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date: 31 January 2023

Long Walls, thelocked

Long Walls, thelocked

  • Thomas James Dunbabin,
  • Charles William John Eliot
  •  and Simon Hornblower


The Long Walls (τὰ μακρὰ τείχη or σκέλη, ‘legs’), were built between 461 and 456 bce to connect Athens with her ports, *Phaleron and *Piraeus. (Thuc. 1. 107. 1, 108. 3, remarkably his only references to internal affairs in the *Pentekontaetia, apart from 1. 107. 4: attempt by enemies of the democracy to stop the building of the Long Walls, i.e. the walls were identified with *democracy. But see below for—oligarchic—*Corinth.) About 445 the Phaleric wall was replaced by a third, parallel to the north or Piraeus wall. They were destroyed by the Spartans to flute music in 404 (Thuc. 5. 26. 1), rebuilt by *Conon(1) in 393, but allowed to fall into a half-ruined state by 200 (Livy 31. 26. 8). The walls to Piraeus were about 6½ km. (4 mi.) long and c. 180 m. (200 yds.) apart; the traces visible a century ago have now almost entirely disappeared. The course of the Phaleric wall is uncertain. The main road from Piraeus to Athens lay outside, the road inside being primarily military. The Long Walls were used in the *Peloponnesian War to make Athens into an isolated fortress, in which most of the population of Attica could live on seaborne provisions.


  • Greek Material Culture

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