The Athenians and Their Empire by Malcolm F. McGregor

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By Malcolm F. McGregor

Malcolm McGregor has written a accomplished account of the Athenian "Golden Age", within which naval and political advances coincided with the Athenians' maximum achievements in paintings, literature, philosophy and social conception. In Athenian democracy, powerful govt used to be completed by way of a stability among open public debate and the function of person decisive statesmen, equivalent to Pericles. This introduced peace and prosperity, if basically shortlived and, McGregor asserts, contributed to the extreme cultural ascendancy of fifth-century Athens. The e-book is meant for college kids and lecturers of classics, historic background and political technology. Malcolm McGregor is Professor Emeritus in Classics on the college of British Columbia. Malcolm McGregor is Professor Emeritus in Classics on the college of British Columbia.

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Ostracism was a democratic safety-valve; it was a means of forestalling stasis, the civil strife that haunted the Hellenic polis. British countries provide a parallel today: the appeal to the country. We may reasonably look upon these years after Marathon as the decade of Themistocles. The issues that culminated in ostracisms are sometimes obscure now; but Themistocles had a body of support and one by one his opponents fell. He emerged as the statesman to whom the citizens were most inclined to listen.

There was another cause for elation: the victory had been won without the Spartans. We can well appreciate that the reputation of the Athenians had been enhanced throughout the states of Hellas. Among the citizens of Athens we can sense a new spirit of self-confidence, in themselves and in the liberal principles of the constitution recently created by Cleisthenes. The pride engendered by the victory is nowhere more apparent than in the glory that was accorded to those who had fought. The warriors of Marathon, the Marathonomachai, enjoyed a prestige that remained a by-word in the generations to come.

This responsibility, naturally enough, was entrusted to the hegemon, the Athenians; they, also naturally, appointed Aristeides, who thus became the first assessor (taktes). Since, if all went well, the contributions in money would accumulate, the allies set up their treasury at the Delian sanctuary of Apollo, which was to be the site of their meetings, synodoi (synods). They acquiesced in the creation of a new board, the Hellenotamiae. The name, treasurers of the Hellenes, recognises that they were to serve the allies, not the Athenians alone, although, sensibly, the ten men were to be appointed annually at Athens and in time became an Athenian magistracy.

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