Delian League

Delian League


Delian League - History bibliographies - in Harvard style

Your Bibliography: Bigissueground.com, 2016. From The Delian League To The Athenian Empire. [online] Bigissueground.com. Available at: <http://www.bigissueground.com/history/ash-athenianempire.shtml> [Accessed 10 October 2016].

Cartwright, M.

Peloponnesian War

In-text: (Cartwright, 2016)

Your Bibliography: Cartwright, M., 2016. Peloponnesian War. [online] Ancient History Encyclopedia. Available at: <http://www.ancient.eu/Peloponnesian_War/> [Accessed 10 October 2016].

Cartwright, M.

Persian Wars

In-text: (Cartwright, 2016)

Your Bibliography: Cartwright, M., 2016. Persian Wars. [online] Ancient History Encyclopedia. Available at: <http://www.ancient.eu/Persian_Wars/> [Accessed 10 October 2016].

Encyclopedia Britannica

Delian League | ancient Greece

In-text: (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2016)

Your Bibliography: Encyclopedia Britannica, 2016. Delian League | ancient Greece. [online] Encyclopedia Britannica. Available at: <https://www.britannica.com/topic/Delian-League> [Accessed 10 October 2016].

Holland, T.

Persian fire

2005 - Doubleday - New York

In-text: (Holland, 2005)

Your Bibliography: Holland, T., 2005. Persian fire. New York: Doubleday, pp.150-175.


Delian League

Delian League founded in 478 BC, was an Association of Greek city-States, members numbering between 150 to 330, under the leadership of Athens, whose purpose was to continue fighting the Persian Empire after the Greek victory in the battle of Plataea at the end of the second Persian invasion of Greece. Leagues modern name derives from its official meeting place, the island of Delos, where congresses were held in the temple and where the Treasury stood until, in a symbolic gesture, Pericles moved it to Athens in 454 BC.
Shortly after its inception, Athens began to use money from the leagues for their own purposes. This led to conflict between Athens and the less powerful members of the League. In 431 BC, Athenss despotic control of the Athenian Alliance proposed by the beginning of the Peloponnesian war, the League was disbanded after the end of the war in 404 BC under the leadership of Lysander, the Spartan commander.

1. Background. (Фон)
Greco-Persian wars had their roots in the conquest of the Greek cities of Asia Minor, and especially in Ionia, during the Achaemenid Persian Empire of Cyrus the Great shortly after 550 BC. The Persians found the Ionians difficult to rule, eventually settling for supporting a tyrant in each Ionian city. While Greek States had in the past often been ruled by tyrants, this was a form of arbitrary government that was on the decline. By 500 BC, Ionia appears, already ripe for revolt against the Persian customers. The tension finally broke into open revolt due to the actions of the tyrant of Miletus Aristagor. Trying to save himself after a disastrous Persian-sponsored expedition in 499 BC, Aristagor chose to declare Miletus a democracy. This triggered similar revolutions across Ionia, extending to Doris and is, the beginning of the revolt of Ionian.
The Greek States of Athens and Eretria allowed themselves to be drawn into this conflict Aristagor, and during their only campaigning season 498 BC They participated in the capture and burning of the Persian capital Sardis. After this, the Ionian revolt carried out without additional external assistance for another five years, until it finally completely crushed by the Persians. However, in a decision of great historic significance, the Persian king Darius the Great decided that, despite subdued the Rebellion, there remained unfinished business severe punishment of Athens and Eretria for supporting the revolt. The Ionian revolt seriously threatens the stability of Dariuss Empire, and the States of mainland Greece continued to threaten the stability, if you understand. Therefore, Darius began to contemplate the complete conquest of Greece, beginning with the destruction of Athens and Eretria.
In the next two decades there will be two Persian invasions of Greece, causing thanks to the Greek historians, some of the most famous battles in history. During the first invasion, Thrace, Macedonia, and the Aegean Islands were added to the Persian Empire, and Eretria was duly destroyed. However, the invasion ended in 490 BC with the decisive Athenian victory at the battle of Marathon. After this invasion, Darius died, and responsibility for the war passed to his son Xerxes I.
Xerxes then personally led a second Persian invasion of Greece in 480 BC with a huge, though often exaggerated of the army and Navy to Greece. Those Greeks who chose to resist the allies were divided in two simultaneous battles of Thermopylae on land and Artemisium at sea. All Greece except the Peloponnesus thus having fallen into Persian hands, the Persians then seeking to destroy once and for all, the fleet suffered a decisive defeat in the battle of Salamis. The following year, 479 BC, the Allies assembled the largest Greek army yet seen and defeated the Persian army at the battle of Plataea, ending the invasion and the threat to Greece.
The allied fleet defeated the remnants of the Persian fleet at the battle of Mycale near Samos on the same day, Plataea, according to tradition. This action marks the end of the Persian invasion, and the beginning of the next phase in the Greco-Persian wars, the Greek counterattack. After Mycale, the Greek cities of Asia Minor again revolted, with the Persians now powerless to stop them. The allied fleet then went to the Thracian Chersonese, still held by the Persians, and besieged and captured the town of Sestos. The following year, 478 BC, the allies sent troops to capture the city of Byzantium modern day Istanbul. The siege was successful, but the behaviour of the Spartan General Pausanias alienated many allies, and resulted in Pausaniass to remember.

2. The formation of. (Формирование)
After Byzantium, Sparta want to finish their participation in the war. The Spartans believed that during the liberation of mainland Greece and the Greek cities of Asia Minor, the war aim has been achieved. There also may be feeling that establishing long-term security for the Asian Greeks would have been impossible. After Mycale, the Spartan king Leotychidas had proposed transplanting all the Greeks from Asia Minor to Europe as the only method of permanently freeing them from Persian rule.
Xanthippus, the Athenian commander at Mycale, had furiously rejected this, the Ionian cities were Athenian colonies, and the Athenians, if no one will protect the Ionians. This is the point at which the leadership of the Greek Alliance effectively passed to the Athenians. With the Spartan withdrawal after Byzantium, the leadership of the Athenians became explicit.
The loose Alliance of city-States who fought against the invasion of Xerxess dominated by Sparta and the Peloponnesian League. With the withdrawal of these States, a Congress was called on the Holy island of Delos to Institute a new Alliance to continue the fight against the Persians, hence the modern name "Delian League." According to Thucydides, the official aim of the League was to "avenge the wrongs they suffered, have fallen upon territory of the king."
In fact, this goal was divided into three main efforts - to prepare for future invasion, to seek revenge against Persia, and to organize the possibility to divide the spoils. Participants were given the choice of either offering armed forces and the tax on the joint Finance, most States chose the tax. League members vowed not to have the same friends and enemies, and dropped ingots of iron into the sea to symbolize the permanence of their Union. The Athenian politician Aristides would spend the rest of his life occupied in the Affairs of the Alliance, dying according to Plutarch a few years later in Pontus, and in determining what the tax of new members was supposed to be.

3. The composition and expansion. (Состав и расширения)
In the first ten years of existence of the League, Cimon / Kimon forced Karystos in Euboea to join the League, conquered the island of Skyros and sent Athenian colonists.
Over time, especially in the suppression of rebellions, Athens exercises hegemony over the rest of the League. Thucydides describes how to manage Athenss over the League grew:
Of all the causes of defection, that connected with arrears of tribute and vessels, and with failure of service, was important for the Athenians were very severe and exacting, and made themselves offensive by applying the screw of necessity to men who are not accustomed to and in fact not disposed for any continuous labour. In some other respects the Athenians were not the old popular rulers they had been at first, and if they are more than their fair share of service, it is, consequently, easy for them to cut that tried to get out of Confederation. The Athenians also arranged for the other members of the League to pay its share at the expense of money, not in ships and men, and on the subject city-States had themselves to blame, they would like to obtain from the provision of services to the most to leave their homes. Thus, while Athens is increasing her Navy with the funds which they contributed, a revolt always, not enough resources or experienced leaders for war.

4.1. The uprising. Naxos. (Наксос)
The first member of the League to attempt to secede was the island of Naxos, in C. year 471 BC. After being defeated, Naxos is considered to be based on similar, later revolts were forced to demolish its walls, along with the loss of his fleet and voices in the League.

4.2. The uprising. Thassos. (Тасос)
In 465 BC, Athens founded the colony of Amphipolis on the river Strymon. Thasos, a member of the League, saw her interests in the mines of the mountains. Pangaion was threatened and transferred from the League to Persia. She called to Sparta for assistance but was denied, as Sparta was facing the largest helot revolution in its history.
After more than two year siege, Thasos surrendered to the Athenian leader Aristides and was forced to return to the League. As a result, the walls of the island were demolished and they had to pay yearly tribute and fines. In addition, their land, naval, ships, and the mines of Thasos were confiscated by Athens. The siege of Thassos marks the transformation of the Delian League from Alliance to, in the words of Thucydides, a hegemony.

5. The Policy Of The League. (Политика Лиги)
In 461 BC, Cimon was ostracized and was succeeded in his influence on Democrats such as Ephialtes and Pericles. This meant a complete change in Athenian foreign policy, neglecting the Alliance with the Spartans and instead an Alliance with her enemies, Argos and Thessaly. Megara came the Spartan-led Peloponnesian League and allied to Athens, that allowed to create a double line across the Corinthian isthmus and defend Athens from attack from that side. About ten years ago, because of the support from influential speaker Themistocles, the Athenians built long walls that connected Piraeus port, making it virtually invulnerable to attack by land.
In 454 BC, the Athenian General Pericles moved the Delian League Treasury from Delos to Athens, allegedly to keep it safe from Persia. However, Plutarch indicates that many of Pericless opponents considered the transfer to Athens as usurping monetary resources to Finance complex projects. Athens also switched from accepting ships, men and weapons as contributions from League members, only to accept the money.
New Treasury established in Athens was used for many purposes, not all relating to the protection of members of the League. He was from a tribute to the League that Pericles set to building the Parthenon on the Acropolis, replacing an older temple, like many other non-military spending. Delian League turned away from the Alliance to the Empire.

6. The war against Persia. (Войны против Персии)
The war with the Persians continued. In 460 BC, Egypt revolted under local leaders the Hellenes called Inaros and Amyrtaeus, who requested aid from Athens. Pericles led 250 ships, originally intended to attack Cyprus, to their aid, because this will lead to further problems in Persia. After four years, however, the Egyptian rebellion was suppressed by the Achaemenid General Megabyzus, who captured most of the Athenian forces. In fact, according to Isocrates, the Athenians and their allies lost some 20.000 men in the expedition, although modern estimates show that this figure of 50.000 men and 250 ships, including reinforcements. The rest escaped to Cyrene and thence returned home.
It was the Athenians state the main reason for moving the Treasury of the League from Delos to Athens, further consolidating their control over the League. The Persians followed up their victory by sending a fleet to regain control over Cyprus, and 200 ships were sent to confront them under Cimon, who returned from exile in 451 BC. He died during the siege of Kition, though the fleet won a double victory on land and sea over the Persians off the island of Salamis in Cyprus.
This battle was the last major battle against the Persians. Many writers report that it was a peace Treaty, known as the world Cullen, formalized in 450 BC, but some writers believe that the Treaty was a myth created later to inflate the situation of Athens. However, it was clearly reached that allowed the Athenians to focus their attention on events in Greece itself.

7. The war in Greece. (Война в Греции)
Soon the war with Peloponnese broke out. In 458 BC, the Athenians blockaded the island of Aegina, and simultaneously defended Megara from the Corinthians by sending an army composed of those too young or old for regular military service. The following year, Sparta sent an army into Boeotia, reviving the power of Thebes, to help hold the Athenians in check. Their return was blocked, and they decided to March on Athens where the long walls were not yet completed, the victory at the battle of Tanagra. All this is achieved, however, was to allow them to return home through the Megarid. Two months later, the Athenians under Myronides invaded Boeotia, and the victory at the battle of Oenophyta gained control of the whole country except Thebes.
Failures followed the peace with Persia in the year 449 BC. The battle of Coronea in 447 BC, led to the abandonment of Boeotia. Euboea and Megara revolted, and although the first was restored as a tributary, the latter was a permanent loss. The Delian League and the Peloponnesian leagues signed a peace Treaty, which was set to endure for thirty years. It only lasted until 431 BC, at the outbreak of the Peloponnesian war.
Those who revolted unsuccessfully during the war saw the example made of the Mytilenians, the main people on the island. After an unsuccessful revolt, the Athenians ordered the killing of all the male population. After some thought, they cancelled the order, and only execute 1000 leading instigators of the rebellion, and redistribution of land have the whole island to Athenian shareholders, who were sent there on permanent residence of Lesbos.
This treatment was not reserved exclusively for those who are outraged. Thucydides documents the example of Melos, the little island of neutrality in the war, though founded by the Spartans. In the Melians were offered a choice to join the Athenians, or be conquered. Choosing resistance, their city was besieged and conquered, the men were executed and the women sold into slavery to see Melian dialogue.

8. The Athenian Empire 454-404 BC. (Афинская Империя 454-404 до н. э)
From 454 BC, the Delian Alliance can be fairly characterized as an Athenian Empire, one of the key events 454 BC was moving the Treasury of the Delian League from Delos to Athens. This is often seen as a key marker of the transition from Alliance to Empire, but while important, it is important to consider the period as a whole when considering the development of Athenian imperialism, and not to focus on one event as a major contribution to this. At the beginning of the Peloponnesian war, left his contribution of ships only on the Islands of Chios and Lesbos, and these States were too weak to exist without support. Lesbos attempted to revolt first, and failed completely. Chios, the most powerful of the original members of the Athenian Alliance save Athens, was the last rebellion, and after the expedition to Syracuse a success for several years, inspiring all of Ionia to revolt. Athens nevertheless, in the end, managed to suppress these revolts.
In order to further enhance Athenss control over its Empire, Pericles in 450 BC began to pursue a policy of creating kleruchiai - quasi-colonies, which were tied to Athens and which served as garrisons to maintain control of leagues of the vast territory. Furthermore, Pericles was used by a number of offices to maintain Athens Empire: proxenoi, who fostered good relations between Athens and League members, episkopoi and Archons, which oversaw the collection of tribute, and the hellenotamiai, who received the tribute on Athenss behalf.
Athenss Empire was not very stable and after 27 years of WAR, the Spartans, based on Athens the Persians and internal strife, managed to defeat him. However, it does not remain defeated for long. The second Athenian League, the Maritime self-defense League, was founded in 377 BC and headed by Athens. The Athenians never recovered in their full force, and their enemies were much stronger and more diverse.

9. Bibliography. (Библиография)
Ryan Lugin: freedom to rule: Athenian imperialism and Democratic masculinity. In: David Edward Tabachnik – Toivo Koivukoski EDS.: Enduring Empire. Ancient lessons for global politics. London, 2009, pp. 54-68.
P. J. Rhodes: The Athenian Empire. Oxford, 1985.
Wolfgang Schuler: die Cantonal Der Athener im Ersten Attischen Seebund. Berlin – New York, 1974.
Christian Meyer: Alexander. Ein Neubeginn Der Weltgeschichte. Munich, 1995.
Jack Martin Balcer ed.: Studien Seebund Attischen zoom. Constance 1984.
Russell Meiggs: the Athenian Empire. Repr., with Rev. Oxford, 1979.


Delian League

Delian League, before the Peloponnesian War in 431 BC.

The Delian League, founded in 477 BC, was an association of Greek city-states, members numbering between 150 173, to 330 under the leadership of Athens, whose purpose was to continue fighting the Persian Empire after the Greek victory in the Battle of Plataea at the end of the Second Persian invasion of Greece. The League's modern name derives from its official meeting place, the island of Delos, where congresses were held in the temple and where the treasury stood until, in a symbolic gesture, Pericles moved it to Athens in 454 BC.

Shortly after its inception, Athens began to use the League's navy for its own purposes. This behavior frequently led to conflict between Athens and the less powerful members of the League. By 431 BC, Athens' heavy-handed control of the Delian League prompted the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War the League was dissolved upon the war's conclusion in 404 BC under the direction of Lysander, the Spartan commander.


Delian League

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Delian League, confederacy of ancient Greek states under the leadership of Athens, with headquarters at Delos, founded in 478 bce during the Greco-Persian wars. The original organization of the league, as sketched by Thucydides, indicates that all Greeks were invited to join to protect themselves from Achaemenian Persia. In fact, Athens was interested in further supporting the Ionians in Anatolia and exacting retribution from the Persians, whereas Sparta was reluctant to commit itself heavily overseas. The Athenians were to supply the commanders in chief and to decide which states were to provide ships or money money was to be received and controlled by 10 Athenian treasurers (hellēnotamiai). Representatives of all member states, each with equal vote, met annually at Delos, where the league’s treasury was kept in the temple of Apollo. The original membership probably included most of the Aegean islands, except Aegina, Melos, and Thera, most of the cities of Chalcidice, the shores of the Hellespont and Bosporus, some of Aeolia, most of Ionia, and a few eastern Dorian and non-Greek Carian cities.

Action taken against Persia in the first 10 years was scattered: the Persian garrison was expelled from Eion, Thrace an Athenian settlement (cleruchy) sent to that district was destroyed by the natives, but one sent to the island of Scyros was successful the cities of the Thracian coast were won over and Doriscus, unsuccessfully attacked, remained the only Persian garrison left in Europe. A major victory was achieved c. 467–466 when the Athenian commander, Cimon, heading a large confederate fleet along the southern coast of Anatolia, drove out Persian garrisons and brought the coastal cities into the league. He then defeated the Persian fleet on the Eurymedon at Pamphylia, sacked their army camp, and routed their Cyprian reinforcements.

League policy entered a new phase as relations between Athens and Sparta broke down in 461. The Athenians committed themselves to war with the Peloponnesian League (460–446), at the same time launching a large-scale eastern offensive that attempted to secure control of Cyprus, Egypt, and the eastern Mediterranean. While the Athenians and allies were campaigning successfully against the Spartans, subjugating Aegina, Boeotia, and central Greece, further expansion was checked when the league fleet was virtually destroyed in Egypt. Fearing the Persians would mount an offensive following such a naval defeat, the Athenians transferred the league treasury to Athens (454). Within the next five years, with the resolution of difficulties with Sparta (five-year truce, 451) and Persia (Peace of Callias, c. 449/448), the league became an acknowledged Athenian empire.

Athenian imperialism had been evident as early as c. 472, when Carystus, in Euboea, was forced into the league, and Naxos, wishing to secede, was reduced and subjugated. A Thasian revolt was crushed in 463, and during the 450s there were anti-Athenian movements in Miletus, Erythrae, and Colophon. The allies’ independence was progressively undermined, as Athenians interfered in their internal politics (imposing democracies and garrisons) and in their legal jurisdictions. League council meetings finally ceased, and the Athenians proceeded to use the league reserves to rebuild the Athenian temples destroyed by the Persians. Athenian participation in the Peloponnesian War (431–404) placed further strains on the allies: increased tribute to finance the war and increased military support to replace Athenian losses were demanded. But despite revolts at Mytilene (428–427) and Chalcidice (424) and widespread uprisings following Athenian defeat in Sicily (413), Athens was still supported by the democratic parties in most of the cities. After defeating the Athenians at Aegospotomi (405), Sparta imposed peace terms that disbanded the league in 404.

Ineffectual Spartan management of the former empire after 404 aided the revival of Athenian influence. By 377 Athens, with Cos, Mytilene, Methymna, Rhodes, and Byzantium, formed the nucleus of a new naval league, whose objective was to preserve peace and prevent Spartan aggression. Membership had grown to at least 50 states at the time of the defeat of the Spartans by the Boeotians in 371, but with the elimination of the common fear of Sparta that had kept the allies together, the league declined. It was effectively crushed by Philip II of Macedon at Chaeronea in 338.

This article was most recently revised and updated by Kathleen Kuiper, Senior Editor.


Athens at war and peace

Pericles also elevated Athens’s role within the Delian League, a naval alliance of Greek city-states unified to fight the Persians. He maneuvered Athens to primacy over other league members, first by transferring the league’s treasury to Athens in 454 B.C. and then by imposing Athenian weights and measures on all league members three years later. The Delian League effectively became an Athenian empire.

Around 449 B.C., the Delian League signed the Peace of Callias, which ended nearly 50 years of fighting with the Persians and ushered in two decades of peace. To honor the gods for the victory and to glorify Athens, Pericles proposed using the Delian League’s treasury to mount an unprecedented building campaign.

Work began in 447 B.C. to turn the rocky hill known as the Acropolis into a breathtaking temple complex. More than 20,000 tons of marble were used, producing the iconic Parthenon and the imposing colonnade of the Propylaea, the entrance gateway. The arts and philosophy also flourished during Pericles’ reign, when Socrates and the playwrights Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes produced some of their finest works.

But the peace of Athens was not to last. In 431 B.C., Pericles urged the popular assembly to declare war against Sparta. “It is from the greatest dangers that the greatest glories are to be won,” he stated in front of the assembly. Unfortunately, the 27-year-long Peloponnesian War resulted in great losses for Athens. When a plague broke out, an estimated 20,000 people died—including Pericles and his two legitimate sons. Athens lost its “first citizen,” but his legacy endures in the Athens skyline and in democratic institutions around the world.

Athens: power and glory

Athens was one of the most important and powerful cities in the ancient world. The bustling main thoroughfare was the Panathenaic Way. For the annual summer birthday celebration of Athena (the Greek goddess of wisdom for whom the city is named), a procession started at the Dipylon Gate—the largest of 15 gates in the city—and marched more than a mile to the Altar of Athena on the Acropolis. Men gathered frequently at three public gymnasia to prepare for the (naked) athletic competitions in the Panathenaic Stadium.

The thousands of citizens who participated in Athens’s fledgling democracy attended the popular assembly at the Pnyx, a rise in the center of the city. But the heart of daily life was the agora, or marketplace, a sprawling complex of more than 200,000 square feet that featured trade in everyday items but also sported brothels, bars, and bathhouses.

Herodotus, the historian

The ancient Greek Herodotus is considered by many to be “the father of history.” It is from his groundbreaking work, the History, that our modern meaning of the word was handed down through time. Bequeathed, too, was his innovative approach of conducting an orderly, thorough examination of the past to explain the causes—and outcomes—of past events. He traveled the far reaches of the Persian Empire, recording his own personal inquiries (which he called “autopsies”), as well as the multitude of myths and local legends he heard along the way.

While the theme of the History was the Greco-Persian Wars, Herodotus’s purpose was far broader and enduring: “in order that the deeds of men not be erased by time, and that the great and miraculous works . not go unrecorded.”


Ancient Greece, part 3 – Pericles and the Athenian Empire

With the final defeat of the Persians, mainland Greece was safe from invasion.

But now a most extraordinary thing happened.

In the winter of 478/7 a meeting was held at the island of Delos. Here, a group of independent Greek city-states, including Athens, decided to form a voluntary organisation called the League of Delos. The League was so named because its treasury was originally located on the island of the same name.

The objective of this league was to ‘compensate themselves for losses by ravaging the territory of the King of Persia’.

The Spartans decided not to join the Delian League, partly because they were not keen on waging a continual war against the Persian Empire, and partly out of a suspicion that this was only part of a greater design to set up an area of Athenian influence in the Aegean area.

With the Spartans out of the picture, leadership of the league naturally fell to the Athenians.

The Delian League pursued the conflict against the Persian Empire into Asia Minor, and later throughout the Eastern Mediterranean area.

The most influential Athenian leader in the immediate aftermath of the Persian Wars was the son of Miltiades – Cimon.

Plutarch tells us that ‘no man did more than Cimon to humble the pride of the Great King’. Plutarch actually wrote his biography of Cimon more than six hundred years after the actual events, and we should take his remarks with some caution. However, there is no good reason to doubt that there was some truth in what he says.

In 476 BC, Cimon led the forces of the Delian League to a major victory by capturing Eion, the last major Persian stronghold on the Hellespont.

Then, some years later, he scored his most spectacular success at the Battle of the Eurymedon, where he defeated the Persians both at sea and on land on the same day.

In 459, the Egyptians revolted against their Persian masters. The Delian League sent a force of 200 ships to assist the Egyptian rebels. Initially, the joint Greco-Egyptian forces managed to score some successes but this did not last for long.

Finally in 454 BC, the Persians managed to destroy the entire Greek fleet.

After this, no further major battles seem to have been fought between the forces of the Delian League and the Persian Empire. Some scholars have suggested that there may have actually been a Peace Treaty agreed upon by both sides.

Pericles

Pericles was born around 490 BC.

He was a member of the tribe Acamantis. His father was one Xanthippus, an Athenian general who had been in command at the battle of Mycale at the end of the Persian Wars. His mother, Agariste, was a niece of the great Cleisthenes, the man who had first established the democratic system in Athens.

Plutarch tells us that, with the exception of a disproportionately long head, Pericles had ‘near-perfect’ physical features.

There is another interesting story about Pericles that we know of from Plutarch. Once, it is said that he had been ‘abused and reviled’ for a whole day by an ‘idle hooligan’ while attending to his own affairs in the Athenian Agora. Even as he was returning home, his abuser continued to follow him and insult him. When, eventually, he had reached his own home, Pericles supposedly instructed one of his own slaves, it now being dark, to light a torch and escort the hooligan home.

(Stories from Plutarch should not be taken at face value, as he lived several centuries after the events that he was writing about. Nevertheless, it is an indication of the measure of admiration with which Pericles was regarded by the ancients)

In his youth, Pericles became associated with the philosopher Anaxagoras. It was mainly because of this association that Pericles, unlike most of his contemporaries, developed a non-superstitious mindset.

Pheidias, the great sculptor who created the famous gold and chryselephantine statue of Athena that was eventually to be housed in the Parthenon, was also closely associated with Pericles.

From the beginning of his career, Pericles became associated with the ‘democratic’ party in the Athenian Assembly.

The leader of the ‘democratic’ party in the first half of the fifth century was one Ephialtes.

Ephialtes was most famous for his successful reform of the Athenian political system, which stripped the old aristocratic governing council, the Areopagus, of most of its authority and left power in the hands of the people’s Assembly, the Ekklesia.

Ephialtes was assassinated for his pains in 462 BC.

After the death of Ephialtes, it was Pericles who became the leader of the ‘democratic’ party.

His main political opponents were the stalwarts of the ‘aristocratic’ party – first, Cimon the son of Miltiades, and later Thucydides the son of Melesias (not to be confused with Thucydides the historian!)

The achievement for which Pericles is most well-known is the construction of most of the buildings on the Athenian Acropolis, including the Parthenon. These projects were financed by money from the tribute payments made by the member states of the Delian League.

Pericles was also responsible for the construction of the Odeon.

From League to Empire

From as early as 470 BC, there had already been a certain amount of disaffection within the League of Delos. In that year, the island of Naxos, which was now no longer willing to provide money and ships for the use of the League, tried to withdraw from the League.

This did not go down well with the Athenians.

Naxos was forcibly re-incorporated into the League. It had to give up its fleet, and its defensive walls were pulled down. What was more, the Naxians now were obliged to contribute a fixed sum of money to the League instead of making a military contribution.

Then, in 465 BC, it was the turn of the island-state of Thasos to try and withdraw from the League. This attempt also met with a violent response from Athens and the other members of the League.

Thasos was besieged, and, after a prolonged defence, eventually capitulated. Like Naxos, Thasos was stripped of its defensive walls and its fleet, and had to pay an indemnity to the League.

There is no precise date from which we can consider the Delian League to have been transformed into an Athenian ’empire’. This never actually happened in an overt sense. Instead, the Athenians continued to maintain the fiction of a ‘voluntary league’ throughout.

However, most historians consider that from about the time at which the League’s treasury was moved from the island of Delos to the Athenian Acropolis (454 BC), the nature of the League can be considered to have changed into an ‘imperial’ structure in which Athenian hegemony was paramount.

Rivalry with Sparta

Right from the beginning, the Spartans had always regarded the Delian League with a certain amount of suspicion.

Sparta was at the centre of her own network of alliances, known as the Peloponnesian League, and she had always considered herself to be the “paramount power” among the Greek city-states.

The rise of Athenian power in the years after the Persian Wars was therefore a direct threat to Sparta’s position.

Initially, Sparta’s ability to respond to the Athenian challenge was hampered by major domestic problems.

First, in 464 BC, there was an earthquake which had devastating consequences on Sparta.

Then, the helots, who were the subject peoples of Sparta, rose in revolt, causing even more disruption to the Spartan state.

In 460 BC, the Athenians formed an alliance with the city-state of Argos. As Argos was one of Sparta’s traditional enemies, this act was bound to lead to open conflict.

Open warfare did indeed break out, culminating in the Battle of Tanagra in 457 BC. Although the Spartans did win a military victory in this battle, they were unable to follow through on their initial success.

Athens managed to recuperate and continued with the struggle.

Sporadic fighting continued throughout the 450s until in 446 BC, the two powers came to an understanding. A “thirty year peace” was signed, each power recognising the status quo and agreeing not to interfere in the other’s interests.

The Peloponnesian War

The peace between Athens and Sparta did not last very long.

Both sides continued to regard the other with suspicion.

Matters eventually came to a head in 433 BC, when Athens entered into a dispute with Corinth over a small city-state in north-eastern Greece called Potidaea.

Corinth was an important member state of the Peloponnesian League, and an important ally of the Spartans.

Although the Spartan king Archidamus argued in favour of a peaceful solution, there was so much animosity towards the Athenians among the Spartans that they voted for war by a huge majority.

The ensuing conflict was long and protracted.

Thucydides, the historian who has recorded the events of the first twenty years of the war, characterised it as ‘the greatest disturbance in the history of the Greeks’.

In the end, it was only with the aid of the Persian Empire that the Spartans and their allies managed to defeat the Athenians.

In 404 BC, peace was finally made.

Athens lost her ’empire’, her defensive walls were pulled down, and her navy was limited to only 12 ships.

Although Athens continued as an important state throughout the 4th century, her period of greatness came to an end with this war.


Delian League - History


HISTORY OF ATHENS


The confederation of Greek city-states under the leadership of Athens was called the Delian League. The name is used to designate two distinct periods of alliance, the first 478� BC, the second 378� BC. The first alliance was made between Athens and a number of Ionian states, mainly maritime, for the purpose of prosecuting the war against Persia. All the members were given equal vote in a council established in the temple of Apollo in Delos, a politically neutral island, where the league's treasury was kept. The assessments to be levied on the members were originally fixed by Athens and the fairness with which these were apportioned contributed much toward maintaining the initial enthusiasm. States contributed funds, troops and ships to the league. After Persia suffered a decisive defeat at Eurymedon (468 BC), many members supported dissolution of the league. Athens however, which had profited greatly from the league, argued that the danger from Persia was not over.

The first action of the Delian League, under the command of Cimon, was the capture of Eion, a Persian fortification that guarded a river crossing on the way to Asia. Following this victory, the League acted against several pirate islands in the Aegean Sea, most notably against Scyros where they turned the Dolopian inhabitants into slaves and Athens set up a settler-colony (known as a cleruchy). A few years later they sailed against Caria and Lycia, defeating both the Persian army and navy in the battle of the Eurymedon.

These actions were most likely very popular with the League's members. However, the League, particularly the Athenians, were willing to force cities to join or stay in the League. Carystus, a city on the southern tip of Euboea, was forced to join the League by the military actions of the Athenians. The justification for this was that Carystus was enjoying the advantages of the League (protection from pirates and the Persians) without taking on any of the responsibilities. Furthermore, Carystus was a traditional base for Persian occupations. Athenian politicians had to justify these acts to Athenian voters in order to get votes. Naxos, a member of the Delian League, attempted to secede and was enslaved Naxos is believed to have been forced to tear down her walls, lose her fleet, and her vote in the League.

Soon Thasos attempted the same manoeuvre and was likewise subdued by the Athenian general Cimon. The Athenians were so successful in their aims, using both force and persuasion, that by 454 BC, the league had grown to about 140 members. An invasion by the league's enemies, Sparta and its supporters, was averted in 457 BC and Thebes, the traditional enemy of Athens, was subjected. In 454 BC, because of the real or pretended danger of Persian attack, the treasury was transported from Delos to the Athenian Acropolis.

Plutarch indicates that many of Pericles' rivals viewed the transfer to Athens as usurping monetary resources to fund elaborate building projects. Athens also switched from accepting ships, men and weapons, to only accepting money. The new treasury established in Athens was used for many purposes, not all relating to the defence of members of the league. It was from tribute paid to the league that Athenians built the Acropolis and the Parthenon as well as many other non-defence related expenditures. It was during this time that some claim that the Athenian Empire arose, as the technical definition of empire is a group of cities paying taxes to a central, dominant city, while keeping local governments intact.

In 461 BC, Cimon was ostracized and was succeeded in his influence by democrats like Ephialtes and Pericles. This signalled a complete change in Athenian foreign policy, neglecting the alliance with the Spartans and instead allying with her enemies, Argos and Thessaly. Megara deserted the Peloponnesian league and allied herself with Athens, allowing construction of a double line of walls across the isthmus of Corinth, protecting Athens from attack from that quarter. Around the same time, due to encouragement from influential speaker Thermistocles, they also constructed the Long Walls connecting their city to the port of Piraeus, making it effectively invulnerable to attack by land.

War with the Persians continued, however. In 460 BC, Egypt had revolted under Inarus and Amyrtaeus, who requested aid from Athens. Pericles led 200 ships, originally intended to attack Cyprus, to their aid because it would hurt Persia. Persia's image had already been hurt when it failed to conquer the Greeks and Pericles wanted to further this. After four years, however, the rebellion was defeated by the general Megabyzus, who captured the greater part of the Athenian forces. The remainder escaped to Cyrene and then returned home.

This was Athenians' main (public) reason for moving the treasury of the League from Delos to Athens, further consolidating their control over the League. The Persians followed up their victory by sending a fleet to re-establish their control over Cyprus and 200 ships were sent out to counter them under Cimon, who returned from ostracism in 451 BC. He died during the blockade of Citium, though the fleet won a double victory by land and sea over the Persians off Salamis.

This battle was the last major one fought against the Persians. Many writers report that a formal peace treaty, known as the Peace of Callias, was formalized in 450 BC but some writers believe that the treaty was a myth created later to inflate the stature of Athens. However, an understanding was definitely reached, enabling the Athenians to focus their attention on events in Greece proper.

The peace with Persia, however, was followed by further reverses. The Battle of Cheronia, between the Athenians and the Boeotians in 447 BC, led to the abandonment of Boeotia. Euboea and Megara both revolted and, while the former was restored to its status as a tributary ally, the latter was a permanent loss. The Delian and Peloponnesian Leagues signed a peace treaty, which was set to endure for thirty years. It only lasted until 431 BC, when the Peloponnesian War broke out.

Those who revolted unsuccessfully during the war saw the example made of the Mytilenians, the principal people on Lesbos. After an unsuccessful revolt, the Athenians ordered the death of the entire male population. After some thought, they rescinded this order and only put to death the leading 1000 ringleaders of the revolt. The land of the entire island was redistributed to Athenian shareholders who were sent out to reside on Lesbos.

This type of treatment was not reserved solely for those who revolted. Thucydides documents the example of Melos, a small island, neutral in the war, though originally founded by Spartans. The Melians were offered a choice to join the Athenians, or be conquered. Choosing to resist, their town was besieged and conquered the males were put to death and the women sold into slavery.

The Delian League was never formally turned into the Athenian Empire but, by the start of the Peloponnesian War, only Chios and Lesbos were left to contribute ships and these states were by now far too weak to secede without support. Lesbos tried to revolt first and failed completely. Chios, the greatest and most powerful of the original members of the Delian League, was the last to revolt and in the aftermath of the Syracusan Expedition enjoyed a success of several years, inspiring all of Ionia to revolt. Athens was, however, still able to eventually suppress these revolts.

The Athenian Empire was very stable, and only 27 years of war, aided by the Persians and internal strife, were able to defeat it. The Athenian Empire did not stay defeated for long. The Second Athenian Empire, a maritime self-defence league, was founded in 377 BC and was led by Athens but Athens would never recover the full extent of her power and her enemies were now far stronger and more varied.

During the time of Pericles (443� BC), Athens reached the height of its cultural and imperial achievement. This was the time of Socrates, Aeschylus, Sophocles, Aristophanes, Herodotus, Thucydides, Pheidias, Euripides and many more. The incomparable Parthenon was built and sculpture and painting flourished. Athens became a center of intellectual life. However, the rivalry with Sparta had not ended and in 431 BC the Peloponnesian War between Sparta and Athens began.

For typical words, please consult our Greek Glossary


Medieval period

In 325 AD, Christianity appeared on Skiathos and the first church dedicated to the Holy Trinity was built in 530. During the Byzantine period, Skiathos was part of the province of Thessaly and its bishop belonged to the Metropolis of Larissa. In the 7th century, Saracen pirates devastated the Island of the Aegean Sea, and Skiathos did not escape the massacre. In 1204, Crusaders took the territories of the Byzantine Empire as well as the Aegean Islands and Skiathos which they gave to the Venetians. The Venetian built a castle on Skiathos known today as Bourtzi, located in the main port. The Ghisi remained rulers of Skiathos until 1276. Then other Venetians took the island that remained under their authority until the fall of Constantinople in 1453.

The Ottomans dominated Skiathos in 1538 AD. During the early years of the 19th century, the inhabitants of Skiathos started to develop in shipbuilding. The War of Independence found them well prepared and the locals took part in many revolutionary actions against the Turks. Many fighters of the Greek Revolution sought refuge in Skiathos, among them was also the famous revolutionary hero Kolokotronis.


History

Founding

During the Greco-Persian Wars, Greece acted for the first time as a cohesive polity. However, following the capture of Byzantion, Sparta was eager to end its involvement in the war. The Spartans were of the view that, with the liberation of mainland Greece, and the Greek cities of Asia Minor, the war's purpose had already been reached. There was also perhaps a feeling that establishing long-term security for the Asian Greeks would prove impossible. In the aftermath of Mycale, the Spartan king Leotychides had proposed transplanting all the Greeks from Asia Minor to Europe as the only method of permanently freeing them from Persian dominion. Xanthippus, the Athenian commander at Mycale, had furiously rejected this the Ionian cities were originally Athenian colonies, and the Athenians, if no-one else, would protect the Ionians. This marked the point at which the leadership of the Greek alliance effectively passed to the Athenians. With the Spartan withdrawal after Byzantion, the leadership of the Athenians became explicit.

The loose alliance of city states which had fought against Xerxes's invasion had been dominated by Sparta and the Peloponnesian league. With the withdrawal of these states, a congress was called on the holy island of Delos to institute a new alliance to continue the fight against the Persians hence the modern designation "Delian League". According to Thucydides, the official aim of the League was to "avenge the wrongs they suffered by ravaging the territory of the king." In reality, this goal was divided into three main efforts— to prepare for future invasion, to seek revenge against Persia, and to organize a means of dividing spoils of war.

Athenian Hegemony

The League intermittantly warred with Persia until 450, when a formalized treaty established a lasting peace in Asia Minor. However, this warring gave the Athenians justification to move the treasury of the League from Delos to Athens.

This, in addition to Athens role in putting down rebellions by other city states, solidified its position as head of the league. The majority of the Leagues funds went towards furthering Athenian power. Following the ostracism of Cimon in 461 BC, the League neglected its alliance with Sparta, and began allying with Spartas enemies. This sparked an emnity between Sparta and Athens, which would eventually culminate in the Peloponnesian War.

Post-War Situation

Following the defeat of the Spartans, the League grew to incorporate most of Arcadia and the majority of the democratic cities on the Peloponnesian peninsula. Athens, and hence the League, was now the single largest military power in Greece, rivaled only by the de facto Boetian Alliance.

Following the Boetian War, Athens was effectively the capital of Greece, with nearly all city-states being forced to pay tribute or provide military assistance. Eventually, this would be formalized by the reforms of Alkaios, marking the begining of the Athenian Empire.


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