This article uses one incident, the Athenian efforts to acquire Salamis from Megara during the sixth century B.C.E., to study what Greeks themselves believed about their own past and why the past was so powerful an argument for them. The nature of the evidence is an important part of the discussion, since the written sources (primarily Aristotle, Strabo, Plutarch, and Diogenes Laertius) date from long after the events and Greek authors' approaches to the past differ from our own. Although only brief fragments of any Megarian historians survive, they are useful in providing a counterbalance to Athenian sources, since their versions of mythological events and portraits of mythological heroes are very different. The archaeological evidence includes inscriptions, vases, and graves; with one possible exception, this material was not exploited either by Solon and the Athenians or by the ancient authors. Sources credited both Solon and Athens with having used five different kinds of arguments to make the Athenian case for Salamis, and this variety indicates that Greeks of later centuries did not really know what happened in the struggle over the island. Hampered by problems of chronography and influenced by cultural attitudes such as a belief in a culture hero, historians, biographers, and travelers wrote accounts which reveal the importance of the past, especially the Trojan War past, to Greeks.

[Footnotes]

[Footnotes]
1
Griffiths 1976
3
Herodotus 5.94.2
5
Curty 1995
6
Piccirilli 1973.
Stroud 1977
Piccirilli 1978.
7
Martina 1968
Figueira 1985b.
8
Mosshammer 1979.
Jacoby (1949:135)
9
Figueira 1985a:112-58, esp. 113-20
Legon 1981
Piccirilli 1975
Hanell 1934.
Prakken 1941
Prakken 1943-1944
Davison 1959.
10
Plutarch (Solon 10.5)
12
Theseus 25.6
13
Nagy 1996:ch. 5.
14
Thomas 1989:280 n. 129
Plutarch, Solon 8.4-6
Polyaenus, Strat. 1.20.21
Pisistratus [Aen. Tac. 4.8-11]
Legon 1981:126-31
Boyd 1995.
Cramer, Anecdota 1.6
15
Bowie 1974:166-209, esp. 198-203.
16
J. D. Beazley, ARV2 1268.1
Erika Simon, "Menestheus," LIMC.
17
infra.
18
S. West 1967
Finkelberg 1988:39-41
Il. 2.557-5
1988:31-32
Powell 1978:255
Higbie 1995:88.
Il. 2.558
Boyd 1995.
19
Strabo 9.1.10
Il. 2.557-58.
Trojan (Il. 7.198)
21
Finkelberg 1988:36
Catalogue of Women fr. 204.44- 51
Nagy 1985:63, ¶51 n. 2
Hanell 1934:95-97
Theognis 11-14
22
Atenstädt 1942:55-78, esp. 60-61.
23
Figueira 1985b:261-303.
Rigsby 1987:100
24
Kirk 1985
Nagy 1996.
27
Bolling 1916:29
Il. 2.558
Il. 2.557-58
Lloyd-Jones and Parsons 1983:no. 534.
Il. 2.557-58
28
Il. 2.557-58.
30
Od. 11.604
Theogony 952
31
Knights 1000-1001, 1011
Nagy 1990b:171
Slater 1996.
33
Slater 1996:102
34
Thomas 1989
Mosshammer 1979.
35
Powell 1991
Janko 1992:20-38.
Nagy 1996:109-14.
Boyd 1994
38
Herodotus (3.122.2)
Thucydides (1.4
Plutarch, Alexander 8.2
Strabo 13.1.27
40
Stevens 1936
Hamdorf 1980.
41
Aeneid 2.259-64
Fabulae 108
42
Woodford 1993:fig. 100.
43
Gantz 1993:220-22
Parker 1996:61-62, 316-17.
Codrus Painter (supra n. 16).
44
Plato, Alcibiades I, 121-22.
45
Thomas 1989:161-73.
46
Thomas 1989:164 n. 23.
Huxley 1973.
Miltiades, Huxley 1973:139
47
Pausanias 2.29.8
Gantz 1993:694-95.
Strabo 14.6.3.
48
Thomas 1989:175.
49
M. L. West 1985:162
Higbie 1995:7.
50
Gantz 1993:219-22, 232.
51
Kearns 1989:116.
Il. 15.187-99
52
Nagy 1990a:277-78
54
Ath.Pol. 21.6.
55
Kearns 1989:80-92
Pausanias 1.39.4
Legon 1981:42-43.
Kearns 1989:188
56
Shear 1970:145-222
57
Wycherley 1957:no. 248
58
Thompson and Wycherley 1972
Stroud 1994.
Thompson and Wycherley 1972:132
Pausanias 1.35.3 and Agora I.3625.27-33 (= Wycherley 1957:no. 255)
infra
59
Kearns 1989:47.
60
Wycherley 1957:nos. 246-55.
IG II2.1232.20-24 (= Wycherley no. 253)
61
Ferguson 1938.
Parker 1996:57-59, 308-16
63
Ferguson 1938:17.
Parker 1996:312
64
Osborne 1994:160.
65
Figueira 1985b:300-301
69
Figueira 1985a: 118 19 n. 2
Pausanias 1.40.5
70
Aelian (VH 5.14)
Rose 1920.
71
Herodotus 1.64.2
Thucydides 3.104
Brock 1996
Giuffrida 1976
Long 1958
Cook 1955.
73
Strabo 9.1.9
Gantz 1993:69, 222
M. L. West 1985:103, 164.
74
Pausanias 1.39.4.
75
Jeffery 1948:97-98
76
Fontenrose 1978:291 (no. 69)
Fontenrose 1978:193 n. 25
77
Il. 2.183.
78
Aelian, VH 8.16 (= Martina 1968:no. 580)
Kearns 1989:54
Kubler 1973:172-93, esp. 190-93
81
Strabo 13.1.30, 32
Pausanias 1.35.5-8.
82
Lowenthal 1985
Bowie 1974.

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