The Peloponnesian War: the causes of the conflict between Athens and Sparta
The Peloponnesian War - a military conflict that haddestructive consequences, between the Athenian Empire, known as the Delmas Simmahia, and the Peloponnesian Union, headed by Sparta. It has preserved many historical accounts of contemporaries, but the most significant work among them is the "History" of Thucydides. Most of the comedies of Aristophanes, in which some generals and events are mocked, was written during this period.
Athens and Sparta - two powerful city-states -were allies during the Greco-Persian wars (499-449 BC). Following the departure of the Persians, Athens strengthened its influence not only in the Aegean Basin and the Black Sea region, but also sought to dominate throughout Greece.
Historians believe that the Peloponnesian Warflared up because of Sparta's fear of the growing power of Athens, which more and more isolated their competitors. Both states were influential and could ignore the old rules of infantry combat. Supported almost 200,000 helots, working on the farms of Massenia and Laconia, the Spartans exhibited hoplites, who had excellent military training. They were well known for their courage, hand-to-hand combat skills and the invention of an offensive strategy called phalanx formation. This innovative tactic was very successful during the battles at Marathon in 490 BC and under Plataea in 479 BC, after which the wars of Ancient Greece ended with a victory over the Persians.
After the Persian retreat, Athens did not ceaseuse triremes, on the contrary, they have significantly increased their fleet. Raised on the tribute of the vassal city-states located on the islands and shores of the Aegean Sea, the policy became a sort of "good police", controlling its subordinate allies. Over the following decades, he gained great influence in the union (or Delmas Schemmachia, since the main governing body was on the island of Delos).
Other states that participated in the alliance,completely depended on Athens and limited only to cash contributions. Gradually, the general treasury began to be wasted exclusively on Athenian projects, and not to protect the Ionian and Aegean seas from potential invaders in the face of pirates and the same Persians. Pericles generally transferred the treasury from Delos to Athens, the money began to be used to finance the extensive construction undertaken by him, in particular, the Parthenon.
Sparta watched with concern asthe states that were part of the alliance lost control of their ships, and Athens became a naval empire. Increasing their power, they were able to challenge the Lacedaemonians, known as the Spartans, to the leaders of another union, which for a long time remained the only major military force in Greece. Sparta and her allies, with the exception of Corinth, were able to fight on land forces. But it was a truly invincible army. Thus, both powers could not hold decisive battles and end the dispute "in one day."
Peloponnesian Warbegandue to several specific actionsThe parties of Athens, as a result of which the allies of Sparta suffered. The Athenian fleet prevented Corinth from forming a colony in Corfu, and the empire undertook economic sanctions against Megar, which could be disastrous for them.
The Peloponnesian War, which began in 431 beforeAD, lasted a total of 27 years, with a six-year truce somewhere in the middle of this period, and ended with the surrender of Athens in 404 BC. One of the long-term causes of the defeat of the state is the unforeseen outbreak of the plague in 430, in which Pericles and at least a quarter of the citizens died. Almost three decades of constant struggle led the empire to bankruptcy, the forces were exhausted and demoralized.
The Peloponnesian war ended with the end of the existence of the Athenian naval power. Sparta and its allies turned into an all-Greek organization that implanted oligarchic rule everywhere.