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date: 08 February 2023

Second Athenian Confederacylocked

Second Athenian Confederacylocked

  • C. J. Tuplin


A maritime defensive alliance-system open to cities and dynasts outside Anatolia, whose original motive—obsolete once *Thebes (1) replaced *Sparta as principal adversary (c.371 bce)—was to ensure that Sparta respected the *freedom and *autonomy guaranteed by the *King's Peace. Its foundation (379/8 ) involved converting several existing bilateral alliances into a system which eventually (early 377) offered special rights, viz. a deliberative assembly (synhedrion), no internal political interference, tribute, governors, or garrisons, and no *cleruchy or private Athenian property-ownership within allied states. Starting with six members, the confederacy burgeoned in 378–373, as *Chabrias and *Timotheus (2) voyaged in Aegean and north-western waters urging Athens' goodwill and demonstrating it by e.g. protecting *Abdera from marauding Triballians. Spartan naval challenges were crushed at *Naxos (1) (376) and Alyzeia (375). In 375/4 Sparta conceded that the confederacy did not infringe autonomy, while the Peace of Athens (371/70 ) treated confederacy decisions as defining it.


  • Greek History and Historiography

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