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Strategic Context Of The Long Walls

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Chapter Summary

After the Persian Wars, the Athenians famously surrounded Athens with a circuit wall and restarted work on the defenses at Piraeus. Resorting to an extraordinary solution, they built two Long Walls (Ia) across the broad coastal plain between Athens and the harbor cities of Phaleron and Piraeus. In order to rectify the defensive weakness, the Athenians might have walled off the Bay of Phaleron or built a second structure between Athens and Phaleron. Instead, due to the growing importance of Piraeus relative to Phaleron, they built another wall beside the phase Ia Long Wall connecting Athens and Piraeus. This phase Ib structure provided a secondary line of defense behind the Athens-Phaleron Long Wall. The phase II Long Walls, which included only the two Athens-Piraeus structures served primarily to safeguard the connection between Athens and the sea.

Keywords:Athens; Bay of Phaleron; Long Wall; Piraeus



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