This was a long drawn out war between Athens and Sparta and their respective allies. This proved to be a disaster, which led to the loss of an Athenian army and navy. Athens was a democracy, and it was very individualistic. Later Athens, encouraged by Alcibiades, launched the Sicilian expedition to conquer Sicily during a lull in the fighting, known as the Peace of Nicias. [8] As Athens seemed to be growing more powerful, there was a growing pro-war party in Sparta. They demanded action. There was a strong ‘imperial’ party in Athens who believed that it was entitled to a great empire because of its role in the Persians' defeat. Nothing was the same after the war, and Athens was never to be as powerful. In 431 BCE, the senior Spartan king led an army into the countryside around Athens and laid it waste. The war began in 431 BC and lasted until 404 BC. According to Thucydides' writings, the early years of the war were a stalemate because the Athenians followed Pericles's cautious strategy.[18]. This conflict involved Athens and Corinth, with the latter receiving some support from Sparta. What did Achilles do in the Trojan War and how important was he in Greek culture? When Megara turned to Sparta for help in its boundary dispute with Corinth, Sparta, which was allied with both city-states, declined to come to their aid. Athens continued the war against Persia, and it formed the Delian League. Peloponnesian War: Battle of Pylos. The First Peloponnesian War (460–445 BC) was fought between Sparta as the leaders of the Peloponnesian League and Sparta's other allies, most notably Thebes, and the Delian League led by Athens with support from Argos.This war consisted of a series of conflicts and minor wars, such as the Second Sacred War.There were several causes for the war including the building of the Athenian … Some leading Spartans became concerned that their inaction would push the other major Greek powers to side with Athens. Athens signed a defense-only treaty and sent a fleet to Corcyra. The helots toiled the lands of Lacodemia for their Spartan masters. This was the war which completely reshaped Greek history and the Greek ancient world. The Peloponnesian War was a conflict in ancient Greece that redefined the structure of power in the Greek-speaking world. Athens, still bound by alliances of the Persian War years, tried to help the Spartans, but was rudely asked to leave. Part of the reason Thucydides’ historical account of the Peloponnesian war is so significant is that it was one of the first times a historian put effort into determining both the short-and long-term causes of war. Answer Save. Thucydides repeatedly explains that the Peloponnesian War arose not simply from the specific grievances of this or that state but from a longer process of growing Athenian power that inspired fear among the Spartans, making the war inevitable. Lv 6. Sparta realized that they needed a navy to defeat the ships that were supplied to the Athenians, so Persia helps Sparta. In 446 and 445 BCE, Athens, a sea power, and Sparta, a land power, signed a peace treaty. The Greek world was now formally divided in two, with two "hegemons." Athens had also been turned into a formidable stronghold when the city constructed the ‘Long Walls.’ These walls connected the city with its port, Piraeus, allowed the city to supply itself, and made any siege of the city unlikely to succeed.[3]. Who was Theseus the great Athenian king and hero? A complicated, partially ideological political conflict between Spartan-ally Corinth and her neutral daughter city and strong naval power Corcyra led to Athenian involvement in Sparta's realm. Athens needed a friendly Megara on its border since it provided gulf access, so it agreed in 459 BCE. Athenian expansion as a cause of the Peloponnesian War - Athens attempted to impose its power on other city states. Athens controlled Greece's coastal areas and the Greek islands, while Sparta, a land power, could control the Peloponnese. Peloponnesian War and Thucydides. Two kings from two royal families ostensibly ruled it. [4] It had developed into the greatest maritime power in the Greek world and could dominate the trade routes in the eastern Mediterranean. The Athenians, at this time, were also in dispute with the small city-state of Megara. The role of women was to produce good soldiers, and men were expected to be brave warriors. What caused the Peloponnesian War? Cultural and ethnic differences were driving the Greek world apart. A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War, https://dailyhistory.org/index.php?title=What_were_the_causes_of_the_Peloponnesian_War%3F&oldid=21677. Megara broke its alliance with Sparta and proposed a new one with Athens. The population played a significant role in politics, and indeed it was a fairly radical democracy for the time. The first phase is known as Archidamian War. The origins of the Peloponnesian War lay in Greece's victory over the Persian Empire. The significance of the conflict is that the divided Greeks could not prevent the [1] This notion of Greekness was not enough to overcome deep divisions within the Greek world. The Spartan fleet under Callicratidaslost 70 ships and the Athenians lost 25 ships. Historians are not clear on the embargo's effects, some saying that Megara was merely made uncomfortable, while others claim that it set the polis on the brink of starvation. How did the Peloponnesian War Start? The Peloponnesian war began after the Persian Wars ended in 449 BCE. Go HD. She has been featured by NPR and National Geographic for her ancient history expertise. They had grown from just another city-state into an Empire. 4 Answers. This war ended with a peace treaty and a ‘Thirty Years Peace.’ This treaty, in theory, guaranteed Athens and Sparta their respective spheres of influence. The profound cultural and political differences between the two great Greek powers contributed to the war. What was the Spartan Training called the Agoge? The League was very concerned about the Athenian fleet because it allowed Athens to dominate Greece's seas. Athens was forced to tear down its Long Walls and was fortunate not to be utterly destroyed. At first, they resisted the calls of its allied to declare war on its arch-rival. Before the Peloponnesian War, the city-states (poleis) of Greece had worked together to fight off the Persians. The embargo was not an act of war, but Corinth took the opportunity to urge all allies disaffected with Athens to pressure Sparta now to invade Athens. The citizens (only free males) could directly vote on the affairs of the city. Fought between the allies of Sparta and the empire of Athens, the crippling Peloponnesian War paved the way for the Macedonian takeover of Greece by Philip II of Macedon and, following that, Alexander the Great's empire. Corinth and other members of the Peloponnesian League were unhappy about Sparta’s lack of leadership. About 15 years later, Megara joined back up again with Sparta. Athens used these communal funds to build up its navy and, with it, its importance and power. The causes for the Peloponnesian war were both fundamental or long term and also incidental, or short term. Because of their different political systems and cultures, they were often ideologically opposed. The tensions between the Athenians and Sparta grew. Megara was a long-time Spartan ally, which was widely resented, as it was seen as an attempt to make Megara completely dependent on Athens. According to Thucydides, the cause of the war was the "fear of the growth of the power of Athens" throughout the middle of the 5th century BC. During the Archidamian War, the Greek city-state of Sparta invaded Athens and the surrounding area. Thucydides is mistaken in his famous assertion that "[w]hat made war inevitable was the growth of Athenian power and the fear which this caused in Sparta". The Spartan Kings were cautious and decided to avoid conflict with Athens at that time. Copy this URL: Embed code: Change dimensions . The roots of the Peloponnesian war can be … This disagreement led to friction and eventually outright war. Analysis. It had emerged as a great Empire in a quick period, and this upset the traditional balance of power. It had transformed itself during and after the Persian Wars and became a major trading and maritime power. [9] Additionally, there were those in Athens who believed that war should be welcomed. N.S. The immediate cause of the Peloponnesian War was Corinthian opportunism. Show Transcript Uploaded by Scott Smith. First, some city-states feared Athens because of its grab for power and prestige. Popular Videos See all Search: Submit. Thucydides’ balanced and richly detailed account has not convinced everyone, however. Fighting ensued and Corcyra, with Athens' aid, won the Battle of Sybota against Corinth in 433. The Peloponnesian War was fought between 431 and 404 bc . Athens was then victorious at the naval battle of Arginusae. In contrast, Athens encouraged democracy and believed that it was the best form of government. And so the full-fledged Peloponnesian War began. [11] Some later historians have also argued that war was inevitable between the two greatest Greek powers. All Greece needed was a spark to start a war. Athens used its superior navy to intimidate its allies, and they eventually became mere tributaries of the Athenians. However, the Thirty Years Peace was under increasing strain. Because of the Persian Wars, Athens had to be rebuilt and it came to dominate its group of allies politically and economically. [16] This was not acceptable to Sparta, and they believed that if Megara came within the orbit of the Athenians, they would use the port to weaken their position in Greece. They had real difficulties understanding each other, and this lead to mutual suspicions. This war shifted power from Athens to Sparta, making Sparta the most powerful city-state in the region. Sparta's concerns were not entirely unfounded. There was a conflict among city-states between competing political ideologies. Why Was Gordium Important to Alexander the Great’s Conquests? Each league was fighting for allegiance with the city-states. People’s first loyalty was often to their Polis or local city. The conflict was a long drawn out war between Athens and Sparta and their respective allies. The Peloponnesian War reshaped the Ancient Greek world. Greece was not big enough for the Delian League and the Peloponnesian League to be in control. Historian Kagan writes that, for possibly the first time in history, an attempt was made to keep the peace by requiring both sides to submit grievances to binding arbitration. How did Athens's growing power threaten Sparta? It convulsed Greece and changed the course of the Classical world. 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