nature of athenian imperialism essay


After the conclusion of the Local Wars (492-479BC) with Athens being the real victor, and before the Peloponnesian War, a period of time of success covered Athens, and they required to devise innovative ways to protect themselves and increase their riches, and how this would affect all their relations with allies.

‘The Athenians and the Allies’ was an company led by the Athenians inside the 5th century, but is now referred to as the ‘Delian League’ or the ‘Confederacy of Athens. ‘

The required aim of the League was, according to Thucydides, “to compensate themselves for their failures [of the Local War] by ravaging the territory of the Ruler of Persia.

 The long term aim of the League was to guarantee the freedom from the Greeks and prepare them for any foreseeable future wars to come. Can make the League both a defensive and offensive company.

Athens was going to become the head of the Little league, for numerous reasons, including their huge navy and success for Salamis, but an underlying trigger was that the Spartan Ruler, Pausanias who “treated his own allies harshly and arrogantly and scattered insults far and wide along with his officiousness and absurd pretensions as authored by Plutarch.

Gaining management to the Little league could be considered a catalyst for Athens’ imperialistic ways in years to follow.

Thucydides believes that it was the Ionian Greeks who also instigated the transferal of leadership by Sparta to Athens, and Athens in that case said something which would have been a huge cause for the Peloponnesian Warfare which was to follow in 432BC; “We did not gain this empire by force. That came to us at a time at the time you [Sparta] were unwilling to fight on to the end resistant to the Persians.  This would clearly insult the Spartans considerably, asSparta was obviously a war-loving city-state which prided itself in bravery and struggling with to the death.

Athenian command of the Group soon became near inescapable, as Spartis was scarcely experienced or perhaps capable of maintaining a big fleet, and still had a lot of their own concerns to deal with.

Athens needed a big source of income if this was to execute its aims mentioned above, and it would as well require a huge fleet. Several city-states would be responsible for offering money, other folks for delivers.

A system of contributions had been devised, and was carried out by Aristides, inch[he was] designated to review the various areas and their earnings, and then to fix their contributions according with each member’s worth and capability to pay while Plutarch recalls.

The League’s actual magnitude isn’t regarded, but according to the book _Ancient Greece Applying Evidence_, in the first 12 months of the Little league its electrical power extended to ‘Byzantium in the Propontis, the Aineum promontory in the north-west, Rhodes in the south-west and Siphnos in the south-west. ‘

During 478-461BC, the Group was under a large affect of Cimon. Cimon moved into politics in the right time because Plutarch creates “[the people] had experienced enough of Themistocles and so they proceeded in promoting Cimon to the highest accolades and workplace in State. 

Cimon, who was excellent at handling the public, was also pro-Spartan, and this might later trigger trouble intended for him as Athens and Sparta will end up by war with one another.

During Cimon’s reign within the League, 3 main businesses took place. That they included ‘against the Persians, some against their own allies when they revolted, some resistant to the Peloponnesian forces with who on different occasions that they became included. ‘ ” Thucydides.

Above the next ten years or so, numerous campaigns were conducted beneath the will of the Delian Little league. They are the capture of Byzantium, the capture of Eion, conquest of Scyrus, coercion of Carystus, rise ? mutiny and subjugation of Naxos, the Fight of Eurymedon and the mutiny of Thasos.

During the Mutiny of Thasos, the Thasians called to varied allies pertaining to help, the Spartans included. The Spartans answered the phone call and prepared to attack Attica, of which the Athenians had been unaware of till later, but the earthquake plus the concurrent rise ? mutiny of the Helots provided enough distraction to postpone the attack on Attica.

The besiegement of Thasos exposed Athens’ the case motivations lurking behind the Group and the future plans for her allies. In respect to _Ancient Greece Employing Sources_ Thasos was one of the largest and richest people of the Delian League, and a turmoil broke out between Athens and Thasos over the gold mining on st. kitts. Thasos then attempted to take away from the Little league, as the Persians were no longer a threat in the Aegean, and Athens was demanding a lot of for not enough in return.

The League, within the control of Cimon, then trapped Thasos for two years, and ‘destroyed their very own city surfaces, confiscated their very own navy, closed their mint and annexed their belongings on the landmass. ‘

Relating to Thucydides, the period from the revolt of Thasos for the ostracism of Cimon (465-461BC) was the time when the key friction among Sparta and Athens took place and eventually triggered their warfare.

If Sparta really was willing to attack Athens, an ‘apparent’ ally, in that case their romantic relationship must have recently been weak and forced. Was Spartis jealous of Athens’ riches and electric power? Did that they feel threatened by the Athenians sudden harshness against their particular ‘allies’? Or it could had been a combination of reasons. Thucydides didn’t help either when his pro-Athenian feelings got the better of him, ‘this was a period when Spartis was especially friendly to Athens as a result of courage shown by Athens against the Persians. ‘

Another case of conflict between Athens and Sparta was when Athens was rebuilding their fortifications around all their city. The Spartans and other allies were frightened at this time, and tried to prevent Athens from this by showing them to “pull down most fortifications which will still persisted in urban centers outside Peloponnese so that the very next time the Persians came they wouldn’t have got a fortified base. Themistocles then attended Sparta, refused the walls ended uphad been built and suggested that envoys become sent to look into for themselves. The envoys were then organised hostage until the walls were high enough. When they were finished Themistocles declared that Athens ‘was capable of creating up its very own mind. ‘ Though Spartis wasn’t planning to stop the reconstruction, in accordance to Thucydides they did hate it.

(Left) An overview from the great wall surfaces that shielded Athens. In the image you can easily conclude that it was well built, as it not only safeguarded the city, nevertheless also the docks plus the 10km trip between the two. This allowed continuation of trade and communication in the event of a siege. Apart from the wall, you can also view the steep and high mountains around Athens, providing an additional obstacle intended for attackers. It truly is understandable for what reason Sparta wished that the Athenians wouldn’t rebuild their wall, because it disrupts their future plans to

A pitch was made on the Amphictyonic Council (religious council which focused Delphi) that any Greeks who remained neutral or perhaps had helped Persia ought to be removed from the Council. This kind of proposal was strongly backed by Sparta although Themistocles refuted this thought because then a Argives, Thebans and Thessalians would be removed and the Council would be completely outclassed by users of the Peloponnesian League.

This resentment to expel ‘traitors’ by Themistocles ‘gave particular offence to the Spartans, to make them try to strengthen Cimon’s position simply by showing him favours and thus establish him as a personal rival to Themistocles, ‘ Plutarch remarks.

Soon after (472BC) Themistocles was ostracized, Sparta treated Athens with more attention than before, typically due to Cimon’s strong political positionthere wonderful pro-Spartan plans and thoughts. Though he may have been in a position of putting off a battle between to 2 Greek superpowers, Cimon’s old-fashioned actions will quickly reduce him effect in a revolutionary democratic express.

If nearly anything was to make the alliance between Sparta and Athens obsolete, it was the humiliation Athens suffered by direct hands of the Spartans. After a great earthquake around Sparta, the helots of Laconia, combined with help of a couple of supporters, revolted against Spartis. Sparta in that case appealed for the allies with the Hellenic bijou created during the Persian Battle for assistance, Athens becoming among them.

Predictably, Cimon was all because of it, but he faced competitors from Ephialtes, who was against the Spartans. Cimon on the other hand eventually were able to convince mount to help the Spartans away with a huge army of hoplites. This is interpreted to the conclusion that a majority of Athens still saw strong links of allegiance between the two states.

It had been at this point the Spartans considerably insulted and humiliated the Athenians. Out of all the allies who came for help, ‘only the Athenians were told by simply Sparta that their help was no longer needed and they must return home. ‘ Thucydides recalls that the delivered Athenians ‘were offended taking into consideration this was not the type of treatment they earned from Tempas. ‘

Following this rejection, Cimon was ostracized (461BC) which also brought an end to his profession and his joint-leadership policy of Greece. Athens then pennyless all complicité with Sparta, and shaped new associations with Argos and Thessaly, Sparta’s foes.

(Left) Ostrakon with Cimon’s (Kimon) name on it.

Now with Cimon removed, and an incentive to fight against Spartis, the revolutionary democrats of Athens converted ‘their’ Delian League to a more imperial policy. There are 3 key goals with this new ’empire’ Athens was planning to build.

A continuation of the League, with the exception of Athens becoming more questionable and fulfilling her personal interests instead of those of the League on the whole.

Building an empire in central Portugal to take advantage of Sparta’s weaknesses.

Suffered aggressiveness to Persia.


A map of the Aegean Sea as well as the Greek city-states and other countries around that. It on top of that displays the allegiances of every Greek state and the landmass they occupied at the time of the Peloponnesian War. The Athenian-coloured landmass is also considered the Athenian Empire.

Although it is hard to pinpoint the alter from League to Empire intended for Athens, it truly is widely assumed that the alter occurred in 479-470BC. This was a radical vary from Athens, and ironically improved them in to the cause we were holding fighting against, that becoming, the Local Empire and Athens getting the democratic freedom-loving express. This could include resulted from Athenian power over the Little league, and realizing the destinations of electric power, Athens was diverted via her the case path of Greek freedom, to controlling the world just like so many additional empires, as Thucydides said, ‘it was your actual span of events which in turn first required us to increase our power to its present extent: fear of Persia was our primary motive¦’

This change of structure likewise affected the relations Athens had with many other states. The obvious of course getting Sparta and her allies, there were as well quarrels between Athens and also other states/countries during the League period such as Naxos and Thasos that tremendously hinted towards the Athenians’ imperialistic future. To tighten all their control over ‘their’ new empire, Athens even placed garrisons in rebellious cities, ‘¦ the Authorities installed by [Athenian] inspectors and garrison commander, and in future by the [outgoing] council and the garrison commander. ‘

What began as a your survival and revenge coalition of Greek claims known as the Delian League, changed into the very adversary they were preventing, an disposition. As much as Athens was pro-democratic, power and wealth still corrupted all of them, and it would lead to their very own eventual drop in years to come.



Patterson, M. (ed. ) (1989) _Ancient Greece Employing Evidence_.

Edward Arnold Pty Ltd, Éxito.

A very useful and elaborate publication which covers fundamentally every problem of my topic in great depth. Includes a variety of options, mainly drafted, but also archaeological of that time period period of Athenian imperialism. Appears quite trustworthy as it often bases the judgments and statements within the quotes employed, and most info displayed is similar to other extra sources. General incredibly helpful for my project.

World Wide Web

_Athenian Imperialism_


Available from http://www.emayzine.com/lectures/NotesathenianImp.htm accessed 1/12/06

Very basic in layout and information included, but its point-form arrangement makes digestion of information easy. This website had a few useful data regarding my topic, but was mainly used as a cross reference to confirm trustworthiness of Old Greece Employing Evidence. This did nevertheless include

many years, and as it is in that simple design, placing points in chronological order was simplified.

_Ancient Greece Pictures_


Available from http://ccwf.cc.utexas.edu/~kallet/greece/pictures.html seen 4/12/06

This great site was exclusively used for the 2 maps I actually included in my own presentation. Maps seem exact in comparison with different diagrams, and it turned out reliable to get my theme as it gives the responder an understanding of the terrain and drinking water surrounding Greece, which declares inhabited all those parts, and who they fought for. The different map was obviously a detailed introduction to the Athenian city, the geographical surroundings and its wall membrane. Proved to be a helpful site regarding secondary sources. It is also an ‘edu’ site, decreasing the opportunity of contamination.

(2006). _Cimon ” Wikipedia_


Available coming from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cimon reached 4/12/06

Even though I am aware that Wikipedia is definitely an encyclopedia of user-based input, thus decreasing their chance of reliability, I have found it quite valuable, but of course Now i am skeptical about everything We read there. It provides times and rates which appear to be accurate, and checked out with other sources I compared it to. Supplied me with little information that the book couldn’t offer, but performed have a nice principal source of an Ostrakon, which has been actually likewise present in the book.


  • Category: society
  • Words: 2499
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  • Project Type: Essay