The Peloponnesian War

The Peloponnesian War, among the most significant occasions in ancient Greek history, enveloped the city-states of the primitive Greek people, forever transforming the area.

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Peloponnesian War

This copper engraving by Matthaus Merian illustration depicts the Athenian naval defeat close to Corinth over the Corinthian and Spartan fleet around 430 B.C.E.

Photograph by akg-images/Newscom


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The Peloponnesian War was a war fought in primitive Greece between Athens and Sparta—the 2 the majority of effective city-claims in ancient Greece at the time (431 to 405 B.C.E.). This battle shifted power from Athens to Sparta, making Sparta the many powerful city-state in the area. The battle featured two periods of combat separated by a six-year truce.

Athens and also Sparta had formerly quarreled in the decades before the battle. One of Sparta’s allies, Corinth, had straight engaged the Athenian army. As a Spartan ally, Corinth resumed hostilities towards Athens when Athens threatened Corinth’s interests in the area surrounding Corcyra. This inevitably drew Sparta into the problem. The Spartan army began by raiding lands within an Athenian allied territory, particularly a region close to Athens dubbed Attica. The Athenians had actually built walls extending from their seaport to the city of Athens. The walls aided defend Athens from direct assault, and also its leader, Pericles, urged Athens not to communicate in direct land also battles via the Spartans. Instead, the Athenians provided their navy to supply troops right into the Spartan region to conduct raids on settlements.

After years of open warfare, Sparta offered tranquility and Athens accepted. The agreement was made official through the signing of the Peace of Nicias. The treaty proclaimed that Athens and Sparta would certainly defend each various other for the next 50 years. However, the treaty only lasted six.

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Hostilities resumed between Athens and also Sparta through an attack introduced by the Athenians at Sicily. Sparta made a decision to retaliate. Learning from its past experiences through the Athenian navy, they established a fleet of warships. It would be one more decade of warfare before the Spartan basic Lysander defeated the Athenian fleet at Aegospotami. This defeat brought about Athenian surrender. As an outcome, the Peloponnesian War was concluded. Simultaneous to the finish of this dispute came the finish of the gold age of ancient Greece.