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Classical History

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The true chronology of the Pentekontaetia is difficult, perhaps impossible, to establish conclusively. The events between 477 and 432 were of the greatest possible importance: these years saw the creation of the Athenian empire and a precipitious decline in Spartiate manpower,[1] drastic political realignments involving nearly every state in Hellas, and military activity often rising... Read More
Regarding the chronology and events of the Elean War, fought between Sparta and Elis ca 400 B.C., our sources are in notorious disagreement.[1] Xenophon's account (and that of Pausanias, which ultimately derives from it) appears to differ irreconcilably from that of Diodorus.[2] A resolution of this crux is desirable for its own sake, but even... Read More
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Our knowledge of the early life of Alexander the Great is based upon very slender literary evidence.[*] Arrian devotes only a few sentences to the years prior to Alexander's campaigns. Plutarch's coverage of Alexander's youth is also very condensed, and both he and Arrian rely almost exclusively upon pro-Alexander sources such as Ptolemy and Aristoboulos.... Read More
In their attempts to understand the tribute income of the First Athenian Empire, historians have found that an unimpeachable contemporary source is challenged by undeniable physical evidence: explicit statements of Thucydides are directly contradicted by the epigraphical record of the quotas paid to Athena on the tribute collected by Athens. This paper proposes a new... Read More
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The Spartan Naval Empire, 412-394 B.C. (PDF) by Ron Keeva Unz Unpublished, Harvard University/Ernst Badian, March 23, 1982 In the summer of 478 B.C., Sparta abandoned her first attempt at naval empire. Spartans had had no history of naval excellence, but the overwhelming prestige of Sparta’s land forces and her place at the head of... Read More
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RonUnz1
About Ron Unz

A theoretical physicist by training, Mr. Unz serves as founder and chairman of UNZ.org, a content-archiving website providing free access to many hundreds of thousands of articles from prominent periodicals of the last hundred and fifty years. From 2007 to 2013, he also served as publisher of The American Conservative, a small opinion magazine, and had previously served as chairman of Wall Street Analytics, Inc., a financial services software company which he founded in New York City in 1987. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from Harvard University, Cambridge University, and Stanford University, and is a past first-place winner in the Intel/Westinghouse Science Talent Search. He was born in Los Angeles in 1961.

He has long been deeply interested in public policy issues, and his writings on issues of immigration, race, ethnicity, and social policy have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, The Nation, and numerous other publications.

In 1994, he launched a surprise Republican primary challenge to incumbent Gov. Pete Wilson of California, running on a conservative, pro-immigrant platform against the prevailing political sentiment, and received 34% of the vote. Later that year, he campaigned as a leading opponent of Prop. 187, the anti-immigration initiative, and was a top featured speaker at a 70,000 person pro-immigrant march in Los Angeles, the largest political rally in California history to that date.

In 1997, Mr. Unz began his “English for the Children” initiative campaign to dismantle bilingual education in California. He drafted Prop. 227 and led the campaign to qualify and pass the measure, culminating in a landslide 61% victory in June 1998, effectively eliminating over one-third of America’s bilingual programs. Within less than three years of the new English immersion curriculum, the mean percentile test scores of over a million immigrant students in California rose by an average of 70%. He later organized and led similar initiative campaigns in other states, winning with 63% in the 2000 Arizona vote and a remarkable 68% in the 2002 Massachusetts vote without spending a single dollar on advertising.

After spending most of the 2000s focused on software projects, he has recently become much more active in his public policy writings, most of which had appeared in his own magazine.


Personal Classics
What Was John McCain's True Wartime Record in Vietnam?
Are elite university admissions based on meritocracy and diversity as claimed?
A simple remedy for income stagnation
The major media overlooked Communist spies and Madoff’s fraud. What are they missing today?
The unspoken statistical reality of urban crime over the last quarter century.
What the facts tell us about a taboo subject