The Invention of Athens

Athens and Empire
Greek History After the Persian Wars
Delian League: Athenian-Led Confederacy
Purpose: Fight Persians
Treasurers: Hellenotamiae (Athenian)
Aristides and the First Assessment (460 talents)
Ships or Money Payments
Allied Treasury at Sacred Island of Delos
Principal military commander: Cimon, son of Miltiades,
proxenos of Sparta, opponent of Themistocles
Delian League
Pentekontaetia: “Fifty Years”
(Thucydides, 1.89-117)
Themistocles: Athens rebuilt and fortified; Piraeus
(Thucydides, 1.90-93)
“Pausanias affair” and Athenian allied leadership
(Thucydides, 1.128-135)
Themistocles: Ostracized in 472, defects to Persians, dies
459 as governor of Magnesia
Athens takes over leadership of the allied Greek
confederacy by default (Delian League)
Athens Fortified: Long Walls
Allied Actions (470’s and 460’s BCE)
Eion (ca. 477): Persian outpost in Thrace
Scyros (ca. 477): Pirate stronghold in Aegean
Carystos (470s): Greeks who collaborated with Persians
Eurymedon (469?): Greek victory led by Cimon
Naxos and Thasos (early 460s): states wishing to leave
Delian league
Military Action by the Delian League
Cimon and Pericles: Differing Political Values
• “Hoplite” democracy
• Aristocratic leanings
• Favored strong relationship with Sparta
• Symbolic victory: Marathon
• Democracy of the fleet
• Lower class sympathies
• Oppositional attitude toward Sparta
• Symbolic victory: Salamis
Bust of Pericles
Both men: strong supporters of
expanding Athenian power throughout
the Aegean world
Cimon, Pericles, and Athenian Foreign Policy
Cimon’s Outmoded Policy (Sparta and Athens as the
“yoke-fellows” of Greece against Persia)
Cimon, 4000 Athenian hoplites aid Sparta in Messenian
Revolt (462)
Ephialtic Reforms of 462/61 BCE (pay for jury duty,
stripping of Areopagus)
Ostracism of Cimon (ca. 462 BCE); obsolescence of
Cimonian policy; “Peace of Callias” in 449 BCE?
Delian League treasury moved to Athens in 454
Moses Finley’s Typology of Imperialism
Finley’s Typology of State Power exercised over other
 1. Restriction of freedom of action in interstate relations
 2. Political/judicial/administrative interference in
internal affairs
 3. Compulsory military/naval service
 4. Payment of some form of tribute
 5. Confiscation of land of other states
 6. Various forms of economic
Athenian Imperial Controls
Athenian Courts for Athenian/Allied Litigation
Athenian Weights, Measures and Currency for Allied
Proxenoi and Fostering Democratic Constitutions in other
Greek States
Cleruchies--10,000 holdings? (Finley)
Tribute Lists (ATL)
Athenian Tribute Lists
Fragments of Marble Stele
440/39 BCE (IG I3 272)
Athens Epigraphical Museum 5384
Coinage Decree
Athenian “Owl”
Imperial Economy: Infrastructure
Fleet (100 active triremes, 200 reserves)
Dock workers, shipwrights, around 20,000 rowers, rope and cable
industry, pitch manufacture, sail production, crew trainers
Building Program
Architects, sculptors and stone cutters, day laborers for public
works projects
Athenian and Inter-State Administration of Justice
Lodging and consumer spending for non-Athenians in Athens
Pay for jury duty; inter-state cases tried in Athens
Bureaucracy of the empire: 700 officials (Arist. Ath. Pol. 24.3)
Imperial Citizenship and Democracy
Imperial Ideology: Panathenaea
Athenian Cultural Symbols of Power and Dominance
Poetic, musical, and athletic contests; torch race
Presentation of the peplos to cult statue of Athena
Tributary states required to send official delegation to the festival;
contribution of cow and panoply by each state; bringing in of tribute
Tribute assessments announced for the next year
From Alliance to Empire: Summary
Immediate Aftermath of Persian War
Spartan Incompetence and Irresolution
Themistocles and Athens’ Fortification
Athenian Command of Delian League
470’s and early 460’s
Cimonian Policy: Continuation of Persian War
Revolts of League members and subjection
Greek states as tribute-paying subjects of Athens
Ascendancy of Pericles
Ephialtic reforms of 462/61 BCE
Change in Foreign Policy: Sparta as Enemy
Athenian Empire
Athens rules over 179 states
Five administrative districts
Approximately 2 million people lived in the Empire
Pericles, the Parthenon,
and Athenian Imperialism
Cultural Politics and Ethics of Empire
Athens and the Second Persian War
Abandonment of City
Destruction of Temples (“Old Parthenon”
of Pisistratid times)
Pericles’ “Congress Decree”
Building Program of 440’s and 430’s BCE
Athens as the “School of Greece”
(Thucydides, 2.41)
Some Basic Information on the Parthenon
Temple to Athena Parthenos
 Constructed between 447 and 432 BCE;
Iktinos and Kallikrates architects; Phidias
sculptor of cult statue
 Dimensions: 228 ft. x 101 ft. on top step
 Architectural Features: Doric order with
Ionic elements; 8 columns at end (usually 6)
and 17 columns on sides
Parthenon and Acropolis (from west)
Parthenon and Propylaea from the Pnyx (1910)
Destruction of Parthenon in 1687
Spatial Diagram of Sculptures
Full-Scale Replica of Athena Parthenos
Original of Ivory and Gold
41 Feet 10 inches in Height
Reconstruction of Athena in situ
West Façade of Parthenon
South Pteroma (outer portico) of Parthenon
Parthenon from the North-West
The “Living and Breathing” Parthenon
Entasis and “Curvature”
Parthenon and Its Curves
Platform of Parthenon with Curvature
Exaggerated Curvature of Parthenon
Artistic Features
Pediment Statuary: Athena born from the
head of Zeus (east); Contest between
Poseidon and Athena for Athens (west)
Metopes (mythical combats): Lapiths vs.
Centaurs (south); Gods vs. Giants (east);
Greeks vs. Amazons (west?); Trojan scenes
Frieze (low relief): Panathenaic Procession
Frieze of Panathenaic Procession
Cast of East Frieze (V))
East Frieze (V)
Eponymous Heroes and Marshalls
Frieze of Panathenaic Procession
Relief Sculpture on South-West Corner of Parthenon
Relief Sculpture on West Façade Relief of Parthenon
South Metopes I: Lapiths vs. Centaurs
Parthenon and Athenian Imperialism: Summary
Metope Sculpture: Hellenic (Athenian)
Superiority over Barbarian (Persian)
Acropolis as Destination Point of Panathenaic
Procession (Tribute-Bearers)
Depiction of Panathenaic Procession on Inner
Frieze (Gods and Athenians: Hybris?)
Chryselephantine Athena (Ivory and Gold)
Imperial Statement: Blending of Ionic and Doric
Capitals; Larger Dimensions than Typical Greek
Plutarch, Life of Pericles, 12
But there was one measure above all which at once gave the greatest
pleasure to the Athenians, adorned their city and created amazement among
the rest of mankind, and which is today the sole testimony that the tales of
the ancient power and glory of Greece are no mere fables. By this I mean his
[Pericles’] construction of temples and buildings; and yet it was this, more
than any other action of his, which his enemies slandered and
misrepresented. They cried out in the Assembly that Athens had lost its good
name and disgraced itself by transferring from Delos into its own keeping
the funds that had been contributed by the rest of Greece… “The Greeks
must be outraged,” they cried. “They must consider this an act of bare-faced
tyranny, when they see that with their own contributions, extorted from
them by force for the war against the Persians, we are gilding and
beautifying our city, as if it were some vain woman decking herself out with
costly stones and statues and temples worth millions.”
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