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Epidamnos and Kerkyra. 435: The democrats of Epidamnos appeal to mother city Kerkyra for help. Kerkyra blockades Epidamnos The oligarchic party of Epidamnos appeals to Corinth Now the conflict is between Kerkyra and mother city Corinth (an uneasy relationship). Kerkyra town.

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epidamnos and kerkyra
Epidamnos and Kerkyra
  • 435: The democrats of Epidamnos appeal to mother city Kerkyra for help.
  • Kerkyra blockades Epidamnos
  • The oligarchic party of Epidamnos appeals to Corinth
  • Now the conflict is between Kerkyra and mother city Corinth (an uneasy relationship)
athens and corinth
Athens and Corinth
  • The Corinthians are defeated outside Ambrakia, but they come back
  • The Kerkyrians alarmed appeal to Athens
  • Perikles knows that an alliance with Korkyra will result to a direct conflict with Corinth, and persuades the Assembly to conclude a defensive alliance
  • 433: Corinthian defeat at Sybota
potidaia and megara
Potidaia and Megara
  • Potidaia revolts from Athens and appeals to Corinth and Sparta
  • Sparta secretly pledges to go to war
  • 432: Megarian Decree: The Megarians are excluded from the harbours of the Athenian empire.
  • A congress at Sparta leads to decision for war.
resources and plans
Resources and plans
  • Athens: 300 triremes
  • Sparta: 50,000 hoplites
  • Pericles decides to ware down the Spartans by avoiding conflict by land, and carrying out offensive warfare by sea.
  • Negotiations prove futile; an uneasy peace precedes the forthcoming storm.
the beginning of hostilities
The beginning of hostilities
  • 431: Thebes attacks Plataia unsuccessfully
  • Archidamos, king of Sparta invades Attica
  • The Athenians do not come out to fight
  • Aigina is annexed to Athens
  • 430: A second invasion by Archidamos
the troubles of athens
The troubles of Athens
  • 430: Plague in Athens
  • Discontent against Pericles
  • 429: Pericles is dead
  • 429-427: Siege and destruction of Plataia
  • 427: Mytilene revolts
  • The damage upon Athens comes from within, if not from the Spartans
kleon firm leadership
Kleon: firm leadership
  • Among the successors of Pericles, Kleon was the most capable man (reviled by Thucydides and Aristophanes).
  • Demosthenes succeeds in establishing Athenian control over the western seas
  • 426: Purification of Delos and the rise of pious and virtuous Nikias (an ill-omened occasion).
athenian successes and failures
Athenian successes and failures
  • 424:Demosthenes and Kleon score a stunning victory at Pylos, capturing 400 Spartans alive.
  • Departure from the Periclean policy ends in a defeat of the Athenian army at Delion
  • 422: The Athenians lose Amphipolis. Kleon and Brasidas are killed in action.
  • 421: Peace of Nikias. No clear winner.
peace between wars
Peace between wars
  • The Peace of Nikias did not seem very steady: the causes of the war were still present, if not further aggravated, and both sides maintained their strength. Predictably more conflict was going to come.
  • 416: The Athenians offended further Greek sentiments by subduing the island of Melos, which had Dorian inhabitants.
the planning of the sicilian expedition
The planning of the Sicilian Expedition
  • An expedition to far away seas with a view to a vast expansion of Athenian influence seemed like a brilliant plan to some and a foolish undertaking to others.
  • Alcibiades was the primary force behind it. He was dreaming of wealth and power for Athens and himself.
  • Nikias was against it; he thought that another war may be near.
the great athenian dream
The Great Athenian Dream
  • By incorporating Sicily into her Empire Athens would acquire access to Italy and the western Mediterranean. The idea of a large sea Empire was tangible. Then Sparta would be irrelevant.
  • The big, strong city of Syracuse stood on their way. Strangely enough the Athenians hesitated to attack the real obstacle at once.

Greek Sicily



the siege of syracuse
The Siege of Syracuse
  • Athenian landing/control of Harbour
  • Occupation of Epipolai
  • Round fort at Syka, southern wall/ northern wall unfinished
  • Syracuse is in serious danger
  • Alcibiades defects to Sparta and persuades the Spartans to send Gylippos
the catastrophe
The Catastrophe
  • Gylippos enters unhindered
  • Gylippos builds wall to Euryalos/reversal of fortunes
  • Demosthenes arrives with reinforcements
  • He fails to take Epipolai. Athenian fleet is blockaded: Battle in the Great Harbour.
  • An attempt to escape by land leads to catastrophe for the Athenians.
high drama
High Drama
  • Athenian mistakes
  • The inability of Nikias
  • The role of Alcibiades
  • The Hybris of Athens
  • All these turned a magnificent and tangible dream into dust. The gods were punishing Athenian arrogance.

Syracuse, Theatre

the tidings of the calamity
The tidings of the calamity
  • 413: When Athens was under pressure in Sicily the Spartans were encouraged to resume the war in Greece. The fortress of Dekeleia was fortified and Athens was besieged.
  • The fortification of Dekeleia put pressure on Athens. The land was uncultivated. The mines of Laureion remained closed.
constitutional reform
Constitutional reform
  • The allies of Athens revolt, but Spartan inefficiency at sea allows Athens to suppress the revolts.
  • 411: The Athenians under pressure, and urged by Alcibiades, abolish the democratic constitution (the 400). 18 months later democracy is restored.
  • 410: A much needed Athenian victory at Kyzikos
changes in persian policy
Changes in Persian policy
  • 413: Darius II ascends on the throne of Persia and on the advice of his wife Parysatis deviates from the policy of his father (Artaxerxes I) towards Athens.
  • From now on Persian money and diplomacy will dominate Greek affairs.
  • Cyrus, the king’s younger son is sent to Sardis to conclude an alliance with Sparta against Athens. Persia wants Asiatic Greeks
the doom of athens
The doom of Athens
  • Lysander, the Spartan admiral, builds a fleet with Persian money.
  • After a setback at Arginousai (406) the Spartan fleet dominates the Southern Aegean.
  • 405: Incredibly, the entire Athenian fleet (160 ships) is captured by Lysander at Aigospotamoi.
the surrender
The surrender
  • 404: Athens capitulates.
  • Sparta refuses to destroy her fallen enemy.
  • Athens is to join Sparta as an ally
  • Oligarchy is imposed upon Athens (the 30)
  • The long walls are destroyed
  • The Athenians can only keep 12 ships
  • Their empire is inherited by Sparta.
  • Now Sparta reigns supreme in Greece.