|ATHENS vs. SPARTA|
The Downfall of Athens
Eventually, resentment of Athens by the other members of the Delian League began to grow, and Athens would frequently have to quell rebellions within the league. During this rebellious time, tensions between Athens and Sparta had finally escalated to the point of open war. As a result, the Athenians and their remaining Delian allies would battle the Spartans and the Peloponnesian league in the Peloponnesian War.(3)
Athens would attempt to use its superior naval power to its advantage, and during the early part of the war, they attempted to defeat Sparta by conducting naval raids on Spartan positions and settlements, and then retreating behind their city walls before the Spartan infantry could mass a counterattack.
This strategy proved successful for several years, as the Spartans, inexperienecd at siege warfare, would storm the city, the Athenians would hide inside their walls, and the Spartans would be left to raze the Athenian countryside. Eventually, the weather turned cold and the Spartan army had to put off the war so they could be home in time for harvest.
This went on for a couple of years, and indeed, this strategy mght have been successful, had a plague not decimated the Athenians inside their city, killing thousands. Athens later would face rebellion from more of her allies, and Sparta eventually established an infantry base in Athenian territory so they could raid the Athenians year-round.(2)
Even with their naval advantage negated, the Athenians would fight for ten more years before they were eventually defeated and subjugated by the Spartans. Later, Athens would regain control of their city and start to regain some of their old stregth, even beginning a second Athenian empire, but it soon crumbled in a series of rebellions and revolts.
With the decline of the second Athenian empire, greece reverted back to what it was before Athens and Sparta arose-a nation of independent, non-cooperative city-states, and they would eventually become easy prey for King Philip II of Macedonia.(1)
|Rise to Power|
|Rise to Power|
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