History Main / PeloponnesianWar

13th Dec '12 5:23:42 PM MarkLungo
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-->''"Thucydides, an Athenian, wrote this history of the war between the Peloponnesians and the Athenians, from the moment the conflict broke out, for he believed that it would be a great war and more worthy of remembrance than any that had preceded it. This belief was not without its grounds."''

The Peloponnesian War, one the largest conflicts in the Greek City State era, pitted the Athenian-led Delian League (sometimes also known as the Athenian Empire) against the Spartan-led Peloponnesian League. The war can be separated into three phases:

'''Phase One''', the "Archidamian War," established the Athenian Navy as a preeminent dominant force in the sea, having able to suppress dissent in its empire as well as foil Spartan invasions in the Athenian home state of Attica. This phase lasted from 431-421 BCE.

'''Phase Two''' saw an attempted Athenian invasion of Sicily in 415 BCE, in what can only be described an act of wanton imperialism. The war pitted Athens against the city-state of Syracuse, which was nominally supported by Sparta. In a shocking turn, the entire invading Athenian army was massacred in 413 BCE, changing the tide of the war. This section of the Peloponnesian war is widely remembered to this day as an example of the disastrous results that can happen if a war is undertaken poorly or without proper justification.

'''Phase Three''', the "Ionian War," was the final phase of the conflict. The Spartans sieged Athens by land, and the Athenian Navy was unable to break the siege, though it could supply itself with grain due to the lack of a significant Spartan naval presence. With support from the Persians, Sparta began to develop a powerful navy, and it began to fight the Athenian navy across the Aegean Sea. With the Battle of Aegospotami (near modern-day Turkey) the Spartan Navy won a decisive victory over that of Athens. This defeat marked the end of the Athenian Empire, which surrendered in 404 BCE.

----
!!The Peloponnesian War is often associated with the following tropes:
* {{Anticlimax}}: The Athenian fleet was destroyed when the Spartans caught it on shore with all the crews looking for food and wiped it out without a battle.
** Something similar had happened in one of the four battles of Syracuse harbour.
* BadassArmy: The Spartans and Thebans on land, the Athenians at sea.
* BalanceOfPower: Sparta was afraid that Athens was unbalancing this.
* TheCassandra: For all of his political betrayals, Alcibiades wasn't one to give bad or dishonest military advice. In 405 BCE, the Athenians were moored at Aegospotami on a beach that left them exposed to attack. When Alcibiades, who happened to be living near by, advised the Athenians of their position and offered help. He was told to get stuffed, and Athens lost the battle which led to their surrender in 404.
* CrowningMomentOfAwesome: For many, Pericles' eulogy of the dead of the first year of the war, as recorded (or rewritten) by Thucydides, which also sets out why Athens and its democracy was so great. What the (much shorter) Gettysburg Address was to TheAmericanCivilWar, this was to the Peloponnesian War.
** While a great speech, this is a pretty rubbish Crowning Moment of Awesome given the magnitude of the war. Possibly the greatest one was Alcibiades' return to the Athenian Army, stationed at Samos, in the latter stages of the war. Athens was losing, badly, and could barely hold on to what little territory they had left. Alcibiades rejoined the army from exile, gave a bad-ass, balls-out speech about how they need to man-the-hell-up, then led them in a campaign of reconquest, destroying the Spartan fleet, defeating multiple Persian armies, reconquering all the cities from the Hellespont to the Bosporous and returning home to Athens in glory, with the Athenian ships glittering from captured shields hung about their prows and with dozens of enemy vessels in tow. The Athenians rushed out to the shore to meet him as they returned, and crowned him with garlands, made him general at land and sea and virtual dictator of the city and its empire, and Athens was firmly back in the war. That, my friends, is a Crowning Moment of Awesome.
* EasilyForgiven: Alcibiades, who betrayed everyone. [[WhyDontYouJustShootHim Why in the world did no one give him some hemlock]]?
** The man was a [[FourStarBadass scary competent strateg]][[GratuitousForeignLanguage os]]. The Athenian navy was MadeOfWin with him in command. This made Athens a bit {{Tsundere}} for him, and vice versa.
* ForeverWar: I doubt anyone remembered how it began by the end.
** Except obviously for Thucydides. He was a former Athenian commander who was sent into exile after a defeat and wrote a history of the war that is generally considered to be the first work of "proper", i. e. critical history. He started it with a summing up of what the two sides said were the reasons for the war and what he thought were the real reasons, and for good measure chronicled the 50 years leading up to it.
* FourStarBadass: Kleon of Athens, who was largely responsible for forcing Sparta to terms at the end of the Archidamian war. For the Spartans Brasidas and Lysander were the great heroes of the war.
* GambitPileup
* GreyAndGrayMorality: A classic example.
* HeyItsThatGuy: {{Socrates}} ThePhilosopher was a hero at the Battle of Delium.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: The invasion of Syracuse by Athens.
* KingmakerScenario: Persia played the kingmaker part in the last phase of the war.
* LawfulStupid: Nicias. While the Athenians were cutting their losses and preparing to leave Syracuse, there was a lunar eclipse. According to the auspices taken afterward, Nicias had the army wait on [[LawfulStupid Syracuse's doorstep for 28 days]]. [[FromBadToWorse Guess what happened]].
** To be fair there was no way people at the time could be sure that they wouldn't [[TemptingFate offend "someone important".]]
* MagnificentBastard: Alcibiades and Lysander.
* PyrrhicVictory: The war weakend the victor Sparta as much as the defeated Athens. The true victor was resurgent Persia and rising Thebes
* TheSiege: From Athens' point of view much of the war was this as the Spartans were always held back by the city's wall and the "Long Walls" that connected it to its harbour Piraeus. However, the cramped conditions inside the walls facilitated [[ThePlague the plague]] that decimated the Athenian population, killing Pericles among others.
* TheSpartanWay: Well, ''duh''.
* StrangerInAFamiliarLand: Specifically many Spartans like Lysander.
* WarIsHell: It was at this time that the first antiwar plays were made; ''Theatre/{{Lysistrata}}'' is the one that has stood the test of time.
** Some parts of Thucydides' "Peloponnesian War" also stick in the mind, e. g. the war of Athens against Melos (featuring the famous "Melian dialogue") which ended with the Athenians killing all adult male Melians and selling the women and children into slavery.
----
!!Depictions in fiction:

* ''Theatre/{{Lysistrata}}''
* Thucydides' ''History of the Peloponnesian War'' is one of the first modern analyses of a war. He died sometime before the end of the war, so it doesn't cover the last few years, but nevertheless, it's usually accepted as a nice (generally) unbiased version.

to:

-->''"Thucydides, an Athenian, wrote this history of the war between the Peloponnesians and the Athenians, from the moment the conflict broke out, for he believed that it would be a great war and more worthy of remembrance than any that had preceded it. This belief was not without its grounds."''

The Peloponnesian War, one the largest conflicts in the Greek City State era, pitted the Athenian-led Delian League (sometimes also known as the Athenian Empire) against the Spartan-led Peloponnesian League. The war can be separated into three phases:

'''Phase One''', the "Archidamian War," established the Athenian Navy as a preeminent dominant force in the sea, having able to suppress dissent in its empire as well as foil Spartan invasions in the Athenian home state of Attica. This phase lasted from 431-421 BCE.

'''Phase Two''' saw an attempted Athenian invasion of Sicily in 415 BCE, in what can only be described an act of wanton imperialism. The war pitted Athens against the city-state of Syracuse, which was nominally supported by Sparta. In a shocking turn, the entire invading Athenian army was massacred in 413 BCE, changing the tide of the war. This section of the Peloponnesian war is widely remembered to this day as an example of the disastrous results that can happen if a war is undertaken poorly or without proper justification.

'''Phase Three''', the "Ionian War," was the final phase of the conflict. The Spartans sieged Athens by land, and the Athenian Navy was unable to break the siege, though it could supply itself with grain due to the lack of a significant Spartan naval presence. With support from the Persians, Sparta began to develop a powerful navy, and it began to fight the Athenian navy across the Aegean Sea. With the Battle of Aegospotami (near modern-day Turkey) the Spartan Navy won a decisive victory over that of Athens. This defeat marked the end of the Athenian Empire, which surrendered in 404 BCE.

----
!!The Peloponnesian War is often associated with the following tropes:
* {{Anticlimax}}: The Athenian fleet was destroyed when the Spartans caught it on shore with all the crews looking for food and wiped it out without a battle.
** Something similar had happened in one of the four battles of Syracuse harbour.
* BadassArmy: The Spartans and Thebans on land, the Athenians at sea.
* BalanceOfPower: Sparta was afraid that Athens was unbalancing this.
* TheCassandra: For all of his political betrayals, Alcibiades wasn't one to give bad or dishonest military advice. In 405 BCE, the Athenians were moored at Aegospotami on a beach that left them exposed to attack. When Alcibiades, who happened to be living near by, advised the Athenians of their position and offered help. He was told to get stuffed, and Athens lost the battle which led to their surrender in 404.
* CrowningMomentOfAwesome: For many, Pericles' eulogy of the dead of the first year of the war, as recorded (or rewritten) by Thucydides, which also sets out why Athens and its democracy was so great. What the (much shorter) Gettysburg Address was to TheAmericanCivilWar, this was to the Peloponnesian War.
** While a great speech, this is a pretty rubbish Crowning Moment of Awesome given the magnitude of the war. Possibly the greatest one was Alcibiades' return to the Athenian Army, stationed at Samos, in the latter stages of the war. Athens was losing, badly, and could barely hold on to what little territory they had left. Alcibiades rejoined the army from exile, gave a bad-ass, balls-out speech about how they need to man-the-hell-up, then led them in a campaign of reconquest, destroying the Spartan fleet, defeating multiple Persian armies, reconquering all the cities from the Hellespont to the Bosporous and returning home to Athens in glory, with the Athenian ships glittering from captured shields hung about their prows and with dozens of enemy vessels in tow. The Athenians rushed out to the shore to meet him as they returned, and crowned him with garlands, made him general at land and sea and virtual dictator of the city and its empire, and Athens was firmly back in the war. That, my friends, is a Crowning Moment of Awesome.
* EasilyForgiven: Alcibiades, who betrayed everyone. [[WhyDontYouJustShootHim Why in the world did no one give him some hemlock]]?
** The man was a [[FourStarBadass scary competent strateg]][[GratuitousForeignLanguage os]]. The Athenian navy was MadeOfWin with him in command. This made Athens a bit {{Tsundere}} for him, and vice versa.
* ForeverWar: I doubt anyone remembered how it began by the end.
** Except obviously for Thucydides. He was a former Athenian commander who was sent into exile after a defeat and wrote a history of the war that is generally considered to be the first work of "proper", i. e. critical history. He started it with a summing up of what the two sides said were the reasons for the war and what he thought were the real reasons, and for good measure chronicled the 50 years leading up to it.
* FourStarBadass: Kleon of Athens, who was largely responsible for forcing Sparta to terms at the end of the Archidamian war. For the Spartans Brasidas and Lysander were the great heroes of the war.
* GambitPileup
* GreyAndGrayMorality: A classic example.
* HeyItsThatGuy: {{Socrates}} ThePhilosopher was a hero at the Battle of Delium.
* HoistByHisOwnPetard: The invasion of Syracuse by Athens.
* KingmakerScenario: Persia played the kingmaker part in the last phase of the war.
* LawfulStupid: Nicias. While the Athenians were cutting their losses and preparing to leave Syracuse, there was a lunar eclipse. According to the auspices taken afterward, Nicias had the army wait on [[LawfulStupid Syracuse's doorstep for 28 days]]. [[FromBadToWorse Guess what happened]].
** To be fair there was no way people at the time could be sure that they wouldn't [[TemptingFate offend "someone important".]]
* MagnificentBastard: Alcibiades and Lysander.
* PyrrhicVictory: The war weakend the victor Sparta as much as the defeated Athens. The true victor was resurgent Persia and rising Thebes
* TheSiege: From Athens' point of view much of the war was this as the Spartans were always held back by the city's wall and the "Long Walls" that connected it to its harbour Piraeus. However, the cramped conditions inside the walls facilitated [[ThePlague the plague]] that decimated the Athenian population, killing Pericles among others.
* TheSpartanWay: Well, ''duh''.
* StrangerInAFamiliarLand: Specifically many Spartans like Lysander.
* WarIsHell: It was at this time that the first antiwar plays were made; ''Theatre/{{Lysistrata}}'' is the one that has stood the test of time.
** Some parts of Thucydides' "Peloponnesian War" also stick in the mind, e. g. the war of Athens against Melos (featuring the famous "Melian dialogue") which ended with the Athenians killing all adult male Melians and selling the women and children into slavery.
----
!!Depictions in fiction:

* ''Theatre/{{Lysistrata}}''
* Thucydides' ''History of the Peloponnesian War'' is one of the first modern analyses of a war. He died sometime before the end of the war, so it doesn't cover the last few years, but nevertheless, it's usually accepted as a nice (generally) unbiased version.
[[redirect:UsefulNotes/ThePeloponnesianWar]]
5th Dec '12 6:08:43 AM Lokimaros
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* LawfulStupid: Nicias. While the Athenians were cutting their losses and preparing to leave Syracuse, there was a lunar eclipse. According to the auspices taken afterward, Nicias had the army wait on [[LawfulStupid Syracuse's doorstep for 28 days]]. [[ItGotWorse Guess what happened]].

to:

* LawfulStupid: Nicias. While the Athenians were cutting their losses and preparing to leave Syracuse, there was a lunar eclipse. According to the auspices taken afterward, Nicias had the army wait on [[LawfulStupid Syracuse's doorstep for 28 days]]. [[ItGotWorse [[FromBadToWorse Guess what happened]].
7th Mar '12 5:50:14 AM Alcibiades
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Added DiffLines:

** While a great speech, this is a pretty rubbish Crowning Moment of Awesome given the magnitude of the war. Possibly the greatest one was Alcibiades' return to the Athenian Army, stationed at Samos, in the latter stages of the war. Athens was losing, badly, and could barely hold on to what little territory they had left. Alcibiades rejoined the army from exile, gave a bad-ass, balls-out speech about how they need to man-the-hell-up, then led them in a campaign of reconquest, destroying the Spartan fleet, defeating multiple Persian armies, reconquering all the cities from the Hellespont to the Bosporous and returning home to Athens in glory, with the Athenian ships glittering from captured shields hung about their prows and with dozens of enemy vessels in tow. The Athenians rushed out to the shore to meet him as they returned, and crowned him with garlands, made him general at land and sea and virtual dictator of the city and its empire, and Athens was firmly back in the war. That, my friends, is a Crowning Moment of Awesome.
21st Feb '12 2:27:34 AM AlexisPius
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-->''"Thucydides, an Athenian, wrote this history of the war between the Peloponnesians and the Athenians, from the moment the conflict broke out, for he believed that it would be a great war and more worthy of remembrance than any that had preceded it. This belief was not without its grounds."''



'''Phase Two''' saw an attempted Athenian invasion of Greek Sicily, including the fortified city of Syracuse, in 415 BCE. Syracuse, a Dorian city (originally founded by Corinthians), was supported by Sparta, the formost Dorian power, though really by little more than sending over a military "advisor", Gylippos, who took charge of the Syracusan forces. The invading Athenian army was wiped out in 413 BCE, changing the tide of the war.

to:

'''Phase Two''' saw an attempted Athenian invasion of Greek Sicily, including Sicily in 415 BCE, in what can only be described an act of wanton imperialism. The war pitted Athens against the fortified city city-state of Syracuse, in 415 BCE. Syracuse, a Dorian city (originally founded by Corinthians), which was nominally supported by Sparta, Sparta. In a shocking turn, the formost Dorian power, though really by little more than sending over a military "advisor", Gylippos, who took charge of the Syracusan forces. The entire invading Athenian army was wiped out massacred in 413 BCE, changing the tide of the war.
war. This section of the Peloponnesian war is widely remembered to this day as an example of the disastrous results that can happen if a war is undertaken poorly or without proper justification.
14th Feb '12 5:56:39 AM LordGro
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<<|MilitaryAndWarfareTropes|>>

!!The PeloponnesianWar includes examples of the following tropes:

to:

<<|MilitaryAndWarfareTropes|>>

----
!!The PeloponnesianWar includes examples of Peloponnesian War is often associated with the following tropes:
14th Feb '12 5:55:53 AM LordGro
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* WarIsHell: It was at this time that the first antiwar plays were made; ''{{Lysistrata}}'' is the one that has stood the test of time.

to:

* WarIsHell: It was at this time that the first antiwar plays were made; ''{{Lysistrata}}'' ''Theatre/{{Lysistrata}}'' is the one that has stood the test of time.






* ''{{Lysistrata}}''

to:

* ''{{Lysistrata}}''''Theatre/{{Lysistrata}}''
5th Jan '12 12:29:00 PM Firebert
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* GambitPileup



* ThirtyGambitPileup
24th Dec '11 12:25:34 PM AmusedTroperGuy
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!!Depictions in fiction

to:

!!Depictions in fictionfiction:

* ''{{Lysistrata}}''
* Thucydides' ''History of the Peloponnesian War'' is one of the first modern analyses of a war. He died sometime before the end of the war, so it doesn't cover the last few years, but nevertheless, it's usually accepted as a nice (generally) unbiased version.
3rd Oct '11 9:25:51 AM Byzantine
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** Some parts of Thucydides' "Peloponnesian War" also stick in the mind, e. g. the war of Athens against Melos (featuring the famous "Melian dialogue") which ended with the Athenians killing all adult male Melians and selling the women and children into slavery.

to:

** Some parts of Thucydides' "Peloponnesian War" also stick in the mind, e. g. the war of Athens against Melos (featuring the famous "Melian dialogue") which ended with the Athenians killing all adult male Melians and selling the women and children into slavery.slavery.

----
!!Depictions in fiction
2nd Apr '11 2:36:41 AM Routerie
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* ThirtyXanatosPileup

to:

* ThirtyXanatosPileupThirtyGambitPileup
This list shows the last 10 events of 21. Show all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.PeloponnesianWar