Research

Jonas Tai, Classics, History & Medieval Studies

Advisor: Thomas J. Figueira, Classics

This project examines the concept of “andrapodismos”—the military action in which a conquering army would execute men and enslave women and children of the subjugated population—in Herodotus and Thucydides to argue that that the term included a variety of different methods of enslavement and population displacement, depending on the actor and the specific historical context. Specifically, I find that when perpetrated by Greeks against Greeks in the Archaic period, it often referred to the piecemeal capture and enslavement of relatively small portions of the enemy population. When perpetrated by Persians against Greeks, it typically designated the large-scale deportations of enemy populations to the internal territories of the Achaemenid empire, consistent with other examples of Achaemenid and other Near Eastern deportation policies after conquest. Athenian andrapodismosduring the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BCE) was predicated on the extermination of urban populations to crush dissident factions and resettle the andrapodized poleis for further economic exploitation. I conclude that the unmatched brutality and frequency of andrapodismos in the Peloponnesian War can be linked with the last stages of the larger development of state structures in the city-states during the preceding years of the late Archaic period (776-480 BCE).