Peloponnesian War

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    Greece, Athens and Sparta were bitter rivals. Athens’ power relied mainly on its navy while Sparta relied mainly on land power. The warriors of Sparta were the most powerful land army of the time. This rivalry both on land and at sea led to the Peloponnesian Wars in 431 BC. Brutal warfare ensued for twenty-seven years, eventually leading to the downfall of Athens. There are many theories as to the reason for Athens demise. One such theory would be the mysterious plague that ravaged the land…

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    While Ancient Greek tragedies are purely fictional, their themes parallel prevalent issues in society at the time. Historians often attribute the Second Peloponnesian War to the arrogance of Athens--to the Athenian belief that they were invulnerable. In early fifth-century B.C., otherwise known as the Golden Age, Athens was the leading city-state in politics, economics, and culture. Several philosophers predicted an inevitable downfall of Athens, and by the turn of the century, the city had…

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    The Peloponnesian War

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    The Warfare of the Greek Dark Ages and Classical Era The act of war is one that is very complex in nature, due to its attachment to mortal human desires and politics. The reasons for which humanity, specifically the Greeks, engaged in warfare evolved throughout time. As the Greeks transitioned from the Dark Ages to the Classical Era distinct differences can be found in their method of going to war, and fighting during it. The transition of command moving from the hands of private individuals…

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    that the speeches are not exact, but are meant to symbolize the key thoughts of what was said. Pericles was perhaps one of the most important and powerful Greek statesman, speaker and general during the Peloponnesian war. Pericles' funeral oration comes from Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War, published in 431 BC. In the beginning of Pericles’s speech, he starts by praising the custom of the funeral for the dead, by honoring the ancestors and the achievement of the empire.…

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    The Sicilian Expedition was the Athenian attempt to conquer Sicily during the Peloponnesian War between the dates of 415-413. Since the war was not going so well, the Athenians decided that they would try a dramatic and aggressive move. The Spartans got food and supplies from Sicily, so the Athenians thought that if they could capture Sicily, they could make the Spartans stop fighting by cutting off their supplies. But this ended not in the favor of the Athenians. The Spartans defeated the…

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    Intended as a literary masterpiece about the history of the greatest war ever faced by the Hellenic race, Thucydides’ history on the Peloponnesian War has been noted for its objectivity and theoretical approach since antiquity. Indeed, its impact on Western civilization was anticipated by the author himself, who strove to write an accurate account of the war, free from romance. However, Thucydides’ work is not without its limitations, and historians today are aware of inconsistencies and…

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    A Path To War: A Critique of “‘Chiefly for Fear, Next for Honour, and Lastly For Profit’: An Analysis of Foreign Policy Motivation in the Peloponnesian War” What caused Athens to clash with Sparta? Democracy, Imperialism, Greed, Patriotism… several of these acted as variables on the road to the Peloponnesian War, but fear was a guiding lantern. Chittick and Freyberg-Inan start by laying out different types of reactions people have to threats in the international environment and pointing out the…

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    Peloponnesian War Summary

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    The History of Peloponnesian War was written by Thucydides who is reportedly born around 460 BCE and suspected to have died somewhere between 411 and 400 BCE. Thucydides is a known was an Athenian and a General in the Athenian military when the Peloponnesian War began in 431 BCE. Thucydides led men into battle during the Peloponnesian War and in 430 BCE would contract the same plague that would ravaged the Athens during the war. Eventually, Thucydides would recover and was exiled by the Athen…

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    History as a Tragedy When first reading the History of the Peloponnesian War most would assume it to be a historical narrative in its entirety. Yet when read carefully, History does have an episode framed in a way other than a historical narrative. For the Sicilian expedition in particular, the structure of the episode was written alike to that of Oedipus the King, a known tragedy. One might say that the details of both History and Oedipus the King differ so much so that they cannot be compared…

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    The Peloponnesian War was a 30-yearlong battle between the Grecian cities of Athens and Sparta. Thucydides, an exiled general of the Peloponnesian War, wrote “The History of the Peloponnesian War”. In his writings, he describes three specific events that contributed to the downfall of democracy in Athens. Throughout the war, Athenian democracy shifts from an ideal that works for the people and the progression of society, to a military approach dedicated to maintaining their war by any means…

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