On balance, though, he concludes that it “did not grow between 445 and 435.”[9], Second, Sparta does not appear to have been as concerned about Athenian capabilities as proponents of Thucydides’s account suggest. Sparta had already been struggling mightily to contain its slaves prior to the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War. Thucydides. 9.1", "denarius").

This belief was not without its grounds.

What has characterized recent Thucydidean scholarship, however, is an emphasis on Thucydides the man.

According to Donald Kagan, one of the foremost scholars of ancient Greece, if there was any increase in Athenian power prior to the Spartan invasion of Attica, it occurred in the aftermath of the civil war in Epidamnus, which drew in Sparta’s principal ally, Corinth, and the erstwhile neutral city-state of Corcyra (Corcyra appealed to Athens for assistance, and Athens enlisted it in a defensive alliance). Od. They seemed to be swayed…by emotion rather than reason.”[13] But one should not tar the entire Spartan national-security establishment with the imprudence of a few individuals. And yet, the Spartan ephor Sthenelaidas incited his countrymen to go to war anyways: according to Hanson, he “shouted out a few slogans about Spartan pride and power. Click anywhere in the line to jump to another position: The English classicist Francis Macdonald Cornford observed how centrally “the constant menace of revolt” figured in its decision-making: “To meet this danger, and not for the purposes of conquest, their military system was designed and maintained.”[5] Sparta spared no measure to achieve domestic tranquility: the University of British Columbia’s Nigel Kennell observes that it “regularly sent young elite soldiers out into the countryside as armed death squads to murder any helot they found on the roads after dark or any working in the fields they thought too robust.”[6]. Commentary references to this page

options are on the right side and top of the page. This belief was not without its grounds. As it happens, they scarcely required encouragement. The preparations of both the combatants were in every department in the last state of perfection; and he could see the rest of th…

Had it chiefly been preoccupied with the growth of Athenian power, intuition suggests that it would have invaded Attica well before 431—but it did not. [15], Temple on the island of Delos. Please help spread the word to new readers by sharing it on social media. No less than Pericles conceded that Athens had “forced every sea and land to be the highway of our daring.” International relations scholar Michael Doyle notes that Athens used force to ensure the subordination of its allies in the Delian League: “Military interventions resulted in either the restoration of a pro-Athenian (usually democratic) faction, the total depopulation of the land and its repopulation with Athenian settlers, or a confiscation of land for the purpose of establishing a garrison colony.”[16].

It neither attempted to export its ideology beyond the confines of the Peloponnesian League nor undertook to quash any and all expressions of democratic governance in the Greek city-state system. line to jump to another position: http://data.perseus.org/citations/urn:cts:greekLit:tlg0003.tlg001.perseus-grc1:1.1, http://data.perseus.org/texts/urn:cts:greekLit:tlg0003.tlg001.perseus-grc1, http://data.perseus.org/texts/urn:cts:greekLit:tlg0003.tlg001, http://data.perseus.org/catalog/urn:cts:greekLit:tlg0003.tlg001.perseus-grc1. There are several answers one might offer: among them, that historical understanding is an ongoing enterprise, not a fixed objective; that no proposition is entitled to an exemption from reasoned interrogation (and certainly not on the arbitrary grounds that there should be a statute of limitations on conducting such inquiries); and that even the most penetrating of observers suffer from biases that undermine their analysis. Helots are served excessive alcohol by the Spartans so their drunken behavior serves as an object lesson for Spartan youth. ), Slave Systems: Ancient and Modern (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008): p. 285, [5] Francis Macdonald Cornford, Thucydides Mythistoricus (London: Edward Arnold, 1907): p. 9, [6] Nigel M. Kennell, Spartans: A New History (Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010): p. 84, [7] This quote is historian Peter Hunt’s paraphrase of Ducat.

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