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CLAS 1000 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Epinikion

Classical Studies
Course Code
CLAS 1000
John Walsh
Study Guide

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Peloponnesian War:
Athenian historian
He is known for his book The History of the Peloponnesian War which details the war
between Sparta and Athens in the 5th Century
realized that the Athenians growing power scared the Spartans and is what caused the
Peloponnesian War
Thucydides: The History of the Peloponnesian War:
“The growth of the power of Athens, and the alarm which
this inspired in Lacedaemon, made war inevitable.
Thucydides was an Athenian historian who was known for his work, “The History of the
Peloponnesian War” which detailed the war between Athens and Sparta. His work is the defining
text of the historical genre, he was the first to analyze and provide an accurate account of the
war. He relied on the testimonies of eyewitnesses and his own experience during the war. He is
the father of scientific history. His text is still studied today at military colleges worldwide and
the Melian dialogue remains an important work of international relations theory.
Athenian’s walls:
These walls negated the Spartan power, because it was all based in the Spartan phalanx
There was no siege technology in this time, so there was nothing Sparta could do against
the Athenians
Spartans tried to wait out the Athenians but they could survive, Sparta gave up

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465 BC: The Helot Revolt:
The Spartans refuse the help of Athenian army in quelling this revolt
In 459 BC they begin to fight through proxy, meaning that the Spartan allies would fight
the Athenian allies
In Corcyra, just like in Sarajevo, a small conflict sparks the entire war
The Archidamian war:
(431-421 BC) is the first stage of the Peloponnesian war
It starts with the conflict in Corcyra. Under the leadership of Archeadamus II the Spartan
army challenges the Athenians. But they refuse
The Spartan army can only stay there for 40 days, as the longer they are away, the more
likely the helot slaves will revolt
Greek statesman and general of Athens
defeating Sparta was a long term plan
relied on the Athenian walls
strategy is to use the walls. As when the Spartans come to challenge Athens, they can’t
just jump inside their walls, and wait till the Spartans leave
This is a long term strategy for victory, because as long as Athens maintains its trade
routes to the Black Sea, there won’t be a food problem, as the Athenians dont even grow
their own food
The Athenians know they are safe in their city, as there is no siege technology. So as long
as Pericles was leading them, the Athenians would not fight the Spartans
This could not have been an easy strategy to sell, because they see their farms attacked
and burned every year
The Spartans even left Pericles farm alone, to antagonize the other Athenians even more
Pericles’ strategy shows a weakness, as in the second year of the war, a disease struck.
The plague killed many Athenians, including Pericles

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Pericles was a Greek statesman and general of Athens who’s plan was to defeat the Spartans in
his long term plan. To defeat them, he relied on the walls of Athens so that Sparta could not
enter. This was a victory in itself for Athens because as long as they kept Sparta out, they could
survive with routes leading from the city to the Black Sea. Pericles had such a profound
influence on Athenian society that Thucydides acclaimed him as “the first citizen of Athens.”
Pericles turned the Delian league into an Athenian Empire and led the Athenians in the first part
of war, which is known as the “Age of Pericles.” He transformed the citys alliances into an
empire. His policies and strategies set stage for the Peloponnesian War. He set forth laws to
improve Athens, he used the money that the allies had saved for the Peloponnesian War to fund
the rebuilding of Athens, which rebuilded the Partnenon.
425 BC Battle of Sphacteria:
Went against Pericles’ advice and defeated the Spartans
11,000 Athenians vs. 400 Spartans. Only a few years after Pericles’ death, the Athenians
fought the Spartans
The Athenians didn’t realize though, that they were 11,000 men vs only 400 Spartans,
and they got cocky. 292 Spartans actually surrendered
Stage 2 of the war:
Sicilian Expedition 415-413 BC:
Athens launches an invasion of 12,000 young men, almost all of their youth join this
army, along with 300 Ships
They sail to Sicily, and in about 2 years, almost every single one is dead. This destroys
the confidence of Athens
This defeat destroyed their confidence in democracy, and in 411 BC, there was a rule of
400 Oligarchs, who fought a Spartan navy, off the west coast of Ionia, where even though
they were victorious, had a lot of people taken prisoner The 400 Oligarchs killed the
entire military leadership
NOTE the Spartans had a navy. They got this from the Persians, as the Spartans ally with
the Persians to destroy the Athenians. The Spartans destroys the Athenian Navy, and
knowing that the Spartans can blockade the Athenian trade routes and starve them out
The Athenians surrender, and the Spartans force them to pull down their walls
After the war, the Persian alliance with Sparta caused an influx of wealth into Sparta.
This changed the Spartans
They compromised their very culture, meaning the Spartans and Athenians came out of
the war as two different cultures from when they went in
Was a religious belief- brought together by the gods
Independent link between the city states (Athens and Sparta)
Greeks from the Greek speaking world (open to anyone who spoke Greek) and gather
every 4 years as a common religious idea
Was celebrated in Olympia
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