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The Kingdom of PriamLesbos and the Troad between Anatolia and the Aegean$
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Aneurin Ellis-Evans

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198831983

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198831983.001.0001

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The Mytilenaian Peraia and the Aktaian Cities

The Mytilenaian Peraia and the Aktaian Cities

(p.155) 4 The Mytilenaian Peraia and the Aktaian Cities
The Kingdom of Priam

Aneurin Ellis-Evans

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the relationship between Lesbos and Anatolia by examining Mytilene’s relationship with communities in the coastal Troad and Aiolis before and after Athens confiscated its mainland territorial possessions (the peraia) in 427 BC. It is argued that Mytilene, like many other Aegean islands with peraiai, actively suppressed polis status in these off-island territories in the Troad and Aiolis so as to extract greater profit from them. This provides another example of an unequal form of regional integration to complement that which was discussed in Chapter 3, and also helps explain how Mytilene was in a position to attempt to dominate all of Lesbos through an enforced synoikism in 428. A reconsideration of the evidence of the Athenian tribute assessment decrees from 425/4 and 422/1 suggests that, by contrast with how the Mytilenaians had treated these communities, the Athenian Empire actively encouraged them to become poleis so as to disrupt any future attempt by the rebellious Mytilenaians to reconstitute the peraia. While the political relationship between Mytilene and the mainland was therefore very different post-427, numismatic evidence shows that it still maintained a vibrant commercial network on the mainland. Mytilene’s relationship with the mainland therefore did not end in 427 but rather transformed.

Keywords:   Mytilene, peraia, Aktaian cities, Athens, tribute lists, coinage, billon, electrum, commercial networks, insularity

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