History in the Making

We Live History

Echoes of Glory

Nicias and Alcibiades have both gained political power but can’t push past the other. The gridlock is broken when representatives from a Sicilian town show up asking for help and offering to foot the bill for Athenian assistance. In a rapid escalation, the Athenians agree not only to help but to send an armada to Sicily to bring down Syracuse. One step at a time the Athenians throw everything they have into the Sicilian expedition. This episode covers approximately 416 B.C – 413 B.C.


Show Notes:

Places

Athens

Encouraged by men like Alcibiades, Athens sets it aims across the Mediterranean Sea on Syracuse. Incrementally, they begin to pour everything they have into the mission in the hope of victory.

Syracuse

The foremost city on Sicily, the democracy is hesitant to believe Athens is truly coming to attack them. Once they realize that Athens is actually coming after them they quickly realize they will need help to survive.

Sparta

Sparta is initially at peace with Athens but still has several enemies to worry about. As their enemies ask for help from Athens in fighting Sparta pressure begins to build between two of the premier cities in Greece.

Argos

The long-standing enemy of Sparta. They continue their war while Sparta is at peace with Athens.

People

Nicias

After winning stardom with a well time peace deal Nicias is dragged into commanding the Sicilian Expedition as one of three generals.

Alcibiades

Alcibiades stirs up interest in invading Sicily and then joins the mission as a general.

That Leviathan

Nicias and Alcibiades struggle for control of Athens after a power vacuum appears. The back and forth leads to an Athens that pursues no grand strategy but plays a game of rapid, hectic tactics. All of Greece is swept up in political pinball as the traditional allies of Sparta reconsider their place in Greece and Sparta struggles to reclaim its political standing. As the stakes rise, Athens rebrands its role as the head of its empire and does whatever is necessary to keep control. This episode covers approximately 421 B.C. – 415 B.C.


Show Notes:

Places

Athens

The normally undisputed leader of the former Delian League, now the Athenian Empire, its glory begins to wane due to a lack of direction. In order to reclaim its prestige and stem the ever-present threat of defections from its empire more drastic measures are considered.

Sparta

The premier military land power in Greece has seen better days. A, perhaps ill-timed peace, has allows Athens to regain its strength while Sparta allies suffer from disillusionment. Sparta needs to show all of Greece that it is still a name to be feared if it wants to continue its position as a leader.

Argos

The long-standing enemy of Sparta, Argos takes advantage of Sparta’s weakness to begin to lay claim to allies and form an allegiance of its own. Alcibiades continues to try and convince them that the best path forward is to wed themselves to Athens, drop the hesitation, and declare full war on Sparta.

Corinth

Perhaps the greatest friend of Sparta, Corinth is beginning to grow tired of Sparta’s limited aim. As Sparta weakens Corinth decided to try to establish itself as a leader in Greece.

People

Nicias

An accountant who wants to be a priest? A priest who wants to be an accountant? Take your pick. Nicias goes from a well-respected, but uninspiring, man to the leading man in Athens by negotiating a truce with Sparta. To keep this role though he must show he is a better leader than the upstart, Alcibiades.  

Alcibiades

Young, ambitious and arrogant. Alcibiades has reach well beyond Athens as a rich socialite but as he ages and turns 30 he must now show himself as a worthy general. Alcibiades courts looks to the traditional enemy of Sparta, Argos, to gather friends to Athens under his name.

King Agis

One of the two kings of Sparta, Agis must prove himself capable of restoring Sparta’s political and military reputation. The future of Sparta is depending on a man who has never before led an army into combat and whose political skills are doubted at home.

 

They Created A Desert

Bolstered by a recent victory, Athens follows Cleon further into war in hopes of achieving absolute victory. There are many areas where victory is needed. Once back on the streets of the city we meet Socrates who is busy asking everybody he can irritating questions. Questioning your assumptions may be the basis to a true understanding of yourself and society, although it can be very frightening. This episode covers approximately 425 B.C. – 422 B.C.


Show Notes:

Places

Megara

Located to the west of Athens, Megara is the potential buffer zone and brief ally of Athens. Controlling Megara would give Athens a buffer zone and first line of defense against the forces of Sparta and Corinth if they march up the isthmus.

Amphipolis

A fortress city on the north Aegean. Amphipolis protects the land route to the food supply regions near the Black Sea. A bridge leads to the city which is situated against a river which allows ships to protect it as well as local forces.

Boeotia

The region to the north of Athens, Boeotia consists of several smaller towns and cities. Although some democrats in the area want to join Athens, the official position of the area is to remain enemies of Athens. To subjugate this area Demosthenes consider treachery, raiding and eventually large assaults.

Scione

When Amphipolis falls, many cities are inspired to join the rebellion against Athens. Scione however, joins after a truce is signed between Athens and Sparta. When Athens learns of their post-truce rebellion they decree that every male will need to die all the women and children be sold into slavery to pay for their treachery. This decree was passed in 423 and eventually carried out a year later in 422.

People

Cleon

A meteoric rise led Cleon to be elected general after his “victory” at Pylos. Now he has the voice to convince Athens that they can win the war outright. Why settle for a peace when we can rule unopposed? With this new agenda Cleon has a chance to actually prove his merits as a general as he takes Athens further into war.

Demosthenes

The mastermind of Pylos he is now ready to try other daring plans to bring Megara and Boeotia into the Athenian fold. Despite the technology of the time, Demosthenes has no problem planning elaborate schemes to take down the enemies of Athens, the question is: Will they work?

Nicias

The picture of old-school Athenian aristocracy he has fall somewhat out of grace after Cleon took his role as general and brought the Spartan’s back from Pylos. For this episode Nicias is usually working hard behind the scenes conducting raids and capturing various islands for Athens.

Sophocles

Playwright turned general, Sophocles is one of the men in charge of liberating Sicily from Spartan control and influence. However, the Sicilians and he often have different definitions of liberation.

Socrates

Although we have only met Socrates as a warrior his work as a street philosopher is much better remembered. We take a quick look at what it might have been like to bump into Socrates and at the basis of his line of questing.

Brasidas

The non-royal Spartan who has worked his way up the ranks. After serving as an ephor, commanding a trireme, advising the Spartan fleet and more he is now leading a hybrid army of hoplites, helots and mercenaries into the northeast of Greece to undermine Athens instead of take it on directly.

King Agis

Although we don’t discuss him much in this episode, Agis can usually be found leading raids into the territory of Athens.

The Hanging Shield

After many years of a brawler fight something has to give. A daring general in Athens considers new strategies while playwrights bring the full weight of the ancient press (the theatre) to bear in criticizing the war. Meanwhile, Greece watches as the impossible unfolds on the shores of the Peloponnese. This episode covers approximately 427 B.C. – 425 B.C.  

Recommended Podcast: The History of Ancient of Greece


Show Notes:

Places:

Athens

The premier Greek power has been recently crippled by the plague and the financial burden of fighting a war. Athens is beginning to seriously reconsider its approach to the war.

Piraeus

The port of Athens, Piraeus is virtually a city unto itself. A strong Thracian immigrant population enjoyed the benefits one of the first urban planning projects. Straight grid-like roads brought you to the agora, market or any one of the three bay that served Piraeus. Ship sheds rings each bay where triremes are stored for the winter.

Mytilene

A city on Lesbos (an island in the eastern Aegean near modern day Turkey) that revolts from Athens after petitioning Sparta. Mytilene would like to set up a miniature empire of its own on the island of Lesbos.

People:

Sophocles

Playwright, general and ambassador, Sophocles is the author of the Oedipus (sounds like Edipus) plays and also serves as general for several years.

Cleon

A strong advocate to end the war with complete and utter victory. Cleon has no problem handing out brutal punishments to ensure the cooperation of their nominal allies. Cleon is unique in that he is one of the first non-aristocratic to take a prominent role in politics.

Nicias

An aristocratic and morally conservative man, he is well respected and is fighting as a general behind the scenes during this episode.

 

Show Notes:

Places:

Athens

The premier Greek democratic power has been recently crippled by the plague and the financial burden of fighting a war. Athens is beginning to seriously reconsider its approach to the war.

Sparta

Sparta is an oligarchic power that has control over the Peloponnesian League. Although it has no desire to fight Athens at sea it, generally, remains undaunted on land.

Pylos

An area on the southwest of the Peloponnese (though the area is disputed) where Demosthenes wanted to build a small fort in Sparta’s backyard.

People:

Demosthenes

A recently elected general, Demosthenes has no problem thinking outside the box. His daring plans to invade the allies of Sparta have gotten him into trouble before.

Brasidas

A Spartan. Unlike most Spartans we have learned about he is not a royal Spartan but has worked his way up the ranks. Both fearless and advocate of defeating Athens outright he stays busy adding to his resume of incredible bravery.

Cleon

A strong advocate to end the war with complete and utter victory. Cleon has no problem handing out brutal punishments to ensure the cooperation of their nominal allies. Cleon is unique in that he is one of the first non-aristocratic to take a prominent role in politics.

Fear, Fate and Power

Fear and anger can convince us to do terrible things. It is often only once we take time to collect ourselves that we see how outrageous our actions were. As the first few years of the Peloponnesian War preserve a violent stalemate some people in Athens decide that a more drastic strategy is necessary.  This episode covers approximately 429 B.C. - 427 B.C.

Recommended podcasts this episode:

Ancient Greece Declassified: www.greecepodcast.com

Literature and History: www.literatureandhistory.com


Show Notes:

Places:

Athens

The premier Greek power has been recently crippled by the plague and the financial burden of fighting a war. Athens is beginning to seriously reconsider its approach to the war.

Piraeus

The port of Athens, Piraeus is virtually a city unto itself. A strong Thracian immigrant population enjoyed the benefits one of the first urban planning projects. Straight grid-like roads brought you to the agora, market or any one of the three bay that served Piraeus. Ship sheds rings each bay where triremes are stored for the winter.

Mytilene

A city on Lesbos (an island in the eastern Aegean near modern day Turkey) that revolts from Athens after petitioning Sparta. Mytilene would like to set up a miniature empire of its own on the island of Lesbos.

People:

Sophocles

Playwright, general and ambassador, Sophocles is the author of the Oedipus (sounds like Edipus) plays and also serves as general for several years.

Cleon

A strong advocate to end the war with complete and utter victory. Cleon has no problem handing out brutal punishments to ensure the cooperation of their nominal allies. Cleon is unique in that he is one of the first non-aristocratic to take a prominent role in politics.

Nicias

An aristocratic and morally conservative man, he is well respected and is fighting as a general behind the scenes during this episode.

 

The Olympian has Fallen

Athens and Corinth take the preemptive measure of fighting a battle to avoid a war. This works about as well as it sounds. A series of conferences afterwards determine the fate of Greece. Speeches are made, ships collide and the gods reconsider their relationship with Athens. This episode covers approximately 433 B.C. – 429 B.C.


Cheat Sheet: 

Characters

Pericles: The effective leader of Athens. Elected to general for over a continuous decade he is the prominent and seemingly untouchable face of Athens. He leads Athens into the beginning of the war.

Aspasia: The live-in love of Pericles, people question what her influence on Pericles really extends too. She is the target of much ridicule yet little is known for sure about her.

King Archidamus II: King of Sparta since 469. He is well respected but a reserved king. As the second king of Sparta is in exile he has the rare responsibility of being the sole standing king.

Notable Cities

Potidaea: A city in the north part of the Aegean Sea. Although it is part of the Athenian Empire it has close ties with Corinth. These ties make Athens come to the decision Potidaea must surrender hostages and tear down its walls to ensure it good behavior. Potidaea does not take kindly to this.

Corinth: Aside from Sparta, they are the most respected city of the Peloponnesian league. Their relationship with Athens turns from bad to worse as fights break out.

Corcyra: Located on an island to the northwest of most of Greece, Corcyra is a powerful naval force that has made the mistake of maintaining very few alliances. 

 

The Shrinking World

The Greek world is getting smaller. Athens and Sparta are the sole dominating powers in Greece and cities are forced to consider what sides they will choose. The grandeur of Athens continues to allure as their wealth and power are demonstrated at the 4 year Panathenaic Festival while Sparta grapples for peace. It’s time to choose what side to join. This episode covers approximately 440 BC - 432 BC.


Cheat Sheet:

Characters

Pericles: The effective leader of Athens. Elected to general for nearly a continuous decade he is the prominent and seemingly untouchable face of Athens. His enemies decide that a more indirect approach will be necessary to try and take him down.

Protagoras: One of the greatest in the Sophists movement of his time. He is a big believer in moral relativism and claims that "man is the measure of all things." He is in the inner circle of Pericles.

Anaxagoras: The Galileo of his day. He is fascinated with the heavens and the way they work. Though, in this fascination with the natural world, he dismisses the gods. Also in the inner circle of Pericles. 

Aspasia: The live in love of Pericles, people question what her influence on Pericles really extends too. She is the target of much ridicule yet little is know for sure about her.

Notable Cities

Samos: After attempting to lead a revolt against Athens, their potential allies leave them and Athens crushes them after a long siege. 

Corinth: Aside from Sparta, they are the most respected city of the Peloponnesian league. Their relationship with Athens begins to deteriorate as they suspect Athens may start to meddle with their affairs. 

Corcyra: Located on an island to the northwest of most of Greece, Corcyra is a powerful naval force that has made the mistake of maintaining very few alliances. 

Epidamnus: A city far to the north in modern day Albania, a small fight here catches the attention of the two cities that claim it as founder, Corinth and Corcyra. 

Events

Panathenaic Festival: This festival was to Athens what the Olympics was to Greece. This was the chance for Athens to show its power while receiving tribute from its many allies and subjects. 

Helen of Athens

A lone woman comes to Athens. In a span of six years she somehow becomes a household name. Meanwhile, Athens tries to find some more permanent peace solution with Sparta as they face rebellions across their territory. The first existential threat that Athens has had to face in decades is beginning to show its face. This episode covers approximately 450 BC – 440 BC.


Cheat Sheet:

Characters

Aspasia: A lone traveler to Athens from Miletus. Little is known about her early years in Athens but she establishes a school of some variety and in the mid 440s moved in with Pericles. She is seen as intelligent by virtually everyone but some question how much influence she has over Pericles… and therefore Athens.

Pericles: The effective leader of Athens. Elected to general several times by now we actually only shapes Athenian policy through convincing the masses and keen political skills. This episode sees his reaching the peak of his influence and we begin an unbroken streak of nearly a decade and a half of him elected to power every year as a general.

Protagoras: One of the greatest in the Sophists movement of his time. He is a big believer in moral relativism and claims that "man is the measure of all things." He is in the inner circle of Pericles.

Anaxagoras: The Galileo of his day. He is fascinated with the heavens and the way they work. Though, in this fascination with the natural world, he dismisses the gods. Also in the inner circle of Pericles. 

Notable Cities

Miletus: Aside from being the home of Aspasia and the center of culture for its region, this city on the western bank of modern day Turkey rebels twice against Athens. Athens generally treats it leniently though and eventually has to aid it in its struggle against Samos.

Samos: A large island off the coast of modern day Turkey, the city here is one of the few actual autonomous members of the Athenian lead alliance. However, they have an open disdain for Athens and author a rebellion that may lead to Athens’ demise.

Megara: Located to the west of Athens, they are strategically located between Athens and the isthmus leading to Corinth and Sparta.