The Causes of the Peloponessian War
Ancient Greece during the 4th century B.C. was home to the city-states of Sparta and Athens. These two communities were the superpowers of the region during that time. The peloponnesian war between these two states evolved out of a string of events that would lead to years of conflict.
When looking for a single cause of the peloponnesian war none can be found. Over time many events contributed to the eventual war between Sparta and Athens. I believe the peloponnesian war evolved because of Athenian support for Spartan enemies, Spartan alarm at a rise in Athenian power, and the drastic differences between the two cultures.
In 435 B.C., Corcyra, a Corinthian colony declared itself independent of Corinth. Corinth responded by sending a fleet to reduce the rebelling island city. In fear Corcyra appealed to Athens for help and swayed by the Corcyrain diplomats, the Athenians sent military aid. A battle took place, in which the navies of Corcyra and Athens fought against those of Corinth. Sparta, who was allied with Corinth and relied upon it as a source of income, saw the Athenian support of the Corcyrain rebels as an act of aggression against the peloponnesian league (Sparta and her allies). The alliance made between Athens and Corcyra was also viewed as a violation of the peace treaty of 445 B.C. between the peloponnesian league and the Athenian league. Athens ignored all Spartan protest about its involvement in the Corcyrain campaign. Further feud was created between Sparta and Athens in 432 B.C. in Potidaea. Potidaea was a city that was tributary to Athens but Corinthian in blood. Tired of paying tribute to Athens the citizens of Potidaea attempted to expel the Athenian power. Athens' soldiers besieged the city and once again Athenians were battling Corinthians. Corinth, aiding the people of Potidaea faced an embargo by Athens. Enraged by this act Sparta appealed the Athenians to end the embargo,...
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