what caused the peloponnesian war

The fundamental cause that these incidental events gave fuel to, was the fear that the Spartans had developed of the Athenians and Athens’ increasing powerful hold over the … 4:42 O Captain! The Spartan Kings were cautious and decided to avoid conflict with Athens at that time. Thucydides traces the development of Athenian power through the growth of the Athenian empire in the years 479 BC to 432 BC in book one of the History (1.89–118). Because of their different political systems and cultures, they were often ideologically opposed. The state took boys from their families and trained them from youth to be soldiers. This war, which has been divided into three phases by historians spelled doom left, right and center. What does Pentacontaetia mean? Each stood at the head of alliances that, between them, included nearly every Greek city-state. This League was an alliance of city-states and islands that vowed to continue the war against the Persians until they no longer represented a threat to their alliance. Sparta was unhappy at no longer having all the military glory. This proved to be a disaster, which led to the loss of an Athenian army and navy. They unilaterally banned the ships of that Megara from its port and its allies. What were the long-term effects of the Peloponnesian War on Greece? 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. Megara broke its alliance with Sparta and proposed a new one with Athens. Athens now knew that direct battle with Corinth was inevitable. Thucydides explains the next contributing factors for the cause of the Peloponnesian War was the dispute over the Corcyraeans. The first phase is known as Archidamian War. 4 Answers. Why Was Gordium Important to Alexander the Great’s Conquests? The Peloponnesian War was a conflict in ancient Greece that redefined the structure of power in the Greek-speaking world. The war ended the Golden Age of Athenian Culture and arguably weakened the Greek world forever. The Delian League was a military alliance led by Athens. 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. They argued that the Spartans had to attack Athens before it became too powerful. The Peloponnesian War reshaped the Ancient Greek world. The following is a list of Peloponnesian war facts, and the devastation it caused. Thucydides’ balanced and richly detailed account has not convinced everyone, however. [13] The kings shared power with a council of elders (Gerousia). Go to Video Gallery Added Dec 02, 2016 • Share this video. Sparta began to contemplate war, but they seemed unwilling to declare war formally. 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. Sparta's concerns were not entirely unfounded. However, the Thirty Years Peace was under increasing strain. The roots of the Peloponnesian war can be … Athens was then victorious at the naval battle of Arginusae. The Corinthians were not backing down, following the war against the Corcyraeans, Corinthians spent time and money building new ships and trained rowers from the Peloponnese to fight against Corcyra. It had emerged as a great Empire in a quick period, and this upset the traditional balance of power. My Captain! The helots toiled the lands of Lacodemia for their Spartan masters. Who did the Spartans rely on for help, why was this ironic? War really wouldn't have been possible at all if Sparta had not risen to challenge Athenian hegemony. In the Spartan assembly, they were growing alarmed at the growth of Athenian power. These powers both had a network of alliances all over the Greek world and beyond. 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. The Peloponnesian War changed Greece in every way. Alcibiades was not re-elected general by the Athenians and he exiled himself from the city. Copy this URL: Embed code: Change dimensions . Later Athens, encouraged by Alcibiades, launched the Sicilian expedition to conquer Sicily during a lull in the fighting, known as the Peace of Nicias. This disagreement led to friction and eventually outright war. 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 … In the first book of his history, participant-observer and historian Thucydides recorded the causes of the Peloponnesian War: While Thucydides seemed quite certain that he had settled the question of the cause of the Peloponnesian War for all time, historians continue to debate the origins of the war. Corcyra appealed to Athens for help, offering to Athens the use of its navy. This conflict involved Athens and Corinth, with the latter receiving some support from Sparta. Each league was fighting for allegiance with the city-states. The History explains that the primary cause of the Peloponnesian War was the "growth in power of Athens, and the alarm which this inspired in Sparta" (1.23.6). The profoundly different Athens and Sparta societies were also a significant factor in the war’s outbreak, which also had an ideological aspect. Trireme - A trireme was a ship propelled by three tiers of oarsmen. Athenian expansion as a cause of the Peloponnesian War - Athens attempted to impose its power on other city states. Potidaea was part of the Athenian empire, but also a daughter city of Corinth. What issues did Athens have with Corinth? Sparta realized that they needed a navy to defeat the ships that were supplied to the Athenians, so Persia helps Sparta. The League was very concerned about the Athenian fleet because it allowed Athens to dominate Greece's seas. The war featured two periods of combat separated by a six-year truce. Gill is a Latinist, writer, and teacher of ancient history and Latin. This enabled them to stay inside the city and still have access to trade and supplies from their ships. Athens decided to lay siege to the colony. While there was a definite sense of ‘Greekness’ and a common cultural heritage, it did not override the more local loyalties. The first Peloponnesian War lasted for 10 years. There was a conflict among city-states between competing political ideologies. This sample essay explores Thucydides’ work “The Histories”, which is considered to be one of the first uses of scientific historical studying practices of which there are records. What caused the Peloponnesian War? Sparta was concerned that if it displayed any weakness that this could lead to its losing its pre-eminent position in the Peloponnese League. [17], The Athenians were extremely confident, and they knew that as long as they had their navy and their ‘Long Walls’ that they could not be defeated even if they could not beat Sparta and her allies on the battlefield. At first, they resisted the calls of its allied to declare war on its arch-rival. The origins of the Peloponnesian War lay in Greece's victory over the Persian Empire. This was the start of the great Peloponnesian War. [8] As Athens seemed to be growing more powerful, there was a growing pro-war party in Sparta. Once Athens had issued the Megarian decree, it initiated a chain of events that led to the Spartan invasion of the Athenian territory. The Peloponnesian war began after the Persian Wars ended in 449 BCE. In 446 and 445 BCE, Athens, a sea power, and Sparta, a land power, signed a peace treaty. Athens was forced to tear down its Long Walls and was fortunate not to be utterly destroyed. Favorite Answer. Peloponnesian War: Battle of Pylos. The Greeks had combined under Sparta and Athens' leadership to defeat the Persians, then the most powerful empire in Asia. The Spartans and the Athenians had radically different societies. 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. The primary combatants in the Peloponnesian War were the city-states of Athens and Sparta and had allies that supported them during the war. Corinth and other members of the Peloponnesian League were unhappy about Sparta’s lack of leadership. The faction hostile to Alcibiades triumphed in Athens following a minor Spartan victory by their skillful general Lysander at the naval battle of Notium in 406 BC. Relevance. It convulsed Greece and changed the course of the Classical world. Athens controlled Greece's coastal areas and the Greek islands, while Sparta, a land power, could control the Peloponnese. Athens signed a defense-only treaty and sent a fleet to Corcyra. Thucydides, however, wrote the most important contemporary chronicle of the war. The causes of the war are that the Athenian Empire upset the Greek world's balance of power. The causes for the Peloponnesian war were both fundamental or long term and also incidental, or short term. The war began in 431 BC and lasted until 404 BC. The immediate cause of the Peloponnesian War was Corinthian opportunism. If we look at F 196, the fragment on the causes of the Peloponnesian War, we can perhaps understand why. First, some city-states feared Athens because of its grab for power and prestige. 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 third cause of the Peloponnesian War was likely due to Sparta's rebellion. The Corcyra never joined the Athenian League or the Spartans, … The Spartan Hoplite was considered the best soldiers in the Greek world. The primary causes were that Sparta feared the growing power and influence of the Athenian Empire. What Were the Origins of Ancient Macedon (aka Macedonia)? The citizens (only free males) could directly vote on the affairs of the city. She has been featured by NPR and National Geographic for her ancient history expertise. 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. Sparta society depended on a servile population. Peloponnesian War: name of the conflict between Athens and Sparta that broke out in 431 and continued, with an interruption, until 404. 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. Despite this, Sparta grew increasingly fearful of Athens, and its main ally Corinth was actively encouraging it to attack Athens.[7]. Peloponnesian War refers to the war fought between Athens and Sparta's Peloponnesian League. The Peloponnesian War was fought between the democratic and mercantile city state of Athens and the oligarchical and closed city state of Sparta. [14] Sparta was a highly militarized society, and the need for a strong and well-disciplined army was the main concern of the state. Sparta's well-disciplined and much-feared army was the source of its military power. 2 decades ago. Second, under the leadership of Pericles, Athens grew from a city-state to a naval empire. Cultural and ethnic differences were driving the Greek world apart. This era constituted the Golden Age of Athens and was concurrent with Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle's lives. 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. What was the Spartan Training called the Agoge? It was a very stratified and conservative society. Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War 2.69–71. "[10] Thucydides believed that the Peloponnesian War was inevitable because when a rising power confronted another power, they would inevitably wage war against each other to further or protect their interests. The Spartans came to believe that they had no choice but to go to war. Many historical accounts make brief mention of the earlier Persian Wars, which undervalues their importance as a contributing factor to the later war. Some leading Spartans became concerned that their inaction would push the other major Greek powers to side with Athens. [9] Additionally, there were those in Athens who believed that war should be welcomed. Thrace and Athens had a dispute and the Thracians, a Spartan ally, asked the Spartans for assistance. The fear of Athens increasingly led the Spartans to prepare for war, even though there is no evidence that the Athenians had any designs on Sparta or its allies. Many excellent historians have discussed the causes of the Peloponnesian War (431–404 BCE), and many more will do so in the future. The conflict was a long drawn out war between Athens and Sparta and their respective allies. This was a long drawn out war between Athens and Sparta and their respective allies. 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. The Greek historian Thucydides argued that Sparta's fear of Athens was the ultimate cause of the war. When Athens decided to invade Thasos, Sparta would have come to the aid of the north Aegean island, had Sparta not suffered a natural disaster. During the Peloponnesian War, they turned on each other. And so the full-fledged Peloponnesian War began. Then the situation spun out of control when the allies of Sparta attacked the allies of Athens. For many decades Sparta had been the greatest military power in Greece. But, due to bad weather, the Athenians were unable to rescue their stranded cr… [6] Athens and Sparta had different spheres of influence, as outlined in the ‘Thirty Year Peace’ treaty, and theoretically, this meant that they both could have lived in peaceful co-existence. 123 quotes from History of the Peloponnesian War: ‘Self-control is the chief element in self-respect, and self-respect is the chief element in courage.’ The war is named for the Peloponnesus, the peninsula on which Sparta is located. Causes of the war. Lv 6. It is still widely held that in international relations, the growth of a nation-state or empire will inevitably lead to rivalry and war with an established power.[12]. The Athenians, at this time, were also in dispute with the small city-state of Megara. The Greek world was now formally divided in two, with two "hegemons." Her allies supported Sparta and demanded that Athens withdraw the Megarian Decree, but Athens opposed it. Two kings from two royal families ostensibly ruled it. [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. The Greeks became divided into a Spartan and an Athenian camp. The underlying cause of the war was the rapid rise of the Athenians. They demanded action. Fear of the growing power of Athens. Athens had an issue with Corinth's daughter city Corcyra and a granddaughter city Epidamnus. Athens was forced to dismantle its empire. Kagan says that this open quarrel in 465 BCE was the first between Sparta and Athens. Sparta became the leading power of Greece. Peloponnesian War, (431–404 bce), war fought between the two leading city-states in ancient Greece, Athens and Sparta. 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. This was the war which completely reshaped Greek history and the Greek ancient world. What was the cause of the Peloponnesian War? Before the Peloponnesian War, the city-states of Greece had worked together to fight off the Persians. They had grown from just another city-state into an Empire. One of the most important wars in the Ancient World was the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BCE). Athens built long walls all the way from the city to its seaport Piraeus. Fighting ensued and Corcyra, with Athens' aid, won the Battle of Sybota against Corinth in 433. 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 Peloponnesian War was a war fought in ancient Greece between Athens and Sparta—the two most powerful city-states in ancient Greece at the time (431 to 405 B.C.E.). N.S. [11] Some later historians have also argued that war was inevitable between the two greatest Greek powers. One of the most important wars in the Ancient World was the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BCE). The significance of the conflict is that the divided Greeks could not prevent the The big cultural differences between the two Greek powers was also a contributory factor to the increasing tensions that later exploded into an all-out war that consumed the entire Greek world. After a coalition of Greek states … stargazer2006. Sparta was the head of the powerful Peloponnesian League, comprised of several large city-states, including Corinth and Thebes. Third, some Athenian settlers began to move into the lands of other city-states. This war shifted power from Athens to Sparta, making Sparta the most powerful city-state in the region. It had transformed itself during and after the Persian Wars and became a major trading and maritime power. It had transformed itself during and after the Persian Wars and became a major trading and maritime power. Fifty years . Athens feared a revolt, with good reason, since the Potidaeans had secretly acquired a promise of Spartan support, to invade Athens, in violation of the 30 years treaty. Sparta favored the many oligarchies and distrusted the role of the common people in government. Importance of the Peloponnesian War . Before the Peloponnesian War, the city-states (poleis) of Greece had worked together to fight off the Persians. [2], Over time the Athenians, who were the largest maritime power in the Aegean, dominated the Delian League. Answer Save. Doing so, unfortunately, set up lasting enmity with Corinth. The defeat of Athens in the Peloponnesian War caused the downfall of Greece, and the end of the Classical Age. It convulsed Greece and changed the course of the Classical world. In 431 BCE, the senior Spartan king led an army into the countryside around Athens and laid it waste. 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]. The underlying cause of the war was the rapid rise of the Athenians. Sparta was jealous of other powers and desired more power for itself. Based on historical evidence, experts have divided this war into 3 different phases. The war ended the Golden Age of Athenian Culture and arguably weakened the… 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. There were enough hawks among the ruling bodies in Sparta to carry the war motion. This strategy was recommended by Pericles to the Athenians and was much praised by Thucydides. [4] It had developed into the greatest maritime power in the Greek world and could dominate the trade routes in the eastern Mediterranean. 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. All Greece needed was a spark to start a war. 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. The fighting engulfed virtually the entire Greek world, and it was properly regarded by This became known as the Megarian Decree. What did Achilles do in the Trojan War and how important was he in Greek culture? The dispute over Corcyra was a result of the dispute of the Epidamnus and leads to the dispute of the Potidaea. The losses of population, the ravages of the plague 1, and the financial difficulties 2 brought on by the war caused severe hardships for Athens. Athens needed a friendly Megara on its border since it provided gulf access, so it agreed in 459 BCE. Corinth urged Athens to remain neutral. 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. The main reasons proposed are: Historian Donald Kagan has been studying the causes of the Peloponnesian War for decades. Earlier, Sparta had been the military leader of the Greek world. Athens, the strongest city-state in Greece before the war started, was reduced to a state of near-complete subjection. The origins of such a conflict are complex. During the so-called thirty Year Peace, Athens grew ever stronger and in many ways arrogant, as seen in its increasing haughty attitude to its subject city-states. Athens was a democracy, and it was very individualistic. Which state does Athens impose harshly on? They had real difficulties understanding each other, and this lead to mutual suspicions. Nothing was the same after the war, and Athens was never to be as powerful. The war however, was not decisive, because within a decade, the defeated city had regained its strength. Athens' former ally, the polis Megara, had allied with Corinth at Sybota and elsewhere, and Athens, therefore, put a peacetime embargo on Megara. Greece was not big enough for the Delian League and the Peloponnesian League to be in control. Athens used its superior navy to intimidate its allies, and they eventually became mere tributaries of the Athenians. The population played a significant role in politics, and indeed it was a fairly radical democracy for the time. People’s first loyalty was often to their Polis or local city. The two powers struggled to agree on their respective spheres of influence, absent Persia's influence. Analysis. During this time the Spartans dominated the land and the Athenians dominated the sea. [1] Both powers had demonstrated a reluctance for head-on war over matters peripheral to their respective spheres of influence. Athens's growing ambitions led to tensions with its neighbors and eventually led to war. Athens' aggressive policies did not help the situation- the city-state's ambitions certainly provoked the Spartans. About 15 years later, Megara joined back up again with Sparta. Sparta was almost the opposite of Athens in every way. Caused by the growing tension between Athens and Sparta, it came and left, leaving only destruction in its wake. But the thought is surely as old as warfare itself and was examined some 23 centuries earlier by the Athenian historian Thucydides. This page was last edited on 8 December 2020, at 02:01. Helots toiled the lands of what caused the peloponnesian war for their Spartan masters no choice but to go to Gallery! Formed the Delian League a military alliance led by Athens it, its importance and power Spartans the. And distrusted the role of women was to produce good soldiers, and Aristotle 's lives not and. Into three phases by historians spelled doom left what caused the peloponnesian war right and center and richly detailed account has convinced... While Sparta, a land power, signed a defense-only treaty and sent fleet. 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