenophyta (cf. p. 50). In a Sacred War the Spartans invaded and gave control of the sanctuary to the city of Delphi, but after they had left the Athenians invaded and restored control to the Phocians. Plutarch (Per. 21) names Pericles as the Athenian commander; a fragment of Philochorus (FGrH 328 F 34. b) puts the Athenian response ‘in the third year’, and there is no reason why that should not be right. Since Athens and Sparta did not fight against each other, this will not have broken the five-year truce.

A revolt against Athens began in Boeotia, centred on the north-western cities of Orchomenus and Chaeronea, with support from Euboea. The Athenians sent an army under Tolmides, which recovered Chaeronea but during its return was attacked and defeated at Coronea, after which Athens withdrew from Boeotia (and presumably from the rest of central Greece). This was followed by a revolt in Euboea. Pericles took an army there, but returned on learning that Megara also was in revolt and the Peloponnesians were about to invade Attica. The Peloponnesians did invade, under the Spartan king Plistoanax, but they withdrew without advancing beyond the plain of Eleusis. Pericles then returned to Euboea and regained control of the island, expelling the inhabitants of the northern city of Histiaea (who had killed the crew of an Athenian ship: Plut. Per. 23. iv). A thirty years’ peace was made between Sparta and Athens: in addition to its losses in central Greece, Athens gave up its possessions in the Isthmus and the Peloponnese, but apart from that the division of the Greek world into an Athenian bloc and a Spartan bloc was recognised (cf. Thuc. I. 35. ii, 40. ii; also 144. ii). Argos, which had made a thirty-year peace with Sparta in 451 (cf. p. 50), was well disposed to Athens but technically neutral (Paus. V. 23. iv). From Thucydides (II. 2. i, 21. i) we can calculate that the peace was made in 446/5: the revolts of Euboea and Megara will have been in 446, that of Boeotia late in 447 or early in 446.

It was believed both in Sparta, which exiled Plistoanax (Thuc. II. 21. i, V. 16), and in Athens, where there was a story that Pericles included in his accounts a large sum for ‘necessary expenses’ (Ar. Nub. 859 with schol. ~ Fornara 104, Plut. Per. 23. i-ii), that Pericles had bribed Plistoanax. All too often in Greece when a leader failed to press an advantage it was assumed that he must have been bribed. On this occasion, there was little likelihood that Sparta could have taken the well-fortified city of Athens; whether or not the deal was eased by money, there must have been an understanding that Athens would agree to the terms of the thirty years’ peace, and, although there was enough anger in Sparta for Plistoanax to be exiled, the peace was made. It was not a bad deal for Athens, which did not have the manpower to hold on to extensive mainland possessions against widespread opposition (cf. pp. 146–7, on Sicily) in addition to its Aegean empire; and its possession of that empire was confirmed.

Inscriptions concerned with Athens’ recovery of Euboea show it taking a tough line: allegiance is sworn to Athens alone (cf. p. 56); Chalcis (M&L 52 = IG i3 40 ~ Fornara 103) gave hostages; it promised to obey and to denounce any plans for further revolt; major lawsuits were to be transferred from local to Athenian courts - and some landowners were exiled (Plut. Per. 23. iv). Hestiaea was resettled by the Athenians (Theopompus FGrH 115 F 387, Diod. Sic. XII. 22. ii; the inscription IG i3 41 is very fragmentary). There seems to have been further trouble in Eretria a little later, resulting in the taking of hostages in 442/1 (Hesychius, Photius, images. We shall see that Athens remained unchastened, and the peace was to last only until 431 (cf. pp. 87–95).


For general books on the Delian League see the note at the end of chapter 2.

On the background to the First Peloponnesian War see D. M. Lewis, ‘The Origins of the First Peloponnesian War’, Classical Contributions … M. F. McGregor, 71–8 = his Selected Papers in Greek and Near Eastern History, 9–21. That Athens began its own long walls before those of Megara is argued by Salmon, Pnyx and Parthenon (forthcoming).

Against the idea that the change from turtle to tortoise coins in Aegina was imposed by Athens see Figueira, The Power of Money, 116–27’. On Dorus, Ezra and Nehemiah see R. J. Littman, ‘Dor and the Athenian Empire’, and C. Ehrhardt, ‘Athens, Egypt, Phoenicia, c.459-444 BC‘, AJAH xv 1990 [publ. 2001], 155–76 and 177–96. On the alleged Athenian decree against Arthmius of Zelea see Meiggs, The Athenian Empire, 508–12.

On the dating of fifth-century Athenian decrees from letter-forms, against the old orthodoxy, see a series of studies by H. B. Mattingly, beginning with ‘The Athenian Coinage Decree’, Hist, x 1961, 148–88; that (at pp. 5–52) and many others are collected in his The Athenian Empire Restored.The most thorough defence of the old orthodoxy was M. B. Walbank, ‘Criteria for the Dating of Fifth-Century Attic Inscriptions’ in Oopoc, … B. D. Meritt, 161–9; revised as ‘Criteria for Dating’ in his Athenian Proxenies of the Fifth Century BC, ch. 2. The orthodoxy was finally undermined by work on Athens’ decree for Egesta (IG i3 11): [Ha]bron (458/7) was suggested by A. E. Raubitschek, Athens and Halikyai’, TAPA lxxv 1944, 10–14 at 10 n. 3; [Ant]iphon (418/7) was first suggested by Mattingly, ‘The Growth of Athenian Imperialism’, Hist, xii 1963, 257–73 at 268–9 (= The Athenian Empire Restored, 87–106 at 99–101), and gained more adherents after the attempts to apply modern technology by M. H. Chambers et al., ‘Athens’ Alliance with Egesta in the Year of Antiphon’, ZPE lxxxiii 1990, 38–57; the reading of [An]tiphon on the stone was finally confirmed by A. P. Matthaiou, images IG i3 11’, in Matthaiou (ed.), imagesAdolf Wilhelm, 99–122. For an attempt to determine which inscriptions should still be dated early and which should not, see P. J. Rhodes, ‘After the Three-Bar Sigma Controversy: The History of Athenian Imperialism Reassessed’, CQ2 lviii 2008, 500–6.

On the mid-century changes in the Delian League see in general R Meiggs, ‘The Crisis of Athenian Imperialism’, HSCP lxvii 1963, 1–36. Among many discussions of the alleged Peace of Callias see H. T Wade-Gery, ‘The Peace of Kallias’, HSCP Supp. i 1940, 121–56 = his Essays in Greek History, 201–32 (believing); D L. Stockton, ‘The Peace of Callias’, Hist, viii 1959, 61–79 (disbelieving), A. J. Holladay, ‘The Detente of Kallias?’, Hist, xxxv 1986, 503–7 = his Athens in the Fifth Century, ch. 5 (informal agreement). On Pericles’ congress proposal see R Seager, ‘The Congress Decree: Some Doubts and a Hypothesis’, Hist, xviii 1969, 129–41 (disbelieving); G. T Griffith, ‘A Note on Plutarch Pericles 17’, Hist, xxvii 1978, 218–19 (believing). For a new study of Athens’ coinage decree, supporting a date in the 420’s , see the forthcoming proceedings of a conference held in Oxford in 2004.

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