|© 1998 Bernard SUZANNE||Last updated December 2, 1998|
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This page is part of the "tools" section of a site, Plato and his dialogues, dedicated to developing a new interpretation of Plato's dialogues. The "tools" section provides historical and geographical context (chronology, maps, entries on characters and locations) for Socrates, Plato and their time. By clicking on the minimap at the beginning of the entry, you can go to a full size map in which the city or location appears. For more information on the structure of entries and links available from them, read the notice at the beginning of the index of persons and locations.
City of Illyria, on the northwestern coast of Greece
facing Italy (area 10).
Epidamnus was a colony of Corcyra (itself a colony of Corinth) founded around 625 B. C. with the help of a leader (oikistes, or chief settler) from the mother city of Corinth named Phalius. Over time, the city became opulent, but then, internal conflicts followed by a disatrous war against local Illyrian populations ruined the city. And this is how, according to Thucydides (Histories, I,24, sq), Epidamnus became around 435 the cause of a conflict between Corcyra and Corinth in which Athens was dragged and which preluded to the Peloponnesian war. A democratic regime took over in Epidamnus but was submitted to razzias waged by the exiled aristocracy allied with local Illyrians. Unable to find support from Corcyra, the democrats of Epidamnus called upon Corinth, which, worried about the growing power, naval capabilities and lack of consideration for the motherland of its colony, was all too happy to help. Corinth sent a rescue mission and a new contingent of settlers to Epidamnus, but Corcyra besieged Epidamnus, won a land and sea battle near the city and took it. This episode started a war between Corinth and Corcyra, and the later, seeking alliances, signed a treaty with Athens. This is how, two years later, Athens found herself involved in a naval battle against Corinth, which was one more step toward a general war.