EXTENSION OF ATHENIAN POWER DURING THE MESSENIAN WAR. --ALLIANCE WITH ARGOS AND MEGARA.
B.C. 461-460; Ol. 79. 4.
BY the ostracism of Cimon, a party was secured in power at Athens which was not only bent on further serious constitutional changes, but was prepared to carry through a more important reversal of external policy than had been known in Hellas since the conclusion of the great contest with Persia. This was nothing less than a distinct rupture of friendly relations with Sparta. Events had long been tending in this direction, and inducements were not wanting to precipitate a conclusion that sooner or later must be inevitable.
Neither the allies, who with hearty good will had conceded to Athens the control of defensive operations against Persia, nor the Spartans who had acquiesced in it, had anticipated how unchecked an authority the Athenian demus was destined to acquire in consequence, and how resolutely it would be asserted. This was something very different, as now consolidated, from the relation which Sparta was contented with towards her peculiar allies; the partition of control over Hellas had consequently ceased to be on equal terms, and the bitter jealousy revealed in the course of the Mes-
VOL. II. B