The Great Peloponnesian War

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While the war may have been over, relations between Athens and Sparta continued to go sour. Athens continued to grow in power, and was beginning to pose a threat to Sparta and the Peloponnesian League. A series of conflicts occurred during the “Thirty Year’s Peace” that pushed Sparta and Athens to war again. For example, Athens intervened in a dispute between a colony and a city-state during the Corinth-Corcyra War. Corcyra (the city-state) was backed by Athens, while Epidamnos (the colony) was backed by Corinth. This persisted for a few years until the Corinthians abandoned their campaign, but this would not be the last time that Athens would clash with Corinth. Not long after, a Corinthian colony called Potidaea revolted from its rulers. Athens took an interest in intervening, but the Spartans quickly sided with Potidaea. Sparta threatened to invade Attica (the area in which Athens is located) if Athens decided to attack Potidaea. Athens would not be threatened by this, and war would begin to become inevitable.
Ignoring the fact that Potidaea was officially being protected by Sparta, Athens proceeded to lay siege to Potidaea. This move was mainly motivated by the need of resources such as timber, and various other minerals. The assembly of Athens further escalated the situation by placing an economic embargo on the city of Megara, which was a former ally of Athens that turned to Sparta. Sparta held an assembly with both Athens and Megara in order to determine what to do about the situation. The citizens of Sparta wanted war with Athens, but the King Archidamos did not want to recklessly jump into a war with another empire. However, war was the vote according to the Spartan assembly. Sparta then took the issue up with the Pel...

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... up a new chapter for the Greek people. As it allowed Phillip II from Macedonia to invade and unite Greece with ease.
The Peloponnesian War could easily be considered one of the most life changing and significant wars that occurred in classical Greece. It was fought between two empires which originally stood together against a common enemy, the Persians. However, once this common enemy was defeated, Sparta and Athens began to become great rivals vying for control of Greece. This resulted in the First and Second Peloponnesian Wars, which saw the rise and fall of the Athenian Empire. Sparta eventually rose to be the victor with the assistance of their former enemy Persia, but the era city-states would not live on for very much longer. The Peloponnesian Wars should be studied, because it details the rise and fall of one of the greatest city-states in Greek history.
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