Peloponnesian War

Peloponnesian War

The Peloponnesian War, 431 to 404 BC, was an ancient Greek war fought by Athens and its empire against the Peloponnesian League led by Sparta. Historians have traditionally divided the war into three phases. In the first phase, the Archidamian War, Sparta launched repeated invasions of Attica, while Athens took advantage of its naval supremacy to raid the coast of the Peloponnese attempting to suppress signs of unrest in its empire. This period of the war was concluded in 421 BC, with the signing of the Peace of Nicias. That treaty, however, was soon undermined by renewed fighting in the Peloponnese. In 415 BC, Athens dispatched a massive expeditionary force to attack Syracuse in Sicily; the attack failed disastrously, with the destruction of the entire force, in 413 BC. This ushered in the final phase of the war, generally referred to either as the Decelean War, or the Ionian War. In this phase, Sparta, now receiving support from Persia, supported rebellions in Athens' subject states in the Aegean Sea and Ionia, undermining Athens' empire, and, eventually, depriving the city of naval supremacy. The destruction of Athens' fleet at Aegospotami effectively ended the war, and Athens surrendered in the following year.

The Peloponnesian War reshaped the ancient Greek world. On the level of international relations, Athens, the strongest city-state in Greece prior to the war's beginning, was reduced to a state of near-complete subjection, while Sparta became established as the leading power of Greece. The economic costs of the war were felt all across Greece; poverty became widespread in the Peloponnese, while Athens found itself completely devastated, and never regained its pre-war prosperity. The war also wrought subtler changes to Greek society; the conflict between democratic Athens and oligarchic Sparta, each of which supported friendly political factions within other states, made civil war a common occurrence in the Greek world.

Greek warfare, meanwhile, originally a limited and formalized form of conflict, was transformed into an all-out struggle between city-states, complete with atrocities on a large scale. Shattering religious and cultural taboos, devastating vast swathes of countryside, and destroying whole cities, the Peloponnesian War marked the dramatic end to the fifth century BC and the golden age of Greece.

Read more about Peloponnesian WarPrelude, The "Archidamian War", Peace of Nicias, Sicilian Expedition, The Second War, Lysander Triumphs, Athens Surrenders, Aftermath

Other articles related to "peloponnesian war, war, peloponnesians":

Mytilenian Debate
... Mytilenean Debate), according to Thucydides, occurred in Athens during the time of the Peloponnesian War in 427 B.C ... Thucydides documented many detailed events that occurred over the course of the Peloponnesian War ... The Mytilenian Debate is in book three of Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War, and reflects the increasing political and ethical confusion in Athens ...
Thirty Years' Peace
... The treaty brought an end to the conflict commonly known as the First Peloponnesian War, which had been raging since c.460 BC ... was to prevent another outbreak of war ... It ended when the Spartans had declared war on the Athenians ...
Samos Province - History - Early and Classical Antiquity - Peloponnesian War
... During the Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC), Samos took the side of Athens against Sparta, providing their port to the Athenian fleet ... At the end of the Peloponnesian War, Samos appears as one of the most loyal dependencies of Athens, serving as a base for the naval war against the Peloponnesians and as a temporary home ... the cleruchs which proved vital in the Social War (357-355 BC) ...
Peloponnesian War - Aftermath
... Athens was broken, it made something of a recovery as a result of the Corinthian War and continued to play an active role in Greek politics ...
Ancient Corinth - History - Classical Corinth - The Peloponnesian War
... In 435 BC, Corinth and Corcyra went to war over Epidamnus ... The Corinthian war against the Corcycraeans was the first recorded naval war in history ... In 431 BC, one of the factors leading to the Peloponnesian War was the dispute between Corinth and Athens over the Corinthian colony of Corcyra (Corfu), which probably stemmed from the traditional trade rivalry between ...

Famous quotes containing the word war:

    War ...
    What is it good for?
    Absolutely nothing.
    Edwin Starr, U.S. soul singer. War (song)