For the period from 433 to 411 a vastly more-detailed narrative is possible than theretofore, but the reader should be warned that this freak of scale is due to one man, Thucydides, who imposed his view of events on posterity. In the north, Potidaea surrendered, and a cleruchy was installed there too, a further Corinthian setback. Flashcards. Both Corcyra and Corinth claimed victory in the Battle of Sybota, which was effectively fought to a stalemate. In this lesson, we'll look at the background of this war and see how a few relatively minor cities contributed to one of Greece's biggest wars. Then at Potidaea, a Corinthian colony, the Athenians demanded that the Corinthian magistrates be sent home. Thus to the west (Acarnania and other places) and northeast (Amphipolis, Potidaea) Corinth was being indirectly pressured by Athens, and this pressure was also felt in Corinth’s own backyard, at Megara. Athens would end up sending over 3,000 hoplite foot soldiers and numerous ships into this battle. Learn. As if in recognition that this was a war brought about at the instance of Corinth, much early Athenian naval activity was devoted to stripping Corinth of assets in the northwest—of Sollium, Astacus, and Cephellenia. Athens demanded that Potidaea dismiss the Corinthian diplomats and administrators in the city, as well as send Athens some Potidaean political prisoners to prevent the city from breaking their alliance. One was the Peloponnesian League, which had Sparta as … Even after that, in the poorly documented 430s (before Aristophanes and Thucydides provide information about individual figures of second- or third-rate significance), there are suggestions of tension, such as a partial ban on comedy (with its potential for exposure) and indications in the sources that Cleon was really not a successor of Pericles at all but a highly critical contemporary. However, it was quite a lengthy conflict, and is usually split into several distinct phases. STUDY. Athínai, city (1991 pop. Services. Corinth had founded Corcyra, and was still demanding that the younger city treat the older as a superior, despite the fact that Corcyra had become very wealthy and powerful on its own. Created by. Athens passed a series of measures (the “Megarian decrees”) imposing an economic embargo on Megara for violations of sacred land. So, Corinth decided to send troops to defend Epidamnus, partly as a snub to its former colony. This famous oration, however, is largely the work of Thucydides himself; it is a timeless personal tribute to Athenian power and institutional strength but not, as has been argued, a key to unlock Athenian civic ideology. 's' : ''}}. The Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC) was an Ancient Greek military conflict, fought by Athens and its allies, against the Peloponnesian League, led by Sparta. flashcard sets, {{courseNav.course.topics.length}} chapters | Thucydides himself was an Athenian general in the fighting, sentenced to exile partway through the 27-year struggle, after losing a key battle to one of Sparta's leading commanders. Peloponnesian War (pĕl`əpənē`zhən), 431–404 B.C., decisive struggle in ancient Greece between AthensAthens , Gr. THE HISTORY OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR. The other Spartan ally seeking to involve Sparta in a private feud with an enemy was Thebes, whose attack on its neighbour Plataea (an Athenian ally) in time of peace was retrospectively recognized by Sparta as an act of war guilt. The other superpower of the region, Sparta, fought to stop Athenian expansion, and the other Greek city-states were drawn in by the gravity of the situation. In the 5th century BCE Sparta and Athens were the two major powers in Greece and it was perhaps inevitable that their spheres of influence would overlap and cause conflict. study That too called for money and ships, but the Spartans had neither accumulated reserves like Athens nor a proper fleet. {{courseNav.course.mDynamicIntFields.lessonCount}} lessons 2,907,179; 1991 urban agglomeration pop. The second year of the war, 430, began with another invasion of Attica. Select a subject to preview related courses: The Potidaeans were confused and scared. The Peloponnesian War For many who suffered through a world history course, the eyes may start to glaze over at the mention of the Peloponnesian War. (This is a small illustration of the important point that Thucydides’ presentation unduly influenced modern views on the general issue of Athenian belligerence, as on so many other issues. Analyses of the History generally occur in one of two camps. However, the war didn't start in either Athens or Sparta. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership. While Athens would ultimately claim victory in this battle, their aggression was enough to prompt Sparta and the Peloponnesian League to formally declare war on Athens. Epidamnus was not the strongest of cities, so the people sent ambassadors to a powerful neighbor with a massive navy: Corcyra. Thucydides (c. 460 BC–400 BC) was a general who was exiled for his failure to defend the Greek city of Amphipolis in Thrace. One revealing reason for the failure of the big colony at Heraclea founded in 426, a project with a strongly anti-Ionian and propagandist element, was the harsh and positively unjust behaviour of the Spartan governors, who frightened people away. 220 lessons courses that prepare you to earn And subsidized piracy, of which one hears a little in the 420s, was another solution to the naval problem. The History of the Peloponnesian War By Thucydides Written 431 B.C.E Translated by Richard Crawley. General war loomed after a revolt broke out at a remote colony in northwest Greece, inciting a clash between the two rivals Corcyra and Corinth. Starting with the change in Epidamnus’ government, the partnership between Epidamnus and the Corinthians, Athens showed poor leadership traitsby breaking the Peace Treaty with the Peloponnesians and forming defenses against their allies, the Corinthians motivation to continue to fight despite their loss battles against Corcyra and … At the end of this first campaigning year, Pericles delivered an austere but moving speech honouring the fallen men, which has become known as the funeral oration of Pericles. just create an account. to 404 B.C. A different narrative, by emphasizing the escalation of the Athenian commitment and making it the subject of another full debate, might have left a different impression. In fact, Corinthian and Athenian ships had already come to blows before the reinforcements arrived. One 4th-century Athenian orator actually dropped a casual remark to the effect that “we went to war in 431 about Aegina.”) Corcyra (present-day Corfu), which had quarreled with Corinth over the Corcyran colony of Epidamnus on the coast of Illyria (a colony in which Corinth also had an interest), appealed to Athens. The Peloponnesian War was, to say the least, a challenging read for me. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. Athens prepared for retaliation by trying to secure Potidaea, an ally of Athens but colony of Corinth. The war destroyed the economies and brought poverty and sufferings to the state. credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. © copyright 2003-2021 Study.com. The range and extent of the Peloponnesian War of the fifth century BC has led to it being described as a 'world war' in miniature. The most likely spot was the city of Potidaea, a smaller ally of Athens but also a colony of Corinth that was located in a very strategic spot. The Corinthians also had ancestral ties to Epidamnus, but more importantly, were squabbling with Corcyra. The speech, as preserved, is not peculiarly enthusiastic about democracy as such and has perhaps been over-interpreted in the light of Athens’s later cultural fame. Working Scholars® Bringing Tuition-Free College to the Community. The war lasted more than 20 years. Persia was a possible source for both, but assistance from Persia might compromise Spartan “liberation theology.” This was especially true if Sparta set foot in Anatolia, where there were Greeks with as much desire for liberation (whether from Athens or Persia or both: some communities paid tribute in both directions) as their mainland counterparts. In a way that suited neither side: initiative of the kind demanded from Sparta was in short supply there (though never entirely absent). The religious aspect of the offense was reflected in the exclusions imposed: like murderers, the Megarians were banned from the Athenian marketplace and the harbours in the Athenian empire. It was a struggle for power between the ancient Greek city-states of Athens and Sparta. It should further be noted that the Black Sea, to which, as already mentioned, Pericles led a flamboyant expedition in the Great Gap period, was an area of colonial Megarian settlement; there too one can legitimately infer an Athenian desire to pressure Megara, albeit indirectly. Sparta was established as the leader. However, Corcyraean and Corinthian fighting at the Battle of Sybota brought Athens into the conflict. Again a few qualifications are in order. Test. Get access risk-free for 30 days, Mt. It would, however, be artificial to write as if the information for this unique period were no better than that available for any other. His account of the conflict is widely considered to be a classic and regarded as one of the earliest scholarly works of history. The Peloponnesian War. One of the largest of these conflicts was the Peloponnesian War, which raged from 431-404 BCE. 18 Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War. Terms in this set (20) Delian League. That city was an anomaly in being both tributary to Athens and simultaneously subject to direct rule by magistrates sent out annually by Corinth; it clearly was a sensitive spot in international relations. Most of what we know of this comes from the Greek historian Thucydides, who lived through the war and recorded its events (up through the year 411 … Sciences, Culinary Arts and Personal Thucydides, having scarcely brought the Peloponnesians into Attica, switches styles dramatically to record the outbreak of a dreadful plague at Athens. Greek against Greek, the Peloponnesian War wore both sides down leading to a state where the leader of Macedonia and his sons, Philip and Alexander, could take control. Causes of the War Holding the empire down and holding onto capital were potentially inconsistent aims in view of the great cost of siege warfare (there was no artillery before the 4th century to facilitate the taking of fortified cities by storm). On Their motivation was to keep Sparta from seizing Corcyra's massive navy, while remaining as neutral as possible. Athens moved its flocks from Attica across to Euboea, whose economic importance was thus raised further still. A large expedition in the northwest under the Spartan Cnemus, who used barbarian as well as Greek forces in an effort to win back some of Corinth’s losses, showed that there were adventurous thinkers before the northern operations of Brasidas later in the decade. The Peloponnesian War changed Greece in every way. Peloponnesian War. So, at its most basic, the Peloponnesian War was fought between the Athens/its allies and Sparta/its allies. The Peloponnesian War was fought between two groups of Greek allies. The war occupies over one third of a century (27 years) which not everyone agrees with but Thucydides does because he defends it do passionately (he could be the only one however) - this makes the war great as it is the longest war Whereas the Spartans’ goal was to liberate Greece from tyranny, which required them to dismantle the Athenian empire, all the Athenians had to do was to avoid such demolition. This impressed him deeply—and unduly—with the impotence and vulnerability of generals other than Pericles. merebear00. It was, however, a failure, as was a Peloponnesian embassy to Persia asking for money and alliance. The Peloponnesian War was fought between 431 and 404 bce. 'The greatest historian that ever lived' Such was Macaulay's verdict on Thucydides (c. 460-400 BC) and his history of the Peloponnesian War, the momentous struggle between Athens and Sparta as rival powers and political systems that lasted for twenty-seven years from 431 to 404 BC, involved virtually the whole of the Greek world, and ended in the fall of Athens. 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With 100 ships at their disposal, the Corcyraeans won the battle. Potidaea revolted, and an unofficial Corinthian force went out to help. 23 chapters | It is possible that this speech is historical and that the purpose of attacking Epidaurus was to bar Corinth’s eastern sea-lanes completely; Aegina had already been evacuated and repopulated by cleruchs in 430, perhaps as an initial step toward that end. The aristocrats, eager to hold onto power, joined the nomadic enemies of Epidamnus and attacked the city. Peloponnesian War, (431–404 bce), war fought between the two leading city-states in ancient Greece, Athens and Sparta. Pericles can be criticized for not foreseeing this, with the evidence of Samos behind him. Fought between the allies of Sparta and the empire of Athens, the crippling Peloponnesian War paved the way for the Macedonian takeover of Greece by Philip II of Macedon and, following that, Alexander the Great 's empire. Athens’ savage reduction of Samos, a member of the Delian League, in 440–439, did not stop Mytilene and most of Lesbos from appealing at some time in the prewar period to Sparta for encouragement in a revolt they were meditating. The Peloponnesian War (431-404 BCE) was a major conflict amongst the Greek city-states. Athens, however, had now become involved in this fight and violated a long-standing neutrality treaty with Sparta. PLAY. The speech Thucydides gives him for this occasion is as fine as the funeral speech, which has received so much more attention. But one should not doubt that Athens caused and intended to cause economic hardship as well or that the decrees were the first move in securing Megara as a military asset, a line of policy further pursued in the years 431 to 424. Remaining as neutral as possible terms in this set ( 20 ) Delian League effectively fought to a Custom.... 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