strengths and weaknesses of athens and sparta in the peloponnesian war

strengths and weaknesses of athens and sparta in the peloponnesian war

In many ways, the Peloponnesian War marked the beginning of the end for both Athens and Sparta in terms of political autonomy and imperial dominance. The Peloponnesian War. This is due to the fact that the destruction from the Peloponnesian War weakened and divided the Greeks for years to come, eventually allowing the Macedonians an opportunity to conquer them in the mid-4th century BCE. The wealthy merchants hoping to overthrow the oligarchy appealed to Corinth for help, and they got it. This meant Sparta and its allies were free to dictate the terms of peace.

Change ). However, Corinth, one of the few city-states in the Peloponnesian League that could stand up to Sparta’s power, was adamantly opposed to this move, and so the notion of war was tabled for some time. As a result, Spartan leadership sent an envoy to Pylos to negotiate an armistice that would secure the release of these soldiers, and to show they were negotiating in good faith, this envoy surrendered the entire Spartan fleet at Pylos. However, the differences between Athens and Sparta proved to be too much. This conflict played an important role in the eventual outbreak of war between the two Greek cities. The Athenians committed a small defense force, and it proved to be rather effective, as Spartan soldiers were not able to break through until 427 BCE. Instead, the empire was relegated to the islands throughout the Aegean. Before these decisive battles which ended in Greek victories, the two sides fought the Battle of Thermopylae, which is one of the most famous battles of the ancient era. The idea was that if they did not expand, someone else would, and this would put their precious democracy at risk. On this premise, Athens argued that Sparta should seek out a resolution to the conflict through arbitration, a right it had based on the terms of the Thirty Years’ Peace. However, instead of burning the city, Spartan leadership chose to set up a base in Decelea so that it would be easier to run raids into Attica. Specifically, it began to look westward towards Sicily, an island in modern-day Italy that was at the time heavily settled by ethnic Greeks. What Were the Main Reasons for the Peloponnesian War? Thebes and Corinth wanted to burn it to the ground and enslave its people, but the Spartans rejected this notion. However, despite being relatively close to one another geographically, Athens and Sparta rarely engaged in direct military conflict during the centuries leading up to the Peloponnesian War.

[5]  These men could be hired for valuable flaking maneuvers all the way through the ranks from light infantry to generals. Athens, Sparta, and Thebes all failed to create a lasting “Greek Empire.” While each polis had its own strengths and weaknesses, the poleis all failed for similar reasons. Every male that is the age of 30 or greater could participate in the Appella at any time. While there is substantial evidence to prove either side won the war, there is more information supporting Sparta and her allies as the victors of the Peloponnesian Wars. However, it turned out the support promised to Alcibiades was not as certain as he had imagined. Since Sparta was an imperialistic society, allies could make a difference in the conflicts that resulted from Sparta’s imperialism. Although they shared a common ancestry, ethnic differences, as well as economic interests, and an obsession with heroes and glory, meant that war was a common and welcomed occurrence in the ancient Greek world. Then, The Four Hundred lost control of Athens, surrendering to a much larger group of oligarchs knowns as “the 5,000.” But in the midst of all this, Alcibiades, who had previously defected to Sparta during the Syracuse campaign, had been trying to earn his way back into the good graces of the Athenian elite.

The Peloponnesian war lasted 27 years, and it occurred for many different reasons. This rivalry led to the downfall of all of the poleis because they spent so many resources on conflicts with potential allies. The Peloponnesian War marked the dramatic end to the fifth century BC and the golden age of Greece. By this point, Sparta had been suing for peace for some time, and when Nicias approached Spartan leadership, he was able to negotiate an end to this part of the conflict. The Peloponnesian war had lasting, traumatic effects for Greek society, breaking any chance of a unified Greek state that could stand together against invaders, which ultimately left the door open for Macedonian control. Finally, Sparta’s arrogance ultimately led to its downfall.

Seeing this as a major threat, the Athenians had no choice but to pursue Lysander. In response, Athens and Sparta, along with several other powerful city-states, such as Corinth, Argos, and Arcadia, formed an alliance to fight against the invading Persians, and this joint force was eventually able to stop the Persians at the Battle of Salamis (480 BCE) and the Battle of Plataea (479 BCE). [3], The military revolution referred to the fact that a new phenomenon was sweeping Greece, and while Sparta especially had focused all of their time and energy on creating a strong heavy infantry, changes were coming that would make their brute strength less imposing. Because The Peloponnesian War was such a long conflict, most historians break it up into three parts, with the first being called the Archidamian War. 1. More specifically, the impasse between the two sides was largely the result of Sparta having a strong ground force but weak navy and Athens having a powerful navy but less effective ground force. This philosophy, which was present in Athens before the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War, was now running rampant, and it helped provide justification for the Athenian expedition into Sicily, which played an important role in restarting the conflict between Athens and Sparta and also perhaps dooming Athens … After defeating Athens in the…, arguments that can be made is whether Athens or Sparta and her allies won the Peloponnesian Wars. The Athenians, however, showed up uninvited to this congress, and a great debate, recorded by Thucydides, took place. While there is substantial evidence to prove either side won the war, there is more information supporting Sparta and her allies as the victors of the Peloponnesian Wars. The Spartan army, blocked from escaping by sea, marched to Boeotia, the region in which Thebes is located, and they managed to secure an alliance from Thebes. At this meeting of the various heads of state in the Greek world, the Corinthians shamed Sparta for standing on the sidelines while Athens continued to try and bring free Greek city-states under its control, and it warned that Sparta would be left without any allies if it continued its inaction. The art and literature to come out of this time period spoke often of war weariness and of the horrors of such prolonged conflict, and even some of the philosophy, written by Socrates, reflected some of the inner conflicts people were facing as they tried to understand the purpose and meaning of so much bloodshed. Despite losing to Sparta in the Peloponnesian War, Athens continued to be an important cultural and economic center throughout Roman times, and it is the capital of the modern nation of Greece. Bury, J. However, Athens was able to resist. They were granted access to the city, but once inside, a group of Plataean citizens rose up and killed nearly the entire envoy. The Archidamian War did not start without serious disturbances in the Greek balance of power. This angered Athens so much that its leaders at one point threatened to accept Persian peace terms if Sparta didn’t act. [4]  After 28 years of nearly continuous warfare, the Greek countryside was filled with men who were essentially mercenaries, willing to fight for whoever was willing to pay them with little if any allegiance to a polis or city state. After Cleon died, he was replaced by a man named Nicias, and he rose to power on the idea that he would sue for peace with Sparta. This changed, ironically, after the two sides actually came together to fight as part of a pan-Greek alliance against the Persians.

In short, Corcyra, another Greek city-state which was located in northern Greece, picked a fight with Corinth over a colony located in what is now modern-day Albania.

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