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:



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.


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.


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.



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


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.


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