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Flashcards in Timespan 3 Deck (6)
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30 Year Peace (446)

  • aimed to establish dual hegemony between the allies
    Key terms:
  • Each side was to keep the allies it possessed at the conclusion of the treaty
  • If an ally revolted and joined the other alliance, the treaty was broken
  • Any neutral state not listed could ally itself with either side
  • Peace was comprehensive
  • In view of subsequent conflict - might be seen as overly ambitions, yet at the time it was conciliatory
  • Sparta acknowledge Athenian domination of the Aegaen, its superior status as a naval power and its control over trade routes
  • Peace also acknowledges the imperial nature of Athens’ hegemony over its allies
  • However internal disagreements at Sparta and the calls of the Peloponnesian allies (most often Corinth), brought pressure on the peace and ultimately caused it to fail

Revolt of Samos - Role of Corinth and Sparta (440)

  • Athens’ allies Samos and Miletus were at war
  • Samos - more powerful state - one of the 3 remaining ship-providing allies
  • Miletus sought Athenian intervention - resulted in Athens replacing Samos’ oligarchy with a democracy and leaving behind a garrison
  • Samian oligarchs turned to Pissuthnes (Persian satrap of Lydia) and with his help, they ejected the Atehnian garrison
  • Followed was a naval encounter and 2 sieges
    9 months later - Samians surrendered, handed over their fleet and were instead required to pay tribute from then on
  • Peloponnesian League had debated going to aid of Samos - Spartans had already voted to do so
  • 6 years later 30 year peace - there was sufficient feeling at Sparta to renew hostilities with Athens
  • Peloponnesian League, greatly encouraged by Corinth, voted against it

Epidamnus-Corcyra (433)

  • Epidamnus - colony of Corcyra which is a colony of Corinth
  • 435 - local conflict in Epidamnus led to the democratic party there asking for help from Corcyra
  • Not forthcoming - request sent to Corinth
  • Corinth felt that Corcyra did not show them sufficient respect - therefore, happy to interfere (Corinth = oligarchic state- yet prepared to aid a democracy)
  • Siege and naval battle off Leucimme on Corcyra where the Corcyraeans defeated the Corinthians

433 - Corcyra appealed to Athens for help
- Corcyra - accomplished naval power - 120 ships
- Neutral state - free to ally with Athens according to terms of 30 year peace
- Corcyraeans suggested to the Athenians that with their large navy, they could be a powerful support to the Athenians in a forthcoming conflict
- If they were defeated by Corinth, their ships would become part of the Peloponnesian navy
- Corinth sent embassy to deter Athens from making alliance
- Corinthians claimed that they had argued against Pelponnesian interference with the revolt of Samos in 440
- Athens decided to ally with Corcyra but only in a limited defensive manner
- When the Corinthians appeared to be gaining the upper hand, the Athenians fought back
They sent 10 ships under 3 generals (including Lacedaemonius, son of Cimon)


Potidaea (432)

  • It was a subject state of Athens but also a Corinthian colony - still received annual magistrates from Corinth
  • After events at Epidamnus-Corcyra, Corinth was searching for means of retaliation
  • Corinthians now felt a ‘deep hatred’ towards Athens
  • Athens in expectation that Potidaea would revolt, they demanded that Potidaea pull down its walls, hands over hostages, and banish its annual magistrates from Corinth.
  • Potidaeans in response send an embassy to the Spartans, whose ephors agreed that to invade Attica if Potidaea was attacked - clear breach of the 30 Year Peace
  • However, the agreement was not fulfilled - ephors must have not been able to persuade the assembly
  • Indicates that not all Spartans were inclined towards war at this time
  • Potidaeans revolted and the Corinthians sent an army to support them
  • Athens send several contingents as the situation deteriorated and besieged the city - the siege lasted for 3 years

Megarian Decree (432)

  • barely attested in Thuc.
  • Athens passed the Megarian decree, banning Megarian citizens from the port of Athens and the ports of the Athenian Empire
  • ‘The chief point and the one that they made most clear was that war could be avoided if Athens would revoke the Megarian Decree’
  • Suggestion of revoking the Megarian decree was vigorously opposed by Pericles

Corinthian complaint and outbreak of war (432/1)

  • Corinthians urged the Peloponnesian allies who felt wronged by Athens to petition Sparta
  • Thuc reproduces a speech made by the Corinthian delegation
  • The Corinthians turned on Sparta as hegemon of the Peloponnesian League for ineffectually standing up to Athenian expansion
  • The Corinthians complain about Sparta’s slowness to act
  • ‘Do not force the rest of us in despair to look for a different alliance’
  • Spartan king Archidamus II, who would be responsible for prosecuting the war, cautioned against hasty action
  • Argument - rested on Sparta’s inability to defeat Athens - had no navy and no money with which to pay one, didn’t have the resources of an empire that Athens possessed
  • He advised seeking new alliances - Persia was inferred
    Thuc. - Archidamus had identified the 3 things necessary to defeat Athens
    1) Athens’ allies had to be in revolt
    2) Spartans would need a navy to equal the Athenian navy
    3) They would need Persian support - if only financially to pay for the navy
  • Archidamus was opposed by one of the ephors, Sthenelaidas
  • He advocated immediate actions - views prevailed and Spartans voted for war