Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Turner Diaries


“The Joy of Genocide”

Cover of Book

The Turner Diaries, was catapulted into belated fame by the Oklahoma City tragedy of the mass murder of 165 people by Timothy McVeigh. Most of the focus of attention on The Turner Diaries, has been on its paranoid view of the American Federal government, and its vision of a terrorist war against the Federal government by bombing Federal office buildings using such things as trucks filled with fertiliser as bombs. What usually escapes attention is the book’s genocidal racism.

The book is in fact among other things a primer in mass-murder. The book is not about eliminating, overthrowing a wicked government but about the extermination of “enemies”, the reason for the revolt is in fact a mere precedent, excuse, for the real aim; mass-murder on a planetary scale.

This essay is devoted to looking at the genocidal aspects of The Turner Diaries, which are not incidental to the plot but its central focus.


The book takes the form of a published diary of a Mr. Turner who was a member of an organisation dedicated to overthrowing the wicked Jewish controlled government (the “System”) of the USA and saving “Whites”, (my quotation marks), from oppression and restoring their rightful domination of the planet and exterminating “sub-humans”.

The diary is being published about a century after Turner’s death, when all that he desired has been accomplished, as a monument to his “courage”.

This type of literary device has been used many times; two examples are Jack London’s The Iron Heel, and Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.

In The Turner Diaries, the organisation revolts after the government confiscates people’s guns. Mr. Turner takes part in various attacks, is captured by the enemy, is involved in taking over Los Angeles and helps atone for his capture by a suicide bombing of the Pentagon. The afterward then describes the “White” conquest of the planet.

This highly repellent stew describes, although the author would deny it, the conquest of the earth by self-made “sub-humans”.


Mr. Turner is not the “Hero” of the Novel the real “Hero” is the “Organisation” and it’s spiritual founder Adolf Hitler, who Mr. Turner greatly admires and whose Nazi party is the basis for the “Organisation” and whose ideology is Nazi also. The author of The Turner Diaries, was William Luther Pierce, (died 2002) who published it under the name Andrew Macdonald. Mr. Pierce was a died in the wool extreme racist who worked with the American Nazi party, and was the leader of the white seperatist National Alliance organization. He later founded the Cosmotheism a racist religion.1


The excuse for the “Revolution” is the confiscation of Guns by the Federal government from “White” citizens. Of course this is an unacceptable provocation. Blacks and others take advantage of this to rape, pillage and ravage. The precedent is called the “Cohen Act”. To quote our author:
As more and more details of the raids leaked out, public restlessness grew. One of the details which bothered people was that the raiders had, for the most part, exempted Black neighborhoods from the searches. The explanation given at first for this was that since "racists" were the ones primarily suspected of harboring firearms, there was relatively little need to search Black homes.

The peculiar logic of this explanation broke down when it turned out that a number of persons who could hardly be considered either "racists" or "fascists" had been caught up in the raids. Among them were two prominent liberal newspaper columnists who had earlier been in the forefront of the antigun crusade, four Negro Congressmen (they lived in White neighborhoods), and an embarrassingly large number of government officials.2
What is interesting is that our “hero” Mr. Turner whines repeatedly about this horrible violation of his and other “White” peoples rights. In light of what his group is planning and in fact implements this is a mere precedent, and a pretty example of bold faced hypocrisy amounting to lying. The rest of the American Constitution is scrapped by Turner and his fellow followers. Free expression, voting, due process, democracy etc., are unimportant and irrelevant. And of course denial of guns to “White” people is the only thing violating the American Constitution worth a damn. Although The Turner Diaries does not say so explicitly it is obvious that the author believes and so does the organization that only “White” people should have guns. Obviously this is what is called a “mere precedent”, an “excuse” to carry out the real aim of the organization - mass murder.

As an example of breath taking hypocrisy what about the following:
For a second thing, I am sure now that we were overoptimistic in our judgment of the mood of the public. What we mistook as general resentment against the System's abrogation of civil rights during the Gun Raids was more a passing wave of uneasiness resulting from all the commotion involved in the mass arrests.3
Considering that the “Organization” was plotting genocidal mass murder this self righteous concern about civil rights is breathtaking.

Now it is pretty obvious to me that some, Blacks, Jews and Hispanics etc., (i.e., the author’s “non-whites”), would not want their guns confiscated by the government. But since neither the author nor the organization have the slightest interest in using this as anything but an excuse that is irrelevant.


The diaries fictional author refers to the anniversary of the birth of that great “hero”, (the revolution starts 110 years after the birth of Adolf Hitler), and the ideology of the organisation is pure Nazism An infatuation with “race” and “blood” purity. Like in Adolf Hitler’s paranoid fantasies, in these diaries Jews control everything and of course are evil “sub-humans” meriting only total annihilation. There are for example such coded references to Jews as:
Indeed, we are already slaves. We have allowed a diabolically clever, alien minority to put chains on our souls and our minds. These spiritual chains are a truer mark of slavery than the iron chains which are yet to come.

Why didn't we rebel 35 years ago, when they took our schools away from us and began converting them into racially mixed jungles? Why didn't we throw them all out of the country 50 years ago, instead of letting them use us as cannon fodder in their war to subjugate Europe?4
Of course a long list of other “races”, Africans, Indians, Chinese, merit complete extermination right down to the last man, women and child and the “organization” carries out its extermination with panting, orgasmic joy.

Our Author says about the goal of the “Organization”:
But one thing which is quite clear is that much more than our freedom is at stake. If the Organization fails in its task now, everything will be lost-our history, our heritage, all the blood and sacrifices and upward striving of countless thousands of years.

The Enemy we are fighting fully intends to destroy the racial basis of our existence. No excuse for our failure will have any meaning, for there will be only a swarming horde of indifferent, mulatto zombies to hear it.

There will be no White men to remember us-either to blame us for our weakness or to forgive us for our folly.

If we fail, God's great Experiment will come to an end, and this planet will once again, as it did millions of years ago, move through the ether devoid of higher man.5
It is fascinating to record that the above, especially the last line, is a paraphrase of lines from Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf.6

The author’s sexual and anti-semitic and racial obsessions are revealed clearly in the following passages:
In other words, rape has been reduced to the status of a punch in the nose. In cases where no physical injury can be proved, it is now virtually impossible to obtain a prosecution or even an arrest.

The result of this judicial mischief has been that the incidence of rape has zoomed to the point that the legal statisticians have recently estimated that one out of every two American women can expect to be raped at least once in her lifetime. In many of our big cities, of course, the statistics are much worse.

The women's-lib groups have greeted this development with dismay. It isn't exactly what they had in mind when they began agitating for "equality" two decades ago. At least, there's dismay among the rank and file of such groups; I have a suspicion that their leaders, most of whom are Jewesses, had this outcome in mind from the beginning.

Black civil rights spokesmen, on the other hand, have had only praise for the Supreme Court's decision. Rape laws, they said, are "racist," because a disproportionately large number of Blacks have been charged under them.

Nowadays gangs of Black thugs hang around parking lots and school playgrounds and roam the corridors of office buildings and apartment complexes, looking for any attractive, unescorted White girl and knowing that punishment, either from the disarmed citizenry or the handcuffed police, is extremely unlikely. Gang rapes in school classrooms have become an especially popular new sport.7
Another example of the anti-semitic hysteria of our author is the following:
The subsequent interrogation sessions were worse-much worse. Because a public "show trial" was planned for me, presumably in the Adolf Eichmann manner, Rubin avoided the eye-gouging and finger-cutting, which would have disfigured me, but the things he did were fully as painful. (Note to the reader: Adolf Eichmann was a middle-level German official during World War II. Fifteen years after the war, in 39 BNE, he was kidnapped in South America by Jews, flown to Israel, and made the central figure in an elaborately staged, two-year propaganda campaign to evoke sympathy from the non-Jewish world for Israel, the only haven for "persecuted" Jews. After fiendish torture, Eichmann was displayed in a soundproof glass cage during a four-month show trial in which he was condemned to death for "crimes against the Jewish people.")8
The above is a tissue of lies. Eichmann for one thing was not tortured at all although this is a familiar lie from Neo-Nazi circles.9 But this passage reveals with great clarity the racist, anti-semitic hysteria of our author.

The take over of Los Angles:

The organisation takes over Los Angles by means of a terrorist campaign, as their first base. During this takeover they set up Ghettos for Blacks and when Blacks and others protest this they respond with terror. The organisation rounds up the Jewish population of Los Angeles, takes it local canyons and ravines and murders them. Since the Jewish population of los Angles is c. 200,000 we are talking about mass murder on an impressive scale. The murders being described are similar, probably deliberately, to the slaughter at Babi-Yar in Russia, 1941, during World War II. There 30,000 people were murdered in a few days in a ravine near Kiev. In this case our fictional diary writer celebrates this massacre, with a few words about how they had to do it. No doubt our “hero” finds mass murder a turn-on.

How about the following from our hero:
Coming through the mountains just north of Los Angeles we encountered a long column of marchers, heavily guarded by GI's and Organization personnel. As we drove slowly past, I observed the prisoners closely, trying to decide what they were. They didn't seem to be Blacks or Chicanos, and yet only a few of them appeared to be Whites. Many of the faces were distinctly Jewish, while others had features or hair suggesting a Negroid taint. The head of the column turned off the main roadway into a little-used ranger trail which disappeared into a boulder-strewn canyon, while the tail stretched for several miles back toward the city. There may have been as many as 50,000 marchers, representing all ages and both sexes, just in the portion of the column we passed.

Back at HQ I inquired about the strange column. No one was sure, although the consensus was that they were the Jews and the mixed breeds of too light a hue to be included with the evacuees who were sent east. I remember now something which puzzled me a few days ago: the separation of the very light Blacks-the almost Whites, the octoroons and quadroons, the unclassifiable mongrels from various Asian and southern climes-from the others during the concentration and evacuation operations.
And I think I now understand. The clearly distinguishable nonwhite are the ones we want to increase the racial pressure on the Whites outside California. The presence of more almost-White mongrels would merely confuse the issue-and there is always the danger that they will later "pass" as White. Better to deal with them now, as soon as we get our hands on them. I have a suspicion their trip into that canyon north of here will be a one-way affair!10
Another passage:

If they were non-Whites-and that included all the Jews and everyone who even looked like he had a bit of non-White ancestry - they were shoved into hastily formed columns and started on their no-return march to the canyon in the foothills north of the city. The slightest resistance, any attempt at back talk, or any lagging brought a swift bullet.

The Whites, on the other hand, were, in nearly all cases, hanged on the spot. One of the two types of pre-printed placards was hung on the victim's chest, his hands were quickly taped behind his back, a rope was thrown over a convenient limb or signpost with the other end knotted around his neck, and he was then hauled clear of the ground with no further ado and left dancing on air while the soldiers went to the next name on their list.

The hangings and the formation of the death columns went on for about 10 hours without interruption. When the troops finished their grim work early this afternoon and began returning to their barracks, the Los Angeles area was utterly and completely pacified. The residents of neighborhoods in which we could venture safely only in a tank yesterday were trembling behind closed doors today, afraid even to be seen peering through the crack in drawn drapes. Throughout the morning there was no organized or large-scale opposition to our troops, and by this afternoon even the desire for opposition had evaporated.11
Blacks meanwhile are imprisoned in a bestial ghetto. It is of interest to note that Mr. Turner considers that their protest against this vicious denial of their rights to be an affront and unpardonable. I suppose that imprisoning guiltless people for the purpose starving them to death can be seen by some has nothing much to get upset about. Turner whines like his colleagues in the organisation about the protest. The gall of oppressors, tyrants and murderers who whine about the audacity of their victims daring to resist, can take your breath away.
Most Blacks moved along the streets leading into the designated areas a block or two ahead of the slowly advancing infantry, who made quick searches of each building as they came abreast of it. Blacks who had not already vacated the premises were roughly driven into the streets at bayonet point. If they put up any resistance at all they were shot on the spot, and the sound of this occasional gunfire helped to keep the other Blacks moving along.12

Actually we have done pretty well at concentrating the Blacks. About 80 per cent of them are sealed in four small enclaves now, and I understand that the first mass convoy of them is heading east tonight.13
During all of this the Organization murders, imprisons etc., any “White” person who may oppose their murderous deeds and acts. They enact strict censorship. So much for freedom of speech. Due process disappears entirely has death squads do their ghastly business. What’s describes bears a more than coincidental similarity to the Nazi terror after Hitler’s coming to power in 1933 , and the Rohm purge of 1934, but on a vastly larger scale.

As part of the terror “Whites” who married Jews, Blacks etc., are murdered by being hung from lampposts etc. One can guess what happens to their children. No doubt these individuals in many if not all cases would have protested or acted to save their spouses. But in the eyes of our “hero” Mr. Turner they are “race traitors” deserving death. The organization obviously thinks that the Non-Jewish spouses and relatives of German Jews during the Nazi era were treated far too leniently by the Nazi government, this time it will be done “right”.

For example:
In the lighted areas one sees them everywhere. Even the street signs at intersections have been pressed into service, and at practically every street corner I passed this evening on my way to HQ there was a dangling corpse, four at every intersection. Hanging from a single overpass only about a mile from here is a group of about 30, each with an identical placard around its neck bearing the printed legend, "I betrayed my race." Two or three of that group had been decked out in academic robes before they were strung up, and the whole batch are apparently faculty members from the nearby UCLA campus.

The first thing I saw in the moonlight was the placard with its legend in large, block letters: "I defiled my race." Above the placard leered the horribly bloated, purplish face of a young woman, her eyes wide open and bulging, her mouth agape. Finally I could make out the thin, vertical line of rope disappearing into the branches above. Apparently the rope had slipped a bit or the branch to which it was tied had sagged, until the woman's feet were resting on the pavement, giving the uncanny appearance of a corpse standing upright of its own volition.

I shuddered and quickly went on my way. There are many thousands of hanging female corpses like that in this city tonight, all wearing identical placards around their necks. They are the White women who were married to or living with Blacks, with Jews, or with other non-White males.

There are also a number of men wearing the l-defiled-my-race placard, but the women easily outnumber them seven or eight to one. On the other hand, about ninety per cent of the corpses with the I-betrayed-my-race placards are men, and overall the sexes seem to be roughly balanced.14
Those who hide Jews to keep them from being murdered will also be shown no mercy. Those hiding Jews are killed, no “mercy” in sending them to prison or concentration camps, (although in Poland and in Eastern Europe people who hid Jews were shot).

And we were the ones who pasted up the proclamations from Revolutionary Command in each block, warning all citizens that henceforth any act of looting, rioting, or sabotage, or any failure to obey the command of a soldier, will result in the summary execution of the offender. The proclamations also carry a similar warning for anyone who knowingly harbors a Jew or other non- White or who willfully provides false information to or withholds information from our police units.15
Meanwhile in the Black ghettos, people are deliberately deprived of food. And our “hero” is horrified but not really surprised to find out that Blacks are preying on each other, even engaging in cannibalism. Our Mr. Turner just finds it so horrible and thinks it is scandalous that blacks treat each other so bad. Of course to Mr. Turner Blacks are only demonstrating their “sub-humanity” by acting in this way. The climax so to speak is when blacks in their hunger start to eat each other and then start to raid “White” areas to eat “Whites”. This of course is further “proof” to Mr. Turner of the “sub-human” nature of Blacks.

We also found gruesome evidence of one way in which the Blacks have solved their food shortage: cannibalism. They began by setting up barricades in one main street to stop cars driven by Whites, apparently as early as Tuesday of last week. The unfortunate Whites were dragged from their cars, taken into a nearby Black restaurant, butchered, cooked, and eaten.16
The organization doesn’t care about Blacks eating each other, but when they prey on “white” people it has to be stopped. So of course the organization stops it with considerable violence. Then shortly afterwards the Blacks are sent to areas under the control of the government. Our “hero”, Mr. Turner again whines about how badly Blacks treat each other. An example of our “hero’s” outrage:

I have been surprised to see how callous our volunteer Blacks are toward their own people. Some of the older Blacks, who haven't been able to fend for themselves, are obviously near the point of death from starvation and dehydration, yet our volunteers handle them so roughly and pack them so tightly into the cars that it makes me flinch to watch them. When one overloaded Cadillac started onto the eastbound freeway with a lurch this morning, an ancient Negro lost his grip and fell off the roof, landing headfirst on the pavement and crushing his skull like an egg. The Blacks who had just loaded the car roared with laughter; it was apparently the funniest thing they've seen in a long time.17
Unmitigated gall seems to be a trait of most if not all of the world’s great terrorist movements. The above sections demonstrates it in spades. Aside from the sickening racism of the passages describing the ghetto. Our “hero’s” whining is stomach turning. Mr. Turner and the organization he is a member off are planning to kill every Black person on earth. They have slaughtered hundreds of thousands in ravines near the city and they have instituted policies to create mass starvation. Yet Mr. Turner complains about how they treat each other!!

The model for all of this seems to be the Jewish ghettos created by the Nazi’s during World War II which were by deliberate design places of despair, starvation and disease. There too some Nazi’s used the appearance and behavior of desperate, starving people to justify considering and treating the involuntary inmates has “sub-humans”.

The rest of the USA:

The war described in the book is one long campaign of terror and murder. The tactics of the organization are ruthless. If you aren’t for us, you are against us. A strategy of encirclement, and divide and rule follows carried out with through ruthlessness, with the widespread use nuclear weapons as the organization advances “non-whites” are murdered or flee. But since the organization’s plans are for a “White world” there is safety nowhere. Those who oppose the organization from within the “White Community” are ruthlessly killed. The organization deliberately creates as much chaos as possible. When it is over about ¾ of the American population is dead.

Tens of millions perished during the first half of 1994, and the total White population of the country reached a low point of approximately 50 million by August of that year.18
In all of this our “hero” in a plane suicide bombs the pentagon, sounds like 9/11, but the editors fill in the rest of the whole sick, twisted story.

To quote the epilogue concerning events in the USA:
Then, of course, came the mopping-up period, when the last of the non-White bands were hunted down and exterminated, followed by the final purge of undesirable racial elements among the remaining White population.19
The World:

The world wide Anti-Semitic obsession of the author and his genocidal aims are clear in the following passage:

But we won't forget! That alone is enough to insure that history will not repeat itself. No matter how long it takes us and no matter to what lengths we must go, we'll demand a final settlement of the account between our two races. If the Organization survives this contest, no Jew will-anywhere. We'll go to the uttermost ends of the earth to hunt down the last of Satan's spawn.20
That “Satan’s spawn” consists in part of pregnant women, babies and young children is of course irrelevant to our “hero”.

The organization nukes several cities, and countries including Toronto, and Israel. Apparently they opposed the genocidal insanity of the organization. Eventually through the chaos that the organization generates in Europe and elsewhere it gains control of the world. In an earlier passage our “hero” expressed sympathy for the Palestinians, another exercise in hypocrisy considering what happens next.

In Europe the following happens:

The blood flowed ankle-deep in the streets of many of Europe's great cities momentarily, as the race traitors, the offspring of generations of dysgenic breeding, and hordes of Gastarbeiter [Foreign workers] met a common fate. Then the great dawn of the New Era broke over the Western world.21
The organization launches radio active weapons against India and China and devastates the most of Asia annihilating billions of people, and making the area uninhabitable for centuries. Then the “mutant” survivors are hunted down and killed.

Therefore, the Organization resorted to a combination of chemical, biological, and radiological means, on an enormous scale, to deal with the problem. Over a period of four years some 16 million square miles of the earth's surface, from the Ural Mountains to the Pacific and from the Arctic Ocean to the Indian Ocean, were effectively sterilized. Thus was the Great Eastern Waste created.

Only in the last decade have certain areas of the Waste been declared safe for colonization. Even so, they are "safe" only in the sense that the poisons sowed there a century ago have abated to the point that they are no longer a hazard to life. As everyone is aware, the bands of mutants which roam the Waste remain a real threat, and it may be another century before the last of them has been eliminated and White colonization has once again established a human presence throughout this vast area.

But it was in the year 1999, according to the chronology of the Old Era-just 110 years after the birth of the Great One [Adolf Hitler]- that the dream of a White world finally became a certainty. And it was the sacrifice of the lives of uncounted thousands of brave men and women of the Organization during the preceding years which had kept that dream alive until its realization could no longer be denied.22
During all this, from the fictional “editorial”, comments in the diaries we learn that the Puerto-Ricans were wiped out, that Uganda no longer exists and neither do Black Africans in Africa.
(Note to the reader: Uganda was a political subdivision of the continent of Africa during the Old Era, when that continent was inhabited by the Negro race. Puerto Rico was the Old Era name of the island of New Carolina. It is occupied now by the descendants of White refugees from radioactive areas of the southeastern United States, but before the race purges in the final days of the Great Revolution it was inhabited by a mongrel race of especially unsavory character.)23
In fact it is now a “White World”. The fate of American Indians, Hispanics, Latin Americans of all stripes, the Arab and Semitic peoples of the Middle East, are not mentioned but easily imagined. The fate of all those who hide individuals being hunted down, those who denounce the moral obscenity of these acts is also easy to imagine in this nightmare world.

What’s left out?

Reading The Turner Diaries, I am reminded of the passage in Orwell’s 1984, when O’Brien tells Winston that the entire future of the human race will be a boot stamping on a human face forever. In The Turner Diaries, what is next, finding new people to murder? An endless stream of justification for murder? A world society wallowing in its “Whiteness”? It sounds simply evil.

What is also left out is the child, who is killed, by the gun, the knife etc., simply for existing. In World War II those in involved in the genocide killed children sometimes by crushing their heads with their boots or hitting them against walls. In the los Angles section of the book is described the butchery of hundreds of thousands in canyons and ravines. Where is the child holding a parent’s hand, clutching a favorite toy before being murdered? The children starving to death in ghettos, dying of radiation sickness? Those being killed in un-mentioned extermination plans? The book does not mention gas chambers but that is an all too reasonable guess about how many of the “sub-humans” are killed.

Pregnant women, the old, the ill, the slow, die because they commit the crime of existing. All these humans are not worthy of any consideration. They have no rights at all, not even the right to exist. Their very existence is a crime punishable by death, by virtue of being born in the “wrong” groups. In the world of The Turner Diaries, we see cold ruthless men gloating over the murder of billions of innocents.

In 2002 the author ,William Luther Pierce, of The Turner Diaries, died so that the Earth was no longer defiled and polluted by his vile presence. I have little doubt that he continued to, until his death, to be turned on by sick fantasies of murdering pregnant women, shooting children in the head and committing mass murder. I am also in little doubt that he would have with gusto and pleasure committed such acts and I am grateful he never seems to have had the opportunity.

In the title of this review I rather flippantly referred to The Turner Diaries, having as an alternative title “The Joy of Genocide”. The point of the novel is not about the evils of an out of control federal government and how to resist it. The novel is about how a racist group could seize power in order to carry out its goal of world wide mass murder. Certainly neither resisting tyranny nor establishing freedom is the goal. The goal is to set up a tyranny in order to accomplish the main goal of the annihilation of most of the human race. It is that goal which is paramount and all else is subordinate to that goal.

It is a goal which the fictional “author”, Turner, and his fictional “editors”, relish as the expression goes “to the bone”. It is because of this that I described the members of the organization described in the novel has “self made sub-humans”. No one is born “sub-human”, but each of us can become one through the things we do. Certainly the planning and carrying out of mass genocide on a planetary scale is “sub-human” on a colossal scale. The author and the “hero” he created are indeed examples are indeed “self made sub-humans”.

Mein Kampf, was a blue print for mass murder so is The Turner Diaries.

1. See Wikipedia article The Turner Diaries, Here. See also Wikipedia article William Luther Pierce, Here .

2. The Turner Diaries, from PDF version found at Here pp. 5-6.

3. IBID, p. 6.

4. IBID, p. 22.

5. IBID, pp. 22-23.

6. A PDF of Mein Kampf, can be found at Here. The quote paraphrased is at p. 59 and goes as follows:

Should the Jew, with the aid of his Marxist creed, triumph over the people of this world, his Crown will be the funeral wreath of mankind, and this planet will once again follow its orbit through ether, without any human life on its surface, as it did millions of years ago.
7. The Turner Diaries, p. 35.

8. IBID, p.54.

9. See Arendt, Hannah, Eichmann in Jerusalem, Penguin Books, London, 1964.

10. The Turner Diaries, p. 91.

11. IBID, p. 94.

12. IBID, p. 94.

13. IBID, p. 93.

14. IBID, p. 87.

15. IBID. p. 88.

16. IBID, p. 87.

17. IBID, p. 89.

18. IBID, p. 117.

19. IBID, p. p. 117.

20. IBID, p. 112.

21. IBID, p. 118.

22. IBID, p. 118.

23. IBID, p. 94.

Pierre Cloutier

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Yesterday Sucks!!

A very amusing book that was published in 1974 was The Good Old Days – They were Terrible!, by Otto L. Bettmann.1 This book which is lavishly illustrated with period drawings shows in great detail just why in the period 1870 – 1900 life in America thoroughly sucked. For those of you tired of nostalgia for a “simpler time” or those of you bitten by the nostalgia bug this book is definitely a useful tonic and cure.

Let us talk about the days before cars. Ah yes those wonderful times before car fumes stank up the air. Think again. Cites were infested with four foot polluters, such as pigs and horses dumping their excrement all over the place. Each day one of New York’s 150,000 horses dumped 20-25 pounds of crap, which gave off a horrid stench and attracted swarms of flies. Then there were the numerous horse stables through out the cities stinking of horse urine and the before mentioned pigs added a huge quantity of foul smelling crap also. Pedestrians faced a constant battle to avoid stepping in crap. Amazingly the advent of the Car was greeted with the hope cities would be cleaner and the air better!2

A Street in New York
(All the pictures in this post come from the book)

And to speak of crap, in the “Good Old Days” there was little trash pick up so that city sidewalks and roads were clogged with rubbish, that frequently was several feet deep. Pedestrians had a great time tramping through the debris. Citizens routinely dumped trash into the street or under the myriad vehicles parked in city streets.

Cleanup was haphazard and inefficient aside from being riddled with corruption, and inefficiencies. Cities routinely cut back on such “nonessential” services if they existed in any form at all.3

And if you thought it was just city life that swallowed heavily rural life also had its downside. For example cooking was a drudgery that required endlessly feeding wood into a stove that was always very hot and making everything from scratch made cooking seem an endless operation. And since the kitchen had the stove there was the endless drudgery of laundry. Without washers or dryers or modern detergents, washing required heating gallons of water on a stove and beating and rinsing clothes by hand before you hung them up to dry. You could beat the clothes by hand and use various lye soaps that very effectively chemically burned your skin and had such things has hollow logs and wooden paddles to help and of course there was repeatedly heating vast quantities of hot water for washing. After many, many hours of washing you finally finished the wash.4

Doing the Wash

Ah but was not there lots of fresh unpolluted well water. Well maybe, but then the well was usually located near the kitchen and the barn with all of its animal waste was very close. This helped to insure that well water was indeed heavily polluted and a source of disease.5

There was also the insufferable boredom of country life especially during the winter when Farms were generally almost completely isolated from each other. Sometimes people went stark raving mad from the boredom.6

Let us not talk about working conditions in any detail except to note that they were horrible. With things set at a very high pace and help for disabled workers virtually nonexistent.7

The attitude towards strikers is also of interest. In 1894 there was the Pullman strike, in which the employer managed to quite successfully portray the strikers as the bad guys. Despite the fact that in 1893 the Pullman Company had cut workers wages 5 times, the last by almost 30%! In 1892 a strike at Homestead was deliberately incited by the owner in hopes of breaking the union. The strike was violently suppressed by militiamen. In fact during this time period there were the creation of armoured units, police and planning to deal with strikers all over the place. Both media and the state was very much at the service of industry when it came to dealing with worker opposition.8

Dealing with a Strike

Regarding law and order. Well let’s just say crime was a serious problem, in both rural and urban settings. Including even the Mafia in New Orleans.9 The police were corrupt inefficient and engaged in massive protection rackets and payoffs. For example in New York City the position of a Patrolman could be bought for $100, a Captaincy for $1,500.10 An example of a Police protection racket, was the prostitution trade in New York City, were:

Police protection cost the bordello operator an initiation fee pf $300 to $500 and $30 to $50 monthly thereafter, traditionally collected by the precinct captain.11

A Contemporary Cartoon about Police Corruption

In regards to the Legal system. Lawyers were notoriously incompetent and Judges and Juries were frequently easily bought by individuals and corporations. Local City governments were routinely treated as massive treasure chests by greedy politicians and contractors who pillage city coffers regularly. Of course lynching should not be forgotten.12

As for that good healthy food of yore. Well food was actually frequently putrid, especially meat, or heavily adulterated with water, (milk) or alum (flour). Cheese and butter were frequently adulterated with soap fat, lard or unmentionables. Not surprisingly people often got sick from this fare, and if you are poor you just had to put up with it.13.

Regarding health care. Doctors were frequently quacks with Diplomas from Diploma mills aside from that many were filthy. Treatments were frequently not much different from witchcraft. Knowledge of disease was minimal so epidemic diseases frequently ran wild especially in cities. Treatment of the insane or simply mentally ill bordered and frequently crossed the boundary into sadism and inhuman cruelty. Surgery was frequently performed under incredibly unhygienic conditions. Hospitals were frequently unspeakable. Helped by Doctors prescribing opiates galore drug addiction was rampant, along with alcoholism.14

A ward in Bellevue hospital

Regarding Drug addiction these were the days of Coca wine, (made from coca leaves the source of cocaine), and Heroin, (which was sold as a cough medicine!).15
Contemporary Ads for Heroin and Coca wine

Education was hell, with poor teachers, out of control students, brutal discipline, poor funding, crowded classrooms and a bad curriculum. Including such incidents has a teacher being stoned to death by her students. Teacher’s pay was too but it mildly bad.16

To cap it off a trip to the beach was both an ordeal and frequently not worth the trouble with the beach polluted and very overcrowded, to say nothing of the cost.17

A day at the Beach

Our author concludes about this time period.

Pollution overhead, garbage underfoot, streets choked with traffic, bursting slums, crime, labor unrest, dope addiction – problems of the future in the country with a future.


Perhaps, indeed, our nostalgia more rightfully belonged to them as they cast a sad eye on the lowering sky and longed for the good old days.18

1. Bettmann, Otto L., Random House, New York, 1974.

2. IBID, pp. 2-3.

3. IBID, pp. 7-8.

4. IBID, pp. 48-49.

5. IBID, p. 51.

6. IBID, pp. 62-63.

7. IBID, pp. 68-69.

8. IBID, pp. 82-83.

9. IBID, p.103.

10. IBID, pp. 92-99.

11. IBID, p. 98.

12. IBID, pp. 100-105.

13. IBID, pp. 109-121.

14. IBID, pp. 135-153.

15. IBID, p. 153.

16. IBID, pp. 155-169.

17. IBID, p. 196-197.

18. IBID, p. 196.

Pierre Cloutier

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Pornography Ancient and Modern

The following Post
contains some sexually explicit images
If you might be offended
Please do not read!!

An issue guaranteed to get people’s blood boiling is the issue of pornography. This is one of those heat and little light issues. Unlike the case of a writer like the Marquis de Sade whose writings, who I have previously written a blog on, are indeed truly disturbing in that they do combine sex with horrific sadistic violence and therefore legitimately call for consideration and concern. Although not in my opinion banning. It is interesting that so called “ordinary porn”; just seems to bring out the holier than thou in people.

Of course a ‘hot button” issue like this one is exceptionally useful in keeping peoples mind off real issues and have them getting obsessed with what their neighbours are doing.

Pornography is one of those issues and it has been and is exceptionally useful in getting people’s minds off the important stuff.

Of course porn has been around a very long time and has not always caused the same level of hysteria and sheer mockish stupidity.

For example lets us look at such things as this rather interesting Herm from ancient Greece with their very erect penises and stood on street corners in many Greek cities.

A Herm

Or how about this much larger than life size penises from Delos.

Phalli at Delos

There is also this painting from Pompeii which is shall we say explicit.

Mural from Pompeii

And for you fans of the truly kinky how about a little bestiality.

The god Pan making it with a goat

The above is not my cup of tea or dare I say of much interest to any but a small minority of humans.

What is of interest is how such images did not disturb the equilibrium of Greco-Roman society. It simply never occurred to anyone that such images were problematic and disturbing. They might be refined, well done or crude and tasteless but they would not have been considered some sort existential threat to that society.

The result when these items were rediscovered was some of the most absurd stupidities by the modern guardians of morality. There is in Naples a collection of art and artefacts collected from Pompeii called The Secret Collection, which until very recently was kept locked away from regular museum goers least its pornographic and erotic images, confuse and scandalize the poor simple minded average museum visitor.1

I would think that the ancient Romans and Greeks would have laughed quite loudly at such no-nothing brainless idiocy.

Considering that Greeks and Romans considered public displays of phallic imagery as a good luck charm they would have been quite non-plussed by so many moderns getting hysterical about it.

So what really bothers moderns about porn?

The answer is quite simple. Porn shows sex. Now if it was really about issues that you would think are legitimate problems and concerns you would not see the level of hysteria over it that is indeed there.

This level has its roots in the idea that sex is dangerous and needs to be controlled and regulated and that it is a dark and mysterious force that is tainted with diabolical and evil qualities.2

I remember a series of programs called A Third Testament, (1976) narrated by Malcolm Muggeridge from the mid 70’s. In an episode about the Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy Malcolm refers to “CCC-ARNALL – PP-LEASURES!!. While saying that Malcolm squints, furrows his forehead and looks like he is having a severe migraine combined with a coronary. Like a vast number of older people Malcolm, who when he was younger indulged deeply in “carnal pleasures”, now that he was older and past all that, he thought it would be a good idea to deny other people “carnal pleasures”. No doubt having both satiated himself and gotten too old to indulge in “carnal pleasures”, it would be most satisfying for him to deny others “carnal pleasures”. The look of satisfaction that crossed his face as he talked about denying others “carnal pleasures” indicated that despite his supposed wish to help others escape being enslaved to “carnal pleasures”, that he was just has enslaved to them as ever. Only in this case being unable to enjoy them himself he would get perverted pleasure from denying others similar “pleasures”.3

It is indeed remarkable how obsessed so many of those who complain about other people being obsessed with sex are with sex. Instead they think constantly about how wicked it is for other people to have sex and how they have to be brought under control and how wicked them having sex is. Like the most sex obsessed orgiest these people never stop thinking about sex, only in this case how wicked and evil it is and how other people are having it and how they have to be stopped. Thus like Malcolm Muggeridge they writhe in prurient ecstasy at the thought of “CCC-ARNALL - PP-LEASURES!!” and think constantly and obsessively about sex.

One could go into the roots of this obsessive prurience but it is not necessary except to note that it seems to be at least partially related to a certain style of Christian values.

This notion of sex has dangerous, disgusting and prurient and this obsession with what other people are doing is behind most of the anti-pornography hysteria that exists in our society. This hysteria has lead to a seeming inability to discuss pornography in any sort of rational manner.4

Now it can easily be argued, and in my opinion obviously true, that pornography has problematic aspects.

For example. It is true that much pornography is in fact involves the use and rather unpleasant exploitation of the women, and yes sometimes at least men involved in producing it.

There is of course the issue of child porn and bestiality, which involves issues of consent and exploitation.

There is also the problem of extremely violent pornography that sexualizes, rape, sadistic, brutal degradation and humiliation, especially of women.5

Those are genuine issues of concern and certainly subject to analysis and critique. What are not reasonable are the following pieces of nonsense.

The idea that pornography is responsible for the subordination of women. A position advanced by the late Andrea Dworkin and by Catherine McKinnon. Are they seriously advancing the position that the existence of pornography is the main reason why women are oppressed? A position whose light headedness should cause it to float away and disperse.

Lets see most Muslim states especially the more religious ones prohibit most pornography and Scandinavian countries have lots of available porn. Guess which countries women have a better, socio-economic and political position in? Would it be sensible to argue that pornography caused women to have a better position in Scandinavia? Of course not but that is where this sort of logic leads us.6

Another popular idea, adopted for example by Courts in various places is the idea that pornography causes “harm”. In Canada this idea largely via Catherine A. MacKinnon, has caught on with the courts basically as a way of avoiding the old “community standards” rule which was pretty useless and the old “artistic merit” debate.7

It is ironic that the so-called anti-pornography Feminists who use this argument allow themselves to be allied to anti-pornographic so-called “Christian” groups who are quite convinced of the harm done by Feminist speech and the need to curtail, if not eliminate that form of speech.

The problem is the “harm” described is pretty nebulous and lacks concrete specifics. Finally even if it causes “harm” is that a reason to ban it? Well it can be easily shown that Hitler’s Mein Kampf caused and causes real harm. Yet it is available. So are the works of Karl Marx and of countless thinkers whose ideas were used as an excuse by some to cause mayhem.

One could of course easily list all sorts of works that incited people to resist or rebel violently; say the works of Thomas Paine? So the “harm” idea in my opinion is nothing more than the old disgust, prurient argument. I.E., “this is revolting and disgusting so of course it causes harm”. Even assuming pornography causes “harm” is that a reason to ban it, after all lots of speech causes harm and is not banned.8

It is routine among anti-pornography crusaders to demonize the makers of pornography. A favourite story is the infamous snuff film story. What is fascinating is that despite decades of efforts to track down this elusive film we have yet to find a real snuff film. I.E., a film of an actual person being killed as the “climax” of a sadistic sex scene in a porn movie. It appears that certain films have had simulated death, although even those are very hard to find, but that a bona-fide for real snuff film seems to be nonexistent. Frankly that surprises me given just how perverse and vicious humans can be. The language of disgust is generally in full flower when anti-pornographers describe the makers of pornography. It seems to do so because anti-pornographers conceive of the world in manichean terms of the sons of light against the sons of darkness. They also seem to have no desire to find out in any depth or detail how the pornography industry actually works.9

Another argument, very frequently used, is that pornography is not “speech” and hence not eligible for being protected by freedom of speech guarantees, like the Canadian Charter of Rights or the American Constitution. The argument is that the guarantees only protect “political” speech. This is an interesting argument although in the end it amounts to the usual disgust argument. I.E., “pornography disgusts me so it isn’t legitimate speech”. Well lots of speech disgusts me such as Holocaust denial bilge and Racist vomit and Stalinist excrement but I would never dream of banning it because I find it disgusting. Of course there is Gore Vidal’s answer to this point of view “Sex is politics”. In fact his point is that sex is deeply political given that it is about on the most intimate level about how we relate to each other.10

By giving pornography deep existential importance and allying it to fundamental forces of society the anti-pornographers have elevate pornography from a diversion to a fundamental cosmic principle. It is not and never was.

Perhaps the most significant development in the pornographic industry lately has been the development of cams and other recording devices that make it very easy for people to make their own pornography. Thus escaping the censor and the prurient prude. Just how are the anti-pornographers going to control and regulate that?

The Greco-Romans had it right Pornography is nothing to get your knickers in a knot about.

1. Mulas, Antonia, Eros in Antiquity, The Erotic Art Book Society, New York, 1978., pp. 9-13.

2. See Richards, Jeffrey, Sex, Dissidence and Damnation, Routledge, London, 1991, pp. 22-41, Moore, R. I., The Formation of a Persecuting Society, 2nd Edition, Blackwell Pub., London, 2007, pp. 94-116.

3. For more information on A Third Testament, see Here

4. See Footnote 2.

5. For a overview of these issues see Diamond, Sara, Pornography: Image and Reality, in Women Against Censorship, Edited by Burstyn, Varda, Douglas & McIntyre, Toronto, 1985, pp. 40-57.

6. See Dworkin, Andrea, Pornography: Men Possessing Women, Plume, New York, 1991, MacKinnon, Catherine A., Are Women Human?: And Other International Dialogues, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2006.

7. The main case in question as been R. v. Butler, [1992] 1 S.C.R. 452, which uses this frame work and adopted largely from Catherine A. MacKinnon’s ideas.

8. See the essays in Burstyn, Varda.

9. For more about the apparent non-existence of snuff films see Stine, Scott Aaron, The Snuff Film: The Making of an Urban Legend, Here.

10. For the view that pornography is not real speech see McKinnon, Catriona, Toleration: A Critical Introduction, Routledge, London, 2006, pp. 137-152. For the view of sex as politics see Vidal, Gore, Sex is Politics, in The Second American Revolution and other Essays 1976-1982, Random house, New York, 1982.

Pierre Cloutier

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Beginning of the Age of Triage

Triage is a process of prioritizing patients based on the severity of their condition. This rations patient treatment efficiently when resources are insufficient for all to be treated immediately.1

To take another tact what happens when triage is applied to entire human groups and Politicians / Philosophers, Sociologists etc, decide that they will be “Doctors” administering “treatment” for the benefit of the entire human race? Perhaps the history of the past few hundred years can indicate what happens.

Triage applied to human groups has a thoroughly unpleasant history but only in the last c. two centuries has it received a whole army of rationalizations and excuse mongering.2

What happens when other human beings are defined as superfluous? The results are truly horrific and generally are characterized by mass death.

Mass death of this sort has existed since classical antiquity and before. One could start with such horrors as the Spartan Massacre of 2000 Helots in a cold blooded attempt to crush potential resistance or the, if anything more, cold blooded Roman obliteration of Carthage in the Third Punic War. The Third Punic War involved Rome deliberately goading Carthage into a war and then utterly destroying the city.3

The Helot episode is described as follows by Thucydides:

Indeed fear of their numbers and obstinacy even persuaded the Spartans to the action which I shall now relate, their policy at all times having been governed by the necessity of taking precautions against them. The Helots were invited by a proclamation to pick out those of their number who claimed to have most distinguished themselves in the wars, in order that they might be receive their freedom; the object being to test them, as it was thought that the first to claim their freedom would be the most high-spirited and the most apt to rebel. As many as two thousand were selected accordingly, who crowned themselves and went round the temples, rejoicing in their new freedom. The Spartans, however, soon afterwards did away with them, and no one ever new how each of them perished.4

Spartan Helmet

The destruction of Carthage is described as follows:

Then came new scenes of horror. As the fire spread and carried everything down, the soldiers did not wait to destroy the buildings little by little, but all in a heap. So the crashing grew louder, and many corpses fell with the stones into the midst. Others were seen still living, especially old men, women, and young children who had hidden in the inmost nooks of the houses, some of them wounded, some more or less burned, and uttering piteous cries. Still others thrust out and falling from such a height with the stones, timbers, and fire, were torn asunder in all shapes of horror, crushed and mangled.

Nor was this the end of their miseries, for the street cleaners, who were removing the rubbish with axes, mattocks, and forks, and making the roads passable, tossed with these instruments the dead and the living together into holes in the ground, dragging them along like sticks and stones and turning them over with their iron tools. Trenches were filled with men. Some who were thrown in head foremost, with their legs sticking out of the ground, writhed a long time. Others fell with their feet downward and their heads above ground. Horses ran over them, crushing their faces and skulls, not purposely on the part of the riders, but in their headlong haste. Nor did the street cleaners do these things on purpose; but the tug of war, the glory of approaching victory, the rush of the soldiery, the orders of the officers, the blast of the trumpets, tribunes and centurions marching their cohorts hither and thither - all together made everybody frantic and heedless of the spectacles under their eyes.5

Fighting in Carthage

We have unfortunately seen these scenes repeated over and over again through out human history.

We see for example in the enclosure movement that “enclosed” large amounts of formerly communal lands in England. Enclosure basically meant that such land formerly used by the peasants has common property like, pasture and woodlands was taken over by the local landlord and excluded from communal use. This lead to a great many peasants whose existence was formerly marginal to their lives becoming impossible. Because they relied for much of their “income” on the use of such communal properties.6

In other words they were triaged. This lead to an explosion of poverty among the peasantry and a desperate search by the peasantry for new sources of income. Not surprisingly rural violence increased. Thus governments had to cope with increases in vagrancy and other disorders, by regimenting the population more. Fortunately continuing commercial expansion, emigration to the New World, and later the industrial revolution provided outlets for this “surplus” population.7

With the Enlightenment came a revolution of “rationality”, and need to subordinate human wishes to that “rationality”. Thus “rationally” speaking it was best to strive for maximum gains and growth and anything that impeded it should be ruthlessly thrust aside. Thus we have Malthus writing about famine saying:

we should facilitate, instead of foolishly and vainly endeavoring to impede, the operations of nature in producing this mortality; and if we dread the frequent visitation of the horrid form of famine, we should sedulously encourage the other forms of destruction which we compel nature to use. Instead of recommending cleanliness to the poor, we should encourage contrary habits. In our own towns we should make the streets narrower, crowd more people into houses, and count on the return of plague. In the country, we should build our villages near stagnant pools, and particularly encourage settlement in all marshy and unwholesome situations. But above all, we should reprobate specific remedies for ravaging diseases; and those benevolent but much mistaken men, who thought they were doing a service to mankind by projecting schemes for the total extirpation of particular disorders.8

What can one say faced with such a passage except to note that it is a profoundly evil passage. One further notes that Thomas Malthus was a Clergyman! His thought though was not unusual at the time, unfortunately. This period saw a great growth in the idea that large sections of the population were “surplus” and needed to be culled down to a more manageable level. Of course “nature” would do but has Malthus said man would help “nature” along. Of course these people tended to forget that what they were advocating was nothing less than mass murder.9

Such ideas soon had pernicious effects in all sorts of areas including the developing “science” of “race”. It ended up with certain of the founders of this “science” openly announcing with relish the coming extinction of whole “races”. In the case of Robert Knox, a British anthropologist, most of the human race. Of course this would all come about and was happening right now by “natural means”.10 Of course even the barest of fact checking would have revealed that the “natural means” were getting plenty of human help.

An example on this aiding of “natural means” was the Irish Famine of 1845 – 1850 C.E. Britain was at the time the greatest of European powers and per-capita, by far, the wealthiest state on earth. Between those years Ireland experienced the last great famine in Western Europe and wealthy England was basically unable to cope, even though Ireland was right on England’s doorstep.

An endless debate is about whether or not, or how much, the famine was man made. The evidence does however indicate that the colonial dependency of Ireland and the systematic exploitation of Ireland’s peasantry by Government, Church and Landlord created a situation in which the peasantry was massively and fatally dependent on a single crop, the potato.11

The position of the Irish peasantry was one in which being both ruthlessly exploited and dependent on a single crop was combined with the serious lack of work at anything other than subsistence farming and the added threat of massive population increase.12

In one of histories great ironies the potato, precisely because it was easy to cultivate, produced, compared to other crops, prodigious yields per acre and was very nutritious produced in combination with the desperate condition of the Irish peasantry a truly formidable level of population increase that in turn made the peasantry even more dependent on the potato.13

The result when the potato blight stuck was disaster. In 1845 there was a partial failure of the potato crop in 1846 a complete failure of the potato crop. In 1847 there was despite the low level of potato planted a very good harvest. In 1848 the desperate peasantry stacked it’s all in the potato harvest of 1848, but that year was another complete failure of the potato harvest. The result was abyss of misery.14

In many ways the early reaction of the English government was about the best that could be expected. However it did not stay the course it eventually abandoned the Irish to private charity and the operation of “natural causes” and this occurred at about the same time as the second complete failure of the potato.15 The result was mass death and mass emigration from Ireland. By 1851 over one million Irish had died and over one million had fled Ireland.16

Irish arriving in New York c. 1847

Why did this disaster happen or shall we say allowed to become so serious and disastrous? The reason was quite simple many in the British government were fanatical believers in “Laisse-Faire”, seemingly unaware that refusing to do something is an act. That many of the reasons why the great majority of the people of Ireland were so vunerable were the results of deliberate acts of past governments, officials and absentee landlords. They believed devoutly in allowing things to follow their “Natural Course”17 In this they were supported by much of the media, (The Times of London for example) and intelligentsia which could so easily write off large numbers of human beings and sacrifice them to “Natural Causes”. But then it is happening to someone else far away so I guess it is easy for some people.18

The result was the obscenity of allowing food to be exported from Ireland during a famine, it being considered unspeakable that trade should be restricted in this fashion. Further the obscenity of troops guarding convoys of food being sent for export from starving mobs is grotesque. Also the British government was obsessed with saving money and whined about every penny spent and endlessly sought ways to reduce expenditure. In fact the whining from British officials about how much this was costing are decidedly repellent. When in 1847 the British Government suffered some financial problems Irish relief was cut back.19

Victims of the Irish Famine 1849

The British official Trevelyan’s attitude, (he was in charge of government relief efforts during the Irish famine) was one of seeing it has an opportunity to modernize Irish agriculture and to “remove” the surplus population. Trevelyan said concerning the mass emigration from Ireland:

This [problem] being altogether beyond the power of man, the cure had been applied by the direct stroke of an all-wise Providence in a manner as unexpected and as unthought of as it is likely to be effectual.20

Trevelyan further states regarding the emigration:

I do not know how far farms are to be consolidated if small farmers do not emigrate and by acting for the purpose of keeping them at home, we should be defeating our own object. We must not complain of what we really want to obtain. If small farms go, and then landlords are induced to sell portions of their estates to persons who will invest Capital, we shall at last arrive at something like a satisfactory settlement in this country.21

Trevelyan saw the Famine as a:

…mechanism for reducing surplus population.

Trevelyan further described the famine, with great coldness and cruelty as:

The judgement of God sent the calamity to teach the Irish a lesson, that calamity must not be too much mitigated. …The real evil with which we have to contend is not the physical evil of the Famine, but the moral evil of the selfish, perverse and turbulent character of the people.22

Charles Edward Trevelyan

Thus does Charles Edward Tevelyan sit in judgment and pronounce millions as worthy of intense suffering and death. The arrogance is breathtaking. When in 1886 Trevelyan died that was one piece of “surplus population” humanity was well rid of.

To quote another author whose moral sense is not so withered:

There was, of course, yet another way to clear Ireland of peasants and make way for ‘persons who will invest capital’: do nothing during the famine and let the unwanted people die. As the crisis worsened, Trevelyan based his policy on the conviction that famine could best be dealt with by leaving matters to ‘the operation of natural causes’. Trevelyan was wholly supported in this policy by the Prime Minister, Lord John Russell, who in 1848 refused to consider the allocation of future public funds to assist Ireland. The consequence of letting nature take its course was mass starvation and death.23

Thus did Trevelyan and many others ignore how much assistance “natural causes” were given by man and of course Trevelyan ignored that the “cure” was effected by mass suffering and death. Trevelyan was not so crass has to openly celebrate mass death but he certainly implied such rejoicing over mass suffering and death. Trevelyan for example celebrated as “progress” the mass evictions of tenants that occurred during the famine which greatly increased the number of famine victims. But then “progress” gets rid of the “surplus” population. A certain Nassau Senior, a government economic advisor did however say publicly what many of these moral cretins were thinking when in 1848 he said that the current famine would unfortunately only kill 1 million people and it would scarcely be enough to do much good.24

At the time some British officials did in fact recognize the nature of what was being done and not done in relation to Ireland. Lord Clarendon, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland wrote to the Prime Minister the following:

…I don’t think there is another legislature in Europe that would disregard such suffering as now exists in the west of Ireland, or coldly persist in a policy of extermination.25

Trevelyan and others hoped that the mass death and suffering by clearing the “surplus” population would effect the modernization of Ireland’s agriculture and economy. They were totally disappointed.26 Ireland’s population after the famine continued to decline and stagnate; the peasantry continued to be poverty stricken and desperate and unlike before the famine mass migration continued to drain Ireland of its best and brightest. For Trevelyan like the others simply refused to see the obvious that Ireland’s economic plight was largely because of its disastrous economic colonial relationship with England and only if that changed was there real hope of modernization. In fact Ireland did not begin to seriously catch up until the late twentieth century.

In the end the famine helped to profoundly alienate the Irish from Britain and to create a sometimes rabidly anti-English Irish Diaspora. Previous to the famine there was a reasonable chance of Ireland being incorporated the way Wales and Scotland had been incorporated politically and economically, the famine very much reduced the prospects of for that sort of integration. In the end during the Second World War because of Irish hostility to England British ships could not use the ports of the Republic of Ireland and in consequence England was in mortal danger from the U-Boats and hundreds of British sailors drowned.27

In 1841 a census had found the population of Ireland to be 8,175,124; this figure is considered to be an underestimate. In 1851 another census gave a figure of 6, 552,385. Given that the population in 1845, considering population growth and the fact the 1841 census under counted, was at least 9,000,000, at least 2 and ½ million people disappeared through emigration and death.28

The age of Triage was off to a “good” start. I may later explore the further development of the age of Triage and its creation of “surplus” people.

1. See Wikipedia, Here.

2. Rubenstein, Richard L., The Age of Triage, Beacon Press, Boston, 1983. Provides an excellent overview as well of the triage theme of this essay. See also Kuper, Leo, Genocide, Penguin Books, London, 1981, Kiernan, Ben, Blood and Soil, Yale University Press, New Haven CT, 2007.

3. For the Helot massacre see Thucydides, The Land Mark Thucydides, Touchstone Books, New York, 1996, [A translation of The Peloponnesian War], B. 4 s. 80. For the obliteration of Carthage see Polybius, Roman Histories, B. 36 s. 1-9, 16, B. 38, s. 7, 19-22, at LacusCurtius, Here. Polybius is a bit of a suck up for the Romans see Polybius, Polybius: The Rise of the Roman Empire, Penguin Books, London, 1979, B. 36 s. 9, pp. 535-537, for a section which reviews various Greek reactions to the destruction of Carthage in which it is painfully obvious that Polybius in the guise of offering a “balanced” overview of reactions approves and seeks to excuse the inexcusable. For the only overview of the entire Third Punic War from antiquity see, Appian, History of Rome, Book 8, s. 67-136, at Livius, Here.

4. Thucydides, Book 4, s. 80, p. 268.

5. Appian at Livius, Here

6. Rubenstein, pp. 35-82.

7. IBID. pp. 82-97.

8. Malthus, Thomas, Essay on the Principle of Population, 6th Edition, 1826, quoted in Rubenstein, p. 52.

9. See Inglis, Brian, Poverty and the Industrial Revolution, Panther Books Ltd., London, 1972.

10. Hannaford, Ivan, Race: The History of an Idea in the West, John Hopkins University Press, 1996, pp. 235-275, Ellingson, Ter, The Myth of the Noble Savage, University of California Press, Los Angles, 2001, pp. 279-289, Brace, Loring C., “Race”: Is a Four-Letter Word, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2005, pp. 117-124.

11. Woodham-Smith, Cecil, The Great Hunger, Signet Books, New York, 1962, pp. 9-48.

12. IBID. Rubenstein, pp. 98-101.

13. IBID.

14. See Woodham-Smith.

15. IBID., pp. 358-381, and 405-407.

16. IBID., pp. 409-410, Rubenstein, pp. 113.

17. IBID.

18. IBID., for many, many examples.

19. IBID., Rubenstein, pp. 98-127, Woodham-Smith pp. 373-375.

20. Trevelyan in a letter to a friend quoted in Rubenstein, p. 113.

21. Trevelyan quoted in IBID., pp. 113-114.

22. Trevelyan quoted in Wikipedia, Here

23. Rubenstein, p. 114.

24. Woodham-Smith, p. 373.

25. Lord Clarendon quoted in Rubenstein, p. 115.

26. Woodham-Smith, p. 409-410.

27. IBID., p. 409-410.

28. IBID., p. 409.

Pierre Cloutier

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Note on The Peace of Kallias

The Eastern Mediterranean

A rather interminable and endless debate as centred on the historical veracity of the Peace of Kallias, (c. 449-448 B.C.E.), or (c. 465 B.C.E.). The following is a brief review of some of the issues surrounding the Peace of Kallias.

The best description of the Peace comes from Diodorus who writes:
The Athenians and their allies concluded with the Persians a treaty of peace, the principal terms of which run as follows: All the Greek cities of Asia are to live under laws of their own making; the satraps of the Persians are not to come nearer to the sea than a three days’ journey, and no Persian warship is to sail between Phaselis and the Cyanean rocks;1 and if those terms are observed by the King and his generals, the Athenians are not to send troops into the territory over which the King is ruler.2
Other terms appear to have been that the Athenians agreed that the cities in the Delian League on the coast of Asia Minor would not be fortified. Also that the Athenians would not aid rebellion in Cyprus and Egypt , and would leave the eastern Mediterranean to Persia. Persia recognized the Athenian Empire and abandoned their claim to Ionia.3

The attack on the historical veracity of the Peace of Kallias is based on one very damaging fact, the historian Thucydides fails to mention it.4 It seems hard to believe that Thucydides would fail to mention this Peace if it in fact had occurred. However this argument is not conclusive after all Thucydides also seriously downplayed the Megarian decrees5 to give put one example. Although other 5th century sources are also silent about the Peace of Kallias. Arguments from silence do not prove something did not happen, although in the case of Thucydides silence one is left puzzled about why.

The first mention of the Peace of Kallias is in the writings of the Greek writer Isocrates, who briefly records the treaty as limiting the Persian Empire and preventing Persian ships from going west of Phaslis and that no troops will be sent west of the Halys river.6 This differs from the version given above.7 All other references to the treaty post-date this reference.8 So it appears that our earliest reference is about 70 or 85 years after the alleged treaty. No surviving inscription records the treaty or makes a reference to it.9

This combined with the fact that the best and basically only surviving near - contemporary historian, (Thucydides), does not even mention the treaty is certainly enough to raise doubts about the Peace of Kallias being historical.

Further the 4th century historian Theopompus of Chios regarded the Peace of Kallias, or some other treaty with Persia as a forgery based on the fact that the inscription he found in Athens was written in a alphabet, (Ionic), used after 403 B.C.E.10 About 350 B.C.E., references to a whole series of decrees and decisions dating, allegedly, to the period 490-440 B.C.E. start to appear. It appears all too likely that these documents were at worst forgeries and at best imaginative recreations. There is the possibility that the Peace of Kallias was one of those documents,11 if so its’ historical veracity is slight. Further what Isocrates tells us of its terms varies from the version that became generally accepted. The 4th century historian Callisthenes also said that the Peace of Kallias was a fraud.12 The sceptics can hardly be blamed for their doubts about the historical veracity of the Peace of Kallias.13

Regarding Theopompus of Chios, his reliability as an historian is not of the highest so his arguments are not conclusive.14 For example the point about the use of the Ionic alphabet after 403 B.C.E; despite what Theopompus says, several inscriptions in Ionic have been found at Athens dating much earlier than 403 B.C.E.15 As for Callisthenes his reputation as an historian is rather low and he had a reputation for sensationalism and exaggeration.16 Given Plutarch’s confusing date of the peace, (c. 465 B.C.E.)17, in the section in which he refers to Callisthenes it is possible that Plutarch has confused the question of a peace after Eurymedon, (c. 469-466 B.C.E.), with a peace after the Cyprian Expedition of c. 450 B.C.E., resulting in a misunderstanding of what Callisthenes was in fact talking about. Also what Theopompus saw, and Callisthenes referred to, could have been an accurate copy done after 403 B.C.E., of the Peace of Kallias. It also appears Theopompus may not have been referring to the Peace of Kallias but to a later treaty with Darius II of Persia.18 If so the fact he refers to the treaty as forgery when we have the evidence of Andocides for its authenticity does not help Theopompus’ credibility. It is also quite possible that although the terms of the Peace of Kallias, or some other treaty, given in the inscription are “fake”, the Peace of Kallias was in fact real.

The considerations mentioned above also apply to the question of the “faked” documents only some of which we have in their inscriptional form. Perhaps we would be in a better position to settle this question if we had the actual inscription of the Peace of Kallias, but we do not.

Isocrates is also not a good source being basically a political pamphleteer, and rhetorician, who was quite careless all too often.19 His reliability in reporting the Peace of Kallias is not high. Certainly the term forbidding Persian troops west of the Halys river is hard to take seriously.20 Isocrates summary is as follows:
In the time of our supremacy, the barbarians were prevented from marching with an army beyond the Halys river and from sailing with their ships this side Phaselis.21
The idea that the restriction of Persian troops against going west of the Halys is believable if we amend it to mean that Royal troops could not go west of the Halys and had nothing to do with the local armies of the Satraps,22 also has problems. It is not reasonable to think that the Persians would accept such a limitation on their ability to crush rebellion in western Asia Minor and that the Persian King would at the time reduce his ability to rein in his Satraps is problematic and doubtful. No amount of massaging this data makes it any less hard to believe. Finally given what our author says about reading in, (see next two paragraphs), information when something is not clearly stated. This seems to be a prime example. Also Isocrates account of the terms is still at a minimum 70 years after the alleged events and his version still contradicts the other versions.23

And our three other sources from the 4th century Demosthenes, Lycurgus and Aristodemos disagree with Isocrates version of the terms and support Diodorus ' version.24 Demosthenes account, which is the same as Lycurgus, states referring to Kallias:

Who negotiated the celebrated Peace under which the King of Persia was not to approach within a day’s ride of the coast, nor sail a ship of war between the Chelidonian islands and the Blue rocks.25

Asia Minor

Lycurgus adds to the above that it was agreed:

...that the Greeks should be free not only if they lived in Europe but in Asia too...26

The writer Aristodemos, gives the following terms:

The treaty was made on those conditions: the Persians were not to sail in warships beyond the Kyanai, the river Nessos and Phaselis, which is a Pamphylian city, and helidoniai. Nor were they to advance within a three day journey to the sea as overed by a horse at speed.27

There is no reason not to accept Diodorus' version of the treaty given the support it has from those three sources.

Basically it appears that fourth century historians, writers, and orators contrasted the glorious achievement of the Peace of Kallias with the humiliation of the Peace of Antalkidas,28 (also known, more accurately in the Authors’ opinion, as the Kings’ Peace, 387 B.C.E.), which both formally gave the Greeks cities of Asia Minor to Persia and ratified continued Persian interference in Greek affairs. It is surely not a coincidence that the first surviving mention of the Peace of Kallias occurs about 380 B.C.E., in the writings of Isocrates, who quite deliberately and rhetorically contrasts the Peace of Kallias with the "Kings Peace" in the same passage.29

For example Isocrates writes such things as:

We were constantly setting limits on the Empire of the King…
Levying tribute on some of his subjects and banning him from the sea…30

But right now according to Isocrates:

Do we not address him as "The Great King?"

Is it not he who presides over our affairs as though captive of his spear.31

The Athenian Orator Lysias also contrasted the glorious achievements of the 5th century B.C.E., with the early 4th century B.C.E., reality. In the past, according to Lysias, Athens had:

…displayed their own power to such effect that the Great King no more coveted the possessions of others, but yielded some of his own and was in fear for what remained.32

Right now however things had changed for now it is;

…fitting for Greece to come and mourn over this tomb, and lament those who lie here, seeing that her own freedom was interred together with their valour. Unhappy Greece, to be bereft of such men, and happy King of Asia, to be at grips with other leaders! For Greece, deprived of these men, is sunk in slavery…33

The polemical and rhetorical purpose of Isocrates comments about the Peace of Kallias in contrast to the "Kings Peace" are obvious and clear and was part of a rapidly developing tradition. So the reliability of Isocrates’ comments concerning the contents of the Peace terms for both Peaces’ is suspect, so there is no compelling reason to accept Isocrates version of the Peace of Kallias over Diodorus.

The writer Aelius Aristides who lived and wrote in the 2nd century C.E. also provides evidence of the terms of the Peace of Kallias, and the terms he reports agree with Diodorus , Lycurgus and Demosthenes.34 Aristides however follows in the tradition of Isocrates in contrasting the terms of the Kings Peace with those of the Peace of Kallias.35 Bluntly the victorious Peace of Kallias is contrasted with the humiliation of the Kings Peace with, like Isocrates, considerable rhetorical flourish. All of this does not lead to great confidence in the reported terms and reads very much like a cliche. For example Aristides states in his very rhetorical Panathenaic Oration, that Athens:

...crushed the barbarians.,

and, (Athens –Author) made terms of peace with the former and with the later (Persia and Sparta) accordingly, being superior to both, together and separately.36

Aristides whole effort is such a celebration of Athens that its honesty and accuracy are seriously in doubt. Its value has a source for the peace of Kallias is questionable, given its almost hysterically patriotic celebration of Athens and down playing of Athens’s defeats through all sorts of rhetorical tricks.37

The hypothesis that the Peace of Kallias was originally concluded in c. 465 B.C.E., although quite seductive, has several problems.38 In the proposal an attack has to be made on Diodorus ' account because it clearly dates the Peace of Kallias right after the expedition to Cyprus.39 Firstly it does not deal with the evidence that Athens occupied parts of south-eastern Asia Minor, Cyprus and maybe even Palestine.40 Also the historians Ephorus and Callisthenes are used to contradict Diodorus.41 Since these historians only survive in fragments and in summaries, do they really contradict Diodorus? Also Plutarch 's account which refers to Callisthenes could mean that no peace was concluded then. (c. 465 B.C.E.), but was later. It is ironic that a historian who denied the Peace of Kallias is used to date it to c. 465 B.C.E.; because he says no such peace was concluded then!42

Regarding Ephorus since all we have are fragments none of which unambiguously place when the peace was made it doesn't help to set Ephorus against Diodorus when we are not sure they do in fact contradict each other. Further explanations that Herodotus or Thucydides didn't mention the peace because it clashed with the purpose of their works,43 are less than convincing because at the same time the position is advanced that the usual interpretation of the peace has forbidding both sides from going into both areas is rejected on the grounds that no account mentions a limit on Greek ships but only on Persian ships.44 So in two cases something is not mentioned, the Peace of Kallias, and it means nothing about whether or not something really happened. In the other the failure to mention a restriction on Greek ships means none existed.

Regarding Ephorus and Diodorus , a great deal of play as been made by various historians concerning Diodorus' ability to mess up dates.45 As already noted Diodorus, may have messed dates up in crediting an inscription describing Salamis, (c. 450 B.C.E.), as describing Eurymedon, (c. 469-466 B.C.E.).46 So this argument has validity. The problem comes in the following manner. The accepted dates for the Egyptian Expedition are 460-454 B.C.E., and that it lasted c. 6 years.47 Diodorus gives the dates as 463 - 460 B.C.E. which means the expedition lasted about 3 years, and Diodorus further associates the expedition with a rebellion after the death of Xerxes, (465 B.C.E.).48 This leaves very little room for a "Peace of Kallias" after Eurymedon. A Truce would be more likely. The contradictions with Thucydides are pretty blatant.59 So is it just Diodorus who made the error? Since Diodorus is copying Ephorus it is possible Diodorus was copying Ephorus in his dating the events.50 If that is the case then there is a problem. It means that early on, (4th century B.C.E.); there was a fundamental problem with the dates of the Egyptian Expedition including both start and finishing dates and duration. The reason that this is likely is not only was Diodorus copying Ephorus he was compiling a year by year chronology he would have to have made the same error three times and separated out events occurring in the same year has occurring in different years. The other reason is that Ephorus had problems with chronology and was criticized for ignoring it.51

The above being the case there is the possibility that Ephorus' apparent dating of the Peace of Kallias at 465 B.C.E., if such is the case is an error. Ephorus' credibility with dates is not enhanced by his likely incorrect dating of the Egyptian Expedition. Given that Diodorus was copying Ephorus, Diodorus would have had to have made multiple errors in copying in order to produce the chronological mess that resulted. It is submitted that Ephorus is the likely source of this muddle and that part of the muddle is in fact the placing of the Peace of Kallias.

Voyages of Pericles and Ephialtes that were unopposed at this time prove nothing one way or the other.52 the main problem with the idea of a Peace of Kallias at this time c. 465 B.C.E., is that according to the terms we have it would have entailed abandoning Cyprus and other recent conquests and the war does not seem to have stopped anyway. At best we have a truce.53

Finally there is the tantalizing hint in Herodotus who refers to an embassy from Athens lead by Kallias sent to the Persian court.54 Unfortunately Herodotus does not directly or indirectly provide a clear date for this embassy neither does he tell us what the embassy was doing at the Persian court.55 Herodotus' comments that:

Callias, the son of Hipponicus, and a number of other Athenians were in Susa, the city of Memnon, on quite different business, and it so happened that their visit coincided with that of some representatives from Argos, who had been sent to ask Xerxes' son Artaxerxes if the friendly relations, which the Argives had established with his father still held good, or if they were now considered by Persia as enemies. 'they do indeed hold good', Artaxerxes is said to have replied; 'there is no city which I believe to be a better friend to me than Argos'.56

Artaxerxes I

Herodotus does mention that the embassy occurred in the reign of Artaxerxes I, which gives a time period of c. 465-423 B.C.E. for this embassy. Although the implication of the passage would seem to be shortly after the death of Xerxes. At the very least Herodotus at least tells us that Kallias was in fact involved in diplomatic dealing and possible negotiations of some kind with the Persians, at the right time, (approximately), for the Peace of Kallias.57

Herodotus then adds the following which throws the above into confusion:

For my own part I cannot positively state that Xerxes either did, or did not send the messenger to Argos; nor can I guarantee the story of the Argives going to Susa and asking Artaxerxes about their relationship with Persia.58

This quite messes up the dating and the reliability of Herodotus ' account, which Herodotus refers to as "another story current in Greece",59 so he does not claim it as "true". Herodotus merely records and lets the reader decide. Herodotus' account states that Callias' visit coincided with an Argive embassy, at which Artaxerxes made some comment about the good relations between Argos and Persia. Besides the blatant anti-Argive bias of the story. It does not bode well that so soon after the alleged embassy of Kallias that such possible misinformation was circulating about what went on during it. Herodotus is generally thought to have written the Histories, c. 445-430 B.C.E. and died after 430 B.C.E.60 So that within about one generation of the Peace of Kallias, if you accept the early date for the Peace of Kallias, (c. 465 B.C.E.), or within about 14 years if you accept the later date, (c. 449-448 B.C.E.), significant misinformation may already have been circulating concerning the Peace of Kallias. Since in this story Herodotus dates Kallias' embassy by tying it to an alleged Argive embassy after the death of Xerxes, which by implication seems to be shortly after Xerxes death; if said Argive embassy never happened than said embassy no longer helps to date the Kallias' embassy and hence the peace. Certainly it seems all too likely that a lot of "stories" were circulating to muddy the historical waters.

For historians the best evidence for the veracity of the Peace of Kallias is the end of the Persian / Greek war shortly after the end of the expedition to Cyprus in 450 B.C.E., and the following 30 years of peace with Persia before Persian intervention in the Peloponnesian War.61 Thus c. 449-448 B.C.E. is more "logical" for the Peace of Kallias than c. 465 B.C.E. Also there was apparently a mysterious suspension of tribute payments in 449-448 B.C.E., which may be related to the Peace.62 This again is not conclusive, because despite the statements of some historians that “hostilities did cease".63 Hostilities in fact did not cease. Too give but one example Thucydides records that when Samos, (c. 440-439 B.C.E.), revolted against Athens and the League, Persian ships and men tried to help the Samians.64 It appears that the Peace of Kallias did not completely end hostilities.

That the Peace of Kallias is historical is rendered more probable by the oldest written account of a Peace with Persia in the fifth century B.C.E., the account given by the Athenian orator Andocides in his oration On the Peace with Sparta, in which he says:

Thus-- and it is only by calling the past to mind that one can properly policy-- we began by making a truce with the Great King and establishing a permanent accord with him, thanks to the diplomacy of my mothers' brother Epilycus, the son of Teisander.65

This is the so-called Peace of Epilycus usually dated to c. 424 B.C.E.66 Andocides made this speech about 392 B.C.E., when Athens was considering accepting terms to end the Corinthian war. If nothing else this indicates that Athens could have made a number of "Peaces", "Truces" with the Persian Empire in the 5th century B.C.E.

So what is the conclusion of this rather inconclusive ramble through incomplete, bad and quite inadequate source material about the “Peace of Kallias”?

Probably there was a “Peace of Kallias” concluded in about 449 B.C.E. A peace of exhaustion no doubt. Athens had Sparta and its allies to worry about and Persia had its own problems without having to worry about a frontier state like Athens and its’ allies. Whether the “Peace” was a formal peace, a truce, an agreement, or an informal suspension of hostilities cannot now be known.67 Regarding the terms of the “Peace” we can say very little. The terms recorded in the 4th century, by Ephorus and others are very dubious and probably at least partially false. It appears likely that both sides agreed to a suspension of hostilities and set up no go areas for each other's fleets and armies. It is unlikely that Athens imposed terms on Persia and in fact Athens was probably mainly confined to the Aegean by the “Peace”. If there were no go areas agreed too this did not last long in that when favourable opportunities arose the Persians at least would intervene with ships and men. Despite this it is also clear that neither side was willing to make an open breach and resume full-scale war. So a sort of “peace” endured for about 30 years.68


The Peace of Kallias was referred to by various Greek historians and writers of the 4th century B.C.E. Below are the various terms as reported by these sources. Diodorus used the 4th century B.C.E.; historian Ephorus as his source and so apparently did Plutarch . Isocrates mentioned the peace several times in his political writings in detail, along with more general references elsewhere. The Athenian politician Demosthenes mentioned the peace in fair detail in one of his speeches. Also another Athenian politician Lycurgus also mentioned the peace. In the 2nd century C.E., the Orator Aristides also mentions the Peace of Kallias in fair detail. The quote from Diodorus is taken from, C. H. Oldfather, Diodorus Siculus, Harvard University Press, London, 1989. The quote from Plutarch is taken from, Ian Scott-Kilvert, The Rise and Fall of Athens, Nine Greek Lives of Plutarch, Penguin Books, London, 1960. The quotes from Isocrates are from, George Norlin, Isocrates, v. 1 & 2, Loeb Classical Library, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1980. The quote from Demosthenes is from, Vince, J.H., Ed., Demosthenes, with an English Translation, v. 2, Loeb Classical Library, William Heinman Ltd., London, 1935. The quote from Lycurgus is from, Burtt, J. O., Minor Attic Orators, v. 2, Loeb Classical Library, William Heinman Ltd., London, 1954. The quote from Aristodemos is from, Fornara, Charles W., Archaic Times to the End of the Peloponnesian War, John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 1977. The quotes from Aristides are from Aristides, v.1, Loeb Classical Library, William Heinmann Ltd, London, 1973.

Consequently Artabazus and Megabyzus sent ambassadors to Athens to discuss a settlement. The Athenians were favourable and dispatched ambassadors plenipotentiary, the leader of whom was Callias the son of Hipponicus; and so the Athenians and their allies concluded with the Persians a treaty of peace, the principal terms of which run as follows: All the Greek cities of Asia are to live under laws of their own making; the satraps of the Persians are not to come nearer to the sea than a three days' journey and no Persian warship is to sail inside Phaselis or the Cyanean Rocks; and if these terms are observed by the king and his generals, the Athenians are not to send troops into the territory over which the king is ruler. After the treaty had been solemnly concluded. The Athenians withdrew their armaments from Cyprus, having won a brilliant victory and concluded most noteworthy terms of peace. And it so happened that Cimon died of illness during his stay in Cyprus.
(Diodorus, Book 12, 4.)

This blow so dashed the king's hopes that he accepted the terms of that notorious peace, whereby he agreed to stay away the distance of a whole day's ride from the Greek sea board of Asia Minor and not to let a single warship or armoured vessel sail west of the Cyanean and the Chelidonian islands.
(Plutarch, Life of Kimon 13)

Well then, the Hellenes felt such confidence in those who governed the city in those times that most of them of their own accord placed themselves under the power of Athens, while the barbarians were so far from meddling in the affairs of Hellenes that they neither sailed their ships-of-war this side of Phaselis nor march their armies beyond the Halys, refraining, on the contrary, from all aggression. Today, however, circumstances are so completely reversed that the Hellenes regard Athens with hatred and the barbarians hold us in contempt. As to the hatred of us among the Hellenes, you have heard the report of our generals themselves and what the king thinks of us, he has made plain in the letters which have been dispatched by him.
(Isocrates, Areopagiticus, 80-81.)

In the time of our supremacy, the barbarians were prevented from marching with an army beyond the Halys river and from sailing with their ships of war this side of Phaselis, but under the hegemony of the Lacedaemonians not only did they gain the freedom to march and sail wherever they pleased, but they even became masters over many Hellenic states.
(Isocrates, Panathenaicus, 59.)

In fact, after the disaster which befell us in the Hellespont, when our rivals took our place as leaders, the barbarians won a naval victory, became rulers of the sea, occupied most of the islands made a landing in Laconia, took Cythera by storm, and sailed around the whole Peloponnesus, inflicting damage as they went. One may best comprehend how great is the reversal in our circumstances if he will read side by side the treaties which were made during our leadership and those which have been published recently; for he will find that in those days we were constantly setting limits to the empire of the king, levying tribute on some of his subjects, and barring him from the sea; now, however, it is he who controls the destinies of the Hellenes, who dictates what they must each do, and who all but sets up his viceroys in their cities. For with this one exception, what else is lacking? Was it not he who decided the issue of the war, was it not he who directed the terms of peace, and is it not he who now presides over our affairs? Do we not sail off to him as to a master, when we have complaints against each other? Do we not address him as "The Great King" as though we were captives of his spear? Do we not in our wars against each other rest our hopes of salvation on him, who would gladly destroy both Athens and Lacedaemons?
(Isocrates, Panegyricus, 119-121)

I am sure you have heard the story of their treatment of Callias, son of Hipponicus, who negotiated the celebrated peace under which the King of Persia was not to approach within a day's ride of the coast, nor sail with a ship of war between the Chelidonian islands and the Blue Rocks. (Cyanean Rocks- Author).
(Demosthenes, De Falsa Legatione, 273.)

And to crown their victory: not content with erecting the trophy in Salamis, they fid for the Persian the boundaries necessary for Greek freedom and prevented his overstepping them, making an agreement that he should not sail his warships between Cyaneae, (Cyanean Rocks- Author) and Phaselis and that the Greeks should be free not only if they lived in Europe but in Asia too.
(Lycurgus, Against Leocrates, 73.)

They elected as general Kallias – the one nicknamed Lakkopoutos (“pit-wealth”) – because he became wealthy by discovering a treasury at Marathon and appropriating it. This Kallias made atreaty with Artaxerxes and the rest of the Persians. The treaty was made on those conditions: the Persians were not to sail in warships beyond the Kyanai, the river Nessos and Phaselis, which is a Pamphylian city, and Chelidoniai. Nor were they to advance within a three day journey to the sea as covered by a horse at speed.
(Aristodemos, 104. 13.)

He (The Persian King) valued his safety more, and he retreated before their city (Athens –Author) on land and sea not the distance, as the saying goes, of a ship's backwater, nor of a step backwards, but he gave up all his land down by the sea, tens of thousands of stades in Asia, in all no less than the area of a great empire…
(Aristides, Panathenaic Oration, 208.)

But after the struggles and expeditions of the city, he sank so low that he agreed that he would no longer sail within two boundaries, the Chelidonean Isles to the south, and the Cyanean to the north, and that he would everywhere keep five hundred stades away from the sea, so that this very circle was like a crown upon the head of the Greeks, and the king was under surveillance from his very territory.
(Aristides, Panathenaic Oration, 209.)

But in the matter of the peace what a great difference there is! For the city’s peace gave orders to the king and said he must do what he was commanded. For it did not allow him to sail within the Chelidanian and Cyanean islands, and if you are proud of your cavalry, no longer will you ride up to the sea but it says you will stay away from the sea the distance of a day’s ride of that cavalry, and you will here much about the Greeks who live in Greece as about the Greeks who live in your own land.
(Aristides, Panathenaic Oration, 274.)

Greek Helemet

1. For locations see Maps. Note the Cyanean rocks are the Cheledonian Islands on the Map.

2. Diodorus , Book 12, 4. Diodorus is quoting the 4th century B.C.E., historian Ephorus. For a review of the terms and related issues see de Ste Croix, pp. 310-314, McGregor, pp. 67.

3. de Ste Croix, pp. 310-314, McGregor, pp. 67.

4. Thucydides , Book 1, 113-120, Powell, 1988, pp. 49-50, Sealey, p. 278.

5. See Grant, 1995, p. 77, Powell, 1988, p. 114-117.

6. Isocrates, v. 2, Panathenaicus, (12), 59, Areopagiticus, (7), 120. See Sealey, p. 279.

7. Powell, 1988, p. 114.

8. For example Demosthenes mentions it in 351 and 343 B.C.E., in v. 2, De Falsa Legatione, (19), 273., and so does Lycurgus in 328 B.C.E, in v. 2, Against Leocrates, (1), 73. See also Addendum on p. 80, for complete text of Demosthenes and Lycurgus. See also Meiggs, 1972, p. 129. See also Powell, 1988, p. 114-115.

9. Powell, 1988, p. 114-123, Davies, 1993, p. 80-82.

10. Davies, 1993, p. 81. Fornara, p. 96 quotes Harpocration, Attic Letters, '…Theopompus in book 15 of the Philippika says that the treaty with the Barbarian was a fabrication, and that it was not inscribed on the stelae with Attic letters but with the letters of the Ionians'.

11. Davies, 1993, p. 81.

12. See Plutarch, Life of Kimon, 13., for Callisthenes. See also Sealey, p. 279. See Addendum for complete text of Plutarch concerning the Peace terms.

13. The best attack on the historical veracity of the Peace of Kallias is Sealey, pp. 278-282.

14. Grant, 1995, p. 109.

15. Powell, 1988, p. 51.

16. Grant, 1995, p. 110.

17. Plutarch , Life of Kimon, 13. This position of the Peace of Kallias has many modern defenders. See Miller, pp. 13-14, 16-17, Badian, pp. 20-23.

18. Theon, in his Progymnasmata II, 67. 22, quotes Theopmpus as saying the 'Hellenic oath is a fabrication, which the Athenian say the Hellenes swore before the battle of Plataea against the barbarians, and so is the Athenian treaty with King Dareios in regards to the Greeks.' The above isquoted in Fornara, p. 96. The, so called Peace of Epilycus. See Andocides, v. 1, On the Peace with Sparta, (3) 29, from Burtt, Minor Attic Orators, v. 1, Loeb Classical Library, William Heineman Ltd., London, 1962, and Sealey p. 281.

19. Davies, 1993, p. 170-171.

20. See Sealey, p. 279-280, Powell, 1988, 49-54. See also Badian who does take this provision seriously, pp. 49-50.

21. Isocrates, v. 2, Panathenaicus, (12), 59. For a repeat of these terms see his, v. 2, Areopagiticus, (7), 80.

22. Badian 51-52.

23. See above.

24. See Demosthenes, v. 2, De Falsa Legatione, (19), 273, Lycurgus, v. 2, Against Leocrates, (1), 73 and Aristodemos, 104. 13.

25. Demosthenes, v. 2, De Falsa Legatione, (19), 273.

26. Lycurgus, v. 2, Against Leocrates, (1), 73.

27. Aristodemos, 104. 13, quoted in Fornara, pp. 97-98.

28. Powell, 1988, p. 50. See for example Lysias, Funeral Oration, (55)-(61).

29. See Isocrates, v. 1, Panegyricus, (4), 120, v. 2, Areopagiticus, (7), 80, v. 2, Panathenaicus, (12), 59-61. Sealey, p. 279.

30. Isocrates, v. 2, Areopagiticus, (7), 120..

31. Isocrates, v. 2, Areopagiticus, (7), 121.

32. Lysias, Funeral Oration, (56).

33. Lysias, Funeral Oration, (60).

34. See Aristides, Panathenaic Oration, 209, 274, and Addendum to this Note for quotes.

35. See Aristides, Panathenaic Oration, 271-279.

36. See Aristides, Panathenaic Oration, 227, 226.

37. No better evidence of this exists than to read Aristide’s Panathenaic Oration. Read the Aristides quotes in the Addendum to this Note. In this respect it is interesting that Aristides mentions Athenian forces going to Egypt but 'inadvertently' neglects to mention the disasterous outcome. Aristides is also an excellent example of the takeover of History by rhetoric in antiquity.

38. See Badian, pp. 20-60, and Miller, pp. 15-16, 22-23

39. Diodorus , Book 12, 4.

40. See also Meiggs, 1972, p. 102.

41. Badian, pp. 20-26.

42. Plutarch, Life of Kimon, 13. Badian's comment, 'The fact that Ephialtes and Pericles, on separate occasions, refrained from attacking the King's territory can be explained only on the hypothesis that there was already a peace in existence, which they would not break:', p. 15. This comment is amazing. Badian seems to be assuming that these Athenian naval incursions if they did not raid or fight other ships must have been in a time of peace. This is unacceptable. War fleets historically have often neither fought nor raided merely patrolled or looked for enemies. Finally it is hard to accept Badian's contention that the treaty would have allowed Athenian war fleets to go anywhere while restricting the Persians. Such terms being accepted by the Persians unless they were utterly crushed, is simply not believable.

43. Badian, p. 27.

44. Badian pp. 14-15, 50-52, Badian’s linkage of the debate over the terms of the Peace of Kallias with the treaty with Carthage at the end of the First Punic war, which attacks historians who argue that the Ebro river limit on Carthage imposed a limit on Rome south of the river, on the grounds that ancient historians do not mention it does not help his argument. It is hard to believe that Carthage would have agreed to a document that would have allowed Roman interference in their domain in Spain. Such acquiescence to Roman messing in an area of Carthaginian interest is simply not believable.

45. See Grant, 1995, pp. 101-102, 108.

46. See Diodorus , Book 11, 62.

47. See above.

48. See Diodorus Book 11, 71-77.

49. See Thucydides , Book 1, 104. 109. 110.

50. Grant, 1995, p. 109. Grant gives Ephorus' dates has c.405-330 B.C.E.

51. See Grant, 1995, pp. 108-109.

52. Badian thinks otherwise pp. 26-30. Plutarch , Life of Kimon, 13, refers to Callisthenes has saying 'the Persians never agreed to observe any such terms. He says that this is merely how they behaved in practice, because of the fear in which the victory of Eurymedon had implanted in them; and, indeed, they kept so far away from Greece that Pericles with a squadron of fifty and Ephialtes with no more than thirty sailed far beyond the Chelidonian Islands without meeting anything resembling a barbarian fleet' I merely note that the implication of this passage, contra Badian, is that Callisthenes assumes some sort of reciprocity in terms of limits about where fleets and armies could go.

53. Meiggs, 1972, pp. 101-103.

54. Herodotus , Book 7, 151.

55. Herodotus , Book 7, 151.

56. Herodotus , Book 7, 151. See the de Sélincourt-Burn, translation of Herodotus.

57. See Powell, 1988, pp. 51-53.

58. Herodotus , Book 7, 152. See the de Sélincourt-Burn, translation of Herodotus.

59. Herodotus , Book 7, 149. See the de Sélincourt-Burn, translation of Herodotus.

60. See Burn, Introduction, p. 14, in the de Sélincourt-Burn, translation of Herodotus.

61. See Lewis, The Thirty Years' Peace, The Cambridge Ancient History, v. 4, 2nd Edition, Ed., D.M. Lewis et al, Cambridge University Press, 1992, p, 121, p. 123.

62. Powell, 1988, p. 49-54, Davies, 1993, p. 81, Meiggs, 1972, p. 129.

63. Davies, 1993, p. 81.

64. Thucydides , Book 1, 114-115. Badian, pp. 37-39. Miller p. 22-23, discusses the treaty has minimizing conflict not eliminating it, and refers to a 'Cold war', between Athens and Persia and also discusses the Samian revolt and Persia's possible aid to in detail.

65. Andocides, v. 1, On the Peace with Sparta, (3) 29.

66. See Burtt.

67. Bengtson, p. 128, is of the opinion no formal peace was made.

68. See Powell, 1988, pp. 49-54 for a fuller discussion. See also Miller pp. 22-23.


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Pierre Cloutier