The Delian League The purpose of the Delian League was to putmoney into a shared treasury, to have on hand incase of war. It took money to make weapons and ships and totrain men. The Greeks wanted to be ready to fund awar instantly.
Saving the Money Athens guarded the treasury. Corinth probably would have been abetter choice for many reasons. First, Corinth was famous for beinggood with money. They had a bank. They were not constantly at warwith Sparta, as was Athens. Athens and Sparta simply could not getalong. But Athens did not discuss who would guard the treasury. Theysimply started collecting monies from the other city-states, as well asfrom themselves. Corinth was not happy about this, but they didnothing to stop it. And Sparta could care less who held the money -they just wanted it protected.
Athenians GrowStronger Pericles was a young and talentedAthenian. He was a leader. Heencouraged his people to build a wall todefend the city of Athens from attackshould one come. At the same time, hetraveled to Sparta, and convinced theSpartans to grant a peace of 30 years, togive everyone in the Greek world a chanceto recover from the Persian Wars. Thatsuccess made him famous in the ancientGreek world. Pericles was a persuasivespeaker! It was a time of great prosperity for thepeople of Athens. They were loaded withwealth. They were at peace.Art, poetry, philosophy - everythingflourished. They built wonderful buildingson the Acropolis, the rocky hill overlooking
Athenians GrowStronger At first, Sparta was fine withAthens guarding the treasury.Athens only kept 1/60th of themoney pouring in from thevarious city-states to pay forguards. They reportedpromptly to all the city-stateson what money had been paidand by whom. But in a short amount oftime, the treasury grew solarge that even 1/60th of itwas a lot of money! Athensgrew rich guarding thetreasury of the Delian league.
Picking a Fight One day, Athens and Sparta quarreled aboutsomething. Fuss fuss fuss - thats was Athens andSparta. It was an insignificant quarrel. It was notover the treasury. It was not over anything really.But this quarrel started a war between Athens andSparta that lasted over 25 years - thePeloponnesian War.
Ask Yourself Recall: Who was Pericles? What was the purpose of the Delian League? Analyze: How did Athens grow so strong? Spartans did not acre who saved the money. What does this tell youabout them? Evaluate: Do you thinks Spartans and Athenians hated each other so muchthat they used a small excuse to go to war? Draw Conclusions: Why was Corinth an ideal candidate to take care of the money?
Bibliography Peloponnesian War for Kids:http://greece.mrdonn.org/peloponnesianwar.html Images taken from Google.