67: The Athenian Empire

The Athenian Empire

Athens had extinguished another fire in the Aegean when the island of Samos and Miletus, both Delian League members had gone to war with each other. Athens would assist Miletus seeing Samos revolt, though after a couple years Samos was back in the league. However, this had highlighted weaknesses in Athens control around its empire as other areas had also followed Samos’ example, including the important city of Byzantium.

With the major threats dealt with, Athens now turned to securing the edges of its empire to see their interests were better protected. This would see three major areas focused on, the first being that of Caria. Athens would streamline this region, by cutting out of the tribute list many Carian cities that lay inland, while incorporating the rest into the region of Ionia.

Other regions on the edges of the empire that Athens would focus on were around the Black Sea and Thracian lands. The key to the Black Sea and Athens bread basket in the Ukraine was the city of Byzantium. Athens would launch a campaign of goodwill and deterrence to attempt to secure influence in the city while deterring those hostile regions nearby. While in Thrace important colonies would be established to secure Athenian interest from the inland tribal groups within Thracian and Macedonian lands.

This point would then see Athens at its most secure in the Aegean than it had ever been. Another thing that becomes noticeable from all Athens efforts, was the fact that we can not really talk of them being at the head of a league. They had taken measures that would see that they would now fit the definition of an empire.

1 thought on “67 The Athenian Empire”

  1. Yvonne Korshak

    An exciting narrative of the development of the Athenian empire, rooted in history and fueled by a determination to understand and to convey cause and effect on a large scale.

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