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Aegina


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Island in Saronic Gulf. Early in the first millennium bc it was settled by Greeks from Epidaurus. Aeginetans participated at Naucratis. The scale of Aegina's trade is indicated by its population of c.40,000 on territory which could support only 4,000 from its own agricultural resources. Like other prosperous places, Aegina had a tyrant, Pheidon. It struck coins early.

In the 6th cent. bc Aegina and Athens came to blows, a naval war which simmered on during the Persian War period (when however Aegina fought well on the Greek side), and ended only with Aegina's forcible incorporation (paying a steep 30 talents annual tribute) into the Athenian empire in 458/7. This was a watershed in 5th‐cent. Greek history, given that Aegina was Dorian. In 431 Athens evicted the Aeginetans from Aegina, alleging that they were ‘chiefly responsible for the war’, a reference to Aeginetan complaints at Sparta that their autonomy under ‘the treaty’—the Thirty Years Peace of 446—had been infringed. Athenian cleruchs were installed. This is the effective end of independent Aeginetan history, though Lysander restored the island to the Aeginetans in 405.

Subjects: Classical Studies.


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