Chapter

The Aegean islands as an imperial network: the fifth century and the Athenian empire

Christy Constantakopoulou

in The Dance of the Islands

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9780199215959
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191706868 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199215959.003.0003

Series: Oxford Classical Monographs

The Aegean islands as an imperial network: the fifth century and the Athenian empire

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This chapter examines the history of Athenian relations with Delos, from Peisitratus' attempt at control to the 5th-century Athenian empire. Delos was chosen as the headquarters of the newly-founded Delian League. It is argued that the subsequent transfer of the treasury from Delos to Athens resulted in Athens claiming the role of the primary ‘island’ in the interacting world of insular Aegean. Athenian control over Delos took many forms: from the control of the administration of the sanctuary, to investment in monumentalisation, but also by acts of purification and exile. Athenian control over Delos and its religious network, in turn, affected the very way islands were conceptualised: the term ‘islander’ becomes a synonym with subject-ally, and islands are portrayed as natural subjects to any sea power.

Keywords: Delos; Peisitratus; Delian League; treasury; Athenian empire; purification; exile; sea power

Chapter.  12511 words. 

Subjects: Classical History

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