Contact Author The only mutual characteristic found within the Athenian people in both excerpts is without a doubt, expansionist. Beyond that, the depiction of Athens greatly differs. Pericles turned what typically would have been a mournful event into a celebration recognizing the achievements of Athens. The portrayal of the Athenians wrote out in The Melian Dialogue, however,made them out to be an oppressive and imperialistic people that felt they had the divine right to conquer all they could.
On one side was the Peloponnesian Leaguean alliance of Greek cities led by Sparta. On the other side was the Delian Leaguean alliance led by Athens. The people of Melos had ancestral ties to Sparta   but were independent.
Otherwise, the island remained neutral in the war.
This sum could have paid the wages of a trireme crew for 15 months,  or bought metric tons of wheat, enough to feed 2, men for a year. Melos had never paid tribute to Athens before, and they refused to pay now.
The fleet that transported this army had 38 ships: This expedition was led by the generals Cleomedes and Tisias. The emissaries demanded that Melos join the Delian League and pay tribute to Athens or face destruction.
The Melians rejected the ultimatum. The Athenians laid siege to the city and withdrew most of their troops from the island to fight elsewhere. Athens sent reinforcements under the command of Philocrates. The Athenians also had help from traitors within Melos. They then settled of their own colonists on the island.
It now had a Spartan garrison and a military governor a harmost. Thucydides did not witness the negotiations and in fact had been in exile at the time, so this dialogue only captures the substance of what he believed was discussed.
Neither side was able to sway the other and the negotiations failed. This dialogue is frequently cited by political scientists and diplomats as a classic case study in political realism. It demonstrates the foolishness of pride and hope, and that selfish and pragmatic concerns drive wars. Synopsis[ edit ] The Athenians offer the Melians an ultimatum: The Athenians do not wish to waste time arguing over the morality of the situation, because in practice might makes right—or, in their own words, "the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must".
Their subjects would think that they left Melos alone because they were not strong enough to conquer it. The Melians argue that an invasion will alarm the other neutral Greek states, who will become hostile to Athens for fear of being invaded themselves.
The Athenians counter that the Greek states on the mainland are unlikely to act this way. It is the independent island states and the disgruntled subjects that Athens has already conquered that are more likely to take up arms against Athens. The Athenians counter that it is only shameful to submit to an opponent whom one has a reasonable chance of defeating.
There is no shame in submitting to an overwhelmingly superior opponent like Athens. The Melians argue that though the Athenians are far stronger, there is at least a slim chance that the Melians could win, and they will regret not trying their luck.
The Athenians counter that this argument is emotional and short-sighted. If the Melians lose, which is highly likely, they will come to bitterly regret their foolish optimism. The Melians believe that they will have the assistance of the gods because their position is morally just.
The Athenians counter that the gods will not intervene because it is the natural order of things for the strong to dominate the weak. The Melians argue that their Spartan kin will come to their defense. The Athenians counter that the Spartans are a practical people who never put themselves at risk when their interests are not at stake, and rescuing Melos would be especially risky since Athens has the stronger navy.
They say that there is no shame in submitting to a stronger enemy, especially one who is offering reasonable terms. The Melians do not change their minds and politely dismiss the envoys. Analysis[ edit ] Warships of the era triremes could carry little in the way of supplies, and thus needed friendly and neutral ports where the crew could purchase food and other necessities on a daily basis.
The mercilessness which the Athenian invaders showed to the Melians was exceptional even for the time and shocked many Greeks, even in Athens. The historian Xenophon wrote that in BC, with the Spartan army closing in on Athens, the citizens of Athens worried that the Spartans would treat them with the same cruelty that the Athenian army had shown the Melians.
A historical speech falsely attributed to the Athenian orator Andocides claims that the statesman Alcibiades advocated the enslavement of the Melian survivors before the government of Athens.
The phrase "Melian hunger" became a byword for extreme starvation. Starvation is a normal goal of sieges and the ancient Greeks had much experience with them, so this suggests that the Melian experience was extreme.Apr 22, · A modern re-enactment of the negotiations between the Athenians and the Melians as reconstructed by Thucydides, the ancient Greek historian of .
Athenian Imperialism. Athens in B.C. invited the city-states bordering on the Aegean to form a defensive alliance called the Delian League. The Athenians executed Melians of military age and sold the women and children into slavery.
Thucydides considered that the Melians had no hope of survival and set on record the famous Melian Dialogue, in which the Athenians and the Melian government exchange views, and the Athenians attempt to coerce their interlocutors to surrender immediately.
The most significant civilization uncovered on Melos by the British School, however, was that of Phylakopi, a site near Apollonia, the second port of Melos, on the promontory of Pláka.
Phylakopi was a flourishing settlement at the time of the late Bronze Age eruption of neighbouring Thera. Apr 23, · What is the melian dialogue??
what happened? who won??? Follow In this dialogue between the Athenians and the Melians, the Athenians have come to this island to take over the Melians. people are trying to convince the Athenians to understand the principle that their people are neutral to the whole Athens vs.
Sparta Status: Resolved. Reinforcements afterwards arriving from Athens in consequence, under the command of Philocrates, son of Demeas, the siege was now pressed vigorously; and some treachery taking place inside, the Melians surrendered at discretion to the Athenians, who put to death all the grown men whom they took, and sold the women and children for slaves, .