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:



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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


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?


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.


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.


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.


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.