The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War

The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War

Donald Kagan

Language: English

Pages: 476

ISBN: 0801405017

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The first volume of Donald Kagan's acclaimed four-volume history of the Peloponnesian War offers a new evaluation of the origins and causes of the conflict, based on evidence produced by modern scholarship and on a careful reconsideration of the ancient texts. He focuses his study on the question: Was the war inevitable, or could it have been avoided?

Kagan takes issue with Thucydides' view that the war was inevitable, that the rise of the Athenian Empire in a world with an existing rival power made a clash between the two a certainty. Asserting instead that the origin of the war "cannot, without serious distortion, be treated in isolation from the internal history of the states involved," Kagan traces the connections between domestic politics, constitutional organization, and foreign affairs. He further examines the evidence to see what decisions were made that led to war, at each point asking whether a different decision would have been possible.

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Covenant of Plataea reported by Plutarch (Arist. 21. 1-2) and lately supported by A. E. Raubitschek (TAPA, XCI [1960], 178-183). The authors of the ATL, (III, 101104) and Brunt (op. cit., 153-156) regard the covenant described by Plutarch as spurious. For our purposes it is not important whether the continuing character of the Hellenic alliance originated in 481 or 479. 11 12 13 33 THE OUTBREAK OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR losing its freedom. Unlike the Peloponnesian League, the Hellenic

period preceding the First World War. This is not accidental, for I have been much impressed by the illumination a close study of the origins of that war, so copiously documented, can provide for an understanding of the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War. The reader can judge for himself whether that impression is justified. I should like to thank Bernard Knox, B. D. Meritt, and my colleague Walter LaFeber, who read this book in typescript and helped me to avoid many errors. I am grateful to the

for regular payments into the league treasury. Athens was given the responsibility of making the 51 3. 10. 5. 1. 41. ·6. 531. 99. 1; 6. 76. 3. 54 6.76.3; Larsen, op. cit., 188-190. 52 43 THE OUTBREAK OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR assessment and of collecting the money. Until 454/3 the treasury was at Delos; after that date it was transferred to Athens. From the beginning there was a distinction between those states who provided ships and manned them and those who paid money in lieu of serving

and ATL, III, 176, notes 58 and 59. For a recent presentation of a minority view, as well as a review of the scholarship on the question, which has created much interest in the last quarter-century, see D. W. Reece, IHS, LXXXII (1962), 111-120, especially note I on page Ill. 6 I. 103. 3. 79 THE OUTBREAK OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR A splendid opportunity for further revenge soon offered itself. The Megarians, who were engaged in a boundary dispute with Corinth, found themselves getting the worst

Pericles. After Pericles had divorced his wife, he gave her to Hipponicus, a relative of Callias. In 433 it is likely that Pericles was behind the appointment of Lacedaemonius, the son of Cimon, to the command of the first expedition to Corcyra. Finally, it is worth pointing out that Pericles gave great influence to his friend Metiochus; Cimon had a half brother called Metiochus. It is well to remember that "behind the public politics of the Athenian state was the family-politics of the great

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