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This paper offers the review in a comparative perspective of the data obtained from narrative Greek sources and epigraphy concerning interstate treaties of classical Greece. The various types of agreements depending on the period of their conclusion are examined, that allows understanding some structural elements of interstate treaties. The extant interstate agreements of the ancient Greeks can be divided according to the number of participants into bilateral and multilateral as well as according to the subject of the treaty into allied, συμμαχία, and peace ones, defi ned as σπονδαί, συνθῆκαι and, fi nally, εἰρήνη. Allied treaties usually included the terms of military cooperation against the enemy, as well as the text of the oath. The word εἰρήνη, “peace” replaces σπονδαί to designate a peace treaty and can be explained by the popularity of the concept of the general peace – κοινὴ εἰρήνη in the fourth century BC. The term συνθῆκαι is more general and could be applied not only to peace, but also to allied treaties. In a number of interstate agreements, συνθῆκαι denoted a treaty that established peace, friendship and alliance. It is concluded that, in spite of the rich narrative tradition of the Greek treaty relations refl ected in the works of classical authors, the epigraphic evidence allows us to get precise information on terminology of diplomacy and international law in the classical Greek world.


Ancient Greece, diplomacy, international law, treaties

Eduard V. Rung, Elena A. Venidiktova

Kazan Federal University, Kazan, Russia This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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