Its empire began as a small group of city-states, called the Delian League —from the island of Deloson which they kept their treasury—that came together to ensure that the Greco-Persian Wars were truly over. What then ensued was a period, referred to as the Pentecontaetia the name given by Thucydidesin which Athens increasingly became in fact an empire,  carrying out an aggressive war against Persia and increasingly dominating other city-states. Athens proceeded to bring under its control all of Greece except for Sparta and its allies, ushering in a period which is known to history as the Athenian Empire. By the middle of the century, the Persians had been driven from the Aegean and forced to cede control of a vast range of territories to Athens.
The causes of the main Peloponnesian War need to be traced at least to the early s—the Great Gap period—although if Thucydides was right in his general explanation for the war, namely Spartan fear of Athenian expansion, the development of the entire… The Athenian alliance was, in fact, an empire that included most of the island and coastal states around the northern and eastern shores of the Aegean Sea.
Sparta was leader of an alliance of independent states that included most of the major land powers of the Peloponnese and central Greeceas well as the sea power Corinth.
Thus, the Athenians had the stronger navy and the Spartans the stronger army.
Further, the Athenians were better prepared financially than their enemies, owing to the large war chest they had amassed from the regular tribute they received from their empire.
In the following years their respective blocs observed an uneasy peace. The events that led to renewed hostilities began inwhen Athens allied itself with Corcyra modern Corfua strategically important colony of Corinth.
Sparta and its allies accused Athens of aggression and threatened war.
On the advice of Periclesits most influential leader, Athens refused to back down. Diplomatic efforts to resolve the dispute failed. Finally, in the spring ofa Spartan ally, Thebesattacked an Athenian ally, Plataeaand open war began.
The years of fighting that followed can be divided into two periods, separated by a truce of six years. The first period lasted 10 years and began with the Spartans, under Archidamus IIleading an army into Atticathe region around Athens. Within a few months, however, Pericles fell victim to a terrible plague that raged through the crowded city, killing a large part of its army as well as many civilians.
Thucydides survived an attack of the plague and left a vivid account of its impact on Athenian morale. In the meantime —the Spartans attacked Athenian bases in western Greece but were repulsed.
The Spartans also suffered reverses at sea.
In they tried to aid the island state of Lesbosa tributary of Athens that was planning to revolt. But the revolt was headed off by the Athenians, who won control of the chief city, Mytilene.
Urged on by the demagogue Cleonthe Athenians voted to massacre the men of Mytilene and enslave everyone else, but they relented the next day and killed only the leaders of the revolt.
Spartan initiatives during the plague years were all unsuccessful except for the capture of the strategic city Plataea in In the next few years the Athenians took the offensive. They attacked the Sicilian city Syracuse and campaigned in western Greece and the Peloponnese itself.
In the picture was bleak for Sparta, which began to sue for peace. But led by Brasidashero of the Battle of Delium, a Spartan force gained important successes in Chalcidice inencouraging Athenian subject states to revolt.
In a decisive battle at Amphipolis inboth Brasidas and the Athenian leader Cleon were killed. The so-called Peace of Nicias began in and lasted six years. It was a period in which diplomatic maneuvers gradually gave way to small-scale military operations as each city tried to win smaller states over to its side.
The uncertain peace was finally shattered when, inthe Athenians launched a massive assault against Sicily. The decisive event was the catastrophe suffered by the Athenians in Sicily. Aided by a force of Spartans, Syracuse was able to break an Athenian blockade. Even after gaining reinforcements inthe Athenian army was defeated again.
Soon afterward the navy was also beaten, and the Athenians were utterly destroyed as they tried to retreat. By Athens itself was in political turmoil. Democracy was overthrown by the oligarchical party, which was in turn replaced by the more moderate regime of the Five Thousand.
At the end of the rebuilt Athenian navy, fresh from several victories, acted to restore democratic rule.
However, the democratic leaders refused Spartan peace offerings, and the war continued at sea with the Spartan and Athenian fleets trading costly victories. The end came in when the Athenian navy was destroyed at Aegospotami by the Spartan fleet under Lysanderwho had received much aid from the Persians.
The next year, starved by an impenetrable blockade, Athens capitulated. Learn More in these related Britannica articles:The Peloponnesian War (– BC) was an ancient Greek war fought by the Delian League led by Athens against the Peloponnesian League led by Sparta.
Historians have . The Peloponnesian War [Donald Kagan] on schwenkreis.com *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.
For three decades in the fifth century b.c. the ancient world was torn apart bya conflict that was as dramatic, divisive. The Battle of Thermopylae (/ θ ər ˈ m ɒ p ɪ l iː / thər-MOP-i-lee; Greek: Μάχη τῶν Θερμοπυλῶν, Machē tōn Thermopylōn) was fought between an alliance of Greek city-states, led by King Leonidas of Sparta, and the Persian Empire of Xerxes I over the course of three days, during the second Persian invasion of schwenkreis.com took place .
The Second Peloponnesian War was fought between the city-states of Sparta and Athens in the 5th century BC. The conflict began in BC and ended with utter defeat for Athens in BC as its naval empire was destroyed.
Ancient Greek Theater. The theater of Dionysus, Athens (Saskia, Ltd.) This page is designed to provide a brief introduction to Ancient Greek Theater, and to provide tools for further research.
Aug 21, · Watch video · Athens and Sparta, both powerful Greek city-states, had fought as allies in the Greco-Persian Wars between and B.C.