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The Greeks Destroy Themselves
The Greeks Destroy Themselves
The Greeks Destroy Themselves
The Greeks Destroy Themselves
The Greeks Destroy Themselves
The Greeks Destroy Themselves
The Greeks Destroy Themselves
The Greeks Destroy Themselves
The Greeks Destroy Themselves
The Greeks Destroy Themselves
The Greeks Destroy Themselves
The Greeks Destroy Themselves
The Greeks Destroy Themselves
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The Greeks Destroy Themselves


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  • 1. How the Greeks Destroyed Themselves
    The Peloponnesian Wars
  • 2. Objectives
    Why/How did the Greeks embark on a self-destructive war?
    Did the Greeks City-States become “Empires”
    How was Pericles considered a “democrat”?
    In the end, was there really a victorious power in the Peloponnesian Wars? While one power lost, the “winning” power also failed to fill the power vacuum.
  • 3. The Delian League vs. the Peloponnesian League
    The Delian League (Athens)
    Cimon’s suppression of Thasos (465 BCE)
    Power struggle at home: Pericles becomes leader of a faction
    Spartan seeks help of Athens for their rebellion
    The Spartans reject Cimon’s help and Ephialtes and others in Athens reconfigure power in the Areopagus
    First Peloponnesian War
    War begins with a dispute between Megara and Corinth over a boarder dispute. Megara withdrew from the
    461 BCE, Cimon exiled, new policy, Athens alliance with Argos,
  • 4. First Peloponnesian War
    Begins over boarder dispute
    Early Athenian advantage/ Egyptian campaign
    Revolt within Delian league, Truce
    War breaks out in Boetia and Megara opening Athens to Spartan invasion in 446 BCE.
    Pericles negotiates 30 year peace
    Divide was now distinct
    Sparta and its alliance on the mainland
    Athens and the Athenian Empire in the Aegean
  • 5. Athens Builds during the truce
    The Athenian Empire
    449 BCE/ Athens moves Delian League Treasury to Athens
    Expanse of Empire
    Change from Alliance to Empire
    Change due to pressure of war and rebellion and unwillingness of the allies to see to their own defense.
    30 year peace is the key to prosperity and security
    Athenian Democracy
    Must view democracy in the domestic sense rather than “empire”
  • 6. Athens Builds during the truce
    Athenian Democracy
    Pericles: under leadership Athens becomes freest government
    Opened the leadership offices: No adult male was barred from Archonship due to property.
    New Circuit court judges
    Democracy was the privilege of citizenship. Citizenship was a valuable commodity.
    Citizenship restricted.
  • 7. Athens Builds during the truce
    Athenian Democracy
    Extent of Democracy
    All decisions of the state were approved by the popular assembly, not representatives
    Judicial decisions subject to appeal to a popular court of not fewer than 51 citizens.
    Main elected officials, generals, imperial treasurers, were nobles. Usually rich, but citizens could choose others
    Public officials were subject to scrutiny before taking office & could be called to account for actions in office and removed
    All citizens at the end of terms of office were held to compulsory examination and accounting.
    No standing army
  • 8. Athens Builds during the truce
    Elected to Generalship for 15 years consecutively, (30 times in all)
    When he lost the confidence of the people they did not hesitate to removed him form office
    After Egyptian defeat he became more conservative
    Sought to retain the Aegean Empire and live at peace with the Spartans
    The “30 years” peace/2nd Peloponnesian War
    Peace lasts 445-435 BCE.
    Spartan Strategy: land strategy
    Athenian Strategy: Large income, Superior Navy
  • 9. Athens Builds during the truce
    The 2nd Peloponnesian War
    Athenian Strategy: devastation of land, withhold siege
    Pericles exists the stage 429 BCE
    Peace of Nicias: 50 year peace
    Alcibiades: persuaded Athenians to attack Sicily 415-413BCE
    Power of Athens destroyed? 411 BCE survived an oligarchic coup, fleet caught napping and destroyed at Aegospotami in 405 BCE.
    Spartans under Lysander cut off their food supply & starved the city into submission, 404 BCE Athens surrenders unconditionally.
    The Great Peloponnesian War was over
  • 10. Lessons of the Peloponnesian Wars
    Utter defeat of Athens
    Power Vacuum in Greek world
    Sparta makes mockery of Greek freedom
    Spartan Hubris
    Sparta sets up government in Athens
    Athens will regain some freedom under Pausanias, other than Foreign Policy
  • 11. The Greeks of Asia Minor
    405-404 BCE: Greek mercenaries & intervene in Persia on behalf of Cyrus the younger. (Persians were in the middle of a power struggle)
    Afraid of revenge, they sent to Sparta for help
    The Persians respond by seeking help from the cities disaffected with Spartan domination.
    Corinthian War (395-387) Argos, Corinth, Thebes, Athens
    Athens rebuilt their wall by 394 BCE
    This sudden reemergence alarmed Persians
    Spartans turned to their old ways. They disbanded all alliances, except Peloponnesian League, and put friends in power
    In 382 BCE, they seized Thebes without warning, and in a time of peace.
  • 12. The Greeks at War with themselves Still
    Thebes joined forces with those who had rebelled against Sparta, 371 BCE defeated Sparta
    Thebians encouraged the Arcadian cities of the Peloponnesus to form a federal league and freed the Helots (helping them found their own city)
    Sparta was no longer able to keep and maintain an army of more than 2000, surrounded by hostile enemies, deprived of farmland and slaves, Sparta ceases to be a first rate power
  • 13. The Second Athenian Empire
    Athens in 378 BCE attempt to rebuilt former Delian League
    Made promises that they would not be as they were before, only to break them when rebellion among allies breaks out.
    Athens did not have the power to suppress resistance as it had before.
    By 355 BCE Athens had to abandon most of their empire,
    After 2 centuries of almost continual warfare the Greeks return to the chaotic, disorganized city-states that hey were before the founding of the Peloponnesian League