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Was composed of multiple poleis, but Athens was the main one and held the equivalent of the presidency of the council
Each city-state had to contribute ships, troops, weapons, or money to the common defense. Most gave money because they had neither the wealth nor the capacity to do the rest in large numbers, especially the expensive triremes.
The League not only operated against remaining Persian forces in the Aegean but also squashed piracy.
As time went on, the League’s protective role became more ominous. It, under Athens’ influence, used force to make poleis join or prevent others from leaving.
The working logic was that these city-states were enjoying the protection the League provided and so they needed to contribute instead of mooching.
Several city-states were conquered and their populations enslaved.
Eventually, the treasury is moved from Delos to Athens in order to keep it safe from the Persians.
That and Athens starts to only accept money and not materiel. This increases Athens’ feeling that other city-states are obligated to pay into the League because they’re the ones risking their lives for them.
Athens then starts using the money not just for the joint defense of Greece, but puts it towards its own building projects and other non-military items that contribute to Athens’ own glory.
Athens thus began to look more like the head of an empire.
All the power was held in the Assembly, which was composed of all of Athens’ free-born citizens.
This was actually a small minority of Athens’ overall populace since women, slaves, freed slaves, and those without two Athenian parents were ineligible to participate. Out of a population of nearly 300,000 only about 30,000 could participate.
Any citizen could participate; they just had to show up. This made it a direct democracy, not a representative one.
Met about 10 times a year. More as needed.
Had almost absolute power. They passed laws, installed, removed, and prosecuted public officials. They decided when to go to war and with whom.
The Boule (Council of 500) was still around, but acted as a steering committee for the Assembly.
We know he wrote 76 plays, but only 6 currently exist in their entirety.
Best known for The Bacchae, Electra, and Medea
We know he wrote 92 plays, but only 18 currently exist in their entirety.
There were dramatic competitions in Athens every year, the Dionysia, in which playwrights would submit their plays. Aeschylus won 13 times, Sophocles 18, and Euripides just 3 (although he later became the most popular).
They didn’t all compete at the same time – Aeschylus, for example, died before Eur’s first one.
He satirized almost everyone: Pericles, Euripides, Socrates, and others.
Can sometimes to be hard to translate for effect since comedy tends to involve a lot of period knowledge and idioms that may be hilarious in the native culture and/or language, but leave others scratching their heads about why it’s supposed to be funny.
The great acropolis is built up during the golden age Here’s what it looks like today.
Contrary to what your books says, the Parthenon WAS novel in style. Though it followed from temple-building traditions that had been around for a long while, it was unique and an odd duck as far as ancient Greek temples go.
Somewhat ironic since it’s considers the epitome of Greek architecture
The Parthenon was expensive. It cost around 469 talents of gold. Though difficult to compare, this would be roughly equivalent to $1 billion - $3 billion in today’s money.
The most expensive building on the acropolis was actually the Propylaeom, the grand entrance to the acropolis
It cost 2,012 talents
One talent was equal to 60,000 drachmas. One drachma was the standard wage for one day’s work.
Built on top of the site of pre-Periclean Parthenon
Remember that the Persians razed the acropolis and destroyed everything on it. It must have taken years to clean up everything.
A lot of stone from destroyed temples were converted into being part of the city walls. The walls were seen as the most important things to rebuild, so they were first and they used whatever was at hand, including statues.
Pericles decides on a particular tactic. He doesn’t want to get into a land war with the Spartans. The Spartan army is better, but Athens rules the seas.
Instead, Athens will abandon the land around the city and stay behind the city walls. The long walls that connect Athens to its port, Piraeus, would protect Athens’ supply lines.
It didn’t need the land as long as it could receive goods by sea. The navy would then launch sneak attacks on Sparta’s allies and weaken it until it was defeated.
This is one of the reasons the wars lasted nearly 30 years. Sparta couldn’t fight Athens on the sea and Athens couldn’t fight Sparta on land. They couldn’t really confront each other in decisive battles.
First, in 430 BC, a plague swept through Athens and killed about 30,000 people, including Pericles himself.
Second, in 415 BC, the Athenians suffered a massive loss in attacking Syracuse on Sicily.
Might have gone better had Alcibiades not been accused of sacrilege (story), which compelled him to ally with Sparta (he later rejoined the Athenians and became a big hero – may also have contributed to dislike of Socrates).
Third, the Athenians executed or exiled its top naval commanders in 406 BC for sacrilege.
Due to a storm following a battle, they couldn’t rescue shipwrecked sailors. Radical democracy is sometimes prone to rashness.