The Age of Pericles: A History of the Politics and Arts of Greece from the Persian to the Peloponnesian War - Vol. 2

By William Watkiss Lloyd | Go to book overview

CHAPTER LXIII.
THE THEBAN ATTEMPT ON PLATAEA.--OPEN WAR.--THE END.
B.C. 431; Ol. 87. 1.

THE pertinacious hostility of the Corinthians is constantly in the foreground throughout the preliminary agitations against Athens, but we must not lay upon them too exclusively the responsibility of the war. That rancour as inveterate was especially shared and zealously seconded by the Thebans is soon to become apparent, though they escape mention hitherto unless as contributories along with many others to the attack on Corcyra; as the war goes on we find that the Boeotians are the zealous promoters of the revolt of the 1Lesbians, who, more nearly related to them by race than to the Athenians, were naturally disposed rather to fight on their side than under compulsion against them. We have the frank avowal of Thucydides that the agitators were justly conscious of a general discontent among the allies of Athens at the rigour of her supreme control, and especially of a growing apprehension among the states that were still exempt from it--of which Chios and Lesbos were the chief now remaining--that the tenure of their autonomy was from day to day precarious, and was certain at last, under one pretext or provocation or another, to follow that of the Samians, Thasians, Naxians, and

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1
Thuc. iii. 13.

-380-

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