The Delian League Essay

1144 Words5 Pages
Explain the methods used by the Athenians to transform the Delian League into the Athenian Empire. (25 marks) There is certainty no evidence to suggest that the Athenians had any long-term plans, in the years 479-470 BC, to change the Delian League into an empire, although from the beginning the potential to develop into an imperial power were there. Because from the beginning, Athens had considerable power as she was the permanent hegemon.The most important aspects involving the transformation of League into empire was the changing relationships between Athens and her allies, Periclesʼ imperial policy, Athensʼ selfish self interest in gaining more power by using the Leagueʼs power and establishing laws onto her allies such as the Coinage…show more content…
The establishments of cleruchies had cause much resentment from other Greek states towards Athens. According to Plutarch, this system had relieve “the city of a large number of idlers and agitators and raise the standards of the poorest classes”, but at the same time it implanted amongst the allies “a healthy fear of rebellion”. It also allowed Athens to gain more numbers of hoplites, as only Athenian men with money can become a hoplite soldier. This had increased the military force in Athens and had strengthened Athensʼ hold on her empire, as they were located at strategic points in the Aegean. The worsening relationship between Athensʼ and her allies in the League is due to Athensʼ selfish self interest in developing her imperial power, and this had allow Athens to gradually grow into an empire. This selfish self interest can be seen after the Peace of Callias. At first the aim of the League was, according to Thucydides, ʻto compensate themselves for their losses by ravaging the territory of the King of Persiaʼ, but in 449 BC Persian lost the battle against Cimon in Cyprus and signed a peace treaty called ʻPeace of Calliasʼ. Although this meant that the Leagueʼs aim had been fulfilled, the Athenians argued that the Persians would strike again if the Greeks appeared weak. This argument from Athens had an underlying aim, that was so the Greeks states would not leave
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