Hegemony of Greece: Sparta to Thebes

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Greece after the Peloponnesian War:

Nature and impact of the Spartan hegemony; role and significance of Lysander, Agesilaus -Sparta won the Peloponnesian War. The war had ruined many states economically and spiritually. A true leader was needed. Thucydides believed Sparta would unite Greece and lead through goodwill. However, during the war Sparta had medised and sold the Ionian states to the Persians. Sparta could hardly claim to be the ‘liberator of the Greeks’. -Sparta had however earned the gratitude of many Greek states by overthrowing their Athenian rulers. States like Delos had literally been liberated by Sparta. She had great militaristic reputation, her hoplites never beaten in regular battle in 200 years. She was now a land and naval power, and was very politically stable internally. -Sparta now had to either hand over the Ionians or go to war with Persia. She lacked resources to exercise a lasting hegemony. She had only 3000 hoplites. At this time, weakness in Sparta’s constitution emerged. Power lay with two kings, 5 ephors and 28 males, with which there was often friction. Intellectuals (eg. Isocrates) believed Sparta lacked modern vision to be true leaders. Society rested on agricultural economy and serf labour. They used different currency, yet the spoils of war were in gold and silver. This caused civil unrest. Always threat of helot uprising. -In ruling Greece after the Peloponnesian war, Sparta sank to a combination of medism and imperialism, which was condemned by all. Under the influence of navarch Lysander, a system of military tyranny emerged. His power and influence was great after success in war. He had a statue of him erected, was given position of navarch a second time (against Spartan law) and had huge influence. Buckler concludes that Sparta found it easier to defeat the enemy than win peace. -Each ex-Delian League city was given an oligarchic govt of 10 pro-Spartan natives chosen by Lysander. A Spartan harmost and garrison was sent to each city and the city had to pay annual tribute of 1000 talents. Plutarch = Lysander gained complete autonomy over these cities. Harmosts were often abusive and tyrannical. At Byzantium, harmost set himself up as petty tyrant. Within a year, Sparta was greatly resented. -Lysander aimed to eliminate all Athenian influence, ordering oligarchs to kill and exile all rival democrats. In Miletus, 800 democrats were killed. -As Xenophon tells us, Athens was forced to demolish her Long Walls and walls of Peiraeus (allowed city supply during siege). Given a rule of 30 oligarchic, native tyrants, known as The Thirty, made up of radicals and moderates. Democrats were arrested and killed, 300 whip-bearers were used to control the city. A council of 500 oligarchs was set up. Harmost named Callibius and garrison introduced, who was very corrupt and abusive. Theremenes, a moderate oligarch protested this treatment of democrats and was condemned to death. Thirty Tyrants killed 1500 and exiled 5000 democrats. -In 403BC, Athenian exile Thrasybulus taken refuge in Thebes. Gathered a force of 700 and defeated the Spartan garrison in Athens. The Thirty split into the radicals who moved to Eleusis, the moderates stayed and elected a decarchy and called for Spartan intervention. Lysander himself was suspected of overthrowing the kings. Lysander with a force set for Athens. The Kings, Pausanias and Agis turned the Ephors against him, calling out a levy from Sparta’s allies, and released Lysander of his command. Pausanias ensured peace between Thrasybulus and the decarchy. The decarchy and democrats would rule together in Athens, the Thirty would rule at Eleusis. No garrison left. -The Thirty were deceived and the generals were murdered. They decided to dissolve their own state and reunite Athens as a democracy. Athens still feared and despised Sparta. -The Spartan/Peloponnesian League began to fall apart, as it was voluntary alliances. Each had equal vote in...
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