One of the historical landmarks of the ancient period of history is the Ancient Greek Peloponnesian War. Greece was not one unified kingdom. Rather, it consisted of a number of city-states having different ideas and culture, though the language and the religion were common. These city-states began to form alliances among themselves.
Ancient Greek Peloponnesian War
By 430 BC, two distinct groups emerged led by Athens and Sparta respectively. The two city-states were completely different in characteristics. Athens was an Ionian state with the democratic system. The culture was highly intellectual and the state was a great naval power. Sparta, on the other hand, was a Dorian state.
It was somewhat narrow-minded and functioned on oligarchic principles. Emphasis was placed on harsh military training. This conflict lasted from 431 BC to 404 BC and was called ancient Greek Peloponnesian war after the Peloponnesian peninsula occupied by Sparta.
The course of the ancient Greek Peloponnesian war and main events:
? Athens had begun to dominate the navy and the trade. This caused insecurities among the other Greek city-states and was the basic cause of the ancient Greece Peloponnese war.
? The first phase is called Archidamian war. Sparta repeatedly raided the outlying fields of Athens. It began with the naval battle of Stratus. Athens initially triumphed but soon was overcome by the power of Sparta.
? It was when the Athenian fortune had just begun to be reversed that the state was hit by a devastating plague. Poverty and fall in productivity followed.
? By the next few years, Athens began to recover. Around 425 BC, the two nations again clashed on naval and land warfare. Sparta was gradually pushed into a corner. Finally, the peace of Nicias was made in 421 BC.
? The alliances reformed. In 418 BC, Sparta soundly defeated the allies in the battle of Mantinea. This further sparked off hostilities.
? 415 BC saw the final phase of the ancient Greece Peloponnesian war called the Decelean or the Ionian War. Athens organized a huge expedition to Sicily, but it failed.
? Economic crisis became acute in Athens. Sparta took advantage of this. Lead by their naval commander Lysander, Sparta finally managed to defeat Athens completely.
? The ancient Greece Peloponnesian war finally ended with the victory of Sparta. The walls of Athens were destroyed and it was taken within the Spartan system of the alliance.
The impact of Peloponnesian war of ancient Greece:
The long-lasting Peloponnesian war in ancient Greece affected every aspect of Greece. Some of the impacts are as follows:
? The economy of Greece suffered heavily due to constant war. Lack of security also leads to a decline in trade.
? Factions sprang up in the different Greek city-states. Internal conflicts became common and people suffered.
? Athenian democracy was overthrown and replaced by the oligarchic system like Sparta. However, democracy was restored by 403 BC.
? It was not till Philip II of Macedonia conquered all of Greece that the conflicts ceased completely.
The ancient Greece Peloponnesian war devastated the Greeks and completely changed the economic and political scenario of the land.