Managing the empire: distinctive policies and means of control in the mid-5th century Athenian arche according to epigraphic evidence.



Year of publication 2014
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description The main priority of my paper will be to point out through epigraphic sources and evidence the most important and characteristic features of Athenian "imperialism" during the last two decades of the period known as Pentekontaetia (the period of fifty years - 479-431 BC.). In paper, I will especially focus my attention on two very important epigraphic sources from 5th century Athens. The first one is Cleinias decree, which we could categorize as a "general" decree, valid for all members of the Delian symmachy. This decree basically regulated the system of collecting tribute (foros) from the Athenian allies, which had a great impact on their autonomy, at the expense of the growing Athenian dominance in the League. The second epigraphic source, on which I will focus my attention, is the regulation decree for Erythrae (453/2 B.C.). Unlike the Cleinias decree, the decree of Erythrae was a typical example of "bilateral treaty" between Athens as the Leagues' hegemon and one of her subject-ally. This kind of treaty particularly regulated only the mutual relationship between both of them and it gave the Athenians right to control and directly participate in allys' domestic and foreign policy. The first thing I want to achieve in this paper, is to refer about the importance of the epigraphic sources, as one of the most important (and in some cases irreplaceable) evidence about the image of the Athenian "imperial" foreign policy and also Athenian relationship towards their subject-allies in 5th century B.C. The reason why I choose particularly these two decrees is to show the main difference between the "general" and the "individual" type of approach that Athenians used toward their subject-allies to build up and strengthened their hegemonic position in Delian symmachy, which ultimately led into transformation of the symmachy into their own thalassocratic "empire" and allies into their subjects.
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