History

The Classic Ship | Part 2: The Battle of Artemision

The Greeks had prepared themselves for the Persian invasion by forming the Hellenic League. Sparta and Athens took a leading role in joining together 70 of the 700 city-states, many of which were still technically at war with each other. They were planning to stop the Persians that came by land at the narrow pass of Thermopylae. To prevent the Persians bypassing Thermopylae by sea, the Athenian and Allied navies… Read more

Law and Courts in Ancient Athens: A Brief Overview

When we investigate how the law and the courts of Classical Greece worked, the law of ancient Athens provides most of our source material. This overview will therefore focus on Athenian law in the fifth and fourth centuries, BCE. Before that time, disputes were adjudicated by officials called archons. The archons may have heard testimony from parties and witnesses, may have questioned them, and perhaps the parties were allowed to… Read more

Xenophon’s Anabasis: Historical Context

The Anabasis by the Athenian soldier, historian and philosopher Xenophon, describes the events of 401 BCE when ten thousand Greek mercenaries joined the army of Cyrus, the younger brother of the Persian King Artaxerxes, in Cyrus’ attempt to supplant his brother as king. This post provides a brief historical context to that work. Read more