University of Tasmania
whole_HenningPeterIan1974_thesis.pdf (15.6 MB)

Some problems in the Athenian strategia of the fifth century B.C.

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posted on 2023-05-26, 19:44 authored by Henning, PI
At the beginning of the fifth century the Athenian strategia constituted, together with the polemarch, the chief military executive institution of the newly established democracy. It soon outgrew its purely military function and became the single most important magistracy of the state at the heart of fifth-century Athenian politics and government. Possession of the strategia was the only way to political prominence and power, at least until the demagogues found an alternative path. All the most important and influential politicians of the fifth century from Themistocles to Alcibiades, including Aristeides Cimon, Pericles, Nicias and Clean, only became or remained the leaders of Athens as generals. It is not surprising therefore that the strategia has been the subject of close attention by modern scholars. Our knowledge of the character of the Athenian democracy is certainly not complete without an understanding of the workings of its major executive institution. However, modem scholarship has failed to resolve many of the problems concerned with the strategia and has produced a wealth of argument without any general measure of agreement, rather than any basic conclusions. It is the purpose of this thesis to submit some of these problems to a reexamination. Many of them, admittedly, have come under the scrutiny of Charles W. Fomara, and his recent work (\The Athenian Board of Generals from 501 to 404\" Historia Einzelschriften Heft 16 1971) is the most valuable recent contribution to the subject. I agree with much of Fornara's analysis but concerning many important considerations I am unable to accept his conclusions. In what follows I argue that the reform of 501/0 established the electoral procedure whereby the generals were elected by the whole Demos. At the beginning of the fifth century each general was elected from a different tribe one general being chosen from each of Cleisthenes' ten tribes but an electoral reform of about 480 or one or two years earlier removed the requirement providing for tribal representation. ... In some years of the fifth century there is a numerical increase in the strength of the board. The Athenians elected extra generals as circumstances dictated. Finally the principle of collegiality was strictly maintained in practice throughout the fifth century except for one minor aberration in 407/06. A strict differentiation can be drawn between the political prestige and influence pertaining to an individual and the official authority which he possessed as a general."


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Copyright 1974 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (M.A.) - University of Tasmania. Bibliography: l. 339-347

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