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Was Kerkyra a member of the Second Athenian League?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 February 2009

C. M. Fauber
Department of History, University of Chicago


The accepted restoration of the Stele of Aristoteles, first suggested in 1855, stood for more than 100 years; in 1967, J. Coleman and D. Bradeen remeasured the stele and noted the impossibility of the restoration. Though these scholars thereby corrected a sustained error in the historical record, they consequently cast into the realm of conjecture an established parallel between the literary tradition and the epigraphical remains of the Second Athenian League. If it is not possible to restore Kerkyra to the extant stele, should scholars deny Kerkyraian membership in the League? There are four pieces of evidence to consider in answering this question. The IG ii2 96–7 inscriptions suggest that the League admitted Kerkyra as a member. An evaluation of the literary evidence ends in indecision because of an inexactness of language; however, this is ultimately unimportant for evaluating the membership of Kerkyra. Finally, IG ii2 43 needs to be reassessed with regard to the present question. As this paper will show, the crux of the problem is deciding what is to be made of Kerkyra's absence on IG ii2 43 and the appropriate weight which should be given the other evidence.

Research Article
Copyright © The Classical Association 1998

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1 IG ii2 43 B lines 1–2.

2 Rangabe, A. R., Antiquites Helleniques II (Athens, 1855), no. 381.Google Scholar

3 Coleman, J. and Bradeen, D., ‘Thera on I.G., II2,43’, Hesperia 36 (1967), 102–4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

4 See e.g. Harding, P., From the End of the Peloponnesian War to the Battle of lpsus (Cambridge, 1985), no. 41;Google Scholar and Cargill, J., The Second Athenian League; Empire or Free Alliance? (Los Angeles, 1981), pp. 68ff. Cargills hypotheses necessitate this interpretation as well, although his translation of this document (p. 104) does not, in fact, reflect this error.Google Scholar

5 Cargill, pp. 68ff., argues that the treaty was partially abortive

6 Tuplin C., ‘Timotheos and Corcyra: problems in Greek history 375–373 B.C.’, Athenaeum NS 62 (1984), 537–66, esp. 547–8.

7 IG ii2 96 lines 10–15.

8 IG ii2 96 lines 15–22.

9 Marshal, F. H., The Second Athenian Confederacy (Cambridge, 1905), p. 63, acknowledges this petition.Google Scholar

10 There is quite simply no evidence to suggest otherwise. Other interpretion depend upon the qualification of a lack of evidence, which makes for very uncertain hypotheses.

11 E.g. Accame, S., La lega ateniese del secolo IV a. C. (Rome, 1941), pp. 63, 112ff., 126ff., 161; Marshall, p. 63. Such casual associations were generally made before the publication date of Coleman and Bradeens revision.Google Scholar

12 Cargill, p. 73, n. 16, observes that the stele upon which it was inscribed closely resembles both/Gii2 212 (346 B.C.) and Gii21392 (398/7 B.C.). M. Tod, GHi2.127, remarks that the letter forms are consistent with the first–half of the fourth century. Walbank, M. B., ‘An Athenian decree re considered: honours for Aristoxenos and another Boiotian’, Classical Views 26 (1982), 259274, esp. 262 with n. 7, hesitantly associates the lettering of IG ii2 97 with that of IG ii2 2a–b (KJrchner 403/2 B.C., Walbank 382/1 B.C.), 11 (400/399 B.C.), 17 (394/3 B.C.), and 1392. Though Cargill, p. 73, rejects the notion that the treaty is a reflection of IG ii2 96, he nonetheless dates it to the 370s.Google Scholar

13 Cf. Harding, no. 42, n. 2, who correctly translates this line but then introduces the notion of a faction in his commentary: i.e. the alliance was made with the democratic faction, which was under pressure from the oligarchs supported by Sparta. Whence this opinion is derived is not immediately apparent. Cargill, p. 73, appears to adopt this view as well, in that he makes the Athenians refuse an admission of the Demos (as a political element) of Kerkyra. There is no need for such an interpretation. The demos is invoked not necessarily as a political body, but as a parallel to the khoras, so that a proper translation (lines 2–6) would be, If anyone comes to make war into the territory of the Kerkyraians or against the people of the Kerkyraians.

14 /Gii2 43 lines 46–51.

15 Cargill argues the treaty is the latter. See Cargill, pp. 68ff.

16 See Cargill, pp. 99ff., esp. p. 103

17 There are several clauses contained in IG ii2 43 which indicate the role Athens had in the admission process. Lines 18–19 invite states to join as allies of Athens and of Athenian allies, the same designation is again used in lines 26–7, lines 32–3 apply to those of the states making this alliance with Athens, and line 88 states, The following states are allies of the Athenians. Elsewhere members are referred to collectively and individually as ally or allies. Nowhere in extant constituent documents is member or its ilk attested; i.e. ally of Athens was the official designation of a member.

18 Tuplin, pp. 557ff.

19 E.g. Isok. 15.109.

20 See Tuplin, pp. 557fF., who cites the relative position of Thessaly vis–a–vis Athens and the League documented in SIG 184. He reasons that the position of Kerkyra under the first interpretation would be weaker than that of Thessaly. The quantification of such a comparison is unclear, though it does illustrate a mechanism for alliance with Athens and the League (non–member) which does not follow the methodology used in IG ii2 97. See Cargill, pp. 73–82, who notes the difference, but argues that it reflects a transformation over time in the bilateral treaty–making process.

21 This usage is consistent with syntax contained in IG ii2 43. See n. 17 above.

22 Cargill, p. 69, argues such would be redundant. Cargill, pp. 71ff., supposes that IG ii2 96 was aborted and that IG ii2 97 represents a separate treaty offering Kerkyra an alliance with Athens and the League but not actual membership; but see Tuplin, pp. 553ff.

23 Lawton, C. L., Attic Document Reliefs (Oxford, 1995), pp. 126–7 (no. 96) and pl. 50;Google ScholarSvoronos, J. N., Das athener Nationalmuseum (Athens, 1913), 1.588–91 (no. 240) and pl. 103.Google Scholar

24 See M. Tod, GHi2.X21, for a bibliography concerning this relief.

25 Cargill, p. 73.

26 Cf. Cargill, pp. 73–4.

27 Cargill, p. 69.

28 It is tempting to hope, were it more complete, that IG ii2 98 would be a similar record between Athens and the Kephallenian cities. As it exists, the heavy fragmentation leaves any restoration doubtful.

29 Cf. IG ii2 42 and 44; for treaties prior to the enactment recorded in IG ii2 43 but which were eventually incorporated into the alliance system, see IG ii2 34, 35,40,41. IG ii2 40, because of its fragmentation, is problematic. It certainly should be dated earlier than IG ii2 43, but it has been i variously dated throughout the early fourth century. The inclusion of Mytilene in IG ii2 40: suggests that it was, in fact, the treaty converted into a League alliance between Thebes and i Athens. See J. Buckler, A survey of Theban and Athenian relations between 403 and 371 B.C. (tobe published in the Acta of the conference Presenza e funzione della citta di Tebe nella cultura greca, 7–9 July 1997, forthcoming 1998). See also A. P. Burnett, "Thebes and the expansion of the /Second Athenian Confederacy: IG Ii2 40 and IG Ii2 43, Historia 11 (1962), 1–17, with Buckler, J., ‘Theban treaty obligations in IG Ii2 40: a postscript’, Historia 20 (1971), 506–8.Google Scholar

30 D. 23.198,49. 13. D.S. 15. 36. 5–6; 46. 3; 47.2; 95. 3. Isok. 15.107,109. Nep. Timoth. 2.1. iPs. Dem. 13. 22. X. Hell. 5.4. 64; 6.2.4ff.

31 Cargill, pp. 69ff.; Tuplin, pp. 549ff.

32 For a complete description of the stele, see Cargill, pp. 14–15fF.

33 IG ii2 43 B lines 10,11–12,13–14 and 35–8 respectively.

34 Cargill, p. 45.

35 IG ii2 43 lines 91–6.

36 Cf. K. J. Beloch, Griechische Geschichte 3:1.165, n. 2 and 3:2.158. Hatzfeld, J., ‘Jason de Pheres a–t–il ete IalliedAthenes?’, REA 36 (1934), 441–61. A. G. Woodhead, IG Ii2 43 and Jason of Pherae, AJA 61 (1957), 367–73. See also Cargill, pp. 43–4, 86ff.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

37 Tuplin, p. 566.

38 The possible use of the right lateral side is suggested by Cawkwell, G. L., ‘Notes on the Peace of 375/4’, Historia 12 (1963), 8495, esp. 91, n. 61. The right lateral side is fragmented, though Cargill, p. 45, notes the extant portions of this side are completely devoid of any inscription; it is unlikely a single state would have stood alone on this side or that a list of states would have been obscured by the fragmentation.Google Scholar

39 See Tuplin, pp. 546ff. and 547, n. 38, for a discussion of this implication and of possible permutations. Though based upon the untenable hypothesis that some of the signatories of IG ii2 96 might not have been listed upon IG ii2 43, it is nonetheless illustrative.