The Earliest States of Eastern Europe
DG-2019-2020, 103-121

Evidences on Diplomatic Practices in some Important Ancient Greek Inscriptions Of the Classical Period

I. E. Surikov

The article demonstrates the significance of the so-called Greek historical inscriptions for studying diplomatic practices. A number of characteristic examples are given from epigraphic monuments dated from the 5th century B.C., mainly of Athenian provenance. Among them, there are treaties as well as decrees of the Athenian assembly, and they contain important evidence of the Classical period diplomacy.
By the Hellenistic time, Greek law, including international one, already had its own history. In the sphere of diplomatic practices, such institutions emerged quite early as xenia and proxenia, changes of embassies, interstate treaties, leagues of
various types, and so on. Those institutions are of course reflected in inscriptions. The most famous league of the period was the Delian League, which later developed into the Athenian Empire. Epigraphic data relating to this powerful organization are especially abundant. It is necessary to emphasize that relations between Athens and its allies should be treated exactly as external (that is diplomatic) and not internal ones, although not equal but with a dictate from one of the sides: the Athenian empire never became a united state.
As to concrete inscriptions, the “Decree of Themistocles” (the inscription is of the 4th century B.C., but it claims to reproduce the text of the famous Athenian decision initiated by the great statesman in 480 B.C.) gives information on the Hellenic League of 481 B.C. The “Serpent Column” of 479 B.C., erected in Delphi but now in Istanbul, cites all member states (31) of that league.
Several treaties between Athens and cities of Magna Graecia (Egesta, Rhegion, Leontinoi) are interesting in various aspects. First, they demonstrate Athens’ attempt to infiltrate into the sphere of geopolitical interests of the Peloponnesian League. Second, they have the form not of treaties as such but of assembly decrees. Third, they touch some details of diplomacy (importance of oaths, honorary dinner for envoys in the Prytaneion).
Documents on Athens’ relations with allied cities are also very informative. They differ very much by their tone: from a cold and dictating one (as in the case with Chalkis, which had rebelled against Athens’ domination but was defeated) to a much more sympathetic one (as in the cases of Methone, a loyal ally, or with the new colony Brea).
Of many historical consequences is a recently published new fragment of such a well-known document as the Athenian Standard Decree, which is cited and partly quoted in the article. The word συμμαχία (“alliance”, “league”) that now appears to have been used in the decree becomes a strong argument against its revisionist late dating by some scholars (H. Mattingly and others). If the decree had been published during the Peloponnesian war, it would have been highly unlikely to meet such a term in it. By the 420s B.C. cities of the Athenian Empire were perceived and treated already not as equal allies but as subjugated tributaries. So the traditional earlier date (the first half of the 440s B.C.) remains much more probable.
Inscriptions of similar interest are also abundant in the 4th century, but they could not be dealt with in the framework of this article.

Ancient Greece, Classical period, Athens, Athenian Empire, diplomatic practices, inscriptions, treaties, decrees, oaths

Кофанов Л. Л. Ius gentium и международные суды античности // Древнее право. Ius antiquum. 2009. № 2 (24). С. 57–84.
Стрелков А.В. Афинский монетный декрет // Нумизматика и эпиграфика. М., 1999. Т. 16. С. 25–49.
Суриков И. Е. Два очерка об афинской внешней политике классической эпохи // Межгосударственные отношения и дипломатия в античности. Казань, 2000. Ч. 1 / Под ред. О. Л. Габелко. С. 95–112.
Суриков И. Е. Афинский декрет об основании колонии Бреи (IG. I³. 46): О некоторых спорных вопросах реконструкции и интерпретации // Вопросы эпиграфики. М., 2012. Вып. 6. С. 317–336.
Суриков И. Е. Древнегреческие надписи классической эпохи как памятники исторической мысли // Вопросы эпиграфики. М., 2013. Вып. 7. Ч. 1. С. 376–404. (а).
Суриков И. Е. «Геллеспонт бурнотечный» (Пролив между Эгеидой и Пропонтидой и его роль в античной истории) // Проблемы истории, филологии, культуры. 2013. № 4 (42). С. 3–44. (б).
Суриков И. Е. Многоликая Клио: Антология античной исторической мысли. СПб., 2014. Т. 1: Возникновение исторической мысли и становление исторической науки в Древней Греции.
Суриков И. Е. Таможенный закон Азии (перевод с древнегреческого, введение и комментарии) // Древнее право. Ius antiquum. 2015. № 1 (31). С. 242–277. (б).
Суриков И. Е. Античная Греция: Ментальность, религия, культура (Opuscula selecta I). М., 2015. (б).
Суриков И. Е. IG. I³. 46. 3–6 в свете IG. II². 1629. 251–258: не апойкисты, а апостолеи? // Вопросы эпиграфики. М., 2015. Вып. 8. С. 55–68. (в).
Суриков И. Е. Новый фрагмент Афинского монетного декрета из Афитиса (Халкидика) и его значение // Аристей. 2017. Т. 15. С. 35–54.
Яйленко В. П. Греческая колонизация VII–III вв. до н.э.: По данным эпиграфических источников. М., 1982.
Ashburner W. ΝΟΜΟΣ ΡΟΔΙΩΝ ΝΑΥΤΙΚΟΣ. The Rhodian Sea-Law. Oxford, 1909.
Bengtson H. Die Staatsverträge des Altertums. München, 1975. Bd. II: Die Verträge der griechisch-römischen Welt von 700 bis 338 v. Chr.
Bolmarcich S. Interstate Relations, Colonization, and Empire among Greek Participatory Communities // A Companion to Greek Democracy and the Roman Republic / Ed. by D. Hammer. Oxford, 2015. P. 313–328.
Champion C.B. Interstate Relations, Federal States, Colonization, and Empire during the Roman Republic // A Companion to Greek Democracy and the Roman Republic / Ed. by D. Hammer. Oxford, 2015. P. 329–345.
Chaniotis A. Historie und Historiker in den griechischen Inschriften: Epigraphische Beiträge zur griechischen Historiographie. Stuttgart, 1988.
Chaniotis A. Justifying Territorial Claims in Classical and Hellenistic Greece: The Beginnings of International Law // The Law and the Courts in Ancient Greece / Ed. by E.M. Harris, L. Rubinstein. L., 2004. P. 185–213.
Cohen E. E. The Athenian Nation. Princeton, 2000.
Figueira T. The Power of Money: Coinage and Politics in the Athenian Empire. Philadelphia, 1998.
Gagarin M. Early Greek Law. Berkeley, 1986.
Garnsey P. Famine and Food Supply in the Graeco-Roman World: Responses to Risk and Crisis. Cambridge, 1989.
Habicht C. Falsche Urkunden zur Geschichte Athens im Zeitalter der Perserkriege // Hermes. 1961. Bd. 89. Ht. 1. S. 1–35.
Harris E.M. The Rule of Law in Athenian Democracy. Reflections on the Judicial Oath // Etica & Politica. 2007. Vol. 9. № 1. P. 55–74.
Hatzopoulos M. B. The Athenian Standards Decree: The Aphytis Fragments // Τεκμήρια 2013–2014. Vol. 12. P. 235–269.
Jameson M. H. A Decree of Themistocles from Troizen // Hesperia. 1960. Vol. 29. №. 2. P. 198–223.
Kellogg D. Οὐκ ἐλάττω παραδώσω τὴν πατρίδα: The Ephebic Oath and the Oath of Plataia in Fourth-Century Athens // Mouseion. 2008. Vol. 8. №. 3. P. 355–376.
Kienast D. Der Hellenenbund von 481 v. Chr. // Chiron. 2003. Bd. 23. S. 43–77.
Mattingly H. B. New Light on the Athenian Standards Decree (ATL II, D 14) // Klio. 1993. Bd. 75. S. 99–102.
Mattingly H. B. The Athenian Empire Restored. Ann Arbor, 1996.
Meiggs R., Lewis D. A Selection of Greek Historical Inscriptions to the End of the Fifth Century B.C. Revised edition. Oxford, 1989.
Rhodes P. J., Osborne R. Greek Historical Inscriptions, 404–323 BC. Oxford, 2007.
Rubel A. Hellespontophylakes — Zöllner am Bosporos? Überlegungen zur Fiskalpolitik des attischen Seebundes (IG I³ 61) // Klio. 2001. Bd. 83. Ht. 1. S. 39–51.
Russell T. Byzantium and the Bosporus: A Historical Study, from the Seventh Century BC until the Foundation of Constantinople. Oxford, 2017.
Samons L.J. Empire of the Owl: Athenian Imperial Finance. Stuttgart, 2000.
Sommerstein A.H., Bayliss A.J. Oath and State in Ancient Greece. B., Boston, 2013.
Tod M. H. A Selection of Greek Historical Inscriptions. Vol. 1–2. Oxford, 1946–1948.
Watson J. The Origin of Metic Status at Athens // The Cambridge Classical Journal. 2010. Vol. 56. P. 259–278.
Wout E. van ‘t. From Oath-swearing to Entrenchment Clause: The Introduction of Atimia-Terminology in Legal Inscriptions // Sacred Words: Orality, Literacy and Religion / Ed. by A.P.M.H. Lardinois, J. Blok, M.G.M. van der Poel. Leiden; Boston, 2011. P. 143–160.