Presenter: Annabel Florence (Mid-candidature review)

The traditional view of the Corinthian War suggests that Athens, despite having bold imperial ambitions, funded its war-making of the 390s and 380s BC through haphazard and improvisatory means. This paper re-examines the financial decisions made by the dēmos in response to the events of the Corinthian War. It will show that, in fact, Athens deliberately and systematically built up its cash reserves in order to rebuild its fleet and fund its naval campaigns. It will argue that it was Athens’ concept of military security, the restoration of sōteria (‘safety’) and dunamis (‘military might’), which drove its decision-making during the war. And, it will assess the wisdom of Athenian decisions regarding military funding, including its rejection of Andocides’ peace plan. Athens came dangerously close to defeating Sparta and re-establishing itself as a maritime power within fifteen years of the Peloponnesian War through careful and deliberate financial planning and the rigorous pursuit of military security.