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Argos and the Argos coalition in the period of Nikiyev of the world

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The analysis of the situation which developed after the conclusion Athens and Sparta of Nikiyev of the world becomes; the opportunities which allowed Argos to create the independent coalition of the states; and also the circumstances which led to failure of this enterprise and to loss by Argos of the leading role. The policy of Argos during the considered period, as well as in earlier time, should be characterized as exclusively pro-Argos, based on pragmatical calculation, search of ways, giving the chance to take the leading place in life of Greece.

As Thucydides (U.14), by the time of the termination of period of validity of the 30th summer world reports, to the argivena did not wish to sign the new peace treaty with Spartans if those do not return them the Kinuriyu area. This decision putting Sparta in very difficult situation unambiguously shows desire of Argos to refuse neutrality policy.

It is difficult not to agree with T. Kelly that time of adoption of this decision causes some nedoumeniye1. Lakedemonyan just showed the force, having gained over Athenians two victories in a row — at Delia and near Amfipol (TIis. U.14). It is undoubted that Argos missed a number of much more propitious moments from the military point of view. Besides, Thucydides (U.14) lets know that both from Sparta, and from Athens peace moods prevailed. However, as Kelly fairly believes, the choice of the moment was very successful from the diplomatic point of view. Argivyan could not but know about the peace talks held by Athens and Sparta. They could not but understand that not all allies of Sparta support these peace moods. As Thucydides reports (U.17) conclusion of peace was opposed by Boeotians, Corinthians, eleyets and megarets. On the other hand, the argivena realized that the refusal of resumption of the peace treaty will serve as an additional incentive to the conclusion Sparta of the world with Athens. Thucydides (U.14) explains that to the lakedemonena considered impossible to be at war along with argivyana and Athenians.

However, Argos which does not have allies hardly at this moment considered the possibility of the beginning of military operations. After Nikiyev's conclusion of the world in 421 the situation looked as if Sparta deserted, having left the allies who remained actually lost by results of war. Obviously, it was just that Argos, and expected what was not excluded by Sparta (TIis. U.14).

Soon after Nikiyev's conclusion of the world Sparta the embassy was sent to Argos for conducting peace talks which, as well as shortly before it, did not crown uspekhom2. However, such situation gave the chance to lakedemonyana to speak about forcedness of the union with Athens, to acquit him with fears that if they, Spartans, did not conclude this alliance the first, then it could be made to the argivena, and try to incline thereby the arisen opposition to acceptance of conditions of Nikiyev of the world.

But calculation argivyan was more exact. The alliance of Sparta with Athens so distanced from it Corinth that as soon as the military contract was signed, to -

1 Kelly Th. Argive Foreign Policy in the Fifth Century B.C.//Classical Philology. 1975. Vol. 69. No. 2. P. 90f.
2 T. Kelly emphasizes haste with which lakedemonyanam were sent to Argos ambassadors. It, according to the researcher, demonstrates that Sparta did not count on the positive result of negotiations. Kelly Th. Op. cit. P. 91.


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rinfsky ambassadors went from Lacedaemon (where they were invited to a meeting) to Argos where they entered negotiations with some Argos officials. They announced to argivyana that they to the lakedemonena made the peace and the union with Athenians not with good intentions, and with the purpose to enslave all Peloponnese. At the same time it was offered to Argos to head the coalition of peloponnesets. According to Corinthians, Argos had to address all independent Hellenic cities with the offer to enter into defensive alliance (TIis. U.27)3. Along with it the most influential cities exchanged among themselves embassies and discussed everything that concerned unity of actions and the union against Athenians and lakedemonyan (Ryu. XI1.75.3).

Certainly, in the given situation and many the subsequent Corinth, pursuing own aims, played a significant role in formation of the relations between the states of Peloponnese. However it is represented that the role of the sole leader in diplomacy which J. Salmon often allocates for Corinthians is a little zavyshennoy4. At the same time we do not deny high extent of influence of Corinth in any way as one of the largest and strongest policies of Greece, on formation of the political relations. H. Uestleyk adheres to the point of view close to J. Salmon's opinion. In particular, on the basis of the story by Thucydides ^.50.5) that after the Olympic Games held in the summer 420 BC, the argivena with allies tried to incline Corinthians to join their union Uestleyk draws a conclusion that to the argivena were completely misled by the Corinthian diplomacy and never understood real motives of Korinfa5. T. Kelly's argument is represented to us more lawful that in this situation to the argivena had all reasons to believe that Corinthians can wish to leave the Peloponnese league after the lakedemonena were subjected to humiliations during the Olympic Games (TIis. U.50.1-4)6.

Having achieved the objective on separation of Sparta and its allies, Argos had to work quickly and resolutely as differently Corinth needed to do nothing, except how again to go for rapprochement with lakedemonyana and to accept Nikiyev's conditions of the world. Besides, to the lakedemonena, having witnessed association against them of Peloponnese, tried to strengthen the positions, trying to sweetheart the allies incited hostilely against them (Ryu. XI 1.76.1-2).

Shortly before these events, in 426, Argos rejected Kleon's offer on the union with Athens that cannot but demonstrate that the foreign policy of Argos was not focused on friendship with Athens and hostility with Sparta. Undoubtedly, the policy argivyan was anti-Spartan, however, at the same time it was not pro-Athenian. Argos could not but realize that any of his potential allies did not take any liking in relation to Athens. Some were opponents of Sparta (Elida, Mantineia), others — opponents of Athens (Boeotia, Megara and the halkidena), the third — opponents of Sparta and Athens (Corinth). Such situation excluded any possibility of rapprochement of Argos with Athens. In general, the situation was unique. Spotless any relations with one of belligerent parties and Argos which deserved strong reputation of the third party intended to start use of this political capital.

However Argos was not fated to realize the intentions fully. Apparently, too many of potential allies pursued exclusively personal aims which could have sometimes contradictory character. It is obvious that hindrance to Sparta, poku-was the purpose of mantineyets and eleyets

3 H. Uestleyk pays attention to quickness with which Corinthians started negotiating that, according to the researcher, demonstrates that the action plan arose to the conclusion of the union between Athens and Sparta. Westlake H.D. Corinth and the Argive Coalition//American Journal of Archaeology. 1940. Vol. 61. P. 414f.
4 Salmon J.B. Wealthy Corinth. A History of the City to 338 B.C. Oxford, 1984. P. 324-341.
5 Westlake H. D. Op. cit. P. 418.
6 Kelly Th. Op. cit. P. 96.

shavsheysya on their interests — the part subordinated by mantineyets Arkady and the city of Leprey controlled by eleyets in the southern part of Elida (TIis. U.29.1; 31.2-5). Resumption of war with Athens was a main objective of Corinthians and halkidyan. Boeotians and megarets did not hurry to enter into alliance because of mistrust to the democratic government of Argos at all (TIis. U.31.6). Tegeytsa, being at war shortly before it with mantineyets at Laodokiya in Oresfida (TIis. IV.134.1X most likely, were not located to consist with the last in the same union. After these three policies refused to join league, the enthusiasm of Argos considerably died away. Most likely, anti-Spartan moods were not so strong as it was presented by Corinthians. Besides, actions of Corinthians could not but cause a certain concern. When to the argivena, eleyets and mantineyets concluded the defensive and offensive alliance, Corinthians did not join the contract, having said that rather defensive alliance for mutual aid, and they do not wish to attack anybody (TIis. U.48.2-3).

Most likely ambitions of Corinth differed a little from those assurances which were given to argivyana. Perhaps, plans of Corinthians were not limited to resumption of the Peloponnese war with replacement of Sparta with Argos as the formal leader, and contained point on inclusion of Sparta in the Argos League or more likely coercion to enter it at a favorable outcome.

Really, in case of accession to the Argos League of Boeotia, Megar and having strategically important provision Tegei Sparta it could turn out in isolation that could neutralize it in case of the beginning of the military operation against her attic ally or, it is desirable, to push to a rupture of the allied relations with Athens with the subsequent entry into the Argos league. And, as we know, the option of expansion of the Argos union for the account of Sparta and/or Athens, though had the special procedure — not through 12 representatives, and through people's assembly argivyan — completely was not excluded by the conditions (offered by korifsky ambassadors), approved by Argos (TIis. U.28.1). It is also probable that Corinthians took a waiting attitude, hoping for a gap between Athenians and lakedemonyanam between which there were already friction, and the atmosphere of suspicions was formed eventually (TIis. V.25.1-2). In the circumstances Corinthians could not but realize that any military operations which can begin will be directed against Sparta that could not correspond to their plans.

Thus, by spring 420 AD activity argivyan on creation of independent league of the Greek states came to a standstill. Time to think of ways of an exit from the situation came. Most likely, the possibility of resumption of a neutrality and a possibility of the union with one of the leading states was considered. Argivyan chose the second. At the same time, oddly enough, preference of people's assembly was given to Sparta. As the reason for that not favor argivyan to Athenians could serve. It is possible, however, that the situation was more difficult.

Some researchers are inclined to consider

argivyan or as the oligarchs maintaining close relations with Sparta or as democrats who by definition had to be ready for establishment of the union with democratic Afinami7. There are no bases to believe that all political decisions found unanimous approval among the Argos people (TIis. U.76.2). Though from the narration by Thucydides it is possible to conclude that supporters of oligarchy up to 418 BC did not make obvious attempts to subordinate to themselves the government, it seems obvious that these supporters carried out promotion of policy of rapprochement with Sparta.

At the end of winter or the beginning of spring 420 BC in defiance of Nikiyev's conditions of the world to the lakedemonena concluded the alliance with Boeotians at insistance of the last. At once

7 Schwarz E. Das Geschichtswerk des Thukydides. Bonn, 1919. P. 66-71; Busolt G. Forschungen zur Griechischen Geschichte. Breslau, 1880. P. 75-181.

after the conclusion of the union the Boeotians were accepted to Panakt's destruction (Tis. V.39.3). Argivyan were somehow informed of the taken place events. At the same time everything was presented as if to the lakedemonena would persuade Boeotians to join the peace treaty with Athenians. Argivyan were afraid that will face acting through Sparta, Athens, Boeotia and Tegei association stronger, than their own league. The immediate conclusion of the union with Lacedaemon was the only exit remaining for Argos in this situation. For this purpose argivyanam were directed ambassadors who were considered as the closest friends lakedemonyan (Tis. V.40.1-3). Only when ambassadors already arrived in Sparta, to the argivena learned about a present state of affairs. After news of Panakt's destruction and the conclusion of the union between Spartans and Boeotians reached Athens, Alkiviad immediately sent from himself personally to Argos the messenger with the offer to arrive immediately together with representatives of Mantineia and Elida in Athens and to attract Athenians to the union to which it is ready to promote in every possible way (Tis. V.43.3)8. Even without informing the ambassadors in Sparta, the argivena with mantineyets and eleyets made the decision to enter into the union with Athenians (Tis. V.44.2).

The Argos ambassadors did not manage to get any concessions from outside lakedemonyan across Kinuriya meanwhile. Obviously, Kleobul and Ksenar appeared in minority: three other efor, apparently, had no interest in the conclusion of the union with Argos. Argivyanam it was offered to renew the contract of 451 g on former conditions. The Argos ambassadors made the counter proposal — to make the 50-year peace, but at the same time the parties reserve the right to solve a dispute about Kean-rii weapon. At first to the lakedemonena counted heard, but then agreed to accept it provided that the draft agreement even before its entry into force has to be approved by people's assembly (TIis. U.41.2-3). Certainly, the probability of a victory of the Argos army over Spartan was very illusive, and this contract could give to lakedemonyana the chance to resolve Kinuriya's issue in own favor and for long time. The compliance of the Argos ambassadors testified only to their personal interest in rapprochement with Sparta.

Thus, concluding the alliance with Athenians, to the argivena chose smaller of two evils — worked not from personal sympathies for Athens, and sought to keep the operating democratic government. They rendered assistance in hindrance to participation lakedemonyan in the Olympic Games of 420 g, and next year on the advice of Alkiviad began war against Epidavra9. As Thucydides reports (U.53), invasion was caused by the decision to force epidavreyets to join by all means their union to provide a neutrality of Corinth and to give the chance to Athenians to transport the army in the shortest way from Aegina. However also the fact that as the reason, most likely, the main, desire to provoke Sparta to the beginning of military operations as Spartans could not but come to protection of the ally on the Peloponnese union served is obvious.

The siege of Epidaurus did not bring positive results for Argos. Failure, in opinion argivyan, also opposition with Lacedaemon on the Argos plain because of truce for 4 months without the knowledge of argivyan and their allies terminated. Frasil, one of five strategists and the supporter of rapprochement with Sparta, on own initiative directly before fight addressed Agis, the tsar lakedemonyan, and persuaded him not to give battles, promising to settle everything raznoglasiya10. On all

8 In this way Plutarch describes events (Plut. Alcib. 14). Unlike Thucydides and Plutarch, according to Diodor, the initiative of the conclusion of the union with Athens proceeded from Argos (Diod. XII.).
9 Diodor does not mention in this regard Epidaurus. According to its version which does not have analogies, Argos devastated Trezen (Diod. XI1.78.2). Perhaps, Diodor's source, Efor, relied in this case on some other data.
10 In view of situation argivyan with allies before this cancelled fight, described by Thucydides (V.59.3), the argivena had no chances of success. Criticizing mistakes of the Argos military leaders who took with the army very unprofitable position, L. Losad (after D. Kagan) explains them with unwillingness of the Argos military leaders — "the fifth column" — to be at war against

visibilities, Frasil brought rather weighty and an argument which could convince Aga-sa taking the advantageous position with the army (TIis. V.59.z) not to break argivyan. The guarantee that Argos is ready to enter into the union with Sparta could be such argument. It in turn as D. Kagan believes, demonstrates to the amplified situation Argos oligarkhov11.

Truce did not cause joy from Spartans, from outside argivyan. Frasilu was hardly succeeded to escape when on the way back to Argos to the argivena began to beat military leaders stones (TIis. V.60.5-6; yyu. XM.78.5). But, despite discontent with truce, the argivena did not hurry to break off the contract with lakedemonyana. It can seem strange, but, apparently, actions of Athenians began to cause serious suspicions in Argos. Having involved argivyan in confrontation with Sparta, Athenians did not come to the rescue of the allies in time. And, when the Athenian reinforcements at last arrived (in Argos), to the argivena asked them to clean up and allowed in people's assembly only according to insistent requirements of mantineyets and eleyets (TIis. V.61.1).

It is obvious that supporters of oligarchical board in Argos overestimated the level of the influence. They did not manage to push Argos to formation of alliance with Sparta as it was promised to Agis whose position left much to be desired now (TIis. V.63.1-4). The situation in which there was Sparta was close to critical. Lakedemonyan could not give to Tegey to the opponent and began to prepare for full-scale military operations.

It is difficult to judge for certain what part was taken in the battle of Mantineia pro-Spartan by the adjusted supporters of oligarchical board. Some researchers believe that Agis planned fight so that in it the Argos oligarchs did not suffer. So, Wodehouse writes that with one thousand perfect argivyan which were recruited from the richest Argos families and which adhered not to democratic beliefs, addressed by order of Agis most myagko12. A. Gomm, subjecting to severe criticism practically all arguments Wood house, Thucydides's certificate calling into question, expresses an opposite point zreniya13. According to Diodor (X11.75.7; XM.79.4), the argivena from mentioned thousands, being exempted from other public duty, consisting on the state providing Argos and constantly engaged in military trainings, were real masters of military science. Diadora also writes that during fight the adviser Faraks convinced the tsar lakedemonyan to give Argos the log ladies the chance of easy access not to endanger the people sacrificing life (Ryu. X11.79.6). It is unlikely the fact that losses of this group were insignificant in comparison with losses of less prepared mantineyets who were at war side by side with them can be surprising.

Anyway, Spartans gained a victory over the integrated forces argivyan, Athenians, mantineyets and eleyets, and once again to the lakedemonena became absolute masters of Peloponnese (TIis. V.73.3).

Thus, the next alliance with Athens was for Argos even less successful, than the union of 461 g, and no more successful, than attempt to create the independent league. It is no wonder that after the unsuccessful battle of Mantineia the supporters lakedemonyan, wishing to overthrow democracy, got all advantages and when at the beginning of the next winter 418/17 BC Spartans sent to Argos peace before -

Spartans, that would lead to loss of hope to set the oligarchical mode in Argos. Losada L.A. The Fifth Column in the Peloponnesian War. Brill Archive, 1972. P. 92-93.

11 Kagan D. Argive Politics and Policy after the Peace of Nicias//Classical Philology. 1962. Vol. 57. No. 4. P. 212-213.
12 Woodhouse W.J. The Campaign and Battle of Mantinea in 418 B.C.//Annual of the British School at Athens. 1916-18. Vol. 22. P. 51-83.
13 In particular, to Gomma points out discrepancy of arguments of Wodehouse with the certificate of Thucydides (V.73.2) that Agis gave order to all the army to oppose mantineyets and thousands argivyan. Gomme A.W. Essays in Greek History and Literature. Salem, 1977. P. 150-151.

lozheniye, to them did not make big work to incline the people to the world (TIis. U.76.2). Soon after acceptance of these peace proposals the same party argivyan, adopted the peace agreement with lakedemonyana, broke off the union with Athenians, manti-neyets and eleyets and concluded the alliance with Sparta. And in the spring 417 BC to the lakedemonena and the argivena in common did away with democracy in Argos and established oligarchy there (TIis. U.81.2). The policy of rapprochement with lakedemonyana and submission of interests of Argos to Sparta led to performances against supporters of oligarchs, and in the summer of the same year the Argos democrats as a result of street fights managed to return themselves the power. However some time to democrats was necessary to be reconciled with rather big group of opponents that the new government pushed to the next rapprochement with Athens. As it is possible to conclude from Thucydides's message, this union was only the smallest of all evils. Using the help of Athenians, to the argivena started construction of long walls to the sea for reflection lakedemonyan (TIis. U.82.5-6)14. And in 416 with the assistance of Alkiviad seized 300 more supporters of Spartans (TIis. U.84.1) then oligarchs lost any opportunity to influence the government, and the Argos policy already had no pro-Spartan character any more. At the same time it was it is unlikely possible to call it and pro-Athenian. Though Argos also participated in the military campaigns conducted by Athens, this participation was rather indicative, than real (TIis. At!.7.1-2; VI!.26.1-3). So, Thucydides explains participation of the Argos goplit in a campaign on Syracuse not so much with allied motives, how many hostile feelings to lakedemonyana (TIis. V! 1.57.9).



Nizhny Novgorod Linguistic University

n.a. N.A. Dobrolyubov e-mail:

This article attempts to analyze the conditions in which Argos found herself after the Peace of Nicias was concluded between Athens and Sparta; opportunities which enabled Argos to start creating her independent coalition of states; and the causes which led to Argos& failure and loss of her leading role. The author believes that Argive policy in the researched period as well as in earlier times should be characterized as totally pro-Argive, based on a pragmatic approach and aimed at a search for ways which might enable Argos to gain a leading role in the life of Greece.

14 Most likely, a part of construction it was financed by Athens since financial aid to Argos against Sparta was provided by the contract of 416 g. It is known also that payment was carried out by generally kizikensky staters. Blamire A. Athenian Finance, 454-404 B.C.//Hesperia. 2001. Vol. 70. No. 1. P. 113.
Samuel Anthony Sydney
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