In the critical years that followed the death of Kimon, it is clear that Thoukydides son of Melesias played an important role in opposition. It is less clear what he stood for positively, and Wade-Gery's brilliant and controversial article (JHS lii  205–27 = Essays in Greek History 239–70), for all its sensitivity to the values of the Athenian aristocracy, did not succeed in settling this issue. My argument here is mainly negative, that Plutarch's description (Per. 11–12 and 14) of the conflict between Thoukydides and Perikles, our only detailed witness, is worthless and has seriously distorted our picture of this period and of Athenian attitudes to the empire; and that the colony at Thourioi, as Ehrenberg maintained, was meant to serve strictly Athenian interests.
1. Plutarch and the Anti-Imperialists
For Ed. Meyer (Forschungen zur alten Geschichte ii 86; Gd A iv2 1.690 n. 1) it was beyond doubt that Plutarch here preserves an authentic account of the debate over the building programme. Wade-Gery assumed the same (240–3, cf. Hesp. xiv  224–5), and D. L. Stockton (Hist. viii  69), arguing against Wade-Gery, still calls this a good and possibly contemporary source.2Since the most notable characteristic of these chapters is their vehement rhetoric and the high proportion of nonsense, this position needs more defence than it has received.