A Newly Proposed Dating for the Recruitment by Athens of Scythian Archers (5th c. B.C.)
Keywords: Scythian Archers, Athens, History
Recent studies conclude that it is difficult to determine precisely the time when Scythian archers were recruited by Athens. But these studies have failed to take into consideration the domestic political situation, a prime factor bearing on the dating of the arrival of these marksmen. The only evidence on the basis of which a dating of this event might be adduced appears in a speech by Andokhides, an Athenian politician who flourished in the second half of the 5th century B.C. When the respective statements in this speech are weighed together with the information furnished by certain ancient sources about the internal political situation of Athens and the role assumed by the Scythian archers in the plays of Aristophanes, it becomes clear that the Athenians' need to recruit the Scythian archers arose in the period immediately following 457 B.C.