The Fall of the Athenian Empire (A New History of the Peloponnesian War)

By Donald Kagan

In the fourth and ultimate quantity of his magisterial historical past of the Peloponnesian struggle, Donald Kagan examines the interval from the destruction of Athens' Sicilian excursion in September of 413 B.C. to the Athenian hand over to Sparta within the spring of 404 B.C. via his research of this final decade of the warfare, Kagan evaluates the functionality of the Athenian democracy because it confronted its such a lot severe problem. even as, Kagan assesses Thucydides' interpretation of the explanations for Athens’ defeat and the destruction of the Athenian Empire.

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As soon as he got to work he printed himself because the optimum. ,,5 1 Peisander used to be the one that positioned forth the movement to set up the oli­ garchy of the 400 and , in accordance with Thucydides, was once the guy within the public area who performed the best and such a lot zealous half within the destruction of the democracy . He additionally took the lead in forming an oligarchic conspiracy on Samos, and whilst the oligarchy was once over­ thrown at Athens, he went over to the Spartan camp at Decelea. fifty two even if Peisander and Phrynichus could have come to the location for basically opportunistic purposes, either essentially and entirely deserve the designation "oligarchs . " the lads on Samos, then, who got here jointly and determined to barter with Alcibiades have been from the 1st divided into special kinds whom we may well name "oligarchs" and "moderates. " The reaction of the "trierarchs and crucial males" at Samos to Alcibiades' messages used to be to ship representatives to carry discussions with Alcibiades. Thucydides doesn't point out any names, yet Peisander and Thrasybulus have been most likely individuals of the dele­ gation. fifty three There they heard an analogous delivers to convey over to Athens' 498'48'4-7; 50-5 ' ; sixty eight· three · '"8. fifty six; sixty three· 3-4· "8. 6 three - three 528. sixty seven; 7 three . 2 ; ninety eight. I . "8. forty eight. 1 . Thucydides basically says that nvic; crossed over from Samos. Nepos (Ak. three) names Peisander as one of many intermediaries, calling him a common, which he used to be now not. maybe he used to be a trierarch, even if we haven't any facts to that impact. at least, his top position within the complete affair makes his participation most likely (see Busolt, GG lib, 1467, n. 2). The recommendation that Thrasybulus took half derives from his place as trierarch and his carrying on with shut organization with Alcibiades. 1 20 the autumn OF THE ATHENIAN EMPIRE part not just Tissaphernes but additionally the good King of Persia. This time the situation he set, if Thucydides' paraphrase is special, was once that he may do this stuff "if they didn't keep the democracy, for in that means the King could have higher belief in them. "H We may well bet that moderates like Thrasybulus had reacted badly to the observe oligarchy in Alcibiades' previous communications and that the alert exile had adjusted his language to minimize pointless friction. "Not to continue the democracy" should be understood another way via moderates and oligarchs yet "replacing the bottom democracy with an oligarchy" wouldn't. fifty five once they lower back to Samos with their file, the real males who had despatched them have been a lot inspired. Thucydides nonetheless doesn't distinguish between them, announcing of them all they'd nice hopes of bringing the govt into their very own arms and likewise of overcoming the enemy. fifty six without doubt, the 2 factions now we have discerned emphasised diverse elements of these hopes. your next step used to be for the leaders to shape "those appropriate" into an efficient political physique through an oath. fifty seven Thucydides calls this political physique a xynomosia, which frequently ability conspiracy, with all of its nasty connotations, and he can have meant that experience.

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