7. The Membership of the Early Delian League

  Figueira, Thomas. 2023. “The Membership of the Early Delian League.” In “The Athenian Empire Anew: Acting Hegemonically, Reacting Locally in the Athenian Arkhē,” ed. Aaron Hershkowitz and Michael McGlin, special issue, Classics@ 23. https://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HLNC.ESSAY:103490533.


The investigatory framework of the initial membership of the Delian League privileges Thucydides’ account by demonstrating the absence of contradictory evidence and the existence of much conforming material. Earlier scholarship was distorted by arbitrary conjectures from the Athenian Tribute Lists, especially a belief that Thucydides must be harmonized with later aparkhai lists (starting 454/3). These conjectures are shown to be unnecessary and poorly conceived. There follows next a reevaluation of every ally at the alliance’s foundation, a vast majority of which were phoros-contributing. Not only is direct evidence explored, but also applied are the relevant criteria for status determination: an ally’s military/political situation in 478-477, regarding both Persian control and relations with other poleis ; allied location relative to core regions of the alliance; allied economies (including coining); regularity of phoros payment; and ethnocultural status. The results are presented on a Table containing evidentiary citations, arguments, bibliography, and evaluations of degrees of certainty. These determinations are aligned with the well-attested processes of commutation of personal service to phoros-payment and of disaggregation of larger political units. The original phoros-paying allies numbered ca. 92 (of which 15 might plausibly be removed). Allies providing personal service perhaps totaled initially 28 (falling to 7 at mid-century). Phoros-allies and ship-contributors might thus have been ca. 120. If our cohort of initial phoros-payers paid in the early 470s the same amount as their highest attested payment during 454-431, the total would be ca. 178 silver talents. Thus, early incidence of phoros-payment was ca. two-and-a-half times greater than at mid-century. There are wide ramifications for other major issues: levels of allied exploitation; the ebbing of the Persian threat in the 460s after Eurymedon; the significance of a steep rise in assessment in 425; the replacement of phoros in 413 by the 5% import/export duty; and the Athenian concept of Aristeidean phoros.

My contribution adds to a series of my studies on Athenian hegemonic revenue during their fifth-century hegemony. [1] My main purpose is to present a revised roster of the Delian League members when the phoros was first assessed (478/7). The editors of the Athenian Tribute Lists (ATL) made a systemic inquiry into the list of original allies. Unfortunately, the considerable analytical value of that exercise was wasted by a series of ad hoc formulations which rendered the first phoros quite incommensurate with the later allied revenue system. [2] In contrast, I shall argue that important aspects of Attic hegemonism can be illuminated by careful reconstruction of the early alliance. Nevertheless, concerns of space here will curtail an almost unrelievedly negative treatment of various ATL and kindred conjectures. As I rebut some ATL positions elsewhere, I refer the reader to those treatments. I start from the premise that, like most “international” organizations, the Delian League was initially smaller than its eventual widest membership. Not only were many potential allies unrepresented in Byzantion at the moment of the alliance’s founding (478/7) or even unsuitable for interaction with the poleis represented there, but the victories of 480–478 probably also seemed to many Greeks unlikely to be easily replicated. Moreover, to those with vested interests in Persian dominance, the allied program of resistance must have appeared counterproductive.

Our thinking about certain issues, influenced by ATL, must be revised. [3]

  1. ATL thought the initial assessment included some notional value of the ships contributed by allies serving in person. [4] This surmise naturally runs afoul of Thucydides’ direct statement that phoros was money (1.96.2; cf. 1.99.3): “… and the Hellenotamiai Treasurers were then for the first time established as an office, who received the phoros [tribute], for the phora [conveyance] of khrēmata [funds] was thus named. The first phoros that was assessed was 460 talents.” [5] Parallel passages indicate that the total of 460 talents was transmitted accurately, [6] i.e. we have what the contemporary text of Thucydides read. [7] Diodorus Siculus has 560 talents, [8] no comfort for ATL and others, those for whom 460 talents is already too high. Yet this is likely a simple misrepresentation of his proximate source, Ephorus. [9] Also derived from Ephorus are Nepos (Aristides 3.1) and Plutarch (Aristides 24.3), who offer 460 talents. [10] The peculiar theory of Ephoran substitutions to the text of Thucydides was perversely suggested to nullify the agreement of the later sources with Thucydides. It took life from the eminence of the ATL editors, despite its manifest inversion of source filiation (Figueira forthcoming).
  2. ATL and others were also especially disquieted because the figure of 460 talents seemed at odds with the level of payment (from 454/3) implied by the quota-lists of aparkhai (IG I3 259–72). A necessarily larger mid-century alliance, which had also experienced a directly attested shift away from service in person to phoros payment, received annually ca. 400–410 talents. [11]
  3. Moreover, in 431 Perikles had heartened the Athenians with an accounting of their resources for fighting the Peloponnesians by mentioning annual revenue, ‘for the most part in phoros ’, of about 600 talents, this at a time when the quota-lists indicate about 400 talents of phoros. [12] This incongruity between Perikles’ 600 talents and the contemporary quota-lists seemed to invite scholars to reimagine the nature of phoros in Thucydides.
  4. There have been three approaches to reinterpreting Thucydides’ 460 talents at the first assessment. The first is to posit a group of allies who were not later assessed. The second is to suppose that the quota-lists do not represent the total assessment. The third approach, favored by the ATL, does violence to the very sense of Thucydides by arguing that phoros can mean service and payments in kind.

On the first: A notorious “dodge” was offered by ATL by supposing that Cypriot poleis were initially assessed (see also AE 56–58). That would require that the Cypriot Greeks sent envoys to Byzantion or subsequently to Athens or Delos during 478–477 to enlist in the new alliance as soon as its inauguration was announced. Believing that scenario is a fairly tall order in itself given the forcefulness of Persian reactions about Cyprus. Yet, still more fatal is the actual treatment of the Cypriots by Athens during Delian League operations. [13] The Athenians held a strong position on Cyprus more than once. After Eurymedon in the first half of the 460s, Kimon operated there successfully. Moreover, at the outset of the Egyptian revolt from Persia, allied forces were operating there. Finally, Kimon conducted a campaign at Cyprus in 451 during which he took the Phoenician cities of Kition and Marion, and his forces won a famous victory at Cypriot Salamis. At none of these junctures did Athens assess its Cypriot allies. Kimon’s last campaign is particularly revealing as a spike in Attic influence there. That would have been a natural point at which to impose phoros on the Cypriots if any earlier attempt had ever been tried and let lapse. The extant quota-lists of the first and second assessment periods indicate that it was not.

Assessment of the Greek Cypriots makes no sense: they were confronted at home by rival poleis and wealthy Phoenician towns that tended to orient themselves toward homeland Phoenicia itself and favored Persia as a means of self-preservation. Persian expeditions mounted from Cilicia or from Phoenicia would almost inevitably reach Cyprus before the Athenians could come in aid. Therefore, the Cypriot Greeks were too vulnerable and exposed for anyone to contemplate demilitarization, in any case partial, combined with subsidizing Athens for their defense through phoros payments. Just like the Attic allies in Italy and Sicily, the phoros system never extended to Cyprus. Hence a Cypriot assessment is not a viable solution for making up the large discrepancy between Thucydides’ 460-talent first assessment and the lower payments of initial allies as demonstrated from the mid-century first lists of aparkhai.
On the second: That the amount of phoros reported in literary sources (starting from Thucydides) might differ significantly from the amount implied by epigraphic evidence is prima facie unlikely on the basis of the literary and epigraphical evidence for the reassessment of 425/4, with its massive increases. The decree of assessment (the “Decree of Thoudippos”: IG I3 71) substantially survives. Our literary material approximates a reasonable estimate from the remains of IG I3 71. [14] Secondarily, this explanation would argue that sizeable amounts of assessed phoros were diverted before the payments of the aparkhai to pay for bases and garrisons. [15] Payments to Attic forces in the field are later explicitly marked on the lists of aparkhai. [16] Athenian bases are too limited in number to affect the quota-lists. [17] As to the 600 talents of Perikles in 431, it is only predominantly phoros, with the rest provided by income from Athenian colonies. [18]
On the third: In addition to running in direct contradiction with the explicit statement of Thucydides that phoros was the conveyance of money, one wonders how such calculations were meaningful both without some method to depreciate the value of ships—which the allies made available—as they aged, and without factoring in funding for their replacement. [19] The combination of service and taxation in a blended total seems a sort of juxtaposition fundamentally alien to Greek statecraft. What purpose would the creation of such a blended total serve in the context of 478/7: the alliance needed to maximize revenue in order to subsidize a massive Attic investment of men and materiel. [20] The idea also is characteristic of a modern conceptual realm where monetizing service validates it, not of fifth-century thinking where providing funds was not equated with military service (Plutarch Pericles 13.3). Mixing in some reckoning of the expenditures of the serving allies also has a result quite opposite to the ATL’s intention, since 460 talents is too small an assessment if the contributions of the non-tributaries (or even Athens itself) are added. In my calculation below, the 21 allies who commutated to tributary status would later pay 202 talents. Then it would be necessary to factor in Chios, Lesbos, and Samos, all of whom possessed economies larger than the largest tributary. [21] Moreover, serving allies and especially Chios, Samos, Lesbos, Thasos, and Naxos, known allies whose forces served in person, must have experienced huge annual costs to participate.
Why is it too radical to insist that Thucydides be understood through his direct construal? Hence the 460 talents of the first assessment ought to be contrasted with the lower figures of the quota-lists after 454/3. The burden of phoros in an early, smaller Delian League was heavier than later in the century. The significance of this observation can only be appreciated if we explore in detail the likely scale of the early alliance. Instead of an investigation intending to disable the historicity of the 460 talents of the first, “Aristeidian” assessment, or to transform our understanding of phoros itself, our approach starts with the historicity of a 460-talent first assessment. Then a determination of the scope of the alliance becomes interesting, especially for the light it sheds on fundamental differences between the early alliance and its later shapes. Rather than propound general arguments in favor or against large or small initial Delian Leagues, let us see where the evidence takes us.
When discussing the original membership of the league, it is helpful to keep in mind the later division of the tributaries into districts that appear, if somewhat disorganized, on the lists of the aparkhai from 454/3. The analysis on my roster of allies adopts this pattern. ATL offered some criteria for excluding tributaries later attested on the lists from the early alliance. These are: (A) location inland; (B) placement beyond the early limits of the alliance; and (C) sporadic and late appearance on the lists of aparkhai. I would add two further general criteria. My criterion “D” denotes non-Greek or quasi-Hellenized polities. It is self-evident that the early alliance was a confederacy of ‘city-states’ from which ethnē ‘tribes’ and non-Greek or partially hellenized communities must be excluded. A large number of such states appear well after the early assessments in any case. Until then the Delian League had been almost exclusively an alliance of poleis. That renders it unlikely that polities other than city-states would have had delegations present in Byzantion, on Delos, or at Athens to join the new alliance. None are in fact attested. Considerations of size of the local economy affect classification, and a large economy can sometimes be used to argue for serving rather than tributary status. This investigation differs from ATL in seeing the identification of serving allies as an essential process for understanding the scale of the first assessment. The ATL shrank from this exercise under the aforesaid view that calculations for personal service were folded into Thucydides’ total for the first assessment.
Poleis doubtless varied in their output. For instance, possession of mines by a Thasos or Athens or the existence of a productive commercial or craft sector at an Aigina increased per capita output even when their product was factored into large agricultural segments of a local economy. However, the magnitudes of such differentiation in gross terms cannot approach modern proportions because of technological limitations. Where numbers conferred military power and mechanical productive means were limited, the sizes of the local economy and of local population have a close correlation. [22] Rates of growth or decline in output are tightly interrelated with demographic change. Hence the issue of scale of the local economy is important: it becomes axiomatic that levels of assessment must generally reflect the size of the local economy. In turn, the scale of a polis economy for demographic and financial reasons strongly conditions its ability to maintain an independent military establishment. It is then hardly coincidental that after the Thirty Years Peace of 446/5 the economies of the three great eastern Aegean islands of Chios, Lesbos, and Samos (with their insular and mainland dependencies) were the largest in the arkhē, and these islands were the only serving (autonomous) states within the alliance. [23] Nor is it surprising that the highest level tributaries, Aigina and Thasos, were major economic and military powers which were only tributaries because they were coerced into that category by Athens through subjugation.
The scale of the local economy as expressed by phoros assessment will help guide us in suggesting allies that began with personal service and then became tributary. Unfortunately, there are no surely attested cases of this phenomenon. Those actually attested to have become tributary did so through compulsion applied after dissidence. Yet the phenomenon of commutation was significant, as literary traditions derived from Thucydides and Atthidography indicate. [24] These passages imply that the initial ship-contributors far outnumbered the mid-century trio. Plutarch says Kimon promoted commutation by a permissiveness toward allied deficiencies. The context is clearly after Eurymedon, when the Persian threat had abated and attractions of home and devotion to personal affairs carried less risk. Our impression from Plutarch involves an appreciable number of such cities. Any justifiable doubts over a unique role for Kimon ought not vitiate this conclusion. One might be tempted to guess that a considerable proportion of the early league was nontributary. That option, however, is not likely; it entails that any polis choosing to serve was allowed to do so. Sensibly, Ruschenbusch noted that too many tributaries had such small assessments that it is inconceivable that they could ever have contributed a single ship. [25] Here the level of local output has a deeper significance: many small tributaries lacked the resources to have supported autonomy in a late archaic military setting. Rather, their two practical possibilities were inclusion in the sphere of influence of a stronger neighbor, or assessment as a tributary in the Delian League. The very existence of the distinction between those serving in person and tributaries was to address a mismatch in resources: Athens had ships and fighters but lacked funding for so many triremes. [26] For the present inquiry, the only method for deciding the cohort of original serving allies and later commutators is to posit a threshold of 10 talents, below which the Athenians usually barred personal service (not withstanding a few exceptions from special circumstances). [27] That provides us a reasonably sized cohort of original serving allies, about 28 to account for the traditions about commutation. [28] Some choices may be errant, but the general picture will probably be valid. [29]
We can correlate with another data set. Autonomous allies were continuous and relatively copious minters during the lifetime of the alliance (see the notes to the Table). Thus, they differ from most tributaries—those who did not start coining, ended or interrupted minting, or focused on lighter issues. [30] Indeed, when one considers the array of states with strong records of numismatic activity, there is a strong correlation between assessed phoros and minting. Subvention of naval service and the provision/equipping of warships probably comprised a significant budgetary component for allies serving themselves. In contrast, phoros was at first primarily and later exclusively tendered in Attic coins. [31] Therefore, allies with coining and high assessments are good candidates to have been ship-contributors at the first assessment. Yet this methodology, however commonsensical, has potential for meaningful distortion. If large allied economies are surmised to be nontributary, errors in classification have large impacts. It is then comforting to note that literary/epigraphic evidence about personal service does not contradict indirect inferences for any known individual ally. Our treatment, however, ignores underlying factors such as growth in per capita and communal output, population growth, and inflation. Insofar as they may be estimated, their effects tend to accentuate the impact of the conclusions.
Investigating the scale of allied economies directs us to two related phenomena, both important in understanding the early League membership. One may be called “disaggregation” and the other “recruitment.” The phoros lists offer examples of the dissolution of sub-hegemonies and syntelies. [32] More commonly, dependencies of larger neighbors achieved over time separate assessment, sometimes at the initiative of the dependencies themselves or even of partisan groups within them seeking autonomy. A syntely comprised states separately listed on the quota-lists but paying a shared assessment. They could be an amalgamation linked with a former hegemonic state or even a group of smaller and militarily weaker cities without a manifestly dominant state at the center. Syntelies are both instances of disaggregation themselves and often stages toward fully separate assessment. The separate assessment of previously co-assessed states was officially called apotaxis (Antiphon fr. 55 B/T).
On the phoros lists, many more dependencies of originally serving states are found proportionately (ca. 43) than dependencies of the more numerous tributary states (ca. 23). This statement may seem tautologous, [33] but it in fact conceals a significant verity. To have a sphere of influence, a polis must have a large domestic product and population, qualities marking ship-contributors. Many smaller tributaries, later individually assessed, were not such early on, but contributed in person and materially to their hegemonic, nontributary neighbors. The dissolution of these bonds between ship-contributors and their satellites was retarded in their period of active military service. And the hegemonic states presumably strove to maintain the economic and demographic base out of which they derived military strength. That these aggregations tended to dissolve rather than coalesce on the extant phoros lists—becoming visible to us—evokes a central issue about how wealth and power were expressed in the mature arkhē. As hegemonic allies became themselves tributary, disaggregation occurred where former satellites were assessed separately. In the cases of Thasos and Samothrace, this devolution is attested directly. If disaggregation dominated in the later alliance, recruitment prevailed in the early alliance. The larger allies were the agents in drawing their satellites into the Delian League in the first place. And, in some cases, this process of attraction or incorporation played itself out over a span of years in the 470s and 460s. Many of the later members of the alliance cannot have been represented at Byzantion at its founding, but were proposed as tributary by stronger neighbors, or claimed by them as satellites, or even claimed as future accessions. Nonetheless, an end-result for estimating the early assessments of phoros is that many potential tributaries must be set aside from the payment of phoros because of control by and support of the ship-contributors. In contrast, allies classified as dependencies of the original tributary states were fewer, although tributaries outnumber the ship-contributors four to one. The breakdown of the larger tributaries had perhaps started earlier. Much of it had already occurred in the earliest period of the alliance.
The Athenians decided who paid phoros and who served in person (Thucydides 1.96.1). While in the military context of 478/7 Athens could not have conceivably excluded the powerful east Greek islands, or a Thasos for that matter, smaller tributaries were probably not granted an open option to serve. In 478/7, it is unlikely that many smaller tributaries had contingents or even representatives present at Byzantion for the first discussions about the league’s establishment. Even at a posited first allied congress at Delos early the next year, stronger poleis will have had only mixed success rounding up oath-takers from smaller allies, neighbors, and fearful adversaries. Many smaller allies who were resistant to the lead of stronger neighbors—satrapal authority doubtless assisting such recalcitrance—would only have joined the alliance over time. Time was required to show Athens was serious and capable, to gauge the pressure of regional powers, and finally to recognize Attic influence as a valuable counterbalance to regional imperialism.
My review of the known allies of the Athenians is presented schematically in the Table. There, the first column bears the names of all the allies of any period assigned to the five phoros districts: Islands, Ionia, Hellespont, Thraceward, and Caria. The second column assigns each ally to its district of the arkhē. The third classifies these allies according to my disposition of their status in 478/7 at the beginning of the alliance. Besides the self-evident “Non-ally,” “Serving ally” denotes states contributing ships and personnel to allied forces, and “Tributary ally” means a phoros-payer. Also identified here are the tributaries (from the lists of assessment and aparkhai) thought to have been dependencies of other states in 478/7, along with an annotation whether this hegemonic state was itself a tributary or a ship-contributing polity. The fourth column supplies the polity to which the dependency was linked (with question marks for degrees of uncertainty). The fifth column notes the rationales for exclusion from the original cohort of allies. These include the three criteria of ATL and an additional one: (A) location inland; (B) outside the alliance’s early limits; (C) sporadic/late appearance on quota-lists; (D) exclusion of non-Greek or partially Hellenized communities. [34] The sixth column addresses factors that support status as a serving ally, such as later high assessment or the possession of a mint. The seventh column gauges the nature of the evidence for determinations of these statuses. I emphasize that, only where literary or epigraphic sources are available do the abbreviations “direct” and “indirect” appear: “direct” connoting material explicitly contributory to judging an ally’s status; “indirect” implying inference from the source material. The eighth column supplies the contrasting designations of the ATL, but only where that variation is particularly significant. The ninth and final column also bears a different class of denominations which are “doubtful,” “more doubtful,” and “most doubtful.” These markers are applied almost exclusively to tributary allies, and are based on or include inferential arguments about status. Because my analysis tends toward results that depart radically from the ATL, its methodology is conservative. Hence dubious admissions to the original cohort of allies are initially included as tributaries, but any significant doubts are annotated in the Table.
Let me then sketch the likely membership of the early Delian League. Considering the composition of the league as it emerges from an ally-by-ally analysis, we begin with some useful figures. The original roster of the tributary allies numbered perhaps 92 at most (of which 15 have plausible alternative lower statuses as non-allies or dependencies). [35] The allies providing personal service totaled initially 28 (of which 3 have plausible lower statuses). [36] Tributaries and ship-contributors might have totaled as many as ca. 120 at the outset of the alliance. By 446/5, the ship-contributors, or autonomous allies, as it is then appropriate to call them, were the five Lesbian cities, Samos, and Chios, seven in all. There were hypothetically about 21 states that changed their form of participation to paying phoros before the beginning of the lists in 454/3. The 21 states changing their terms of participation are an appropriately sized group for justifying the literary record on changes in service found succinctly in Thucydides, and, more extensively, in Atthidography, as reflected in Plutarch’s Cimon.
In my roster of allied states, the difficult decisions were usually resolved in favor of inclusion, whether in the alliance or among the tributaries. Hence there are more questionable allies than questionable non-allies; many allies were treated with varying levels of doubt (doubtful, more doubtful, most doubtful). If we go beyond those just mentioned, the 3 ship-contributors and 15 tributaries for which there are plausible lower statuses as dependencies, one notes the tributaries marked doubtful (11), [37] more doubtful (19), [38] or most doubtful (7 in Caria). [39] Overall, it would be easier to find reasons to exclude hypothetical allies from the tributaries in 478–477 than to add many tributaries to our list. Even in light of all the uncertainties, the low 90s is perhaps the upper edge of the zone of probability for the number of league tributaries.
Some other difficult cases are among the Cycladic states, numbering nine, that I have classified as receiving remission of payment of the phoros or aparkhai rather than classification as nontributary. [40] Lewis cited disaffection. [41] It is also possible, however, that Apollo’s shrine at Delos received the aparkhai for a time from Cycladic islands associated with the Delian cult. [42] Another solution to their enigma is to propose that they were supplying crews for otherwise unmanned Athenian triremes. [43] Or we could consider these poleis as genuine ship-contributors, in which case they would stand as exceptions to our criteria based on economic factors. That would force us to subtract 23 talents, 2,500 drachmas from the total assessment of 478/7 (most of the insular phoros). Since it is improbable that these states were not league members and equally unlikely that these mostly small places were ship-contributing, serving allies, some adjustment such as suggested above is the preferable option.
How does an alliance of this size compare with others? There were 31 names on the Serpent Column (Meiggs-Lewis #27), a thanksgiving offering of Pausanias and the Hellenic League for victories over Xerxes. This roster already represents an expanded alliance, with several communities participating through the limited initiative of patriotic individuals, as for Tenos (Herodotus 8.82.1) and Siphnos (Plato Republic 329E). The Peloponnesian League, which formed a core around which the Hellenic League grew, was smaller still, ca. 25 Peloponnesian states and their dependencies. [44] The later Hellenic League initially added another five states to the Peloponnesian League, and in 479 admitted the Samians, Lesbians (presumably the five cities of the island), Chians, and other islanders. Speculatively, that last group might include these six insular states, Hestiaia on Euboia, Lemnos, Imbros, the two cities of Ikaros, and Thasos. Thus, at the outside, the Hellenic League might have included between 55 and 60 states, although not all were active in the naval campaign of 479. As for the Second Attic Confederacy, it comprised 70 states according to Diodorus and 75 states according to Aeschines. [45] There are at least 58 named on the important foundation document, the Decree of Aristoteles. Thus, even my initial, smaller Delian League is already notably larger than these other combinations. It doubled the size of the expanded Hellenic League of 479. These comparisons suggest that my hypothetical roster of 120 allies ought not to be increased casually.
Any calculation of the income in phoros from the early Delian League is strongly influenced by our methodology for establishing the identity of the ship-contributing states. Even small mistakes in wrongly categorizing a few cities are significant, owing to their larger than average later assessments. Classification for many of these 18 states (whose status is not based on textual evidence) has been dependent on arguments from the size of their assessment, coupled with the evidence of minting. The large sum of 202 talents is reached by calculating the highest pre-Peloponnesian War phoros for all of these allies. [46] This is a significant estimate not only as an indication of the importance of personal service in the early Delian League, but also because it removes a huge amount of potential phoros payment from our calculation of what might comprise Thucydides’ 460 talents for the first assessment. We could speculatively lower our estimate of 202 talents and make more phoros available to pay the first assessment. First, one might remove the seven allies, starred in note 44, who were determined to be ship-contributors mainly through the size of their economy, their coinage, and their context for military threat. That adjustment would add 66 talents to the sum of the tributaries. That would leave 12 allies, for whom direct or indirect evidence of personal service exists, to provide a cohort of poleis that voluntarily altered their participation from service to payment.
However, the literary evidence from Thucydides and from Atthidography, as reflected in Plutarch’s Cimon, seems to require more than 12 allies as changing over to phoros payment. Indeed, our entire pool of 21 poleis (less the seven autonomous mid-century allies) for those changing status might itself appear too small compared with the emphasis in Thucydides and Atthidography on the phenomenon of the relinquishment of personal service. The conclusion seems inescapable that the number of allies to contribute to the figure of 460 talents for the first assessment must be significantly reduced to account for commutation.
We can now proceed to estimate phoros payments that the resultant original roster of remaining tributary allies (92) could have contributed in 478/7 if they were paying amounts comparable to their assessments in the mid-century period. Let us use the highest phoros payment for each ally during the pre-Peloponnesian war payments, while adding in the dependencies of the tributary states (when their separation is early enough to be relevant). The total hypothetical phoros for 478/7 according to these conditions for the entire alliance would be ca. 178 talents (177 talents, 5,200 drachmas) or ca. 39% of the 460 talents of the first assessment. [47] While many talents of phoros could have been paid in 478/7 by nontributary allies if one reclassifies them as tributary, that option is limited, as we have just seen. The absence of additional allies who could be assessed in 478/7, but were lost track of later, not only sounds like a ridiculous proposition, when so phrased, but represents an unsurmountable challenge for anyone trying to explain the 460 talents of Thucydides by anything other than higher levels of assessment.
In my roster of allied states, the most difficult decisions were usually resolved in favor of inclusion, whether in the alliance or among the tributaries. Hence there are more questionable allies than questionable non-allies. The scope for distortion regarding our ship-contributors is thus balanced by the bias toward accepting as tributaries allied states for which substantive grounds also exist to exclude from the initial alliance entirely. Among the island allies, our doubts concerned a choice between tributary and ship-contributing status, while elsewhere uncertainty surrounded whether to class certain states as allies at all. If we subtract the 7 most doubtful Carian allies, we lose 5 talents, 2,000 drachmas of estimated phoros, leaving ca. 173 talents (172 talents, 4,290 drachmas). If we then subtract 18 “more doubtful” allies, we subtract 20 talents, 1,650 drachmas, leaving ca. 149 talents (149 talents, 2,500 drachmas). Finally, if we remove the 11 “doubtful” allies, we would subtract 21 talents, 2,050 drachmas for a remainder of 128 talents (128 talents, 450 drachmas). The exclusion of virtually all of these cities would not be entirely farfetched. That would bring the alliance down to ca. 83 states in its total number of original allies, of whom 55 were tributaries. Those who would effectively challenge my hypothesis that assessments were much higher in 478/7 than in 454/3 and afterward would need to proffer names of enough further allies, ones not in the reconstructed original roster of the Delian League, to make up the large difference in phoros amount we have seen in this study. The analysis underlying the foregoing discussion indicates that such other allies cannot be found among the later tributaries. There are only a few ship-contributing states available for reclassification and a few more non-allies who might be declared founding allies. That device cannot affect the final calculation even if every single dubious case improbably (or more truly, impossibly) falls the right way because our reconstruction already contains many dubious cases. [48]
To repeat, 178 talents is our estimate of the first assessment of the Delian League, if my original cohort of tributary allies was contributing phoros at assessments similar to those of the period 454–431. That sum is only about 39% of the 460 talents that Thucydides informs us was the total value of the first assessment. What we are then left with is a simple hypothesis: the approximately 92 tributary allies of the original alliance shouldered a heavier burden in 478/7. Thus, the rate at which phoros was apparently assessed was two-and-one-half times greater on average in 478/7 than after 454/3. This conclusion bespeaks both the seriousness of purpose with which the alliance mounted resistance to the Persians and their fear of Persian revanchism.
Let me sketch a history of the Athenian arkhē that is consistent with my catalogue of allied status at the founding of the Delian League. The alliance was born both in existential terror, arising from Xerxes’ invasion, and in repulsion toward the experience of Persian domination, as experienced by the Athenians, east Greeks, and poleis in coastal Thrace. [49] Therefore, the maximum effort needed for defense drew deeply on the revenue of the allies. It is fantastic to believe that Aristeides and his fellow taktai ‘assessors’ made an exhaustive analysis of allied economies and revenue streams (if one assumes that this type of review was contemporary administrative practice). [50] Rather they probably listened to proffers on the state of recent local tax income from tributaries, which were doubtless illuminated by commentary from neighboring friends and enemies, as well as advice from the powerful serving allies. It would not be surprising if the assessors worked with a rule of thumb, say a third or a half, of the commercial taxes existing in a tax climate like that of Athens. I doubt that 460 talents had any greater initial meaning than being the most the Athenian generals and taktai thought they could impose.
A context in which streams of revenue proportionately much higher than the mid-century phoros could be exacted from the allies can be supported from a consideration of the 5% import/export tax (the eikostē) that replaced the phoros in 413. [51] The Athenians believed that they could raise more money thence than by a continuation of the traditional, albeit higher, wartime levying of phoros (Thucydides 7.28.4). There is a general consensus that (at least) ca. 1,000 talents were the expected yield. Since in a realm of hard precious metal coinage as a medium for exchange in inter-polis trade, imports and exports will be in approximate equivalence, an interchange between allied poleis constituted a 10% exaction. However, Attic allies traded with non-league communities. In addition, the eikostē was not levied on trade with Athens, the largest economy and largest commercial sector in the alliance. That Attic trade was subjected to other imposts (e.g. a 2% import tax) that comprised another stream of revenue for Athens. One can merely surmise, but a 6–8% levy on commerce looks to be an upper limit. Then we have to ask ourselves how large a part of the economy was constituted from imports/exports compared to goods produced and consumed locally. I doubt that anyone would guess a proportion over 50%. Thus, the eikostē might have been a ca. 3–4% drain on the total allied output in 413. The pre-war phoros was ca. 400 talents (in approximate average) or 40% of the ca. 1,000 talents anticipated from the eikostē. Thus, the pre-war phoros would have to be a proportionally smaller share of total output than the ca. 3–4%, just noted, of which 40% is ca. 1.2–1.6% of output. It would not have been a trivial burden to tender phoros in 478/7 at 2.5 times the mid-century/pre-war level in war-battered economies, but such an obligation does not seem impossible.
In the course of editing, Aaron Hershkowitz has suggested a striking corollary that may follow from the relationship I have suggested between revenue from the allies of 478/7 and the revenue from the eikostē. The 40% proportion of the approximate average pre-war 400 talents of phoros as compared to the 1,000 talents from the eikostē is similar to the relationship of the 178 talents of estimated phoros of the original cohort of tributaries in 478/7, if they were taxed at the same level as in 454–431 BC, as compared to Thucydides’ figure of 460 talents for the initial assessment of the alliance, since that would be 39%. That suggests both that our reconstruction of the size of the early alliance is correct and that the figure we have in Thucydides for the initial phoros assessment (460 talents) is reasonably in line with phoros levels in the 450s–430s. The period 454–430 is thus a period of reduced stress and lower assessment in contrast both to the time of intense Persian menace of the early Delian League and to the war years after the raised assessments following the Thoudippos Decree (IG I3 71) of 425 (cf. n. 13 above), including the period after 413 when the eikostē existed.
Demands on allied finances slackened, most probably, after the decisive victory at the Eurymedon River, where a Persian invasion force was annihilated. [52] That significant reductions in assessment could readily occur is demonstrated from the extant lists of aparkhai, where reductions proportionately outnumber increases. [53] Allies in Caria who were exposed to harassment and pressure were now excused from payment of phoros. That annual phoros, hovering ca. 400 talents, probably covered the anticipated usual campaigning and patrol and some transfer to the reserve. [54] Naturally from a larger group of phoros-payers, who now included former tributary states, their dependencies, and many new allies, the incidence of this phoros —i.e. its impact on the economies of each tributary ally—was much lighter. When the exigencies of the Archidamian War became pressing, the Athenians reverted to higher assessments, perhaps 2.5–3 times as high (Plutarch Aristides 24.3). This looks rather like the level of exaction that must have prevailed in the early alliance. Hence we may take literally the clause from the decree authorizing higher assessments, which states (IG I3 71.21–23): τ[ὸ]ν δὲ φόρο[ν ὀλέζ]ο μὲ π̣[όλει νῦν ταχσάντ]ον μ[ε]δεμιᾶι ἒ ℎο[πόσον πρὸ το͂ ἐτύγχανον ἀπάγ]οντ̣|[ες] … ‘let them now not assess to any city phoros less than as much as they happened to be contributing before …’. This was perhaps the Aristeidian phoros mentioned in the Peace of Nikias (Thucydides 5.18.5), a levy still in the spirit of the first assessment. [55]
If the arguments by which this conclusion has been reached are sound, we shall not linger too long over protests that find it too radical. More radical in their interpretation of the ancient sources are the theses that seek to force the usage of the term phoros to encompass either service in person or the supposed abstract value of Attic participation in the alliance. And this overreaching is in pursuit of saving the assumption, for which no ancient source in fact vouches, that assessments in 478/7 cannot have been higher than those attested in 454/3 and the years immediately following. Moreover, not a single piece of evidence indicates that either the burden of phoros on the allies went up between 478/7 and 454/3 or even stayed the same. Do those who would protest our argument counter-propose anything except the vague sense that the Athenians were imperialists and as such they would naturally have exploited their hegemony? We need sharper argument.


AE = Meiggs, R. 1972. The Athenian Empire. Oxford.
ATL = Meritt, B. D., H. T. Wade-Gery, and M. F. McGregor. 1939–1953. The Athenian Tribute Lists. 4 vols. Princeton.
BA = Talbert, R. J. A., ed. 2000. Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World. Princeton.
CT = Hornblower, S. 1991. A Commentary on Thucydides. Vol. 1, Books I-III. Oxford.
HCT = Gomme, A. W., A. Andrewes, and K. J. Dover. 1945–1981. A Historical Commentary to Thucydides. 5 vols. Oxford.
IACP = Hansen, M. H., and T. H. Nielsen, eds. 2004. An Inventory of Archaic and Classical Poleis. Oxford.
Meiggs-Lewis = Meiggs, R., and D. Lewis, eds. 1988. A Selection of Greek Historical Inscriptions. 2nd ed. Oxford.
Rhodes-Osborne = Rhodes, P. J., and R. Osborne, eds. 2003. Greek Historical Inscriptions: 404–323 BC. Oxford.
[Inscriptional/Epigraphical Corpora are cited after the style of the Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum:
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Chambers, M. 1958. “Four Hundred Sixty Talents.” Classical Philology 53:26–32.
Eddy, S. K. 1968. “Four Hundred Sixty Talents Once More.” Classical Philology 63:184–195.
Figueira, T. J. 1991. Athens and Aigina in the Age of Imperial Colonization. Baltimore.
———. 1998. The Power of Money: Coinage and Politics in the Athenian Empire. Philadelphia.
———. 2003. “Economic Integration and Monetary Consolidation in the Athenian Arkhê.” In Moneta, Mercanti, Banchieri. I precedenti greci e romani dell’Euro, ed. G. Urso. Pisa. 71–92.
———. 2005. “The Imperial Commercial Tax and the Finances of the Athenian Hegemony.” Incidenza dell’antico 3:83–133.
———. 2006. “Reconsidering the Athenian Coinage Decree.” Annali dell’Istituto Italiano di Numismatica 52:9–44.
———. 2008. “Classical Greek Colonization.” In A History of Greek Colonisation and Settlement Overseas, ed. G. R. Tsetskhladze. Leiden. 2:427–523.
———. 2016a. “Defense and Deterrence in the Context of the Foundation of the Delian League.” In Pólis/Cosmópolis: Identidades Globais & Locais, ed. C. Soares, M. do Céu Fialho, and T. Figueira. Coimbra. 17–41.
———. 2016b. “Aigina: Island as Paradigm.” In The Eyesore of Aigina: Anti-Athenian Attitudes in Greek, Hellenistic and Roman History, ed. A. Powell and K. Meidani. Swansea. 19–50.
———. 2019. “The Aristeidian Tribute and the Peace of Nikias.” In Figueira and Jensen 2019:167–231.
———. 2022. “Salamis as Inflection Point: Militarization, Politicization, and Democratization.” In Democracy. Democracy and Salamis 2500 Years After the Battle That Saved Greece and the Western World, ed. N. Kyriazis, E. M. L. Oikonomou, and A. Platias. Berlin. 75-96.
———. Forthcoming. Financing Survival: Athenian Monetary Resources in the Archidamian War. Coimbra.
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Hershkowitz, A. 2019. “Patterns in Variation in Tribute Assessment.” In Figueira and Jensen 2019:109–133.
Jensen, S. R. 2010. Rethinking Athenian Imperialism: Sub-Hegemony in the Delian League, PhD Diss., Rutgers University.
———. 2019. “Synteleia and Apotaxis on the Athenian Tribute Lists.” In Figueira and Jensen 2019:55–77.
Lewis, D. M. 1994. “The Athenian Tribute-Quota Lists, 453–450 BC.” Annual of the British School in Athens 89:285–300.
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Ma, J., N. Papazarkadas, and R. Parker, eds. 2009. Interpreting the Athenian Empire. London.
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———. 1983b. “Das Machtpotential der Bündner im ersten athenischen Seebund (Überlegungen zu Thukydides 1,99,2).” Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 53:144–148.
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The Table of Delian League Allies

General Comments

Ionia: A region of strong participation because the Ionians were active in efforts to free themselves, so much so that Herodotus speaks of a second Ionian Revolt (9.104). Thucydides also speaks baldly of οἱ δὲ Ἀθηναῖοι καὶ οἱ ἀπὸ Ἰωνίας καὶ Ἑλλησπόντου ξύμμαχοι ἀφεστηκότες ἀπὸ βασιλέως (the Athenians and the allies from Ionia and the Hellespont who had revolted from the King) cooperating with the Athenians to besiege Sestos in winter 479–78 (1.89.2) or of the Ionians aggrieved at their commander, the Spartan Pausanias, making overtures to the Athenians to take over military leadership (1.95.1). Transplantation proposals in which Ionians would exchange estates en masse with homeland Medizers indicates their participation in anti-Persian initiatives so that even the Spartans acknowledged that something must be done for their safety (Herodotus 9.106.2–3; Diodorus Siculus 11.37.1–3).
Hellespont: The number of allies available for recruitment into the League from the Hellespont should have been appreciable, since cities there provided Xerxes with 100 triremes (Herodotus 7.95.2, along with subjects from the Pontos). Representatives of the Hellespontine Greeks would have been present at Byzantion in the very region itself when Spartan hegemony began to unravel.
Thrace: The situation of the alliance in Thrace, although resistance to Persia had started in 479, is complicated by the Persian possessions of littoral strategic strongholds/bridgeheads, of which attested examples are Eion (Thucydides 1.98.1; Herodotus 7.107.1–2; Ephorus FGrH 70 F 191.6; Diodorus Siculus 11.60.2; Plutarch Cimon 7–8.2; Nepos Cimon 2.2; Polyaenus Stratagemata 7.24; Pausanias 8.8.9; Demosthenes 23.199) and Doriskos (Herodotus 7.106.2; cf. 59.1, 108.2).
Caria: The Carians represent a special case among non-Greeks because their identification with Asiatic Greek aspirations for independence from Persia goes back to the Ionian Revolt (Herodotus 5.117–122.2; 6.25.20). The Ephoran tradition on Kimon treats his Eurymedon campaign as the absorption of Caria and Lycia as allies (Ephorus FGrH 70 F 191, fr. 8; Diodorus Siculus 11.60.4): as immediate prelude, the coastal cities were recruited; the hellenized cities (diglōttoi ‘bilingual’) and those garrisoned by the Persians were reduced; and lastly the Lycian cities were persuaded to become allies. Similarly, Plutarch describes this sequence as an expulsion of Persian arms out of Asia from Ionia up to Pamphylia (Plutarch Cimon 12.1), giving the specific case of Phaselis as exemplary of his efforts with Greek cities (Cimon 12.3–4). There may be time compression at work here. Diodorus puts all of Kimon’s early campaigns into one year under 470/69. Thus, Kimon’s activities in Caria and Lycia may have occupied some years prior to Eurymedon, even if his intervention in Pamphylia is reserved for the context of Eurymedon itself. Atthidography may have gone into greater detail over specific cities. Frontinus reports the taking of a city in Caria, which is, unfortunately, not named, by burning an extramural sanctuary of Diana/Artemis (Strategemata 3.2.5). Accordingly, our literary evidence appears to exclude from the early alliance mainland Caria, Lycia, and Pamphylia. Exceptions probably existed, ones now impossible to determine. Kimon’s advances in the 470s and early 460s leading up to Eurymedon may have involved some allies having freed themselves in the aftermath of Mykale. These could have included charter members of the alliance that then stood as isolated bridgeheads in blocks of Persian-controlled territory. The Athenians removed from assessment many states in the interior of Caria and Lycia during the second and third assessment periods (ending ca. 440). This culling presumably occurred because Athens recognized that these states needed their resources for their own protection, and the regular application of force to coerce compliance and provide an umbrella of protection was not cost effective at a time when inland Caria and Lycia were no longer credible as Persian staging areas. These states probably remained allies. The Athenians would assess them again in 425/4.
Assessment Periods are cited after the ATL conventions: 1st Assessment Period = 454/3–451/50; 2nd period = 450–446; 3rd period 444–42; 4th period = 442–38; 5th period = 438–34.
Bibliography has been cited sparingly here for reasons of space, with ATL, IACP, and my own scholarship being favored. For expediency, IACP has been cited without chapter specifications.
Tribute in the highest amount 454–431 has been provided, where relevant. I have not provided complete citation of entries on the lists of aparkhai, but have highlighted first appearances, last appearances; appearances on inscribed assessments (IG I3 71, 77, 100), where relevant for original tributary members.

Criteria for classification: A = location inland; B = limits of early alliance; C = sporadic/late appearance on quota-lists; D = ethnos or non-Greek/partially hellenized community. Abbreviations for allied status:

  • NA = Non-ally
  • NOM = not original member
  • OM = original member
  • SA = Serving ally
  • DSA = Dependency, Serving Ally
  • DTA = Dependency, Tributary Ally
  • Levels of Uncertainty whether allies were tributary: Doubtful, More Doubtful, Most Doubtful
  • [?] = possible alternative classification.


[ back ] 1. Figueira 2003; 2005; 2006; 2016[a]; 2019; 2022; and forthcoming. The first chapter of Figueira forthcoming was to appear in a collection that miscarried because of the Great Recession.
[ back ] 2. For earlier scholarship, see Chambers 1958; Eddy 1968; French 1972; Hammond 1973; Ruschenbusch 1983a, 1983b; Unz 1985. The first (and most active) period of scholarship on assessment concluded with the conservative treatment of AE 50–67, which, nonetheless, was willing to countenance that assessments actually fell.
[ back ] 3. A comparable analysis of the initial tribute assessment is offered by Samons 2000:81–91, one similarly critical of the efforts to dissuade us of the historicity of the 460 talents of Thucydides. Jay Samons’ treatment is notable for its more exhaustive citation of the earlier secondary literature, where space limits have required more selectivity here. That two reviews of the issue (both of the 1990s in their gestation) came independently to similar conclusions may reassure some scholars who have felt afloat here on a sea of speculation.
[ back ] 4. ATL 3:194: “contributions were made in ships or money. For our purposes, whether a city’s status was tributary (cash) or nontributary (ships) is irrelevant.”
[ back ] 5. … καὶ Ἑλληνοταμίαι τότε πρῶτον Ἀθηναίοις κατέστη ἀρχή, οἳ ἐδέχοντο τὸν φόρον· οὕτω γὰρ ὠνομάσθη τῶν χρημάτων ἡ φορά. ἦν δ᾽ ὁ πρῶτος φόρος ταχθεὶς τετρακόσια τάλαντα καὶ ἑξήκοντα.
[ back ] 6. See also Figueira forthcoming.
[ back ] 7. Cf. Andocides 4.11, suggesting that the increase of 425 doubled the Aristeidian level. First assessment without a phoros total: Xenophon Poroi 5.5–6; Demosthenes 23.209; Aeschines 3.258; ΣDemosthenes. 22.12–14 (Anonymous Argentinensis); [Aristotle] Athenaion Politeia. 23.5; Aristodemus FGrH 104 F 7; Pausanias 8.52.2; Aelian Varia Historia 11.9.
[ back ] 8. Diodorus Siculus 11.47.1, but later 460 talents (12.40.1–2).
[ back ] 9. Ephorus (with other ‘universal’ historians and the Peripatetic authors of ‘constitutions’) probably worked from the local historiography and other epichoric sources, who at Athens at least would have used Thucydides.
[ back ] 10. Cf. Plutarch Cimon 6.2–3.
[ back ] 11. Figueira 1998:254–56: 398 talents. Table 2.1 of Figueira 1998:77–78 compiles the data in an appendix on allied mints on pp. 513–540. See also Figueira forthcoming.
[ back ] 12. Thucydides 2.13.2–3: παρῄνει δὲ καὶ περὶ τῶν παρόντων ἅπερ καὶ πρότερον, παρασκευάζεσθαί τε τὸν πόλεμον καὶ τὰ ἐκ τῶν ἀγρῶν ἐσκομίζεσθαι … λέγων τὴν ἰσχὺν αὐτοῖς ἀπὸ τούτων εἶναι τῶν χρημάτων τῆς προσόδου, τὰ δὲ πολλὰ τοῦ πολέμου γνώμῃ καὶ [3] χρημάτων περιουσίᾳ κρατεῖσθαι. θαρσεῖν τε ἐκέλευε προσιόντων μὲν ἑξακοσίων ταλάντων ὡς ἐπὶ τὸ πολὺ φόρου κατ᾽ ἐνιαυτὸν ἀπὸ τῶν ξυμμάχων τῇ πόλει ἄνευ τῆς ἄλλης προσόδου … ‘He encouraged them with advice also about the present circumstances, in the same way as previously: that they should both prepare themselves for war and convey their property in from the rural areas … he observed both that their strength derived from the prosodos [income] of khrēmata [funds/monies] from them [the allies] and that the majority of military matters were controlled by gnōme [understanding] and by the periousia [predominance] of khrēmata [funds]. He enjoined them to be confident since 600 talents of phoros, generally [or “for the most part”] were coming in each year for the city from the allies, disregarding the remaining prosodos …’. See Figueira forthcoming.
[ back ] 13. Cyprus: Plato Menexenus 241D–E; Plutarch Themistocles 31.4. Kimon in 460s: [Simonides] Anthologia Palatina 7.258, 296, 443; Diodorus Siculus 11.61.7, 62.3; Polyaenus 1.34.1. Ca. 459: Thucydides 1.104.2; IG I3 1147.2; Diodorus 11.75.4; Aristodemus FGrH 104 F 11.3. Kimon ca. 451: Thucydides 1.112.2–4; Diodorus Siculus 12.3.1–4.4; Plutarch Cimon 18.1–19.2; Phanodemos FGrH 325 F 23; Nepos Cimon 3.4; Aristodemus FGrH 104 F 13.1; Aelian Varia Historia 5.10; Isocrates 8.86; Pausanias 1.29.13; cf. Plutarch Pericles 10.5; Suda s.v. Κίμων, κ 1622 Adler.
[ back ] 14. Compare Plutarch Aristides 24.3 (1,300 talents); Aristophanes Wasps 660 (total revenue: 2,000 talents); Andocides 3.8–9 & Aeschines. 2.175 (post–421: 1,200 talents) with IG I3 71.181 (425/4: 1461 talents+?). See Figueira forthcoming.
[ back ] 15. HCT 1:277–278; French 1972:7–13. Unz 1985 thought that the aparkhai were paid on the surplus of the phoros. Cf. Samons 2000:305–307, Figueira forthcoming.
[ back ] 16. IG I3 281.I.59–60, III.42–43, III.66 (430/29); IG I3 282. I.1, I.11–12 (429/428); 283.IV.36 (428/7); IG I3 285.107–108 (426/5). Earlier: IG I3 265 I.105, II.108–109 (447/6); cf. IG I3 265.I.5, 70, 74, 90, 98–99, 101–102; II.59, 67.
[ back ] 17. Figueira 1991:172–176.
[ back ] 18. Figueira 1991:185–93; 2008:450–51; forthcoming.
[ back ] 19. Cf. Gomme HCT 1:284, noting Thucydides 1.99.3, for which see Figueira forthcoming.
[ back ] 20. Figueira 2016[a]:25–33; 2022:84–87.
[ back ] 21. Our estimate of the serving allies who changed to phoros is 202 talents and of the tributaries is 178 talents. To this total of 380 talents must be added (at the very least) 150 talents for a grand total that must certainly exceed 550 talents. Note that subdued Lesbos paid 100 talents to Attic cleruchs in the 420s (Thucydides 3.50.2).
[ back ] 22. Figueira 1991:161–172; 2016 [b]:30–42.
[ back ] 23. Figueira 1998:150–174.
[ back ] 24. Thucydides 1.99.3, with 1.19; cf. 3.10.5. Plutarch Cimon 11.1–3.
[ back ] 25. Ruschenbusch 1983[b].
[ back ] 26. Figueira 2022:80–84.
[ back ] 27. The maintenance of a mint during the Pentekontaeteia also appears to have been less viable below 10 talents (Figueira 1998:481–482). For those who would accept the equation that 1 talent of phoros supported one trireme (Eddy 1968:189–194), the 10 talent threshold also afforded an ally a small squadron of ships. My argument also seems to show a touch of circularity, but perhaps a necessary one, because applying the 10 talent threshold appears to yield a workable early alliance.
[ back ] 28. Islands: Andros, Naxos, Paros; Lemnos (rather questionable). Ionia: Chios, Erythrai, Kyme, Lesbos (inc. Antissa, Eresos, Methymna, Mytilene & Pyrrha), Miletos, Samos. Hellespont: Khersonesitai, Lampsakos, Perinthos; Selymbria (rather questionable). Thrace: Abdera, Ainos, Mende, Poteidaia, Samothrace (questionable), Thasos, Torone. Caria: Ialysos, Kameiros, Lindos (as Rhodes [questionable]). Byzantion, whose highest assessment surpassed 18 talents, is classed as a non-ally, but it may have contributed ships for a time after its delayed entry into the league.
[ back ] 29. Without specific argument, but judging from service at Lade, Salamis, or with the Persians: Blackman 1969:182–183 offers Lesbos (5), Chios, Samos, Thasos. Islands: Naxos, Tenos & Lemnos (probably), Andros & Paros (perhaps); Ionia: Erythrai, Miletos, Myous, Phokaia, Priene, Teos, Klazomenai (perhaps); Asiatic Dorians: Rhodes (3), Halikarnassos, Iasos, Knidos, Kos; Hellespont: Abydos, Byzantion, Khalkedon, Kyzikos; Thrace: some Khakidian cities, Akanthos & Poteidaia (probably), Mende, Skione, Torone (probably). Total: 38+.
[ back ] 30. Figueira 1998:56–174.
[ back ] 31. Figueira 1998:269–281.
[ back ] 32. For the phenomenon, see Jensen 2019; on the wider issue of sub-hegemony, Robertson 1980; Jensen 2010.
[ back ] 33. The determinations of the two groups are derived through different methods: serving allies are established by direct evidence, size of assessment and of local economy, and minting activity. Dependencies are determined not only by evidence of the lists, but also by direct evidence, by political affiliation, and by geographical factors.
[ back ] 34. One of the drawbacks of the approach of the IACP is that status as a tributary is used as evidence of status as a polis. It would be more prudent to observe that the arkhē promoted the development of a polis structure through its administrative processes.
[ back ] 35. Islands: 15; Ionia: 15; Hellespont: 19; Thrace: 23; Caria: 20.
[ back ] 36. See n. 27 above.
[ back ] 37. We use only pre-431 assessments in these calculations. Islands (1): 1 talent; Ionia (3): 3 talents, 2,000 drachmas; Hellespont (4): 16 talents, 5,000 drachmas; Caria (3): 3,500 drachmas. Total: 11: 21 talents, 3,500 drachmas. I provide phoros amounts here so that the impact of altering my assignments of status can be weighed.
[ back ] 38. Ionia (7): 5 talents, 5,660 drachmas; Hellespont (5): 4,500 drachmas; Thrace (4):11 talents, 1,000 drachmas; Caria (2): 3 talents, 3,000 drachmas. Total 19: 21 talents, 3,650 drachmas.
[ back ] 39. Most doubtful (7): 5 talents, 2,000 drachmas.
[ back ] 40. Eretria, Hestiaia, Keos, Khalkis, Kythnos, Seriphos, Siphnos, Styra, and Tenos. Of the early absentees, Andros and Paros were already serving allies. In general, see Lewis 1994:285.
[ back ] 41. Lewis 1994:295–296. This is unlikely in places so close to Attica, whose economic situation was already so tied to Attica.
[ back ] 42. Wallace and Figueira 2010:65.
[ back ] 43. Figueira 1991:168; 2016 [a]:30.
[ back ] 44. Peloponnesian & Hellenic Leagues: Herodotus 7.202, 203.1, 207; 8.1.2; 8.46.4–48; 9.28.5, 31.4; also 9.106.4.
[ back ] 45. Diodorus Siculus 15.30.2; Aeschines 2.70: Rhodes/Osborne #22.
[ back ] 46. Abdera* (15 talents), Ainos (12 talents), Andros (12 talents), Erythrai* (9 talents), Ialysos (10 talents), Kameiros (9 talents), Khersonesitai (18 talents), Kyme* (12 talents), Lampsakos* (12 talents), Lindos (10 talents), Mende (15 talents), Miletos (10 talents), Paros (18 talents), Perinthos (10 talents), Poteidaia* (6 talents), Samothrace* (6 talents), Selymbria * (6 talents), Torone (12 talents). Note also Figueira 1998:562–98.
[ back ] 47. Islands: 44 talents, 4,560 drachmas; Ionia: 25 talents, 660 drachmas; Hellespont: 35 talents, 4,800 drachmas; Thrace: 50 talents, 2,380 drachmas; Caria: 21 talents, 4,800 drachmas. Cf. ATL 3.241 for 297 talents.
[ back ] 48. The research for this project and for the other publications referenced in n.1 above originated in a manuscript of 1998–2000, which become intractable. My calculations on the original roster of the Delian League have been revisited several times since. I say this to emphasize that the basic picture of the early alliance portrayed here cannot shift much absent a further change in paradigm (which I cannot envisage).
[ back ] 49. Figueira 2015:29–33; 2020:75–80, 94.
[ back ] 50. And they would have had to complete the task in 478/7 (Athenaion Politeia 23.5). It is improbable that the taktai worked from the Persian dasmos, hated as alien and as tax on real property. See Murray 1966; Whitehead 1998. Cf. Raaflaub 2009:100–101.
[ back ] 51. Figueira 2016 [a]:123–125.
[ back ] 52. The suppression of the revolt of Naxos was an earlier turning point (Table n. 24), although it has often been misconstrued. Note Gomme HCT 1.282–283; Hornblower CT 1.151–152. Unfortunately, Thucydides chose charged language in describing the aftermath of the revolt: πρώτη τε αὕτη πόλις ξυμμαχὶς παρὰ τὸ καθεστηκὸς ἐδουλώθη ‘And it was the first allied city enslaved contrary to previous practice’. The term ‘enslavement’ here is later fifth-century rhetoric for closer Attic intervention. This was probably a departure from precedent, as suppressing an allied defector could hardly be against ‘the established rule’. A faction of the Naxians had likely acted in expectation of an imminent Persian campaign in the Aegean (Figueira 2016[a]:23). Naxos was indeed the first rebellious ally subdued by Athens, and thereby bound by a separate bilateral treaty conditioning its internal polis life. The generality of Thucydides’ next comment (ἔπειτα δὲ καὶ τῶν ἄλλων ὡς ἑκάστῃ ξυνέβη ‘then it also happened severally to each of the rest’) shows that no specific individual hegemonic provisions are envisaged. Cf. Samons 2000:75, 92, 296.
[ back ] 53. Hershkowitz 2019:123, who offers a review with explanations in terms of administrative dynamics.
[ back ] 54. The reserve fund cannot have been exclusively funded from phoros, the surplus of which was unlikely to have been sufficiently elevated nor its excess over current expenditures so provocative. See Figueira forthcoming. See also Samons 2000:207–211.
[ back ] 55. Figueira 2019:181–188, 198–207.