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Epidamnos and Kerkyra
• 435: The democrats of Epidamnos appeal to
mother city Kerkyra for help.
• Kerkyra blockades Epidamnos
• The oligarchic party of Epidamnos appeals
to Corinth
• Now the conflict is between Kerkyra and
mother city Corinth (an uneasy relationship)
Kerkyra town
Kerkyra Landscape
Athens and Corinth
• The Corinthians are defeated outside
Ambrakia, but they come back
• The Kerkyrians alarmed appeal to Athens
• Perikles knows that an alliance with
Korkyra will result to a direct conflict with
Corinth, and persuades the Assembly to
conclude a defensive alliance
• 433: Corinthian defeat at Sybota
Kerkyra Paleokastritsa
Kerkyra facing the mainland
Potidaia and Megara
• Potidaia revolts from Athens and appeals to
Corinth and Sparta
• Sparta secretly pledges to go to war
• 432: Megarian Decree: The Megarians are
excluded from the harbours of the Athenian
• A congress at Sparta leads to decision for
Corinth Lechaion
Resources and plans
• Athens: 300 triremes
• Sparta: 50,000 hoplites
• Pericles decides to ware down the Spartans
by avoiding conflict by land, and carrying
out offensive warfare by sea.
• Negotiations prove futile; an uneasy peace
precedes the forthcoming storm.
The beginning of hostilities
431: Thebes attacks Plataia unsuccessfully
Archidamos, king of Sparta invades Attica
The Athenians do not come out to fight
Aigina is annexed to Athens
• 430: A second invasion by Archidamos
The troubles of Athens
430: Plague in Athens
Discontent against Pericles
429: Pericles is dead
429-427: Siege and destruction of Plataia
427: Mytilene revolts
The damage upon Athens comes from
within, if not from the Spartans
Kleon: firm leadership
• Among the successors of Pericles, Kleon
was the most capable man (reviled by
Thucydides and Aristophanes).
• Demosthenes succeeds in establishing
Athenian control over the western seas
• 426: Purification of Delos and the rise of
pious and virtuous Nikias (an ill-omened
The sacred island of Delos
Athenian successes and failures
• 424:Demosthenes and Kleon score a
stunning victory at Pylos, capturing 400
Spartans alive.
• Departure from the Periclean policy ends in
a defeat of the Athenian army at Delion
• 422: The Athenians lose Amphipolis. Kleon
and Brasidas are killed in action.
• 421: Peace of Nikias. No clear winner.
Pylos and Sphakteria
Peace between wars
• The Peace of Nikias did not seem very
steady: the causes of the war were still
present, if not further aggravated, and both
sides maintained their strength. Predictably
more conflict was going to come.
• 416: The Athenians offended further Greek
sentiments by subduing the island of Melos,
which had Dorian inhabitants.
The planning of the Sicilian
• An expedition to far away seas with a view
to a vast expansion of Athenian influence
seemed like a brilliant plan to some and a
foolish undertaking to others.
• Alcibiades was the primary force behind it.
He was dreaming of wealth and power for
Athens and himself.
• Nikias was against it; he thought that
another war may be near.
The Great Athenian Dream
• By incorporating Sicily into her Empire
Athens would acquire access to Italy and
the western Mediterranean. The idea of a
large sea Empire was tangible. Then Sparta
would be irrelevant.
• The big, strong city of Syracuse stood on
their way. Strangely enough the Athenians
hesitated to attack the real obstacle at once.
Greek Sicily
The Siege of Syracuse
The Siege of Syracuse
• Athenian landing/control of Harbour
• Occupation of Epipolai
• Round fort at Syka, southern wall/ northern
wall unfinished
• Syracuse is in serious danger
• Alcibiades defects to Sparta and persuades
the Spartans to send Gylippos
The Catastrophe
• Gylippos enters unhindered
• Gylippos builds wall to Euryalos/reversal of
• Demosthenes arrives with reinforcements
• He fails to take Epipolai. Athenian fleet is
blockaded: Battle in the Great Harbour.
• An attempt to escape by land leads to
catastrophe for the Athenians.
High Drama
Athenian mistakes
The inability of Nikias
The role of Alcibiades
The Hybris of Athens
All these turned a
magnificent and
tangible dream into
dust. The gods were
punishing Athenian
Syracuse, Theatre
The tidings of the calamity
• 413: When Athens was under pressure in
Sicily the Spartans were encouraged to
resume the war in Greece. The fortress of
Dekeleia was fortified and Athens was
• The fortification of Dekeleia put pressure
on Athens. The land was uncultivated. The
mines of Laureion remained closed.
Constitutional reform
• The allies of Athens revolt, but Spartan
inefficiency at sea allows Athens to
suppress the revolts.
• 411: The Athenians under pressure, and
urged by Alcibiades, abolish the democratic
constitution (the 400). 18 months later
democracy is restored.
• 410: A much needed Athenian victory at
Changes in Persian policy
• 413: Darius II ascends on the throne of
Persia and on the advice of his wife
Parysatis deviates from the policy of his
father (Artaxerxes I) towards Athens.
• From now on Persian money and diplomacy
will dominate Greek affairs.
• Cyrus, the king’s younger son is sent to
Sardis to conclude an alliance with Sparta
against Athens. Persia wants Asiatic Greeks
The doom of Athens
• Lysander, the Spartan admiral, builds a fleet
with Persian money.
• After a setback at Arginousai (406) the
Spartan fleet dominates the Southern
• 405: Incredibly, the entire Athenian fleet
(160 ships) is captured by Lysander at
The surrender
404: Athens capitulates.
Sparta refuses to destroy her fallen enemy.
Athens is to join Sparta as an ally
Oligarchy is imposed upon Athens (the 30)
The long walls are destroyed
The Athenians can only keep 12 ships
Their empire is inherited by Sparta.
Now Sparta reigns supreme in Greece.