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From Hutton Webster's, Early European History (1917); edited for this on-line publication, by ELLOPOS
II. THE GREAT AGE OF THE GREEK REPUBLICS TO 362 B.C.
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THE DELIAN LEAGUE BECOMES SUBJECT TO ATHENS, ABOUT 454 B.C.
While the Greeks were gaining these victories, the character of the Delian League was being transformed. Many of the cities, instead of furnishing ships, had taken the easier course of making all their contributions in money. The change really played into the hands of Athens, for the tribute enabled the Athenians to build the ships themselves and add them to their own navy. They soon had a fleet powerful enough to coerce any city that failed to pay its assessments or tried to withdraw from the league. Eventually the common treasure was transferred from Delos to Athens. The date of this event (454 B.C.) may be taken as marking the formal establishment of the Athenian naval empire.
DECLINE OF CIMON'S INFLUENCE
Sparta and her Peloponnesian allies viewed with growing jealousy the rapid rise of Athens. As long, however, as Cimon remained at the head of Athenian affairs, there was little danger of a break with Sparta. He desired his city to keep on good terms with her powerful neighbor: Athens should be mistress of the seas, and Sparta should be mistress on the mainland. A contest between them, Cimon foresaw, would work lasting injury to all Greece. Cimon's pro-Spartan attitude brought him, however, into disfavor at Athens, and he was ostracized. New men and new policies henceforth prevailed in the Athenian state.
Cf. The Ancient Greece * The Ancient Rome
Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) * Western Medieval Europe * Renaissance in Italy