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to destroy the Spartans control over the Peloponnesian league ..
Throughout the 470s BC, the Delian League campaigned in Thrace and the to remove the remaining Persian garrisons from the region, primarily under the command of the Athenian politician . In the early part of the next decade, Cimon began campaigning in , seeking to strengthen the Greek position there. At the in , the Athenians and allied fleet achieved a stunning double victory, destroying a Persian fleet and then landing the ships' marines to attack and rout the Persian army. After this battle, the Persians took an essentially passive role in the conflict, anxious not to risk battle where possible.
During the first phase of the Peloponnesian War, known as the Archidamian War (431-421 BC), the Spartans and their allies invaded Attica several times and ravaged the countryside. Also, in the third and final stage of the conflict, the Decelean War (413-404), the Spartans occupied and fortified the area of Decelea in northern Attica which served as a basis for continuous plundering until the defeat of Athens.
Information on Ancient Greek Wars, Peloponnesian, Persian Wars.
The use of Delian League funds to build temples and other buildings in Athens created mistrust of Athens within the League and within the Greek world as a whole.
The main reason for the launch of the war was the Spartan fear of Athens's growing power and prosperity. Athens rule over most of the Mediterranean region along with Greece/Hellas, 50 years preceding the war, instigated the war.
According to Thucydides, that after Athens became the leader of the Delian League, they became the supreme power known as the Athenian Empire. They nearly drove out the Persians from their regions of Aegean and occupied supremacy over a large number of territories. Athens naval power was also growing day-by-day endangering the bordering states.
During the Persian war in 480 BC, Athens power had grown by leaps and bounds and with the help of its allies continued its attacks on the Persian territories of Ionia and Aegean. Athens also constructed walls around its empire to save them from Spartan land attack, when the Persians fled Greece. This enraged the Spartans, who took no action at that time.
In 459 BC Athens took advantage between the Megara and Corinth war siding with Megara. This helped them gain a foothold on the Isthmus of Corinth. This resulted in a war, known as the 'The First Peloponnesian War' fought between Athens and Sparta, Corinth, Aegean and other states. At the end of the war, however, Athens backed out from Greek mainland, due to an enormous attack by the Spartans. A thirty years treaty was signed between Athens and Sparta in 446 BC.
Congress of the Peloponnesian League at Lacedaemon
According to Thucydides, the Athenians suffered a lot from the attacks of the enemy garrisons based in Decelea. The Peloponnesian activity created so much loss of property and man power that it was a major reason for the decline of Athens. Now the Athenians found themselves under continuous and great pressure; they lost all their farm animals, they were unable to cultivate their fields and were obliged to import everything they needed by sea. Additionally, more than 20,000 slaves deserted. The Athenian cavalry conducted patrols and made attacks on the enemy every day, while the citizens had to be on alert all the time; the city became a fort. Consequently, the war expenses grew so much that Athens imposed a new tax on its subjects.(30)
There is no doubt that the damage generally done during the Decelean War was far greater than ever before; the Peloponnesian ravaging and plundering parties operated at all seasons in Attica for almost 9 years. Concerning the extent of the agricultural devastation it is argued that, although it was considerable, it has been once again exaggerated.(34) For example, Hanson suggests that olive trees and vines were not extensively destroyed.(35) Furthermore, the Athenian cavalry and infantry patrols together with the garrisons of the frontier forts prevented up to a point a large scale devastation, once again helped by the nature of the Attic terrain. Besides, the number of the enemy troops stationed in Decelea was most of the time rather small and inadequate to ravage Attica thoroughly.(36)
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THE PELOPONNESIAN WARS - World history
This brings us to the second part of the essay. In 413, at the beginning of spring, the Peloponnesians, under king Agis, invaded Attica and fortified Decelea.(28) This was a place about 14 miles north-east of Athens on high stony ground and strategically important since it dominated the route into Boetia.(29)
Sparta led the Peloponnesian League to oppose the Delian League ..
Towards the end of the 460s BC, the Athenians took the ambitious decision to support a revolt in the of the Persian empire. Although the Greek task force achieved initial success, they were unable to capture the Persian garrison in , despite a 3 year long siege. The Persians then counterattacked, and the Athenian force was itself besieged for 18 months, before being wiped out. This disaster, coupled with ongoing warfare in Greece, dissuaded the Athenians from resuming conflict with Persia. In 451 BC, a truce was agreed in Greece, and Cimon was able to lead an expedition to . However, whilst besieging Cimon died, and the Athenian force decided to withdraw, winning another double victory at the Battle of Salamis-in-Cyprus in order to extricate themselves. This campaign marked the end of hostilities between the Delian League and Persia, and some ancient historians claim that a peace treaty, the , was agreed to cement the final end of the Greco-Persian Wars.
of their own and it was a Peloponnesian League ..
Analysing the Spartan strategy of the Archidamian War is not the purpose of this essay but a few words, concerning the objectives of the Peloponnesian expeditions, should be mentioned. It is certain that there were Greeks who believed that the Spartan depredations in Attica would, sooner or later , force the Athenians to submit as it had happened earlier in the First Peloponnesian War. Still, it must have been realised, by some Spartans at least, that perhaps this strategy might not work this time because the enemy might choose to abandon his lands since the powerful Athenian fleet could supply the city with the necessary provisions.(10) Whether or not the annual invasions had really been the key factor of the Spartan strategy during the Archidamian War is debatable. Most probably, the invasions and depredations, initially at least, had aimed at the submission of Athens in accordance with the traditional pattern of hoplite warfare; that is, causing food shortages and discomfort to the enemy, thus forcing him to accept the challenge and offer a battle. It is also possible that the invasions had not been the sole aspect of the Spartan grand strategy but a part of it, not necessarily the predominant one, or perhaps they had been launched simply because there were no other promising and realistic alternatives at that time.(11) At any rate, the fact remains that the Peloponnesians ravaged Attica five times in seven years, naturally hoping to gain something from that. Whatever the Spartan goals might had been, let's see now what it had been really accomplished.
as leaders of the Peloponnesian League, ..
The alliance, centered on Sparta and Athens, that had defeated the second Persian invasion had initially followed up this success by capturing the Persian garrisons of and , both in , in 479 and 478 BC respectively. After the capture of Byzantium, the Spartans elected not to continue the war effort, and a new alliance, commonly known as the Delian League, was formed, with Athens very much the dominant power. Over the next 30 years, Athens would gradually assume a more hegemonic position over the league, which gradually evolved into the .
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