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