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date: 20 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The term “Pentecontaetia” refers both to the narrative in Thucydides’ History for the fifty-year period between the Persian and Peloponnesian Wars, 478–431 bce (1.89–118) and to the historical period during that time. This chapter aims above all to further appreciation of how Thucydides understood this crucial period in Greek history that saw the emergence of the Athenian empire. Themes and emphases include the origins of the Delian League and the nature of the tributary empire; the Pentecontaetia and the “true cause” of the Peloponnesian War; the Samian Revolt; the emphases on criticism of chronology and omissions; the impact of the revolution in epigraphic dating; Persians and Thucydides; Athens, Sparta, and Corinth.

Keywords: Thucydides, Pentecontaetia, Athenian empire, Delian League, Samian Revolt, epigraphy, Persia, tribute, Peloponnesian War’s true cause, Corinth, Sparta

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