Aezanis, Temple of Zeus, 117-138 AD 
 
History/Classics 310
 
Athenian Empire: 480-404 B.C.

Index 

Syllabus: 
 Structure 
 Schedule  

Readings: 
 Book List  
 Reserve Readings 
 Themistocles Decree 
 Megarian Decree 
 Athenian Treaties 

Chronologies: 
 Early Sparta and Athens
 514-482 B.C. 
 Pentekontaeteia, 479-431 B.C.
  Peloponnesian War 

Handouts: 
 Finances in Athens 
 Greek Coinage and Measures 
 Military 

Links 

SCHEDULE OF SESSIONS: 
1. 1/14 Introduction: Rise of the Polis, 750-500 B.C.
2. 1/21 Greece in 500 B.C.: Sparta and her Allies
3. 1/26 Greece in 500 B.C.: The Athenian Democracy
4. 1/28 Athenian Politics & the Birth of the Athenian Navy, 490-479 B.C.
5. 2/2 The Foundation of the Delian League
6. 2/4 Cimonian Imperialism, 477-461 B.C.
7. 2/9 Sparta and the Peloponnesus after the Persian Wars
8. 2/11 The First Peloponnesian War (461-446 B.C.)
9. 2/16 Triumph of the Radical Democracy
10. 2/18 Periclean Athens: The School of Greece
11. 2/27 From Delian League to Athenian Empire
12. 3/2 Economy and Society of Imperial Athens
13. 3/4 The Thirty Years' Peace
14. 3/9 Crisis in Corcyra
15. 3/11 Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War
16. 3/16 Strategies for Victory and Stalemate in the Archidamian War (431-427 B.C.)
17. 3/18 The Mytilenean Debate & Civil War in Corcyra
18. 3/23 Turning Point: Pylos
19. 3/25 New Strategies and New Leaders
20. 3/30 The Peace of Nicias (422-421 B.C.)
21. 4/1 Collapse of the Peace in the Peloponnesus (421-416 B.C.)
22. 4/13 Collapse of the Peace in Athens (421-416 B.C.)
23. 4/15 Launching the Sicilian Expedition
24. 4/20 Defeat and Debacle before Syracuse
25. 4/22 Democracy on Trial: The Oligarchic Coup of 411 B.C.
26. 4/27 Alcibiades and the Fall of Athens, 410-405 B.C.
27. 4/29 Sparta's Bitter Victory
MAY 6, 1998, WEDNESDAY:  TERM PAPERS DUE AT 12:00 NOON 

1. INTRODUCTION 

2. GREECE IN 500 B.C.:  SPARTA & HER ALLIES 

Readings: 

    Thucydides, pp. 35-49 
    Moore, pp. 75-92 
    Kagan, Outbreak, pp. 9-30 
    Start Hanson, Western Way of War 
    Fornara, doc. nos. 2, 11-13, 25, 27, 38 & 88
Reports:  None 

3. GREECE IN 500 B.C.:  ATHENIAN DEMOCRACY 

Readings: 

    Thucydides pp. 145-51 and 442-446 
    Moore, pp. 135-138, 147-63 & 187-207 
    Plutarch, pp. 13-76 (Theseus & Solon) 
    Fornara, doc. nos. 8, 15, 22-23, 30-31, 37, 39-40 
    Finish Hanson, Western Way of War
Reports:  None
 
To Top
4. ATHENIAN POLITICS & BIRTH OF ATHENIAN NAVY, 490-479 B.C. 

Readings: 

    Moore, pp. 163-66 
    Plutarch, 77-97 & 109-119 (Themistocles & Aristides) 
    Fornara, doc. nos. 50, 55, 57-58, 65 
    Hignett, History of Athenian Constitution, pp. 159-93
Questions: 

Who were the leaders in Athens in 500-480 B.C.?  Why did Athenians differ on policy towards Persia?  Why did aristocrats still dominate politics in a democracy?  What new institutions contributed to the growth of democracy?  Was Themistocles truly decisive in fostering democracy?  How important was the navy? 

Reports: 

    1. Themistocles:  What accounts for his rise to power in 490-480 B.C.?  Why was he so popular?  How did he use ostracism? 
      Knight, Some Studies, pp. 13-32 
      McGregor, "Pro-Persian Party," HSCPh Supp. 1 (1946), 71-95 
      Robinson,"Struggle for Power," AJP 66 (1945), 243-54 
      Kagan, "Ostracism," Hesperia 30 (1961), 393-403
    2. Alcmaeonids:  Were they true democrats?  How did they represent the best interests of Athens?  Why were they open to charges of Medism after 490 B.C.? 
      Knight, Some Studies, pp. 13-32 
      McGregor, "Pro-Persian Party," HSCPh Supp. 1 (1946), 71-95 
      Robinson,"Struggle for Power," AJP 66 (1945), 243-54 
      Kagan, "Ostracism," Hesperia 30 (1961), 393-403
    3. Athenian Navy:  Who served in the fleet?  Why did the training and numbers of rowers give power to the thetic class?  Why was the fleet essential to the growth of democracy? 
      Amit, Athens & Sea, pp. 30-77 
      Morrison and Coates, Athenian Trireme, pp. 107-91 
      Casson, Ships & Seamanship, pp. 77-94
To Top
5. FOUNDATION OF THE DELIAN LEAGUE 

Readings: 

    Thucydides pp. 108-117 
    Kagan, Outbreak, pp. 31-56 & 377-378 
    Plutarch, pp. 119-139 (Aristides) 
    Diodorus XI. 34-37 & 44-47 (LCL vol. 4, pp. 215-23 & 239-49) 
    Fornara, doc. nos. 50-61
Questions: 

Who should lead Greece in 478 B.C., Athens or Sparta?  How should the war against Persia be prosecuted?  What were the feelings of Greeks towards Athens and Sparta in 479 B.C.?  How did the Greeks view their victory over the Persians (as seen in thank-offerings to the gods)? 

Reports: 

    1. Athenian Leadership:  What qualified the Athenians to lead the war against Persia after 479 B.C.? 
      Meiggs, Athenian Empire, pp. 42-67
    2. Spartan Leadership:  What were strengths and weaknesses in Spartan institutions and leadership in 479-477 B.C.?  Why did most Spartans desire withdrawal from the Aegean? 
      Meiggs, Athenian Empire, pp. 42-50 
      Lewis, Sparta and Persia, pp. 27-49
     3. Ionian Attitudes and Fears:  What were Ionian perceptions of the Persian threat?  What did they see as the virtues of Athenian or Spartan leadership?  How important was plunder as a motive for joining the Delian League? 
      Sealey, "Origins of Delian League," in Badian, Ancient Society & Institutions, pp. 233-256 
      Balcer, Sparda, pp. 283-325
    4. Persia in Defeat:  Did the defeat of King Xerxes in mainland Greece (480-479 B.C.) lead to a decline of Persian power?  How much did satraps and native rebel kings threaten the Great King’s in 480-400 B.C.?  Was Persia in slow, inevitable decline? 
      Olmstead, History of Persian Empire, pp. 262-288 
      Cambridge History of Iran vol. 2, pp. 332-343 
      Lewis, Sparta and Persia, pp. 1-26
To Top
6. CIMONIAN IMPERIALISM 

Readings: 

    Thucydides, pp. 87-95 
    Kagan, Outbreak, pp. 57-74 & 379-381 
    Plutarch, pp. 77-108 & 141-164 (Themistocles & Cimon) 
    Moore, pp. 166-68 
    Fornara, doc. nos. 62, 63, 65, 66, and 68-69 
    Diodorus XI. 50, 54-62 & 70 (LCL vol. 4, pp. 253, 263-78 & 307-309)
Questions: 

Who should lead Athens?  What were the ingredients for a successful leader in Athens?  How important were imperial policy and friendship with Sparta as issues?  Did Cimon turn the Delian League into an Athenian Empire?  Was there a constitution of the Areopagus that represented a check to democracy? 

Reports: 

    1. Case for Themistocles:  Why did Themistocles lose his popularity after 480 B.C.?  Why should the Athenians turn to him for leadership?  Was Themistocles committed to a reckoning with Sparta?  Why did he flee to Persia? 
      Forrest, "Themistocles & Argos," CQ 10 (1960), 221-32 
      Lenardon, "Themistocles' Ostracism," Historia 8 (1959), 23-48
    2. Case for Cimon:  How did Cimon view democracy and empire? Was he a "conservative"?  How did the Spartans view him?  Was there substance to his claims of "yoke fellows" or was he just posturing for Athenian public opinion? 
      Meiggs, Athenian Empire, pp. 68-91.
    3. Delian League:  How did Ionian states view the league in 477-461 B.C.?  Did the league's organization lend itself to oppression by Athens?  Did most allies agree with Cimon's policies against Carystus, Naxos, or Thasos?  How did they have view the Persian threat after the Battle of Eurymedon? 
       Bradeen, "Popularity," Historia 9 (1960), 257-69
To Top
7. SPARTA AND THE PELOPONNESUS AFTER THE PERSIAN WARS 

Readings: 

    Thucydides, pp. 91-96 
    Kagan, Outbreak, pp. 49-56 & 378-379 
    Moore, pp. 75-92 & 125-129 
    Fornara, doc. nos. 61, 67, 73, 89 
    Diodorus XI. 50 & 63-64 (LCL vol. 4, pp. 255-56 & 289-295) 
    Powell, Sparta and Athens, pp. 96-113
Questions: 

What political, economic, and social conditions influenced Spartan policy in 480-461 B.C.?  How did Spartans view Athens? What were the views of "conservatives"?  Should Sparta have assumed wider commitments in the Aegean?  How serious was unrest in the Peloponnesian League? 

Reports: 

    1. Case for Retrenchment:  What were the dangers of overseas commitments to Spartan society?  How did Pausanias and Leotychidas discredit the kingship and imperial policy?  How important was cooperation with Cimon? 
      Forrest, History of Sparta, pp. 95-105 
      Lewis, Sparta and Persia, pp. 27-49 
      de Ste. Croix, Origins, pp. 167-179
      2. Case for Aegean Policy:  Could Sparta assume the leadership of Greece?  Why was Athenian leadership potentially dangerous to Spartan state and society? 
      Forrest, History of Sparta, pp. 95-105 
      Lewis, Sparta and Persia, pp. 27-49 
      de Ste. Croix, Origins, pp. 167-179
    3. Spartan Social Change:  What forces were eroding Spartan society in 500-400 B.C.?  Could Spartans reform their way of life?  How dangerous was the decline of citizens? 
      Forrest, History of Sparta, pp. 40-68 & 122-140 
      Hamilton, Agesilaus, pp. 67-85
    4. Peloponnesian Politics:  What unrest endangered Spartan hegemony in the Peloponnesus?  Did Argos and disaffected allies pose a threat to Spartan traditional domination?  How much of a danger did democratic movements pose? 
      Forrest, "Themistocles and Argos," CQ 10 (1960), 232-41 
      Salmon, Wealthy Corinth, pp. 257-69 
      Kelly, "Enmity between Sparta & Argos," AHR 75 (1970),  971-1003
To Top
8. THE FIRST PELOPONNESIAN WAR (461-446 B.C.) 

Readings: 

    Kagan, Outbreak, pp. 57-130 
    Thucydides pp. 95-101 
    Plutarch, pp. 159-179 (Cimon & Pericles) 
    Diodorus IX. 71, 74-75, 77-85 & XII. 2-7 (LCL vol. 4, pp. 309-11, 315-19, 223-45, 377-87) 
    Fornara, nos. 71-73, 76-85, 95, 104 
Questions: 

What led to the outbreak of war?  Was it avoidable?  Could Athens have achieved hegemony of Greece in 461-451 B.C.?  Why did the radical democrats accept the offer of Megara?  Should Pericles be blamed for overextending Athenian resources in 455-446 B.C.?  How did this struggle influence Spartans’ perceptions of Athens and their own future security? 

Reports: 

    1. Athenian Aims:  What were Pericles' aims in 461-451 B.C.? Did he plan to destroy Spartan power?  Why did he agree to an armistice in 451 B.C.?  What did he intend by ordering the construction of the Long Walls? 
      de Ste. Croix, Origins, pp. 187-200 
      Meiggs, Athenian Empire, pp. 152-174 
    2. Spartan Aims:  How did the Spartans become involved in the war?  What were their aims in 461-451 B.C.?  How well did Spartan hoplites fare against Athenians?  Why did they agree to an armistice in 451 B.C.? 
      de Ste. Croix, Origins, pp. 187-200 
    3. Athenian Policy in the Eastern Mediterranean:  What were Athenian aims in 461-449 B.C.?  Why did the Athenian support the Egyptian rebellion?  When did Athens lose the initiative and who gained the most benefit from the Peace of Callias? 
      Olmstead, History of Persian Empire, pp. 302-13 
      Cambridge History of Iran, vol. 2, pp. 332-43 
      Meiggs, Athenian Empire, pp. 129-151 
To Top
9. TRIUMPH OF THE RADICAL DEMOCRACY 

Readings: 

    Jones, Athenian Democracy, pp. 99-133 OR Powell, Athens & Sparta, pp. 263-320 
    Thucydides, pp. 143-152 ("Funeral Oration") 
    Plutarch, pp. 141-185 (Cimon & Pericles) 
    Moore, pp. 183-207 
    Aristophanes, Wasps, Assemblywomen & Acharnians ll. 1-179 (Penguin, pp. 49-54) Fornara, doc. nos. 86, 147 
Questions: 
 
What democratic reforms did Ephialtes and Pericles implement?  What were the crucial elements of the Athenian state?  Was the assembly truly sovereign?  How much were appeals in the Funeral Oration translated into democracy in action?  How valid were criticisms of assembly and popular courts by Aristophanes?  What political objections did aristocrats raise after 461 B.C.? 

Reports: 

    1. Magistrates:  What were the powers of the archons after 461 B.C.?  Of the strategoi?  Was there a true executive branch?  Could Pericles rule as a first citizen?  How did politicians emerge as leaders? 
      Sinclair, Democracy and Participation, pp. 34-48 & 139-190 
      Hignett, History of Athenian Constitution, pp. 214-32 & 244-51 
      Roberts, Accountability, pp. 14-54 & 161-184 
    2. Boule:  How essential was the council to running of the assembly?  Was the boule truly “the assembly in minature” and so representative of all citizens?  Did the boule lack initiative? 
      Sinclair, Democracy and Participation, pp. 73 -76 & 83-114 
      Rhodes, Athenian Boule, pp. 1-29 and 49-87 
    3. Assembly:  Was the assembly sovereign?  How responsible was it?  What were the flaws and how could it be subverted? 
      Sinclair, Democracy and Participation, pp. 83-119 
      Hignett, History of Athenian Constitution, pp. 232-244 
      Hansen, Athenian Ecclesia, pp. 1-20, 35-62, 131-137 
    4. Popular Courts:  How were they vital to the defense of the democracy?  How well did they safeguard the rights of citizens?  How did Pericles augment powers of popular courts at the expense of the Areopagus? 
      Sinclair, Democracy and Participation, pp. 119-135 
      MacDowell, Law in Classical Athens, pp. 203-259 
      Wallace, Areopagus, pp. 94-130 
    5. Athenian Citizenship:  How was citizenship redefined?  What were the obligations and benefits of citizens?  Why did Pericles restrict citizenship?  How did the limitations of the notion of citizenship restrict Athenian legal thinking and political success? 
      Sinclair, Democracy and Participation, pp. 24-34 & 54-76 
      Walbank, "Greek Nationality," Phoenix 5 (1951), 41-60 
      Manville, Origins of Citizenship, pp. 3-34 
    6.  Athenian Women under the Democracy: What were the legal rights of Athenian women of the citizen class?  Why did women not have full political rights?  Did the democracy restrict citizen women?  How much did social rank determine the daily privileges and obligations of  women?  How much did the family (oikos) determine the activities and ranks of women? 
      Powell, Athens and Sparta, pp. 337-382 
      MacDowell, “The oikos in Athenian Law,” CQ n.s. 39 (1989), 10-21 
       Fathman et al. , Women in the Classical World, pp. 68-127 
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10. PERICLEAN ATHENS:  THE SCHOOL OF GREECE 

Readings: 

    Pollitt, Art and Experience in Classical Greece, pp. 15-135 
    Plutarch, pp. 177-185 (Pericles) 
    Aeschylus, Oresteia 
    Fornara, doc. nos. 79, 93-94, 117-121 
Questions: 

How did public architecture and sculpture transform the religious and political life of Athens?  What were the main monuments in the building program?  What was the role of drama in public life?  How did Aeschylus' Oresteia enshrine the order and reason of the law in democratic Athens? 

    1. The Periclean Building Program:  How did the Athenians give the polis its architectural form?  What were the main monuments and how did Athens define public space for all poleis in future? 
      Wycherley, How Greeks Built Cities, pp. 1-14 & 50-174 
      Consult Boersma, Athenian Building Policy 
    2. Justice in the Oresteia:  How did Aeschylus refashion myth to interpret the rule of law and justice in the polis?  What were the main points in his retelling of the legend of the Atreidae?  What point of the final trial in Eumenides? 
      Meier, Discovery of Politics, pp. 82-139 
      Consult Podlecki, Political Background 
To Top
11. FROM DELIAN LEAGUE TO ATHENIAN EMPIRE 

Readings: 

    Thucydides, pp. 87-103 
    Moore, pp. 37-48 
    Fornara, nos. 62-63, 68-71, 85, 92-94, 97-104, 128-129, 136, 142, 162-163 
    Powell, Athens and Sparta, pp. 35-58 
Questions: 

When did allies begin to resent Athens as a tyrant city?  Did the benefits of the Athenian Empire outweigh loss of autonomy and freedom?  How popular was Athenian rule in allied cities after 461 B.C.?  How effectively did the Athenians exploit their empire? How important were the profits of empire in fostering full participatory democracy at Athens? 

Reports: 

     1. Tribute Collection:  How much revenue was exacted from the allies?  Were Athenian demands heavier than those of the Persian kings (546-477 B.C.)?  How did tribute payments alter the balance of power and finances in the Aegean world? 
      Meiggs, Athenian Empire, pp. 220-54 & 538-562 
    2. Imperial Administration:  When and where did the Athenians impose democracies and garrisons on their allies?  How well did the Athenians administer their empire? 
      Meiggs, Athenian Empire, pp. 205-33 
    3. Profits of Empire:  How many Athenians were settled overseas as cleurchs in 477-404 B.C.?  What other economic benefits came to Athens from the empire?  How did the profits of empire fuel democratic life at Athens? 
      Meiggs, Athenian Empire, pp. 255-72 
      Markle, "Assembly & Jury Pay," in Crux, pp. 265-297 
    4. Allied Perceptions:  How much did the allies resent Athenian rule?  What were the benefits?  Was the Athenian rule popular with allies after 461 B.C.? 
      de Ste Croix, "Character,"Historia 3 (1954-55), 1-41 
      Bradeen, "Popularity," Historia 9 (1960), 257-269 
      Pleket, "Thasos," Historia 12 (1963), 70-77 
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12. ECONOMY AND SOCIETY OF IMPERIAL ATHENS 

Readings: 

    Garnsey, Famine and Food Crisis, pp. 3-42 
    Finley, Ancient Economy, pp.17-34 
    Fornara, doc. nos. 94, 97, 117-120, 126, 128-129, 136, 141-144, 147, 161, 164, 169 
Questions: 

How much did Athenian naval domination transform commerce in the Aegean in 480-400 B.C.?  Trade in what types of commodities increased?  How important were expenditures of the Athenian state (payrolls, military costs, shipbuilding, building costs, festivals) in monetizing the Aegean economy?  Where were vital Athenian economic interests? 

    1. Commerce and Grain Trade:  Where were the primary sources of grain in the Mediterranean world?  How much did Athens depend on imports?  What was the volume of this trade? 
      Garnsey, Famine and Food Crisis, pp. 89-166 
      Casson, Ships and Seamanship, pp. 183-214 
      Noonan   “Grain Trade of Black Sea,” AJP 94 (1973), 231-242 
      Burford, "Heavy Transport," EcHR 13 (1968), 1-18 
    2. Timber Trade and Politics:  What were Athenian demands for timber?  What other sectors of the economy were stimulated?  What were the main Athenian sources of timber? 
      Borza, "Timber and Politics," PAPS 131 (1987), 32-52 
       Morrison & Coates, Trireme, pp. 180-192 
      Unger, Ship in the Medieval Economy, pp. 33-45 
      Iseger & Hansen, Aspects of Ath. Soc., pp. 11-29 
      Consult Meiggs, Trees & Timber as needed 
    3. Monetization:  How did Athenian fiscal needs and the "Coinage Decree" increase the use of coins?  In what types of transactions were coins used? 
      Martin, Coinage and Sovereignty, pp. 196-218 
      Martin, "Sovereignty & Coinage, Reassessment," (typescript; available from me) 
      Mørkholm, "Production and Use," Historia 31 (1982), 290-305 
      Isager & Hansen, Aspects of Athenian Society, pp. 19-52 & 88-99 
    4. Population Growth:  How did the empire contribute to growth of population?  What were the demographic pressures driving Athenian imperialism and economic growth?  Did population growth change class structure in Periclean Athens? 
      Gomme, Population of Athens 
      Strauss, Athens after Peloponnesian War, pp. 70-86 & 179-82 
      Garnsey, Famine & Food Crisis, pp. 63-68 & 89-106 
    5.  The Imperial Fleet: How did maintenance of the fleet stimulate the Athenian economy?  How much money was expended on ships and capital improvements?  How important were the wages earned by the hoplite and thetic classes? 
      Gabrielsen, Financing the Athenian Fleet, pp. 19-67 & 105-145 
      Kallet-Marx, Money, Expense, and Naval Power, pp. 21-69 
    6.  Slaves in the Athenian Economy: What are the sources for the numbers of slaves in the Athenian economy?  Are the estimates plausible?  What tasks did slaves perform?  Was Athens a “slave economy” in any sense? 
      Sde Ste. Croix, Class Struggle, pp. 283-326 
      Jameson, “Agriculture & Slavery,” CJ 73 (1978), 122-148 
      Wood, “Agricultural Slavery in Classical Athens,” AJAH 8 (1983), 1-47 
To Top
13. THE THIRTY YEARS'  PEACE 

Readings: 

    Thucydides, pp. 101-103 
    Kagan, Outbreak, pp. 131-192 & 386-390 
    Powell, Sparta and Athens, pp. 113-28 
    Diodorus XII. 27-28 (LCL vol. 4, pp. 427-33) 
    Fornara, nos. 104, 108-116 
Questions: 

What were the precise terms of the peace, and were its implications accepted by all parties?  Was this peace workable to all parties?  What outstanding greviances were left unsettled in 446/5 B.C.?  What were Athenian aims in 446-433 B.C.? 

Reports: 

     1. Athenian Viewpoint:  Could the Athenians feel secure with the outcome of the war and Thirty Years' Peace?  Was the building of the Long Walls an admission of defeat? What were the main challenges posed the peace to Athens? 
      Meiggs, Athenian Empire, pp. 175-204 
    2. Spartan Viewpoint:  Were the Spartans satisfied with the terms of the treaty?  Did they interpret the terms correctly or did they view themselves as the restored hegemons?  Why did the Spartans consider aiding Samos in 440-439 B.C.?  How did Spartans view their position vis-a-vis Athens? 
      de Ste. Croix, Origins, pp. 196-210 
    3.  The Samian Revolt, 441-439 B.C.: What did this revolt reveal about Athenian power and interests?  What were Spartan perceptions?  Why did Corinth refuse to vote for Spartan intervention on behalf of Samos?  Did Peloponnesian attitudes over this rebellion bode well for the peace? 
      Powell, Athens and Sparta, pp. 113-128 
      de Ste. Croix, Origins, pp. 200-205 
    4. Thucydides, son of Melesias: Did Thucydides pose a serious challenge to Pericles? 
     What could conservative offer to the Athenian assembly?  What were the strengths of 
     these conservatives?  Were they loyal to the Athenian democracy? 
      Andrewes, “Opposition to Pericles,” JHS 98 (1978), 1-8 
      Frost, “Pericles, Thucydides & Politics,” Historia 13 (1964), 385-399 
To Top
14. CRISIS IN CORCYRA 

Readings: 

    Thucydides, pp. 46-67 
    Kagan, Outbreak, pp. 193-250 & 382-386 
    Fornara, nos. 52, 54, 81, 124-126 
Questions: 

Should the Athenians have accepted the alliance with Corcyra?  What is Thucydides' view of events?  Did Corinth have justifiable reasons for resenting Athenian interference?  What were previous Athenian interests in the West?  Did the Athenians view a general war as inevitable? 

Reports: 

    1. Case for the Alliance:  How were Athenian aims served by alliance with Corcyra?  How valid were Corcyraean points before the Athenians?  What was the previous record of Corcyraean actions? 
      de Ste. Croix, Origins, pp. 50-88 
    2. Case against the Alliance:  How valid were the points of Corinth?  How would Athenian interests be best served by not accepting the alliance? 
      de Ste. Croix, Origins, pp. 50-88 
     3. Corinthian Commercial Interests:  What were Corinthian interests in the West?  How important were the associations with Syracuse and other colonies in Sicily?  Were these friendships a potential threat to Athens? 
      Wealthy Corinth, pp. 270-280 
      de Ste. Croix, Origins, pp. 211-24 
    4. Athens and Sicily:  What were Athenian interests in the West (Sicily and Magna Graecia) in 461 B.C.?  What were the political alliances and resources in the Greek West?  What were the terms of the alliance with Segesta in 457 B.C.?  When and why did Athens conclude alliances with Rhegium and Leontini? 
      Cambridge Ancient History, 2nd edition, vol. V, pp. 147-170 
      Smart, “Athens and Egesta,” JHS 92 (1972), 118-146 
      Wick, “Athens and Alliances with Rhegium & Leontini,” Historia 35 (1976), 288-304 
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15. OUTBREAK OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR 

Readings: 

    Thucydides, pp. 68-87, 103-108 & 166-167 
    Kagan, Outbreak, pp. 231-324 & 391 
    Fornara, doc. nos. 116, 122-125 
    Plutarch, Pericles (pp. 118-123) 
    Diodorus XII. 38-40 (LCL vol. 4, pp. 451-61) 
Questions: 

Who was most responsible for war?  What were the most provocative actions?  How important is the Megarian Decree as a cause for war? 

Reports:  Critique the policy of assigned state. 

    1. Athens:  Did Pericles provoke war or reluctantly accept war? What did most Athenians feel about the war?  Did Athenians, without Pericles, possess the will and resources to oppose Sparta? 
      de Ste. Croix, Origins, pp. 64-88 
    2. Sparta:  Why did King Archidamus fail to restrain his fellow Spartans?  Why did Spartans view the Megarian Decree, siege of Potidaea, and expulsion of the Aeginetans violations of the peace?  What drove most Spartans to war? 
      de Ste Croix, Origins, pp. 64-88 
    3. Corinth:  Were vital Corinthian interests at stake?  What did the Corinthians hope to gain by provoking a general war? 
      Salmon, Wealthy Corinth, pp. 280-305 
      Lendon, “Thucydides & Constitution of Pelop. League,” GBBS 95 (1994), 159-177 
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16. STRATEGIES OF THE ARCHIDAMIAN WAR 

Readings: 

    Thucydides, pp. 103-107 & 118-168 
    Aristophanes, Acharnians 
    Fornara, nos. 127-129 & 132-134, 138 
    Kagan, Archidamian War, pp. 17-43 
Questions: 

Were the initial aims of Athenian and Spartan strategies in 431 B.C. realistic?  How was victory defined?  How did these plans condemn the Greek world to military deadlock?  Were Athenian financial and moral resources exhausted by war and plague in 431-428 B.C.? 

Reports: 

    1. Athenian Strategy:  Is Thucydides' judgment of the Periclean strategy a sound one? Did Pericles offer Athens the best chance for victory?  What were Athenian aims, and how aggressive was Athenian strategy? 
      Cawkwell, "Thuc.'s Judgment," YCS 24 (1975), 53-70 
      Holladay, "Ath. Strategy," Historia 27 (1978), 399-427 
      Kallet-Marx, Money, Expense, and Naval Power, pp. 109-150 
    2. Spartan Strategy:  Could the Spartans force the Athenian to a decisive land battle?  How effective were Spartan efforts to raise money, construct a fleet, and court aid from Persia or rebellious Athenian allies? 
      Brunt, "Sp. Strategy," Phoenix 19 (1965), 255-280 
      Kelly, "Sp. Strategy," AHR 87 (1982), 25-54. 
      Lewis, Sparta and Persia, pp. 50-82 
    3. Athenian Resources:  What regions of the empire were vital if Athens were to wage war in 431-421 B.C.?  What were the demands for timber, silver, grain, and manpower?  Was the eisphora in 428 B.C. an alternate means of financing?  How much did the plague affect Athenian manpower?  Why were naval operations and sieges such as Potidaea so costly? 
      Borza, "Timber & Politics, PAPS 131 (1987), 32-52 
      Jones, Athenian Democracy, pp. 3-20 
      Gale et al., "Silver Sources," in Metallurgy & Numismatics 1  (1980), pp. 3-49 
      Thomsen, Eisphora, pp. 105-193 
    4. Commercialization of War:  How did the Archidamian War lead to the commercialization of Greek warfare in 431-360 B.C.?  Why did both sides have to turn to specialized forces and mercenaries (hoplites and rowers)?  How did this affect political and economic life of the polis? 
      Parke, Greek Mercenary Soldiers, pp. 14-19 
      Anderson, Mil. Theory & Practice, pp. 13-42, 67-83 & 111-140 
      Best, Thracian Peltasts, pp. 13-42 
    5.  The Siege of Potidaea, 432-429 B.C.: Did Potidaean resistance ruin Athenian strategic aims?  How costly was the siege?  What accounted for the Athenian difficulty in capturing the city?  Was King Perdiccas II of Macedon a serious threat?  Why was the Chalcidice so important? 
       Borza, In the Shadow of Olympus, pp. 
      Alexander, Potidaea, pp. 38-49 & 64-78 
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17. MYTILENEAN DEBATE AND THE CIVIL WAR IN CORCYRA 

Readings: 

    Thucydides pp. 168-245 
    Plutarch, pp. 207-217 (Nicias) 
    Kagan, Archidamian War, pp. 124-146 
    Fornara, doc. nos. 130-131 
Questions: 

How dangerous was the revolt of Mytilene?  What was Athens' best policy in dealing with rebel allies?  Were Athenian actions against Mytilene any harsher than those of Sparta against Plataea?  How did events at Mytilene and Corcyra reflect the transformation of the war into stasis (class war)? 

Reports: 

    1. Mytilene:  Case for Cleon:  How much did Cleon's actions conform to the rules of war?  Was Mytilene a threat?  Given notions of autonomy and freedom, was Athens forced into repressing allied city-states? 
      Quinn, "Pol. Groups," Historia 28 (1971), 405-17 
      Cagan, "Mytilene," Phoenix 35 (1981), 1-21. 
    2. Mytilene:  Case for Diodotus:  Was there widespread support for Athens among lower classes in allied cities? Should the Athenians follow the policy of Diodotus? 
      Quinn, "Pol. Groups," Historia 28 (1971), 405-17 
      Cagan, "Mytilene," Phoenix 35 (1981), 1-21. 
    3. Punishment of Plataea:  Was Spartan treatment comparable to the Athenian punishment of Mytilene?  What does the punishment of Plataea reveal about professed Spartan aims of "freedom of the Greeks," the cooperation of Spartan allies, and the qualifications of Sparta as hegemon? 
      Kagan, Archidamian War, pp. 171-174 
      Powell, Athens & Sparta, pp. 159-62 
    4. Civil War in Corcyra:  How strong could class divisions become in Greek cities?  Why was civil war so horrifying to Greeks?  How did such clashes bode ill for the future of the polis whoever emerged victor from the war? 
      Aristolte, Politics, pp. 189-234 (Penguin ed.) 
      de Ste Croix, Class Struggle, pp. 31-98 & 283-300 
      Legon, "Megara & Mytilene," Historia 21 (1972), 145-58 
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18. TURNING POINT:  PYLOS 

Readings: 

     Thucydides, pp. 245-290 
    Plutarch,, pp. 209-219 (Nicias) 
    Aristophanes, Knights 
    Fornara, doc. nos. 136, 138-144 
Questions: 

Prior to the victory of Pylos, did the Athenians face eventual defeat due to finanical difficulties, military deadlock, and possible intervention of Persia?  Did the Athenians face a crisis in leadership?  Who were the demagogues?  Did the Spartans bungle away their advantages in 425 B.C.?  Should the Athenians have accepted the peace proposal in 425 B.C.? 

Reports: 

    1. Rise of Demagogues:  How did war conditions transform political life in Athens?  Did the responsibility of the demos deteriorate?  Was Cleon the first in a line of unworthy demagogues as heirs of Pericles? 
      Connor, New Politicians, pp. 139-168 
      Finley, "Athenian Demagogues," P & P 21 (1962), 3-23 
    2. Demosthenes and Cleon at Pylos:  Were Demosthenes and Cleon lucky or did they employ new tactics?  How did this victory point out the weaknesses of traditional hoplite tactics and armament? 
      Kagan, Archidamian War, pp. 218-259 
      Pritchett, Studies in Gk Topography vol. 1, pp. 6-29. 
      Wilson, Pylos 425 B.C. 
    3. Spartan Peace Offer, PRO:  What were the benefits of accepting the peace offer in 425 B.C.?  Would it have satisfied Athenian interests and allow for recovery?  Did the state of Athenian finances require an immediate peace as the soundest policy? 
      Kagan, Archidamian War, pp. 229-52 
      Kallet-Marx, Money, Expense & Naval Power, pp. 152-183 
    4. Spartan Peace Offer, CON:  Why should Athens reject the peace offer?  What resources could Athens summon to wage war and what strategy and leaders would be required? 
      Kagan, Archidamian War, pp. 229-52 
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19. NEW STRATEGIES AND NEW LEADERS 

Readings: 

    Thucydides, pp. 290-355 
    Plutarch, pp. 217-222 (Nicias) 
    Fornara, no. 138 
Questions: 

 In 425-422 how did Cleon or Brasidas propose to break the strategic stalemate?  What ruined Athenian campaigns in 424 B.C. in Central Greece?  Was the plan of Brasidas inspired or an act of desperation?  What does the career of Brasidas reveal about the erosion of traditional Spartan society?  Was each side exhausted by 422 B.C.? 

Reports: 

    1. The Campaign of Delium:  Was it a plausible strategy to end the war?  Did the Athenians plan an overly ambitious campaign for citizen forces? 
      Read Kagan, Archidamian War, pp. 260-288. 
    2. Brasidas in the Chalcidice:  Why should the Spartans trust Brasidas?  Can he offer a chance for victory?  What were the dangers he posed to Sparta? 
      Read Kagan, Archidamian War, pp. 288-333. 
      Pritchett, Studies in Greek Topography vol. 1, pp. 30-46 
    3. Perdiccas II of Macedon:  What were the goals of Perdiccas and how much did he trust Spartan ambitions? 
      Borza, In Shadow of Olympus, pp. 132-160 
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20. PEACE OF NICIAS 

Readings: 

    Thucydides, pp. 356-363 
    Plutarch, pp. 217-218 (Nicias) 
    Aristophanes, Peace 
    Kagan, Archidamian War, pp. 333-349 
Questions: 

Whom did the peace satisfy?  Did the terms offer a realistic settlement of disputes?  Who could claim victory based on the terms of this peace?  What were the terms vital to the success of the peace?  Were populations in Athens and Sparta war weary? 

Reports:  Evaluate the terms of the peace in 421 B.C. from the point of view of the state(s) assigned. 

    1. Athens 
      Kagan, Peace of Nicias, pp. 17-32 
    2. Sparta 
      Kagan, Peace of Nicias, pp. 17-32 
    3. Spartan Allies (Corinth, Thebes, Megara, Elis, Tegea, Mantinea, Amphipolis & Chalcidice) 
      Kagan, Peace of Nicias, pp. 17-32 
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21. COLLAPSE OF THE PEACE IN THE PELOPONNESUS (421-416 B.C.) 

Readings: 

    Thucydides, pp. 363-408 
    Plutarch, pp. 211-222 & 245-261 (Nicias & Alcibiades) 
    Diodorus XII. 75-81 (LCL vol. 5, pp. 89-109) 
    Fornara, doc. no. 145 
    Kagan, Peace of Nicias, pp. 33-59 
Questions: 

How did the Peace of Nicias reveal the weakness of the Peloponnesian League?  How was Sparta threatened by the actions of allies?  Could Argos aspire to displace Sparta as hegemon in the Peloponnesus?  What drove the Spartans along the path of renewing the war? 

Reports: 

    1. Corinth:  What were Corinthians aims and how sound was the secret diplomacy? 

    2. Argos:  What was the political scene in Argos?  Did the Argives have a chance to secure hegemony in the Peloponnesus or should they seek alliance with Athens? 

    3. Sparta:  How did Spartan opinions change in 421-420 B.C.? Was the secret diplomacy of Xenares and Cleobulus dangerous to Spartan interests?  Why did Sparta fail to control her allies after 421 B.C.? 

    ALL REPORTERS READ: 
    Kagan, "Cor. Dipl.," AJP 81 (1960), 291-310 
    Kagan, "Argive Politics," CP 57 (1962), 209-218 
    Kelly, "Cleobulus, Xenares & Thuc.," Historia 21 (1972), 159-169 
    Seager, "After Peace of Nicias," CQ 20 (1976), 249-269 

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22. COLLAPSE OF THE PEACE IN ATHENS (421-416 B.C.) 

Readings:  Same assignment as 22. 

Questions: 

Who offers the best policy for Athens after 421 B.C.?  Why were Athenians so unsure of their policies?  How did the Battle of Mantinea in 418 B.C. and the ostracism of Hyperboulus in 417/6 B.C. affect the politics in Athens and prospects of peace? 

Reports: 

    1. Alcibiades:  Was he an opportunistic demagogue?  Did he espouse sound policies in 420-416 B.C.?  Should he deserve the blame for the defeat at Mantinea? 
      Ellis, Alcibiades, pp. 36-52 
       Kagan, Peace of Nicias, pp. 60-106 
    2. Nicias:  Why did Nicias not maintain a leading position in Athenian politics?  How sound was his policy after 420 B.C.? Was he the true heir of Pericles? 
      Kagan, Peace of Nicias, pp. 60-106 
    3. The Battle of Mantinea:  How decisive was this victory for Sparta, and for King Agis?  Did the victory restore Spartan confidence and uphold traditional hoplite tactics? 
      Kagan, Peace of Nicias, pp. 107-156 
    4.  The Melian Dialogue:  What were the causes for Athenian actions against Melos?  What does the expedition reveal about Athenian attitudes in 415 B.C.?  Was the expedition an indictment of Athenian imperialism? 
      Amit, "Melian Dialogue," Athenaeum 46 (1968), 216-35 
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23. LAUNCHING OF THE SICILIAN EXPEDITION 

Readings: 

    Thucydides, pp. 409-427; reveiw pp. 245-255, 263-265, 278-280  & 349-350 
    Plutarch, pp. 223-226 & 261-266 (Nicias and Alcibiades) 
    Fornara, doc. nos. 81, 124-125, 146-147 
    Diodorus XI. 85 & XII. 82-84 and XIII. 1-6 (LCL vol. 4, pp. 345-47 & vol. 5, pp. 107-115 & 127-141) 
Questions; 

Did Athens have vital interests in Sicily?  Should Athens have invaded Sicily?  Did Athenians comprehend the strengths of Syracuse?  What do the decisions of the assemblies reveal about the responsibility of the demos? 

Reports: 

    1. Athenian Western Strategy:  What were Athenian interests in the West in 432-415 B.C.?  Did Syracuse have the resources to threaten Athens in the Aegean?  Did Carthage keep Syracuse at bay so she could not intervene decisively in the Aegean? 
      Green, Armada from Athens, pp. 37-95 
      Wick, “Megara, Athens & West,” Historia 28 (1979), 1-14 
    2. Invasion:  Alcibiades:  Should the Athenians follow the plan of Alcibiades?  How was victory defined?  Would such victory secure Athenian power in the Aegean? 
      Kagan, Peace of Nicias, pp. 159-227 
      Ellis, Alcibiades, pp. 53-68 
    3. Invasion:  Nicias:  Did Nicias assess Athenian interests and Syracusan power accurately?  What were the more pressing issues at home?  Why did the assembly fail to adopt Nicias' plan and instead vote his final warnings as recommendations? 
      Kagan, Peace of Nicias, pp. 159-227 
    4. The Affair of the Herms:  Who mutiliated the Herms?  Why was Alcibiades blamed?  What does the incident reveal about political opinions in Athens?  Did this incident contribute decisively to ultimate Athenian defeat in Sicily? 
      Kagan, Peace of Nicias, pp. 192-210 
      MacDowell, Andokides on the Mysteries 
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24. DEFEAT AND DEBACLE BEFORE SYRACUSE 

Readings: 

    Thucydides, pp. 163-164 & 427-537 
    Plutarch, pp. 223-243 & Nicias and Alcibiades 
    Aristophanes, Birds 
Questions: 

What caused the Athenian disaster in Sicily?  When did the Athenian lose the initiative?  How determined was the Syracusan resistance?  How critical was leadership? 

Reports: 

    1. Nicias:  Was he at fault for the defeat?  Were his forces adequate to cut off the city?  Why did he put in his ships at the Great Harbor?  What was his fatal errors? 
      Kagan, Peace of Nicias, pp. 228-328 
    2. Athenian Support:  Is Thucydides correct in concluding primary responsibility rested with the assembly in Athens? Did the Athenians give their three generals inadequate instructions in 415 B.C.?  What additional forces were sent in 414-413 B.C.? 
      Kagan, Peace of Nicias, pp. 228-328 
    3. Hermocrates and Gylippus:  How important was their leadership for Syracusan victory? 
      Kagan, Peace, pp. 228-328 
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25. DEMOCRACY ON TRIAL:  OLIGARCHIC COUP OF 411 B.C. 

Readings: 

    Thucydides, pp. 526-606 
    Plutarch, pp. 266-272 (Alcibiades) 
    Moore, pp. 172-76 
    Fornara doc. nos. 148-153 & 155 
Questions: 

 What were the identities and aims of the different Athenian political factions in 412-411 B.C.?  Could Athens still win the war?  Who represented the best interests of Athens?  Was Alcibiades the best leader for Athens?  Could the Athenians secure Persian financial aid against Sparta? 

Reports: 

    1. The Spartans & the Great King:  Could Spartans and Persian satraps cooperate effectively in 412-411 B.C.?  What were their conflicting aims?  What were the terms of the Treaty of Miletus?  Did the Persians have the money and ships to tip the balance in favor of Sparta? 
      Lewis, Sparta and Persia, pp. 83-107 
      Olmstead, History of Persian Empire, pp. 346-70 
    2. The Four Hundred:  What were the aims of the oligarchs? Would they have been a responsible government?  How many were opportunists?  What was the role of Peisander? 
      Kagan, Fall of Athenian Empire, pp. 131-210 
      Ste. Croix, "5,000," Historia 5 (1956), 1-23 
    3. Theramenes and the Moderates:  Why did Theramenes join the Four Hundred?  What were his views on the constitution?  Why did he abandon his oligarchic allies? 
    Kagan, Fall of Athenian Empire, pp. 131-210 
      Ste. Croix, "5,000," Historia 5 (1956), 1-23 
    4. Alcibiades: What was his role in the events of 411 B.C.? Did Thucydides exaggerate his role?  Should he be trusted? 
      Kagan, Fall of Athenian Empire, pp. 131-210 
      Ellis, Alcibades, pp. 69-98 
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26. ALCIBIADES AND THE FALL OF ATHENS, 410-405 B.C. 

Readings: 

    Xenophon, pp. 7-15 & 53-108 
    Plutarch, pp. 272-318 (Alcibiades and Lysander) 
    Moore, pp. 176-177 
    Fornara, nos. 152, 156-166 
    Aristophanes, Lysistrata 
Questions: 

Could Athens have won the war in 411-405 B.C.?  How essential was Alcibiades to Athens?  How war weary were the Athenians after 40 B.C.?  Did the Persians have the resources to back Sparta prior to the arrival of Cyrus the Younger?  Was Lysander critical to Spartan victory? 

Reports: 

    1. Athenian Triremes and Alcibiades:  Did the Athenians still retain the edge in seamanship and experienced commanders in 411-405 B.C.?  How critical was Alcibiades?  Did the Athenians have a creditable chance of winning the war in 410-406 B.C.? 
      Ellis, Alcibiades, pp. 69-98 
      McGregor, "Genius of Alc.," Phoenix 19 (1965), 27-50. 
      Morrison and Coates, Athenian Trireme, pp. 79-93 
    2. Lysander:  How was he the architect of Spartan victory? Did he pose a threat to Spartan institutions? 
      Kagan, Fall of Athenian Empire, pp. 293-324 
    3. Cyrus & the Satraps:  Why could Cyrus cooperate with the Spartans (in contrast to Tissaphernes or Pharnabazus)?  What were Cyrus' ultimate aims? 
      Lewis, Sparta and Persia, pp. 108-135 
      Kagan, Fall of Athenian Empire, pp. 293-324 
    4. Trial of Arginussae:  Did the trial show the Athenians incapable of making rational decisions?  How serious was the loss of the generals for the war effort?  Was Athenian defeat after 406 B.C. inevitable? 
      Andrewes, "Arginussae," Phoenix 28 (1974), 113-22 
      Kagan, Fall of Athenian Empire. pp. 354-375 
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27. SPARTA'S BITTER VICTORY, 405-400 B.C. 

Readings: 

    Xenophon, pp. 104-193 & 253-256 
    Moore, pp. 177-182 
    Plutarch, pp. 300-318 (Lysander) 
    Fornara, doc. nos. 167-170 
Questions: 

Did Sparta possess the leadership, institutions, and money to act as the new hegemon of the Aegean world?  Did Spartans face an inevitable war with Persia?  Should Sparta succeed to the imperial role of Athens?  Did defeat condemn Athens to slow decline after 404 B.C.?  How did the Athenians recover their democracy so quickly? 

Reports: 

    1. Oligarchy & Democracy in Athens:  Why did Critias and the oligarchs fail to retain power in Athens?  How important were Theramenes and Thrasybulus to the overthrow of oligarchy? Why did Sparta permit democratic restoration in 403 B.C.? 
      Krentz, The Thirty, pp. 57-109 
    2. Athens in Defeat:  What was the extent of destruction of Athenian resources in 404 B.C.?  Did defeat condemn Athens to slow economic and social decline? 
      Strauss, Athens, pp. 42-86 
      Fuks, "Social and Economic Conditions," Ancient Society 3 (1972), 17ff. 
     
    3. Lysander & the Case for Spartan Empire:  What resources and money were available for Sparta to secure mastery of the Aegean world in 404-399 B.C.?  How could Lysander offer the necessary leadership?  How could the Spartans pull off a successful imperial order? 
      Hamilton, Sparta's Bitter Victories, pp. 25-68 
      Forrest, History of Sparta, pp. 131-137. 
    4. The Traditionialists & the Case against Spartan Empire:  What were the dangers posed to traditional Spartan society by the acquisition of an Aegean empire?  What were the dangers of a Persian War due to Spartan support of Cyrus in 401 B.C.?  What commitments should the Spartans cut in 404-399 B.C.? 
      Hamilton, Sparta's Bitter Victories, pp. 25-68 
      Forrest, History of Sparta, pp. 131-137. 
     

    5, King Agesilaus II & New Imperialism, 399-396 B.C.: Did King Agesilaus promise to win decisive victory over Persia and so Spartan hegemony over the Aegean world in 399-396 B.C.?  Was he the charismatic king who promised a new imperial age for Sparta? 

      Plutarch, Agesilaus 
      Hamilton, Agesilaus and the Spartan Hegemony, pp.40-66 & 86-119 
    6. Spartan Social Decline: Was Spartan social decline inevitable in 400-350 B.C.?  What accounts for this decline?  Did the acquisition of empire hasten social and economic decline? 
      Hamilton, Agesilaus and the Spartan Hegemony, pp. 67-85 
      French, “Spartan Family and Spartan Decline,” in Polis & Polemos, pp. 275-302 
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Dr. Kenneth W. Harl 
Office: History 211 (504)862-8621 
Fax: (504) 862-8739 
Home: (504)866-5392 
 
 Tulane University
Last updated 03/19/98
by Annette Lindblom