Still Reading Book II of The Pelopponesian War

At this point in the narrative (Book II of a total of VIII, self will probably speed up the pace the closer she gets to the end), Athens is still the Master of the Universe, and all the other city-states are just upstarts. But something happens in the fifth year of the war that shakes Athens’ complacency, and it has to do with an ally, Corcyra.

Someone named Peithias, a volunteer proxenus of Athens, had convened a meeting of the city council of Corcyra when a band of citizens, “armed with daggers,” suddenly burst “into the council chamber” and “killed Peithias and sixty others.”


There was an Athenian galley sitting in the harbor, luckily, because the survivors of the massacre were able to take refuge there.

Fearing the wrath of Athens, the conspirators “sent envoys to Athens to justify what had been done” but “upon the arrival of the Embassy the Athenians arrested the envoys.”

Self would like to point out that the conspirators were not just some troublesome riff-raff opportunists, but were the richest citizens of Corcyra. They saw an advantage to themselves, and implemented their plan, which placed them in direct opposition to “the commons” or common people.

“The next day the Athenian general, Nicostratus, son of Diitrephes, came up from Naupactus with twelve ships and five hundred Messenian heavy infantry.” So Athens was not going to take this rebellion lightly. Besides, murder is murder. And sixty people is no trifling number. And the sixty were murdered in council chambers yet!

This is such a fascinating book.

Stay tuned.

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