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Wars of Ancient Greece

War is a devastating human activity, one that decimates populations, destroys property, and alters political and social structures for both victor and vanquished. The history of mankind has been a history of warfare to a great extent, and few civilizations have been able to avoid war for long. At certain points in history war has been aggrandized as a glorious effort to promote a social or political agenda, while at other times society has frowned on war and has resorted to it only when all else fails. The world of ancient Greece produced some of the most important philosophical concepts in human history, ideas that have continued to prevail to this day. Yet, the Greeks as well were subject to war both with outside forces and among themselves. An example of the latter was the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta, an event that had major consequences for the development of the ancient world.

The Peloponnesian War (431404 BC) was a struggle between Athens and Sparta and their respective allies. The war resulted in Athens being defeated and stripped of its empire and in Sparta becoming the acknowledged leader of the Greek world. The war was chronicled by the ancient historian Thucydides, who stated in his great history of the war that the underlying cause was Spartan fear of Athens's expansive power. However, the war was actually triggered by hostility between Athens and Corinth, Sparta's major ally. Athens concluded an alliance with the Corinthian colony Corcyra (the modern Corfu) in 433 even though that city was at war with Corinth. Furthermore, the next year Athens demanded that Potidea, a Corinthian colony north of modern Fourka, tear down its sea defenses and expel its Corinthian magistrates. These actions, along with an Athenian-imposed embargo on commerce from Megara, led Sparta to declare war on Athens when negotiations failed. Because the Spartans had the superior army, the Athenian leader Pericles employed...

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Wars of Ancient Greece. (1969, December 31). In LotsofEssays.com. Retrieved 11:51, May 22, 2019, from https://www.lotsofessays.com/viewpaper/1692238.html