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The Peloponessian War 431


The Peloponessian War 431 404 B.C. If one looks at the facts themselves, one will see that this was the greatest war of all. Thucydides – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Peloponessian War 431

The Peloponessian War431 404 B.C.
If one looks at the facts themselves, one will
see that this was the greatest war of
The Peloponnesian War 431 404 B.C.
The Archdamian War (431 421 B.C.)
Peace of Nicias Sicilian Expedition 415
The Sicilian War The Ionian/
Decelean War (413 404 B.C.) Oligarchic Coup of
Athens (411 B.C.) Defeat of Athens End of
Delian League (404 B.C.)
(No Transcript)
  • Historical Background
  • Thirty Years Peace
  • Greek World 431 B.C.
  • Spartan Society
  • Athenian Society
  • Clash of Cultures?
  • Pericles
  • Declaration of War
  • Battle of Sybota
  • The Potidaean Affair
  • Cleon
  • Alcibiades
  • The Great Plague
  • Death of Pericles

The Archdamian War (431 421 B.C.)
Peace of Nicias Sicilian Expedition 415
B.C. The Sicilian
War The Ionian/ Decelean War (413 404
B.C.) Oligarchic Coup of Athens (411
B.C.) Defeat of Athens End of Delian League
(404 B.C.)
Historical Background
  • Both Athens and Sparta had grown as empires
    throughout the latter part of the 6th Century
    B.C. and early 5th Century B.C.
  • The First Peloponnesian War had broken out in 460
    B.C. as a result of

Empires Alliances
Athens Delian League
SpartaPeloponnesian League
  • Phlius
  • Orneae
  • Megara
  • Elis
  • Mantinea
  • Thebes
  • Corinth

Thirty Years Peace
  • Signed between Athens Sparta in 445 B.C. which
    brought the First Peloponnesian War to an end.
    Lasted only 13 years.
  • Arbitration was codified as a necessary precursor
    to any conflict between the two.
  • Recognised both empires (alliances) as
  • Allowed neutral city-states regions to join
    either alliance, but none could switch alliances
  • Neither alliance could interfere with others
  • Athens had to give up a few territories,
    including Megarian ports

The Greek World 431 B.C.
Athens Port of Piraeus
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Clash of Cultures or Hellenistic Power Struggle?
  • Leader of the
  • Delian League
  • Democratic
  • Semi-Liberal
  • Cosmopolitan
  • Cultured Artistic
  • Maritime Empire
  • Diverse Trade Links
  • Leader of the Peloponnesian League
  • Oligarchic
  • Ultra-Conservative, Militaristic Society
  • Insular Isolationist
  • Superstitious Patriarchal
  • Land Power
  • Homogenistic

Spartan SocietyAn Oligarchic Complexity
Gerousia Council of 28
Traders manufacturers
like someone sitting in wait for disasters to
strike the SpartansAristotle
They would gladly eat the Spartans rawXenophon
most institutions among the Spartans have always
been established with regard to security against
the HelotsThucydides
  • Mixed constitution containing monarchic,
    oligarchic democratic elements

Spartas Allies The Peloponnesian League
Athenian Society
  • Cosmopolitan, mixed, democratic society
  • Literature, arts and evolution of 'free
    thinking' SocratesSince the ascent of Pericles,
    Athenian democracy had taken on a more ambitious,
    outward-looking zeal

The Delian League
  • Founded in early 5th Century B.C. to resist the
    Persian threat. Other city states joined.
  • Treasury initially located in Delos
  • Members gave money (not ships) to combine their
    efforts in resisting Persian threat
  • Treasury moved to Athens in 454 B.C.
  • Monies were used to strengthen the military
    (naval) power of Athens and also used to aid the
    construction of the Parthenon

Pericles Building Programme
Pericles initiated an ambitious building
programme in 455 B.C.
Future ages will wonder at us, as the present
age wonders at us now.
Just because you do not take an interest in
politics doesn't mean politics won't take an
interest in you
We do not imitate, but are a model to others
Pericles495 429 B.C.
Freedom is the sure possession of those alone
who have the courage to defend it
  • Became leader of Athens in 461 B.C. establishing
    a popular vote in the Athenian Assembly which
    ultimately resulted in the exile of the Athenian
    leader, Cimon.
  • A patron of the arts
  • Hostile to Sparta
  • Led the ambitious building programme of Athens
    resulting in the timeless architectures of the
    Parthenon and the Acropolis
  • Ambitious, democratic and a great orator
  • Founded many of the democratic institutions of
  • Led the mission to recapture Delphi from the
    Spartans in 448 B.C. and the invasion of Samos
  • Age of Pericles 460 429 B.C.

The Ecclesia
The Ecclesia Pynx
  • Here at the 'Pynx', usually about 6,000 Athenians
    would voted directly on Athenian policy, law and
    elect the 'strategoi'
  • Pericles democratic reforms of 452-451 allowed
    for payment of jurors, thereby opening up
    attendance to almost all levels of society.
  • The Ecclesia usually met about forty times a
    year, deciding on public honours, ratifying peace
    agreements or declarations of war, electing
    strategoi, public construction, bestowal of
    honours etc.

Corcyra CorinthEmissaries in Athens
  • A victim to the injustice of others
  • your welcome of us under these circumstances
    will be a proof of goodwill which will ever keep
    alive the gratitude you will lay up in our
  • yourselves excepted, we are the greatest naval
    power in Hellas
  • a power that comes in quest of assistance being
    in a position to give to the people whose
    alliance she solicits as much safety and honour
    as she will receive
  • Corinth is at least in treaty with you with
    Corcyra you were never even in truce.
  • Why, if you make it your policy to receive and
    assist all offenders, you will find that just as
    many of your dependencies will come over to us,
    and the principle that you establish will press
    less heavily on us than on yourselves
  • When you were in want of ships of war for the
    war against the Aeginetans, before the Persian
    invasion, Corinth supplied you with twenty

Corinth v. Corcyra Battle of Sybota 433 B.C.
  • Athens receives emissaries from both Corinth
    Corcyra over dispute
  • Corcyra appeals for Athenian help BUT Corinth
    warns Athens of any involvement in internal
    Corinthian affairs
  • Athens decides to help Corcyra, albeit in a
    defensive posture, sending ten ships to aid her
    defence. Just as the Corinthians were about to
    defeat Corcyra, a further 20 Athenian triremes
    arrived to bolster their defense.
  • When questioned by Corinthians, Athenians
    steadfastly declare their willingness to defend
  • Both Corinth Sparta interpret this as a breach
    of the Thirty Years Peace treaty.

Battle of Sybota 433 B.C.
  • Significance
  • Known as the first grievance between the
    Athenians Spartans
  • Athenian response to Corinthian delegation at the
    Battle of Sybota  "Neither are we beginning
    war, Peloponnesians, nor are we breaking the
    treaty but these Corcyraeans are our allies,
    and we are come to help them. So if you want to
    sail anywhere else, we place no obstacle in your
    way but if you are going to sail against
    Corcyra, or any of her possessions, we shall do
    our best to stop you." 
  • Both sides claimed victory in this battle.

Pericles Funeral Oration
Pericles Funeral Oration
  • In this funeral oration for the Athenian
    soldiers, Pericles makes his famous speech
    concerning the virtues of Athens, its citizens
    and their way of life.
  • Pericles describes Athens as a model to others
    rather than an imitator.
  • Pericles places Athens strength in its citizens,
    their character being a reflection of the society
    they inhabit.
  • Pericles also makes subtle references to Sparta
    and the regressive nature of their military
  • Pericles extols the courage of the dead
    Athenians, imploring others to take their place
    to secure Athens destiny as the greatest, and
    most forward-thinking state in the Hellenic

Thucydides Pericles
  • For as long as he was prominent in the city in
    peace-time he guided with moderation and
    preserved her in safety, and in his time she
    became very great...The fact is that he retained
    the power of his influence by reason of his
    reputation, the quality of his mind, and his
    utter integrity, and so was able to restrain his
    fellow-citizens by his moderation, free though
    they were he was not led by the Many, he led

The City of Epidamnus
Spartan Declaration of War
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The Potidaean Revolt 432 B.C.
  • Colony of Corinth but a tributary ally of

Three Phases of War
  • The Archdamian War 431 421 B.C.
  • The Sicilian War
  • The Ionian/ Declean War

The Archdamian War431 421 B.C.
  • 431 Outbreak of Plague in Athens
  • 429 - Siege at Plataea - Death of Pericles
  • 428 Revolt of Mytilene
  • 427 Debate of Mytilene
  • 426 Battle of Olpae
  • 425 Battle of Pylos Sphacteria
  • 424 Battle of Delium
  • 422 Battle of Amphipolis
  • 421 Peace of Nicias

Siege at Plataea 429 B.C.
"If we begin the war in haste, we'll have many
delays before we end it, owing to our lack of
preparation." - King Archidamus II (Sparta)
Siege at Plataea 429 B.C.
  • Archidamus beseiged the twon of Plataea, which
    only consisted of 800 citizens and 85 Athenians
  • The Plataeans resisted courageously Archidamus
    resorted to starving the city out
  • Eventually, about half of the population escaped,
    but the other half eventually surrendered
  • These were brought before a Spartan court, where
    they were asked simply"Whether, during the
    present war, they had rendered any assistance to
    the Lacedaemonians and their allies?"
  • These 200 citizens 25 Athenians were then
    executed. This is seen as one of the overt causes
    of the Peloponnesian War

Thucydides Account Plataea
  • "the treaty had now been broken by an overt act
    after the affair at Plataea"
  • "Athens and Lacedaemon now resolved to send
    embassies to the King and to such other of the
    barbarian powers as either party could look to
    for assistance."

Periclean Strategy Tactical Land Retreat
Naval War
  • Pericles convinced his people to perform a
    tactical retreat behind the walls of Athens,
    supported and supplied by their powerful fleet
    through the port of Peiraeus
  • Of a total population of 172,000, only 60,000
    citizens lived within the city
  • ..the upheaval was a harsh experience, for most
    of them had always been accustomed to live in the their grave depression they took it
    badly that they were abandoning their homes and
    the shrines that had been theirs traditionally
    from the very earliest days of the community, and
    that they were about to change their style of

The Great Plague
Effects of the Plague Pericles' Strategic Flaw
  • Pericles' strategy had depended on the Athenian
    Navy protecting their supply ships to the Port of
  • This strategy proved to be their undoing as the
    surrounding population of Attica retreated behind
    the walls of Athens, the over-crowding would
    contribute to the disease
  • The supply ships apparently brought the plague
    with them and the whole city of Athens, walled
    in, became a hot-bed of disease
  • As the disease spread, Thucydides writes of the
    physical, social and moral decay that beset the
  • In his account, we see Thucydides depart from his
    usual scientific, dispassioned accounts.

Thucydides Effects of the Plague
  • Physical
  • discharges of bile of every kind named by
    physicians ensued, accompanied by very great
    distress...internally it burned so that the
    patient could not bear to have on him clothing or
    linen even of the very lightest description or
    who plunged into the rain-tanks in their agonies
    of unquenchable thirst..... for it settled in the
    privy parts, the fingers and the toes, and many
    escaped with the loss of these, some too with
    that of their eyes

Thucydides Effects of the Plague
  • Socialthe bodies of dying men lay one upon
    another, and half-dead creatures reeled about the
    streets and gathered round all the fountains in
    their longing for water....sacred places also in
    which they had quartered themselves were full of
    corpses of persons that had died there......for
    as the disaster passed all bounds, men, not
    knowing what was to become of them, became
    utterly careless of everything, whether sacred or
    profane.... they threw their own dead body upon
    the stranger's pyre and ignited it sometimes
    they tossed the corpse which they were carrying
    on the top of another that was burning, and so
    went off....

Thucydides Effects of the Plague
  • Moral
  • Men now coolly ventured on what they had
    formerly done in a corner, and not just as they
    pleased, seeing the rapid transitions produced by
    persons in prosperity suddenly dying and those
    who before had nothing succeeding to their
  • they resolved to spend quickly and enjoy
    themselves, regarding their lives and riches as
    alike things of a day.....
  • it was settled that present enjoyment, and all
    that contributed to it, was both honourable and
  • Fear of gods or law of man there was none to
    restrain them.....
  • As for the first, they judged it to be just the
    same whether they worshipped them or not, as they
    saw all alike perishing and for the last, no one
    expected to live to be brought to trial for his
    offences, but each felt that a far severer
    sentence had been already passed upon them all
    and hung ever over their heads, and before this
    fell it was only reasonable to enjoy life a

Death of Pericles 429 B.C.
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