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The important reforms that Themistocles undertook in his homeland could not be carried out without his personal participation, which is why he undoubtedly refused in 479 BC. e. from the command of the Athenian fleet. He had every right to do this, since by his brilliant creation and leadership of the fleet he attracted to his side and made supporters of the offensive naval policy that created the greatness of Athens, not only Aristides himself, but all conscious people.
His influence was not limited to Athens, but spread to the entire Isthmian union, which at first did not share the idea of ​​the need for the complete destruction of the Persian fleet and generally abandoned the conduct of a naval war, but then in the spring of 478 BC. e. concentrated a fleet of almost a hundred ships off the island of Aegina. The Peloponnesian detachment consisted of only 20 ships, however, under the command of the king Pausanias himself, the Athenian detachment consisted of 30 ships under the command of Aristides and Cimon, the son of Miltiades; the remaining 50 ships belonged to other allies.

Pausanias, who gained universal respect as a military leader during the Battle of Plataea, received general command of the fleet without objections and claims from the Athenians. This was not at all such a man as Leotechides; he was distinguished by energy and an outstanding mind, but at the same time he was very proud and crafty. He immediately launched offensive operations, not against Asia Minor, but against Crete, which was of great strategic importance due to its position at the edge of the Archipelago. The population of the latter consisted of part of the Greeks, but it belonged to the Persians.

Despite its considerable size, the island was conquered in a very short time, and the fleet, in order to open a free route to Pontus, moved north, along the Athenian route last year, through the Hellespont and the Bosphorus to Byzantium, which, due to its favorable location, became a flourishing trading city and the most important fortress of the Persians since their campaign in Scythia. The appearance of the Greek fleet at Byzantium was so unexpected for the Persians that the Greeks already in the summer of 478 BC. e. they captured the city, despite its strong fortifications, taking, in addition to rich booty, many prisoners, among whom were close relatives of the Persian king.
This new success was disastrous for Pausanias, as his arrogance turned into megalomania. Even before that, the rich booty of the Battle of Plataea so turned the head of the Spartan, brought up in severity and simplicity, that he began to consider himself superior to all allies and lead an unbridled life.

As the conqueror of Crete and Byzantium, he imagined himself even more. Having received innumerable booty and addicted to oriental luxury, he was no longer able to return to the shy and modest living conditions of his homeland. During the stay of the fleet in Byzantium, he had a plan to become the ruler of all Greece with the assistance of the Persians. To do this, he, through the mediation of noble Persian captives, released by him to freedom, entered into intercourse with Xerxes, who was in Sardis.

At the same time, he changed his treatment of his subordinates and, giving vent to his lust for power, began to flog the guilty with a whip, as if they were his slaves. Of course, he spared the Spartans, but he treated the rest of the Greeks and imposed cruel disciplinary punishments; so, for example, he made people stand for a whole day with a heavy iron anchor on their shoulders. When Aristides reproached him for this, he did not even want to listen to him.

The result of this was general discontent, which finally reached the point that the Ionians refused to obey and almost let the ship of Pausanias go down with him. The Greeks turned to Aristides and Cimon, who had won sympathy with their gentle treatment, with a request for protection, offered them to conclude a new alliance and stand at the head of it.

They agreed, and in the spring of 477 BC. e. a new maritime union arose, known as the Delian-Attic - the small but sacred island of Delos, which was once the center of the old marine amphictonia, was of particular importance to the Greeks, and therefore was chosen as the center of the new union.

At the same time, Pausanias, against whom Sparta received many complaints, was recalled by the ephors with the help of the Peloponnesian squadron sent for this purpose. He obeyed, since he was not yet ready for open action, and entrusted the management of Byzantium and, probably, Sestos, to his like-minded Gongil. In Sparta, they could not prove the treacherous intentions of Pausanias, but, nevertheless, he was removed from his post, and instead a certain Docris was sent to Byzantium with a small squadron to take command. But the allies, upon his arrival, resolutely refused to obey him, and he was forced to return with his ships back.

Sparta was already tired of waging war with the Persians, now transferred to the sea, costing a lot of money, threatening new losses of people and, moreover, contributing to the decomposition of strict Spartan morals. Therefore, Sparta refused further participation in this war, leaving it to Athens. Thus, maritime hegemony passed to Athens without a struggle and without violating the alliance made in 480 BC. e. in Isthma. Themistocles' goal was achieved: Athens achieved undeniable superiority at sea.

In fact, Athens had all the data to obtain maritime hegemony even at the conclusion of the Isthmian alliance in 481 BC. e., but Themistocles decided to abandon the claims, despite the overwhelming preponderance of the Athenian ships over the Spartan ones, in order not to violate the agreement in the matter of national defense.

The Athenian commanders in Byzantium, no doubt, very willingly accepted the offer of the allies to assume leadership and immediately set about concluding a maritime alliance in which, under the leadership of Athens, all Greek states could act as equal members and without losing their independence. The goals of the alliance were to repulse the attacks of the Persians and protect all members of the alliance from them, to protect the freedom of the sea and maritime communications and trade, especially in Pontus; finally, an attack on the Persian coasts and plundering them to compensate for the losses suffered by the allies during the Persian invasions. In a word, the alliance pursued only military goals, especially since part of the Greek coastal cities were still in the hands of the Persians.

At the same time, it was decided that each member of the alliance was obliged to contribute a certain amount to the conduct of the war, as the Spartans were paid earlier in the conduct of the land war. The states that possessed warships had to provide them with commands to the union and maintain them at their own expense; those who did not have ships were taxed in cash. Athens, as the dominant power, exercised supreme command over the fleet, disposed of money, had a chairmanship at the union meeting and had the right to convene it.

The allied council met and met in the temple of Apollo on the island of Delos, in the same temple all the values ​​\u200b\u200bof the union were stored, for the management of which there were special allied treasurers. Each member of the union had the right to vote and all questions (about war, peace, etc.) were decided by voting.

The allies unanimously entrusted the distribution of taxes to Aristide, who, with his unsullied disinterestedness and selflessness, as well as a benevolent attitude towards people, deserved universal sympathy and love. He accepted this difficult assignment and, having traveled all over the allies, immediately carried it out to everyone's satisfaction. His distribution of taxes, even in the next generation, was considered exemplary.

Matriculation contributions were collected every four years. The suppositions that the amount of these contributions reached 460 talents from the very beginning must be recognized as erroneous. In the first years it was equal to only 154 talents, and only five years later, with the addition of new members of the union, did it reach the mentioned figure and even exceed it.

To simplify office work, all members of the union were initially divided into three districts: the Hellespont, to which the cities near the Hellespont and the Bosphorus belonged (with the exception of the Thracian Chersonese, as well as the islands of Tenedos, Prokonnes and Bezbik in Propontis); Ionian - to which belonged the islands of the Asia Minor coast from Lesbos to Samos, as well as the Ionian and Aeolian cities that joined the union; finally, the island district, which was Delos and the Cyclades, except for Andros, and Euboea without Carist; this district did not include, however, the small islands lying north of Euboea along the Greek coast as far as Thrace.

The transfer of hegemony in the maritime alliance to the Athenians changed the plans of Pausanias, who managed to justify himself from the accusations raised against him in Sparta, where he enjoyed general respect and had great connections. On a trireme, loaned to him by the city of Hermione in Argolis, he returned to Byzantium the next summer (477 BC), and undertook this on his own initiative. Nevertheless, Gongil surrendered Byzantium to him, Sestos also fell into his hands, and thus the passage to Pontus was again under his control. He began to lead a life in an oriental style and rule like the Persian satraps.

The Lacedaemonians did not object to the actions of Pausanias, but the Athenians decided to take up arms against him. Despite his youth, they entrusted the command of this expedition to Kimon, who thus began his brilliant military career. He took Sestos and laid siege to Byzantium, which he forced to surrender in 476 BC. e.

Pausanias went to Columns in Troas, from where he continued his relations with Xerxes, who gave him large estates in those places to his trusted Gongil. It can be assumed that the Persians deliberately kept Pausanias for several years, preventing his ardent ambition from unfolding, until he was again summoned to Sparta, where reliable news of his actions were received.

He set off, still hoping, surprisingly, for his influence and connections. Upon arrival, he was immediately arrested on charges of conspiracy, but then released again for lack of evidence. Finally, in 472 BC. e. one of the ephors, who was at enmity with him, managed to find evidence of his relations with Xerxes and the preparation of an uprising of the helots. Pausanias took refuge in one of the temples, was locked up there and starved to death.

After the conquest of Sestos and Byzantium and their accession to the maritime alliance, Cimon undertook the conquest of the Thracian cities, which were in Persian hands. He began with Eion, which occupied an important position at the mouth of the river Strymon. Having defeated the army of the city, he surrounded the latter, intending to take it by starvation. But the brave commandant of the city of Bogis, not wanting to give up, burned all the survivors, all the treasures and, finally, himself on a specially prepared fire. The Athenians decided to keep this important point forever and landed 10,000 settlers (Cleruchs) there, who were subsequently killed by the Thracians during a campaign inland.

Following the conquest of Aion, in the autumn of 476 BC. e. other cities on the Thracian coast and the Thracian Chersonese also passed into the hands of Cimon, up to Doriska, which defended as stubbornly as Eion. Then Cimon took the rocky island of Skyros, inhabited by its indigenous inhabitants - the Doloperns, who were engaged in sea robbery. They were sold into slavery, and the island was settled by Athenian colonists.

From Skyros, Kimon took to Athens the remains of the epic hero Theseus, who was credited with uniting the disparate Attic tribes into one state, found there. By this act, he aroused great joy among the Athenians and finally endeared them to him. From the Greek cities of the Thracian coast and the islands of Thasos and Samothrace lying in front of it, as well as from the islands of Skyros, Paparetos, Skiathos and others lying near Cape Sepias, the fourth department of the maritime union was formed - Thracian, stretching from Metona in the Pagasean Gulf to Enos at the mouth Gebra (Maritsa).

Thanks to the creation of the maritime alliance and the strengthening of its power, Aristides and Cimon, as people of action, became the most influential and respected in Athens, while the influence of Themistocles began to decrease.

After the establishment of the maritime alliance, the Lacedaemonians began to strive to form a counterbalance to the rapidly growing power of Athens, for which they made an attempt to extend their influence to northern Greece. They intended to conquer the Aleuad tribe that lived in Larissa in Thessaly, which at one time called on Xerxes to march against the Greeks. In the spring of 476, Sparta sent through the Pagasean Gulf by sea, liberated thanks to the Athenian fleet, its troops to Pagasea under the leadership of King Leotechides. From Pagasea, the troops marched across completely flat terrain as far as Larissa, drove out the tyrant there and could have conquered Thessaly if Leotechida had not been bribed by the aleuades, after which he returned back. He was convicted of bribery, tried, and he managed to avoid execution only thanks to his flight.

The army sailed back to the Peloponnese the following summer. The campaign was unsuccessful, although the Lacedaemonians tried to use it to acquire a leading role in the Delphic amphictonia, which could give them an advantage over central Greece. They almost managed to achieve this by introducing a proposal to exclude the Thessalians, Thebans and other tribes who supported the Persians from Amphictonia, but the far-sighted Themistocles, as the representative of Athens, saw in this proposal harm to his country and tried to ensure that it was not accepted. This, no doubt, further increased Sparta's hatred of Themistocles, and she made every effort to harm him and, unfortunately, found support in Athens in this.

The creation and maintenance of the fleet required a lot of money and entailed a complete change in the forms of government in a democratic direction. The brilliant successes of Themistocles, who had no connections among the aristocracy, and especially the Salamis victory, created for him a lot of enemies and envious people among this aristocracy, who sympathized with Lacedaemon.

With farsightedness, Themistocles had long understood that Sparta was a rival, and that Athens would have to wage a decisive struggle with her for hegemony in Greece. The tribal aristocracy leaned towards Sparta, with its aristocratic form of government, which contributed to the spread of the oligarchy throughout Greece, which clearly fought against democracy. At the head of this party stood the favorite of the crowd - Kimon, the hero of the victorious war with the Persians. As an aristocrat, he sympathized with Sparta and for many years was a welcome guest in this state.

Cimon, frivolous in his youth, contrary to expectations, became an outstanding commander, although he did not have the mind and foresight with which Themistocles conducted the intricate political affairs of the Athenian state. He openly opposed Themistocles and used all his influence to send him into exile. He managed to achieve this in 473 BC. when Themistocles was ostracized and went into exile.

He retired to Argos, which had long been at enmity with Sparta. Having soon acquired universal respect and influence there, he used it against Sparta and for the benefit of his homeland. Under the influence of Themistocles, wars began between Sparta, Argos and Tegea. The Spartans, who had the best military training, won the bloody battles at Tegea (472 BC) and Dipay (471 BC). They used this success to strengthen their position in the Peloponnesian alliance, depriving the allied forces of their independence, subordinating them to their power and putting Spartan commanders at the head of them.

By this time, the condemnation and death of Pausanias, whose correspondence with the Persians became known, belongs. The Spartans took advantage of this as an excuse to harm the hated Themistocles, who remained a dangerous enemy for them even in exile. They sent an embassy to Athens, accusing Themistocles of complicity in the crimes of Pausanias and demanding punishment for his treason.

Cimon's party, which expelled Themistocles, believed this slander, despite the lack of evidence, and, together with the Spartans, sent people to arrest him. Themistocles fled to about. Korkyra, but they did not dare to shelter such a dangerous exile, and he moved to Epirus, to the Molossian king Admet. But even there he was not safe from enemies. Therefore, he went by land to the harbor of Pydna in Macedonia, where he boarded a merchant ship bound for Asia Minor. On the way, the ship was washed up on the island of Naxos, and Themistocles was in danger of falling into the hands of the Athenians, who blockaded this island.

Upon arrival in Asia Minor, he secretly traveled to the Persian capital, where he presented himself to the new Persian king. Artaxerxes, who ascended the throne after the death of Xerxes, generously received Themistocles, despite the fact that he brought his father and the state more harm than anyone else. He even gave him to rule the cities of Magnesia and Mius (both on the Maeander) and Lampsacusa (in the Hellespont). In the first of these cities, Themistocles lived for several years, until 465, enjoying respect and doing charity; tradition says that he committed suicide when Artaxerxes demanded his participation in the war against Greece. If this is a fiction, then it is based on the belief in his sincere and deep patriotism.

Themistocles was gifted with great abilities and had tremendous courage and willpower. Not having a naval education, he understood the true path to the greatness of his state. He managed to convince the people, completely alien to the sea and maritime affairs, that his future lies on the sea and to persuade him to heavy naval service. Realizing that only the fleet could protect Greece from the Persians who threatened her, he passed a law on the fleet, raised funds for its construction, and persuaded the citizens to refuse income from the Lavrion mines for this. Just in time for the appearance of the Persians, the fleet was ready, and Themistocles took command of it.

Just before the outbreak of hostilities, he created an Isthmian alliance. Without this union, Greece would probably perish, despite the fragmentation, short-sightedness and lack of national feeling among individual independent states, the number of which exceeded a hundred. Despite his superiority and understandable self-confidence, Themistocles succumbed to the completely unfounded claims of Sparta to hegemony at sea and allowed the appointment of the completely unsuitable and indecisive Eurybiades as commander of the naval forces. But even being his subordinate, he always knew how to induce him to take correct strategic and tactical actions. In a moment of danger, he showed rare generosity, forgiving and calling his worst enemy Aristides out of exile.

Having no combat experience, Themistocles in 480 BC. e. acted for the first time as a naval commander and showed his brilliant abilities, choosing a very well-placed location of his forces, and won a victory at Salamis by attacking from the flanks, extorting at the very beginning the unwillingness of his subordinates to go into battle. In this respect he was superior to all his contemporaries, despite the fact that he occupied only a secondary place; his foresight and prudence in the choice of harbors, their construction, as well as the layout of the fortifications, which provided Athens and Piraeus from attacks from land, deserves admiration.

He overcame the envious resistance of Sparta, regardless of the fact that he acquired a dangerous enemy in the person of this powerful state. With the same selflessness and love, he took care of the good and greatness of his homeland.

In Themistocles one must see the spiritual father of the maritime union - he created the maritime power of Athens and, standing on the true path, achieved remarkable results. Thanks to his insight, he immediately saw in Sparta the main enemy of his homeland, whose influence had to be fought, gathering all his strength, and managed to do this, in contrast to Cimon and the subsequent leaders of Athens, who violated the unity of the maritime union by oppressing individual members and wasting its power on unnecessary adventures. Themistocles' last political success was to resist Spartan influence in central and northern Greece, achieved by him thanks to his diplomatic dexterity.

Shortly after the exile of Themistocles, Aristides died, and Cimon became the leader in Athens. Soon he undertook a campaign against Caristus, the only city on Euboea that did not belong to the maritime alliance, subjugated it and forced him to join the alliance, and the size of the entry fee was appointed by the Athenians. There is reason to believe that the same was done with the island of Andros.

This reception, contrary to the foundations of the maritime union, became common in Athens, which turned from the first among the members of the Delian-Attic union into the ruler of Attica, and, naturally, among the members of the union, who jealously guarded their independence, discontent arose, which soon turned into hatred. The first manifestation of it was the withdrawal from the union of the island of Naxos, which risked such a step, despite the fact that he was alone; the Athenians blocked and conquered it, having committed the first violence against a member of the union.

In 468, Cimon, with an allied fleet of 200 ships, undertook a campaign against the Persians, since Xerxes, apparently, was preparing an army and fleet in Pamphylia for a new attack on Greece. For this campaign, Cimon ordered the construction of triremes wider than usual and with a solid upper deck so that more hoplites could be taken on board. Apparently, he intended to retreat from the tactics of ramming introduced by Themistocles and return to the boarding battle, which showed his ignorance of maritime affairs.

He began operations in the southwestern corner of Asia Minor at the Tropea threshold of the Carian Chersonese and from there moved along the Carian and Lycian coasts to Phaselis. Coastal Greek cities went over to his side without resistance, the rest of the cities had to be conquered. Phaselis, whose inhabitants stubbornly defended themselves at first, yielded rather soon under the influence of negotiations. All cities were compelled to enter into a maritime union; and from them and from the coastal islands, including Rhodes, a fifth department of the union, Carian, was formed, numbering at least 66 members. Thanks to this, the total amount of contributions reached 500 talents.

At the time of the treaty with Phaselis, the Persian army was camped at the mouth of the Eurymedon River in Pamphylia. The Eurymedon was then navigable for flat-bottomed triremes for 60 stadia (10.7 km) as far as Aspendos. In front of the mouth and at the mouth itself there was a fleet made up of the fleets of states dependent on the Persians, consisting of at least 20 triremes, mostly Phoenician; in addition, another 80 Phoenician triremes were to arrive from Cyprus. Without waiting for their arrival and connection with the fleet, Cimon, immediately after the conclusion of an agreement with Phaselis, unexpectedly attacked the ships that were standing at the mouth of the Eurymedon and destroyed them. Encouraged by this easy success, Cimon landed an army, met with strong resistance, and stormed the Persian camp. After that, he again hastily put the army on ships in order to meet the squadron marching from Cyprus before it knew about the defeat of the Persians at the Eurymedon. He succeeded, and the squadron, which he also unexpectedly attacked east of the Eurymedon, near Side, was captured entirely along with the team.

After this tremendous success, after which there could be no question of a new invasion of the Persians or the appearance of an enemy fleet in Greek waters, the Delian-Attic alliance reached the climax of its development. Its five departments numbered over 200 members, who lived from Lycia to Attica and from Pontus throughout the Archipelago. His direct income was very large; in addition, free trade brought great profits. Athens especially exalted herself, who began to imagine herself not only as the leader of the union, but as its mistress.

Members of the union were burdened by military duties and taxes and were often careless in paying the latter; but this cost them their independence, since the persons at the head of the departments did not have the moderation of the founders of the union and treated the members not as equals, but as subordinates. Contributions began to be collected very strictly, even with the help of violence, and the members of the union, one after another, like Naxos, began to be transferred from the category of allies to subordinates, and the amount of the contribution began to be determined at the discretion of the Athenians. Cimon himself, in such cases, showed some more gentleness, being satisfied with the delivery of ships without teams and a monetary contribution.

Thus the Athenian navy gradually increased and, being constantly in action, became more and more powerful. He no longer had opponents with whom he could not cope; all this increased the confidence of those who directed Athenian politics. Meetings of allies in Delos began to be convened less and less, despite the fact that Athens had an increasing number of votes, and, finally, their convocation ceased.

In 454 BC. e. after the defeat in Egypt, the allied treasury, under the pretext of danger, possible during an attack on Delos by an enemy fleet, was transferred from the Delian temple of Apollo to the temple of Pallas Athena in the Acropolis in Athens and became available to the owners of the union. This was effectively the end of the maritime union; a single state was formed, ruled by the Athenian people, or rather, Athenian politicians.

This coup was facilitated by major changes that took place in Athens. Due to the fact that the former allies gradually abandoned the maintenance of their own fleets, the latter went over to Athens, increasing their fleet. As a result of constant wars, the crews were experienced and always ready for battle, while the allied states no longer received combat experience, and their inhabitants lost the habit of heavy naval service. The state treasury was replenished by contributions. As Themistocles had supposed, Piraeus, thanks to the maritime power of Athens, soon became the trading center of the entire Greek world in the east, and its lively trade gave income to a mass of people, both rich and poor.

Each foreigner (metek) who moved to Athens, after a certain period of time, had to take part in the defense of the country and make an appropriate contribution. Some meteks served as hoplites, others as rowers; in 431 BC e. their number exceeded 10,000. The meteks who had earned the rights received the rights of Athenian citizens.

Great wealth accumulated in the city, and soon there was no trace of the former Greek simplicity. The desire for pleasure, immorality and the desire to live well, without working at all or very little, have become universal. Arrogance, a desire for power and an exaggeratedly high opinion of the power of the state developed excessively, but it was forgotten that the fleet, on which the power, good, and the very existence of the state depended, should be protected and used with great care. Ambition so possessed some that they began to dream of conquering Sicily, southern Italy and Egypt, Carthage and the entire coast of Africa.

All this was fatal for Athens, which needed selfless and disinterested people who had sufficient intelligence and discretion to keep the state and citizens at the height of the situation. It was necessary to take care of maintaining a decisive advantage and hegemony at sea and to interest citizens in this

None of the branches of government requires such skillful, continuous and careful care as the fleet, so that it is at the height of its position and is a reliable weapon.

Both creators of the maritime union, which laid the foundation for the maritime power of Athens, Themistocles and Aristides, died almost at the same time, shortly before the battle of the Eurymedon. By this time, the appearance of a person whose name was respected more than anyone else in the heyday of Athens, but its bearer, along with merits in the field of art, the monuments of which cause the well-deserved surprise of the whole world, brought his homeland more harm than any other citizen. This is Pericles.

He came from a noble family of Alcmeonids and was the son of Xanthippus, a participant in that war that ended with the conquest of Sestos. He was an aristocrat by birth and spirit. Thanks to the wealth of his parents, he received an excellent education. Accustomed from youth to a strict lifestyle, he retained it until adulthood. He was free from the prevailing superstitions, since he was a student of the eminent philosopher Anaxagoras, who later on often gave advice to his student in difficult cases.

Thanks to the extraordinary persuasiveness of his eloquence, with which he was able to charm the people, he achieved a leading position in Athens, and his unlimited ambition made him very unscrupulous in his means. An aristocrat by birth, he from the very beginning became the head of revolutionary democracy, since he understood that the future belongs to the demos, and not to the oligarchy, whose leader, although he achieved respect due to his military successes, but, lacking prudence and foresight, could not count for success in politics.

Pericles avoided speaking in public, trying to use suitable supporters for this occasion, at first most often Ephialtes, an honest Athenian citizen with whom he was on friendly terms. Ephialtes' disinterestedness was exceptional, but he was an extreme democrat; his speeches had a very great influence on the people, which he first used to overthrow Cimon, and then the Areopagus.

After the victory at Eurymedon, Cimon in the summer of 466 BC. e. expelled the last Persians, who were still holding out near the Aegean Sea, from the Thracian Chersonese and from Doris, who resisted long and stubbornly. Having finished with them, he moved to the island of Thasos, which had rebelled against Athens due to a dispute over harbors and profitable mines that lay opposite him on the Thracian coast. Cimon defeated the Thasians at sea and, landing on the island, besieged and blockaded the city, which was still stubbornly resisting. The Thasians began to ask the Spartans to attack Attica, to which they agreed, but they were prevented by an earthquake that destroyed Sparta, and an uprising of the helots (the Messenians, after whom the war was named the third Messenian), prepared at one time by Pausanias. The rebels were at first successful, but then they were forced to retreat to the Itoma mountain fortress, at an altitude of 800 m, where they had to hold out for several years before, since the Spartans, who did not know how to conduct a siege, could not capture them.

In 463 BC. e., after a two-year blockade, Cimon took Thasos. The vanquished were forced to hand over their ships, destroy the fortifications, give up possessions on the Thracian coast, and pay military expenses.

On his return to Athens, Kimon, the head of the oligarchic party, was accused by Ephialtes and Pericles of bribery by the Macedonian king Alexander, whom he was able to deal with, having a strong Athenian army at his disposal. Although Kimon managed to justify himself, he almost lost the former respect of the people and popularity.

The Lacedaemonians, unable to capture Itoma, turned for help not only to the Peloponnesian states, but also to their hated rival, Attica. Cimon, a clear supporter of Sparta, despite the reluctance of supporters of democracy, decided to help the Spartans, which proves his lack of political tact and intelligence; he managed to achieve this, probably not without the insidious support of his personal enemies, and in 462 BC. e. he himself was sent to Itoma at the head of 4,000 hoplites.

But even he could not do anything with impregnable heights; besides, the Spartans, having heard that the Athenian democracy sympathized with the Messenians, reacted to Cimon with great suspicion and soon asked him to go back. On the way back through the Isthmus, the Corinthians treated him very arrogantly.

All this hurt the Athenian pride and further damaged the popularity of Cimon. Meanwhile, Ephialtes and Pericles used the absence of Cimon to strike at the Areopagus, that cornerstone of the Solonian constitution.

For several years now, they have repeatedly accused the members of this high assembly of abuse of power (bribery) and sought punishment, which discredited the Areopagus. They managed to attract the people necessary for the coup by bribing judges, distributing tickets for spectacles at the expense of the state, and also by numerous hirings of employees, especially the lower ones (for example, 500 watchmen at the shipyard and 50 in the fortress); not limited to this, they bribed the army, horsemen, archers, both mounted and foot, marine soldiers, teams of 20 patrol ships and two thousand garrisons in allied cities.

The lower strata of the population began to strive to occupy the seats of judges and jury positions, since with the exorbitant increase in the number of trials, the number of courts also grew. Soon it came to the point that the entire lower population began to live at the expense of the treasury, which was what Pericles needed. The Areopagus, the conscience of the state, was deprived of rights one by one. Judicial functions were transferred partly to the council of 500, partly to the people's assembly, so that only a shadow remained of the Solon institution.

When Cimon decided to restore the Areopagus in his rights, Pericles succeeded in expelling him with the help of ostracism.

At this time, Ephialtes, who aroused strong hatred, fell at the hands of the killer, and Pericles was left alone at the head of the leading democratic party. Athens withdrew from the Isthmian alliance, in which the Lacedaemonians had so far nominally participated, and entered into an alliance with their enemies, Argos and Thessaly; in such a way