The Cause that Led to the Beginning of the Peloponnesian War
Ancient Greece during 4th Century BC was home to the city states of Sparta and Athens, who during this time were the superpowers of the region. The Peloponnesian war between these city states and their respective allies lasted from 431-404 BC, although conflicts between the two had dated back further. Major fighting in the war occurred from 431-421 and ended in Athenian victory. However, renewed conflict raged between 413 and 404 which resulted in Spartan victory.
The Peloponnesian war between Athens and Sparta evolved from a string of events which I am going to look at to see if there was a single cause for this war.
In 435 BC …show more content…
Although Potidaea was a member of the Delian League, Athens and her allies, it had maintained the right to receive magistrates from its mother city every year. Tired of paying tribute to Athens and resentful of Athenian rule the citizens of Potidaea supported a revolt to expel Athenian power.
Both sides sent forces to Potidaea and once again Athenians were battling with Corinthians. Due to aiding the people of Potidaea, Corinth faced an embargo by Athens which enraged Sparta. Any appeals to Athens to stop the embargo were ignored, forcing the Spartans to coviene the Peloponnesian council and lead the two cities one more step closer to war.
Thucydides wrote “the growth of the power of Athens and the alarm which this inspired (in Sparta) made war inevitable.” This comment shows another element that contributed to the cause of the Peloponnesian war.
After the Persian wars, there was a development of Athenian control when the Delian league was formed which was an alliance of cities based around Athens. Each city contributed funds to help maintain
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The Peloponnesian War pitted the Athenians against the Spartans. The Peloponnesians’ were an alliance of city-states controlled by Sparta. These two powerful city-states became locked in a struggle for dominance of the eastern Mediterranean area. The roots of the conflict and in particular this expedition is highly complex. As Thucydides says in his history of the war, the underlying cause was Spartan fear of Athens' expansive power. But, the triggering event was Athens' aggressive behavior towards Corinth, an ally of Sparta.
The Peloponnesian war lasted from 431 to 404 B.C. and was profoundly influenced by two Athenian men, Pericles and Alcibiades. Though Pericles and Alcibiades were related by blood they were quite different. Pericles was a diplomat, he approached matters with a level head and tried to find a solution that did not end in bloodshed. Alcibiades was less stable, he either fought, manipulated, or ran when confronted with a problem. Both men spoke eloquently enough to move almost the entire city of Athens, using their words to bend people to their will. What was different between them was what their will was, one cared about the city and its wellbeing, the other cared about his own wellbeing.
The Greco-Persian War and the Great Peloponnesian War had many similar and different causes; Athens violated treaties and interfered with the economy while offending their adversaries’ politics.
Throughout the Ancient Greek world, there have been many wars and standoffs. However, there has been only one which changed the course of Greek history forever; the Peloponnesian War. Caused by the growing tension between Athens and Sparta, it came and left, leaving only destruction in its wake. The defeat of Athens in the Peloponnesian War caused the downfall of Greece, and the end of the Classical Age.
"Just before the Peloponnesian War began, Pericles of Athens and King Archidamus of Sparta provided net assessments of the comparative strengths and weaknesses of the two sides. Evaluate their projections."
From 3000 BCE to 1500 CE their has been many events and people who have had an major impact on Western European civilization. The event I think had the most important affect is The Persian and Peloponnesian wars. The Persian war begun because the lonians city-states owed money to Persia and the lonians city-states were conquered by Cyrus II of Persia. The reasons for the Peloponnesian war are the democratic reforms of Cleisthenes but Sparta always denied this and Athenian control of the Delian League. Both of these wars affected Greek history.
Is war ultimately inevitable? Many may say the answer seems to be a definite yes, but to answer this question, one must evaluate the causes, the history, and the aftermath of war. The Peloponnesian War is an excellent war that can be examined. It was a great war fought by two very powerful Greek city-states, Athens and Sparta. It started on April 25th, 431 B.C. and lasted until 404 B.C., a whole generation. The war caused major destruction and many lives from both sides were lost making Greece never be the same again.
In 431 B.C., even before the Peloponnesian War, Athens’ strength compared to other Greek polises was evident. Athens had islands, a powerful, a well-trained navy, and one, if not the best, general at the time: Pericles. Pericles says in his speech that, “war is inevitable,” but in fact the war was preventable (72). Even with all of the military strengths and assets that Athenians had afforded to them, they chose to be merciful to the Peloponnesians who were in no shape to go to war. They did not have the experience, money, manpower, or means to participate in a lengthy war and Pericles makes the citizens aware of this (70). Pericles is both modest and humble for choosing to point out these facts which in turn helps the Athenians see the potential
What a society considers fighting, and dying, for says a lot about that society. Homer’s The Iliad, and Thucydides’ The History of the Peloponnesian War are both centered on some of the largest wars that their authors knew about. In the case of The Iliad, this war started when Paris offended the honor of the Spartan king, Menelaus, by taking Helen, the king’s wife. This is just an example of the culture of the times because, right from the start, the Greeks of Homer fight for their honor. Thucydides lived during the Peloponnesian War, hundreds of years after Homer. During those hundreds of years, war itself had fundamentally changed. In The History of the Peloponnesian War, honor was still important, but the war’s main purpose was much more tangible. The main cause of the Peloponnesian War was Athens’ desire for more land, more tribute states, and, most importantly, more power. Both of the works deal largely with why the people in them think the wars are worth fighting. In the case of The Iliad, the battles, both for the states and the people fighting, are fought for honor, while in The History of the Peloponnesian War, Athens fights for the power of her empire.
Undeniably, the ancient Greek society places a heavy emphasis on values and traditions. The two texts of the “Clouds” by Aristophanes and “History of the Peloponnesian war” by Thucydides, although contextually divergent, are actually conceptually convergent. Both texts are built around the central theme of the collapse of conventional values. While the breakdown of traditional values in the “History of the Peloponnesian war” is presented in a more metaphorical and symbolical manner, the downfall of conventional values in the “Clouds” is on a more direct basis. Although both texts essentially convey across the same solemn message that the relinquishment of
The Peloponnesian war (431–404 BC) was an ancient Greek war fought by Athens against the Peloponnesian led by Sparta. Thucydides famously claims that the war started “because the Spartans were afraid of further growth of Athenian power, seeing as they did have the greater part of Hellas was under the control of Athens”. The two main protagonists from opposing sides Lysander and Alcibiades had the most influential impact on the end of the war.
Between the First and Second Peloponnesian Wars Pericles and Athens was involved in many conflicts. A major one of the interwar period was the Second Sacred War. The root of this short conflict was Athens desire to return control of Delphi to its ally the City-State of Phocis. control the Oracle of Delphi Pericles was involved in was the Second Sacred War. During this war Pericles led the Athenian army against Delphi and reinstated Phocis in its sovereign rights on the oracle. Another one occurred in 447 BCE Pericles engaged in his most admired excursion, the expulsion of barbarians from the Thracian peninsula of Gallipoli, in order to establish Athenian colonists in the region. At this time, however, Athens was going through internal problems.
The First Punic War: a Military History by J.F. Lazenby is a book about the war between Rome and Carthage. In the book Lazenby provides all the available information on the war from numerous sources and then shifts through that information in order to come to a conclusion on what likely really happened. To put it in Lazenby’s own words the purpose of the book was to “work out what happened at least in outline, and on this basis arrive at some understanding of why the war broke out, what the basic strategies of the two sides were, and why, in the end, Rome won”(Lazenby pg.19).The book was published in 1996 but remains to be one of the best sources of the history of the Punic War.
This essay examines the evolution of the Athens strategy from the beginning to the end of The Peloponnesian War (431 to 404 BCE). The Strategy will be evaluated in the context of the relationship of ends, means, and ways by testing the suitability, acceptability, feasibility, and risk.