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  • K. J. Dover (a1)


No one doubts that Perikles enjoyed exceptional moral authority. Whether or not this authority was reinforced by legal powers superior to those of his fellow-generals—that is to say, by occasional grants of extraordinary powers, or by election to a generalship differing by definition from other generalships—is disputable. It has been held on the following grounds that he did possess such powers:

  • (i) In certain years Perikles and another member of his own tribe were generals together, one of the remaining nine tribes being unrepresented. To be elected must have been an honour, because it was election against competition from the whole community, not from one-tenth of the community; it follows that when there were two generals from the same tribe it was the more eminent of the two who was elected and it follows from that that Perikles was elected
  • (ii) In Th. i 116. 1 and ii 13.1 Perikles is described as general
  • (iii) Th. ii 21.3–22.2 describe actions of Perikles in terms which are hard to reconcile with the supposition that he was acting in concert with nine other generals each with the same authority as himself. This is notably true of 22.1
  • (iv) Th. ii 65.4. After his temporary disgrace in 430,



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1 For recent discussion of this and the other problems raised in this paper see Ehrenberg, V., ‘Pericles and his Colleagues’, AJPh lxvi (1945) 113 ff.; Hignett, C., A History of the Athenian Constitution (Oxford, 1952) 348 ff.; Jacoby, F., FrGrHist IIIb Suppl. (Leiden, 1954) i 148 ff.; ii 135 f: Jameson, M. H., ‘Seniority in the Athenian Strategia’, TAPhA lxxxvi (1955) 63 ff.; Westlake, H. D., ‘Sophocles and Nicias as Colleagues’, Hermes lxxxiv (1956) 110 ff.: Sealey, R., ‘Athens and the Archidamian War’, Proc. Afr. Class. Ass. i (1958) 61 ff.

2 Hignett, 352 ff., points out that superior powers cannot necessarily be inferred from election ἐξ ἁπάντων. No one has explicitly said that they can, but a relation between the two was assumed by Beloch, K. J., Die Attische Politik seit Perikles (Leipzig, 1884) 275 ff., because he held that some men known to have been elected ἐ;ξ ἁπάντων could be shown on other grounds to have been invested with superior powers, and vice versa; and his assumption has been influential.

3 This formula is regarded as indicative of superior standing by Beloch, 281; Hignett, 247, 352 f.; Jameson, 78 f.; Schwahn, , RE Suppl. vi col. 1080, and Scheele, M., ΣΤΡΑΤΗΓΟΣ ΑΥΤΟΚΡΑΤΩΡ (Diss. Leipzig, 1932) 7.

4 My conclusions have something in common with those of Jones, A. H. M., Athenian Democracy (Oxford, 1957) 127 (on Th. ii 22.1) and a great deal in common with Kahrstedt, U., Untersuchungen zur Magistratur in Athen (Stuttgart, 1936) 148 ff. Since, however, Kahrstedt gives only a few of his reasons, and I do not know what the rest of them are, I have thought it worth while to give mine.

5 The evidence does not even justify Accame, 's conjecture (Riv.Fil. N.S. xiii (1935) 349) that no tribe was allowed to go unrepresented in two successive years.

6 However great the θόρυβος, I doubt whether an archon who allowed a tribe to be unrepresented in the judging would have met with the approval of the audience; judging was notas objective in character as we should nowadays think desirable, if the implications of Lys. iv 3 are to be taken seriously, as I think they must be.

7 Scheele's interpretation (p. 9) of this passage ignores ἀναρρηθείς, which makes it hard to believe that Xenophon is referring to a purely moral ascendancy.

8 Cf. Westlake, 112.

9 I would therefore agree with Jameson, 70, that ‘it can hardly be a coincidence’ that the general elected ἐξ ἁπάντων is in the chair on the occasion described, but not for his reasons.

10 Kühner-Gerth, i 79 f.

11 Th. iv 27.3 belongs in this category; for the idiom see Section 4 below.

12 So Beloch, 280 f.; Scheele, 7; Jameson, passim. Hignett, 353, is more cautions, and Schwahn, col. 1080, doubtful.

13 For the demotic see Meritt, B. D., Hesp. v (1936) 410.

14 Sealey, 67, and D. M. Lewis ap. Sealey, 82.

15 I reproduce these lines as they are printed in IG. Their mutilation, in a context otherwise so legible, seemed highly suggestive of deliberate erasure, but Dr Mitsos kindly informs me that the damage appears to be accidental.

16 Andrewes, A., JHS lxxiii (1953) 5 f., suggests that ‘particular groups of hellenotamiai habitually dealt with the particular types of business’, and that after the fifth prytany of 410–409 the eponym is the representative of such a group. This theory is not altogether free from difficulty, since in IG i2 304B 41–63 payments are made to three different eponyms during the same prytany, and in 84 f. Protarchos, who received payments in the first prytany, receives a payment in a later prytany (cf. Andrewes, 5 n. 16). But in any case Professor Andrewes is not arguing that in each case refers only to the other members of the eponym's group, for this would require us to posit at least eight groups in the latter half of 410–409. Therefore, whether or not particular individuals or groups handled different types of business, in these documents will mean ‘So-and-so as the representative’ (not ‘as the chairman’) ‘of the board of which he is a member’.

17 IG i2 provides a six-letter patronymic in 240.93 in order to avoid the conclusion that the eponym is not the same as in 241.101. I have preferred to assume that the eponym is not the same and thus to avoid supplying a patronymic

18 For these reasons, Jameson's contention (p. 72) that Kahrstedt's theory (and mine) is weakened by ‘a great number of inscriptions to the contrary’ is not as weighty as it sounds.

19 How and Wells (ad loc.) say vaguely ‘the phrase suggests which suggests superiority over colleagues’. Stein's explanation (ad loc.) that Miltiades commanded the tribe which was on the left wing, seems to me to deprive Herodotus' obvious emphasis of its point and to make his expression extraordinarily obscure. Meyer, Eduard, Geschichte des Alterthums iii (1901) 201 A, is so sure that Miltiades was supreme commander at Marathon that he does not give proper consideration to Herodotus' point and expression.

20 The interpretation of [And.] iv 11, ‘Alkibiades doubled the tribute of the allies’ raises interesting problems, but I exclude it from my main argument because I am not satisfied that the speech is a work of the Classical period. If it is, the point may be that Alkibiades imposed his will on his (presumably more moderate) colleagues, and that the fact that he had nine colleagues is treated as an additional condemnation of his action.

21 In addition to Herodotus' story about Marathon, cf. Th. iv 91 on the Boeotarch Pagondas at Delium.

22 Hude prints which is a marginal variant in the Aldine edition and (to judge from other Aldine marginalia in this speech) may not be a Byzantine conjecture in origin.

23 Elsewhere Diodorus seems to confuse election to the office of general with appointment (by vote) to a particular command; the effect of his phraseology, e.g. in xi 81.4, 85.1, is to suggest that a man only became a general when he was given such a command.

24 E.g. by Beloch, 281.

25 Cf. Schwahn, col. 1079.

26 Kühner-Gerth, i 99 f.; Schwyzer-Debrunner, ii 220. It is interesting to observe that although the distinction between active voice and middle voice is often a distinction between action performed by oneself and action effected through an intermediary, the active is sometimes used where we should expect the middle) e.g. Pl. Meno 94b ∼93d

27 This is the MSS. reading, which I have defended in Maia N.S. vi (1953) 12 f.

28 The date of Kallistratos' election is uncertain. Iphikrates replaced Timotheos (X. HG vi 2, 13 f.) at the end of 373 (D. xlix 22). Xenophon describes Iphikrates' campaign as if it had been conducted by a single commander, but in the general commenda tion at the end of his account (2.39) says that Iphikrates asked for Chabrias and Kallistratos as colleagues. His ‘release’ of Kallistratos for the embassy must fall early in 371, since the peace was made on 14 Skirophorion 371 (Plut. Ages. 28), after which Iphikrates was recalled from the North-West, (HG vi 4.1). Kallistratos may have been a colleague of Iphikrates throughout the campaign of 372, and ignored by Xenophon in his narrative of that campaign; but the possibility that Iphikrates did not obtain Kallistratos and Chabrias as colleagues until the end of that campaign should be considered.

29 Gomme in his note on ii 22.1 and Croix, G. E. M. de Sainte in Historia v (1956) 3 n. 12, while sceptical about any grant of special powers to Perikles, do not seem to me to make enough allowance for the tactical situation.

30 In Th. i 37.2 f. τε in the participial clause looks forward to κτὶ in the following finite clause.

31 Cf. Gomme on ii 65.4 and de Sainte Croix, op. cit., 3.

32 We must also consider the possibility that Thucydides had no means, other than oral tradition, of discovering who were the generals in the earlier years of the Pentekontaetia.

33 I am deeply indebted to Professor A. Andrewes, Miss Ursula Ewins, and Messrs I. G. Kidd, D. M. Lewis, R. Meiggs and D.C.C. Young for reading and criticising drafts of this paper.


  • K. J. Dover (a1)


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