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The Peloponnesian War - Essay Example

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They were popularly known as city-states. Among these city-states Athens and Sparta were the most prominent ones. If Athens could have been called the cultural soul…
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The Peloponnesian War
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The Peloponnesian War

Eventually these two city-states became two power centers of Greece and indulged into a battle of supremacy against each other. This war between Athens and Sparta was known as the Peloponnesian war. The importance of the present study lies in the fact that as one of the ancient modern civilizations; studying the history of Greece has always been a privilege. Furthermore the Peloponnesian war was one of the very first kinds of civil war that led to massive alterations in nature of politics in Greece. The Peloponnesian war eventually led to the alteration of leadership of Greece, replacing Athens with Sparta as the most powerful Greek city-state.
The background of the Peloponnesian war was a culmination of events that hovered around jealousy, insecurity and hunger for power. During the Greco-Persian war Athens and Sparta fought side by side. In the initial stages of the war role of Sparta was much more prominent (480 BC to 479 BC) than that of Athens and Sparta became the leader of the Hellenic League. (Fine, 332) Sparta was mainly a land-based power depending on its infantry for military success. (Thucydides, Hammond and Rhodes; IX) It was never that powerful in terms of naval power. While powerful Spartan infantry was more than sufficient to lead the Hellenic League against Persians on land and to drive them away from Greek soil, it was impossible for them to maintain the success in Persian territories of Asia and Aegean. A naval leadership soon became inevitable for such campaign against Persia in Asia and Aegean and in such circumstances Athens that was primarily a naval power came in the forefront (478 BC). This event marked the initiation of rise of Athens as the prime Greek city-state ahead of Sparta. Again according to some scholars the Hellenic League at this point was subdivided in two parts. The Naval wing of Hellenic League became Delian League and it was headed by Athens. The land wing of Hellenic League went under Sparta and became known ... Read More
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