The Peloponnesian War Essay

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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.
Lysander was appointed Spartan navarch for the Aegean Sea in 407 and undertook the major project of creating a strong Spartan fleet which could take on the Athenians and their allies. Lysander collected 70 triremes and took them to Ephesus; Lysander pitched camp there and ordered for merchant vessels to land their cargos there, thus reviving the business and market life of Ephesus with profit and hope. Lysander persuaded Cyrus, the great king’s son to help the Spartans fund an increase in the sailors pay thus inducing sailors serving in the Athenian fleet to come over to the higher paying Spartan fleet. “I earnestly request you to add one penny to the seamen’s pay, that instead of three pence, they may now receive four pence”. When Alcibiades the Athenian commander challenged Lysander to battle he declined making sure his troops were in good repair, when Alcibiades left his fleet at notium seeking funds the Athenian squadron was placed under the command of Antiochus. During the time Alcibiades was away Lysander managed to engage the…