From the mid-sixth to the mid-fourth century BCE a nexus of connections to Thrace defined the careers of several of Athens' most prominent figures, including Pisistratus, Miltiades, Alcibiades and Iphicrates. This book explores the importance of Thrace to these individuals and its resulting significance in the political, cultural and social history of Athens. Thrace was vitally important for Athens thanks to its natural resources and access to strategic waterways, which were essential to a maritime empire, and connections to the area conferred wealth and military influence on certain Athenians and offered them a refuge if they faced political persecution at home. However, Thrace's importance to prominent individuals transcended politics: its culture was also an important draw. Thrace was a world free of Athenian political, social and cultural constraints - one that bore a striking resemblance to the world of Homeric epic.


Table of contents


List of Figures and Maps page

List of Abbreviations


I. Introduction: Egalitarianism, Ambition, and the Disciples of Thrace

The Problem with Equality

Defining Thrace

Sources and Methodology

Pistiros: A Case Study in Material Evidence

Thrace versus Other Lands: The Cases of Alcibiades and Chabrias

Outline of the Book

II. Thrace as Resource and Refuge I: The Pisistratids to Thucydides

Introduction to Chapters 2 and 3

The Tyrant: Pisistratus

The Exile as Tyrant: The Philaids

Recovering His Family’s Thracian Fortune: Cimon

Thrace-Experts: Hagnon, Dieitrephes, and Thucydides

III. Thrace as Resource and Refuge II: Alcibiades to Iphicrates

Alcibiades and Thrasybulus

A Nexus of Thracian Ties

Seduced and Abandoned: Xenophon

Going Native: Iphicrates

Conclusion to Chapters 2 and 3

IV. Athenian Ambivalence toward Thracians and Thracophiles


Two Views of Thrace

The Draw of Bendis: The Liminal Existence of Thracians at Athens

The Athenian Response to Thrace’s Disciples

V. The Cultural Appeal of Thrace for the Athenian Elite


Gold Masks



Feasting and Gift-Exchange

Religion and Cult

The Agōn


VI. Thrace as Military Academy


Thrace and the Hero of Marathon

A Bad Day at Mycalessus

Thracian Barbarians Save Athenian Democracy!

Iphicrates and the Ideal Infantryman


VII. Epilogue: Chares and Charidemus in a Macedonian World



Publisher Cambridge University Press
Language English
Pages 342
Illustrations maps
Binding hardback
ISBN 978-1-107-03053-4
Creation date 2013
Size 16 x 24 cm

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