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Slag van Cynossema, 411 v.C.

Slag van Cynossema, 411 v.C.



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Slag van Cynossema, 411 v.C.

Die slag van Cynossema (411 vC) was die eerste groot Atheense oorwinning sedert hul rampspoedige nederlaag op Sicilië in 413 vC, en het gehelp om die moraal in die stad te herstel na 'n reeks terugslae en 'n tydperk van politieke omwenteling (Groot Peloponnesiese Oorlog).

Die geveg is veroorsaak deur 'n Peloponnesiese besluit om hul vloot van Miletus aan die weskus van Klein -Asië na die Hellespont oor te plaas, waar dit Athene moontlik van die graan van die Swart See kan afsny. 'N Tweede rede vir die besluit was dat die Persiese satrap van Wes -Asië, Tissaphernes, die vloot al geruime tyd nie betaal het nie, terwyl Pharnabazus, sy naburige satrap in die noorde, hul hulp versoek het.

Die Peloponnesiese vloot, onder bevel van Mindarus, vertrek met 73 skepe na die Hellespont. Dit was vertraag deur die slegte weer by Icarus, en het daarna na Chios gegaan. Thrasylus, die Atheense bevelvoerder by Samos, reageer deur 55 skepe na die Hellespont te beweeg, maar toe hy agterkom dat die Peloponnesiërs by Chios gestop het, besluit hy om opsy te draai om die stad Eresus op Lesbos te beleër. Daar is 'n kleiner Atheense eskader onder Thrasybulus en 'n paar ander skepe by hom aangesluit, wat sy vloot op 67 skepe te staan ​​bring.

Die Peloponnesiese vloot het eers drie dae by Chios gestop, en het daarna daarin geslaag om verby die Atheners te kom deur tussen Lesbos en die vasteland te vaar en Rhoeteum in die Hellespont te bereik, omstreeks middernag op die tweede dag nadat hulle Chios verlaat het.

Daar was reeds twee kleiner vloote in die Hellespont. Die Atheners het agtien skepe by Sestos, aan die Europese kus, terwyl die Peloponnesiërs sestien skepe by Abydos aan die Asiatiese kus gehad het. Die Atheners het die aankoms van die belangrikste Peloponnesiese vloot net betyds ontdek om uit 'n moontlike lokval te ontsnap, hoewel vier skepe verlore gegaan het tydens 'n geveg met Mindarus. Die Peloponnesiese vloot het toe by Abydos verenig en Mindarus ses en tagtig skepe gegee.

Die Atheners het nou ses en sewentig skepe gehad. Hulle besluit om die Hellespont binne te vaar, naby die Europese kus. Die Peloponnesiërs het van Abydos af gekom, en die twee kante was gereed vir die geveg.

Die stryd is gevoer met die twee vloote wat parallel aan die oewer van die Hellespont was. Die Atheners het hul rug op die Europese kus gehad. Thrasylus beveel aan die linkerkant, die verste in die Hellespont. Thrasybulus beveel aan die regterkant, naaste aan die oop see. Aan die ander kant was die Syracusans aan die regterkant, die verste in, en Mindarus met die vinnigste skepe in die vloot was aan die linkerkant. Sy plan was om die Atheense regterkant te oorkom en hulle van die oop see af te sny, terwyl die res van sy vloot die Atheense sentrum op die strand gedwing het.

Die Atheners het hierop gereageer deur hul regtervleuel uit te brei, maar terselfdertyd het die linkerkant teen die Hellespont voortgegaan en die sentrum erg uitgerek gelaat. Die Peloponnesiërs het hieruit voordeel getrek en 'n paar skepe in die Atheense sentrum op die strand gedwing. Die Atheense soldate het afgeklim, en die Peloponnesiërs het hulle gevolg, sodat die geveg op die land versprei het.

Die twee Atheense vleuels het hulself vasgehou, maar kon nie tot die redding van die sentrum kom voordat die Peloponnesiese lyn begin breek het toe individuele skepe afgebreek het om terug te trek Athene. Die twee Atheense vleuels draai toe om hul direkte vyande en verslaan hulle, voordat hulle die Peloponnesiese sentrum verwoes. Die meeste van die Peloponnesiese skepe kon in die Midiusrivier of in Abydos ontsnap, en slegs 'n paar skepe is gevang. Die verliese aan die twee kante was in vergelyking soortgelyk - die Atheners het een -en -twintig skepe gevange geneem, maar self vyftien skepe verloor - maar die werklike betekenis van die geveg was die impak daarvan op die Atheense moraal, wat uiteindelik begin herstel het van die verpletterende slag op Sicilië.


Slagveld Gallipoli – Van Troje tot by die Anzacs

Min plekke in die wêreld spog met 'n geskiedenis van konflik wat ooreenstem met die Gallipoli -streek in Turkye. Troy, wat aan die Asiatiese kant sit en na Kaap Helles kyk, is geneig om die meeste aandag te trek. Digters en akademici wat tydens die Eerste Wêreldoorlog in die weermag gedien het en in Gallipoli moes werk, was opgewonde om te weet dat hulle so naby aan so 'n spesiale historiese plek sou wees.

Rupert Brookes, die digter, was opgewonde om te weet dat hy in Gallipoli naby die Slag van Troje moes veg, in plaas daarvan om na Frankryk of België gestuur te word. Ongelukkig vir hom het hy nooit daar gekom nie. Hy is dood op Scyros, die eiland van Achilles, kort voor die landing op Helles.

Rupert Brooke

Behalwe die beroemde gevegte van die Anzacs in die Eerste Wêreldoorlog, was daar die Antieke Griekse oorlog teen die Perse in 480-479 vC. Daar kan aangevoer word dat die moderne Europese samelewing sy bestaan ​​te danke het aan die Griekse oorwinning in die oorlog. Toe Herodotus oor die ou oorlog skryf, eindig hy die verhaal in die klein dorpie Eceabat, net langs die pad waarvandaan die Anzacs hul bloedige gevegte in die Groot Oorlog gevoer het.

Later het die Atheners en Spartane teen mekaar gestry saam met hul onderskeie bondgenote in die Dardanelles -straat. Dit was deel van die Peloponnesiese oorlog wat van 431 tot 404 vC plaasgevind het. Die Slag van Cynossema in 411 vC was een van die gevegte, met 160 skepe wat naby Eceabat geveg het, net langs die kanaal vanwaar die Britse en Franse vloot in die Eerste Wêreldoorlog deur die Duitsers verslaan is.

Landings by Anzac -strand, 1915.

'N Nog groter geveg op see het in 405 vC plaasgevind. Die Slag van Aigospotami het 350 skepe behels. Hierdie stryd het gelei tot die uiteindelike nederlaag van Athene.

Later, toe Alexander die Grote deur die gebied marsjeer, het hy na die punt van Gallipoli gegaan en van daar na Troy gegaan.

In die Eerste Wêreldoorlog het die Geallieerdes 'n poging aangewend om die beheer van die streek van die Ottomane, een van die asmoondhede, af te weer. As gevolg van swak intelligensie en geen kennis van die terrein van die streek nie, het die inval tot stilstand gekom. Begin met 'n mislukte offensief deur die Britse en Franse vloot en gaan voort met 'n landinval op 25 April deur die Britse, Franse en Anzac -troepe, het die inval min vordering gemaak en ontruiming van die geallieerde troepe het in Desember 1915 begin. Teen daardie tyd het meer as 480 000 geallieerde troepe het in Gallipoli geveg met meer as 250 000 slagoffers - 46 000 is dood.

Kaart van Gallipoli. Deur Simeon – CC BY-SA 3.0

Charles Bean was die amptelike historikus van die Eerste Wêreldoorlog in Australië. Hy het op 25 April 1915 saam met die troepe by Gallipoli geland en by hom gebly, alhoewel hy beseer is. Daarna het hy die gevegte by die voorste linies van Pozieres, België en die Westelike Front in 1916 gedokumenteer.

Charles Bean.

Na die bestudering van die klassieke, kon Bean die helde van die gevegte op die manier van die ou Grieke herdenk sonder om die groot klassieke skrywers en digters te plagiaat.

Na die oorlog het Bean die amptelike Australiese geskiedenis van die oorlog geskryf. Hy eindig sy boek, "Gallipoli Mission", met 'n verwysing na die opskrif vir Atheense soldate wat in 440 vC in die Dardanelle gesterf het. Maar hy het dit gedoen sonder om die antieke Atheense krygers direk te vergelyk met die Anzacs in WWI.

Landende troepe by Gaba Tepe, Gallipoli. Deur argiewe Nieu-Seeland – CC BY-SA 2.0

Sommige Australiese historici voel dat dit 'n vermorsing is om die antieke geskiedenis van onlangse gevegsterreine te bestudeer. Hulle beskou antieke geskiedenis as 'n afleiding van wat ons onthou van die opofferings wat die land se troepe meer as honderd jaar gelede gemaak het. Daar kan egter geargumenteer word dat daar waarde in die toegevoegde konteks is, as ons diegene onthou wat hul lewens in die verlede opgeoffer het op dieselfde grond as waarvoor die Anzacs in WWI geveg het.


Gedurende die lente van 411 vC het die Eretriërs die Atheners met behulp van die Boeotiërs uit Oropos verdryf. Hierdie stad was 'n strategiese punt vir Athene, want dit het hulle in staat gestel om die hele Euboea te beheer. Boonop is al die kommersiële verkeer deur die stad gemaak. Die Eretriërs sou hoop dat Sparta hulle sou help om die Atheense bewind oor Euboea te beëindig.

Teen die einde van die somer 411 vC vaar 'n groot Spartaanse vloot na Euboea. Die Atheners het probeer om te keer dat die Euboeërs van kant verander deur 'n eskader na Eretria te stuur. Die Eretriërs ondersteun egter die Spartane. Terwyl die Atheners in die hawe van Eretria was om hulself te voorsien, het die Eretriërs die Spartaanse admiraal Hegesandridas deur 'n seinvuur laat weet dat dit 'n geskikte tyd was om aan te val. Die Atheners het haastig begin, maar is verslaan tydens die seestryd wat gevolg het. Die Atheners wat in Eretria probeer skuil het, is deur die inwoners van die stad doodgemaak. Slegs diegene wat besluit het om na die Atheense fort in Eretria te gaan (wat waarskynlik op die Pezonisi -skiereiland was) het oorleef.

Na die geveg het byna alle Euboea van kant verander. Dan was daar 'n groot debat oor die vraag of die Atheners hulle sou terugneem, wat eindig in 'n bloedbad van Eretriërs.


Slag

Met 'n aansienlike Peloponnesiese vloot wat in die Hellespont werksaam was, die deurslaggewende handelsroete waardeur Athene se graanvoorraad geslaag het, het die Atheense vloot weinig ander keuse gehad as om Mindarus te volg. [9] Gevolglik het Thrasybulus, wat die algemene bevel aanvaar het, die vloot na Elaeus op die punt van die Gallipoli -skiereiland gelei, waar die Atheners vyf dae lank voorberei het om die 86 Spartaanse skepe by Abydos met hul 76 skepe uit te daag. [10] Die Atheense vloot vaar in kolom na die Hellespont, volg die noordelike oewer, terwyl die Spartane van Abydos aan die suidelike oewer vertrek. Toe die Atheense links die punt van Cynossema afgerond het, val die Spartane aan en beplan om die Atheense regterkant te flank en die vloot in die Hellespont vas te trek terwyl hulle op die middestad op Cynossema ry. [11] Die Atheense sentrum is vinnig gestrand, en die linkerkant onder Thrasyllus, omring deur Syracusan -skepe en nie die res van die vloot om die skerp punt kon sien nie, kon nie te hulp kom nie. Thrasybulus aan die regterkant kon intussen omsingeling vermy deur sy lyn weswaarts uit te brei, maar het daarmee kontak met die middel verloor. Aangesien die Atheners verdeeld was en 'n aansienlike deel van hul vloot ongeskik was, het 'n Spartaanse oorwinning verseker gelyk. [12]

Op hierdie kritieke tydstip het die Peloponnesiese lyn egter in wanorde begin raak toe skepe die lyn breek om individuele Atheense vaartuie na te jaag. Toe hy dit sien, draai Thrasybulus sy skepe skielik om en val die Spartaanse linkerkant aan. Nadat hulle hierdie skepe gelei het, het die Atheense regter die Peloponnesiese sentrum verdrink en hulle in 'n toestand van wanordelikheid vasgevang, ook vinnig gelei. Die Syracusans aan die regterkant, terwyl hulle die res van hul vloot in vlug sien, laat vaar hul aanval op die Atheense linkerkant en vlug ook. [12] Die nouheid van die seestraat, wat verseker het dat die Peloponnesiërs net 'n entjie na veiligheid moes gaan, het die skade beperk wat die Atheners kon aanrig, maar teen die einde van die dag het hulle 21 Spartaanse skepe gevang tot die 15 van hulle wat die Spartane het die vroeë gevegte ingeneem. Die Atheners het 'n trofee op Cynossema opgestel en by Sestos ingesit, terwyl die Peloponnesiërs teruggekeer het na Abydos. [13]


Athene neem beheer

Die oorlog kan in afsonderlike afdelings verdeel word; die eerste oorlogsperiode duur 'n dekade lank en is gevolg deur ses jaar vrede voordat vyandelikhede 'n hoogtepunt bereik het. Die eerste paar jaar het Athene swak gegaan, aangesien Sparta die veldtog begin het deur soveel as moontlik vernietiging aan Atheense grond te veroorsaak. 'N Verskriklike plaag het Athene in 430 vC getref, dit was so erg dat Sparta besluit het om sy vyand aan te val as sy soldate die dodelike siekte opdoen. Dinge het erger geword vir Athene toe Pericles, een van die invloedrykste leiers, aan die plaag gesterf het.

Athene het egter goed herstel en onder leiding van Nikias en Kleon het dit in 429 vC sukses behaal in die Golf van Korinte. Die Peloponnesiërs het in dieselfde jaar begin met hul beleg van Plataia. Die stad was 'n Atheense bondgenoot en die beleg het waarskynlik 'n langdurige hoop op vrede tussen Athene en Sparta beëindig. Die Thebans het met die aanval begin en daarin geslaag om die stad na twee jaar in te neem.

Die Spartane het waarskynlik gedink dat 'n vroeë oorwinning moontlik is, maar hierdie hoop is heeltemal in die wiele gery toe die vloed van die oorlog teen hulle draai. Athene het 'n paar belangrike oorwinnings in agtereenvolgende jare behaal. By die Slag van Olpae in 426 vC sterf meer as 1 000 Spartane. Dinge lyk donker vir Sparta in 425 vC nadat hulle die Slag van Pylos en die Slag van Sphacteria vinnig agtereenvolgens verloor het.

Dit was 'n belangrike tydperk van die oorlog wat Athene die inisiatief gehad het, en daar was 'n moontlikheid dat Sparta om vrede sou dagvaar. Spartane is altyd opgelei om in die geveg te sterf eerder as om oor te gee, maar by Sphacteria is 120 Spartane gevange geneem. Athene wou sy voordeel na vore bring, en in 424 vC het dit 'n ekspedisie geloods teen Boeotia en Megara. Hierdie missie was egter 'n totale mislukking, aangesien dit 'n groot nederlaag gely het tydens die Slag van Delium. Athene het meer as 1 000 man verloor in 'n geveg wat dit aansienlike momentum gekos het, alhoewel dit Kythera, 'n Spartaanse eiland, ingeneem het.

'N Eenjarige wapenstilstand is in 423 vC ingeroep, maar sodra dit verstryk het, het Kleon 'n Atheense leër na Thracië gelei. Sy poging om Amphipolis te verower, was 'n ramp toe hy in die geveg gesterf het. Die Spartaanse held van Delium, Brasidas, is ook in die geveg dood. Met twee oorlogsugtige leiers wat nou dood is, het dit makliker geword om 'n vredesverdrag te sluit. In 421 vC is die Vrede van Nicias ooreengekom. Die ooreenkoms het ooreengekom om die situasie te herstel soos dit aan die begin van die oorlog was, maar Sparta mag Plataea en Athene in Nicaea hou.


Die Peloponnesiese Oorlog

Dit is onmoontlik om te weet of Athene en Sparta werklik geglo het dat hul vredesooreenkoms die volle dertig jaar sou duur. Maar dat die vrede in 440 vC onder geweldige druk gekom het, net ses jaar nadat die verdrag onderteken is, toon aan hoe broos dinge was.

Konflik hervat tussen Athene en Sparta

Hierdie byna onklaarraking in samewerking het plaasgevind toe Samos, destyds 'n kragtige bondgenoot van Athene, gekies het om in opstand te kom teen die Delian League. Die Spartane het dit as 'n groot geleentheid beskou om miskien eens en vir altyd 'n einde te maak aan die Atheense mag in die streek, en hulle het 'n kongres van hul bondgenote in die Peloponnesiese alliansie ontbied om te bepaal of die tyd inderdaad aangebreek het om die konflik teen die Atheners te hervat . Korinthe, een van die min stadstate in die Peloponnesiese bond wat teen die mag van Sparta kon staan, was egter teenstandig teen hierdie besluit, en daarom is die idee van oorlog 'n geruime tyd ter tafel gelê.

Die Corcyrean -konflik

Net sewe jaar later, in 433 vC, het nog 'n groot gebeurtenis plaasgevind wat weereens 'n aansienlike druk op die vrede plaasgevind het wat Athene en Sparta ooreengekom het om te handhaaf. Kortom, Corcyra, 'n ander Griekse stadstaat in die noorde van Griekeland, het met Korinthe geveg oor 'n kolonie in die huidige Albanië.

Ruïnes van die tempel van Apollo in Korinte. Antieke Korinte was een van die grootste en belangrikste stede van Antieke Griekeland, met 'n bevolking van 90 000 in 400 vC.

Berthold Werner [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

Hierdie kolonie, wat sedert die ontstaan ​​daarvan beheer is deur 'n Corcyreanse oligargie, het ryk geword en wou 'n demokrasie instel. Die welgestelde handelaars wat hoop om die oligargie omver te werp, het 'n beroep op Korinte gedoen om hulp, en hulle het dit gekry. Maar toe vra die Corcyraeans Athene om in te tree, wat hulle gedoen het. Omdat hulle weet dat die bemoeienis met een van Sparta se naaste bondgenote moeilikheid tussen Athene en Sparta kan beteken, het die Atheners 'n vloot gestuur wat die opdrag gehad het om slegs defensiewe maneuvers te onderneem. Maar toe hulle by die geveg kom, het hulle uiteindelik geveg, wat dinge net verder toegeneem het.

Hierdie verlowing het bekend geword as die Slag van Sybota, en dit het die Dertigjarige Vrede tot nog toe die grootste toets gelewer. Toe Athene besluit het om diegene te straf wat aan Korinthe steun gebied het, begin oorlog nog dreigender word.

Die vrede is gebreek

Aangesien Athene nog steeds besig was om sy mag en invloed in Griekeland uit te brei, het die Korintiërs versoek dat die Spartane die verskillende lede van die Peloponnesiese Liga byeenroep om die saak te bespreek. Die Atheners het egter ongenooid opgedaag na hierdie kongres, en 'n groot debat wat deur Thucydides opgeteken is, het plaasgevind. Tydens hierdie vergadering van die verskillende staatshoofde in die Griekse wêreld het die Korintiërs Sparta beskaam omdat sy langs die kant gestaan ​​het, terwyl Athene voortgegaan het om gratis Griekse stadstate onder sy beheer te bring, en hy het gewaarsku dat Sparta sonder bondgenote sou bly. as dit voortgaan met sy duld.

Die Atheners het hul tyd op die vloer gebruik om die Peloponnesiese alliansie te waarsku wat kan gebeur as die oorlog hervat word. Hulle het almal daaraan herinner hoe die Atheners die belangrikste rede was waarom die Grieke dit reggekry het om die groot Persiese leërs van Xerxes te stop, 'n bewering wat hoogstens omstreden is, maar in wese net vals is. Op hierdie uitgangspunt het Athene aangevoer dat Sparta 'n oplossing vir die konflik moet soek deur middel van arbitrasie, 'n reg wat dit op die voorwaardes van die Dertigjarige Vrede het.

Die Spartane, saam met die res van die Peloponnesiese bond, was dit egter eens dat die Atheners reeds die vrede verbreek het en dat oorlog weer nodig was. In Athene sou politici beweer dat die Spartane geweier het om te arbitreer, wat Sparta as die aggressor sou geposisioneer het en die oorlog gewilder sou maak. Die meeste historici is dit egter eens dat dit bloot propaganda was wat bedoel was om steun te kry vir 'n oorlog wat die Atheense leierskap wou hê om sy mag uit te brei.

Die Peloponnesiese oorlog begin

Aan die einde van hierdie konferensie wat onder die groot Griekse stadstate gehou is, was dit duidelik dat oorlog tussen Athene en Sparta sou plaasvind, en net 'n jaar later, in 431 vC, het die geveg tussen die twee Griekse moondhede hervat.

Die toneel was die stad Plataea, bekend vir die Slag van Plataea waarin die Grieke 'n beslissende oorwinning oor die Perse behaal het. Hierdie keer sou daar egter geen groot geveg wees nie. In plaas daarvan sou 'n sluipaanval deur die burgers van Plataea waarskynlik die grootste oorlog in die Griekse geskiedenis aan die gang gesit het.

Kortom, 'n gesant van 300 Thebans het na Plataea gegaan om 'n groep elite te help om die leierskap in Plataea omver te werp. Hulle het toegang tot die stad verleen, maar toe hulle binne was, het 'n groep Plataean -burgers opgestaan ​​en byna die hele gesant doodgemaak. Dit het 'n opstand in die stad Plataea veroorsaak, en die Thebans het saam met hul bondgenote die Spartane troepe gestuur om diegene te ondersteun wat in die eerste plek probeer het om die mag oor te neem. Die Atheners het die regering aan bewind ondersteun, en dit het beteken dat die Atheners en die Spartane weer veg. Hierdie gebeurtenis, hoewel dit ietwat willekeurig was, het 27 jaar konflik begin wat ons nou as die Peloponnesiese Oorlog verstaan.

Deel 1: Die Archidamiese Oorlog

Omdat die Peloponnesiese oorlog so 'n lang konflik was, verdeel die meeste historici dit in drie dele, waarvan die eerste die Archidamiese Oorlog genoem word. Die naam kom van die destydse Spartaanse koning, Archidamus II. Die Archidamiese Oorlog het nie begin sonder ernstige versteurings in die Griekse magsbalans nie. Hierdie aanvanklike hoofstuk het tien jaar geduur, en die gebeure daarvan wys hoe moeilik dit vir beide kante was om die ander voordeel te trek. Meer spesifiek, die doodloopstraat tussen die twee kante was grotendeels die gevolg van Sparta met 'n sterk grondmag, maar 'n swak vloot en Athene met 'n kragtige vloot, maar minder effektiewe grondmag. Ander dinge, soos beperkings op hoe lank Spartaanse soldate in die oorlog kan wees, het ook bygedra tot die gebrek aan 'n beslissende resultaat van hierdie aanvanklike deel van die Peloponnesiese oorlog.

Soos genoem, het die Archidamiese oorlog amptelik uitgebreek na die sluipaanval van Plataea in 431 vC, en die stad is steeds onder beleg deur die Spartane. Die Atheners het 'n klein weermag aangegaan, en dit was redelik effektief, aangesien Spartaanse soldate eers in 427 vC kon deurbreek. Toe hulle dit doen, het hulle die stad tot op die grond afgebrand en die oorlewende burgers doodgemaak. Dit het Sparta 'n eerste voorsprong in die Peloponnesiese oorlog gegee, maar Athene het nie naby genoeg troepe toegewy om hierdie nederlaag 'n beduidende uitwerking op die algehele konflik te hê nie.

Die Atheense verdedigingstrategie

Deur die erkenning van die oppergesag van die infanterie van Sparta, het die Atheners, onder leiding van Pericles, besluit dat dit in hul beste belang is om 'n verdedigende strategie te volg. Hulle sou hul vlootoorheersing gebruik om strategiese hawens langs die Peloponnesos aan te val, terwyl hulle staatmaak op die hoë stadsmure van Athene om die Spartane weg te hou.

Hierdie strategie het egter 'n groot deel van Attika, die skiereiland waarop Athene geleë is, heeltemal blootgelaat. As gevolg hiervan het Athene sy stadsmure oopgemaak vir alle inwoners van Attika, wat veroorsaak het dat die bevolking van Athene gedurende die vroeë stadiums van die Peloponnesiese Oorlog aansienlik opgeswel het.

Hierdie strategie het effens teruggeslaan toe 'n plaag in Athene in 430 vC uitgebreek het wat die stad verwoes het. Daar word geglo dat ongeveer een derde tot twee derdes van die Atheense bevolking tydens drie jaar van plaag gesterf het. Die plaag het ook die lewe van Pericles geëis, en hierdie passiewe, verdedigende strategie het saam met hom gesterf, wat die deur oopgemaak het vir 'n golf van Atheense aggressie op die Peloponnesos.

Die Spartaanse strategie

Omdat die Atheners Attika feitlik heeltemal onbeskermd gelaat het, en ook omdat die Spartane geweet het dat hulle 'n aansienlike voordeel in landgevegte het, was die Spartaanse strategie om die grond rondom Athene in te val om die voedselvoorraad aan die stad af te sny. Dit het gewerk in die sin dat die Spartane aansienlike gebiede rondom Athene verbrand het, maar hulle het nooit 'n beslissende slag toegedien nie omdat die Spartaanse tradisie elke jaar van soldate, veral die helot -soldate, moes terugkeer huis toe vir die oes. Dit het verhinder dat Spartaanse magte diep genoeg in Attika kon beland om Athene te bedreig. Vanweë die uitgebreide handelsnetwerk van Athene met die vele stadstate versprei oor die Egeïese See, kon Sparta nooit sy vyand verhonger soos dit bedoel was nie.

Athene gaan aanval

Nadat Pericles gesterf het, het die Atheense leierskap onder die beheer van 'n man met die naam Cleon gekom. As 'n lid van politieke faksies in Athene wat die oorlog en uitbreiding die graagste wou hê, het hy byna onmiddellik die verdedigingsstrategie verander wat Pericles bedink het.

In Sparta is vol burgers verbied om handearbeid te verrig, en dit beteken dat byna al die voedselvoorraad van Sparta afhang van die dwangarbeid van hierdie helotte, waarvan baie die onderdane of afstammelinge was van stede op die Peloponnesos wat deur Sparta verower is. Helotopstandings was egter gereeld en dit was 'n belangrike bron van politieke onstabiliteit in Sparta, wat Athene 'n uitstekende geleentheid gebied het om hul vyand te tref waar dit die seerste sou wees. Die nuwe aanvallende strategie van Athene was om Sparta op sy swakste punt aan te val: die afhanklikheid van helots. Kort voor lank sou Athene die helots aanmoedig om in opstand te kom om Sparta te verswak en hulle tot oorgawe te druk.

Voor dit wou Cleon egter die Spartaanse bedreiging uit ander dele van Griekeland verwyder. Hy het veldtogte in Boeotia en Aetolië uitgevoer om die Spartaanse magte wat daar gestasioneer was terug te dryf, en hy kon 'n mate van sukses behaal. Toe die Spartane 'n opstand op die eiland Lesbos ondersteun, wat destyds deel was van die Deliaanse alliansie/Atheense Ryk, reageer Athene genadeloos, 'n stap wat Cleon destyds 'n groot deel van sy gewildheid verloor het. Met hierdie kwessies onder sy beheer, het Cleon daarna oorgegaan om die Spartane op hul tuisgebied aan te val, 'n stap wat nie net in hierdie deel van die konflik nie, maar ook in die hele Peloponnesiese Oorlog nogal betekenisvol sou wees.

Die Slag van Pylos

Gedurende die beginjare van die Peloponnesiese oorlog het Athene, onder leiding van die vlootbevelvoerder Demosthenes, strategiese hawens aan die Peloponnesiese kus aangeval. As gevolg van die relatiewe swakheid van die Spartaanse vloot, het die Atheense vloot min weerstand gekry omdat dit op kleiner gemeenskappe langs die kus toegeslaan het. Terwyl die Atheners aan die kus gaan, hardloop helote gereeld die Atheners tegemoet, aangesien dit vryheid van hul noodlottige bestaan ​​sou beteken het.

Pylos, wat aan die suidwestelike kus van die Peloponnesos geleë is, het 'n Atheense vesting geword nadat die Atheners in 425 vC 'n beslissende geveg daar gewen het. Toe hulle onder Atheense beheer was, het helots na die kusvesting begin stroom, wat die Spartaanse lewenswyse verder belemmer. Verder kon die Atheners tydens hierdie geveg 420 Spartaanse soldate vang, hoofsaaklik omdat die Spartane vasgevang was op 'n eiland net buite Pylos se hawe. Om dit nog erger te maak, was 120 van hierdie soldate Spartiates, elite Spartaanse soldate wat albei 'n belangrike deel van die Spartaanse weermag en die samelewing was.

Brons spartaanse skild-buit uit die Slag van Pylos.

Museum van die Ou Agora [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

As gevolg hiervan het die Spartaanse leierskap 'n gesant na Pylos gestuur om 'n wapenstilstand te onderhandel wat die vrylating van hierdie soldate sou verseker, en om te wys dat hulle te goeder trou onderhandel, het hierdie gesant die hele Spartaanse vloot by Pylos oorgegee. Hierdie onderhandelinge het egter misluk en gevegte is hervat. Athene het toe 'n beslissende oorwinning behaal en die gevange Spartaanse soldate is as krygsgevangenes na Athene teruggeneem.

Brasidas marsjeer na Amphipolis

Die Atheense oorwinning by Pylos het hulle 'n belangrike vesting in die Peloponnesos gebied, en die Spartane het geweet dat hulle in die moeilikheid was. As hulle nie vinnig opgetree het nie, kon die Atheners versterkings stuur en Pylos as basis gebruik om strooptogte deur die hele Peloponnesos uit te voer, asook om helote te huisves wat besluit het om te vlug en na Athene te gaan. In plaas daarvan om terug te keer by Pylos, het die Spartane egter besluit om die Atheners se strategie na te gaan en diep in hul eie gebied aan te val waar hulle dit die minste sou verwag.

Onder bevel van die gerespekteerde generaal Brasidas het die Spartane 'n grootskaalse aanval in die noordelike Egeïese See geloods. Hulle kon aansienlike sukses behaal en het tot by Amphipolis, een van die belangrikste bondgenote van Athene in die Egeïese See, gekom. Benewens die wen van gebied met geweld, kon Brasidas egter ook die harte van die mense wen. Baie het moeg geraak vir die dors van Athene na mag en aggressie, en Brasidas se matige benadering het hom in staat gestel om steun van groot dele van die bevolking te wen sonder om 'n militêre veldtog te begin. Interessant genoeg het Sparta op hierdie stadium helots in die hele Peloponnesos bevry om hulle te verhinder om na die Atheners te hardloop en ook om dit makliker te maak om hul leërs te bou.

Na die Brasidas ’ -veldtog, het Cleon probeer om 'n mag te ontbied om die gebied terug te neem wat Brasidas gewen het, maar politieke steun vir die Peloponnesiese oorlog was aan die taan en die skatkis was besig om op te raak. Gevolglik kon hy sy veldtog eers in 421 vC begin, en toe hy naby Amphipolis aankom, het hy 'n Spartaanse mag teëgekom wat baie groter was as syne, sowel as 'n bevolking wat nie daarin wou belangstel om terug te keer na 'n lewe wat deur Athene beheer word. Cleon is tydens hierdie veldtog dood, wat gelei het tot 'n dramatiese verandering in die verloop van die gebeure in die Peloponnesiese oorlog.

Die silwer ossuarium en goue kroon van generaal Brasidas uit Amphipolis.

Rjdeadly [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

Die vrede van Nicias

Nadat Cleon gesterf het, is hy vervang deur 'n man met die naam Nicias, en hy het aan bewind gekom met die idee dat hy vir vrede met Sparta sou dagvaar. Die plaag wat die stad aan die begin van die Peloponnesiese oorlog getref het, tesame met die feit dat 'n beslissende oorwinning nêrens in sig verskyn het nie, het 'n aptyt vir vrede in Athene veroorsaak. Op hierdie stadium het Sparta al geruime tyd om vrede gedagvaar, en toe Nicias die Spartaanse leiding nader, kon hy 'n einde maak aan hierdie deel van die konflik.

Die vredesverdrag, bekend as die Vrede van Nicias, was bedoel om vyftig jaar lank vrede tussen Athene en Sparta te vestig, en dit was bedoel om dinge te herstel soos dit was voor die Peloponnesiese oorlog uitbreek. Sommige gebiede het hande verander, en baie van die lande wat deur Brasidas verower is, is na Athene terugbesorg, hoewel sommige 'n politieke outonomie kon handhaaf. Verder het die Vrede van Nicias -verdrag gesê dat elke party die bondgenote die voorwaardes moet oplê om konflikte te voorkom wat die geveg tussen Athene en Sparta weer kan begin. Hierdie vredesverdrag is egter in 421 vC onderteken, slegs tien jaar na die begin van die 27-jarige Peloponnesiese oorlog, wat beteken dat dit ook sou misluk en die gevegte binnekort sou hervat.

Deel 2: Die tussenspel

Na die volgende periode van die Peloponnesiese Oorlog, wat tussen 421 en 413 v.C. plaasgevind het, word daar gereeld na The Interlude verwys. Gedurende hierdie hoofstuk van die konflik was daar min direkte gevegte tussen Athene en Sparta, maar die spanning bly hoog, en dit was byna onmiddellik duidelik dat die vrede van Nicias nie sou duur nie.

Argos en Corinth Collude

Die eerste konflik wat tydens The Interlude ontstaan ​​het, kom eintlik uit die Peloponnesiese Liga. Die voorwaardes van die Vrede van Nicias het bepaal dat beide Athene en Sparta verantwoordelik was vir die opsluiting van hul bondgenote om verdere konflik te voorkom. Dit pas egter nie by sommige van die magtiger stadstate wat nie Athene of Sparta was nie, waarvan Korinthe die belangrikste was.

Die Korintiërs, geleë tussen Athene en Sparta aan die Isthmus van Korinte, het 'n kragtige vloot en 'n lewendige ekonomie, wat beteken dat hulle Sparta dikwels kon uitdaag om beheer oor die Peloponnesiese Liga te behaal. Maar toe Sparta in beheer was van die regering in die Korintiërs, word dit beskou as 'n belediging vir hul soewereiniteit, en hulle reageer deur uit te reik na een van Sparta se grootste vyande buite Attica, Argos.

Uitsig op Argos, gesien uit die antieke teater. Argos is een van die oudste stede wat deurlopend bewoon word.

Karin Helene Pagter Duparc [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

Een van die min groot stede op die Peloponnesos wat nie deel uitmaak van die Peloponnesiese liga nie, Argos het 'n jarelange wedywering met Sparta gehad, maar tydens The Interlude was hulle onderworpe aan 'n nie-aggressiewe ooreenkoms met Sparta. Hulle het 'n proses van bewapening ondergaan, wat Korinthe ondersteun het as 'n manier om voor te berei op die oorlog met Sparta sonder om 'n regstreekse verklaring af te lê.

Argos, wat hierdie gebeurtenis gesien het as 'n kans om sy spiere te buig, het na Athene gekom vir ondersteuning, wat hy gekry het, saam met die ondersteuning van 'n paar ander kleiner stadstate. However, this move cost the Argives the support of the Corinthians, who were not willing to make such an affront to their longtime allies on the Peloponnese.

All of this jockeying led to a confrontation between Sparta and Argos at Mantineia, a city in Arcadia just to the north of Sparta. Seeing this alliance as a threat to their sovereignty, the Spartans amassed a rather large force, around 9,000 hoplites according to Thucydides, and this allowed them to win a decisive battle that brought an end to the threat posed by Argos. However, when Sparta saw Athenians standing alongside the Argives on the battlefield, it became clear that Athens was not likely to honor the terms of the Peace of Nicias, an indication that the Peloponnesian War was not yet over. Thus, the Peace of Nicias treaty was broken from the start and, after several more failures, was formally abandoned in 414 BC. Thus, the Peloponnesian War resumed in its second stage.

Athens Invades Melos

An important component of the Peloponnesian War is Athenian imperial expansion. Emboldened by their role as the leader of the Delian alliance, the Athenian assembly was keen to find ways to expand its sphere of influence, and Melos, a tiny island state in the southern Aegean, was a perfect target, and it’s likely the Athenians saw its resistance from their control as stain on their reputation. When Athens decided to move, the superiority of its navy meant Melos stood little chance of resisting. It fell to Athens without much of a fight.

The Spartan and Athenian alliances, and Melos marked in purple, as they were in 416 BCE.

Kurzon [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)]

This event didn’t have much significance in the Peloponnesian War if we understand the conflict simply as a fight between Athens and Sparta. However, it does show how, despite the Peace of Nicias, Athens was not going to stop trying to grow, and, perhaps more importantly, it showed just how closely Athenians linked their empire with democracy. The idea was that if they did not expand, someone else would, and this would put their precious democracy at risk. In short, it’s better to be the rulers than the ruled. This philosophy, which was present in Athens before the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War, was now running rampant, and it helped provide justification for the Athenian expedition into Sicily, which played an important role in restarting the conflict between Athens and Sparta and also perhaps dooming Athens to defeat.

The Invasion of Sicily

Desperate to expand, but knowing that doing so on the Greek mainland would almost certainly lead to war with the Spartans, Athens began looking further afield for territories it could place under its control. Specifically, it began to look westward towards Sicily, an island in modern-day Italy that was at the time heavily settled by ethnic Greeks.

The main city on Sicily at the time was Syracuse, and the Athenians hoped to gather support for their campaign against Syracuse from both the non-aligned Greeks on the island as well as the native Sicilians. The leader in Athens at the time, Alcibiades, managed to convince the Athenian assembly that there was already an extensive support system waiting for them in Sicily, and that sailing there would lead to certain victory. He was successful, and in 415 BCE, he sailed west to Sicily with 100 ships and thousands of men.

However, it turned out the support promised to Alcibiades was not as certain as he had imagined. The Athenians attempted to gather this support after landing on the island, but in the time it took for them to do this, the Syracusans were able to organize their defenses and call together their armies, leaving the Athenian prospects for victory rather slim.

Athens in Turmoil

At this point in the Peloponnesian war, it’s important to recognize the political instability occurring within Athens. Factions were wreaking havoc on democracy, and new groups rose to power with the idea of exacting exact revenge on their predecessors.

A great example of this occurred during the Sicilian campaign. In short, the Athenian assembly sent word to Sicily calling Alcibiades back to Athens to face trial for religious crimes he may or may not have committed. However, instead of returning home to certain death, he fled to Sparta and alerted the Spartans of the Athenians’ attack on Sparta. Upon hearing this news, Sparta, along with Corinth, sent ships to help the Syracusans defend their city, a move that all but restarted the Peloponnesian War.

The attempted invasion of Sicily was a complete disaster for Athens. Almost the entire contingency sent to invade the city was destroyed, and several of the main commanders of the Athenian military died while trying to retreat, leaving Athens in a rather weak position, one that the Spartan would be all too keen to exploit.

Part 3: The Ionian War

The last part of the Peloponnesian War started in 412 BCE, a year after Athens’ failed campaign to Sicily, and it lasted until 404 BCE. It is sometimes referred to as the Ionian War because much of the fighting took place in or around Ionia, but it has also been referred to as the Decelean War. This name comes from the city of Decelea, which Sparta invaded in 412 BCE. However, instead of burning the city, Spartan leadership chose to set up a base in Decelea so that it would be easier to run raids into Attica. This, plus the Spartan decision to not require soldiers to return home each year for the harvest, allowed the Spartans to keep the pressure on Athens as it ran campaigns throughout its territories.

Sparta Attacks the Aegean

The base at Decelea meant that Athens could no longer rely on the territories throughout Attica to supply it with the supplies it needed. This meant Athens had to increase its tribute demands on its allies throughout the Aegean, which strained its relationship with the many of the members of the Delian League/Athenian Empire.

To take advantage of this, Sparta began sending envoys to these cities encouraging them to rebel against Athens, which many of them did. Furthermore, Syracuse, grateful for the help they received in defending their city, supplied ships and troops to help Sparta.

However, while this strategy was sound in logic, it ended up not leading to a decisive Spartan victory. Many of the city-states that had promised support to Sparta were slow to provide troops, and this meant Athens still had the advantage at sea. In 411 BCE, for example, the Athenians were able to win the Battle of Cynossema, and this stalled the Spartans’ advances into the Aegean for some time.

Athens Strikes Back

In 411 BCE, the Athenian democracy fell to a group of oligarchs known as The Four Hundred. Seeing that there was little hope for victory over Sparta, this group began trying to sue for peace, but the Spartans ignored them. Then, The Four Hundred lost control of Athens, surrendering to a much larger group of oligarchs knowns as “the 5,000.” But in the midst of all this, Alcibiades, who had previously defected to Sparta during the Syracuse campaign, had been trying to earn his way back into the good graces of the Athenian elite. He did this by putting together a fleet near Samos, an island in the Aegean, and fighting the Spartans.

His first encounter with the enemy came in 410 BCE at Cyzicus, which resulted in an Athenian rout of the Spartan fleet. This force continued to sail around the northern Aegean, driving out the Spartans wherever they could, and when Alcibiades returned to Athens in 407 BCE, he was welcomed as a hero. But he still had many enemies, and after being sent to campaign in Asia, a plot was hatched to have him killed. When Alcibiades learned of this, he abandoned his army and retreated into exile in Thrace until he was found and killed in 403 BCE.

The Peloponnesian War Comes to an End

This brief period of military success brought on by Alcibiades gave the Athenians a glimmer of hope that they could defeat the Spartans, but this was really just an illusion. The Spartan’s had managed to destroy most of the land in Attica, forcing people to flee to Athens, and this meant Athens was entirely dependent on its maritime trade for food and other supplies. The Spartan king at the time time, Lysander, saw this weakness and decided to change the Spartan strategy to focus on intensifying the siege of Athens.

At this point, Athens was receiving almost all of its grains from the Hellespont, also known as the Dardanelles. As a result, in 405 BCE, Lysander summoned his fleet and set out for this important part of the Athenian Empire. Seeing this as a major threat, the Athenians had no choice but to pursue Lysander. They followed the Spartans into this narrow stretch of water, and then the Spartans turned around and attacked, routing the fleet and capturing thousands of soldiers.

This victory left Athens without access to important staple crops, and because the treasuries had all but been depleted due to nearly 100 years of war (against both Persia and Sparta), there was little hope of regaining this territory and winning the war. As a result, Athens had no choice but to surrender, and in 404 BCE, the Peloponnesian War officially came to an end.


Inhoud

In the wake of Athens' defeat in the Sicilian Expedition in 413, a small Spartan fleet commanded by Chalcideus, who was advised and assisted by Alcibiades, succeeded in bringing a number of critical Ionian cities into revolt from the Athenian Empire. Ώ] After the revolt of the critical city of Miletus, the Persian satrap Tissaphernes concluded an alliance against Athens with Sparta. ΐ] The Spartans remained unwilling to challenge the Athenians at sea, and an Athenian fleet succeeded in recapturing several cities and besieging Chios during the later months of 412 BC. Α] In 411 BC, however, further rebellions at Rhodes and Euboea, and the capture of Abydos and Lampsacus on the Hellespont by a Peloponnesian army that had marched there overland, forced the Athenians to disperse their forces to meet these various threats. The Spartan fleet could now move freely in the Aegean, and took advantage of its newfound superiority by lifting the blockade of Chios and bottling up the Athenians' Aegean fleet at Samos. Β]

By withdrawing their ships from the Hellespont to Samos, the Athenians were able to reestablish their naval superiority in the Aegean, Γ] but in doing so they opened the door for Sparta to shift the theater of war. Accordingly, in late July, the Spartan commander Clearchus made an attempt to slip 40 ships past the Athenian fleet to the Hellespont. These were turned back by a storm, but shortly afterwards 10 ships under the Megarian general Helixus reached the Hellespont, where they triggered revolts in Byzantium, Chalcedon and other important cities. Δ] Several months later, the new Spartan navarch Mindarus, deciding that the promises of support made by Pharnabazus, the Persian satrap of Anatolia, were more promising than those of Tissaphernes in Ionia, Ε] slipped his entire fleet past the Athenians. He joined up with the Peloponnesian ships already operating in the Hellespont and established his base at Abydos, forcing the small Athenian fleet at Sestos to flee, with losses, to Imbros and Lemnos. Ζ ]


Thrasybulus and the Athenian Democracy: the life of an Athenian statesman. Historia Einzelschriften 120

Although Thrasybulus of Steiria was a major player in some of the most important events of Athenian history, he has been largely neglected by ancient commentators and modern scholars alike. By way of giving Thrasybulus the attention his deeds warrant, Buck provides in his brief study a Thrasybulus-centered history of the period from 411 — when his subject was elected general by the Athenian troops at Samos — to 389, the year of Thrasybulus’ death at Aspendus. There are eight chapters, the first an introductory discussion of “Sources and Scholarship,” the last a brief conclusion on “Thrasybulus and Athens, 450-389 B.C.” The intervening chapters are arranged chronologically, with subdivisions neatly marking separate discussions (e.g., “Phyle,” “Logistics,” “First Skirmishes”). The nature of the work requires that coverage of the events of the period be uneven: those in which Thrasybulus took part are described at length others in which he did not, such as the battle of Aegospotami (p. 61), are discussed only briefly for the sake of completing the narrative. For this reason the book does not serve — and it is not intended to serve — as a comprehensive narrative of the period. It will probably most often attract readers looking for our author’s take on individual episodes in Athenian history. They will find a concise, clearly-written, and well-argued discussion of the events of the period.

But I do have some criticisms of the book. The more important concern four passages in which the author does not provide his readers with as much information as would be desirable about the assumptions underlying his writing or the limitations of his evidence.

In discussing Thrasybulus’ role in the naval battle off the Cape of Cynossema in 411, B. assigns to the general an elevated position within the strategia : “As the commander-in-chief he [Thrasybulus] commanded the right wing of the fleet” (p. 32).

Command of the right wing, B. elsewhere explains (pp. 34 and 35), implies that the general so stationed held “supreme command.” The conclusion does not lack merit, since command of the right wing of an army could imply as much: cf. the Boeotians’ apparent assumption of the command of an allied army after being stationed on its right wing at the Battle of the Nemea in the early fourth century (Xen. Hell. 4.2.18). But did the positions assumed by Athenian generals in joint command of Athenian armies imply anything about their relative status? Was there in fact a position of superior authority within the strategia ? I am of the opinion that there was not, and that generals in joint command of expeditions made campaign decisions by majority vote. But reasonable people may differ in their interpretations of the relevant evidence.

The problem with B.’s statement is that he assumes the existence of a commander-in-chief in Athens and does not alert readers to the controversy surrounding that assumption. A book focusing on the activities of a prominent Athenian general in his capacity as general would do well to consider as precisely as possible the nature of the position to which its subject was repeatedly elected.

Of the years following the revolution of the Four Hundred B. writes: “There are some hints that among Alcibiades, Thrasybulus, and Thrasyllus there was at first a division of responsibilities, whereby Alcibiades was to deal with the Persians and the Ionians, and Thrasybulus and Thrasyllus were to fight the Peloponnesians. It seems that the original plan was for a triumvirate to direct affairs in the northern Aegean” (pp. 30-31). The implications of this statement trouble me. Is B. imagining that this division of authority among the three generals was a policy developed by the Athenian demos, or was the plan hatched by the generals themselves? For most readers, familiarity with Roman triumvirates would likely suggest the latter possibility. If that is what is meant, how precisely does B. imagine that the generals would operate? Would they determine policy by themselves, acting without reference to the Athenian demos ? Or does B. imagine the triumvirate as somehow operating within the framework of Athens’ radical democracy? The assumption underlying B.’s statement — if I have not misunderstood it — is that Athens’ generals were capable of acting independently of the demos to a considerable extent. The effect of the comment (and of similar remarks made by other modern scholars) is to portray Athens as an arena in which individuals could control — not just influence — state policy. To my mind this characterization takes too little account of the mechanics of Athens’ democracy. B. may disagree, but it would be a service to his readers if his assumptions were made explicit.

B. suggests that Thrasybulus was responsible both for Athens’ failure to intervene in 402/1 when Oropus joined the Boeotian League and for his state’s participation in 401/0 in Sparta’s war against Elis: “Oropus, previously a dependency of Athens but independent for some time, joined (or rejoined) the Boeotian League in 402/1. Athens did not intervene. Perhaps Thrasybulus, by ensuring Athenian inactivity, was repaying favours to the Ismenian faction in Thebes or perhaps Athens was simply too weak to fight the Boeotian army or perhaps Athens was too preoccupied with Eleusis. Thrasybulus, while Athens was alone and weak, saw to it that she took no offensive action beyond her borders (except at Eleusis), but stayed submissive in her role as a loyal ally of Sparta. As such in 401/400 she sent hoplites to aid Sparta in the war against Elis, where Sparta settled old scores and tried to gain control of a troublesome neighbour” (p. 88). B. evidently assumes that Thrasybulus was responsible for Athens’ behavior on these occasions because, so he argues on pp. 87-88, Thrasybulus and his “faction”

were ascendant in Athens in the post-war years. But however likely it may be that Thrasybulus was involved in the decision-making, there is no direct evidence linking him to either state decision. It is troubling that B. does not indicate as much to his readers.

B. asserts (p. 38) that “Thrasybulus was ‘in command of the whole fleet’ of eighty-six ships” which fought at Cyzicus in 410. His statement is an inference from Diod. 13.49.1. The passage doen report that Thrasybulus was in command of τοῦ στόλου παντός , but it refers to the period shortly before the battle at Cyzicus, when Thrasybulus was stationed in the north Aegean with some twenty ships. (Xen. Hell. 1.1.12 provides the number.) He subsequently joined forces with Theramenes and Alcibiades in Cardia — the former, according to Diodorus, had met up with Thrasybulus already in Thrace — at which time the combined fleet numbered eighty-six ships. This larger fleet went on to fight at Cyzicus. B. assumes that Diodorus’ description of Thrasybulus’ status in the north Aegean accurately describes his status also after combining forces with his colleagues in Cardia, but that assumption may not be valid. That Thrasybulus was not in fact leader of the entire fleet at Cyzicus and (by implication) the superior of his colleagues Theramenes and Alcibiades is in fact suggested elsewhere by Diodorus himself: after Thrasybulus joined the other generals in the Chersonese, command decisions were, according to Diodorus, made conjointly by the generals (13.49.5-6 13.50.1), evidence which suggests that there was no disparity in the authority enjoyed by Athens’ strategoi during this campaign. B. rejects (p. 38 n. 106) an alternative explanation of Diod. 13.49.1, that τοῦ στόλου παντός refers only to those ships with which Thrasybulus was operating prior to Cyzicus. Diodorus’ passage is, admittedly, problematic. As B. notes, the author doen say “the whole fleet” (p. 38 n. 106). And the passage can be taken to mean that Thrasybulus was the superior of Theramenes during the operations in the north Aegean, which requires explanation.

Complicating its interpretation is the fact that Diodorus’ information conflicts with that of Xenophon (1.1.12), who suggests that Thrasybulus and Theramenes did nie meet up prior to their arrival at Cardia (and who makes no claims about Thrasybulus’ command comparable to Diodorus’ remark). What disturbs me about B.’s use of Diodorus’ information, however, is that he offers the passage as evidence of Thrasybulus’ superior authority at Cyzicus without clearly suggesting to his readers that the information it provides may not be pertinent to Thrasybulus’ status at that battle. (One might glean this fact from his rejection in n. 106 of Andrewes’ conclusion, but he does not address the issue directly.) Once again, the effect is to imply that there was a commander-in-chief in Athens’ strategia while not signaling to readers that the evidence for that view of the office is less than solid.

My other criticisms of B.’s book are relatively minor. The comments which follow are ordered by page number.

Three statements made by B. in his first chapter are to my mind problematic: (1) “There was no deficit spending, since no one would be insane enough to lend money to a state, even to Athens” (p. 9). (2) “It [democracy] was a comparatively rare phenomenon in the Greek world of the fifth and fourth centuries, since most people, then as now, were normally quite willing to let someone else do it” (p. 11). (3) “Democracies had a perennial problem with voter apathy…” (p. 11). The statements seem to me to share the common problem of providing overly facile explanations to phenomena which were surely far more complex and are deserving of more thoughtful discussion. Would it in fact have been “insane” for one Greek state — or for an individual — to lend money to another? The answer is not obvious to me, and I would be interested in reading here a more considered discussion of precisely why inter-state lending was apparently out of the question in a society in which military and commercial relationships between poleis were commonplace.

The alleged willingness of Greeks, meanwhile, to “let someone else do it” does not adequately explain the prevalence in the Greek world of non-democratic forms of government, and apathy is likewise not a sufficient explanation for poor attendance in the ekklesia.

In his overview of modern attitudes toward Thrasybulus B. writes (p. 18) that “Kagan [1987, p. 115] goes so far as to suggest that in 411 the great arch-democrat was really prepared to overthrow the democracy and replace it with an oligarchy.” This misrepresents Kagan’s less extreme view, that Thrasybulus was willing to accept some limitations on the authority of the demos, though not to the extent of favoring oligarchy, in return for obtaining Persian support for Athens.

B. writes on pp. 20-21 (cf. p. 30) of the close working relationship which seems to have obtained between Thrasybulus and Alcibiades between 411 and 407. In this context he might mention Nep. Alc. 7.1 and Diod. 13.69.3 (but cf. Xen. Hell. 1.4.21), which report that Alcibiades requested of the demos in 407/6 that Thrasybulus be dispatched with him to Asia Minor.

In 412 the Athenians deposed from the strategia the generals Phrynichus and Scironides (Thuc. 8.54.3). Of their subsequent history B. writes (p. 24): “… Phrynichus and another dismissed general, Scironides, returned home in Pisander’s absence and soon became deeply involved in promoting the oligarchy.” This is true of Phrynichus, but nothing is in fact known of Scironides’ activities after his deposition from office.

When referring to panels of strategoi (as, for example, at pp. 28-29 n. 59 and p. 57 n. 40) B. should refer the reader to the relevant pages of Robert Develin’s Athenian Officials, 684-321 B.C. (Cambridge, 1989).

In his discussion of the election of generals by the Athenian soldiers at Samos in 411 B. writes: “They elected other trierarchs and generals, of whom Thrasybulus and Thrasyllus were the chiefs” (p. 28). It is not clear why our author refers to the two as “chiefs.” He earlier writes that they were “recognized as leaders of the democrats,” and he may be making a similar claim here about their de facto position within the strategia. But B. seems to me to be suggesting something more on this occasion, and I suspect that he has misunderstood Thucydides’ account at 8.76.2: … ὧν Θρασύβουλός τε καὶ Θράσυλος ὑπῆρχον . In this passage Thucydides is reporting only that Thrasybulus and Thrasyllus were among those elected by the soldiers, and that they had already been in command: ὑπῆρχον does not convey the sense of “rule” (see LSJ s.v. ὑπάρχω B.I.2-4 and C.II).

On p. 72 B. mistranslates as “[they] led them to stop” the phrase καταπαύειν ἦρξαν , which appears in an epigram preserved at Aeschin. 3.190. ἦρξαν should surely rather bear the meaning “they made a beginning of.”

According to Diodorus (14.32.5-6), while Thrasybulus was at Phyle he refused to join the Thirty when they offered him the opportunity. B. questions the account: “The offer to Thrasybulus of a seat in the Thirty is barely possible on Diodorus’ chronology, but unless it was made well before the battle of Acharnae, impossible on Xenophon’s. It sounds like a slander made later by a political rival, one that was credulously picked up by Ephorus” (p. 76). B. may be right that the incident is not historical, but his explanation for the genesis of the story fails to convince. “Slandering” Thrasybulus by spreading a story about his refusal to be bribed by the acquisition of personal power might well contribute to his popularity.

The majority of these complaints are minor. In general the book is quite good — lucid and well-argued. I found particularly interesting B.’s discussion on p. 73 of the logistics of Thrasybulus’ operations at Phyle. The volume goes some way toward compensating its subject for the comparative neglect he has suffered at the hands of historians. Thrasybulus’ dedication to democracy and his heroism at Phyle deserve at least as much.


The Great Greek Turncoat

In one of his lesser-known plays, Timon of Athens, William Shakespeare put a speech in the mouth of a supporting character that remains a classic statement of the sense of betrayal soldiers throughout history have felt at the hands of their political masters. In a moment of extreme frustration, an Athenian captain named Alcibiades blurts out:

I am worse than mad: I have kept back their foes, While they have told their money and let out Their coin upon large interest I myself Rich only in large hurts. All those for this? Is this the balsam that the usuring senate Pours into captains’ wounds? —Act III, Scene V

Though a fictional character, Shakespeare’s Alcibiades was based on a real general of the same name who in the 5th century BC was among the key Athenian commanders during the 431–404 BC Peloponnesian War. A close friend (and, according to some period sources, lover) of the great philosopher Socrates, the real Alcibiades was not as noble and selfless as Shakespeare’s character claims to be. True, he was charismatic, handsome, reckless and one of the most controversial figures in Greek history. But the real Alcibiades was also arguably one of the most treacherous, double-dealing, self-aggrandizing—and yet most successful —generals in all of military history.

Alcibiades Cleinoiu Scambonides was born in Athens in 450 BC. His mother was a member of an old aristocratic family and a sister of Pericles, the most famous statesman of Athens’ Golden Age. When Alcibiades’ father was killed at the Battle of Coronea in 447 BC, Pericles became the boy’s guardian. In his school years, Alcibiades learned from Athens’ best teachers, including Socrates, one of the founders of Western philosophy.

In 432 BC, 18-year-old Alcibiades served as a hoplite (a heavily armed infantryman) at the Battle of Potidaea, a precursor to the Peloponnesian War. He shared the same mess tent with his old teacher, Socrates. In Plato’s dialogue The Symposium, Alcibiades credits Socrates with saving his life—and his weapons—after he was wounded. Although the generals awarded Alcibiades a prize for bravery, he insisted with uncharacteristic humility the distinction should have gone to Socrates. Eight years later Alcibiades and Socrates again served together, at the Battle of Delium, in which Boeotia trounced Athens. Alcibiades was by now a cavalryman, while the 45- year-old Socrates remained a hoplite. During the Athenian retreat Socrates calmly led a small party on foot along the line of withdrawal as many of those around him fled in panic. Alcibiades covered Socrates on horseback. This time the military leaders did recognize Socrates’ courage in battle.

Pericles, meanwhile, fell victim to the plague that swept Athens in 429 BC, as the Spartans and their allies besieged the city. After a decade of fighting, the Spartans and Athenians in 421 BC agreed to a truce, brokered by the Athenian general and statesman Nicias. The Peace of Nicias was supposed to last 50 years, but held for barely five. Several Peloponnesian allies—including Corinth, Megara and Boeotia—refused to sign and broke from Sparta. Alcibiades, who had entered politics the year before, was now a member of the Athenian ecclesia, the city-state’s principal assembly. Ambitious and ruthless, Alcibiades considered Nicias one of his main rivals. He used the uneasy and unstable truce to agitate for a more aggressive posture toward Sparta, thus undermining his opponent. When Sparta and its former ally Argos fought a brief war, the Athenians, at Alcibiades’ urging, sent a force of hoplites to support Argos at the 418 BC Battle of Mantinea, which Sparta won.

The Peace of Nicias collapsed in 416 BC, as Alcibiades continued to prod the ecclesia to widen operations against Sparta. The turning point came in 415 BC, when the Sicilian city of Segesta requested Athenian support in its struggle against neighboring Selinus, an ally of Sparta. Alcibiades argued that by conquering almal of Sicily, the Athenians would cut off Sparta from the rear while gaining control of the island’s wealth in grain and natural resources. Alcibiades further argued that with Athens primarily a maritime power and Sparta primarily a land power, the Athenians should press their advantage and fight at sea as much as possible.

The ecclesia finally agreed to launch a huge invasion force of 130- plus triremes (fighting galleys) and an equal number of transport ships, 20,000 crewmen, 5,000 hoplites and about 1,300 peltasts (specialist light troops, including archers and slingers). Alcibiades was appointed one of three generals in command of the expedition. Much to his chagrin, his cautious rival, Nicias, was also appointed to command, although Nicias had opposed the intervention. The third commander was the experienced and capable Lamachus.

On the eve of the expedition, someone mutilated a number of statues of the god Hermes throughout Athens. The resulting religious scandal was a bad omen for the coming campaign, and Alcibiades’ political enemies quickly blamed him and his notoriously hard-drinking friends for the sacrilege. Alcibiades demanded an immediate capital trial to clear his name, but his enemies, fearing the army, stalled the proceedings, bringing formal charges only after the expeditionary force had sailed. Soon after the invasion fleet reached the Sicilian coast, a trireme arrived with orders to return Alcibiades and the other accused to Athens for trial.

Alcibiades agreed to follow the trireme to Athens in his own ship, but he and his crew slipped away en route. It was then the Athenian general shifted loyalties. He contacted the Spartans, offering them his sword if they would grant him sanctuary. He disclosed to his new masters that Athens intended first to subdue Syracuse’s Sicilian allies before attacking the city itself. The information gave Sparta time to send reinforcements and assign one of its own generals to the defense of Syracuse. Back in Athens, meanwhile, Alcibiades was tried in absentia for treason and sentenced to death. All of his property was confiscated.

But the damage was done, and nothing went right for the Athenian forces on Sicily. As Nicias and Lamachus argued about strategy, the Spartan reinforcements arrived. In 414 BC Lamachus was killed in action, leaving the militarily incompetent Nicias sole commander of the expedition. After some indecisive skirmishes that only whittled down the Athenians’ strength, the Spartans turned the tables and besieged the besiegers. The Syracusan navy forced the Athenians to beach their fleet and dig in ashore. Late in 414 BC an Athenian relief force arrived, but it was too late to turn the situation around. By the time the Athenians surrendered, they had lost more than 40,000 men and 175 ships. Syracuse put the captives to work as slave laborers in Sicily’s rock quarries. None would see Athens again.

Back in Greece the Spartans, on Alcibiades’ recommendation, sent a land force into Attica and established a fortified base at Decelea, just 13 miles from Athens. Cut off from the farmland outside the city walls, the Athenians were entirely dependent on the sea for their food and trade. With Athens under massive strategic pressure, its client city-states of the Delian League started to break away. Persia, perennial enemy of the Greek citystates, had long been content to sit back and watch Athens and Sparta fight it out. But after the Athenian failure at Sicily, the Persians began providing financial support to the Spartans, in exchange for recognition of Persian sovereignty over those cities along the coast of Asia Minor that Persia had lost to Athens in the 499–449 BC Greco-Persian Wars.

Noting that Athens had lost most of its fleet at Sicily, Alcibiades encouraged Sparta to build up its navy and challenge Athens directly. He sailed with the Spartan fleet to Ionia in 412 BC and encouraged widespread revolt against Athens. Most of the key city-states in the eastern Aegean abandoned the Delian League only the island of Samos remained loyal. Athens struggled to rebuild its fleet, with Samos as its major naval base, but found itself fighting two battles simultaneously—one to deflect Sparta and the other to hold together its crumbling alliance.

Despite Alcibiades’ considerable services to Sparta, he managed to wear out his welcome. The retirement of an influential supporter, one of Sparta’s five ephors (imperial overseers), weakened him politically. About the same time, he was rumored to have fathered a son by the wife of King Agis II. Warned of an assassination plot against him, Alcibiades fled Sparta in 412 BC and defected to Persian-controlled Asia Minor, where he wheedled his way into the confidence of Tissaphernes, the regional satrap (provincial governor). He urged Persia to continue playing Sparta and Athens against each other, giving priority first to decisively reducing Athens’ power at sea and then to conquering a weakened Sparta on land.

At the time of the failed Sicilian Expedition, Athens had become deeply divided between two hostile political factions. The group holding power wanted to maintain Athens’ radical (by the standards of the time) democracy, while their opponents sought a return to a more traditional oligarchic state. The Athenian navy was the main force behind the democratic faction, while the oligarchs found support among the older landed families who remained in Athens while the fleet deployed. In the years following Athens’ final defeat by Sparta in 404 BC, the struggle between these two factions erupted into a civil war that set the stage for Socrates’ trial and execution in 399 BC.

Alcibiades didn’t remain loyal to the Persians for long: Almost immediately after submitting himself to Tissaphernes’ protection, he began plotting a return to Athens. Assuming he would find more support among the oligarchic faction, Alcibiades suggested that if they took control in Athens and then recalled him, he could guarantee Persian support with a fleet of some 150 triremes. In 411 BC the oligarchic faction finally seized power in Athens through a campaign of murder and intimidation. The city-state came under the control of the revolutionary oligarchic council known as the Four Hundred, but Alcibiades’ scheme collapsed when Tissaphernes refused to deliver the Persian support, preferring to continue playing off both sides against each other.

At Samos, meanwhile, the navy refused to recognize the new government in Athens and set up its own democratic government in exile. The sailors expelled all officers who supported the oligarchs and elected new commanders. One of them, Thrasybulus, persuaded the men to support Alcibiades’ recall, hoping perhaps he could rally Persian support. It wasn’t exactly what Alcibiades’ had planned, but once at Samos he convinced the fleet he could either bring the Persian fleet in on Athens’ side or at least convince Tissaphernes to remain neutral. According to the contemporary Greek historian Thucydides, who was the first to chronicle the Peloponnesian Wars, Alcibiades knew all along that the Persians intended to remain on the sidelines. Regardless, the troops elected Alcibiades along with Thrasybulus.

Back in Athens, more regime change ensued: The Four Hundred collapsed, giving way to a more moderate government, which sought cooperation with the exiled fleet, then rolling back Spartan encroachment in the Aegean. Under Thrasybulus, the Athenians in 411 BC defeated a Spartan fleet off the coast of Cynossema, near the entrance to the Hellespont (Dardanelles), which controlled Athens’ vital trade route to the Black Sea. Although Alcibiades was not present at Cynossema, he played a key roll in the follow-up battle off Abydos, where Sparta and its Peloponnesian allies had a major naval base. During that daylong fight, Thrasybulus’ 74 ships engaged the 97-vessel Peloponnesian fleet, and the battle raged to and fro in an apparent draw. But at day’s end Alcibiades arrived from Samos with 18 triremes, tipping the balance.

The Peloponnesians withdrew to their base at Abydos, having lost 30 ships but avoiding complete destruction when the Persian army provided cover from shore. Shortly after the fighting ended, Tissaphernes arrived from Ionia with a Persian fleet. Alcibiades, seeking to flaunt his influence with the Persian satrap, sailed out to meet him with gifts. Tissaphernes— knowing not to trust the self-interested Athenian and needing to shore up relations with the Spartans—had him imprisoned on the spot. Alcibiades managed to escape within a month and was soon back in command of the Athenian fleet, but from that point on his boasts of influence with the Persians carried no weight.

Over the next several months the Spartans and their Peloponnesian allies rebuilt their fleet, while the Athenians besieged several of their former Delian League allies on the Adriatic to pull them back into line and raise money. Still fighting for control of the vital route to the Black Sea, the opposing fleets clashed again in 410 BC, this time off Cyzicus on the Propontis (the present-day Sea of Marmara). Reaching Cyzicus undetected under cover of darkness, Alcibiades’ small squadron of 20 ships advanced toward the 80-ship Peloponnesian fleet, luring it into pursuit. As the Peloponnesians took the bait, Alcibiades turned in seeming retreat back to sea, the Spartans close behind. When they were far enough from shore, the 66-ship main body of the Athenian fleet, split into squadrons commanded by Thrasybulus and Theramenes, slipped behind the Peloponnesians from opposite directions, cutting them off. Alcibiades then swung his squadron around and sailed straight back into battle.

Attacked from three directions, the Spartans were overwhelmed. Fighting both afloat and ashore, the Athenians defeated the combined Spartan-Persian forces and captured Cyzicus. The Persians, keen on seeing the war continue, provided the funds for Sparta to rebuild its fleet. And for the next several years, Athenian naval operations in the Adriatic under Alcibiades centered on plunder to pay for maintaining their army and navy. Such operations included the unsuccessful 409 BC Siege of Chalcedon, followed by a successful attack against Selymbria (on the Propontis) and a successful siege of Byzantium in 408 BC. The latter secured Athens’ control of the vital waterway between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean.

With a string of military victories behind him, Alcibiades decided the time was ripe for a triumphal return to Athens, which he had not seen since the 415 BC Sicilian Expedition. With traditional democracy restored, Alcibiades entered Athens in triumph in the spring of 407 BC. The ecclesia overturned his conviction and dropped all other criminal charges, restored his property and appointed him strategos autokrator (supreme commander) of all Athenian military forces.

Alcibiades’ resurgence didn’t last long. In 407 BC the new Persian satrap in Asia Minor, Cyrus the Younger, son of King Darius II, abandoned all pretenses of neutrality and provided the funds, materials and training to build a new Peloponnesian fleet at Notium (also known as Ephesus), just north of the main Athenian base at Samos the next year the Spartans appointed the capable Lysander as navarch, commander of the new fleet. In response to this threat, Alcibiades set sail from Athens in 406 BC with a fleet of some 100 triremes, intending to destroy the new Peloponnesian fleet. But when he reached the waters off Notium, nothing he did could lure Lysander out to fight. Tired of waiting, Alcibiades took 20 ships farther up the coast to support Thrasybulus, who was besieging rebellious Phocaea. Alcibiades left the 80-ship main body under the command of his helmsman, Antiochus, with strict orders not to engage the Peloponnesians.

But Antiochus did just that. Apparently seeking to repeat Alcibiades’ successful tactics at Cyzicus, Antiochus tried to lure Lysander from harbor with a small decoy force. But Lysander struck first and fast, and in the ensuing fight the Athenians lost 22 ships, without a single loss for the Peloponnesians. Although it was a relatively minor loss for the Athenians, Lysander scored an important psychological victory by proving the Athenians could be beaten at sea. Alcibiades’ many enemies in Athens pounced on the defeat, removing him and his key subordinates, including Thrasybulus and Theramenes. Their political gambit effectively decapitated the fleet, setting the stage for Athens’ final defeat two years later.

Alcibiades entered self-imposed exile, leaving Athens, never to return. He first sailed north to the fortifications in Thracian Chersonese he had captured three years earlier. His new home was near the Hellespont, close to Aegospotami, where the final battle of the Peloponnesian Wars played out in 405 BC. Just before that battle, Alcibiades tried to convince Athenian commanders their fleet was vulnerable and recommended shifting it to a more secure anchorage close to Sestos. They rejected his advice out of hand. Just days later Lysander attacked from the opposite shore of the Hellespont, capturing almost all 200 of the Athenian ships and their crews unprepared on the beach.

After the farce at Aegospotami, Alcibiades crossed into Asia Minor and traveled to Phrygia (at the center of present-day Turkey), apparently seeking refuge at the main Persian court. Period accounts of his death differ, but according to the Roman biographer Plutarch, assassins sent by Lysander tracked down Alcibiades in 404 BC and set fire to his house while he was in bed with a courtesan named Timandra. Alcibiades grabbed his sword and, using his cloak as a makeshift shield, made a “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” charge into the firelit night.

Historians have long had trouble with Alcibiades. Many agree he had an outsized ego and trouble controlling his passions. According to Plutarch, he carried a golden shield adorned with an Eros armed with a thunderbolt. His readiness to shift political allegiances also calls his ethics into question. The verdict is far less than clear on his abilities as a military commander. His decision to leave Antiochus in command at Notium was a serious blunder. Thucydides strongly suggests that the course of the Sicilian Expedition would have gone better had Alcibiades retained command. Maar Thucydides het Alcibiades ook gekritiseer omdat hy meer gemotiveer is deur persoonlike ambisie as die welstand van die staat, toe hy in 420 vC 'n meer aggressiewe houding teen Sparta en in 415 v.C. Dan sou die Peloponnesiese oorlog natuurlik heel anders geëindig het as die Atheense bevelvoerders gehoor gegee het aan die advies van Alcibiades by Aegospotami.

Alcibiades was miskien die hoofskrywer van sy eie ongedaanmaak. In Lewe, sy reeks biografieë van Griekse en Romeinse noemenswaardige, het Plutarchus van hom geskryf: “Dit wil voorkom asof iemand ooit deur sy verhewe reputasie geruïneer is, Alcibiades. Sy voortdurende suksesse het hom so 'n reputasie gegee vir ongebonde waagmoed en sagmoedigheid dat mans as hy iets misluk het, nie sy onvermoë sou glo nie. "

Vir verdere lees, beveel David T. Zabecki aan: Thucydides ' Geskiedenis van die Peloponnesiese Oorlog, Plutarchus Lewe en Die val van die Atheense Ryk, deur Donald Kagan.

Oorspronklik gepubliseer in die Januarie 2011 -uitgawe van Militêre geskiedenis. Klik hier om in te teken.


Kyk die video: The Fall of Athens: The Peloponnesian War (Augustus 2022).