Peloponnesian War


The Peloponnesian War was an armed conflict that arose between 431 BC and 404 BC in which two great empires of the Greek world clashed: Sparta and Greece. The actions took place mostly in the Peloponnese peninsula, located in southern Greece. It is said that the main reason for this war was the power struggle between the supremacy of Athens and the former hegemony of Sparta.

Diverse commanders maintained important participations during this war: Archidamus, Pericles and Nicias were some of them. However, the figure that stood out the most was Alcibiades Clineas, an outstanding Athenian general, who during the war acted on both sides.

Although Athens and Sparta were nations that maintained an alliance, certain situations created conflicts and rivalries. Over time, the discordant political systems present in both kingdoms became evident. That is to say, Athens was formed in a democracy, with an unusual principle of government for that time. While Sparta was characterized by a Hierarchical and super militarized kingdom. Although despite their differences these nations managed to sign a peace agreement set for 30 years.

Despite this, the hostility between Sparta and Athens was on the rise every day and was already unsustainable, after a few years of rebellions and commercial blockades, this tension managed to explode in the year 431 BC, leaving only 15 years of the previous peace treaty.

The Peloponnesian War unfolded in several stages, the first of which was the so-called Archidamic War, this conflict adopted that name in honor of the king of Sparta: Archidamus II. This was a very balanced confrontation, where although it is true that Sparta was able to keep a land place around the walls of Athens, it never broke communication with its port of “Piraeus” through the passage known as “the long walls” . This is how then Athens continued to exercise its maritime power in the Aegean and also did not lose communication with other nations.

Later another stage of the war called “War of Decelia” begins, due to a city that was close to Athens and that bore that same name. This city was taken by the Spartans in order to hinder all trade by land that the Athenians had.

Although Athens managed to recover for a time. In the end he couldn’t hold out and ended up suffering a resounding defeat. The Spartans for their part and despite the war, chose not to destroy the city of Athens, even though it was one of the wishes of their allies Corinth and Thebes.

The Peloponnesian War ended up being a serious and important defeat for Athens that ended up weakening the Greeks. So much so that many consider this event as the end of the Greek brilliance.