The peloponnesian war

This method contrasts sharply with Herodotus. Speeches[ edit ] Thucydides also makes extensive use of speeches in order to elaborate on the event in question.

The peloponnesian war

He is a great historian who sincerely tries to be objective, but his work must be read with caution, because - in spite of himself - he has his sympathies e.

The two last-mentioned authors lived during the Roman empire but used older sources like Ephorus of Cyme. Causes When Athens concluded an alliance with Corcyra modern Corfu inand started to besiege Potidaea, it threatened the position of Corinth.

Sparta also feared that Athens was becoming too powerful but tried to prevent war. The Athenian leader Pericles refused this, because Sparta and Athens had once agreed that conflicts would The peloponnesian war solved by arbitration.

This was unacceptable, and war broke out: Diodorus mentions that the Spartans did not just declare war, but decided to declare war and ask for help in Persia. Archidamian War longer version Pericles When Sparta declared war, it announced that it wanted to liberate Greece from Athenian oppression.

And with some justification, because Athens had converted the Delian League, which had once been meant as a defensive alliance The peloponnesian war the Persian Empireinto an Athenian empire.

To achieve victory, Sparta had to force Athens into some kind of surrender; on the other hand, Athens simply had to survive the attacks. In andthe Spartan king Archidamus II invaded Attica the countryside of Athens and laid waste large parts of it.

The Athenian admiral Phormio retaliated with attacks on the Spartan navy text. Worse was to come, because ina terrible plague took away about a third of the Athenian citizens, including Pericles. At the same time, the Spartans laid siege to the Athenian ally Plataea textwhich fell in Helmet Believing that Athens was about to collapse, the island of Lesbos revolted and Archidamus invaded Attica again.

However, the Athenians were not defeated at all. They suppressed the revolt and at the same time embarked upon a more aggressive policy, even launching a small expedition to Sicily.

The peloponnesian war

Inthe Athenian general Demosthenes and the statesman Cleon, who had earlier tripled the Athenian income and had saved Athens from bankruptcy, captured Spartans on the island Sphacteria text. The Athenians also built a fortress at Pylos, where they could receive runaway slaves and helots.

This did great damage to the Spartan economy. For the Spartans, invading Attica was now impossible the POWs would be executedso they attacked Athenian possessions in the northern Aegean. The Spartan Brasidas provoked rebellions in this area and captured the strategically important Athenian colony of Amphipolis text.

When Cleon and Brasidas were killed in action during an Athenian attempt to recover Amphipolis, a treaty was signed: Athens had won the Archidamian War.

Athens and Sparta had concluded a defensive alliance, but on both sides, there were politicians who wanted to resume the war. The Spartans did not return Amphipolis, as they had promised, and the Athenians retaliated by keeping Sphacteria and Pylos.

Now, the Athenian politician Alcibiades launched a new policy that promised the collapse of the Peloponnesian League without much Athenian involvement. Following his advice, the Athenians joined a coalition with three democratic states on the Peloponnese: Argos, Mantinea, and Elis.

Athens now had friends in the Spartan backyard and had cut off the route between Sparta and its northern allies Corinth and Thebes.

The Spartans knew how to reply. If it attacked the Athenian allies, Athens would be forced to choose between either its Spartan alliance which meant abandoning its alliesor its treaty with the three democratic cities and risking an open war with Sparta in the Peloponnese.

As it turned out, Athens preferred the second alternative, and when Spartan king Agis II marched to the north, Athens supported the democrats.

Ina battle was fought at Mantinea, and the Spartan king Agis defeated his enemies text.Many excellent historians have discussed the causes of the Peloponnesian War (), and many more will do so, but Thucydides, who lived at the time of the war, should be the first place you look.

In the first book of his history, participant observer and historian Thucydides records the causes. Thucydides: The Mytilenean Debate ( B.C.) Towards the close of the same winter, Salaethus, a Lacedaemonian, was sent out in a galley from Lacedaemon to by sea to Pyrrha, and from thence overland, he passed along the bed of a torrent, where the line of circumvallation was passable, and thus entering unperceived .

Athens and Sparta, both powerful Greek city-states, had fought as allies in the Greco-Persian Wars between and B.C. In the wake of the Persian retreat, however, Athens grew more powerful.

The Peloponnesian War began in BC between the Athenian Empire (or The Delian League) and the Peloponnesian League which included Sparta and Corinth. The Peloponnesian War was fought between two groups of Greek allies. One was the Peloponnesian League, which had Sparta as its leader. The other leader .

But that's not the Peloponnesian War, that's the first time that you start having very open conflict between the Spartans and the Athenians. And these conflicts last for, on the order of about 15 years, and they're ended with what's called the Peace of 30 Years.

Greece, A History of Ancient Greece, Sparta