A History of Boeotia (Classical)

A History of Boeotia (Classical)

Robert J. Buck

Language: English

Pages: 222

ISBN: 088864051X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Robert Buck's history examines the archaeological record, takes a fresh look at what the ancients said about the Boeotians and at the references of classicists of more recent times, retells the legends, and reconstructs the history of the region from the heroic Bronze Age to the Pelopponesian War.




















though they noted a connection of Amphion and Zethus with the Asopus valley and East Locris,13 the Pherecydans put the twins in Thebes well before Cadmus. Ogygus seems to precede the twins, as an early if not the first ruler of all Boeotia, but one who did not found Thebes.14 Strabo (9.2.28), following the tradition of Ephorus and ultimately Hecataeus,15 has Amphion and Zethus found Eutresis, not Thebes. Thus Hecataeus and his followers, since in their view Cadmus founded Thebes, removed the

three traditions may have some merit. The second stage is marked in each area by the presence of local heroes, ones associated with either Attica or Boeotia, but not both, heroes such as Cadmus, Amphion and Zethus, and Athamas for Boeotia, or Erechtheus and Pandion for Attica. They are usually the fortifiers and sometimes the founders of cities. The legend of Amphion and Zethus has been regarded by several modern authorities as an adaptation of the "abandoned twins" motif of folktale,18 and by

their invasion of Boeotia by claiming family links with their predecessors. The fifth stage, of disasters and shifts of population, is observable in all traditions. Its beginning is placed, in the Hecataean and Hellanican traditions, shortly after the Trojan War, in the Pherecydan tradition during the War. It consists of invasions and expulsions by fierce attackers, variously named Phlegyians, Pelasgi, or Thracians. Since Phlegyians are sometimes held to be a Thracian stock87 and the Thracians a

that is, those with both shield and inscription, were issued at various times by Tanagra in the name of all the Boeotians. Therefore at certain times, though not at all times during this twenty-year period (to explain the occasional presence of local Tanagran issues), Tanagra must have claimed the hegemony of Boeotia. This view is fairly widely held at present.7 The only hint from literary sources that may support this idea is the mention in Thucydides (1.107-108) of the movement of the Spartan

Thebans do not say clearly that the Plataeans were ever members, and since they do not urge them to rejoin or re-establish their position, one may regard the Theban remarks about the noiva irarpux and "all the Boeotians" as rhetorical flourishes, to be discarded as historical evidence. The two Boeotarchs and shares may have been provided for if Plataea joined and were not made operative until after the annexation of Plataea by Thebes. Of these two arguments, on balance it seems more likely that

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