Athens Defeat In A Peloponnesian War

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The Peloponnesian War between Sparta and Athens is truly a war like no other, pitting the two great super-powers of Greece against each other. When one looks at the resources and the experiences of both Sparta and Athens, it seems almost certain that Athens would come out victorious. However this would not be Athens’ outcome. To great Athenian surprise, the Spartans emerged victorious in 404 BC. There are many factors and intricacies that led to a Spartan victory. This paper will focus on the four main factors that resulted in a Peloponnesian win for Sparta. Athens’ defeat in the war was a result of each side’s alliances, a devastating plague, the defection of Alcibiades and the failure at Sicily, and their lack of military strength on land. An unexpected adversary of the Athenian cause could not have been foretold. A plague was nature’s own bane to…show more content…
They both consisted of separate alliances in the pursuit of a common purpose. These hegemonies were capable of a remarkable unity of action which made them effective offensive and defensive alliances (Fliess 1961). The powers formally allied with Sparta for a vast majority of the conflict were not weak (Hanson 2005). Sparta began the war with the support of its entire peninsula, support that increasingly expanded as a result of the growing dislike of Athens. It became increasingly known across Greece that Athens’ only goal was to help themselves and to further the glory of Athens. Even allies of Athens began to disagree with Athenian rule. The harsh methods employed to maintain Athenian supremacy aroused the increasing resistance of the allies (Fliess 1961). The strong Greek city-states that were aligned with Sparta included Thebes, Corinth, and Elis. As the Peloponnesian War endured, it became clear that power in Greece was shifting away from Athens and towards the
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