The distinctive features and main goals of Athenian imperialism in 5th century BC

Author: Kubala, Lukáš
Source document: Graeco-Latina Brunensia. 2013, vol. 18, iss. 1, pp. [131]-148
  • ISSN
    1803-7402 (print)
    2336-4424 (online)
Type: Article
License: Not specified license
The main priority of my paper will be to point out characteristic features and the most important objectives of Athenian "imperialism" during the last two decades of the period called Pentekontaetia (the period of fifty years ‒ 479-431 BC.). I will try to characterize terms "imperialism" and "empire" in context of their application to the 5th century Athens in modern historiography, which I suggest is quite problematic and doesn't precisely define the true image of Athenian ἀρχή (arche ‒ empire, realm, magistracy, office etc.). My other objective will be to describe how frequently and to what extent the Athenians used various kinds of policies and means of control in attempt to transform the first Athenian naval League, also known as the Delian συμμαχία (symmachia ‒ alliance, offensive and defensive), into their own thalassocratic empire and allies into their subjects. Finally, I will also focus my attention on how the lust for power and hegemony affected Athenian foreign policy and Athenian relationship with other Greeks, either allies or not, living in the Aegean and the eastern part of Mediterranean.
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