«Department of Classical Studies Duke University Date: Approved: Sheila Dillon, Supervisor Peter Euben Joshua Sosin William Johnson Dissertation ...»
“The Land of the Fine Triremes:” Naval Identity
and Polis Imaginary in 5th Century Athens
C. Jacob Butera
Department of Classical Studies
Sheila Dillon, Supervisor
Dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of
the requirements for the degree of Doctor
of Philosophy in the Department of
Classical Studies in the Graduate School
of Duke University ABSTRACT “The Land of the Fine Triremes:” Naval Identity and Polis Imaginary in 5th Century Athens by C. Jacob Butera Department of Classical Studies Duke University
Sheila Dillon, Supervisor Peter Euben Joshua Sosin William Johnson An
of a dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Department of Classical Studies in the Graduate School of Duke University Copyright by C. Jacob Butera Abstract This dissertation focuses on the artistic, archaeological, and literary representation and commemoration of the Classical Athenian navy. While the project stresses the various and often contradictory ways in which the Athenians perceived and represented their navy, its larger purpose is to argue that the integration of multiple and various media has the potential to change long-standing interpretations of ancient societies and cultures.
Relying on the literary evidence of the “Old-Oligarch” and Plato, scholars have traditionally held that the 5th-century Athenian navy and its rowers were viewed by their contemporaries as a “mob” and a locus for citizen “riff-raff.” Yet careful consideration of the vases, monuments, and buildings of 5th-century Athens, as well as the literary output of the period, demonstrate that the navy held a far more complex, and at times even positive, position in Athenian society.
iv Table of Contents Abstract iv List of Figures vii
1. Introduction 1
1.1 Methodology 5
1.2 The Problem 9
4. “Master of the Ship:” Naval Identity and 5th Century Athenian Literature 109 4.1 “Lain Low by the Ramming Ships:” Aeschylus’ Persians and Naval
Figure 3. Fragment of an Attic Geometric krater depicting a scene of battle around a warship, c.
760-735 BCE (Paris, Musée du Louvre, A 527) 173 Figure 4. Attic Geometric krater depicting a scene of battle around a beached warship, c.
735-710 BCE (New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 34.11.2) 174
Figure 6. Attic Geometric bowl portraying an oared vessel, perhaps in a scene of departure, c.
735-710 BCE (London, British Museum, XCII B 65) 175
Figure 8. Attic Geometric skyphos with a scene of battle around a beached warship, c.
850-800 BCE (Eleusis, Eleusis Archeological Museum, 741) 175 Figure 9. Fragments of two Attic Geometric votive plaques from the Acropolis, each preserving the prow of a ship, 8th-7th cent. BCE. (Boardman 1954, no. 1-2) 176
Figure 14. Attic black-figure cup depicting two ships with carefully rendered masts, riggings, and sails, c.
530-480 BCE (Paris, Musée du Louvre, F. 123) 178 Figure 15. Attic black-figure cup depicting two ships with carefully rendered masts, riggings, and sails, c. 530-480 BCE (Paris, Musée du Louvre, F. 123) 179
Figure 20. Interior rim of an Attic black-figure dinos depicting a series of oared ships, c.
550-530 BCE (Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum, 3619) 181
Figure 25. Votive plaque from the Temple of Apollo Zoster in Vouliagmene with a rough etching of a ship, c.
550-500 BCE (Basch, 1987, fig. 476) 184 Figure 26. Bilingual amphora with a red-figure scene by the Andokides, highlighting the complicated depiction of overlapping tree branches in the background,
Figure 27. Hydria by Phintias highlighting the artist’s ability to render delicate lyre strings in the red-figure technique, c.
525-510 BCE (Munich, Staatliche Antikensammlungen und Glyptotek, 2421) 185
Figure 29. Attic red-figure volute krater portraying the death of Talos; representation of the Argo is relegated to the side of the central panel, below one of the handles (fig.
30), c. 480-400 BCE (Ruvo, Museo Jatta, 1501) 186
Figure 34. Attic red-figure lekythos by a follower of the Providence Painter representing the winged figure of Boreas, the north wind, c.
470-450 BCE (New Haven, Yale University Art Gallery, 1913.148) 189
Figure 36. Attic red-figure hydria depicting Boreas’ capture of Oreithyia; the scene from the right, c.
460-450 BCE (Brunswick, Bowdoin College, 08.3) 190 Figure 37. Map of the island of Salamis, with the promontory of Kynosoura (Κυνόσουρα) projecting eastward into the Saronic Gulf and toward the mainland 191
Figure 47. Proposed reconstruction of the Persian War monument with the inclusion of a complete block (after Matthaiou).
The preserved block indicates that the base was designed to receive multiple stelai (Matthaiou 1988, fig. 2) 196
Figure 49. The Hephaisteion (as seen from the Acropolis), highlighting the buildings size and considerable visibility (photograph taken by the author) 197
Figure 52. Plan of the Ib Long Walls after the addition of a third wall, which ran parallel to the northern wall and identified Piraeus as the predominant military and commercial harbor at Athens (Conwell 2008, fig.
3) 199 Figure 53. Reconstructed plan of the late 4th century Long Walls highlighting the use of mud-brick walls atop a stone foundation (Conwell 2008, fig.4) 199
Figure 55. The Acropolis, which still dominates the Athenian skyline; the Parthenon, the centerpiece of the Periklean building program, is clearly visible atop the outcropping (photograph by the author) 200 Figure 56.
The southern corner of the east pediment of the Parthenon as drawn by the 17th century Flemish artist Jacques Carrey (Palagia 1993, fig. 1) 201 Figure 57. The northern corner of the east pediment of the Parthenon as drawn by the 17th century Flemish artist Jacques Carrey (Palagia 1993, fig. 2) 201 Figure 58. The southern corner of the west pediment of the Parthenon as drawn by the 17th century Flemish artist Jacques Carrey (Palagia 1993, fig. 4) 201 Figure 59. The northern corner of the west pediment of the Parthenon as drawn by the 17th century Flemish artist Jacques Carrey (Palagia 1993, fig. 3) 202
Figure 67. Plan of the sanctuaries and temples in the vicinity of the Ilissos River.
The sanctuary of Boreas (195) is believed to have been located just south of the Olympeion on the banks of the Ilissos (Travlos 1971, fig. 379) 208 Figure 68. Plan of the civic center of Athens indicating the conjectured position of the Theseion (N) in the southeast corner of the Agora (Travlos 1971, fig. 379) 208
I wish to thank the chair of my committee, Sheila Dillon, the members of my committee, both past and present, and the countless other scholars and colleagues, who have read and commented on this project. I would also like to acknowledge the financial support of Duke University and the Department of Classical Studies, as well as the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, which facilitated permit requests and travel that were indispensible for this project. Finally, I would like to thank my family, my friends, and above all Hallie, for their years of patience, support, and love.
The history of Classical studies has long been characterized by a division between the study of literature (philology/historiography) and material culture (archaeology and art history), which has created an “uneasy relationship between things and words, objects and texts, visible evidence and events.”1 The study of Athenian soldiers2 has been subjected to this same dichotomy, with a noticeable prejudice toward the written and literary evidence.3 Objects and monuments, therefore, have been largely used as illustrations for things outside of the objects or monuments themselves. This tendency has led to a long history of scholarship that emphasizes the militarism of the Athenian army, with material evidence viewed only as a reflection of reality, valuable primarily for documenting changes and developments in military tactics, strategy, and equipment;4 Bassi 2005, 26.
Throughout this dissertation, I use the term “soldier” to describe an individual who took part in military service (whether as a sailor, horseman, or hoplite) during a period in which state involvement in military organization was particularly pronounced. For the purpose of this project, then, soldier is used primarily to describe military men of the late Archaic and Classical periods. The term “warrior” is reserved for “fighting men of the ages celebrated in epic and romance…for whom the designation soldier would be inappropriate” (Oxford English Dictionary). For this reason, fighting men depicted in the Geometric vases of the 8th century are described as warriors, while those on Archaic and Classical vessels are described as soldiers. While I understand that the term “soldier,” by its very derivation from the Latin solidus, implies some sort of pay for service, for the sake of this dissertation, I use the term as a reference to those men, who fought in an organized and regimented polis military.
Porter 2003, 65. Porter sees a similar trend in the study of Classical antiquity as a whole and suggests that there is an unspoken hierarchy that ranks the study of text above the study of material. “Archaeology,” he argues, “has traditionally been the poor relation of philology, the crowned jewel of classical studies, playing the part of a decorative ‘extension of the formalized literary past’ [quoting Morris 1994, 24].” For example, see the intermittent use of artistic evidence in the series of essays edited by Victor David Hanson (1991), in Hoplites: The Classical Greek Battle Experience. See also Anthony Snodgrass’ (1967) discussion of the development of weaponry in ancient Greece, which relies heavily on artistic and archaeological evidence for various panoplies in order to outline the development of ancient military technology. François Lissarrague (1990, 234) notices similar shortcomings in the works of Helbig and Jongkees-Vos, who attempt to align trends in visual representation with historical accounts. The relative chronologies of the artistic and archaeological evidence, however, do not allow such easy alignment, which has led to contradictory interpretations of the same evidence.
however, such a treatment of material remains, be it artistic, archaeological, or otherwise, ignores the important social, political, and cultural impact of these objects, and so presents a skewed image not only of the material evidence, but of the Athenian soldier as well.5 The scholarly impression of the Athenian navy6 has been particularly affected by the primacy granted written sources. Relying on the literary evidence of authors such as the “Old-Oligarch” and Plato, scholars have traditionally held that the 5th-century Athenian navy and its rowers were viewed by their contemporaries as a “mob” and a locus for citizen “riff-raff.”7 Yet careful consideration of the vases, monuments, and buildings of 5th-century Athens, alongside the literary output of the period, demonstrates that the navy held a far more complex, and at times even positive, position in Athenian society.
The aim of this dissertation is to provide a more complete picture of the representation and commemoration of the Athenian navy in the variety of sources in which it appears, including not only literature, but also art and material culture. This project will focus primarily on the 5th century, though an overview of Geometric and black-figure vases from the Archaic period will also be examined. While the starting point for this study is broadly delineated by Archaic vase painting, its close is defined by the erection of the portrait statues of Konon and Evagoras, the king of Cyprus, in the On the need for a more complete and comprehensive examination of both the literary and material evidence, see Hanson 1999, 384-5.
Throughout the dissertation, I use the term “naval” and “maritime” interchangeably, particularly when referring to naval organization of the Archaic period, when little distinction was drawn between the use of ships in military service and their function in the trade and transportation of the Aegean. As illustrated by Herodotus (8.17), the distinction between private and military vessels remained unclear even after the establishment of the Athenian fleet. Likewise, the substantial number of ships, both military and otherwise, required for expeditions such as that undertaken by the Athenians against Sicily in 415 attest to the continued use of merchant vessels for military campaigns.
Neer 2002, 162-3; Hanson 1996, 306-7.