It was at this time that Cimon, who had striven to maintain a balance between Sparta, the chief military, and Athens, the chief naval power, was successfully attacked by Ephialtes and Pericles.
Following up this advantage, Ephialtes (462 B.C.), and less prominently Archestratus and Pericles, proposed and carried measures for the transfer of most of its functions to the Council of Five Hundred, the Ecclesia, and the popular courts of law (Arist.
Furthermore it is not till 457 that even a Zeugite archon is known, according to the Constitution of Athens (c. 26), which dates the change as five years after the death of Ephialtes and does not connect it with Aristides.
Though Themistocles soon lost his influence, his party eventually found a new leader in Ephialtes and after the failure of Cimon's foreign policy (see Cimon) triumphed over the conservatives.
By cancelling the political power of the Areopagus and multiplying the functions of the popular law-courts, Ephialtes abolished the last checks upon the sovereignty of the commons.
The Aristotelian Constitution of Athens shows conclusively that Pericles was not the leader of this campaign, for it expressly attributes the bulk of the reforms to Ephialtes (ch.
After the surrender of Athens and the appointment of the Thirty, the repeal of the laws of Ephialtes and Archestratus prepared the way for the rehabilitation of the council as guardian of the constitution by the restored democracy (Arist.
Not long after, however, when Ephialtes fell by the dagger, Pericles undoubtedly assumed the leading position in the state.
To Ephialtes likewise we must ascribe the renunciation of the Spartan alliance and the new league with Argos and Thessaly (461).
From 469); he degrades Ephialtes into a tool of Pericles.