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December 9, 2007 at 11:08 pm #929
The second one, apparently it's called the Great Peloponnesian War.Did the Spartans seek help from the Persians to defeat the Athenians. If so, did they get it? I find this kind of strange, if true, that the Persians would help them.PS: the Greeks have quite a tumultuous history, huh. I did not know this. It seems they never united, or if they did, it was only for a short period of time.December 10, 2007 at 2:44 am #10390
The second one, apparently it's called the Great Peloponnesian War.Did the Spartans seek help from the Persians to defeat the Athenians. If so, did they get it? I find this kind of strange, if true, that the Persians would help them.PS: the Greeks have quite a tumultuous history, huh. I did not know this. It seems they never united, or if they did, it was only for a short period of time.
Sparta and Athens vied for hegemony over the Peloponnese. Athens built her power around her naval presence in the Aegean. She collected tribute from her "allies" to finance her naval war machine and merchant fleet so she could "protect them." Sparta was a land based power who led a confederacy of city-states forcing them to pay tribute to them so they could finance their army to "protect them." Both engaged in the same game and all was fine until one started to tip the balance of power in their favor. Sparta pretty much left Athens alone until Themistocles decided Athens needed a high defensive wall put around it to guard against land based attacks. Sparta didn't take too kindly to this as it would negate her ability to keep Athens in check should she decide to expand her influence via her naval presence beyond the reach of Sparta's land forces. So, Sparta sent envoys to Themistocles demanding him to stop construction of the wall...which he declined, and so Sparta declared war pre-emptively before Athens finished construction and became impervious to their reprisals. The wall around Athens wasn't the only thing that troubled Sparta. Athens made an alliance with Corcyra, a neighbor of Sparta's and one Sparta considered in her sphere of influence. Corcyra opened its ports to Athenian ships which gave Athens a possible flanking position Sparta could ill afford to allow to stand. In the fifth year of the Peloponnesian War, Corcyra fell into Civil War (of course fomented by Spartan operatives and sympathizers), which removed the Athenian foothold there. After many years (27), Sparta gained the upper hand, and instead of finishing Athens off, she concluded the war having been satisfied that the original status quo was restored. The Peloponnesian War is a favorite of political scientists who study deterrence and balance of power theories. To read more about it get a copy of Thucydides. Oh and Socrates allegedly fought in the latter battles of The Peloponnesian War....well so Plato said he did anyway. 🙂December 10, 2007 at 2:48 am #10391
Oh and yes Persia tried to meddle in the war at times throwing out feelers to the Athenians and at other times to the Spartans….but in reality, the Persians wanted them to batter each other to pieces so they could sweep in and take over what remained. Of course it didn't work out that way for them as the Persian threat actually did more to unify the Greeks than anything ever had up until that time. A greater common enemy has a way of doing that I suppose.December 10, 2007 at 1:03 pm #10392
Yes, but didn't Persia destroy Athens navy? I don't see the unity here, at least not at the end of the Greek Empire. Persia took advantage of the “civil war” and severely weakened Greece further (aside from the weakening caused by internal strife), did they not? Eventually that led to Greek's downfall and conquering by Alexander.Or am I way off?December 10, 2007 at 1:27 pm #10393WallyParticipant
Yes, but didn't Persia destroy Athens navy? I don't see the unity here, at least not at the end of the Greek Empire. Persia took advantage of the "civil war" and severely weakened Greece further (aside from the weakening caused by internal strife), did they not? Eventually that led to Greek's downfall and conquering by Alexander.Or am I way off?
Indeed you are. Athens' navy defeated the persians at Salamas and later the army finishes the job at Plataea.Later the Peloponnesian Wars, then Phillip defeats the combined fors of Athens and Thebes. After his death Aleander puts down a budd[ing] Thebian revolt and takes control. The rest is, as they say, history. 😉December 10, 2007 at 4:37 pm #10394
the Battle of AegospotamiMy mistake. It was the Spartans, not the Persians, who defeated the Athenians at Hellespont. Correct?So the Persians never really regained control of Greece (except perhaps for some satrapies)?Back to studying more. (obviously I need to. :o)December 10, 2007 at 5:24 pm #10395
Persia never gains control of Greece except for a short time control of the Hellespont that amounted to nothing. Greece unified under the Persian threat and rolled them back. Then the Macedonians under Phillip unified Greece politically paving the way for Alexander to use Greece's full might against Darius III leading to the eventual collapse of the Persian Empire. The Fall of the Persian Empire begins the Hellenistic Age…the interim period before the Rise of the Roman Empire. Rome and Carthage are duelling around this time deciding who will become the next Mediteranean power.