The Peloponnesian war

The Peloponnesian War, one of the most far-reaching events in ancient Greek history, covering the city-states the the ancient Greek world, forever transforming the region.

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Peloponnesian War

This copper engraving by Matthaus Merian illustration depicts the Athenian marine defeat near Corinth end the Corinthian and Spartan fleet roughly 430 B.C.E.

Photograph by akg-images/Newscom


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The Peloponnesian battle was a war combated in ancient Greece between Athens and also Sparta—the 2 most an effective city-states in old Greece at the time (431 to 405 B.C.E.). This war shifted strength from Athens come Sparta, making Sparta the most powerful city-state in the region. The war featured two durations of combat be separate by a six-year truce.

Athens and Sparta had actually previously quarreled in the years prior come the war. Among Sparta’s allies, Corinth, had directly engaged the Athenian army. As a Spartan ally, Corinth resumed hostilities towards Athens when Athens endangered Corinth’s interests in the region surrounding Corcyra. This eventually drew Sparta right into the conflict. The Spartan army began by raiding lands in ~ an Athenian allied territory, specifically a an ar near Athens dubbed Attica. The Athenians had constructed walls stretching from their seaport come the city the Athens. The wall surfaces helped defend Athens from direct assault, and its leader, Pericles, urged Athens no to engage in direct land battles with the Spartans. Instead, the Athenians provided their marine to supply troops into the Spartan territory to command raids on settlements.

After year of open warfare, Sparta readily available peace and also Athens accepted. The agreement was made main with the signing that the peace of Nicias. The treaty declared that Athens and also Sparta would safeguard each other for the following 50 years. However, the treaty only lasted six.

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Hostilities resumed between Athens and Sparta v an assault launched by the Athenians in ~ Sicily. Sparta made decision to retaliate. Learning from its previous experiences through the Athenian navy, they developed a fleet the warships. It would be one more decade of warfare prior to the Spartan general Lysander beat the Athenian fleet in ~ Aegospotami. This defeat led to Athenian surrender. As a result, the Peloponnesian war was concluded. Simultaneous to the finish of this problem came the finish of the golden age of old Greece.