Peloponnesian War Essay

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Thucydides described the 21-year long history of the Peloponnesian War (431-411BC), between the alliances of Sparta and Athens, the two powerful city states of ancient Greece (war formally ended in 404 BC). This war was the result of the Athenian rise to power because ‘the rise of new power always creates uncertainty and anxieties.' Athens and her alliance dramatically increased their power after the thirty years’ peace treaty. Both alliances “refused to give up their position under the pressure of three of the strongest motives, fear, honor, and interest.” The immediate cause of war between these two powerful city states and their larger alliances was the revolt in Epidamnus and conflict between Corcyra and Corinthians to support Epidamnus. …show more content…
Most of the Athenian alliance were connected with the sea, but "almost all communication between the Hellens within and without the Peloponnesian was carried on overland." These structural elements force them to develop their army respectively. Athenian was mighty sea power whereas Peloponnesian was the dominant land power. A physical force like earthquakes, significant droughts, famines, and plagues are also influencing elements in the Peloponnesian war.
Treaties with alliances and other single state are the primary source of power for both Athens and Sparta. The Spartans established an agreement with the major city states of Peloponnesian Island commonly called ‘Peloponnesian League.’ Corcyraeans policy of avoiding association for a long time ‘left them dangerously isolated.' Athenian and Corcyraeans started to build their alliance with towns and islands around the northern and eastern shore of the Aegean Sea; this new partnership was called ‘Delian League.' Alliances were frequently forming, shifting, and breaking up rapidly. These associations were regularly involved in confrontations, proxy wars, and the suppression of
…show more content…
They constructed ‘four-mile long Phaleric Wall and a wall around the city,’ and ordered the citizens to ‘carry their property from the country, not to go out to battle, and come to the city and guard it.' They fought wars of exhaustion on along the coastline by utilizing superior sea power, and ‘sent out cavalry to prevent raids on the lands near the city from an enemy.'
Athenian maintained the powerful fleet, to deny SLOC o andr to defeat an opponent at sea. They constructed and equipped own fleet, and reinforced their sea power with ‘Corcyraeans and other allies’ fleets. They frequently launched attacks/raids on various parts of Peloponnesian coasts. The deserted island was fortified to allow Athens to project naval power.
To strengthen the Athenian alliance, they tried to break up the Peloponnesian alliance while keeping a tight rein on their coalition. The partnership was essential for providing hoplites, fleets, and good ‘sources of income for both the public and private sectors’ benefit. During the period of war, several states allied with the Athenians, of which, Sitalces king of the Thracians and Perdiccas, king of the Macedonians' were the most important. Alliances were quite dynamic at that time. Still, Athenians were able to maintain her alliances and always gave priority to

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