The Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC)

Disponible en Espanol Español   Disponible en Français Français   διαθέσιμη στα ελληνικά Ελληνικά   باللغة العربية العربية  

Hover the mouse cursor over the map features for more information
Peloponnesian War


      Two of the most influential city states of the Classical Age of Greek Civilization were Athens and Sparta. Athens was a Thalassocracy, or maritime empire, which drew its wealth from maritime trade supported by a large navy. Sparta was a land based empire which drew its wealth from agriculture and controlled a large slave population known as Helots. The governments of the two city states were also poles apart, whilst Athens was for much of its history a “Democracy”, Sparta was ruled by a pair of Kings supported by an elite class of warriors. Athens and Sparta had been allies in the Greco-Persian Wars, however towards the end of the Fifth Century BC, friction between these vastly different powers began to develop, culminating in an immense conflict known as the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC). This war opened up old ethnic divisions between Ionian and Dorian Greeks, compare this map to the Ethnic Groups of Archaic Greece map, most of the Ionian cities allied with Athens, whilst the Dorians fought alongside Sparta. By 404 BC, Athens was under siege and forced to surrender. Sparta was victorious but their hegemony over the Greek World was short-lived. The subsequent decades were categorized by poverty in Greece and further conflicts between the city-states, culminating in the conquest of most of Greece by Phillip II of Macedon.

Recommended Reading:

Unless otherwise stated, all maps on this site are © ExploreTheMed