The Delian League

Topics: Delian League, History of Athens, Parthenon Pages: 3 (1156 words) Published: March 29, 2012
Explain the methods used by the Athenians to transform the Delian League into the Athenian Empire. (25 marks) There is certainty no evidence to suggest that the Athenians had any long-term plans, in the years 479-470 BC, to change the Delian League into an empire, although from the beginning the potential to develop into an imperial power were there. Because from the beginning, Athens had considerable power as she was the permanent hegemon.The most important aspects involving the transformation of League into empire was the changing relationships between Athens and her allies, Periclesʼ imperial policy, Athensʼ selfish self interest in gaining more power by using the Leagueʼs power and establishing laws onto her allies such as the Coinage Degree and the Chalcis Degree. These aspects had portrayed Athensʼ gradual alteration of the Delian League into an imperial power. Originally the Delian League was formed as an alliance of free and equal states. At first there were only two types of members of the League; those contributing ships (larger states) and those contributing money. But over time when Persian threat were no longer in sight, allied states started to leave the League. Athens then force the allies back into the League as tribute paying subject allies. This caused these states to pay tribute with nothing in return and lost their autonomy. The event with Naxos, as they were the first to leave, was a warning to other ally states of the consequences of breaking the oath of the alliance. Additionally, the use of the Leagueʼs power to reduce the state Thasos to subject status because of a personal quarrel with Athens, indicated a change in the nature of the League. And by 446-445 BC, there is no longer any doubt or pretence about Athensʼ imperial position. Although in the beginning, the Athenians did not aim for an empire, these events did however, depicts the starting point of the transformation of League into an imperial power. Furthermore, the boost of the...
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