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▶  More from Histories Red-Face-Island War
‘Made Slaves of the Inhabitants’
Red-Face-Island War #4
CHAPTER IV: From the end of the Persian to the beginning of the Peloponnesian War—The Progress from Supremacy to Empire
Hilariously, Athenian supremacy, based on naval supremacy, was realized through a lie, that they would discuss the rebuilding of their walls with their allies against the Persians. While the Persians had had the ability to besiege Athens and destroy its walls, the small communities of Hellas did not. The Athenians pretended to be negotiating the question with Sparta when in fact every man woman and child were building the walls as simple as possible—thus empire was assured through a lie. The Spartan idea that no city should have walls was based on the belief that a lack of fortified refuge would prevent wars of adventure or terrorism. In the end they would prove themselves wrong, as they, having been forced to defeat Athens a generation later, would become the cruelest tyrants of their cousins.
One might equate the Athenian unwillingness to share power after defeating the mutual enemy to the unwillingness of Great Britain to share power with Russia after the defeat of Napoleon, or the formation of NATO by the U.S. after WWII, which has ever since made her allies against the vanquished AXIS powers military and economic servants to American interests.
The fact that aligned many weaker states with Athens was the fact that the Spartan joint commander, Pausanias, was an ox-headed brute who was recalled. Thence the weaker allies outside of Red-face-island, came under Athenian sway and the Athenians would reduce the most vulnerable to vassal status systematically.
“First the Athenians besieged and captured Eion on the Strymon from the Medes, and made slaves of the inhabitants, being under the command of Cimon, son of Miltiades. Next they enslaved Scyros, the island in the Aegean, containing a Dolopian population, and colonized it themselves. This was followed by a war against Carystus, [1] in which the rest of Euboea remained neutral, and which was ended by surrender on conditions. After this Naxos left the confederacy, and a war ensued, and she had to return after a siege; this was the first instance of the engagement being broken by the subjugation of an allied city, a precedent which was followed by that of the rest in the order which circumstances prescribed. Of all the causes of defection, that connected with arrears of tribute and vessels, and with failure of service, was the chief; for the Athenians were very severe and exacting, and made themselves offensive by applying the screw of necessity to men who were not used to and in fact not disposed for any continuous labour. In some other respects the Athenians were not the old popular rulers they had been at first; and if they had more than their fair share of service, it was correspondingly easy for them to reduce any that tried to leave the confederacy.”
“occurred the defection of the Thasians, caused by disagreements about the marts on the opposite coast of Thrace, and about the mine in their possession. Sailing with a fleet to Thasos, [2] the Athenians defeated them at sea and effected a landing on the island… the Thasians in the third year of the siege obtained terms from the Athenians by razing their walls, delivering up their ships, and arranging to pay the moneys demanded at once, and tribute in future; giving up their possessions on the continent together with the mine.”
Athens had a habit of placing garrisons within nations that allied voluntarily, much as the Soviet Union and U.S. did with Warsaw Pact and NATO “allies.”
“They took Chaeronea, and made slaves of the inhabitants,” extinguishing a small nation.
“…the Histiaeans they expelled from their homes, and occupied their territory themselves.”
Such nations as Aegina, Salamis and Byzantium were indemnified much like Germany was after WWI. Aegina would eventually suffer the ultimate fate awaiting those who rise too often against their masters.
Notes
-1. Home of the boxer Glaukos circa 515 B.C., Eubeoa means “Good-cattle-island.”
-2. Home of the greatest boxer and MMA fighter of antiquity, Theogones
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