In his funeral oration, Pericles praises Athens and the city's focus on balance between personal care and care for the state. He compared it to Sparta, where personal comfort was overlooked to benefit the state and said that the personal comfort allowed to Athenians is what makes the war worth fighting.16 By praising Athens, he showed his love and loyalty to his city. Alcibiades had no such loyalty. When he fled to Sparta he was asked if he did not trust his country, his answer was with everything other than his life.17 When in Sparta he gave military advice that caused more "ruin and destruction to his city" than anything else.18 After
Since the speech that clearly persuaded the Spartans took the form of the Athenian Thesis, one could reasonably conclude that the Spartans were moved by the motives of fear, honor, or benifit. Thus, this case as a whole lends credence to the thesis itself. Interestingly, if the Spartans truly acted according to the Athenian Thesis, this would imply that Sparta has the same tendency for domination as the Athenians. This could suggest that, after assembling alliances out of fear of a growing Athens, Sparta would progress to maintain its hold on states out of honor and, finally, out of interest, thereby mirroring Athens’ past. Whether Thucydides believed in the Athenian Thesis and intended the persuasiveness of this speech to be a historical case that supported the Athenian Thesis’ soundness is uncertain. However, no one can deny that the reasons which persuaded the Spartans to act followed the form of the thesis and that Sparta seems to have acted from
"Just before the Peloponnesian War began, Pericles of Athens and King Archidamus of Sparta provided net assessments of the comparative strengths and weaknesses of the two sides. Evaluate their projections."
A reading of Thucydides’, Pericles’ Funeral Oration and The Melian Dialogue uncovers both contrasting and comparable viewpoints on Athenian politics, power, aims of war, and empire. Thucydides presents two differing characteristics of Athens, one as the civilizer in Pericles’ funeral oration and the other as an tyrant in the Melian dialogue. In the funeral oration delivered by Pericles during the first year of the war, the Athenian leader emphasizes the idealized personal image of the Athenians in regard to their constitution and good character. Pericles goes on to praise the Athenian democratic institution of Athens that contributes to their cities greatness; in Pericles’s own words, “The Athenian administration favors the many instead of few… they afford equal justice to all of their differences” (112, 2.37). This quote emphasizes the good character of the Athens’ to coax and encourage the Athenians to preserve and better their great empire into the future. On the other hand, in the Melian dialogue, this notion of justice and equality is irrelevant; one, because Athens compared to Melos, is the stronger of the two and thus, is more powerful. Further, Athens, will continue to acquire absolute power and build its empire by conquering Melos and whomever else stands in its way. Through Pericles’ funeral oration and the Melian dialogue, the following conclusions/themes will demonstrate both the changing and somewhat stable nature of Athenian policy with regards to empire,
Athens could also be seen as a place where they educated their citizens. Socrates understood that he would not be the man who he is today, without Athens. Like anything, a child would not willingly do harm on a parent, especially if they receive love and protection, and no harm in return. This parental versus child relationship is quite similar to the relationship Socrates had with Athens. The people of Athens could have assumed that Socrates would try to escape and that his death sentence would not follow through, but Socrates did not see this as an important factor. He believed that if he escaped, it would hinder the image of Athens because he would not be following their laws, which might influence the citizens to also break the laws of Athens. People with a lot of influence, have a lot of followers, for example, the people of Athens. If Socrates, supposedly the wisest man were to escape from prison and his death sentence, other people might think it is fine to disobey Athens as well. On the other hand, the citizens expected him to escape, but the fact that he stayed in prison to face his death sentence shows how seriously he took subjects like harming others and obeying the state to heart. Another objection to this argument could be, that Socrates was falsely accused and was harmed when he was truly innocent, he did not commit any of the crimes he was accused of, but Socrates still had the opportunity to a fair trial, he just did not use
The Peace of Nicias only lasted for about 5 years, during those years the Alcibiades the cousin of Pericles was starting to rise in the Athenian politics.the one thing Athens worried about now was supporting Argos from Sparta, but in the end Argos was defeated and Sparta was growing stronger. By killing all the adult males of the island of Melos and enslaving the women and children as a punishment for Melos insistence on staying neutral in the war, Athens underlined its ruthlessness (History of..). By deciding, against Nicias’s advice, to send off a large naval expedition to Sicily to attack the great Greek city of Syracuse, the Athenian assembly once again followed Alcibiades’ lead. He had said there would be great glory in it and that all Sicily and the Greater Greece would become subject to Athens.
Athens is a major Greek city-state in European history. It was a great center of cultural and intellectual development, and thus home to philosophers. Socrates and Pericles, two of these philosophers, had polarizing opinions about the city-state and its citizens. While Pericles chooses to praise the Athenian citizen, Socrates criticizes Athens’ people. Pericles gave his opinion at a funeral during the first battles of the Peloponnesian War, while Socrates gave his during the trial that ultimately led to his death. The Athenian city-state has become a model for today’s systems of government and a hearth for western philosophy, so Pericles’ opinion seems to be the one that is more accurate.
History tends to repeat itself throughout the years, and Looking back on at past events can help us understand why some things occur and how we can resolve certain issues. The Peloponnesian War was a significant event that occurred in history, and a lot of the events that occurred throughout the war have helped us to understand politics better. Thucydides’ documentation and interpretation of some of the events of the war have helped us to understand why states make the decisions they do, and some of the implications of those decisions. It is useful to know why states make the decisions that they do because their decisions can impact the actions of other
Undeniably, the ancient Greek society places a heavy emphasis on values and traditions. The two texts of the “Clouds” by Aristophanes and “History of the Peloponnesian war” by Thucydides, although contextually divergent, are actually conceptually convergent. Both texts are built around the central theme of the collapse of conventional values. While the breakdown of traditional values in the “History of the Peloponnesian war” is presented in a more metaphorical and symbolical manner, the downfall of conventional values in the “Clouds” is on a more direct basis. Although both texts essentially convey across the same solemn message that the relinquishment of
Investigating Athens' Treatment of Her Allies During the period of 478-431, Athens’ treatment of her allies changed dramatically as she rose to become the leader of an empire. The establishment of the Delian League marked the beginning of a significant series of events, which lead to Athens’ rise to extreme power. From the evidence of Thucydides and the inscriptions, it is possible to track the progress of these events and the rapidly changing treatment that Athens enforced upon her allies.
The book written by Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War, contains two controversial debates between distinguished speakers of Athens. The two corresponding sides produce convincing arguments which can be taken as if produced as an honest opinion or out of self-interest. The two debates must be analyzed separately in order to conclude which one and which side was speaking out of honest opinion or self-interest, as well as which speakers are similar to each other in their approach to the situation.
A negative effect of the Athenians rioting against the Spartans is that it caused Sparta to lose trust with Athens. This caused Sparta to eventually break their alliances with Athens. When the Athenians rioted in 508 BCE, the Spartans were forced to hold out in the Athenian Acropolis. They remained there for two days and nights until they agreed to a truce with the Athenians on the third day (Heredotus). Sparta had a history of interfering with Athenian politics. The Spartan king Cleomenes helped the Athenians expel their previous ruler, Hippias (Aristotle). He ruled Athens with his brother after his father, Pisistratus, died. Hippias was banished from Athens . ("Ancient Sources"). His brother, Hipparchus, was assassinated by tyrannicides.
To understand the motivation of Alcibiades, we must look to his upbringing and character to examine his sense of entitlement. Alcibiades was born into an aristocratic Athenian family so he would have been pro oligarchy; he was the son of Cleinias (Thuc 5.43) who was slain at the battle of Coroneia (Plut. Alcibiades 1). After the death of his father, Alcibiades was placed under the guardianship of Pericles (Plut. Alcibiades 1), who was leader of the state and the most influential man of his day (Thuc 1.127). The connection that Alcibiades shared with Pericles, enabled him to enjoy the company of influential figures throughout Athens, and consequently; they desired him. It was said, “many well-born men were swarming around Alcibiades and seeking his company” (Plut. Alcibiades 4), being held in such high regard by the elite would have boosted his sense of self-importance, gained him influence and bring about great personal fame (Thu. 6.16).
The Peloponnesian War was the turning point in Athenian hegemony in Ancient Greece. It was fought in 431 B.C. between the Delian League, led by Athens, and the Peloponnesian League led by Sparta. According to Thucydides, Athens’ imposing hegemonic status and its overwhelming quest for more power made the Peloponnesian War and Athens’s eventual fall from power inevitable. Despite the Athenians having a far more superior navy and being considerably wealthier, they were defeated and made subjects of Sparta. In this paper, I will discuss Thucydides’ and Socrates’ reasons for why
In Achilleus' speech to Agamemnon, he is arguing that Agamemnon is a a bad leader, and fighting the Trojans is a useless act with no will gain for anyone other than to Agamemnon to think he will be able to punish the Trojains for disrespecting him. One attribute of terrible leadership Achilleus described was when he said, "'O wrapped in shamelessness, with your mind forever on profit, how shall any one of the Achaians readily obey you either to go on a journey or to fight men strongly in battle?" (1.149-151). By saying this Achilleus is describing that, to be a good leader, one must sometimes think pass the profit that one might be gain and think of the wellbeing of people carrying out the order. Also, Achilleus is mentioning why should the warriors fight for him if they gain nothing in return, and will face a pointless death, if their king is only thinking of himself, and not the heartbreak the people might face if they are to lose this battle.