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The Aristoteles decree and the expansion of the second Athenian league.


The left lateral face of the Aristoteles Decree stele (IG II2 43), the most important epigraphic source for the Second Athenian League, presents numerous problems of interpretation. The author attempts here to establish the order in which members of the League were listed on that face and to link them with campaigns described in the literary sources, offering a possible restoration for the name inscribed in line 111 and later erased. A contemporary inscription from Athens points to the Parians, who were also listed on the front of the stone. Thus, the erasure was intended to correct a mistake of repetition.

The stele of the Aristoteles Decree (Fig. 1) is our principal epigraphic evidence for the Second Athenian League, and since its discovery and initial publication more than 150 years ago it has shed a great deal of light on the affairs of Athens and Greece during the first half of the 4th century B.C. (1) It has also raised many questions, both epigraphic and historical, especially with regard to the specific names of members and their dates of entry into the League. Both the stone and the organization whose existence it records have received intense scholarly scrutiny over the years. (2) In this article I focus on the names of member city-states, leagues, and individuals that appear on the left lateral face of the stone (lines 97-134), both to establish the order in which the names were inscribed and to attempt to link the campaigns of Athenian generals recorded in the literature with the appearance of names on the stele. My findings support a possible solution to one of the key problems presented by the stone: the name inscribed--and later erased--in line 111.


The entries on the left lateral face of the stele present numerous problems of reconstruction and interpretation. The 30 entries that survive here in part or in full most likely reflect the original number. The highest entry, in line 97 (continuing to line 98), appears at the same level as the first line of the main body of the decree on the front of the stone (line 7). Twenty-eight entries follow in 32 successive lines with relatively regular spacing. Then, after a space of 0.26 m (equal to about 16 lines of text on the front of the stone), there occurs the lowest entry, stretching over four lines, the first of which is at the same level as line 79 on the front--that is, the line containing the entry for the Chians, the first of all the member names inscribed on the stone.

The major questions concerning the left lateral face of the stele include the following: the order in which the entries were inscribed; whether all the entries were inscribed at the same time and, if not, what groups of simultaneously inscribed entries can be detected, and when those groups were inscribed; and what name of a city, league, or individual was originally inscribed in line 111 and later erased.

Most scholars agree that there were at least three different hands involved in inscribing the entries on the left face: the highest (comprising lines 97-98) and the lowest (comprising lines 131-134) differ from each other and from the rest of the entries. These two entries are also crucial for determining the order in which the entire face was inscribed, so I will discuss those first before turning to the bulk of the names (lines 99-130).


Upon the conclusion of the Peace of 375/4 B.C., the Athenians sent envoys to Corcyra to recall the general Timotheos. On his way back to Athens he intervened in an episode of factional strife on the island of Zakynthos, installing a group of exiled democrats at a fortified site on the island (or perhaps the mainland nearby). Timotheos's actions ultimately led to a renewal of hostilities, as the Zakynthians in the city complained to Sparta, who sent a fleet to assist them. (3)

The Zakynthians appear on the stele of the Aristoteles Decree as "the demos of (the) Zakynthians in/on the Nellos." (4) This entry, which of all those on the stone was most clearly inscribed at a separate time, is also the most enigmatic. Commentators often describe the hand as "sloppy." (5) Other unique or distinctive attributes of the entry include the reference to "the demos" (repeated on the surviving parts of the stone only in lines 97-98), the reference to a particular locale (an otherwise unknown one at that), and its placement on the stone (see below). (6) For my present purpose, I am concerned mostly with what we can conclude about when this entry was inscribed relative to the others on the left side. Silvio Accame assumed from its position at the bottom of the left face that it was the latest entry, and that it therefore provided a terminus ante quem for the entire list, which he placed in autumn 375. (7) This conclusion is easily refuted, however, for two reasons: (1) we cannot be certain that this was the latest entry (chronologically) on the stone, and (2) we should not assume that the entry was made immediately after (or at any time after) the intervention of Timotheos at Zakynthos.

First, regarding the relative order of the entries on the left lateral face, A. Geoffrey Woodhead pointed out in 1957 that the Zakynthian entry occurs on a level with that of the Chians, the first entry on the front of the stele. (8) Therefore, it is possible, if not likely, that the Zakynthian demos was the first entry on the left side rather than the last. Raphael Sealey conjectures that the mason "did not see names higher up on the left face and append his entry to them; on the contrary, he saw names only on the front and inscribed his entry on their level to associate it with them." (9) Jack Cargill has commented that there is no certain epigraphic evidence that this was the case; but it remains difficult to explain why this entry would have been placed at that level after the inscribing of the ones above it. (10) The distinctive nature of the entry cannot be used to explain the separation, since other entries that are different in some way appear in the list of names on the left side: "[the d]emos of (the) [- -]raians" (lines 97-98); cities or leagues with the preposition "from" appended (lines 101-102, 128-129); genitive plural ethnics followed by one or more cities on the corresponding island (lines 107-108, 119-122); and the names of individuals (lines 109-110). Thus, the most likely explanation for the placement of the Zakynthian entry remains that suggested by Woodhead and supported by Cawkwell and Sealey: it was the first to be inscribed on the left side.

As far as the absolute date of the entry is concerned, there is no need to assume, as Accame did, that it occurred upon Timotheos's return from the Ionian Sea in 375/4. It is possible that the Zakynthians were already members of the League when he set out on his voyage in early summer 375, and perhaps an additional reason for his campaign that year was to support the democratic faction in their efforts to return to their native city. (11) In fact, this scenario would make more sense of what we know of Timotheos's actions. If part of his original mission had been to restore the Zakynthian exiles, he may have felt compelled to achieve something on this front before returning to Athens, despite the fact that a peace had just been concluded. But rather than stop and lay siege to the city--which would constitute an open and obvious violation of the terms of the peace--he simply installed the exiles somewhere on the island, hoping that such an action would not cause a renewed outbreak of hostilities but would still allow him to claim some measure of success in Athens. When the Zakynthians ruling the city appealed to Sparta, however, Timotheos's halfhearted attempt at keeping the peace was interpreted by the Spartans as a full breach of it. In sum, we should not take the notices of Timotheos's actions at Zakynthos as reliable indicators of an absolute date for this entry.


If the Zakynthian entry represents the first to have been inscribed on the left lateral face, we are led to conclude that the highest entry, "[the d]emos of (the) [- -]raians" (lines 97-98), was the second. (12) But to which city does this entry refer? The history of scholarly attempts to reconstruct this entry is a fascinating topic in itself. The first publication of the Aristoteles Decree, by Eustratiades in 1852, printed [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.]. (13) Of course, this can be ruled out on historical grounds, since Erythrai, in Asia Minor, would have been considered a possession of the King by the terms of the King's Peace. But more harmful mistake went unnoticed; the drawing published with the inscription placed the break of the stone farther to the right than it actually is, giving the impression that there was room for about five missing letters. This may have led the next editor of the inscription, Rangabe, to propose [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.] for the entry, since this seemed to match both the literary accounts of Timotheos's campaign of 375 in the northwest and the independent epigraphic evidence of an Athenian-Corcyrean alliance at this time (IG II2 96 and 97). (14)

Scholars universally accepted Rangabe's proposal until 1967, when John Coleman and Donald Bradeen measured the stone and proved that it had room for "the restoration of only two, or possibly three, letters." (15) Their own proposal was [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.], which is certainly feasible epigraphically, and which most scholars have recognized to be historically possible as well. (16) Since then, Fordyce Mitchel has made a detailed argument in favor of [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.], the Thessalian city ruled by Jason during the 370s, while Germana Scuccimarra has argued for [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.], a city on Lesbos known to have been a member of the League. (17) For my present purpose, it is not necessary to come to a conclusion about this entry, since the name inscribed here does not affect my proposed restoration for line 111.


In their 1967 article, Coleman and Bradeen also mention in passing that lines 97-98 appear to have been inscribed by a different hand from the one responsible for those immediately below. (18) This leads us to the final batch of entries on the stone, those found in lines 99-130 (Fig. 2), and the question of how many hands inscribed them, and when. Scholarly opinion on this issue over the past century has been divided between one hand and several hands at work. Those who see evidence for more than one stonecutter have generally argued for various groups of entries inscribed at different times; those who see no such evidence believe that all the names between lines 99 and 130 were cut at the same time by the same hand. (19)


The issue is difficult to resolve, in part because the question of what criteria should be used to determine the hand(s) at work on the left side of the stone has never been fully addressed. Ernst Fabricius, the first to discuss the number of hands involved, despite noting "sharper" or "thicker" lettering at certain points, did not believe that these variations signified a different mason at work. (20) Woodhead focused on the spacing of the letters to distinguish two groups of entries, one above the erasure at line 111 and another below. (21) Coleman and Bradeen addressed only a break they saw after line 98, describing the letters in the first entry as "slightly smaller, more deeply cut and more widely spaced" than those immediately below. (22) Mitchel argued for four groups of entries based on the observations made by Fabricius, without any further detailed evidence. (23)

The focus on the issue of how many hands were involved in inscribing the entries has diverted attention from the larger question of the time frame involved. As I stated above, those positing various hands at work have argued for groups of entries appearing on the stone at different times; conversely, those who consider all the entries to have been inscribed by the same hand have assumed that all the entries were therefore listed on the stone at the same time. (24) This would, of course, offer the simplest scenario; on the other hand, it is not out of the realm of possibility that a single mason inscribed all the names on the left side of the stele (except the last), but did so at different times. In fact, the lettering of these entries may provide a clue that this was indeed the case.

Stephen Tracy found in a recent examination of the stone that the lettering in all the entries on the left side (minus the last) is consistent enough to represent the work of one man. In his opinion, the variations in the size and depth of the lettering claimed by Coleman and Bradeen (at line 99) and by Mitchel (at lines 99 and 106) do not appear significant enough to necessitate positing a new mason. Tracy points out, however, that we are not forced to conclude that all the entries were therefore inscribed at the same time. In fact, he indicates a possible break at line 111: "The erased line does seem to my eye to mark a break. The lines below it are quite uniform in spacing and thickness and I suspect are likely to have been inscribed all at one time. The lines above are less uniform." (25) This echoes the observations made almost 50 years ago by Woodhead, who argued that the spacing of the letters after the erasure (lines 112-130) shows a tendency to begin as far to the left as possible "and to preserve a quasi-stoichedon arrangement of the letters." (26) The names above the erasure, on the other hand, appeared to Woodhead "more generously spaced ... in order to give them a better proportion in relation to the longer names of the group." (27)

From the various arguments put forward by scholars over the years, we must acknowledge that a consensus on the number of hands at work on the left side of the stone may never be reached. Given the observations of two eminent epigraphers regarding the lettering, however, the possibility remains open of a passage in time between the inscribing of different groups of entries on the left lateral face, especially between those above line 111 and those below. If this is the case, can we reconstruct the circumstances of the inscribing of these groups by matching them with the accounts of Athenian campaigns found in the literary sources? I should remind the reader that hereafter I will be reconstructing groups on the basis of historical, not epigraphic, evidence. (28)

The Thrace ward Group (Lines 99-105)

Based on Diodoros's narrative (15.36.4), it is possible to assign the entry of the members listed in lines 99-105--Abderites, Thasians, Chalkidians from Thrace, Ainians, Samothracians, and Dikaiopolitans--into the League as the result of the efforts of Chabrias in this area in 375 B.C. (29) This is not to deny the possibility of voluntary accessions to the League; but even such accessions could have been encouraged by the sense of either security or fear inspired by the presence of an Athenian fleet. The only city in the group specifically mentioned by Diodoros is Abdera, where, as he relates, Chabrias appeared at a crucial moment in the Abderites' struggle with Thracian barbarians. Thasos has traditionally been restored in line 100 based on a reference in [Dem.] 12.17 (the letter from Philip to the Athenians), where it is mentioned along with Maroneia (found on the stele at line 87) in a context that implies that both were members of the League. (30) Lines 101-102 probably refer to the Chalkidian League rather than the city of Chalkis. (31) Ainos lay on the Thracian coast northeast of Samothrace, and Dikaiopolis was probably situated on the coast between Abdera and Maroneia. (32) Thus we have a group of six members who, either voluntarily or through the persuasion of Chabrias, entered the League in the summer of 375 B.C.

The Northwest Group (Lines 106-110)

Immediately after narrating Chabrias's exploits, Diodoros relates that Timotheos "having sailed to Kephallenia brought over to his side the cities there and likewise persuaded those in Akarnania to incline toward Athens." (33) He then goes on to state that Timotheos also made friends of Alketas, king of the Molossians, and "won over the lands of the cities of those regions," (34) after which he won a naval battle against the Spartans near Leukas. Xenophon, apparently narrating the same campaign of 375, makes no mention of Kephallenia, Akarnania, or Molossia; instead, he states that Timotheos "having sailed around [the Peloponnese] straightaway put Corcyra under his control," (35) treating the island, however, in a moderate and humane way. We then hear of Timotheos's naval victory and his placing of a trophy at Alyzeia (5.4.64-66).

The issues surrounding these two narratives, their relationship to the names on the stele of the Aristoteles Decree, and subsequent events in the area (especially concerning Corcyra) are varied and complex. It is sufficient here to show that the four entries comprising lines 106-110 can clearly be linked to this campaign of Timotheos in 375. In addition to the historians' accounts, we have the record of an Athenian decree of August/September 375 offering the Corcyreans, the Akarnanians, and the Kephallenians admission to the League. (36) The problem, of course, is that not all of these names appear on the stele. Cargill proposed that the absence of the Corcyreans can be explained by the fact that they never became members of the League; the same would then hold true for the cities of Kephallenia other than Pronnoi, which is the only one to appear at this point on the stele. (37) Another possibility is that these names were inscribed on parts of the front of the stele that are now missing. While Corcyra could conceivably have been listed there, however, it is highly improbable that the three cities of Kephallenia other than Pronnoi (entries that would take up four lines) all appeared on the front of the stele, since space must be reserved for several Aegean islands and cities known to have been members of the League. (38) In any case, the entries that do appear in lines 106-110--the Akarnanians, Pronnoi on Kephallenia, Alketas and his heir Neoptolemos--clearly entered the League in late summer 375 B.C.

The Aegean Group (Lines 112-130)

Before dealing with the epigraphic crux of the left lateral face, the erasure at line 111, I will continue the process of matching entries with campaigns by examining the remaining group on that face. At first glance, the group does not seem to be a very cohesive one. It consists of Cycladic islands--Andros (112), Tenos (113), Mykonos (115), three cities of Keos (119-122), Amorgos (124), Siphnos (126), and Sikinos (127); cities from the island of Lesbos in the eastern Aegean--Antissa (116) and Eresos (117); a city on Euboia--Hestiaia (114); cities from the Chersonese and Propontis region--Elaious (123) and Selymbria (125); cities on the Thracian coast--Dion (128-129) and Neapolis (130); and a mystery city, that of the Astraiousians (118). (39) Furthermore, these entries are not arranged on the stone in any geographic order; in fact, it is difficult to find any organizing principle. This has led some scholars to lump all these entries in with those of 375 B.C., that is, those in lines 99-110, attributing their adherence to the League to the Athenian naval victory at Naxos in September 376, Chabrias's Thracian campaign of 375, and voluntary accessions. (40) Those who recognize the possibility of these entries being added later than 375 usually do so with reservations, or a concession to the possibility of the earlier date. (41) However, I believe it is possible to match this entire group with the record of a specific campaign: that of Timotheos in 373, as recorded by Diodoros (15.47.2-3). (42)

The narrative of the campaign found in Diodoros relates that the Athenians had sent Timotheos out to bring aid to Corcyra, but before proceeding there, he sailed toward Thrace ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.]) and brought many cities into the alliance, along with 30 triremes. At this point, however, he was too late to fulfill the terms of the alliance with Corcyra, so his command was taken away. (43) Xenophon's account (Hell. 6.2.12-13) is roughly the same, with some differences in detail and tone. According to him, Timotheos cruised the islands ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.]) in order to man his fleet, but the Athenians felt he was wasting the best time of the year in which to campaign and therefore took away his command, putting Iphikrates in his place. (44)

We have confirmation of the general outlines of the story from a later prosecution against Timotheos by Apollodoros, preserved as [Dem.] 49. The speech, probably delivered in 362, shows that Timotheos was put on trial in late 373 by Iphikrates and Kallistratos for "not sailing around the Peloponnese." (45) He was acquitted, but his standing was damaged badly enough to cause him to leave Athens and join forces with Persia. Apollodoros also provides some detailed information regarding the chronology of events for that year: Timotheos was "ready to sail on his second expedition" (46) in April/May 373, but was in need of money and therefore obtained a loan from Apollodoros's father, Pasion. At the time when Timotheos was recalled to Athens for trial, the fleet was at Kalaureia, off the northeastern coast of the Peloponnese. The trial itself was held in (or shortly after) November/December 373. (47)

We can therefore be fairly certain that during the summer and early autumn of 373, Timotheos took the Athenian fleet somewhere in the Aegean, apparently preparing for an expedition to Corcyra by gathering men, and perhaps also money and new allies. Most recent studies of this episode have concluded that, whatever his original mission, Timotheos in the early summer of 373 must not have felt that the situation on Corcyra was urgent; but when the Spartan general Mnasippos attacked Corcyra later in the year, it appeared to the Athenians (or at least two of their leading politicians) that Timotheos had wasted the summer and left their ally open to attack. (48) One result of this conclusion is that Diodoros is correct, and Xenophon incorrect, on the relative chronology of events: Xenophon's narrative jumps from the Peace of 375/4 straight to Mnasippos's invasion of Corcyra in 373, thereby omitting almost two years' worth of activity that Diodoros preserves. (49) But can we also believe Diodoros on the destination of Timotheos's voyage and his recruitment of new allies? This is an important question, because the addition of cities from the northern coast of the Aegean (such as Dion and Neapolis) in 373 rather than 375 would be difficult to explain if we discount Diodoros's phrase [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.] and his statement concerning new allies.

P. J. Stylianou, in his commentary on book 15 of the Bibliotheca, sees Diodoros's reference to Thrace as a "grotesque muddle" and attributes it to "a confused rendering of an Ephoran passage on Timotheus' successes in Thrace in the late 360s." (50) While Stylianou does not explicitly state why a voyage to Thrace is so unlikely, it appears that he considers the reference part of an overly laudatory attitude toward Timotheos evident in several 4th-century sources, presumably due to the influence of Isokrates. (51) But if Timotheos did indeed spend the entire summer and more sailing the Aegean--as it appears he did--then there is no reason to rule out a voyage toward Thrace. (52) Stylianou's wholesale rejection of Diodoros's account appears to be a case of hypercriticism. Diodoros makes egregious errors at times; but, as Woodhead observes, these errors "do not constitute grounds for sweeping aside the whole of Diodorus' narrative as untenable whenever it happens to be inconvenient." (53) We should not dismiss Diodoros's statements out of hand simply because they conflict with those of Xenophon, especially in this case. Xenophon's phrase [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.] is less specific than Diodoros's [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.] it is well known that Xenophon had no interest in recording the expansion of the Second Athenian League, and he has proven to be susceptible to errors in other respects. (54)

It remains possible, then, that the members listed in lines 112-130 of the stele of the Aristoteles Decree, cities from all around the Aegean, entered the League subsequent to the voyage of Timotheos in 373. The gap of two years between these entries and the entries above line 111 does not create any historical problems. The Athenians probably would have welcomed a respite from the war effort after the Peace of 375/4; in fact, they were still having trouble funding a campaign in 373. (55)


We are now left with three possibilities for the date of the original entry in line 111: (1) it was inscribed at the same time as the Northwest Group immediately above it, that is, in late summer/early autumn 375 B.C.; (2) it was inscribed on its own at some point between early autumn 375 and summer 373; or (3) it was inscribed with the Aegean Group directly below it, that is, in summer 373 or at some point thereafter. (56) The second option, an entry inscribed on its own at some point between late 375 and summer 373, seems impossible to prove or disprove, and any restoration falling into this category would remain pure speculation.

As for the first option (the entry being made in 375), as long as the entry was believed to be [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.], this appeared to be the most likely scenario: the tyrant's name would have been added simultaneously with those of the only other individuals listed on the stele, and the timing would have fit the reference to an alliance between Jason and Athens that Fabricius thought he saw in Polydamas's speech to the Spartans in Xenophon (Hell. 6.1). (57) But since Woodhead reported his measurements of the letters on the left side of the stone in 1957, more and more scholars have come to the conclusion that the remaining partial stroke at the end of the rasura is more likely to belong to an iota than to a nu. (58) An entry ending in iota would probably signal the plural ethnikon of a city. (59) But in their accounts of Timotheos's campaign of 375 in the northwest, neither Diodoros nor Xenophon mentions another city that would fit here: the rasura is not long enough for [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.], or even [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.], and one of the cities of Kephallenia other than Pronnoi is unlikely, since it would almost certainly have been included under the genitive [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.]. Thus, it seems unlikely that the entry in line 111 was inscribed along with the Northwest Group above it. (60)

Finally, the likelihood of the third option--an entry inscribed with the Aegean Group in or after 373--to a large extent hinges upon the reason for the erasure. We would be dealing with an Aegean island or with a city on Euboia, on the coast of Thrace, or in the Hellespont region. But why would such an entry be erased?

Fabricius's argument for restoring [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.] supposed that the entry was erased when Jason was assassinated in 371, "in order to maintain the accuracy of the register." Later scholars who accepted Fabricius's restoration offered various reasons for the erasure. Marshall supposed defection, Accame expulsion, others a "gentleman's agreement" when it became clear that Jason would not respect the "freedom and autonomy" clause of the Aristoteles Decree (line 9). (61) But one argument against an erasure for defection or some similar breach of the alliance is that the Thebans--the most infamous defectors from the League--remained prominently placed at the top of the list on the front of the stele (line 79) even after 371. Furthermore, if Jason's name is removed from the debate, a less sinister reason for the erasure becomes more plausible: an error on the part of the stone-cutter. (62) As Mitchel points out, however, a spelling error most likely would have been treated as it is in line 130, where the correct letters are simply inscribed over the incorrect ones. This leaves the repetition of a League member already inscribed on the stele "a distinct possibility." (63)

In his 1984 article, Mitchel proposed that the entry that was mistakenly inscribed at line 111 and then erased was [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.], which becomes possible only if one accepts his proposal of [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.] in line 97 above. As Cargill points out, however, this scenario requires us to believe that the Pheraians, "mentioned nowhere in any source as members of the [League] ... were listed on the League stele not once, but twice." (64) The restoration that I propose has no more epigraphic evidence to support it than Mitchel's, but it does have the benefit of positing the repetition of a name already attested on the stone; in addition, it fits in with historical circumstances that can be reconstructed from other epigraphic evidence.


In 1936 James Oliver published a fragmentary inscription found on the southern slope of the Acropolis that contains the end of an Athenian decree and the beginning of a decree of the council (synedrion) of the allies of the Second Athenian League, both of which concern a foreign state. (65) The latter decree preserves a date, stated in the form of the archon year and the month and day of the Athenian calendar (lines 14-15); with the restoration of the archon's name (Asteios), the day can be fixed as the last day of Skirophorion (approximately July 12), 372 B.C. (66) The poor condition of the stone did not allow Oliver to venture any conclusions about the substance or circumstances of the decrees. Subsequent work on the stone, first by Adolf Wilhelm and Accame in the late 1930s, then more recently by Martin Dreher and Charles Crowther, has revealed valuable information concerning this inscription. (67)

In 1939 Wilhelm proposed that the foreign state involved in the decrees was Paros, restoring the name in lines 9 and 13-14. (68) In the meantime, Accame had cleaned the stone and, a year after Wilhelm's article, published his findings as an appendix to his book on the League. Much of his new text partially or completely confirmed Wilhelm's restorations, including the appearance of the Parians in line 9. (69) I print here the end of the Athenian decree, lines 7-14, as they appear in Rhodes and Osborne (no. 29); this text is essentially the same as that restored by Wilhelm: (70)


This passage is followed by the decree of the synedrion, which remains highly fragmentary but seems to have involved some sort of reconciliation between disputing parties. As far as the relationship between the decrees is concerned, the generally accepted interpretation, put forward by Wilhelm and Accame, is that the decree of the synedrion is in fact the diallagai mentioned in the Athenian decree above (lines 7-8), and that the Athenian decree orders the recording of these on the same stele. (71)

What remains unclear, however, is the identity of the parties being reconciled. Wilhelm ruled out an internal dispute on Paros and raised the possibility that the decrees might record a reconciliation between Athens and Paros after the latter had seceded from the League. (72) Accame expanded on this suggestion, arguing the case for a Parian revolt from the League at greater length. He posited that Spartan activity in the Ionian Sea combined with the perceived weakness of Athens and the League--including factors such as financial difficulties, Timotheos's inability to sail to the northwest in 373, and Thebes' destruction of Plataia--could have emboldened a pro-Spartan faction on Paros. (73) Dreher, however, has interpreted the decrees as pertaining to the arbitration of an internal dispute on Paros and thus a reconciliation between factions on Paros, rather than between Paros and Athens. The diallagai, then, would represent not the terms of reconciliation between Athens and Paros, but rather the "arbitration rulings" (Schlichtungs-regelungen) given to the factions on Paros by the League, acting as a third party. (74) This may indeed be the correct interpretation of diallagai. But, as Sealey has pointed out, such a dispute on the island could have led to its secession from the League. (75) This would be especially likely if the dispute were between pro- and anti-Athenian parties.

Furthermore, the very publication of the League's decree requires explanation. This inscription represents the only extant document of the synedrion of the Second Athenian League. Dreher argues that this lack of evidence results from the League's not publishing its decrees on stone, rather than from accidents of preservation. (76) If it was not normal policy to inscribe decrees of the synedrion on stone, it is possible that there were special circumstances behind the publication of the one concerning Paros, a situation that called for the prominent display at Athens of the dispute's resolution and the roles played by the Athenians and the League in that process. A secession from the League, for any of the reasons postulated by Accame, would seem to provide such an occasion.

In any case, one would expect that if the Parians had in fact defected from the League, their readmission would require decrees from both the Athenian assembly and the synedrion; and such decrees, in their usual form, would call for the Parians to be inscribed on the stele of the Aristoteles Decree. (77) Of course, the Parians were already listed on the stele--in fact, in the largest letters of what survives on the front face (line 89). But the chances of a mistaken reinscribing of their name would be increased if, at the same time that they were readmitted, the League was also admitting a large group of new members. In a flurry of decrees such as this situation would have produced, the fact that one of the names was already on the stele could easily have gone unnoticed. (78) If the Parians were included on a list given to the mason with instructions to "inscribe these names on the stone," it is unlikely that he would check first to see whether any of the names were already there. Nor would the name of the Parians necessarily catch his eye, since he would be working on the left face of the stone rather than on the front.

If the reconstruction given above of Timotheos's campaign in the Aegean in 373 B.C. is accepted, the entries in lines 112-130 would provide such a large group of new admissions. It is possible that heading the list of these "new" members of the League would be the Parians, and they would be inscribed on the first available line: line 111, on the left lateral face, just below Neoptolemos, the last entry to have been made in 375. Thus a possible restoration for this line would read [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.]

One problem remains, however, and that is the date of the inscribing of this new group. The decrees of the Athenian assembly and the synedrion concerning Paros date to July 372, while Timotheos had returned to Athens for trial at least by November 373, or shortly thereafter. There are two possible solutions. The first is to posit a delay in the admission, or at least the inscribing, of the new members brought into the League by Timotheos in 373. This possibility is not all that unlikely, considering that after his trial and departure from Athens, there may very well have been opposition to recognizing his achievements, including the recruitment of a large group of allies. In addition, the nature of the entries on the left side of the stele may reflect a "saving up" of names, which could have resulted from such a delay. As Cargill points out, "the inference that date of joining equals date of listing is unjustified." (79) The obvious existence of numerous hands on the front of the stele indicates that these members were listed as they joined; but the apparent uniformity of the lettering in the entries for the Aegean Group on the left side of the stele (lines 112-130) would indicate the opposite. (80) The lack of any geographic order within the Aegean Group also supports this argument.

The second possible explanation for the date of the decrees, which can in fact be combined with the first, is that they were passed after the Parians had been readmitted to the League; that is, the diallagai represent not the official reconciliation but rather a subsequent resolution on the matter. In this scenario, the disturbance on Paros would have occurred sometime in the second half of 373 and been resolved by the time that Timotheos's additions to the League were to be inscribed on the stele--perhaps after his acquittal in or around November. At that time, the Parians' name would have been inscribed (in error) with those of the Aegean Group. The decrees of the assembly and the synedrion from July 372, then, would represent a final resolution of the problems on Paros; we could envision a wrapping up of business on the final day of the year. Perhaps it was at the time of these decrees that someone finally noticed the mistake that had been made: the Parians, the one city to attempt to leave the League up to that point, were now listed twice on the stele of the Aristoteles Decree.

(1.) I would like to thank Jeremy McInerney for his assistance and encouragement in preparing this article; Stephen Tracy for taking the time to examine the stele of the Aristoteles Decree and to share his opinions with me; Glen Bowersock and Christian Habicht for granting me access to photographs, and the Epigraphical Museum in Athens for permission to use them; and the anonymous Hesperia referees for their valuable suggestions, especially concerning the Paros inscription.

2. IG II2 43. The reconstructed stele stands in the entry hall of the Epigraphical Museum (EM 10397). The most recent publications of the decree include Rhodes and Osborne 2003 (no. 22), Mitchel 1984, Horsley 1982, and Cargill 1981; see Cargill 1996 for a fuller listing. The text on which I rely for this article is that of Mitchel 1984, based on Cargill 1981 (see Cargill 1996 for the differences and for several typographical errors in Mitchel's text, none of which is crucial for my purposes). I retain the consecutive numbering of Cargill, however (as do Rhodes and Osborne), rather than designating sides A and B as Mitchel does. Full-length treatments of the Second Athenian League include Cargill 1981, Accame 1941, Marshall 1905, and Busolt 1874.

(3.) Xen. Hell. 6.2.2-3; Diod. Sic. 15.45.2-4. The bibliography on this episode, part of the tangled chain of events of the years 375-371, is large. For detailed examinations, see Sealey 1957, pp. 99-104; Cawkwell 1963; Mitchel 1981; Tuplin 1984; Stylianou 1998, pp. 346-357; and Fauber 1999 (with further references).


(5.) E.g., Cargill 1981, p. 44.

(6.) Cargill 1981, pp. 44, 64-66. On the identification of the Nellos, see Mitchel 1981.

(7.) Accame 1941, p. 86. Fauber (1999, pp. 495-496) has recently resurrected this argument, but he fails to offer a reason for the peculiar location of the entry.

(8.) Woodhead 1957, p. 371, n. 15. The same point was made by Sealey (1957, p. 105), who credits Cawkwell for the observation; Cawkwell himself later put the argument in print (1963, p. 88). Woodhead, on the other hand, remained reluctant to draw any firm conclusion from his observation (1962, pp. 265-266).

(9.) Sealey 1993, p. 62.

(10.) Cargill 1981, p. 44.

(11.) Cawkwell 1963, p. 88; Sealey 1993, p. 62; Mitchel 1981, pp. 75-76.


(13.) See esp. Coleman and Bradeen 1967; Cargill 1981, pp. 40-41; Mitchel 1984.

(14.) Coleman and Bradeen 1967, p. 102, pl. 30.

(15.) Coleman and Bradeen 1967, p. 103.

(16.) See, e.g., Cargill 1981, pp. 40-41; Horsley 1982, p. 142; Cargill 1996, p. 45 and n. 38.

(17.) Mitchel 1984; Scuccimarra 1987-1988. See Cargill 1996, pp. 45-47, for discussion of each suggestion. Cargill's proposed scenario (1981, pp. 41, 64-66), that lines 97-98 were inscribed last (i.e., after all those below), seems extremely unlikely epigraphically; it completely ignores the alignment of the top entry with the main body of the decree on the front of the stone, and therefore, despite his assertion to the contrary (p. 66), does indeed do "violence to the epigraphic evidence." See Mitchel 1984, p. 49, n. 29; Cargill's response (1996, p. 47, n. 45), that his is one of many "inferences" that could be made, adds nothing.

(18.) Coleman and Bradeen 1967, p. 104.

(19.) One hand at work (cf. n. 24, below): Accame 1941, p. 86; Cargill 1981, p. 41; Cawkwell 1981, p. 42. Several hands: Woodhead 1957, pp. 371-372; Tod, GHI 123; Coleman and Bradeen 1967, p. 104; Horsley 1982, p. 142; Mitchel 1984, pp. 40, 51.

(20.) Near the end of his article on the Second Athenian League, Fabricius (1891, p. 598) states that all the entries on the left side of the stone, other than the last, were inscribed by the same hand at the same time: if we did not have the Zakynthian entry, he writes, "so wurde Niemand auf den Gedanken kommen, dass das Vezeichniss [sic] nicht zu einer und derselben Zeit von einem und demselben Steinmetzen eingehauen ware." He goes on to note that the letters appear to become sharper ("scharfer") at line 99 and thicker ("dicker") at line 106. But he does not attribute these changes to a different mason, for he continues, "Ein zweiter Arbeiter ... hat dann schliesslich die vier letzten Zeilen 35-38 ... hinzugefugt." In other words, Fabricius saw only two masons at work: one for lines 97-130, and a second for lines 131-134. Finally, in the next paragraph, he restates his conclusion that all the entries on the left side of the stone except the last were inscribed at the same time, in the second half of 375 B.C.

(21.) Woodhead 1957, pp. 371-372.

(22.) Coleman and Bradeen 1967, p. 104.

(23.) Mitchel 1984, pp. 40, 51. Mitchel appears to have misread Fabricius, however, since he cites the German scholar in support of his own argument for different hands inscribing various groups of entries at different times. He writes, for example (p. 49, n. 29), "Accame, since he is one of those who (contrary to the observations of Fabricius) claims that all the names save the Zakynthian demos) on Face B were cut 'at the same time by the same hand,' weakens his own argument.... Likewise Cargill's account suffers from his not following Fabricius' acute and accurate observations in distinguishing the groups of lettering in lines B 3-34 in spite of their superficial similarity." Mitchel also states (p. 51) that Fabricius "was able to pick out subtle but important differences in the 'hands' which inscribed Face B, where later scholars have been content to say: 'All at the same time.' " Cf. above, n. 20.

(24.) See, e.g., Accame 1941, p. 86: I nomi incisi nella facciata laterale risalgono tutti, all'infuori dell'ultimo..., a una stessa mano che non compare mai nella facciata principale; furono dunque registrati di seguito dallo stesso lapicida." Cargill, taking issue with the groups proposed by Woodhead, asserted in his 1981 book that "all the names [in lines 99-130] appear to have been cut by the same hand, and it is reasonable to infer from this that they were all cut at the same time" (p. 41; cf. pp. 61, 64). He backtracks somewhat from this view in his 1996 article, where he accepts that Mitchel (supposedly following Fabricius, but see above, n. 22) is correct in pointing out some difference in the cutting of the letters beginning at line 106; but he goes on (p. 48) to maintain that the differences are not so great as to necessitate a different mason or any passage of time. See also Cawkwell (1981, p. 42), who states that "all the names above the Zakynthian entry were cut by the same stone-cutter," and goes on to conclude (p. 43) that "it is somewhat more likely that the same hand cut this group of names at much the same time than in two different years."

(25.) S. V. Tracy (pers. comm.).

(26.) Woodhead 1957, p. 371.

(27.) Woodhead 1957, p. 372. See Cargill 1981, p. 41, for criticism of Woodhead's groups: "The same letter forms are employed throughout all these lines (notably epsilon, kappa, nu, and phi), and the variations in spacing indicate no pattern I can see.... There is no epigraphic reason to divide the names into two groups." He maintains his objections in his 1996 article, without further elaboration (pp. 47-48).

(28.) See Woodhead 1962 for a similar treatment and for previous literature.

(29.) Marshall 1905, pp. 60-69; Horsley 1982, p. 142; but see Cawkwell 1981, pp. 42-43, for doubts.

(30.) Cargill 1981, p. 42.

(31.) Cargill 1981, p. 42; Accame 1941, p. 87. This, as well as the presence of the Akarnanians in line 106, raises the question of how the membership of such federal koina in the League was reconciled with the "free and autonomous clause" of the Aristoteles Decree, but the issue is unfortunately outside the scope of this article. See Mitchel's brief comments on the subject (1984, p. 46, n. 19).

(32.) Harp. s.v. [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.] (Dindorf p. 97, lines 14-16), citing a lost speech of Lysias.

(33.) Diod. Sic. 15.36.5: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.]

(34.) Diod. Sic. 15.36.5: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.]

(35.) Xen. Hell. 5.4.64: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.]

(36.) IG II2 96.

(37.) Cargill 1981, pp. 68-82. For reactions to his theory, see Tuplin 1984, pp. 544-566; Fauber 1998.

(38.) Tuplin 1984, p. 549, n. 43.

(39.) See Brun 1998 for a proposed identification of the Astraiousians. All these cities are listed in the form of their plural ethnic.

(40.) See, e.g., Accame 1941, pp. 99-104; Cargill 1981, pp. 41-42, 61-64; Cawkwell 1981, p. 45; Sealey 1993, p. 61 (differing from his earlier view [1957, pp. 105-106] that the bulk of the names on the left side were added in 373).

(41.) See, e.g., Horsley 1982, p. 142; Tod, GHI 123.

(42.) See also Woodhead 1957, p. 370; 1962, p. 259; Marshall 1905, pp. 60-69.

(43.) Diod. Sic. 15.47.2-3: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.] on to claim that he was reinstated, but this is not true.

(44.) Xen. Hell. 6.2.12-13: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.]


(46.) [Dem.] 49.6: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.] The first expedition was most likely that of 375; cf. 49.8, where Apollodoros refers to Timotheos's second term as general.

(47.) Fleet at Kalaureia: [Dem.] 49.13. Trial date: [Dem.] 49.22. See Tuplin 1984, pp. 538-539.

(48.) See, e.g., Cawkwell 1963, p. 87; Woodhead 1962, pp. 260-262; Sealey 1993, p. 66. Alternatively, Fauber (1999, p. 498) sees the original purpose of the fleet as "the administration of internal League affairs" and believes that Timotheos set out into the Aegean before the request for aid from Corcyra was received. Such a reconstruction, if correct, would lend further support to the addition of new members in 373.

(49.) Fauber 1999, pp. 490-494.

(50.) Stylianou 1998, p. 372.

(51.) Stylianou 1998, pp. 119, 317. For praise of Timotheos, see, e.g., Xen. Hell. 5.4.64, Isoc. 15.107, Diod. Sic. 15.36.6; the most obvious case of exaggerated praise comes from Aeschines (2.70), who credits Timotheos with bringing 75 cities into the League.

(52.) Cawkwell 1963, pp. 85-87; Marshall 1905, pp. 68-69.

(53.) Woodhead 1962, p. 260.

(54.) The closest Xenophon comes even to acknowledging the League's existence is at Hell. 5.4.34, where, after narrating the Sphodrias affair, he simply states that the Athenians "built ships and gave assistance to the Boiotians with all eagerness." Diodoros, on the other hand, refers both to the establishment of the League (15.28.2-4) and to the legislation recorded on the stele of the Aristoteles Decree (15.29.8).

(55.) Woodhead 1962, pp. 264-265.

(56.) Similarly, Fabricius 1891, pp. 591-592; Woodhead 1957, p. 370, without reference to speci.c dates.

(57.) Fabricius 1891, pp. 593-595; see Mitchel 1984, p. 47.

(58.) Woodhead 1957, p. 372. See also Cargill 1981, pp. 43-44; Mitchel 1984, pp. 48-49; Horsley 1982, p. 142; Cargill 1996, pp. 48-51. I am glad to see that Rhodes and Osborne (2003; the revised edition of Tod, GHI II) print [[c. 6]] in the text of the inscription; see their comments, p. 105.

(59.) Cargill (1981, p. 44) points out, however, that the visible stroke is not necessarily the end of the original entry; the mason could have realized a mistake part of the way through a name.

(60.) Pace Mitchel (1984, p. 51), whose arguments are based on Fabricius 1891, p. 592. The latter argued that line 111 could not belong to the "Island Group" below because none among them was strong enough to secede between 375 and 371. But this assumes that the erasure resulted from secession or expulsion from the League, which is now thought unlikely.

(61.) See Mitchel 1984, p. 48, n. 25, and Cargill 1996, pp. 48-49.

(62.) Woodhead 1957, p. 372, n. 18; Cargill 1981, p. 44; Mitchel 1984, pp. 48-50; Jehne 1991, pp. 125, 132; Cargill 1996, p. 49.

(63.) Mitchel 1984, p. 48.

(64.) Cargill 1996, p. 49. I do not follow Cargill, however, in saying that Mitchel's proposal "strains credulity."

(65.) Oliver 1936. The stone remains in the Epigraphical Museum at Athens (EM 12821). See Dreher 1995, pl. 1, for a photograph of the stone, which is in very poor condition.

(66.) Accame 1941, p. 231. For the restoration of the archon's name, see Oliver 1936, p. 463; Accame's subsequent reading confirmed the restoration.

(67.) Wilhelm 1940, pp. 3-12; Accame 1941, pp. 229-244; Dreher 1995, pp. 109-154. Rhodes and Osborne (2003, no. 29) incorporate the readings of Crowther, who reexamined the stone and a squeeze in the 1990s. A summary of his results appeared in the Center for the Study of Ancient Documents Newsletter 2 (Spring 1996), p. 5 (available online at http://www. Newsletter2/Newsletter2.pdf). His full results will be published in an article to appear in Horos 17 (pers. comm.).

(68.) Wilhelm 1940, p. 9.

(69.) Accame 1941, p. 230. Dreher and Crowther have also confirmed the reading, and in fact Rhodes and Osborne now print [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.] in line 9 without any of the dots of previous editors (e.g., Dreher 1995, p. 110). The restoration in lines 13-14 depends on the gamma at the end of line 13 being corrected to a pi, as proposed by Wilhelm (and accepted by all subsequent editors) on the basis of the final letter in line 9, where the correction is necessary to make any sense of the text: [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.]. Crowther's text (printed by Rhodes and Osborne; see above, n. 67) now includes the Parians in line 17, that is, in the synedrion decree itself.

(70.) Rhodes and Osborne 2003. The text is Crowther's (see n. 67, above). Note that the phi in line 8 is missing from Rhodes and Osborne's text; cf. Dreher 1995, p. 110. The only major difference from Wilhelm's text is that he tentatively restored [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.] in line 9; Accame's work on the stone showed this to be impossible.

(71.) Wilhelm 1940, p. 12; Accame 1941, pp. 233-234.

(72.) Wilhelm 1940, pp. 6-9, 12.

(73.) Accame 1941, pp. 236-240. See Cargill 1981, pp. 163-164.

(74.) Dreher 1995, pp. 118-131. Rhodes and Osborne (2003, no. 29) follow Dreher's interpretation in their commentary.

(75.) Sealey 1993, p. 63. Overall he believes the secession hypothesis "is possible but by no means necessary."

(76.) Dreher 1995, p. 114.

(77.) As called for in the Aristoteles Decree (lines 69-72). See, e.g., IG II2 42 (Methymna); Tod, GHI 126 (Corcyra et al.), lines 13-15.

(78.) Such a scenario is envisioned by Mitchel (1984, p. 58), but with regard to the Pheraians.

(79.) Cargill 1981, p. 42.

(80.) Cargill 1981, p. 42. Note that for Cargill, the "sameness of hand" includes all the names between lines 99 and 130. Accame (1941, p. 103) posited a similar cause for the delay in the inscribing of the Zakynthian entry (lines 131-134), i.e., concerns among the Athenians over Timotheos's actions. Although this explanation is not necessary if one accepts Woodhead's and Cawkwell's suggestion that the Zakynthians were the first entry on the left side of the stele (see n. 8, above), the fact remains that Accame recognized the possibility of a lapse of time between the recruitment of a new member and the inscribing of its name.


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--. 1981. "Notes on the Failure of the Second Athenian Confederacy," JHS 101, pp. 40-55.

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Stylianou, P. J. 1998. A Historical Commentary on Diodorus Siculus, Book 15, Oxford.

Tuplin, C. 1984. "Timotheos and Kerkyra: Problems in Greek History, 375-373 B.C.," Athenaeum 72, pp. 537-568.

Wilhelm, A. 1940. "Vier Beschlusse der Athener," AbhBerl 22 (1939), pp. 3-29 [= Akademieschriften zur griechischen Inschriftenkunde 3, Leipzig (1974), pp. 15-41].

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--. 1962. "Chabrias, Timotheus, and the Aegean Allies, 375-373 B.C.," Phoenix 16, pp. 258-266.

Christopher A. Baron

University of Not re Dame

department of classics


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