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Hellenon ); for it was an established custom of them all, when invading one another's country to
abstain from the sanctuaries therein" (Thuc. 4. 97.2-3).[2] But in their defense, the Athenians claimed
that they had not violated the nomos of the Hellenes (ho homos tois Hellesin 98.2), since they had
done no injury to the temple but acted only to defend the precinct from the Boeotians, who, they
alleged, had repeatedly attacked temples in
[2] Trans. Smith.
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foreign territory. And in any case, they argued, since the absolute necessity of war, and no impious
intention, compelled their transgression, the indulgence of the gods might be expected, whereas the
Boeotians, by withholding the bodies of the dead, were guilty of far more serious impiety (98.6-7).
So, opinion about just what constituted unlawful treatment of a sacred site could differ,[3] but the
principle of exemption itself was beyond question.' And what really matters here is that the Greeks
and their civilized neighbors accepted this principle on the basis of a universal faith that protection of
certain persons (e.g., heralds) and certain places (e.g., sanctuaries) was critical to the very existence
of civilized life and therefore should impose restraint even on warring parties. Darius, for example,
instructed Datis to respect Delos when the Persian fleet entered the Aegean in 490. In Herodotus'
account Datis announced to the anxious Delians: "Holy men, why have you departed in flight and so
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misjudged my intentions? For it is both very much my own desire, and the King's command to me, to
do no harm to the land in which the two gods were born, neither to the land itself nor the inhabitants.
Now, therefore, return to your homes and dwell in your island" (6.97.2). Perhaps this was mere
propaganda, but the concept of respect for holy places was clearly recognized. The dispute at Delium
attests to this, as do such extraordinary incidents as the sudden panic that swept Olympia in 420,
when rumor spread that the Spartans might attack (Thuc. 5.50.1-4), and the bitter objections within
the Arcadian League in the late 360s, which led to the league's withdrawal from Olympia and a halt to
further use of sacred treasures for maintenance of the league army (Xen. Hell . 7. 4.12-34).
Acceptance of certain venerable places as immune from war was not entirely the outcome of
religious piety. The status of the Panhellenic sanctuaries in particular represented an important
compromise involving specific obligations as well as privileges. On the
[3] Lateiner, "Heralds and Corpses in Thucydides", 102-3, stresses: "The negotiations at Delion
illustrate in the realm of international diplomacy that which stasis in Corcyra indicates for the Hellenic
city torn by internal dissension: the destruction of common bonds and mutual respect. ... In the
farcical arguments at Delion between heralds and about corpses, Thucydides describes in a specific
incident the trivialization of politics and the diminution of religious and moral values caused by the
Peloponnesian War."
[4] This explains, for example, why the people of Ephesus reportedly hastened to dedicate their city to
the goddess Artemis and even extended a rope between the city wall and the temple of Artemis when
Croesus attacked (Hdt. 1.26).
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side of obligation, the principle of complete and permanent detachment from normal interstate
relationships, guaranteed by perpetual disarmament, was fundamental to the legitimacy of the
sanctuary's respected status.[5] These appear to have been universally accepted conditions matched
on the secular side by acceptance of the sanctuary's inviolability, a vital concession that both protected
and institutionalized the sanctity of all properly consecrated territorial units.[6] But if the sanctuary
won permanent respect, it did so by strongly emphasizing its impartial, Panhellenic nature. Whether
the administration of a sacred place resided with a particular city-state or with a group of states (i.e.,
an amphictyony), the sanctuary normally stressed its openness to all parties. The Homeric Hymn to
Apollo , for example, includes this admonition to the priests: "Watch over my temple and welcome the
tribes of mankind gathering here and most of all [obey] my will, but if you transgress my commands, [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]