n Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa - The chronology of Pisander's mission to Athens revisited : Thucydides 8.53-54

Volume 57, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0065-1141
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The exact sequence of events in the winter of 412/411 BC and their correlation, as they are narrated by Thucydides, are unclear and have long been a matter of scholarly dispute. In this paper an attempt is made to re-examine Pisander's first mission to Athens. Taking into account major problems concerning the chronology of winter 412/411 in particular and the dating of events in the 5th century in general, as well as the patterns along which the Athenian state machinery operated, a new timetable of Pisander's visit and the subsequent debates in the assembly is proposed. More importantly, it is argued that the oligarchic conspirators on Samos deliberately delayed the dispatch of the delegation which Pisander headed, because such a delay served their goals and tactics at the time.

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