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THE SANCTUARY OF

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Originally appearing in Volume V01, Page 254 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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THE SANCTUARY OF APHAEA Yards zo 24 Metres n g ro so V.E.R.Fiechter. del. .,.. tmery walker, so. but, after the deposition of Demaratus, he visited the island a second time, accompanied by his new colleague Leotychides, seized ten of the leading citizens and deposited them at Athens as hostages. After the death of Cleomenes and the refusal of the Athenians to restore the hostages to Leotychides, the Aeginetans retaliated by seizing a number of Athenians at a festival at Sunium. Thereupon the Athenians concerted a plot with Nicodromus, the leader of the democratic party in the island, for the betrayal of Aegina. He was to seize the old city, and they were to come to his aid on the same day with seventy vessels. The plot failed owing to the late arrival of the Athenian force, when Nicodromus had already fled the island. An engagement followed in which the Aeginetans were defeated. Subsequently, however, they succeeded in winning a victory over the Athenian fleet. All the incidents subsequent to the appeal of Athens to Sparta are expressly referred by Herodotus to the interval between the sending of the heralds in 491 B.C. and the invasion of Datis and Artaphernes in 490 B.C.(cf. Herod. vi. 49 with 94). There are difficulties in this story, of which the following are the principal:—(i.) Herodotus nowhere states or implies that peace was concluded between the two states before 481 B.c., nor does he distinguish between different wars during this period. Hence it would follow that the war lasted from shortly after 507 B.C. down to the congress at the Isthmus of Corinth in 481 B.C. (ii.) It is only for two years (490 and 491) out of the twenty-five that any details are given. It is the more remarkable that no incidents are recorded in the period between Marathon and Salamis, seeing that at the time of the Isthmian Congress the war is described as the most important one then being waged in Greece (Herod. vii. 145). (iii.) It is improbable that Athens would have sent twenty vessels to the aid of the Ionians in 498 B.C. if at the time she was at war with Aegina. (iv.) There is an incidental indication of time, which points to the period after Marathon as the true date for the events which are referred by Herodotus to the year before Marathon, viz. the thirty years that were to elapse between the dedication of the precinct to Aeacus and the final victory of Athens (Herod. v. 8g). As the final victory of Athens over Aegina was in 458 B.C., the thirty years of the oracle would carry us back to the year 488 B.e. as the date of the dedication of the precinct and the outbreak of hostilities. This inference is supported by the date of the building of the 200 triremes " for the war against Regina " on the advice of Themistocles, which is given in the Constitution of Athens as 483–482 B.C. (Herod. vii. 144; Ath. Pol. 22. 7). It 3s probable, therefore, that Herodotus is in error- both in' tracing back the beginning of hostilities to an alliance between Thebes and Aegina (c. 507) and in putting the episode of Nicodromus before Marathon. Overtures were unquestionably made by Thebes for an alliance with Aegina c. 507 B.C., but they came to nothing. The refusal of Aegina was veiled under the diplomatic form of " sending the Aeacidae." The real occasion of the out-break of the war was the refusal of Athens to restore the hostages some twenty years later. There was but one war, and it lasted from 488 to 481. That Athens had the worst of it in this war is certain. Herodotus had no Athenian victories to record after the initial success, and the fact that Themistocles was able to carry his proposal to devote the surplus funds of the state to the building of so large a fleet seems to imply that the Athenians were themselves convinced that a supreme effort was necessary. It may be noted, in confirmation of this view, that the naval supremacy of Aegina is assigned by the ancient writer$ on chronology to precisely this period, i.e. the years 490–480 (Eusebius, Chron. Can. p. 337). In the repulse of Xerxes it is possible that the Aeginetans played a larger part than is conceded to them by Herodotus. The Athenian tradition, which he follows in the main, would naturally seek to obscure their services., It was to Aegina, rather than Athens that the prize of valour at Salamis was awarded, and the destruction of the Persian fleet appears to have been as much the work of the Aeginetan contingent as of the Athenian (Herod. viii. 91). There are other indications, too, of the importance of the Aeginetan fleet in the Greek scheme of defence. In view of these considerations it becomes difficult to credit the number of the vessels that is assigned to them by Herodotus (30 as against 18o Athenian vessels, cf. GREEK HISTORY, sect. Authorities). During the next twenty years the philo-laconian policy of Cimon (q.v.) secured Aegina, as a member of the Spartan league, from attack. The change in Athenian foreign policy, which was consequent upon the ostracism of Cimon in 461, led to what is sometimes called the First Peloponnesian War, in which the brunt of the fighting fell upon Corinth and Aegina. The latter state was forced to surrender to Athens after a siege, and to accept the position of a subject-ally (c. 456 B.c.). The tribute was fixed at 30 talents. By the terms of the Thirty Years' Truce (445 B.C.) Athens covenanted to restore to Aegina her autonomy, but the clause ` remained a dead letter. In the first winter of the Peloponnesian War (431 B.C.) Athens expelled the Aeginetans, and established a cleruchy in their island. The exiles were settled by Sparta in Thyreatis, on the frontiers of Laconia and Argolis. Even in their new home they were not safe from Athenian rancour.' A force landed under Nicias in 424, and put most of them to the sword. At the end of the Peloponnesian War Lysander restored the scattered remnants of the old inhabitants to the island, which was used by the Spartans as a base for operations against Athens in the Corinthian War. Its greatness, however, was . at an end. The part which it plays hence-forward is insignificant. It would be a mistake to attribute the fall of Aegina solely to the development of the Athenian navy. It is probable that the power of Aegina had steadily declined during the twenty years after Salamis, and that it had declined absolutely, as well as relatively, to that of Athens. Commerce was the source of Aegina's greatness, and her trade, which appears to have been principally with the Levant, must have suffered seriously from the war with Persia. Her medism in 491 is to be explained by her commercial relations with the Persian Empire. She was forced into patriotism in spite of herself, and the glory won at Salamis was paid for by the loss of her trade and the decay of her marine. The completeness of the ruin of so powerful a state—we should look in vain for an analogous case in the history of the modern world—finds an explanation in the economic conditions of the island, the prosperity of which rested upon a basis of slave-labour. It is impossible, indeed, to accept Aristotle's (cf. Athenaeus vi. 272) estimate of 470,000 as the ' Pericles called Aegina the "eye-sore" Nun) of the Peiraeus. number of the slave-population; it is clear; however, that the number must have been out of all proportion to that of the free inhabitants. Im this respect the history of Aegina does but anticipate the history of Greece as a whole. The constitutional history of Aegina is unusually simple. So long as the island retained its independence the government was an oligarchy. There is no trace of the heroic monarchy and no tradition of a tyrannis. The story of Nicodromus, while it proves the existence of a democratic party, suggests, at the same time, that it could count upon little support.' (2) Modern.—Aegina passed with the rest of Greece under the successive dominations of Macedon, the Aetolians, Attains of Pergamum and Rome. In 1537 the island, then a prosperous Venetian colony, was overrun and ruined by the pirate Barbarossa (Khair-ed-Din). One of the last Venetian strongholds in the Levant, it was ceded by the treaty of Passarowitz (1718) to the Turks. In 1826–1828 the town became for a time the capital of Greece and the centre of a large commercial population (about 1o,000), which has dwindled to about 4300.
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