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Siege of Scione, 423-421 B.C.

Siege of Scione, 423-421 B.C.


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Siege of Scione, 423-421 B.C.

The siege of Scione (423-421 B.C.) came after the city rebelled against Athens, with Spartan support, but continued on after those cities agreed a short-lived peace treaty, and at the end the defenders of the city were either executed or sold into slavery.

Scione was located in Pallene, the western-most of the three narrow peninsulas that jut south from Chalcidice, in the north of modern Greece (south of Thessalonica). The city of Potidaia, at the head of the Pallene peninsula was held by Athens, and for the first few years of the Great Peloponnesian War Scione was an Athenian ally. This changed in 423 BC, when encouraged by the success of the Spartan general Brasidas in northern Greece the people of Scione decided to revolt.

When he learnt of the revolt Brasidas crossed over to Scione, where he made a speech and left a garrison. This was soon strengthened, and Brasidas hoped to use the city as a base for an attack on Potidaia. The revolt of Scione came two days after a one year long armistice was agreed between Athens and Sparta. At first Brasidas claimed that the revolt had taken place before the armistice, which would thus have included Scione, but the Athenians refused to accept this and prepared to besiege the city. Brasidas evacuated the women and children from the city and prepared for a siege. The garrison was reinforced with 500 Peloponnesian hoplites and 300 Chalcidian peltasts, and was commanded by Polydamidas. Brasidas then departed to campaign in Macedonia.

While Brasidas was away the Athenians made their move. A force of fifty ships, 1,000 hoplites, 600 archers, 1,000 Thracian mercenaries and a small number of peltasts sailed down the peninsula, captured the town of Mende, and advanced on Scione.

As the Athenians approached the defenders of Scione occupied a strong position on a hill outside the city. The Athenians were aware that they would have to capture this hill before they could begin the siege, and took it by frontal assault. They then erected a trophy to commemorate the victory and began to build walls of circumvallation around Scione. The walls were completed by the end of the summer of 423 BC. The Athenians left a garrison to man their walls and the rest of the army returned home.

In the summer of 422 BC, after the year-long truce expired, the Athenian leader Cleon was appointed to lead an army in Thrace. He visited Scione on his way, but instead of helping end the siege he took some of the besieging troops to reinforce his own army.

The siege lasted into the summer of 421 BC. By the time it ended the war between Athens and Sparta had been temporarily ended by the Peace of Nicias (421 BC). Under the terms of the peace treaty any men sent by Brasidas, Spartans or allies of Sparta besieged in Scione were to be released by the Athenians, but the inhabitants of the city were excluded from the treaty. When the city finally fell the Athenians treated the defenders with the harshness that was becoming standard during the war. All men of military age were executed, while the women and children were sold into slavery. The city and its lands were given to the Plataeans, allies of Athens who had lost their own city after the siege of Plataea (429-427 BC).


Cleon

Cleon ( / ˈ k l iː ɒ n , - ə n / Ancient Greek: Κλέων Kleon, Ancient Greek: [kléɔːn] died 422 BC) was an Athenian general during the Peloponnesian War. He was the first prominent representative of the commercial class in Athenian politics, although he was an aristocrat himself. He strongly advocated for an offensive war strategy and is remembered for being ruthless in carrying out his policies. He is often depicted in a negative way, predominantly by Thucydides and the comedic playwright Aristophanes, who both represent him as an unscrupulous, warmongering demagogue, but both of them presented Cleon unfavorably due to personal grudges. [1]

Cleon was the son of Cleaenetus. [2]


That Leviathan

Nicias and Alcibiades struggle for control of Athens after a power vacuum appears. The back and forth leads to an Athens that pursues no grand strategy but plays a game of rapid, hectic tactics. All of Greece is swept up in political pinball as the traditional allies of Sparta reconsider their place in Greece and Sparta struggles to reclaim its political standing. As the stakes rise, Athens rebrands its role as the head of its empire and does whatever is necessary to keep control. This episode covers approximately 421 B.C. – 415 B.C.

The normally undisputed leader of the former Delian League, now the Athenian Empire, its glory begins to wane due to a lack of direction. In order to reclaim its prestige and stem the ever-present threat of defections from its empire more drastic measures are considered.

The premier military land power in Greece has seen better days. A, perhaps ill-timed peace, has allows Athens to regain its strength while Sparta allies suffer from disillusionment. Sparta needs to show all of Greece that it is still a name to be feared if it wants to continue its position as a leader.

The long-standing enemy of Sparta, Argos takes advantage of Sparta’s weakness to begin to lay claim to allies and form an allegiance of its own. Alcibiades continues to try and convince them that the best path forward is to wed themselves to Athens, drop the hesitation, and declare full war on Sparta.

Perhaps the greatest friend of Sparta, Corinth is beginning to grow tired of Sparta’s limited aim. As Sparta weakens Corinth decided to try to establish itself as a leader in Greece.

An accountant who wants to be a priest? A priest who wants to be an accountant? Take your pick. Nicias goes from a well-respected, but uninspiring, man to the leading man in Athens by negotiating a truce with Sparta. To keep this role though he must show he is a better leader than the upstart, Alcibiades.

Young, ambitious and arrogant. Alcibiades has reach well beyond Athens as a rich socialite but as he ages and turns 30 he must now show himself as a worthy general. Alcibiades courts looks to the traditional enemy of Sparta, Argos, to gather friends to Athens under his name.

One of the two kings of Sparta, Agis must prove himself capable of restoring Sparta’s political and military reputation. The future of Sparta is depending on a man who has never before led an army into combat and whose political skills are doubted at home.


They Created A Desert

Bolstered by a recent victory, Athens follows Cleon further into war in hopes of achieving absolute victory. There are many areas where victory is needed. Once back on the streets of the city we meet Socrates who is busy asking everybody he can irritating questions. Questioning your assumptions may be the basis to a true understanding of yourself and society, although it can be very frightening. This episode covers approximately 425 B.C. – 422 B.C.

Located to the west of Athens, Megara is the potential buffer zone and brief ally of Athens. Controlling Megara would give Athens a buffer zone and first line of defense against the forces of Sparta and Corinth if they march up the isthmus.

A fortress city on the north Aegean. Amphipolis protects the land route to the food supply regions near the Black Sea. A bridge leads to the city which is situated against a river which allows ships to protect it as well as local forces.

The region to the north of Athens, Boeotia consists of several smaller towns and cities. Although some democrats in the area want to join Athens, the official position of the area is to remain enemies of Athens. To subjugate this area Demosthenes consider treachery, raiding and eventually large assaults.

When Amphipolis falls, many cities are inspired to join the rebellion against Athens. Scione however, joins after a truce is signed between Athens and Sparta. When Athens learns of their post-truce rebellion they decree that every male will need to die all the women and children be sold into slavery to pay for their treachery. This decree was passed in 423 and eventually carried out a year later in 422.

A meteoric rise led Cleon to be elected general after his “victory” at Pylos. Now he has the voice to convince Athens that they can win the war outright. Why settle for a peace when we can rule unopposed? With this new agenda Cleon has a chance to actually prove his merits as a general as he takes Athens further into war.

The mastermind of Pylos he is now ready to try other daring plans to bring Megara and Boeotia into the Athenian fold. Despite the technology of the time, Demosthenes has no problem planning elaborate schemes to take down the enemies of Athens, the question is: Will they work?

The picture of old-school Athenian aristocracy he has fall somewhat out of grace after Cleon took his role as general and brought the Spartan’s back from Pylos. For this episode Nicias is usually working hard behind the scenes conducting raids and capturing various islands for Athens.

Playwright turned general, Sophocles is one of the men in charge of liberating Sicily from Spartan control and influence. However, the Sicilians and he often have different definitions of liberation.

Although we have only met Socrates as a warrior his work as a street philosopher is much better remembered. We take a quick look at what it might have been like to bump into Socrates and at the basis of his line of questing.

The non-royal Spartan who has worked his way up the ranks. After serving as an ephor, commanding a trireme, advising the Spartan fleet and more he is now leading a hybrid army of hoplites, helots and mercenaries into the northeast of Greece to undermine Athens instead of take it on directly.

Although we don’t discuss him much in this episode, Agis can usually be found leading raids into the territory of Athens.


Brasidas

Brasidas was one of the most important Spartan generals in first decade of the Peloponnesian War. He won his first laurels by the relief of Methone, which was besieged by the Athenians (431 B . C .). Later (425) he distinguished himself in the assault on the Athenian position at Pylos, during which he was severely wounded. It was the following year, however, that he began a campaign of conquest in Thrace that brought Sparta some of its greatest successes in the war, and put them in a strong position during the negotiations of the Peace of Nicias in 421.

H E BECAME A TARGET FOR EVERY ARROW .
In 424 B . C . year, while Brasidas mustered a force at Corinth for a campaign in Thrace, he frustrated an Athenian attack on Megara, and immediately afterwards marched through Thessaly at the head of 700 helots and 1000 Peloponnesian mercenaries to join the Macedonian king Perdiccas. His good nature and excellent statesmanship helped him win many of the towns in the region to the Spartan cause. The most important of these was Amphipolis, which had previously been an ally of Athens. When Athens found out the Spartans were approaching Amphipolis they sent Thucydides with a fleet to intervene, but he did not arrive in time to save the city. It was for this offense that Thucydides, who later wrote the famous history of the Peloponnesian War, was exiled from Athens.

In the spring of 423 B . C . a truce was concluded between Athens and Sparta, but its effectiveness was at once imperilled by Brasidas's refusal to give up Scione. The town had revolted two days after the truce began and Brasidas shortly afterward occupied Mende. An Athenian fleet under Nicias and Nicostratus recovered Mende and blockaded Scione, which fell two years later (421 B . C .). In April 422 Cleon, leader of the war party in Athens was despatched to Thrace, where he prepared for an attack on Amphipolis. But a carelessly conducted reconnaissance gave Brasidas the opportunity for a vigorous and successful sally. The Athenian army was routed with a loss of 600 men and Cleon was slain. On the Spartan side only seven men are said to have fallen, but amongst them was Brasidas. He was buried at Amphipolis with impressive pomp, and for the future was regarded as the founder of the city and honoured with yearly games and sacrifices.

Brasidas united the personal courage characteristic of Spartans with those virtues in which the typical Spartan was most signally lacking. He was quick in forming his plans and carried them out without delay or hesitation, and with an oratorical power rare amongst the Lacedaemonians he combined a conciliatory manner which everywhere won friends for himself and for Sparta.


Vote for the 100 greatest generals list

I like Khalid ibn Walid in fighting the Byzantines which has a more powerful warriors and soldiers than the Muslim Arabs. He use skirmishes to provoke and deception to lower the enemy's morale.

Alexander the great, was one of the greatest general, he command his army to India, destroying the entire Indian warriors near the border, using mother nature, phalanx, Iranian horse archers and the river itself, the battle of Hydaspes river was a success.

Julius Caesar was a great general but just like Alexander, he did not see what he started. Notable battles is the siege of Alesia.

Napoleon was a grand strategist, destroyed many coalitions with his advanced artillery and discipline army. Don't know a lot about his battles yet.

I think I cannot pick who is the greatest general even to myself, they lived in different timeline and region so it is almost impossible (or maybe not) to compare the generals. But a great general always know when he will be defeated.

BlackViper

My list is somewhat antiquated. I took a long extended break from it as this process can be overwhelming at times. However, what I do find most interesting is the continued arrival of generals that appear out of the corners of the world.

I separated myself from doing a list and instead focused on a portfolio on the Top 100 Generals of All Time. This was a greater challenge than just a list, but it forces the researcher (myself) and the reader almost instant knowledge of the commander that the portfolio is about.

The problem with 'A' list is that you must have ALL the commanders available. Three or four NEW guys that suddenly deserves to be on the list creates a frustation level that can cause many people to simply give up this attempt. Plus, all the posters that endlessly argue the same argument and the posters that simply say someone needs to be on that list but does not specify where and who should come off.
. it can drive people crazy if they stay on this course too long.

An example would be Brasidas. Not a member of the Top 100 Commander, but perhaps the greatest Warrior-General Sparta ever had (sorry for those who think Leonidas is).

Though neither Leonidas or Brasidas deserve to be in the Top 100 Commanders list, they should still have a portfolio that we can read about. So that when we read about a REAL Top 100 General, we see why he is on there.

Brasidas (? ? ? to 422 B.C.)
===================================
Spartan general
Son of Tellis and Argileonis
Relieved Methone, which was besieged by the Athenians.

Methone 431 B.C.
=================================
Brasidas (100) vs. Unknown Athenian general (? ? ?)
An Athenian army, carried by 100 ships, landed in Spartan territory at Methone. Brasidas happened to be nearby. Finding the Athenian army dispersed, he charged against the Athenians and forced his way into Methone, thus saving the city.
NOTE: First Spartan to receive the official 'congratulations of Sparta'.

Was a eponymous ephor. 430 B.C.
NOTE: An ephor was an official of ancient Sparta. There were five ephors elected annually, who swore each month to uphold the rule of the kings, while the kings swore to uphold the law.
One of three commissioners to be advisors to admiral Cnemus in the attacks on Rhion, Naupactos and Salamis. 429 B.C.
Distinguished himself at the battle of Pylos.

Pylos 425 B.C.
=================================
King Agis (? ? ?) vs. Demosthenes (? ? ?)
King Agis invaded Attica. The Athenians, using a fleet of 40 ships, landed at Pylos and began to fortify their position. Once King Agis received word of the news, he removed his army from Attica and marched to Pylos. He also had a fleet of 60 ships meet him there. Six days later, the fortification was complete and the Athenians fleet left for Corcyra and Sicily (5 ships remained behind). Demosthenes had the 40 Athenian ships return after word was received of the Spartan fleet nearby.
The plan for the Spartans was to blockade the Pylos port and land an army on Sphacteria, a nearby island. A Spartan force of 440 hoplites, led by Epitadas, landed on Sphateria. Demosthenes, most of his army consisted of unarmed sailors, took 60 hoplites to defend the beach against the Spartan landing. Demothenes inspired his troops with a speech (stating the Athenians will be victorious if they stand their ground on the beach). A Spartan fleet of 43 ships arrived under the command of Thrasymelidas and Brasidas. The Spartan amphibious landing was repulsed and Bradsidas was injured. The Athenian fleet of 50 ships arrived. The Spartan fleet refused battle at sea and unintentionally allowed the Athenian fleet to enter the port of Pylos. The Athenian fleet than chased the Spartan fleet away which suddenly isolated the Spartan troops on Spacteria.
NOTE: After a failed truce the Athenians invaded Sphacteria.

Harrassed the Athenian force at Megara in Thrace. 424 B.C.
Marched 1,700 men through Thessaly and joined the Macedonian king, Perdiccas.
Abandoning Perdiccas due to a difference in goals, he successfully won over Acanthus, Stagirus, Amphipolis, Torone and a few minor towns through negotiations.

The Capture of Amphipolis Winter of 424 B.C.
=================================
Brasidas (? ? ?) vs. Eucles (? ? ?)
Located along the Strymon river, Amphipolis was attacked by Brasidas. Eucles sent for help from thucydides who was located at Thasos with 7 Athenian ships. Brasidas offered retention of everyone's property and safe passage for those who wished to leave. Despite Eucles' protests, Amphipolis surrendered.

Attacking Eion, an Athenian force, led by Thucydides, the historian, disrupted the Spartan attack with those who had left Amphipolis.
NOTE: Despite the victory at Eion, Thucydides was recalled to Athens and was tried, founnd 'gross negligence' for his failure to save Amphipolis and exiled.

Imperiled a truce between Athens and Sparta when he refused to hand over Scione whom the Athenians declared had revolted days before the truce.
Occupied the town of Mende, further hampering the truce.
Under Nicias and Nicostratus, an Athenian fleet recovered Mende and blockaded Scione. 423 B.C.
Rejoined Perdiccas and defeated the Lyncesti whom were led by their king, Arrhabaeus.
Disaster struck when the Illyrians, whom were allied with Perdiccas, declared their allegiance for Arrhabaeus. The Macedonians then fled. Brasidas managed to extricate himself from the situation.
The quarrel between Brasidas and Perdiccas promply led to a concluded treaty between Athens and Macedonia.
The Sparta/Athen treaty expired. April 422
An Athenian force of 30 ships, 1,200 hoplites and 300 cavalry, led by Cleon, was sent to Thrace.
Cleon captured Torone Scione, and Galepsus.
NOTE: Pasitelidas, the Spartan commander at Scione, was killed.

Amphipolis 422 B.C.
=================================
Brasidas (2,300) vs. Cleon (1,800)
Cleon positioned his troops at Eion Brasidas at cerdylium. Unconvinced victory could be attained against Cleon, Brasidas, moved his forces back into Amphipolis. Cleon advanced on Amphipolis and, after realizing Brasidas had no intentions of setting up for battle, prepared to return to Eion. The Spartans, led by Brasidas, charged the disorganized Athenian troops. The Spartan commander, Clearidas, kills Cleon. The Athenian army flees to Eion
600 Athenians killed, including Cleon.
7 Spartans killed, one of them was Brasidas.

Buried at Amphipolis and a cenotaph was erected, near the tombs of Pausanias and Leonidas, in his memory at Sparta.
With Brasidas and Cleon, both strong advocators of war, killed, this paved the way for Sparta and Athens to conclude a peace treaty.
The Peace of Nicias was signed. 421 B.C.


Jon Martin in 'Brasidas-Sparta's Most Extraordinary Commander'
==================================
"Although Lysander is the best known of the Spartan commanders of the war, being the architect of final victory, no other single Spartan exhibited the flexibility of intellect, persuasiveness of oratory and bravery and skill in combat. So exceptional were his abilities that traditional, ultra-conservative Sparta did as much to suppress his actions as did any Athenian foe. In a more modern context, he may be compared to Rommel, a popular and chivalric general, dispatched by his country to a remote theater of war, with an inadequate force and little expectation of success. Like Rommel, he would astonish enemy and friend with his victories, but unlike Rommel, he would ultimately triumph."


Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) William Smith, LLD, Ed.

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PLATAEA

d. Various Greek allies.

I. First Position occupied by the opposing armies.

A. Road from Plataea to Thebes.

B. Road from Megara to Thebest.

and running for some space nearly parallel with one another, at length unite and flow in a westerly direction into the gulf of Corinth. ( Hdt. 9.51 .) The nature of the ground would thus afford to the Greeks abundance of water, and protection from the enemy's cavalry. The retreat, however, though for so short a distance, was effected in disorder and confusion. The Greek centre, chiefly composed of Megarians and Corinthians, probably fearing that the island would not afford them sufficient protection against the enemy's cavalry, did not halt till they reached the temple of Hera, which was in front of the town of Plataea. The Lacedaemonians on the right wing were delayed till the day began to dawn, by the obstinacy of Amompharetus, and then began to march across the hills which separated them from the island. The Athenians on the left wing began their march at the same time, and got round the hills to the plain on the other side on their way to the island. After marching 10 stadia, Pausanias halted on the bank of the Moloeis, at a place called Agriopius, where stood a temple of the Eleusinian Demeter. Here he was joined by Amompharetus, and here he had to sustain the attack of the Persians, who had rushed across the Asopus and up the hill after the retreating foe. As soon as Pausanias was overtaken by the Persians, he sent to the Athenians to entreat them to hasten to his aid but the coming up of the Boeotians prevented them from doing so. Accordingly the Lacedaemonians and Tegeatans had to encounter the Persians alone without any assistance from the other Greeks, and to them alone belongs the glory of the victory. The Persians were defeated with great slaughter, nor did they stop in their flight till they had again crossed the Asopus and reached their fortified camp. The Thebans also were repulsed by the Athenians, but they retreated in good order to Thebes, being covered by their cavalry from the pursuit of the Athenians. The Greek centre, which was nearly 10 stadia distant, had no share in the battle but hearing that the Lacedaemonians were gaining the victory, they hastened to the scene of action, and, coining up in confusion, as many as 600 were cut to pieces by the Theban force. Meantime the Lacedaemonians pursued the Persians to the fortified camp, which, however, they were unable to take until the Athenians, more skilled in that species of warfare, came to their assistance. The barricades were then carried, and a dreadful carnage ensued. With the exception of 40,000 who retreated with Artabazus, only 3000 of the original 300,000 are said to have escaped. ( Hdt. 9.50 - 70 .) On the topography of this battle, see Leake, Northern Greece, vol. ii. p. 335, seq. Grote, History of Greece, vol. v. p. 212, seq.

As this signal victory had been gained on the soil of Plataea, its citizens received especial honour and rewards from the confederate Greeks. Not only was the large sum of 80 talents granted to them, which they employed in erecting a temple to Athena, but they were charged with the duty of rendering every year religious honours to the tombs of the warriors who had fallen in the battle, and of celebrating every five years the festival of the Eleutheria in commemoration of the deliverance of the Greeks from the Persian yoke. The festival was sacred to Zeus Eleutherius, to whom a temple was now erected at Plataea. In return for these services Pausanias and the other Greeks swore to guarantee the independence and inviolability of the city and its territory ( Thuc. 2.71 Plut. Arist. 100.19 - 21 Strab. ix. p.412 Paus. 9.2.4 for further details see Dict. of Ant. art. ELEUTHERIA.)

Plataea was of course now rebuilt, and its in.. habitants continued unmolested till the commencement of the Peloponnesian War. In the spring of B.C. 431, before any actual declaration of war, a party of 300 Thebans attempted to surprise Plataea. They were admitted within the walls in the night time by an oligarchical party of the citizens but the Plataeans soon recovered from their surprise, and put to death 180 of the assailants. ( Thuc. 2.1 , seq.) In the third year of the war (B.C. 429) the Peloponnesian army under the command of Archidamus laid siege to Plataea. This siege is one of the most memorable in the annals of Grecian warfare, and has been narrated at great length by Thucydides. The Plataeans had previously deposited at Athens their old men, women, and children and the garrison of the city consisted of only 400 citizens and 80 Athenians, together with 110 women to manage their household affairs. Yet this small force set at defiance the whole army of the Peloponnesians, who, after many fruitless attempts to take the city by assault, converted the siege into a blockade, and raised a circumvallation round the city, consisting of two parallel walls, 16 feet asunder, with a ditch on either side. In the second year of the blockade 212 of the besieged during a tempestuous winter's night succeeded in scaling the walls of circumvallation and reaching Athens in safety. In the course of the ensuing summer (B.C. 427) the remainder of the garrison were obliged, through failure of provisions, to surrender to the Peloponnesians. They were all put to death and all the private buildings rased to the ground by the Thebans, who with the materials erected a sort of vast barrack round the temple of Hera, both for the accommodation of visitors, and to serve as an abode for those to whom they let out the land. A new temple, of 100 feet in length ( νεὼς ἑκατόμπεδος ), was also built by the Thebans in honour of Hera. ( Thuc. 2.71 , seq., 3.20, seq., 52, seq., 68.)

The surviving Plataeans were kindly received by the Athenians. They would appear even before this time to have enjoyed the right of citizenship at Athens ( Ἀθηναίων ξύμμαχοι καί πολῖται, Thuc. 3.63 ). The exact nature of this citizenship is uncertain but that it was not the full citizenship, possessed by Athenian citizens, appears from a line of Aristophanes, who speaks of certain slaves, who had been engaged in sea-fights, being made Plataeans ( καὶ Πλαταιᾶς εὐθὺς εῖναι κἀναὶ δούλων δεσπότας, Ran. 706 comp. Schol. ad Aristoph. Ran. 33 Böckh, Public Econ. of Athens, p. 262, 2nd ed.). Diodorus, in relating their return to Athens at a subsequent time, says (15.46) that they received the ἰσοπολιτεία but that some of them at any rate enjoyed nearly the full privileges of Athenian citizens appears from the decree of the people quoted by Demosthenes (c. Neaer. p. 1380). On the whole subject, see Hermann, Staatsalterth, § 117.

In B.C. 420 the Athenians gave the Plataeans the town of Scione as a residence. ( Thuc. 5.32 Isocr. Paneg. § 109 Diod. 12.76 .) At the close of the Peloponnesian War, they were compelled to evacuate Scione ( Plut. Lys. 14 ), and again found a hospitable welcome at Athens. Here they were living at the time of the peace of Antalcidas (B.C. 387), which guaranteed the autonomy of the Grecian cities and the Lacedaemonians, who were now anxious to humble the power of Thebes, took advantage [p. 2.640] of it to restore the Plataeans to their native city. ( Paus. 9.1.4 Isocrat. Plataic. § 13, seq.) But the Plataeans did not long retain possession of their city, for in B.C. 372 it was surprised by the Thebans and again destroyed. The Plataeans were compelled once more to seek refuge at Athens. ( Paus. 9.1 . § § 5--8 Diod. 15.46 .) The wrongs done to the Plataeans by Thebes are set forth in a speech of Isocrates, entitled Plataicus, which was perhaps actually delivered at this time by a Plataean speaker before the public assembly at Athens. (Grote's Greece, vol. x. p. 220.) After the battle of Chaeroneia (B.C. 338) the Plataeans were once more restored to their city by Philip. ( Paus. 9.1.8 , 4.27.11 .) It was shortly after this time that Plataea was visited by Dicaearchus, who calls the Plataeans Ἀθηναῖοι Βοιωτοί, and remarks that they have nothing to say for themselves, except that they are colonists of the Athenians, and that the battle between the Greeks and the Persians took place near their town. (Descript. Graec. p. 14, Hudson.)

After its restoration by Philip, the city continued to be inhabited till the latest times. It was visited by Pausanias, who mentions three temples, one of Hera, another of Athena Areia, and a third of Demeter Eleusinia. Pausanias speaks of only one temple of Hera, which he describes as situated within the city, and worthy of admiration on account of its magnitude and of the offerings with which it was adorned (9.2.7). This was apparently the temple built by the Thebans after the destruction of Plataea. ( Thuc. 3.68 .) It is probable that the old temple of Hera mentioned by Herodotus, and which he describes as outside the city (9.52), was no longer repaired after the erection of the new one, and had disappeared before the visit of Pausanias. The temple of Athena Areia was built according to Pausanias ( 9.4.1 ) out of a share of the spoils of Marathon, but according to Plutarch ( Plut. Arist. 20 ) with the 80 talents out of the spoils of Plataea, as mentioned above. The temple was adorned with pictures by Polygnotus and Onatas, and with a statue of the goddess by Pheidias. Of the temple of Demeter Eleusinia we have no details, but it was probably erected in consequence of the battle having been fought near a temple of Demeter Eleusinia at Argiopius. ( Hdt. 9.57 .) The temple of Zeus Eleutherius ( Strab. ix. p.412 ) seems to have been reduced in the time of Pausanias to an altar and a statue. It was situated outside the city. ( Paus. 9.2 . § § 5--7.)

Plataea is mentioned in the sixth century by Hierocles (p. 645, Wesseling) among the cities of Boeotia and its walls were restored by Justinian. (Procop. de Aedif. 4.2.)

The ruins of Plataea are situated near the small village of Κόκηλα. The circuit of the walls may still be traced in great part. They are about two miles and a half in circumference but this was the size of the city restored by Philip, for not only is the earlier city, before its destruction by the Thebans, described by Thucydides ( 2.77 ) as small, but we find at the southern extremity of the existing remains more ancient masonry than in any other part of the ruins. Hence Leake supposes that the ancient city was confined to this part. He observes that “the masonry in general, both of the Acropolis and of the town, has the appearance of not being so old as the time of the battle. The greater part is of the fourth order, but mixed with portions of a less regular kind, and with some pieces of polygonal masonry. The Acropolis, if an interior inclosure can be so called, which is not on the highest part of the site, is constructed in part of stones which have evidently been taken from earlier buildings. The towers of this citadel are so formed as to present flanks to the inner as well as to the outer face of the intermediate walls, whereas the town walls have towers, like those of the Turks, open to the interior. Above the southern wall of the city are foundations of a third inclosure which is evidently more ancient than the rest, and is probably the only part as old as the Persian War, when it may have been the Acropolis of the Plataea of that age. It surrounds a rocky height, and terminates to the S. in an acute angle, which is only separated by a level of a few yards from the foot of the great rocky slope of Cithaeron. This inclosure is in a situation higher than any other part of the ancient site, and higher than the village of Κόκηλα, from which it is 500 yards distant to the E. Its walls are traceable on the eastern side along a torrent, a branch of the Oëroe, nearly as far as the south-eastern angle of the main inclosure of the city. In a church within this upper inclosure are some fragments of an inscribed marble.” (Northern Greece, vol. ii. p. 325.) (Compare Friederich, Specimen Rerum Plataic. Berol. 1841 Münscher, Diss. de Rebus Plataeens. 1841.)


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Olynthus, son of Heracles, or the river god Strymon, was considered the mythological founder of the town. The South Hill bore a small Neolithic settlement was abandoned during the Bronze Age and was resettled in the 7th century BC. Subsequently, the town was captured by the Bottiaeans, a Thracian tribe ejected from Macedon by Alexander I.

Following the Persian defeat at Salamis (480 BC) and with Xerxes having been escorted to the Hellespont by his general Artabazus, the Persian army spent the winter of the same year in Thessaly and Macedonia. [4] The Persian authority in the Balkans must have significantly decreased at the time, which encouraged the inhabitants of the Pallene peninsula to break away. [4] Suspecting that a revolt against the Great King was meditated, in order to control the situation, Artabazus captured Olynthus, which was thought to be disloyal, and killed its inhabitants. [4] The town had priorly been given to Kritovoulos from Toroni and to a fresh population consisting of Greeks from the neighboring region of Chalcidice, who had been exiled by the Macedonians (Herod. viii. 127). Though Herodotus reports that Artabazus slaughtered them, Boetiaeans continued to live in the area.

Olynthus became a Greek polis, but it remained insignificant (in the quota-lists of the Delian League it appears as paying on the average 2 talents, as compared with 6 to 15 paid by Scione, 6 to 15 by Mende, 6 to 12 by Toroni, and 3 to 6 by Sermylia from 454 to 432).

In 432 King Perdiccas II of Macedon encouraged several nearby coastal towns to disband and remove their population to Olynthus, preparatory to a revolt to be led by Potidaea against Athens (Thuc. 1.58). This synoecism (συνοικισμός) was effected, though against Perdiccas's wishes the contributing cities were preserved. This increase in population led to the settlement of the North Hill, which was developed on a Hippodamian grid plan. In 423 Olynthus became the head of a formal Chalkidian League, occasioned by the synoecism or by the beginning of the Peloponnesian War and fear of Athenian attack. During the Peloponnesian war it formed a base for Brasidas in his expedition of 424 and refuge for the citizens of Mende and Poteidaea that had rebelled against the Athenians (Thu. ii, 70).

After the end of the Peloponnesian War the development of the league was rapid and ended consisting of 32 cities. About 393 we find it concluding an important treaty with Amyntas III of Macedon (the father of Philip II), and by 382 it had absorbed most of the Greek cities west of the Strymon, and had even got possession of Pella, the chief city in Macedon. (Xenophon, Hell. V. 2, 12).

In this year Sparta was induced by an embassy from Acanthus and Apollonia, which anticipated conquest by the league, to send an expedition against Olynthus. After three years of indecisive warfare Olynthus consented to dissolve the confederacy (379). It is clear, however, that the dissolution was little more than formal, as the Chalcidians ("Χαλκιδῆς ἀπò Θρᾴκης") appear, only a year or two later, among the members of the Athenian naval confederacy of 378–377. Twenty years later, in the reign of Philip, the power of Olynthus is asserted by Demosthenes to have been much greater than before the Spartan expedition. The town itself at this period is spoken of as a city of the first rank (πóλις μuρἰανδρος), and the league included thirty-two cities.

When the Social War broke out between Athens and its allies (357), Olynthus was at first in alliance with Philip. Subsequently, in alarm at the growth of his power, it concluded an alliance with Athens. Olynthus made three embassies to Athens, the occasions of Demosthenes's three Olynthiac Orations. On the third, the Athenians sent soldiers from among its citizens. After Philip had deprived Olynthus of the rest of the League, by force and by the treachery of sympathetic factions, he besieged Olynthus in 348. The siege was short he bought Olynthus's two principal citizens, Euthycrates and Lasthenes, [5] who betrayed the city to him. He then looted and razed the city and sold its population—including the Athenian garrison—into slavery. According to the latest researches only a small area of the North Hill was ever re-occupied, up to 318, before Cassander forced the population to move in his new city of Cassandreia.

Though the city was extinguished, through subsequent centuries there would be men scattered through the Hellenistic world who were called Olynthians.

The city of Olynthus lies in the hill named Megale Toumba near the village of Myriophyto. The probable site of Olynthus was identified as early as 1902. Between 1914 and 1916 plans were made for an excavation by the British School at Athens, but these fell through.

The ancient city extends over two hills that detach from a small coulee and possess an area ca. 1500 m long and 400 m in width. Excavations began in 1928. Prof. David Moore Robinson of Johns Hopkins University, under the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, conducted four seasons of work: in 1928, 1931, 1934, and 1939. The results of the excavations were digested into fourteen folio volumes, that were ultimately found to be the plagiarized work of another excavator, Mary Ross Ellingson. [6] The excavation had uncovered more than five hectares of Olynthus and a portion of Mecyberna (the harbor of Olynthus). On the North Hill this hurried pace proved relatively harmless due to the simple stratigraphy of an area of the city occupied only for 84 years and subjected to a sudden, final destruction but the data from the South Hill was badly muddled. Nonetheless the work was excellent for its time, and remains supremely valuable. Much of the stratigraphy of the North Hill has been reconstructed by Nicholas Cahill (University of Wisconsin). [7] The site is now in the charge of Dr. Julia Vokotopoulou, and the XVI Ephorate of Classical Antiquities.

The Neolithic settlement is located in the edge of the southern hill and was dated in the 3rd millennium BC. [8] The houses were built by stone blocks and had one or two rooms. The pottery that was found was the typical of that period comprising monochrome ceramic vases. The end of this rural settlement was abrupt and is placed around the 1st millennium.

The archaic city was built under a provincially urban plan and extended throughout the whole south hill. Two avenues were revealed along the eastern and western edges of the hill that intersected with crossing streets. Along the south avenue shops and small houses were found while the administrative part was located in the north part of the hill, where the agora and a deanery were found.

The classical city was established on the much larger north hill and to its eastern slope. The excavations, which cover only 1/10 of the city's total area, have revealed a Hippodamian grid plan. Two large avenues were discovered, with an amplitude of 7 meters, along with vertical and horizontal streets that divided the urban area into city blocks. Each one had ten houses with two floors and a paved yard. Very important for the archaeological research are considered the rich villas that were excavated in the aristocratic suburb of the city located in the eastern part of the north hill since there was found some of the earliest floor mosaics in Greek art.

Both the archaic and classical city were protected by an extended land wall. Parts of the foundations of the wall were revealed in the north hill and elsewhere, but they are not enlightening on which method was followed for their construction. Archaeologists suppose that it was built with sun-dried bricks with a stone base, but it's difficult to tell, since the city was literally leveled by Phillip.

As it concerns the public buildings, the agora is placed in the south edge of the north hill, near the eastern gate, along with a public fountain, an arsenal and the city's parliament building (Βουλευτήριον). There is a small museum featuring artifacts recovered from Olynthus, and the whole archaeological site is open to public tours during daylight hours.

The modern city, formerly Myriophyto, now called Olynthos or Nea Olynthos, sits on a small plateau on the western side of the river Olynthios or Resetenikia (in ancient times known as Sandanus), across from the ruins of the ancient city.


Siege of Scione, 423-421 B.C. - History

Posts tagged Alcibiades A Splendid Rope

The Peloponnesian War comes to a sudden and unexpected end. The defeated will face the fate the victor thinks it deserves. We witness both timid and brutal approaches to war and are forced to ask: Is there a difference between acting cruelly out of desperation versus cruelty as a matter of course? This episode covers approximately 405 B.C. – 404 B.C.

More than twenty years into the Peloponnesian War Athens has given nearly everything to the fight, but more is required. Sparta requests peace but Athens refuses and looks for more resources to continue the war. While Athens scrounges for money, Sparta and Persia renew their alliance with Sparta leading the fight while Persia funds the war. Meanwhile, the weight of carrying the Athenian military is beginning to crack their society. This episode covers approximately 407 B.C. – 405 B.C.

Athens is broke. The sole hope for retaining its empire rests in their fleet of triremes at Samos. To make matters worse a Spartan fleet, supported by a Persian army and Syracusian ships, has wedged itself into the Hellespont, the crucial route by which Athens receives most of its food. Alcibiades, though still refusing to return to Athens for fear of the death penalty on him, contributes to the fighting in any way he can. Some sort of miracle is needed for Athens to step back into security. This episode covers approximately 411 B.C. – 407 B.C.

After the disaster of the Sicilian Expedition, the largest defeat in the history of Athenian Democracy, the whole Mediterranean world expected Athens to fall. Refusing to surrender the Athenian assembly accepts previously unthinkable changes in order to continue to the fight against Sparta, the revolting cities across the Empire, and to keep the ever ambitious Persians in check. Amid this pressure the democracy in Athens is reexamined and some citizens desire a change, either through legal reforms or terror tactics. This episode covers approximately 413 BC – 411 BC.

Nicias and Alcibiades have both gained political power but can’t push past the other. The gridlock is broken when representatives from a Sicilian town show up asking for help and offering to foot the bill for Athenian assistance. In a rapid escalation, the Athenians agree not only to help but to send an armada to Sicily to bring down Syracuse. One step at a time the Athenians throw everything they have into the Sicilian expedition. This episode covers approximately 416 B.C – 413 B.C.

Nicias and Alcibiades struggle for control of Athens after a power vacuum appears. The back and forth leads to an Athens that pursues no grand strategy but plays a game of rapid, hectic tactics. All of Greece is swept up in political pinball as the traditional allies of Sparta reconsider their place in Greece and Sparta struggles to reclaim its political standing. As the stakes rise, Athens rebrands its role as the head of its empire and does whatever is necessary to keep control. This episode covers approximately 421 B.C. – 415 B.C.

Bolstered by a recent victory, Athens follows Cleon further into war in hopes of achieving absolute victory. There are many areas where victory is needed. Once back on the streets of the city we meet Socrates who is busy asking everybody he can irritating questions. Questioning your assumptions may be the basis to a true understanding of yourself and society, although it can be very frightening. This episode covers approximately 425 B.C. – 422 B.C.

Athens and Corinth take the preemptive measure of fighting a battle to avoid a war. This works about as well as it sounds. A series of conferences afterwards determine the fate of Greece. Speeches are made, ships collide and the gods reconsider their relationship with Athens. This episode covers approximately 433 B.C. – 429 B.C.

The Greek world is getting smaller. Athens and Sparta are the sole dominating powers in Greece and cities are forced to consider what sides they will choose. The grandeur of Athens continues to allure as their wealth and power are demonstrated at the 4 year Panathenaic Festival while Sparta grapples for peace. It’s time to choose what side to join. This episode covers approximately 440 BC - 432 BC.


The Hanging Shield

After many years of a brawler fight something has to give. A daring general in Athens considers new strategies while playwrights bring the full weight of the ancient press (the theatre) to bear in criticizing the war. Meanwhile, Greece watches as the impossible unfolds on the shores of the Peloponnese. This episode covers approximately 427 B.C. – 425 B.C.

The premier Greek power has been recently crippled by the plague and the financial burden of fighting a war. Athens is beginning to seriously reconsider its approach to the war.

The port of Athens, Piraeus is virtually a city unto itself. A strong Thracian immigrant population enjoyed the benefits one of the first urban planning projects. Straight grid-like roads brought you to the agora, market or any one of the three bay that served Piraeus. Ship sheds rings each bay where triremes are stored for the winter.

A city on Lesbos (an island in the eastern Aegean near modern day Turkey) that revolts from Athens after petitioning Sparta. Mytilene would like to set up a miniature empire of its own on the island of Lesbos.

Playwright, general and ambassador, Sophocles is the author of the Oedipus (sounds like Edipus) plays and also serves as general for several years.

A strong advocate to end the war with complete and utter victory. Cleon has no problem handing out brutal punishments to ensure the cooperation of their nominal allies. Cleon is unique in that he is one of the first non-aristocratic to take a prominent role in politics.

An aristocratic and morally conservative man, he is well respected and is fighting as a general behind the scenes during this episode.

The premier Greek democratic power has been recently crippled by the plague and the financial burden of fighting a war. Athens is beginning to seriously reconsider its approach to the war.

Sparta is an oligarchic power that has control over the Peloponnesian League. Although it has no desire to fight Athens at sea it, generally, remains undaunted on land.

An area on the southwest of the Peloponnese (though the area is disputed) where Demosthenes wanted to build a small fort in Sparta’s backyard.

A recently elected general, Demosthenes has no problem thinking outside the box. His daring plans to invade the allies of Sparta have gotten him into trouble before.

A Spartan. Unlike most Spartans we have learned about he is not a royal Spartan but has worked his way up the ranks. Both fearless and advocate of defeating Athens outright he stays busy adding to his resume of incredible bravery.

A strong advocate to end the war with complete and utter victory. Cleon has no problem handing out brutal punishments to ensure the cooperation of their nominal allies. Cleon is unique in that he is one of the first non-aristocratic to take a prominent role in politics.


Watch the video: The retreat and the battle of the Luga River. The Battle of Narva 1944 - Ep. 2 (June 2022).


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