Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-55597f9d44-pgkvd Total loading time: 0.264 Render date: 2022-08-11T13:23:40.407Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true } hasContentIssue true

Article contents

Athenian Synoikism of the Fifth Century B.C., or Two Stories of Theseus1

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 September 2009


On the eve of the Peloponnesian War Athens was a great urban agglomeration. It was almost invulnerable to an enemy. So in 431 B.C. the Athenians began to migrate from the countryside into the city on the advice of Pericles (Thuc. 2.14–16). This recalled to Thucydides the time of Theseus (Thuc. 2.15). S. Hornblower regards this migration as the long-postponed physical synoikism, or synoikism in its physical aspect. He insists on the difference between political and physical synoikism, the former being the political unification of the state and the latter mainly the migration into the city. But the Athenians did not migrate into the city for the first time in 431. At the time of Xerxes' invasion the inhabitants of Attica were to be moved into the city before being evacuated to Salamis and elsewhere, and the invasion made their vulnerability clear to the Athenians. They suffered two evacuations, the devastation of Attica and the substantial destruction of Athens. Through driving back the Persians Athens became the leader of the Delian League and acquired great naval power. The change of Athens' position in the Greek world and the damage caused by the Persians necessitated a major reconstruction of the town. The Athenians began with the town and harbour. They built the walls of the city and of the Piraeus first of all. Beforelong the Piraeus had been built on a large scale. In these years the Athenians remembered Theseus again, and he now gained honour and esteem among all the Athenians.

Research Article
Copyright © The Classical Association 1999

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)



2. Hornblower, S., A Commentary on Thucydides, i (Oxford, 1991), 268 cf. 259Google Scholar; id., Mausolus (Oxford, 1982), 78–9, 83–4.

3. Smart, J. D. prefers 469/8 (JHS 87 [1967], 13–8)CrossRefGoogle Scholar. ‘Smart's arguments’, Boer, W. den writes, ‘deserve to be considered seriously’ (G&R n.s. 16 [1969], 3)Google Scholar. Contra see SourvinouInwood, C., JHS 91 (1971), 100Google Scholar; Develin, R., Athenian Officials, 684–321 B.C. (Cambridge, 1989), 68CrossRefGoogle Scholar. Thucydides says nothing of Theseus' bones: for commentary see Hornblower, S., Commentary, i (n. 2), 149Google Scholar. We may find in Cimon's action a touch of philolaconism: he was perhaps imitating the Spartans who found the bones of Orestes in Tegea (Her. 1.67–8: see, e.g., Huxley, G., GRBS 20 [1979], 145–8Google Scholar; Boedeker, D., in Dougherty, C. and Kurke, L. (edd.), Cultural Poetics in Archaic Greece [Cambridge, 1994], 164–77)Google Scholar.

4. Theseus' bones were located at the Theseion (Wycherley, R. E., The Stones of Athens [Princeton, 1978], 64Google Scholar; Parker, R., Athenian Religion: A History [Oxford, 1996], 169)Google Scholar. The paintings of the Theseion included an Amazonomachy, a Centauromachy, and other deeds of Theseus (Paus. 1.17.2: see Barron, J., JHS 92 [1972], 2045)CrossRefGoogle Scholar. Theseus had three other shrines in addition to that founded by Cimon (e.g. Kearns, E., The Heroes of Attica [London, 1989], 168–9)Google Scholar.

5. See Barron, J. P., BICS 27 (1980), 6 n. 21Google Scholar; Graham, A. J., Colony and Mother City in Ancient Greece (Manchester, 1964), 29Google Scholar; Blamire, A. (ed.), Plutarch: Life of Kimon (London, 1989), 121Google Scholar.

6. To finance the Theseia a special tax was levied – ‘the five drachmas for Theseus’ (Parker, R. (n. 4), 169Google Scholar; the pentedrachmia is mentioned in the document referred to the 340's: The Athenian Agora, xix [Princeton, 1991], 26)Google Scholar. The Kybernesia was probably the oldest Athenian naval festival: it was celebrated in the Piraeus (Garland, R., The Piraeus [Ithaca, 1987], 12)Google Scholar. ‘The five drachmas for Theseus’ may be levied on metics (on the Piraeus' metics in particular). We hear of the Piraeus' dues to Theseus for the rent of a quarry in the fourth century (IG ii2 2498 and Osborne, R., Demos: The Discovery of Classical Attika [Cambridge, 1985], 1, 3, 103)Google Scholar.

7. Boardman, J., JHS 95 (1975), 23CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

8. See J. Boardman (n. 7), 1–12; id., RA (1972), 57–72; C. Sourvinou-Inwood (n. 3), 99; Woodford, S., in Mitten, D. (ed.), Studies Presented to G. M. A. Hanfmann (Cambridge, Mass., 1971), 211–25Google Scholar; Shapiro, H. A., CA 9 (1990), 122–6, 137Google Scholar.

9. Webster, T. B. L., Potter and Patron in Classical Athens (London, 1972), 8290, 252–3Google Scholar; C. Sourvinou-Inwood (n. 3), 99. J. N. Davie sees in the sudden proliferation of Theseus' adventures in vase paintings from the sixth century onwards a connection with the rising democracy (G&R n.s. 29 [1982], 26)Google Scholar. See also Walker, H. J., Theseus and Athens (New York & Oxford, 1995), 3550Google Scholar; and for further bibliography Strauss, B., Fathers and Sons in Athens: Ideology and Society in the Era of the Peloponnesian War [London, 1993], 237 n. 17)CrossRefGoogle Scholar. Theseus with Heracles was portrayed on the Athenian Treasury metopes at Delphi (Richter, G., The Sculpture and Sculptors of the Greeks [Oxford, 1950], 126f.)Google Scholar. However, Theseus was not among the ten heroes of the new Attic phylai which were chosen by the Pythia (Ath. Pol. 21.6, Paus. 10.10.2; see also A. Blamire [n. 4], 119f.; Garland, R., ABSA 79 [1984], 8)Google Scholar.

10. e.g. C. Sourvinou-Inwood (n. 3), 109. W. den Boer writes of reconciliation with his opponents: (n. 3), 7.

11. Severyns, A., Bacchylide (Liège, 1933), 36–9Google Scholar; J. P. Barron (n. 5), 1–8; H. J. Walker (n. 9), 83–111; B. S. Strauss (n. 9), 107.

12. Huxley, G., GRBS 14 (1972), 137–43Google Scholar; A. Blamire (n. 5), 87; B. S. Strauss (n. 9), 107, 237 n, 18.

13. Davies, J. K., Athenian Propertied Families (Oxford, 1971), 293 ffGoogle Scholar.

14. Forrest, W. G., CQ n.s. 10 (1960), 221–1CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Croix, G. E. M. de Ste, The Origins of the Peloponnesian War (London, 1972), 173–8Google Scholar. For commentary see Podlecki, A. J., The Life of Themistocles (Montreal & London, 1975), 34Google Scholar; Frost, F. J., Plutarch's Themistocles: A Historical Commentary (Princeton, 1980), 184Google Scholar; A. Blamire (n. 5), 104. H. J. Walker, on the contrary, writes that it was an answer to the rise of Themistocles' popularity: (n. 9), 55–6.

15. Podlecki, A. J., JHS 91 (1971), 141–3CrossRefGoogle Scholar; see also C. Sourvinou-Inwood (n. 3), 109. In Polygnotus’ painting The Battle of Marathon in the Stoa Poikile Theseus appeared from the earth (Paus. 1.15.3: on Theseus and the deme of Marathon see Paus. 1.27.8–10). Theseus seems to be Heracles' rival in Marathon: here Heracles was first honoured, as the Marathonians themselves believed (Paus. 1.15.3, 32.4); in Marathon the Heracleia were established in honour of Heracles (S. Woodford [n. 8], 217–18); and Heracles together with Theseus was among the deities who helped the Athenians in the battle against the Persians. So the Athenians could well honour Heracles also. Marathon was within the area of the Hyperakrioi or Diakrioi which was the region of Pisistratus' party (e.g. Lewis, D. M., Historia 12 [1963], 23–4Google Scholar = his Selected Papers in Greek and Near Eastern History [Cambridge, 1997], 7980Google Scholar; on Pisistratus' connection with Marathon see also Hopper, R. J., ABSA 56 [1961], 198)Google Scholar.

16. Tausend, K., RM 132 (1989), 225–35Google Scholar; Hornblower, S., Commentary, i (n. 2), 150Google Scholar; Shapiro, H. A., Medit. Hist. Rev. 7 (1992), 2949Google Scholar. In that case it would perhaps be more appropriate to expect a change in the cult of Apollo Patroos, but there are no signs of it (see Hedrick, C. W. Jr, AJA 92 (1988), 185210, esp. 207–8)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

17. It is unclear which land (Attica or Troezen) and which archêgetês(Theseus of Attica or his grandfather Pittheus of Troezen). See on this Meiggs, R. and Lewis, D., A Selection of Greek Historical Inscriptions to the End of the Fifth Century B.C. (Oxford, 1969), p. 49Google Scholar; H. J. Walker (n. 6), 55.

18. R. Develin refers it to 481/0: (n. 3), 59. For the text of and bibliography on Themistocles' decree see R. Meiggs and D. Lewis (n. 17), no. 23. F. J. Frost (n. 14, 102), regards the text as a mid-third-century copy of the actual decree. ‘Even if the decree is not authentic', Lazenby, J. F. wrote, ‘it seems probable that the Athenians would have taken steps to evacuate as many noncombatants as possible’ (The Defence of Greece, 490–479 B.C. [Warminster, 1993], 154Google Scholar; see also 112).

19. The evacuation (though perhaps not of all the Athenians: Her. 8.51.2) was not thoroughly prepared and was accompanied by turmoil and bustle. In that situation, as Aristotle writes, the Areopagus proved to be the sole organizing force: ‘When the generals were unable to handle the crisis, and proclaimed that each man should save himself, the Areopagus provided money, gave the men eight drachmae each, and enabled them to embark on the ships’ (Arist, . Ath. Pol. 23. 2Google Scholar, trans. P. J. Rhodes, cf. Her. 8.41, Plut., Them. 6)Google Scholar. According to Cleidemus it is a stratagem of Themistocles concerning the payment of state money (FGrHist 323 F 21, and commentary in F. J. Frost (n. 14), 120–1). Aristotle may have accepted information from sources giving a biased account: see Rhodes, P. J., A Commentary on the Aristotelian Athenaion Politeia (Oxford, 1981Google Scholar; repr. with addenda 1993), 283, 290; also Ostwald, M. in Piérart, M. (ed.), Aristote et Athenes (Paris, 1993), 139–53Google Scholar.

20. See F. J. Frost (n. 14), 101.

21. How, W. W. and Wells, J. regarded the scale of the Persian destruction as an exaggeration (A Commentary on Herodotus [Oxford, 1912], ii. 291)Google Scholar.

22. On the limits of wartime devastation see Foxhall, L., in Rich, J. & Shipley, G. (edd.), War and Society in the Greek World (London, 1993), 134–45Google Scholar.

23. R. E. Wycherley (n. 4), 10; I. Hill, T., The Ancient City of Athens (London, 1953), 32CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

24. Boersma, J. S., Athenian Building Policy from 561/0 to 405/4 (Groningen, 1970), 46Google Scholar. He was inclined to date the north wall of the Acropolis to 465 rather than 479: in material and by architectural features the wall strongly resembles the Cimonian south wall. On Cimon and the south wall see below.

25. The Stoa Poikile originally bore the name of Peisianax, the brother of Cimon's wife Isodice (Plut. Cim. 4.5). It was thus connected with Cimon's circle. In the Stoa Poikile was Polygnotus' painting The Battle of Marathon (see n. 15, above, and Meiggs, R., The Athenian Empire [Oxford, 1972], 96, 276, 289)Google Scholar. Themistocles is associated with an early Odeion (A. J. Podlecki [n. 14], 173–4 and n. 6). The building of temples in Athens will begin on a large scale in the time of Pericles. From Lycurgus, an Athenian orator of the fourth century, we hear of an oath taken by the Greeks before the battle at Plataea (Against Leocrates 81). His version of it contains the following words: ‘And I will not rebuild any of the temples that have been burnt or thrown down by the barbarians, but I will allow them to remain as a memorial to future generations of the sacrilege of the barbarians’ – but this clause is absent from the inscribed version, Tod, M. N., A Selection of Greek Historical Inscriptions, ii, From 403 to 323 B.C. (Oxford, 1948), no. 204, lines 2151Google Scholar, and it is increasingly believed that there was a significant amount of building in Athens between 478 and c.450 (see e.g., Miles, M. M., Hesperia 58 [1989], 131249 at 221–35)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

26. Christos Th. Panagos writes of Aristeides' opposition to Themistocles' project of fortifying the Piraeus (Le Pirée [Athens, 1968], 92)Google Scholar; but P. J. Rhodes believes that after the Persian Wars Themistocles and Aristeides were on the same side, in opposition to Cimon: (n. 19), 292–3. I would share the opinion of Fornara, C. W. who writes that no evidence indicates that the fortification of Athens had become a partisan issue (JHS 86 [1966], 54)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

27. P. Stadter writes only about the gaining of independence from Sparta (GRBS 34 [1993], 44)Google Scholar.

28. e.g. Christos Th. Panagos (n. 26), 94, 97; R. E. Wycherley (n. 4), 261 f; F. J. Frost (n. 14), 175–6.

29. Some scholars but not all believe that Thuc. 1.93.3 refers to Themistocles' archonship of 493/2 (see, e.g., Lewis, D. M., Historia 22 [1973], 757–8Google Scholar; Dickie, W. W., Historia 22 [1973], 758–9Google Scholar; contra Fornata, C. W., Historia 20 [1971], 534–40)Google Scholar. For doubts on this dating of the Piraeus work see, e.g., Chambers, M., Studies presented to S. Dow on his 80th Birthday (GRBS Monographs 10 [1984]), 4350Google Scholar. J. S. Boersma refers to 493/2 some stretches of a wall on Eetioneia and Akte: (n. 24), 37. For bibliography and commentary see F. J. Frost (n. 14), 75–6, 176–7; R. Garland (n. 6), 14–22; R. Develin (n. 3), 55; Hornblower, S., Commentary, i (n. 2), 138Google Scholar. The impulse for this may derive from the destruction of Miletus in 494: as choregos Themistocles had contact with Phrynichus, the author of the Capture of Miletus (Plut., Them. 5.3Google Scholar, cf. Her. 6.21.2 and A. J. Podlecki [n. 14], 7). The other reason may be the tension with Aegina (for Aeginetan raids on Phaleron see Her. 5.81.3). But all that should not be exaggerated.

30. R. Garland explains the work's being left incomplete by the return of Miltiades and the changing emphasis in war strategy (n. 6, 19); on Miltiades' opposition to Themistocles see also Plut., Them. 4.3Google Scholar.

31. A J. Podlecki (n. 14, 33–4). R. J. Lenardon accepted Diodorus' remark (11.41 f.) that the building of the walls of Athens was in the archonship of Timosthenes (478/7), the works in Piraeus in the archonship of Adeimantus (477/6) (The Saga of Themistocks [London, 1978], 90, 96)Google Scholar. Themistocles can have made his proposal concerning the Piraeus, R. Garland points out, as an ordinary citizen: (n. 6), 21. See also R. Develin (n. 3), 68.

32. See also J. S. Boersma (n. 24), 45 f.

33. See R. Garland (n. 6), 58 f.

34. Patterson, C., Pericks' Citizenship Law of 451–50 B.C. (New York, 1981), 69Google Scholar. The increase in Athens' population forces us to doubt that the reason for the removal of Theseus' bones was famine and epidemic (Schol. Aristeid. 688; see also K. Tausend (n. 16), 227).

35. It should be placed, as R. Garland states, (if it is authentic) in the late 480's so as to coincide with Themistocles' naval bill: (n. 60), 60–1. R. Develin refers it to 477'/6: (n. 3), 68. However, the passage in Diodorus raises many problems, in particular of the nature of ateleia, the identity of the technitai and the measure's duration (see Whitehead, D., The Ideology of the Athenian Metic [Cambridge, 1977], 148f.)Google Scholar. That concession may have been made, I suspect, because of the metics' involvement in the struggle with Xerxes. Whitehead writes of the possibility of their fighting against Xerxes, (op. cit., 149)Google Scholar; contra Amit, M., Athens and the Sea (Brussels, 1965), 39Google Scholar.

36. For commentary see P. J. Rhodes (n. 19) ad loc. See also Hansen, M. H., GRBS 21 (1980), 151–73Google Scholar; M. Ostwald (n. 19), 141.

37. R. Osborne supposes that there was no radical change in the settlement pattern from the Persian Wars to the late fourth century: (n. 6), 16–17. He thinks the deme structure was restrictive of population mobility (id., OJA10 [1991], 231–52, esp.239–46; cf. n. 76 below). See also S. Hornblower's commentary on the passages cited from Thucydides (Commentary, i [n. 2], 268–9)Google Scholar.

38. A. B. Cooper evaluates the effect of the devastation during Xerxes' invasion as shortlived, without long-term damage to productivity (CJ 73 [1977/1978], 168)Google Scholar. This contradicts what was said by Thucydides. He explains the difficulties of resettling into the city on the eve of Archidamus' invasion as follows: ‘So they did not find it easy to migrate with their whole households, especially as they had only recently restored their furnishings after the Persian Wars’ (Thuc. 2.16.1, trans. P. J. Rhodes). In any case those dwelling in the countryside were to find (whether temporarily or not) homes in Athens. On the effects of the devastation in the time of the Peloponnesian War cf. L. Foxhall (n. 22, above), and Hanson, V., War and Agriculture in Classical Greece (Pisa, 1983), 111–26Google Scholar.

39. Elsewhere R. Osborne assumes the pressure of external forces on the settlement pattern. The Athenian Empire may, for example, stimulate synoikism on the islands (Classical Landscape with Figures: The Ancient Greek City and its Countryside [London, 1987], 132f.)Google Scholar. In the same way the Empire may stimulate the population's movement from Attica to Athens. See also p. 177 and n. 76, below.

40. Page 1 and n. 2, above.

41. In Thucydides' understanding of it the noun synoikism may refer to the building of the city's walls. See his characterization of the Spartans: (⋯τειχιστων ἂμα ὃντων – as in Thuc. 1.2.2) their polis οϋτε ξυνικισθεισησ, κατ⋯ κώμασ Δ⋯ τῷ παγαιῷ… τρ⋯πῷ οικισθεισησ(Thuc. 1.10.2; see also 1.5.1, 7.1, 8.3). Hornblower, S., Commentary, i (n. 2), 167Google Scholar. See also R. Osborne (n. 39), 58.

42. See H. A. Shapiro (n. 16), 47; id., AJA 92 (1988), 373–82CrossRefGoogle Scholar. On a krater that was dedicated on the Acropolis Theseus is accompanied by Pallas, Nisus, and Lycus, and Orneus son of Erechtheus as well: (n. 16), 42–3. The appearance of the first three figures perhaps hinted at the unification of Attica. The appearance of Orneus is not quite clear, but we know that Aegeus drove his son Peteos from Athens (Paus. 10.35.8).

43. See p. 170 and n. 17, above.

44. The Athenians' gathering in the city may have reminded them of the time of Theseus, if the unification (or political synoikism) attributed to him was connected with a population movement to the city (see, e.g., Alföldy, G., RBPh 47 [1969], 536)CrossRefGoogle Scholar. Thucydides himself may have hinted at a physical aspect to Theseus' synoikism: S. Hornblower takes note of Thucydides' words in 2.16.1, where he stresses that many Athenians continued to live in the countryside despite Theseus’ synoikism (Commentary, i [n. 2], 268). Plutarch in his life of Theseus wrote of the Metoikia, i.e. ‘migration’ (Thes. 24.4).

45. Another reason, as in the case of Sparta and the bones of Orestes and of Teisamenus, may be Athens' sense of herself as a power (see Osborne, R., Greece in the Making, 1200–479 B.C. [ London, 1996], 290Google Scholar; D. Boedeker [n. 3]).

46. Wade-Gery, H. T., in his Essays in Greek History (Oxford, 1958), 86115Google Scholar, esp. 92–3; P. J. Rhodes (n. 19), 95, 97, 107.

47. On Themistocles see p. 169 and n. 14, above. On Cimon's attitude to the Areopagus see Plut., Cim. 15. 3, 17.3Google Scholar, Per. 9.5; see also P. J. Rhodes (n. 19), 311–12. For J. N. Davie it seems astonishing to find a king as a hero in democratic Athens: he therefore stresses Theseus' democratic bias: (n. 9), 24, 29. If what was said above is correct, Theseus' cult first made itself felt with an oligarchic rather than a democratic tendency.

48. R. Meiggs (n. 25), 76. On the chronology see Sealey, R., A History of the Greek City States, 700–338 B.C. (Berkeley & Los Angeles, 1976), 247–8, 250–1Google Scholar. For another view on the chronology see Schreiner, J. H., SO 51 (1976), 1963CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

49. The rebuilding of the Piraeus dockyards began in 477/6 (J. S. Boersma [n. 24], 43). It was perhaps the result of Themistocles' policy (ateleia) towards metics (Diod. 11.43.3; see also p. 173 and n. 35, above).

50. R. Garland (n. 6), 22, 126.

51. See also J. S. Boersma (n. 24), 52; R. Meiggs (n. 25), 86.

52. See J. S. Boersma (n. 24), 59–60.

53. J. S. Boersma (n. 24), 58; R. Sealey (n. 48), 268; A. Blamire (n. 5), 156.

54. According to J. R. Ellis the completion of the construction of these walls (nearly thirteen kilometres in length) in 458/7 would seem to have been too speedy (in Worthington, I. [ed.], Ventures into Greek History [Oxford, 1994], 11)Google Scholar.

55. See, e.g., J. S. Boersma (n. 24), 65, 74; R. E. Wycherley (n. 4), 16; R. Garland (n. 6), 25.

56. R. J. Lenardon accepted Plutarch's information (n. 31, 97); contra Garland, R. (n. 6, 23–4)Google Scholar. J. S. Boersma regards Cimon's participation in its building as astonishing owing to his aristocratic attitude and sympathy to Sparta. If Cimon indeed took part in the construction of the Long Walls he must have returned to Athens after the battle of Tanagra, when the serious tensions with Sparta were revealed (n. 24, 58). His participation in that project may have been a way of regaining popular support after returning from exile (R. Garland [n. 6], 24). J. R. Ellis doubts the Thucydidean chronology altogether (n. 54, 3–14; contra Pritchett, W. K., Thucydides' Pentekontaetia and Other Essays (Amsterdam, 1995), 122–31Google Scholar.

57. He must have been in exile. However, P. J. Rhodes believes that the date of Themistocles' exile is uncertain: he could have gone into exile between 478 and 465 (Rhodes, P. J., Historia 19 [1970], 395–9)Google Scholar. If he was exiled after the battle of the Eurymedon, he may well have taken part in the construction of the Long Walls.

58. It is still controversial whether Cimon did return in 457 or stayed away from Athens for the full ten years (see, e.g., Rhodes, P. J., CAHZ 2, v. 75)Google Scholar.

59. See p. 175 and n. 55, above.

60. R. Garland (n. 6), 25.

61. Ibid.

62. The destruction of the Long Walls was thought of as equivalent to the destruction of the democracy (Xen, . Hell. 2.2.20Google Scholar and Hornblower, S., Commentary, i [n. 2], 167)Google Scholar.

63. C. Patterson (n. 34, 118–19 n. 34) and Badian, E. (EMC 23 = n.s. 7 [1988], 318 n. 43Google Scholar = his From Plataea to Potidaea [Baltimore, 1993], 213Google Scholar n. 50) doubts the reality of this. S. Hornblower, on the contrary, regards this passage as one of the very few pieces of solid evidence for anti-democratic feelings and activity at Athens between Cleisthenes and 411: Commentary, i (n. 2), 170–1.

64. A scholiast on Aristophanes' Knights (327) states that Hippodamus took part in the works at the Piraeus kata ta Mêdika (during the Persian Wars). J. S. Boersma accepts this possibility because Aristides was able to see Hippodamus during the rebuilding of Miletus in 477 and to invite him to Athens: (n. 24), 47; see also 44–5, 48. It is unclear how old Hippodamus was at this time.

65. J. S. Boersma (n. 24), 47, 49. R. Garland states that Hippodamus arrived in Athens in the early 440's at the invitation of Pericles (n. 6, 27; on Hippodamus' contribution to the Piraeus see 140f.).

66. In the Piraeus, as already stated (n. 4, above), the cult of Theseus was honoured: the Kybernesia, one of the oldest Athenian naval festivals, was celebrated there (R. Garland [n. 6], 12). This may be an echo of Theseus' popularity in Athens after his bones were brought into the city, or may be linked to the legend of Theseus. It was from Piraeus that he set sail for Crete (Paus. 1.1.2).

67. On Pericles' building programme in general see J. S. Boersma (n. 24), 66–8, 73, 81; R. Meiggs (n. 25), 289; on the construction of the Parthenon, e.g., Kagan, D., Pericles of Athens and the Birth of Democracy (New York, 1991), 157–67Google Scholar.

68. On the Alcmaeonids and Theseus see n. 9, above. Phidias portrayed Theseus (or Pericles in the likeness of Theseus?) also in Heracles' battle with the Amazons on the throne of Zeus in the temple at Olympia (c. 435) (Paus. 5.11.4 and J. N. Davie [n. 9], 27). See also Kolobova, K., Drevnij gorod Afini i ego pamjatniki {The Ancient City of Athens and Its Monuments) (Leningrad, 1961), 220 (in Russian)Google Scholar.

69. In Euripides' plays, for example, king Theseus is already turned into a democratic ruler and even the founder of Athenian democracy (Eur., Suppl. 353, 403–8, 433–41Google Scholar; also Soph., OC 551f., 631 f., 911 f.)Google Scholar. Later Aristotle will write that Theseus' constitution deviated slightly from monarchy (Arist., Ath. Pol. 41 .2)Google Scholar. In the time of Pausanias he is described as a man who gave political equality to the Athenians (J. N. Davie [n. 9]; W. den Boer [n. 3], 4f.). But E. Ruschenbusch regarded Theseus' democratic politeia as the invention of fourth-century historians and orators (Historia 7 [1958], 408–18)Google Scholar.

70. J. S. Boersma (n. 24), 66; R. Garland (n. 6), 27.

71. R. Meiggs & D. Lewis (n. 17), no. 58, A, lines 31–2.

72. See p. 168 and n. 2, and cf. n. 40, above.

73. The Piraeus, R. Garland claims, may have been a populous deme even at the time of Cleisthenes' reforms (n. 6, 59, cf. 14); but that seems to me to be doubtful.

74. Gomme, A. W., The Population of Athens in the Fifth and Fourth Centuries B.C. (Glasgow, 1933), 3748Google Scholar. For commentary on the Athenians' settlement-pattern before the Peloponnesian War see Hornblower, S., Commentary, i [n. 2], 268)Google Scholar.

75. On the movement of slaves to the town see R. Osborne's article (n. 37, 244–6).

76. The movement of population from the country to the city is displayed by Attic funeral inscriptions: many members of non-urban demes were buried in the city. ‘Classical Athens’, as Damsgaard-Madsen, A. argues, ‘witnessed a considerable migration into the city area from the rest of Attica’ (in Studies in Ancient History and Numismatics Presented to R. Thomsen [Copenhagen, 1988], 55 f.)Google Scholar. Contr. R. Osborne (n. 37): however, the figures that he mentions demonstrate a rather high level of population mobility in Kerameis and Kephale. See also Hornblower, S., Commentary, i ‘n. 2’, 268)Google Scholar.

77. R. Garland (n. 6), 61.

78. C. Patterson (n. 34, 68 f., 100f.) is inclined to see the ground for that law in an increase in the number of citizens; contra. Rhodes, P. J. (n. 19), 331 fGoogle Scholar. Others regard it as the selfidentification, both inside the community and beyond, of ‘the Athenians’. See on this Boegehold, A. L., in Boegehold, A. L. and Scafuro, A. C. (edd.), Athenian Identity and Civic Ideology (Baltimore, 1994), 5766Google Scholar; Whitehead, D., in Molho, A., Raaflaub, K., Emlen, J. (edd.), City States in Classical Antiquity and Medieval Italy (Stuttgart, 1991), 135–54Google Scholar.

79. See, e.g., Ruschenbusch, E., Athenische Innenpolitik im 5 fh. U. Chr. (Bamberg, 1979), 83–7Google Scholar; Sealey, R., The Athenian Republic: Democracy or the Rule of Law? (University Park & London, 1987), 24Google Scholar.

80. C. Patterson assumes the entry (undocumented, however) of non-Athenians into the citizen body: (n. 34), 69.

81. e.g. Strogetskij, V., Polis i imperia U klassicheskoi Gretsii (Polis and Empire in Classical Greece) (Nizhnij Novgorod, 1991), 59 (in Russian)Google Scholar. State education for the children of those who died in war was perhaps Hippodamus' idea (see Arist., Pol. 2.1268a9–10Google Scholar; cf. Pericles' Funeral Oration, Thuc. 2.46.1).

82. According to ancient philosophers the constitution depends heavily on the size of the population (and the citizen body as well) (e.g. Arist., Pol. 7.1326a5f.)Google Scholar. Its extension must inevitably influence the political constitution. Therefore birth-control within the citizen body was needed (ibid. 2.1265a13, 38, 1270b4; 7.1320a5, b20, etc.).

83. He referred, I imagine, mainly to those dwelling in Attica and those Athenians who had houses in the country.

84. On Pericles' military strategy see, e.g., Cawkwell, G., YCS 24 (1975), 5369Google Scholar; Holladay, A. J., Historia 27 (1978), 399427Google Scholar; Ober, J., in Eadie, J. W., Ober, J. (edd.), The Craft of the Ancient Historian: Essays in Honor of C. G. Starr (New York, 1985), 171–89Google Scholar= his The Athenian Revolution: Essays on Ancient Greek Democracy and Political Theory (Princeton, 1997), 7285Google Scholar; Spence, I. G., JHS 110 (1990), 91109CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

85. Thucydides labels the evacuation as ⋯ν⋯τασισ or μετ⋯στασισ (see Thuc. 2.14.2, 16.1). These words, as H. J. Walker states, are normally used of mass deportations and migration: (n. 9), 203 n. 17.

86. Certainly, it is unclear whether the resettling into the city was of the whole mass or not. See on this Hornblower, S., The Greek World, 479–323 B.C. (London, 1985), 128Google Scholar; id., Commentary, i (n. 2), 238; Rhodes, P. J., Thucydides: History, II (Warminster, 1988), 199Google Scholar.

87. I here leave aside the problem of Theseus' synoikism (whether it was real or not). However, most scholars are inclined to regard it as a political unification rather than a concentration of population in the city: see, e.g., P. J. Rhodes (n. 19), 74–7 with addenda; Hornblower, S., Commentary, i (n. 2), 259–69Google Scholar. J. S. Rusten believes that Thucydides' information was anachronistically modelled on contemporary forms of confederation (Thucydides: The Peloponnesian War, Book II [Cambridge, 1989], 121)Google Scholar.

88. See also p. 168 and n. 2.

89. H. J. Walker (n. 9), 195.

90. On the political context see Cole, J. W., Phoenix 28 (1974), 56–7CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Hoffman, R. J., GRBS 16 (1975), 359–77Google Scholar; Hammond, N. G. L., The Macedonian State: Origins, Institutions, and History (Oxford, 1989), 79 f., 83Google Scholar.

91. Hornblower, S., Commentary, i (n. 2), 102–3Google Scholar. On the new quarter of the town of Olynthos in the last quarter of the fifth century see J. S. Boersma (n. 24), 49.

92. Hornblower, S., Commentary, i (n. 2), 102Google Scholar.

93. There was a conspicuous similarity with what was done by the Chalcidians (and for a similar reason). Hornblower, S. (Commentary, i [n. 2], 384)Google Scholar argues that it did not involve, whatever may have been intended, the abandonment of the other cities of Lesbos, for example, Antissa, Pyrrha, and Eresos (see Thuc. 3.18.1), which were coastal towns or harbours (see Thuc. 3.25.1, 28.3). We hear from Thucydides' narrative that a city fortification was built in Mytilene. This work was to attract to the city additional workmen and warriors, and it may imply not only the physical strengthening of the city but also synoikism. In any case that was Thucydides' term.

94. See in general R. Osborne (n. 39), 132f.

95. I am preparing a special article on that topic.

96. V. D. Hanson evaluates the effects of the devastation caused by the Peloponnesian War as short-lived (n. 38, 111–26). See also Rosivach, V. J., GRBS 34 (1993), 396Google Scholar.

97. Some of the dwellers in the countryside may have been resettled at Eleusis (see IG i3 58 and Wade-Gery, H. T., ABSA 33 [1932/1933], 127–31)Google Scholar.

98. See, e.g., Sallares, R., The Ecology of the Ancient Greek World (London, 1991), 252–3Google Scholar.

99. Then, as J. S. Rusten points out, the antipathy between the population of town and country was exacerbated and rural opposition to the war made itself felt: (n. 87), 120.

100. He was criticized in 431 and 430 (see, e.g., Thuc. 2.21.3, Plut, . Per. 33.6–8Google Scholar, and Connor, W. R., Thucydides (Princeton, 1984), 57 n. 15, 64Google Scholar; J. S. Rusten (n. 87), 196.

101. n. 9, above. The absence of Theseus' name from among the Athenian tribal heroes seems strange to me. Cleisthenes the Alcmaeonid was entitled to hope (if he wished, of course) that one of the Attic phylai would go under Theseus' name.

102. See p. 173 and n. 41, above.

103. See n. 69, above.

Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Athenian Synoikism of the Fifth Century B.C., or Two Stories of Theseus1
Available formats

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Athenian Synoikism of the Fifth Century B.C., or Two Stories of Theseus1
Available formats

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Athenian Synoikism of the Fifth Century B.C., or Two Stories of Theseus1
Available formats

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *