To the general and historian, Thucydides, the Peloponnesian War was the greatest war because it lasted for such a long time and during this time it caused much suffering for the Greeks. Civil wars are the most devastating. This was the cause that was least spoken of. When a shared power develops an imbalance, war is often the result.
A brief treatment of the Peloponnesian War follows.
For full treatment, see Ancient Greek civilization: The Athenian alliance was, in fact, an empire that included most of the island and coastal states around the northern and eastern shores of the Aegean Sea.
Sparta was leader of an alliance of independent states that included most of the major land powers of the Peloponnese and central Greeceas well as the sea power Corinth. Thus, the Athenians had the stronger navy and the Spartans the stronger army. Further, the Athenians were better prepared financially than their enemies, owing to the large war chest they had amassed from the regular tribute they received from their empire.
In the following years their respective blocs observed an uneasy peace. The events that led to renewed hostilities began inwhen Athens allied itself with Corcyra modern Corfua strategically important colony of Corinth.
Sparta and its allies accused Athens of aggression and threatened war. On the advice of Periclesits most influential leader, Athens refused to back down. Diplomatic efforts to resolve the dispute failed. Finally, in the spring ofa Spartan ally, Thebesattacked an Athenian ally, Plataeaand open war began.
The years of fighting that followed can be divided into two periods, separated by a truce of six years. The first period lasted 10 years and began with the Spartans, under Archidamus IIleading an army into Atticathe region around Athens.
Within a few months, however, Pericles fell victim to a terrible plague that raged through the crowded city, killing a large part of its army as well as many civilians.
Thucydides survived an attack of the plague and left a vivid account of its impact on Athenian morale. In the meantime —the Spartans attacked Athenian bases in western Greece but were repulsed.
The Spartans also suffered reverses at sea. In they tried to aid the island state of Lesbosa tributary of Athens that was planning to revolt. But the revolt was headed off by the Athenians, who won control of the chief city, Mytilene.
Urged on by the demagogue Cleonthe Athenians voted to massacre the men of Mytilene and enslave everyone else, but they relented the next day and killed only the leaders of the revolt.
Spartan initiatives during the plague years were all unsuccessful except for the capture of the strategic city Plataea in In the next few years the Athenians took the offensive.
They attacked the Sicilian city Syracuse and campaigned in western Greece and the Peloponnese itself. In the picture was bleak for Sparta, which began to sue for peace. But led by Brasidashero of the Battle of Delium, a Spartan force gained important successes in Chalcidice inencouraging Athenian subject states to revolt.The Peloponnesian War provides an excellent example to be evaluated.
The following gives a brief history of the war, causes of the war, and the importance of its study. In the case of the Peloponnesian War, we have two equal but different powers in control of Greece and the surrounding area.
Perhaps in self-exoneration, Bethmann came to regard the war as inevitable. The British Foreign Minister, Sir Edward Grey agreed. In April , he.
2 In fact, even in the paradigm case of the Peloponnesian War, there was more room for human agency than some of today’s commentators realize. Citing Thucydides can become a trap.
The Causes of the Peloponnesian War. World; Europe & U.K.
History; Life; The Causes of the Peloponnesian War Pericles was the first to provide payment for jury duty and was as good of a test case of democracy as anything else.
This writer postulates that some type of war was inevitable because Athenian power was increasing in the eyes. It is either the case that the question of inevitability intrinsically has an infinity of potentially correct answers that cannot be meaningfully evaluated against each other, or that the Second Peloponnesian War became inevitable once it was declared and the fighting had begun.
Dec 12, · The Inevitability of the Peloponnesian War The Peloponnesian War – fought between BCE and BCE – was one of the most influential . The immediate cause of the Peloponnesian War was Corinthian opportunism. 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".
 Both powers had demonstrated a reluctance for head-on war over matters peripheral to their respective spheres of influence.