Mycenaean Greece was the last phase of the Bronze Age in Ancient Greece, spanning the period from 1600–1100 BC. It represents the first advanced civilization in mainland Greece, with its palatial states, urban organization, works of art, writing system; the most prominent site was Mycenae, in the Argolid. Other centers of power that emerged included Pylos, Midea in the Peloponnese, Thebes, Athens in Central Greece and Iolcos in Thessaly. Mycenaean and Mycenaean-influenced settlements appeared in Epirus, Macedonia, on islands in the Aegean Sea, on the coast of Asia Minor, the Levant and Italy; the Mycenaean Greeks introduced several innovations in the fields of engineering and military infrastructure, while trade over vast areas of the Mediterranean was essential for the Mycenaean economy. Their syllabic script, the Linear B, offers the first written records of the Greek language and their religion included several deities that can be found in the Olympic Pantheon. Mycenaean Greece was dominated by a warrior elite society and consisted of a network of palace-centered states that developed rigid hierarchical, political and economic systems.
At the head of this society was the king, known as wanax. Mycenaean Greece perished with the collapse of Bronze Age culture in the eastern Mediterranean, to be followed by the so-called Greek Dark Ages, a recordless transitional period leading to Archaic Greece where significant shifts occurred from palace-centralized to de-centralized forms of socio-economic organization. Various theories have been proposed for the end of this civilization, among them the Dorian invasion or activities connected to the "Sea Peoples". Additional theories such as natural disasters and climatic changes have been suggested; the Mycenaean period became the historical setting of much ancient Greek literature and mythology, including the Trojan Epic Cycle. The Bronze Age in mainland Greece is termed as the "Helladic period" by modern archaeologists, after Hellas, the Greek name for Greece; this period is divided into three subperiods: The Early Helladic period was a time of prosperity with the use of metals and a growth in technology and social organization.
The Middle Helladic period faced a slower pace of development, as well as the evolution of megaron-type dwellings and cist grave burials. The Late Helladic period coincides with Mycenaean Greece; the Late Helladic period is further divided into LHI and LHII, both of which coincide with the early period of Mycenaean Greece, LHIII, the period of expansion and collapse of the Mycenaean civilization. The transition period from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age in Greece is known as Sub-Mycenaean; the decipherment of the Mycenaean Linear B script, a writing system adapted for the use of the Greek language of the Late Bronze Age, demonstrated the continuity of Greek speech from the second millennium BC into the eighth century BC when a new script emerged. Moreover, it revealed that the bearers of Mycenaean culture were ethnically connected with the populations that resided in the Greek peninsula after the end of this cultural period. Various collective terms for the inhabitants of Mycenaean Greece were used by Homer in his 8th century BC epic, the Iliad, in reference to the Trojan War.
The latter was supposed to have happened in the late 13th – early 12th century BC, when a coalition of small Greek states under the king of Mycenae, besieged the walled city of Troy. Homer used the ethnonyms Achaeans and Argives, to refer to the besiegers; these names appear to have passed down from the time they were in use to the time when Homer applied them as collective terms in his Iliad. There is an isolated reference to a-ka-wi-ja-de in the Linear B records in Knossos, Crete dated to c. 1400 BC, which most refers to a Mycenaean state on the Greek mainland. Egyptian records mention a T-n-j or Danaya land for the first time c. 1437 BC, during the reign of Pharaoh Thutmoses III. This land is geographically defined in an inscription from the reign of Amenhotep III, where a number of Danaya cities are mentioned, which cover the largest part of southern mainland Greece. Among them, cities such as Mycenae and Thebes have been identified with certainty. Danaya has been equated with the ethnonym Danaoi, the name of the mythical dynasty that ruled in the region of Argos used as an ethnonym for the Greek people by Homer.
In the official records of another Bronze Age empire, that of the Hittites in Anatolia, various references from c. 1400 BC to 1220 BC mention a country named Ahhiyawa. Recent scholarship, based on textual evidence, new interpretations of the Hittite inscriptions, as well as on recent surveys of archaeological evidence about Mycenaean-Anatolian contacts during this period, concludes that the term Ahhiyawa must have been used in reference to the Mycenaean world, or at least to a part of it; this term may have had broader connotations in some texts referring to all regions settled by Mycenaeans or regions under direct Mycenaean political control. Another similar ethnonym Ekwesh in twelfth century BC Egyptian inscriptions, has been identified with the Ahhiyawans; these Ekwesh were mentioned as a group of the Sea People. Mycenaean civilization originated and evolved from the society and culture of the Early and Middle Helladic period in mainland Greece under influences from Minoan Crete. Towards the end of the Middl
Demetrius I of Macedon
Demetrius I, called Poliorcetes, son of Antigonus I Monophthalmus and Stratonice, was a Macedonian Greek nobleman, military leader, king of Macedon. He was its first member to rule Macedonia. At the age of twenty-two he was left by his father to defend Syria against Ptolemy the son of Lagus, he was defeated at the Battle of Gaza, but soon repaired his loss by a victory in the neighbourhood of Myus. In the spring of 310, he was soundly defeated when he tried to expel Seleucus I Nicator from Babylon; as a result of this Babylonian War, Antigonus lost two thirds of his empire: all eastern satrapies fell to Seleucus. After several campaigns against Ptolemy on the coasts of Cilicia and Cyprus, Demetrius sailed with a fleet of 250 ships to Athens, he freed the city from the power of Cassander and Ptolemy, expelled the garrison, stationed there under Demetrius of Phalerum, besieged and took Munychia. After these victories he was worshipped by the Athenians as a tutelary deity under the title of Soter.
In the campaign of 306 BC, he defeated Ptolemy and Menelaus, Ptolemy's brother, in the naval Battle of Salamis destroying the naval power of Ptolemaic Egypt. Demetrius conquered Cyprus in 306 BC. Following the victory, Antigonus assumed the title "king" and bestowed the same upon his son Demetrius. In 305 BC, he endeavoured to punish the Rhodians for having deserted his cause. Among his creations were a battering ram 180 feet long, requiring 1000 men to operate it. In 302 BC, he returned a second time to Greece as liberator, reinstated the Corinthian League, but his licentiousness and extravagance made the Athenians long for the government of Cassander. Among his outrages was his courtship of a young boy named Democles the Handsome; the youth one day found himself cornered at the baths. Having no way out and being unable to physically resist his suitor, he took the lid off the hot water cauldron and jumped in, his death was seen as a mark of honor for his country. In another instance, Demetrius waived a fine of 50 talents imposed on a citizen in exchange for the favors of Cleaenetus, that man's son.
He sought the attention of Lamia, a Greek courtesan. He demanded 250 talents from the Athenians, which he gave to Lamia and other courtesans to buy soap and cosmetics, he roused the jealousy of Alexander's Diadochi. The hostile armies met at the Battle of Ipsus in Phrygia. Antigonus was killed, Demetrius, after sustaining severe losses, retired to Ephesus; this reversal of fortune stirred up many enemies against him—the Athenians refused to admit him into their city. But he soon afterwards ravaged the territory of Lysimachus and effected a reconciliation with Seleucus, to whom he gave his daughter Stratonice in marriage. Athens was at this time oppressed by the tyranny of Lachares—a popular leader who made himself supreme in Athens in 296 BC—but Demetrius, after a protracted blockade, gained possession of the city and pardoned the inhabitants for their misconduct in 301 BC. After Athens' capitulation, Demetrius formed a new government which espoused a major dislocation of traditional democratic forms, which anti Macedonian democrats would have called oligarchy.
The cyclical rotation of the secretaries of the Council and the election of archons by allotment, were both abolished. In 293/3 - 293/2 B. C. two of the most prominent men in Athens were designated by the Macedonian king and Phillipides of Paiania. The royal appointing is implied by Plutarch who says that "he established the archons which were most acceptable to the Demos." In 294 BC, he established himself on the throne of Macedonia by murdering Alexander V, the son of Cassander. He faced rebellion from the Boeotians but secured the region after capturing Thebes in 291 BC; that year he married Lanassa, the former wife of Pyrrhus, but his new position as ruler of Macedonia was continually threatened by Pyrrhus, who took advantage of his occasional absence to ravage the defenceless part of his kingdom. After besieging Athens without success he passed into Asia and attacked some of the provinces of Lysimachus with varying success. Famine and pestilence destroyed the greater part of his army, he solicited Seleucus' support and assistance.
However, before he reached Syria hostilities broke out, after he had gained some advantages over his son-in-law, Demetrius was forsaken by his troops on the field of battle and surrendered to Seleucus. His son Antigonus offered all his possessions, his own person, in order to procure his father's liberty, but all proved unavailing, Demetrius died after a confinement of three years, his remains were given to honoured with a splendid funeral at Corinth. His descendants remained in possession of the Macedonian throne till the time of Perseus, when Macedon was conquered by the Romans in 168 BC. Demetrius was married five times: His first wife was Phila daughter of Regent Antipater by whom he had two children: Stratonice of Syria and Antig
The Themistoclean Wall, named after the Athenian statesman Themistocles, was built in Athens, Greece during the 5th century BC as a result of the Persian Wars and in the hopes of defending against further invasion. The Persian Wars were waged by the Achaemenid Empire of Persia in an attempt to conquer the Greeks. King Darius I was unsuccessful in his invasion attempt and was followed by his son, Xerxes I, who led the Second Persian Wars which lasted from 480 to 479 BC. Xerxes saw more victories than his father burning down Athens. Following the Persian Wars the Greek city states were left in disarray. Many buildings and fortifications of the Greek city states were destroyed; the people of Athens were worried by a return of the Persians, Themistocles advocated rebuilding the walls before anything else so they decided to act upon this plan. This project was opposed by the Spartans and their Peloponnesian allies alarmed by the increasing power of Athens, arguing that a walled Athens would be a useful base for an invading army, that the defences of the Isthmus of Corinth would provide a sufficient shield against invaders.
The Athenians went ahead to protect themselves from the Peloponnesians. The Themistoclean Wall was completed in 479 BC and built with Spolia, old materials, in this case destroyed temples and other ruins because of the rushed nature of the work and the available material, it had at least 13 gates. The wall bisected the Kerameikos cemetery where all of the funerary sculptures were built into it and two large city gates facing north-west were erected; the Sacred Way ran on the southern side, to Eleusis. On the northern side a wide road, the Dromos, ran through the double-arched Dipylon Gate and on to the Platonic Academy a few miles away. After their defeat in the Peloponnesian war in 404 BC the Athenians had to destroy all the walls. However, when democracy was re-established Conon repaired the city walls in 394 BC. Facing the Macedonian invasion in 338 BC, a smaller wall, the Proteichisma, was built in front of the main one as an extra defence; the walls were badly damaged when Sulla besieged and attacked the city in 86 BC.
They were rebuilt along some sections by Valerian. The main visible remains are: in the Kerameikos, the highest remaining section on the Pnyx near Kotsia square, near the Acharnian gate visible in the basement of National Bank on Aiolou Street at 29 Erysichthonos; the most important were: Dipylon Gate the Thriasian Gates Sacred Gate Peiraic Gate Demian Gate Eriai Gate Acharnian Gate Northeastern Gate Diochares Gate, not excavated Hippades Gate or Gate of Aegeus Diomeian Gate, not excavated Itonian Gate Halade Gate or eastern Phaleric Gate, not excavated South Gate or western Phaleric Gate Dipylon above the Gates Melitides Gate City walls of Athens Kerameikos Peck, Harry T. “Athenae.” Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities and Brothers, 1898. Perseus. Neer, Richard T. Greek Art and Archaeology: a New History, c. 2500-c. 150 BCE. Thames & Hudson, 2012. Wees, Hans Van. Greek Warfare: Myths and Realities. Gerald Duckworth & Co. 2004. Sage, Michael M. Warfare in Ancient Greece: A Sourcebook. Routledge, 1996.
Judeich, Walther. Topographie von Athen. Munich: Beck. Theocharaki, Anna Maria. "The Ancient Circuit Wall of Athens: Its Changing Course and the Phases of Construction". Hesperia: The Journal of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. 80: 71–156. Doi:10.2972/hesp.80.1.0071. JSTOR 10.2972/hesp.80.1.0071. Winter, F. E.. Greek Fortifications. Routledge & Kegan Paul. ISBN 978-0-608154244
Hadji Ali Haseki
Hadji Ali Haseki was an 18th-century Ottoman Turk and for twenty years on-and-off ruler of Athens, where he is remembered for his cruel and tyrannical rule. The career of Hadji Ali Haseki is known chiefly from two sources, written by contemporaries: the journals of the Athenian scholar Ioannis Benizelos, the memoirs of Panagiotis Skouzes, they are complemented by the reports of Western European travellers, subsequent Greek historians. According to Skouzes, Hadji Ali was born in central Anatolia, had entered the palace service as a youth, he became a personal bodyguard to the Sultan Abdülhamid I, as well as of his sister Esma Sultan. Skouzes reports rumours that Haseki and Esma were lovers, that she favoured him and promoted his interests because of this. According to Benizelos, prior to coming to Athens, he had served as voivode of Durrës. Athens had been under Ottoman rule continuously since 1456, apart from a brief Venetian occupation in 1687–1688, during the Morean War. Under Ottoman rule, the city was denuded of any importance and is dismissed as a "small country town" by modern scholars such as Franz Babinger, but this image is incorrect: the city's population grew during the 16th century, with c. 16,000 was for a time the fourth-largest Ottoman town in the Balkans, after the capital Constantinople and Thessalonica.
The Venetian occupation led to the near-abandonment of the city in fear of Ottoman reprisals, it began to recover only slowly. By the middle of the century, the city numbered c. 10,000 inhabitants, of whom about 4/5 were Greek Orthodox, i.e. Greeks and a few Arvanites—most of the Arvanites in the area of Attica lived in the countryside rather than in Athens itself—and the rest "Turks", i.e. Muslims regardless of ethnic origin, including Gypsies and "Aethiopians". There does not appear to have been a Jewish community in Athens during that time; the Turkish community numbered several families established in the city since the Ottoman conquest. Their relations with their Christian neighbours were friendlier than elsewhere, as they had assimilated themselves to their Christian neighbours to the point of drinking wine, speaking Greek, allowing more freedom to women; the Greeks held the city's commerce in their hands, enjoyed a measure of self-rule, headed by a council of elders or primates, who assumed office every February and were selected from among the city's 15–20 aristocratic families.
The archontes held much power, sometimes using it for the benefit of the Greek community, but at others allying with the Ottoman authorities to preserve their privileges. Under the archontes were the noikokyraioi, numbering 24 families according to Skouzes, the pazarites and artisans, the xotarides, the poorer farmers; the villagers of Attica, the choriates, were ranked at the bottom of the social hierarchy. The climate was healthy, but the city relied chiefly on pasture—practiced by the Arvanites of Attica—rather than agriculture, it exported leather, grain, honey, resin, a little silk and valonia, chiefly to Constantinople and France. In the late 18th century, the city hosted an English consul. Although its administrative status in the early Ottoman centuries is unclear, by the 17th century Athens, though formally part of the Sanjak of Eğriboz and hence under the jurisdiction of the Kapudan Pasha, formed part of the vakıf of the Haramayn, the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, was administered by the Kizlar Agha.
However, its proceeds were rented out in a tax-farming arrangement to individuals, who governed the city as its voivode. The voivode or zabit was appointed beginning in March of each year; the post was lucrative, voivodes tried to secure the renewal of their appointment. Bribes to the central government, but the support of the local primates, were instrumental for the purpose; the zabit was complemented by the mufti, the local Muslim religious leader, the kadi, the serdar, the dizdar. In 1760, Athens became a malikhane, a special landed estate that belonged to the Sultan but was given to high officials as a usufruct estate that entitled its owner to the collection of the tithe and other tax proceeds, in theory for life, in exchange for a lump sum and an annual rent; the owner sub-let the proceeds to one or more third persons, who held the post of voivode. The new system was to the detriment of the city, because the voivodes had an interest to maximize their gains in their short period of office, because abuses were harder to redress: under the Kizlar Agha, the Athenians could address their concerns to a single person, close to the Sultan, but with the new system, there were several people who held authority, the link to the Porte was more tenuous.
Furthermore, during the decades before Haseki's arrival in Athens, the zabit was in constant conflict with the pashas of Negroponte, who sought to interfere in Athenian affairs. The exact manner and date of Haseki's arrival in Athens is unclear. Skouzes writes that in 1772, Esma Sultan acquired the malikhane of Athens at a price of 750,000 piastres—later in his account Skouzes raised the figure to 1.5 million piastres—and gave it over to Haseki. Benizelos, indicates that Haseki bought the malikhane of Athens whe
Demosthenes was a Greek statesman and orator of ancient Athens. His orations constitute a significant expression of contemporary Athenian intellectual prowess and provide an insight into the politics and culture of ancient Greece during the 4th century BC. Demosthenes learned rhetoric by studying the speeches of previous great orators, he delivered his first judicial speeches at the age of 20, in which he argued to gain from his guardians what was left of his inheritance. For a time, Demosthenes made his living as a professional speech-writer and a lawyer, writing speeches for use in private legal suits. Demosthenes grew interested in politics during his time as a logographer, in 354 BC he gave his first public political speeches, he went on to devote his most productive years to opposing Macedon's expansion. He idealized his city and strove throughout his life to restore Athens' supremacy and motivate his compatriots against Philip II of Macedon, he sought to preserve his city's freedom and to establish an alliance against Macedon, in an unsuccessful attempt to impede Philip's plans to expand his influence southward by conquering all the other Greek states.
After Philip's death, Demosthenes played a leading part in his city's uprising against the new king of Macedonia, Alexander the Great. However, his efforts failed and the revolt was met with a harsh Macedonian reaction. To prevent a similar revolt against his own rule, Alexander's successor in this region, sent his men to track Demosthenes down. Demosthenes took his own life, in order to avoid being arrested by Archias of Thurii, Antipater's confidant; the Alexandrian Canon compiled by Aristophanes of Byzantium and Aristarchus of Samothrace recognised Demosthenes as one of the ten greatest Attic orators and logographers. Longinus likened Demosthenes to a blazing thunderbolt, argued that he "perfected to the utmost the tone of lofty speech, living passions, readiness, speed". Quintilian extolled him as lex orandi, Cicero said about him that inter omnis unus excellat, he acclaimed him as "the perfect orator" who lacked nothing. Demosthenes was born in 384 BC, during the last year of the 98th Olympiad or the first year of the 99th Olympiad.
His father—also named Demosthenes—who belonged to the local tribe and lived in the deme of Paeania in the Athenian countryside, was a wealthy sword-maker. Aeschines, Demosthenes' greatest political rival, maintained that his mother Kleoboule was a Scythian by blood—an allegation disputed by some modern scholars. Demosthenes was orphaned at the age of seven. Although his father provided well for him, his legal guardians, Aphobus and Therippides, mishandled his inheritance. Demosthenes started to learn rhetoric because he wished to take his guardians to court and because he was of "delicate physique" and couldn't receive gymnastic education, customary. In Parallel Lives Plutarch states that Demosthenes built an underground study where he practiced speaking and shaving one half of his head so that he could not go out in public. Plutarch states that he had “an inarticulate and stammering pronunciation” that he got rid of by speaking with pebbles in his mouth and by repeating verses when running or out of breath.
He practiced speaking in front of a large mirror. As soon as Demosthenes came of age in 366 BC, he demanded they render an account of their management. According to Demosthenes, the account revealed the misappropriation of his property. Although his father left an estate of nearly fourteen talents, Demosthenes asserted his guardians had left nothing "except the house, fourteen slaves and thirty silver minae". At the age of 20 Demosthenes sued his trustees in order to recover his patrimony and delivered five orations: three Against Aphobus during 363 and 362 BC and two Against Onetor during 362 and 361 BC; the courts fixed Demosthenes' damages at ten talents. When all the trials came to an end, he only succeeded in retrieving a portion of his inheritance. According to Pseudo-Plutarch, Demosthenes was married once; the only information about his wife, whose name is unknown, is that she was the daughter of Heliodorus, a prominent citizen. Demosthenes had a daughter, "the only one who called him father", according to Aeschines in a trenchant remark.
His daughter died unmarried a few days before Philip II's death. In his speeches, Aeschines uses pederastic relations of Demosthenes as a means to attack him. In the case of Aristion, a youth from Plataea who lived for a long time in Demosthenes' house, Aeschines mocks the "scandalous" and "improper" relation. In another speech, Aeschines brings up the pederastic relation of his opponent with a boy called Cnosion; the slander that Demosthenes' wife slept with the boy suggests that the relationship was contemporary with his marriage. Aeschines claims that Demosthenes made money out of young rich men, such as Aristarchus, the son of Moschus, whom he deceived with the pretence that he could make him a great orator. While still under Demosthenes' tutelage, Aristarchus killed and mutilated a certain Nicodemus of Aphidna. Aeschines accused Demosthenes of complicity in the murder, pointing out that Nicodemus had once pressed a lawsuit accusing Demosthenes of desertion, he accused Demosthenes of having been such a bad erastes to Aristarchus so as not to deserve the name.
His crime, according to Aeschines, was to have betrayed his eromenos by pillaging his estate pretending to b
Phalerum was a port of Ancient Athens, 5 km southwest of the Acropolis of Athens, on a bay of the Saronic Gulf. The bay is referred to as Bay of Phalerum; the area of Phalerum is now occupied by the towns Palaio Faliro, Kallithea and Neo Faliro, all of which being part of the Athens agglomeration. Phalerum was the major port of Athens before Themistocles had the three rocky natural harbours by the promontory of Piraeus developed as alternative, from 491 BC, it was said that Menestheus set sail with his fleet to Troy from Phalerum, as so did Theseus when he sailed to Crete after the death of Androgeus. Archaeologists have uncovered what appear to be traces of ancient Athens’s first port before the city’s naval and shipping centre was moved to Piraeus; the site, some 350 m from the modern coastline, contained pottery, tracks from the carts that would have served the port, makeshift fireplaces where travelers waiting to take ship would have cooked and kept warm. The Park of Maritime Tradition, a collection of preserved historic ships, is located at the site.
At the southern tip is the permanent anchorage of the armored cruiser HS Averof, the admiralty ship of the Hellenic Navy during the Balkan Wars and World War I. Other museum ships include the Hellenic Navy destroyer HS Velos, the old cable ship Thalis o Milisios and Olympias, a modern reconstruction of an ancient trireme naval ship. Demetrius of Phalerum, orator Diogenes Laërtius said that Musaeus died in Phalerum
Although long walls were built at several locations in ancient Greece, notably Corinth and Megara, the term Long Walls refers to the walls that connected Athens to its ports at Piraeus and Phalerum. Built in several phases, they provided a secure connection to the sea during times of siege; the walls were about 6 km in length constructed in the mid 5th century BC, destroyed by the Spartans in 403 BC after Athens' defeat in the Peloponnesian War, rebuilt again with Persian support during the Corinthian War in 395-391 BC. The Long Walls were a key element of Athenian military strategy, since they provided the city with a constant link to the sea and thwarted sieges conducted by land alone; the ancient wall around the acropolis was destroyed by the Persians during the occupations of Attica in 480 and 479 BC, part of the Greco-Persian Wars. After the Battle of Plataea, the invading Persian forces were removed and the Athenians were free to reoccupy their land and begin rebuilding their city. Early in the process of rebuilding, construction started on new walls around the city proper.
This project drew opposition from the Spartans and their Peloponnesian allies, who were alarmed by the recent increase in the power of Athens. Spartan envoys urged the Athenians not to go through with the construction, arguing that a walled Athens would be a useful base for an invading army, that the defences of the Isthmus of Corinth would provide a sufficient shield against invaders. However, despite these concerns, the envoys did not protest and in fact gave helpful advice to the builders; the Athenians disregarded their negative arguments aware that leaving their city unwalled would place them utterly at the mercy of the Peloponnesians. In the early 450s BC, fighting began between Athens and various Peloponnesian allies of Sparta Corinth and Aegina. In the midst of this fighting between 462 BC and 458 BC, Athens had begun construction of two more walls, the Long Walls, one running from the city to the old port at Phalerum, the other to the newer port at Piraeus. In 457 BC, a Spartan army defeated an Athenian army at Tanagra while attempting to prevent the construction, but work on the walls continued and they were completed soon after the battle.
These walls ensured that Athens would never be cut off from supplies as long as she controlled the sea. These Phase 1a walls included Athens two main ports; the building of the Long Walls reflected a larger strategy that Athens had come to follow in the early 5th century. Unlike most Greek city states, which specialized in fielding Hoplite armies, Athens had focused on the navy as the centre of its military since the time of the building of her first fleet during a war with Aegina in the 480s BC. With the founding of the Delian League in 477 BC, Athens became committed to the long term prosecution of a naval war against the Persians. Over the following decades, the Athenian navy became the mainstay of an imperial league, Athenian control of the sea allowed the city to be supplied with grain from the Hellespont and Black Sea regions; the naval policy was not questioned by either democrats or oligarchs during the years between 480 and 462 BC, but after Thucydides son of Melesias had made opposition to an imperialist policy a rallying cry of the oligarchic faction, the writer known as the Old Oligarch would identify the navy and democracy as inextricably linked, an inference echoed by modern scholars.
The long walls were a critical factor in allowing the Athenian fleet to become the city's paramount strength. With the building of the Long Walls, Athens became an island within the mainland, in that no land based force could hope to capture it. Thus, Athens could rely on her powerful fleet to keep her safe in any conflict with other cities on the Greek mainland; the walls were completed in the aftermath of the Athenian defeat at Tanagra, in which a Spartan army defeated the Athenians in the field but was unable to take the city because of the presence of the city walls. For most of the First Peloponnesian War, Athens was indeed unassailable by land, but the loss of Megara and Boeotia at the end of that war forced the Athenians to turn back to the long walls as their source of defense. During the 440's, the Athenians supplemented the existing two Long Walls with a third structure; this "Middle Wall" or "Southern Wall" was built to mirror the original Athens-Piraeus Wall and was constructed to be another wall connecting the city to Piraeus.
There are many known possibilities for the purpose of the Middle Wall, such as: it was thought to have been built as a back-up defense in case someone penetrated the first Athens-Piraeus Wall. This was proven false however due to the construction of the wall, its main access points were built so that it would withstand attacks only from the direction of Phaleron. After the naval challenges of 446 BC, Athens was no longer the complete dominant power of the sea, so the Middle Wall is more a backup structure for the Athens-Phaleron Wall; the distance between the two original walls left a substantial amount of room for amphibious invasions along th