The Peloponnesian war

The Peloponnesian War, among the most far-ranging events in ancient Greek history, sheathe the city-states of the ancient Greek world, forever changing the region.

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Peloponnesian War

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

Photograph by akg-images/Newscom


The Peloponnesian war was a war fought in ancient Greece between Athens and Sparta—the 2 most an effective city-states in ancient Greece at the moment (431 to 405 B.C.E.). This war shifted power from Athens to Sparta, do Sparta the most powerful city-state in the region. The war featured two durations of combat separated by a six-year truce.

Athens and Sparta had previously struggle in the decades prior to the war. Among Sparta’s allies, Corinth, had directly engaged the Athenian army. Together a Spartan ally, Corinth resumed hostilities toward Athens once Athens intimidated Corinth’s interests in the an ar surrounding Corcyra. This eventually attracted Sparta into the conflict. The Spartan military began by raiding lands in ~ an Athenian ally territory, specifically a region near Athens dubbed Attica. The Athenians had built walls extending from your seaport to the city that Athens. The wall surfaces helped safeguard Athens from direct assault, and its leader, Pericles, urged Athens no to connect in straight land battles with the Spartans. Instead, the Athenians supplied their navy to supply troops right into the Spartan region to conduct raids ~ above settlements.

After year of open up warfare, Sparta available peace and Athens accepted. The agreement was made main with the signing that the tranquility of Nicias. The treaty stated that Athens and Sparta would safeguard each various other for the next 50 years. However, the treaty only lasted six.

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Hostilities resumed in between Athens and Sparta with an assault launched by the Athenians in ~ Sicily. Sparta determined to retaliate. Learning from its previous experiences through the Athenian navy, they established a fleet that warships. It would certainly be another decade the warfare before the Spartan general Lysander defeated the Athenian fleet in ~ Aegospotami. This defeat brought about Athenian surrender. Together a result, the Peloponnesian war was concluded. Simultaneous to the end of this conflict came the end of the golden e of ancient Greece.