Peace Of Callias – A Treaty That Ended The Greco-Persian Wars

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Conny Waters - AncientPages.com - It is an alleged treaty established around 449 BC between Athens and Persia.

It is believed the treaty, ended the Greco-Persian Wars. The peace was agreed as the first compromise treaty between Achaemenid, Persia and a Greek city.

The peace was negotiated by an Athenian politician, Callias. Persia had continually lost territory to the Greeks after the end of Xerxes I's invasion in 479 BC.

Peace Of Callias – A Treaty That Ended The Greco-Persian Wars

Greco-Persian Wars. Persépolis (Iran). La Garde du Grand Roi. VIe-Ve s. av. J.-C. Photo Ginolerhino 2002. via Wikipedia

The exact date of the treaty is debated, although it is usually placed after the Battle of the Eurymedon in 469 (or 466) or the Battle of Cypriot Salamis c. 449.

The generally accepted terms of the treaty (if it existed) created Greek and Persian spheres of influence.

The Persians agreed to

  • accept the autonomy of the Greek states in Asia Minor, to keep their troops three day's march from the coast,
  • to keep their naval forces east of a line running through Phaselis and the Chelidonian islands in the Mediterranean and east of the mouth of the Bosporus in the Black Sea.
  • The Greeks would keep their fleets west of the same lines, wouldn't attack or ravage any Persian territory and would keep the cities of Asia Minor unfortified.

Archaemenid Persian Empire (550–330 B.C.) Stairway of Apadana Palace at Persepolis, Archaemenid Ceremonial Capital, 5th-4th Century BCE. Credits: Iran Chamber

Achaemenid Persian Empire (550–330 B.C.) Stairway of Apadana Palace at Persepolis, Achaemenid Ceremonial Capital, 5th-4th Century BCE. Credits: Iran Chamber

The evidence for the treaty is rather vague. Herodotus, who was writing in the years before 430-425, doesn't mention this treaty, although he does put Callias in the Persian capital Susa during the reign of Artaxerxes (464-425 BC).

See also: 

War Between Romans And Persians Lasted 721 Years: World’s Longest Human Conflict In History

Parthians: Their Great Empire And Skilled Horse Archers

Mysterious Disappearance of Scythians Remains Unsolved

Our knowledge of the Peace of Callias comes from references by the 4th century BC Isocrates and Demosthenes as well as the historian Diodorus, who lists the terms of this treaty.

Nonetheless, it remains a controversial topic among historians and scholars today.

Also in the ancient world, this treaty was often debated. The Athenians portrayed the Peace of Callias as a major victory, but there were people who believed it was fake.

Written by Conny Waters – AncientPages.com Staff Writer

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