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Classical Greece
Greece
was a period of around 200 years (5th and 4th centuries BC) in Greek culture.[1] This Classical period saw the annexation of much of modern-day Greece
Greece
by the Persian Empire[2] and its subsequent independence. Classical Greece
Greece
had a powerful influence on the Roman Empire
Roman Empire
and on the foundations of western civilization. Much of modern Western politics, artistic thought (architecture, sculpture), scientific thought, theatre, literature, and philosophy derives from this period of Greek history. In the context of the art, architecture, and culture of Ancient Greece, the Classical period[3] corresponds to most of the 5th and 4th centuries BC (the most common dates being the fall of the last Athenian
Athenian
tyrant in 510 BC and the death of Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great
in 323 BC). The Classical period in this sense follows the Archaic period and is in turn succeeded by the Hellenistic period.

Contents

1 5th century BC 2 Athens
Athens
under Cleisthenes 3 The Persian Wars 4 The Peloponnesian War

4.1 Origins of the Delian League
Delian League
and the Peloponnesian League

4.1.1 Delian League 4.1.2 Peloponnesian (or Spartan) League

4.2 The Thirty Years Peace 4.3 Causes of the Peloponnesian War 4.4 The Peloponnesian War: Opening Stages (431 - 421) 4.5 The Peloponnesian War: Second Phase (418 BCE - 404 BCE)

4.5.1 The Melian Expedition (416 BCE) 4.5.2 The Sicilian Expedition
Sicilian Expedition
(415 BCE - 413 BCE) 4.5.3 Alcibiades
Alcibiades
in Sparta 4.5.4 Persia intervenes 4.5.5 Lysander
Lysander
and the end of the war

5 4th century BC

5.1 The fall of Sparta

5.1.1 Foundation of a Spartan empire 5.1.2 The peace of Antalcidas 5.1.3 Spartan interventionism 5.1.4 Clash with Thebes

5.2 The rise of Athens

5.2.1 Financing the league 5.2.2 Athenian
Athenian
hegemony halted

5.3 Theban hegemony
Theban hegemony
- tentative and with no future

5.3.1 5th century BC Boeotian confederacy (447 BCE – 386 BCE) 5.3.2 Theban reconstruction 5.3.3 Confrontation between Athens
Athens
and Thebes

5.4 Rise of Macedon 5.5 Legacy of Classical Greece

6 See also 7 References

5th century BC[edit] Main article: Greece
Greece
in 5th century BC Further information: Archaic Greece

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This century is essentially studied from the Athenian
Athenian
outlook because Athens
Athens
has left us more narratives, plays, and other written works than the other ancient Greek states. From the perspective of Athenian culture in Classical Greece, the period generally referred to as the 5th century BC extends slightly into the 4th century BC. In this context, one might consider that the first significant event of this century occurs in 508 BC, with the fall of the last Athenian
Athenian
tyrant and Cleisthenes' reforms. However, a broader view of the whole Greek world might place its beginning at the Ionian Revolt
Ionian Revolt
of 500 BC, the event that provoked the Persian invasion of 492 BC. The Persians were defeated in 490 BC. A second Persian attempt, in 481-479 BC, failed as well, despite having overrun much of modern-day Greece
Greece
(north of the Isthmus of Corinth) at a crucial point during the war following the Battle of Thermopylae
Battle of Thermopylae
and the Battle of Artemisium.[2][4] The Delian League then formed, under Athenian
Athenian
hegemony and as Athens' instrument. Athens' excesses caused several revolts among the allied cities, all of which were put down by force, but Athenian
Athenian
dynamism finally awoke Sparta
Sparta
and brought about the Peloponnesian War
Peloponnesian War
in 431 BC. After both forces were spent, a brief peace came about; then the war resumed to Sparta's advantage. Athens
Athens
was definitively defeated in 404 BC, and internal Athenian
Athenian
agitations mark the end of the 5th century BC in Greece. Since its beginning, Sparta
Sparta
had been ruled by a diarchy. This meant that Sparta
Sparta
had two kings ruling concurrently throughout its entire history. The two kingships were both hereditary, vested in the Agiad dynasty and the Eurypontid dynasty. According to legend, the respective hereditary lines of these two dynasties sprang from Eurysthenes
Eurysthenes
and Procles, twin descendants of Hercules. They were said to have conquered Sparta
Sparta
two generations after the Trojan War. Athens
Athens
under Cleisthenes[edit] Main article: Cleisthenes In 510 BC, Spartan troops helped the Athenians overthrow their king, the tyrant Hippias, son of Peisistratos. Cleomenes I, king of Sparta, put in place a pro-Spartan oligarchy headed by Isagoras. But his rival Cleisthenes, with the support of the middle class and aided by democrats, took over. Cleomenes intervened in 508 and 506 BC, but could not stop Cleisthenes, now supported by the Athenians. Through Cleisthenes' reforms, the people endowed their city with isonomic institutions — equal rights for all citizens (though only men were citizens)—and established ostracism. The isonomic and isegoric (equal freedom of speech)[5] democracy was first organized into about 130 demes, which became the basic civic element. The 10,000 citizens exercised their power as members of the assembly (ἐκκλησία, ekklesia), headed by a council of 500 citizens chosen at random. The city's administrative geography was reworked, in order to create mixed political groups: not federated by local interests linked to the sea, to the city, or to farming, whose decisions (e.g. a declaration of war) would depend on their geographical position. The territory of the city was also divided into thirty trittyes as follows:

ten trittyes in the coastal region (παρᾰλία, paralia) ten trittyes in the ἄστυ (astu), the urban centre ten trittyes in the rural interior, (μεσογεία, mesogia).

A tribe consisted of three trittyes, selected at random, one from each of the three groups. Each tribe therefore always acted in the interest of all three sectors. It was this corpus of reforms that allowed the emergence of a wider democracy in the 460s and 450s BC. The Persian Wars[edit] Main article: Greco-Persian Wars In Ionia
Ionia
(the modern Aegean coast of Turkey), the Greek cities, which included great centres such as Miletus
Miletus
and Halicarnassus, were unable to maintain their independence and came under the rule of the Persian Empire in the mid-6th century BC. In 499 BC that region's Greeks
Greeks
rose in the Ionian Revolt, and Athens
Athens
and some other Greek cities sent aid, but were quickly forced to back down after defeat in 494 BC at the Battle of Lade. Asia Minor
Asia Minor
returned to Persian control. In 492 BC, the Persian general Mardonius led a campaign through Thrace and Macedonia. He was victorious and again subjugated the former and conquered the latter,[6] but he was wounded and forced to retreat back into Asia Minor. In addition, a fleet of around 1,200 ships that accompanied Mardonius on the expedition was wrecked by a storm off the coast of Mount Athos. Later, the generals Artaphernes and Datis led a successful naval expedition against the Aegean islands. In 490 BC, Darius the Great, having suppressed the Ionian cities, sent a Persian fleet to punish the Greeks. (Historians are uncertain about their number of men; accounts vary from 18,000 to 100,000.) They landed in Attica
Attica
intending to take Athens, but were defeated at the Battle of Marathon
Battle of Marathon
by a Greek army of 9,000 Athenian
Athenian
hoplites and 1,000 Plataeans led by the Athenian
Athenian
general Miltiades. The Persian fleet continued to Athens
Athens
but, seeing it garrisoned, decided not to attempt an assault. In 480 BC, Darius' successor Xerxes I sent a much more powerful force of 300,000 by land, with 1,207 ships in support, across a double pontoon bridge over the Hellespont. This army took Thrace, before descending on Thessaly and Boeotia, whilst the Persian navy skirted the coast and resupplied the ground troops. The Greek fleet, meanwhile, dashed to block Cape Artemision. After being delayed by Leonidas I, the Spartan king of the Agiad Dynasty, at the Battle of Thermopylae (a battle made famous by the 300 Spartans who faced the entire Persian army), Xerxes advanced into Attica, and captured and burned Athens. The subsequent Battle of Artemisium
Battle of Artemisium
resulted in the capture of Euboea, bringing most of mainland Greece
Greece
north of the Isthmus of Corinth
Corinth
under Persian control.[2][4] However, the Athenians had evacuated the city of Athens
Athens
by sea before Thermopylae, and under the command of Themistocles, they defeated the Persian fleet at the Battle of Salamis.

Map of the first phases of the Greco-Persian Wars
Greco-Persian Wars
(500-479 BC)

In 483 BC, during the period of peace between the two Persian invasions, a vein of silver ore had been discovered in the Laurion (a small mountain range near Athens), and the hundreds of talents mined there were used to build 200 warships to combat Aeginetan piracy. A year later, the Greeks, under the Spartan Pausanias, defeated the Persian army at Plataea. The Persians then began to withdraw from Greece, and never attempted an invasion again. The Athenian
Athenian
fleet then turned to chasing the Persians from the Aegean Sea, defeating their fleet decisively in the Battle of Mycale; then in 478 BC the fleet captured Byzantium. At that time Athens
Athens
enrolled all the island states and some mainland ones into an alliance called the Delian League, so named because its treasury was kept on the sacred island of Delos. The Spartans, although they had taken part in the war, withdrew into isolation afterwards, allowing Athens
Athens
to establish unchallenged naval and commercial power. The Peloponnesian War[edit] Main article: Peloponnesian War

Cities at the beginning of the Peloponnesian War

Origins of the Delian League
Delian League
and the Peloponnesian League[edit] In 431 BC war broke out between Athens
Athens
and Sparta. The war was a struggle not merely between two city-states but rather between two coalitions, or leagues of city-states:[7] the Delian League, led by Athens, and the Peloponnesian League, led by Sparta. Delian League[edit] The Delian League
Delian League
grew out of the need to present a unified front of all Greek city-states against Persian aggression. In 481 BC, Greek city-states, including Sparta, met in the first of a series of "congresses" that strove to unify all the Greek city-states against the danger of another Persian invasion.[8] The coalition that emerged from the first congress was named the "Hellenic League" and included Sparta. Persia, under Xerxes, invaded Greece
Greece
in September 481 BC, but the Athenian
Athenian
navy defeated the Persian navy. The Persian land forces were delayed in 480 BC by a much smaller force of 300 Spartans, 400 Thebans and 700 men from Boeotian Thespiae
Boeotian Thespiae
at the Battle of Thermopylae.[9] The Persians left Greece
Greece
in 479 BC after their defeat at Plataea.[10] Plataea
Plataea
was the final battle of Xerxes' invasion of Greece. After this, the Persians never again tried to invade Greece. With the disappearance of this external threat, cracks appeared in the united front of the Hellenic League.[11] In 477, Athens
Athens
became the recognised leader of a coalition of city-states that did not include Sparta. This coalition met and formalized their relationship at the holy city of Delos.[12] Thus, the League took the name "Delian League". Its formal purpose was to liberate Greek cities still under Persian control.[13] However, it became increasingly apparent that the Delian League
Delian League
was really a front for Athenian
Athenian
imperialism throughout the Aegean.[14] Peloponnesian (or Spartan) League[edit] A competing coalition of Greek city-states centred around Sparta arose, and became more important as the external Persian threat subsided. This coalition is known as the Peloponnesian League. However, unlike the Hellenic League and the Delian League, this league was not a response to any external threat, Persian or otherwise: it was unabashedly an instrument of Spartan policy aimed at Sparta's security and Spartan dominance over the Peloponnese
Peloponnese
peninsula.[15] The term "Peloponnesian League" is a misnomer. It was not really a "league" at all. Nor was it really "Peloponnesian".[15] There was no equality at all between the members, as might be implied by the term "league". Furthermore, most of its members were located outside the Peloponnese
Peloponnese
Peninsula.[15] The terms "Spartan League" and "Peloponnesian League" are modern terms. Contemporaries instead referred to " Lacedaemonians
Lacedaemonians
and their Allies" to describe the "league".[15] The league had its origins in Sparta's conflict with Argos, another city on the Peloponnese
Peloponnese
Peninsula. In the 7th century BC, Argos dominated the peninsula. Even in the early 6th century, the Argives attempted to control the northeastern part of the peninsula. The rise of Sparta
Sparta
in the 6th century brought Sparta
Sparta
into conflict with Argos. However, with the conquest of the Peloponnesian city-state of Tegea
Tegea
in 550 BC and the defeat of the Argives in 546 BC, the Spartans' control began to reach well beyond the borders of Laconia. The Thirty Years Peace[edit]

Athenian
Athenian
empire.

As the two coalitions grew, their separate interests kept coming into conflict. Under the influence of King Archidamus II (the Eurypontid king of Sparta
Sparta
from 476 BC through 427 BC), Sparta, in the late summer or early autumn of 446 BC, concluded the Thirty Years Peace
Thirty Years Peace
with Athens. This treaty took effect the next winter in 445 BC[16] Under the terms of this treaty, Greece
Greece
was formally divided into two large power zones.[17] Sparta
Sparta
and Athens
Athens
agreed to stay within their own power zone and not to interfere in the other's. Despite the Thirty Years Peace, it was clear that war was inevitable.[18] As noted above, at all times during its history down to 221 BC, Sparta
Sparta
was a "diarchy" with two kings ruling the city-state concurrently. One line of hereditary kings was from the Eurypontid Dynasty while the other king was from the Agiad Dynasty. With the signing of the Thirty Years Peace treaty Archidamus II felt he had successfully prevented Sparta
Sparta
from entering into a war with its neighbours.[19] However, the strong war party in Sparta
Sparta
soon won out and in 431 BC Archidamus was forced to go to war with the Delian League. However, in 427 BC, Archidamus II died and his son, Agis II succeeded to the Eurypontid throne of Sparta.[20] Causes of the Peloponnesian War[edit] The immediate causes of the Peloponnesian War
Peloponnesian War
vary from account to account. However three causes are fairly consistent among the ancient historians, namely Thucydides
Thucydides
and Plutarch. Prior to the war, Corinth and one of its colonies, Corcyra
Corcyra
(modern-day Corfu), went to war in 435 BC over the new Corcyran colony of Epidamnus.[21] Sparta
Sparta
refused to become involved in the conflict and urged an arbitrated settlement of the struggle.[22] In 433 BC, Corcyra
Corcyra
sought Athenian
Athenian
assistance in the war. Corinth
Corinth
was known to be a traditional enemy of Athens. However, to further encourage Athens
Athens
to enter the conflict, Corcyra pointed out how useful a friendly relationship with Corcyra
Corcyra
would be, given the strategic locations of Corcyra
Corcyra
itself and the colony of Epidamnus
Epidamnus
on the east shore of the Adriatic Sea.[23] Furthermore, Corcyra
Corcyra
promised that Athens
Athens
would have the use of Corcyra's navy, the third-largest in Greece. This was too good of an offer for Athens
Athens
to refuse. Accordingly, Athens
Athens
signed a defensive alliance with Corcyra. The next year, in 432 BC, Corinth
Corinth
and Athens
Athens
argued over control of Potidaea
Potidaea
(near modern-day Nea Potidaia), eventually leading to an Athenian
Athenian
siege of Potidaea.[24] In 434-433 BC Athens
Athens
issued the "Megarian Decrees", a series of decrees that placed economic sanctions on the Megarian people.[25] The Peloponnesian League accused Athens
Athens
of violating the Thirty Years Peace
Thirty Years Peace
through all of the aforementioned actions, and, accordingly, Sparta
Sparta
formally declared war on Athens. Many historians consider these to be merely the immediate causes of the war. They would argue that the underlying cause was the growing resentment on the part of Sparta
Sparta
and its allies at the dominance of Athens
Athens
over Greek affairs. The war lasted 27 years, partly because Athens
Athens
(a naval power) and Sparta
Sparta
(a land-based military power) found it difficult to come to grips with each other. The Peloponnesian War: Opening Stages (431 - 421)[edit] Sparta's initial strategy was to invade Attica, but the Athenians were able to retreat behind their walls. An outbreak of plague in the city during the siege caused many deaths, including that of Pericles. At the same time the Athenian
Athenian
fleet landed troops in the Peloponnesus, winning battles at Naupactus (429) and Pylos (425). However, these tactics could bring neither side a decisive victory. After several years of inconclusive campaigning, the moderate Athenian
Athenian
leader Nicias concluded the Peace of Nicias
Nicias
(421).

A soldier's helmet on black-figure pottery

The Peloponnesian War: Second Phase (418 BCE - 404 BCE)[edit] In 418 BC, however, conflict between Sparta
Sparta
and the Athenian
Athenian
ally Argos
Argos
led to a resumption of hostilities. Alcibiades
Alcibiades
was one of the most influential voices in persuading the Athenians to ally with Argos against the Spartans.[26] At the Mantinea
Mantinea
Sparta
Sparta
defeated the combined armies of Athens
Athens
and her allies. Accordingly, Argos
Argos
and the rest of the Peloponnesus was brought back under the control of Sparta.[26] The return of peace allowed Athens
Athens
to be diverted from meddling in the affairs of the Peloponnesus and to concentrate on building up the empire and putting their finances in order. Soon trade recovered and tribute began, once again, rolling into Athens.[26] A strong "peace party" arose, which promoted avoidance of war and continued concentration on the economic growth of the Athenian
Athenian
Empire. Concentration on the Athenian
Athenian
Empire, however, brought Athens
Athens
into conflict with another Greek state. The Melian Expedition (416 BCE)[edit] Ever since the formation of the Delian League
Delian League
in 477 BC, the island of Melos had refused to join. By refusing to join the League, however, Melos reaped the benefits of the League without bearing any of the burdens.[27] In 425 BC, an Athenian
Athenian
army under Cleon attacked Melos to force the island to join the Delian League. However, Melos fought off the attack and was able to maintain its neutrality.[27] Further conflict was inevitable and in the spring of 416 BC the mood of the people in Athens
Athens
was inclined toward military adventure. The island of Melos provided an outlet for this energy and frustration for the military party. Furthermore, there appeared to be no real opposition to this military expedition from the peace party. Enforcement of the economic obligations of the Delian League
Delian League
upon rebellious city-states and islands was a means by which continuing trade and prosperity of Athens
Athens
could be assured. Melos alone among all the Cycladic Islands located in the south-west Aegean Sea
Aegean Sea
had resisted joining the Delian League.[27] This continued rebellion provided a bad example to the rest of the members of the Delian League. The debate between Athens
Athens
and Melos over the issue of joining the Delian League
Delian League
is presented by Thucydides
Thucydides
in his Melian Dialogue.[28] The debate did not in the end resolve any of the differences between Melos and Athens
Athens
and Melos was invaded in 416 BC, and soon occupied by Athens. This success on the part of Athens
Athens
whetted the appetite of the people of Athens
Athens
for further expansion of the Athenian
Athenian
Empire.[29] Accordingly, the people of Athens
Athens
were ready for military action and tended to support the military party, led by Alcibiades. The Sicilian Expedition
Sicilian Expedition
(415 BCE - 413 BCE)[edit]

The greek theater in Taormina

Thus, in 415 BC, Alcibiades
Alcibiades
found support within the Athenian
Athenian
Assembly for his position when he urged that Athens
Athens
launch a major expedition against Syracuse, a Peloponnesian ally in Sicily.[30] Segesta, a town in Sicily, had requested Athenian
Athenian
assistance in their war with another Sicilian town — the town of Selinus. Although Nicias
Nicias
was a sceptic about the Sicilian Expedition, he was appointed along with Alcibiades
Alcibiades
to lead the expedition.[31]

Artemision Bronze, thought to be either Poseidon
Poseidon
or Zeus, c. 460 BCE, National Archaeological Museum, Athens. Found by fishermen off the coast of Cape Artemisium
Artemisium
in 1928. The figure is more than 2 m in height.

However, unlike the expedition against Melos, the citizens of Athens were deeply divided over Alcibiades' proposal for an expedition to far-off Sicily. In June 415 BC, on the very eve of the departure of the Athenian
Athenian
fleet for Sicily, a band of vandals in Athens
Athens
defaced the many statues of the god Hermes
Hermes
that were scattered throughout the city of Athens.[32] This action was blamed on Alcibiades
Alcibiades
and was seen as a bad omen for the coming campaign.[33] In all likelihood, the coordinated action against the statues of Hermes
Hermes
was the action of the peace party.[34] Having lost the debate on the issue, the peace party was desperate to weaken Alcibiades' hold on the people of Athens. Successfully blaming Alcibiades
Alcibiades
for the action of the vandals would have weakened Alcibiades
Alcibiades
and the war party in Athens. Furthermore, it is unlikely that Alcibiades
Alcibiades
would have deliberately defaced the statues of Hermes
Hermes
on the very eve of his departure with the fleet. Such defacement could only have been interpreted as a bad omen for the expedition that he had long advocated. Even before the fleet reached Sicily, word arrived to the fleet that Alcibiades
Alcibiades
was to be arrested and charged with sacrilege of the statues of Hermes, prompting Alcibiades
Alcibiades
to flee to Sparta.[35] When the fleet later landed in Sicily
Sicily
and the battle was joined, the expedition was a complete disaster. The entire expeditionary force was lost and Nicias
Nicias
was captured and executed. This was one of the most crushing defeats in the history of Athens. Alcibiades
Alcibiades
in Sparta[edit] Meanwhile, Alcibiades
Alcibiades
betrayed Athens
Athens
and became a chief advisor to the Spartans and began to counsel them on the best way to defeat his native land. Alcibiades
Alcibiades
persuaded the Spartans to begin building a real navy for the first time — large enough to challenge the Athenian
Athenian
superiority at sea. Additionally, Alcibiades
Alcibiades
persuaded the Spartans to ally themselves with their traditional foes — the Persians. As noted below, Alcibiades
Alcibiades
soon found himself in controversy in Sparta
Sparta
when he was accused of having seduced Timaea, the wife of Agis II, the Eurypontid king of Sparta.[20] Accordingly, Alcibiades was required to flee from Sparta
Sparta
and seek the protection of the Persian Court. Persia intervenes[edit] In the Persian court, Alcibiades
Alcibiades
now betrayed both[clarification needed] by helping Sparta
Sparta
build a navy commensurate with the Athenian navy. Alcibiades
Alcibiades
advised that a victory of Sparta
Sparta
over Athens
Athens
was not in the best interest of the Persian Empire. Rather, long and continuous warfare between Sparta
Sparta
and Athens
Athens
would weaken both city-states and allow the Persians to dominate the Greek peninsula. Among the war party in Athens, a belief arose that the catastrophic defeat of the military expedition to Sicily
Sicily
in 415 - 413 could have been avoided if Alcibiades
Alcibiades
had been allowed to lead the expedition. Thus, despite his treacherous flight to Sparta
Sparta
and his collaboration with Sparta
Sparta
and later with the Persian court, there arose a demand among the war party that Alcibiades
Alcibiades
be allowed to return to Athens without being arrested. Alcibiades
Alcibiades
negotiated with his supporters on the Athenian-controlled island of Samos. Alcibiades
Alcibiades
felt that "radical democracy" was his worst enemy. Accordingly, he asked his supporters to initiate a coup to establish an oligarchy in Athens. If the coup were successful Alcibiades
Alcibiades
promised to return to Athens
Athens
In 411, a successful oligarchic coup was mounted in Athens, by a group which became known as "the 400". However, a parallel attempt by the 400 to overthrow democracy in Samos
Samos
failed. Alcibiades
Alcibiades
was immediately made an admiral (navarch) in the Athenian
Athenian
navy. Later, due to democratic pressures, the 400 were replaced by a broader oligarchy called "the 5000". Alcibiades
Alcibiades
did not immediately return to Athens. In early 410, Alcibiades
Alcibiades
led an Athenian
Athenian
fleet of 18 triremes against the Persian-financed Spartan fleet at Abydos near the Hellespont. The Battle of Abydos had actually begun before the arrival of Alcibiades, and had been inclining slightly toward the Athenians. However, with the arrival of Alcibiades, the Athenian
Athenian
victory over the Spartans became a rout. Only the approach of nightfall and the movement of Persian troops to the coast where the Spartans had beached their ships saved the Spartan navy from total destruction. Following Alcibiades' advice, the Persian Empire had been playing Sparta
Sparta
and Athens
Athens
off against each other. However, as weak as the Spartan navy was after the Battle of Abydos, the Persian navy directly assisted the Spartans. Alcibiades
Alcibiades
then pursued and met the combined Spartan and Persian fleets at the Battle of Cyzicus
Battle of Cyzicus
later in the spring of 410, achieving a significant victory. Lysander
Lysander
and the end of the war[edit] Sparta
Sparta
then built a fleet, with the financial help of the Persians, to challenge Athenian
Athenian
naval supremacy, and found a new military leader in Lysander, who attacked Abydos and seized the strategic initiative by occupying the Hellespont, the source[clarification needed] of Athens' grain imports.[36] Threatened with starvation, Athens
Athens
sent its last remaining fleet to confront Lysander, but he decisively defeated it at Aegospotami (405 BC). The loss of her fleet threatened Athens
Athens
with bankruptcy. In 404 BC Athens
Athens
sued for peace, and Sparta
Sparta
dictated a predictably stern settlement: Athens
Athens
lost her city walls, her fleet, and all of her overseas possessions. Lysander
Lysander
abolished the democracy and appointed in its place an oligarchy called the "Thirty Tyrants" to govern Athens. Meanwhile, in Sparta, Timaea gave birth to a child. The child was given the name Leotychidas, after the great grandfather of Agis II — King Leotychidas of Sparta. However, because of Timaea's alleged affair with Alcibiades, it was widely rumoured that the young Leotychidas was fathered by Alcibiades.[20] Indeed, Agis II refused to acknowledge Leotychidas as his son until he relented, in front of witnesses, on his deathbed in 400 BC.[37] Upon the death of Agis II, Leotychidas attempted to claim the Eurypontid throne for himself, but this was met with an outcry, led by Lysander, who was at the height of his influence in Sparta.[37] Lysander
Lysander
argued that Leotychidas was a bastard and could not inherit the Eurypontid throne;[37] instead he backed the hereditary claim of Agesilaus, son of Agis by another wife. With Lysander's support, Agesilaus became the Eurypontid king as Agesilaus II, expelled Leotychidas from the country, and took over all of Agis' estates and property. 4th century BC[edit]

Related articles: Spartan hegemony
Spartan hegemony
and Theban hegemony

Grave relief of Thraseas and Euandria
Grave relief of Thraseas and Euandria
from Athens, 375 - 350 BC, Pergamon Museum
Pergamon Museum
(Berlin)

The end of the Peloponnesian War
Peloponnesian War
left Sparta
Sparta
the master of Greece, but the narrow outlook of the Spartan warrior elite did not suit them to this role.[38] Within a few years the democratic party regained power in Athens
Athens
and in other cities. In 395 BC the Spartan rulers removed Lysander
Lysander
from office, and Sparta
Sparta
lost her naval supremacy. Athens, Argos, Thebes, and Corinth, the latter two former Spartan allies, challenged Sparta's dominance in the Corinthian War, which ended inconclusively in 387 BC. That same year Sparta
Sparta
shocked the Greeks
Greeks
by concluding the Treaty of Antalcidas with Persia. The agreement turned over the Greek cities of Ionia
Ionia
and Cyprus, reversing a hundred years of Greek victories against Persia. Sparta
Sparta
then tried to further weaken the power of Thebes, which led to a war in which Thebes allied with its old enemy Athens. Then the Theban generals Epaminondas
Epaminondas
and Pelopidas
Pelopidas
won a decisive victory at Leuctra (371 BC). The result of this battle was the end of Spartan supremacy and the establishment of Theban dominance, but Athens
Athens
herself recovered much of her former power because the supremacy of Thebes was short-lived. With the death of Epaminondas
Epaminondas
at Mantinea
Mantinea
(362 BC) the city lost its greatest leader and his successors blundered into an ineffectual ten-year war with Phocis. In 346 BC the Thebans appealed to Philip II of Macedon
Philip II of Macedon
to help them against the Phocians, thus drawing Macedon
Macedon
into Greek affairs for the first time.[39] The Peloponnesian War
Peloponnesian War
was a radical turning point for the Greek world. Before 403 BC, the situation was more defined, with Athens
Athens
and its allies (a zone of domination and stability, with a number of island cities benefiting from Athens' maritime protection), and other states outside this Athenian
Athenian
Empire. The sources denounce this Athenian supremacy (or hegemony) as smothering and disadvantageous.[40] After 403 BC, things became more complicated, with a number of cities trying to create similar empires over others, all of which proved short-lived. The first of these turnarounds was managed by Athens
Athens
as early as 390 BC, allowing it to re-establish itself as a major power without regaining its former glory. The fall of Sparta[edit] This empire was powerful but short-lived. In 405 BC, the Spartans were masters of all - of Athens' allies and of Athens
Athens
itself - and their power was undivided. By the end of the century, they could not even defend their own city. As noted above, in 400 BC, Agesilaus became king of Sparta.[41] Foundation of a Spartan empire[edit] The subject of how to reorganize the Athenian
Athenian
Empire as part of the Spartan Empire provoked much heated debate among Sparta's full citizens. The admiral Lysander
Lysander
felt that the Spartans should rebuild the Athenian
Athenian
empire in such a way that Sparta
Sparta
profited from it. Lysander
Lysander
tended to be too proud to take advice from others.[42] Prior to this, Spartan law forbade the use of all precious metals by private citizens, with transactions being carried out with cumbersome iron ingots (which generally discouraged their accumulation) and all precious metals obtained by the city becoming state property. Without the Spartans' support, Lysander's innovations came into effect and brought a great deal of profit for him - on Samos, for example, festivals known as Lysandreia were organized in his honour. He was recalled to Sparta, and once there did not attend to any important matters.

A Kylix (drinking cup)
Kylix (drinking cup)
from Attica
Attica
showing a goddess performing a libation, 470 BC, white ground technique pottery

Sparta
Sparta
refused to see Lysander
Lysander
or his successors dominate. Not wanting to establish a hegemony, they decided after 403 BC not to support the directives that he had made. Agesilaus came to power by accident at the start of the 4th century BC. This accidental accession meant that, unlike the other Spartan kings, he had the advantage of a Spartan education. The Spartans at this date discovered a conspiracy against the laws of the city conducted by Cinadon and as a result concluded there were too many dangerous worldly elements at work in the Spartan state. Agesilaus employed a political dynamic that played on a feeling of pan-Hellenic sentiment and launched a successful campaign against the Persian empire.[43] Once again, the Persian empire played both sides against each other. The Persian Court supported Sparta
Sparta
in the rebuilding of their navy while simultaneously funding the Athenians, who used Persian subsidies to rebuild their long walls (destroyed in 404 BC) as well as to reconstruct their fleet and win a number of victories. For most of the first years of his reign, Agesilaus had been engaged in a war against Persia in the Aegean Sea
Aegean Sea
and in Asia Minor.[44] In 394 BC, the Spartan authorities ordered Agesilaus to return to mainland Greece. While Agesilaus had a large part of the Spartan Army in Asia Minor, the Spartan forces protecting the homeland had been attacked by a coalition of forces led by Corinth.[45] At the Battle of Haliartus
Haliartus
the Spartans had been defeated by the Theban forces. Worse yet, Lysander, Sparta's chief military leader, had been killed during the battle.[46] This was the start of what became known as the "Corinthian War" (395 BCE-387 BCE).[43] Upon hearing of the Spartan loss at Haliartus
Haliartus
and of the death of Lysander, Agesilaus headed out of Asia Minor, back across the Hellespont, across Thrace
Thrace
and back towards Greece. At the Battle of Coronea, Agesilaus and his Spartan Army defeated a Theban force. During the war, Corinth
Corinth
drew support from a coalition of traditional Spartan enemies — Argos, Athens and Thebes.[47] However, when the war descended into guerilla tactics, Sparta
Sparta
decided that it could not fight on two fronts and so chose to ally with Persia.[47] The long Corinthian War
Corinthian War
finally ended with the Peace of Antalcidas or the King's Peace, in which the "Great King" of Persia, Artaxerxes II, pronounced a "treaty" of peace between the various city-states of Greece
Greece
which broke up all "leagues" of city-states on Greek mainland and in the islands of the Aegean Sea. Although this was looked upon as "independence" for some city-states, the effect of the unilateral "treaty" was highly favourable to the interests of the Persian Empire. The Corinthian War
Corinthian War
revealed a significant dynamic that was occurring in Greece. While Athens
Athens
and Sparta
Sparta
fought each other to exhaustion, Thebes was rising to a position of dominance among the various Greek city-states. The peace of Antalcidas[edit] In 387 BC, an edict was promulgated by the Persian king, preserving the Greek cities of Asia Minor
Asia Minor
and Cyprus
Cyprus
as well as the independence of the Greek Aegean cities, except for Lymnos, Imbros and Skyros, which were given over to Athens.[48] It dissolved existing alliances and federations and forbade the formation of new ones. This is an ultimatum that benefited Athens
Athens
only to the extent that Athens
Athens
held onto three islands. While the "Great King," Artaxerxes, was the guarantor of the peace, Sparta
Sparta
was to act as Persia's agent in enforcing the Peace.[49] To the Persians this document is known as the "King's Peace." To the Greeks, this document is known as the Peace of Antalcidas, after the Antalcidas who was sent to Persia as negotiator. Sparta
Sparta
had been worried about the developing closer ties between Athens
Athens
and Persia. Accordingly, Antalcidas was directed to get whatever agreement he could from the "Great King". Accordingly, the "Peace of Antalcidas" is not a negotiated peace at all. Rather it is a surrender to the interests of Persia, drafted entirely for its benefit.[49] Spartan interventionism[edit] On the other hand, this peace had unexpected consequences. In accordance with it, the Boeotian League, or Boeotian confederacy, was dissolved in 386 BC.[50] This confederacy was dominated by Thebes, a city hostile to the Spartan hegemony. Sparta
Sparta
carried out large-scale operations and peripheral interventions in Epirus and in the north of Greece, resulting in the capture of the fortress of Thebes, the Cadmea, after an expedition in the Chalcidice and the capture of Olynthos. It was a Theban politician who suggested to the Spartan general Phoibidas that Sparta
Sparta
should seize Thebes itself. This act was sharply condemned, though Sparta
Sparta
eagerly ratified this unilateral move by Phoibidas. The Spartan attack was successful and Thebes was placed under Spartan control.[51] Clash with Thebes[edit] In 378 BC, the reaction to Spartan control over Thebes was broken by a popular uprising within Thebes. Elsewhere in Greece, the reaction against Spartan hegemony
Spartan hegemony
began when Sphodrias, another Spartan general, tried to carry out a surprise attack on Piraeus.[52] Although the gates of Piraeus
Piraeus
were no longer fortified, Sphodrias was driven off before Piraeus. Back in Sparta, Sphodrias was put on trial for the failed attack, but was acquitted by the Spartan court. Nonetheless, the attempted attack triggered an alliance between Athens
Athens
and Thebes.[52] Sparta
Sparta
would now have to fight them both together. Athens was trying to recover from its defeat in the Peloponnesian War
Peloponnesian War
at the hands of Sparta's "navarch" Lysander
Lysander
in the disaster of 404 BC. The rising spirit of rebellion against Sparta
Sparta
also fueled Thebes' attempt to restore the former Boeotian confederacy.[53] In Boeotia, the Theban leaders Pelopidas
Pelopidas
and Epaminondas
Epaminondas
reorganized the Theban army and began to free the towns of Boeotia
Boeotia
from their Spartan garrisons, one by one, and incorporated these towns into the revived Boeotian League.[49] Pelopidas
Pelopidas
won a great victory for Thebes over a much larger Spartan force in the Battle of Tegyra
Battle of Tegyra
in 375 BC.[54] Theban authority grew so spectacularly in such a short time that Athens
Athens
came to mistrust the growing Theban power. Athens
Athens
began to consolidate its position again through the formation of a second Athenian
Athenian
League.[55] Attention was drawn to growing power of Thebes when it began interfering in the political affairs of its neighbor, Phocis, and, particularly, after Thebes razed the city of Plataea, a long-standing ally of Athens, in 375 BC.[56] The destruction of Plataea
Plataea
caused Athens
Athens
to negotiate an alliance with Sparta
Sparta
against Thebes, in that same year.[56] In 371, the Theban army, led by Epaminondas, inflicted a bloody defeat on Spartan forces at Battle of Leuctra. Sparta
Sparta
lost a large part of its army and 400 of its 2,000 citizen-troops. The Battle of Leuctra
Battle of Leuctra
was a watershed in Greek history.[56] Epaminondas' victory ended a long history of Spartan military prestige and dominance over Greece
Greece
and the period of Spartan hegemony was over. However, Spartan hegemony
Spartan hegemony
was not replaced by Theban, but rather by Athenian
Athenian
hegemony. The rise of Athens[edit]

The Temple of Hephaestus
Temple of Hephaestus
at the Agora
Agora
of Athens, built 449-415 BC

Financing the league[edit] It was important to erase the bad memories of the former league. Its financial system was not adopted, with no tribute being paid. Instead, syntaxeis were used, irregular contributions as and when Athens
Athens
and its allies needed troops, collected for a precise reason and spent as quickly as possible. These contributions were not taken to Athens — unlike the 5th century BC system, there was no central exchequer for the league — but to the Athenian
Athenian
generals themselves. The Athenians had to make their own contribution to the alliance, the eisphora. They reformed how this tax was paid, creating a system in advance, the Proseiphora, in which the richest individuals had to pay the whole sum of the tax then be reimbursed by other contributors. This system was quickly assimilated into a liturgy. Athenian
Athenian
hegemony halted[edit] This league responded to a real and present need. On the ground, however, the situation within the league proved to have changed little from that of the 5th century BC, with Athenian
Athenian
generals doing what they wanted and able to extort funds from the league. Alliance with Athens
Athens
again looked unattractive and the allies complained. The main reasons for the eventual failure were structural. This alliance was only valued out of fear of Sparta, which evaporated after Sparta's fall in 371 BC, losing the alliance its sole 'raison d'etre'. The Athenians no longer had the means to fulfill their ambitions, and found it difficult merely to finance their own navy, let alone that of an entire alliance, and so could not properly defend their allies. Thus, the tyrant of Pherae was able to destroy a number of cities with impunity. From 360 BC, Athens
Athens
lost its reputation for invincibility and a number of allies (such as Byzantium
Byzantium
and Naxos in 364 BC) decided to secede. In 357 BC the revolt against the league spread, and between 357 BC and 355 BC, Athens
Athens
had to face war against its allies—a war whose issue was marked by a decisive intervention by the king of Persia in the form of an ultimatum to Athens, demanding that Athens
Athens
recognise its allies' independence under threat of Persia's sending 200 triremes against Athens. Athens
Athens
had to renounce the war and leave the confederacy, thereby weakening itself more and more, and signaling the end of Athenian
Athenian
hegemony. Theban hegemony
Theban hegemony
- tentative and with no future[edit] 5th century BC Boeotian confederacy (447 BCE – 386 BCE)[edit] This was not Thebes' first attempt at hegemony. It had been the most important city of Boeotia
Boeotia
and the centre of the previous Boeotian confederacy of 447, resurrected since 386. The 5th-century confederacy is well known to us from a papyrus found at Oxyrhynchus
Oxyrhynchus
and known as "the Anonyme of Thebes". Thebes headed it and set up a system under which charges were divided up between the different cities of the confederacy. Citizenship was defined according to wealth, and Thebes counted 11,000 active citizens. The confederacy was divided up into 11 districts, each providing a federal magistrate called a "boeotarch", a certain number of council members, 1,000 hoplites and 100 horsemen. From the 5th century BC the alliance could field an infantry force of 11,000 men, in addition to an elite corps and a light infantry numbering 10,000; but its real power derived from its cavalry force of 1,100, commanded by a federal magistrate independent of local commanders. It also had a small fleet that played a part in the Peloponnesian War
Peloponnesian War
by providing 25 triremes for the Spartans. At the end of the conflict, the fleet consisted of 50 triremes and was commanded by a "navarch". All this constituted a significant enough force that the Spartans were happy to see the Boeotian confederacy dissolved by the king's peace. This dissolution, however, did not last, and in the 370s there was nothing to stop the Thebans (who had lost the Cadmea to Sparta
Sparta
in 382 BC) from reforming this confederacy. Theban reconstruction[edit] Pelopidas
Pelopidas
and Epaminondas
Epaminondas
endowed Thebes with democratic institutions similar to those of Athens, the Thebans revived the title of "Boeotarch" lost in the Persian King's Peace and - with victory at Leuctra and the destruction of Spartan power - the pair achieved their stated objective of renewing the confederacy. Epaminondas
Epaminondas
rid the Peloponnesus of pro-Spartan oligarchies, replacing them with pro-Theban democracies, constructed cities, and rebuilt a number of those destroyed by Sparta. He equally supported the reconstruction of the city of Messene
Messene
thanks to an invasion of Laconia
Laconia
that also allowed him to liberate the helots and give them Messene
Messene
as a capital. He decided in the end to constitute small confederacies all round the Peloponnessus, forming an Arcadian confederacy (the King's Peace had destroyed a previous Arcadian confederacy and put Messene
Messene
under Spartan control). Confrontation between Athens
Athens
and Thebes[edit] The strength of the Boeotian League
Boeotian League
explains Athens' problems with her allies in the second Athenian
Athenian
League. Epaminondas
Epaminondas
succeeded in convincing his countrymen to build a fleet of 100 triremes to pressure cities into leaving the Athenian
Athenian
league and joining a Boeotian maritime league. Epaminondas
Epaminondas
and Pelopidas
Pelopidas
also reformed the army of Thebes to introduce new and more effective means of fighting. Thus, the Theban army was able to carry the day against the coalition of other Greek states at the battle of Leuctra in 371 BC and the battle of Mantinea
Mantinea
in 362 BC. Sparta
Sparta
also remained an important power in the face of Theban strength. However, some of the cities allied with Sparta
Sparta
turned against her, because of Thebes. In 367 BC, both Sparta
Sparta
and Athens
Athens
sent delegates to Artaxerxes II, the Great King of Persia. These delegates sought to have the Artaxerxes, once again, declare Greek independence and a unilateral common peace, just as he had done in twenty years earlier in 387 BC. As noted above, this had meant the destruction of the Boeotian League
Boeotian League
in 387 BC. Sparta
Sparta
and Athens
Athens
now hoped the same thing would happen with a new declaration of a similar "Kings Peace". Thebes sent Pelopidas
Pelopidas
to argue against them.[57] The Great King was convinced by Pelopidas
Pelopidas
and the Theban diplomats that Thebes and the Boeotian League
Boeotian League
would be the best agents of Persian interests in Greece, and, accordingly, did not issue a new "King's Peace."[50] Thus, to deal with Thebes, Athens
Athens
and Sparta
Sparta
were thrown back on their own resources. Thebes, meanwhile, expanded its influence beyond the bounds of Boeotia. In 364 BC, Pelopidas
Pelopidas
defeated the Alexander of Pherae in the Battle of Cynoscephalae, located in south-eastern Thessaly in northern Greece. However, during the battle, Pelopides was killed.[58] The confederational framework of Sparta's relationship with her allies was really an artificial one, since it attempted to bring together cities that had never been able to agree on much at all in the past. Such was the case with the cities of Tegea
Tegea
and Mantinea, which re-allied in the Arcadian confederacy. The Mantineans received the support of the Athenians, and the Tegeans that of the Thebans. In 362 BC, Epaminondas
Epaminondas
led a Theban army against a coalition of Athenian, Spartan, Elisian, Mantinean and Achean forces. Battle was joined at Mantinea.[50] The Thebans prevailed, but this triumph was short-lived, for Epaminondas
Epaminondas
died in the battle, stating that "I bequeath to Thebes two daughters, the victory of Leuctra and the victory at Mantinea". Despite the victory at Mantinea, in the end, the Thebans abandoned their policy of intervention in the Peloponnesus. This event is looked upon as a watershed in Greek history. Thus, Xenophon
Xenophon
concludes his history of the Greek world at this point, in 362 BC. The end of this period was even more confused than its beginning. Greece
Greece
had failed and, according to Xenophon, the history of the Greek world was no longer intelligible. The idea of hegemony disappeared. From 362 BC onward, there was no longer a single city that could exert hegemonic power in Greece. The Spartans were greatly weakened; the Athenians were in no condition to operate their navy, and after 365 no longer had any allies; Thebes could only exert an ephemeral dominance, and had the means to defeat Sparta
Sparta
and Athens
Athens
but not to be a major power in Asia Minor. Other forces also intervened, such as the Persian king, who appointed himself arbitrator among the Greek cities, with their tacit agreement. This situation reinforced the conflicts and there was a proliferation of civil wars, with the confederal framework a repeated trigger for them. One war led to another, each longer and more bloody than the last, and the cycle could not be broken. Hostilities even took place during winter for the first time, with the invasion of Laconia
Laconia
in 370 BC. Rise of Macedon[edit] Main article: Rise of Macedon

Thessalian cavalryman on the Alexander Sarcophagus, late 4th century BC (Istanbul Archaeological Museum)

A wall mural of a charioteer from the Macedonian royal tombs at Vergina, late 6th century BC

Thebes sought to maintain its position until finally eclipsed by the rising power of Macedon
Macedon
in 346 BC. The energetic leadership within Macedon
Macedon
began in 359 BC when Philip of Macedon
Macedon
was made regent for his nephew, Amyntas. Within a short time, Philip was acclaimed king as Philip II of Macedonia in his own right, with succession of the throne established on his own heirs.[59] During his lifetime, Philip II consolidated his rule over Macedonia. This was done by 359 BC and Philip began to look toward expanding Macedonia's influence abroad. The dream of restoring Greece
Greece
to its grandeur by liberating all Greek lands from Persian dominion was alive even in this early stage. This dream even included conquering Persia itself.[60] Under Philip II, (359–336 BC), Macedon
Macedon
expanded into the territory of the Paeonians, Thracians, and Illyrians.[61] In 358 BC, Philip allied with Epirus in its campaign against Illyria. In 357 BC, Philip came into direct conflict with Athens
Athens
when he conquered the Thracian port city of Amphipolis, a city located at the mouth of the Strymon River to the east of Macedonia, and a major Athenian
Athenian
trading port. Conquering this city allowed Philip to subjugate all of Thrace. A year later in 356 BC, the Macedonians attacked and conquered the Athenian-controlled port city of Pydna. This brought the Macedonian threat to Athens
Athens
closer to home to the Athenians. With the start of the Phocian War in 356 BC, the great Athenian
Athenian
orator and political leader of the "war party", Demosthenes, became increasingly active in encouraging Athens
Athens
to fight vigorously against Philip's expansionist aims.[62] In 352 BC, Demosthenes
Demosthenes
gave many speeches against the Macedonian threat, declaring Philip II Athens' greatest enemy. The leader of the Athenian
Athenian
"peace party" was Phocion, who wished to avoid a confrontation that, Phocion
Phocion
felt, would be catastrophic for Athens. Despite Phocion's attempts to restrain the war party, Athens
Athens
remained at war with Macedonia for years following the original declaration of war.[63] Negotiations between Athens
Athens
and Philip II started only in 346 BC.[64] The Athenians successfully halted Philip's invasion of Attica at Thermopylae that same year in 352 BC. However, Philip defeated the Phocians
Phocians
at the Battle of the Crocus Field. The conflict between Macedonia and all the city-states of Greece
Greece
came to a head in 338 BC,[65] at the Battle of Chaeronea. The Macedonians became more politically involved with the south-central city-states of Greece, but also retained more archaic aspects harking back to the palace culture, first at Aegae (modern Vergina) then at Pella, resembling Mycenaean culture more than that of the Classical city-states. Militarily, Philip recognized the new phalanx style of fighting that had been employed by Epaminondas
Epaminondas
and Phielopidas in Thebes. Accordingly, he incorporated this new system into the Macedonian army. Philip II also brought a Theban military tutor to Macedon
Macedon
to instruct the future Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great
in the Theban method of fighting.[66] Philip's son Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great
was born in Pella, Macedonia (356–323 BC). Philip II brought Aristotle
Aristotle
to Pella
Pella
to teach the young Alexander.[67] Besides Alexander's mother, Olympias, Philip took another wife by the name of Cleopatra Eurydice.[68] Cleopatra had a daughter, Europa, and a son, Caranus. Caranus posed a threat to the succession of Alexander.[69] Cleopatra Eurydice was a Macedonian and, thus, Caranus was all Macedonian in blood. Olympias, on the other hand, was from Epicurus
Epicurus
and, thus, Alexander was regarded as being only half-Macedonian ( Cleopatra Eurydice should not be confused with Cleopatra of Macedon, who was Alexander's full-sister and thus daughter of Philip and Olympias). Philip II was assassinated at the wedding of his daughter Cleopatra of Macedon
Macedon
with King Alexander I of Epirus
Alexander I of Epirus
in 336 BC.[70] Philip's son, the future Alexander the Great, immediately claimed the throne of Macedonia by eliminating all the other claimants to the throne, including Caranus and his cousin Amytas.[71] Alexander was only twenty (20) years of age when he assumed the throne.[72] Thereafter, Alexander continued his father's plans to conquer all of Greece. He did this by both military might and persuasion. After his victory over Thebes, Alexander traveled to Athens
Athens
to meet the public directly. Despite Demosthenes' speeches against the Macedonian threat on behalf of the war party of Athens, the public in Athens
Athens
was still very much divided between the "peace party" and Demosthenes' "war party." However, the arrival of Alexander charmed the Athenian public.[73] The peace party was strengthened and then a peace between Athens
Athens
and Macedonia was agreed.[74] This allowed Alexander to move on his and the Greeks' long-held dream of conquest in the east, with a unified and secure Greek state at his back. In 334 BC, Alexander with about 30,000 infantry soldiers and 5,000 cavalry crossed the Hellespont
Hellespont
into Asia. He never returned.[75] Alexander managed to briefly extend Macedonian power not only over the central Greek city-states, but also to the Persian empire, including Egypt
Egypt
and lands as far east as the fringes of India.[61] He managed to spread Greek culture throughout the known world.[76] Alexander the Great died in 323 BC in Babylon during his Asian campaign of conquest.[77] The Classical period conventionally ends at the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the fragmentation of his empire, divided among the Diadochi,[78] which, in the minds of most scholars, marks the beginning of the Hellenistic period. Legacy of Classical Greece[edit] The legacy of Greece
Greece
was strongly felt by post- Renaissance
Renaissance
European elite, who saw themselves as the spiritual heirs of Greece. Will Durant wrote in 1939 that "excepting machinery, there is hardly anything secular in our culture that does not come from Greece," and conversely "there is nothing in Greek civilization that doesn't illuminate our own".[79] Noted commentator Marianna de Marzi has also observed the extent to which Classical Greek thought has influenced the progression of Western civilization, writing: "The profundity of the knowledge gained through this period in history; in art, mathematics, music and more, is incomparable to almost any other chapter in human inquiry." See also[edit]

Classical antiquity Classics Art in ancient Greece

References[edit]

^ The "Classical Age" is "the modern designation of the period from about 500 B.C. to the death of Alexander the Great
Alexander the Great
in 323 B.C." (Thomas R. Martin, Ancient Greece, Yale University Press, 1996, p. 94). ^ a b c Brian Todd Carey, Joshua Allfree, John Cairns. Warfare in the Ancient World Pen and Sword, 19 jan. 2006 ISBN 1848846304 ^ AA.VV., Art: Perception and Appreciation, University of the East, p. 169. ^ a b Aeschylus,; Peter Burian; Alan Shapiro (17 February 2009). The Complete Aeschylus: Volume II: Persians and Other Plays. Oxford University Press. p. 18. ISBN 978-0-19-045183-7.  ^ isegoria: equal freedom of speech ^ Joseph Roisman,Ian Worthington. "A companion to Ancient Macedonia" John Wiley & Sons, 2011. ISBN 144435163X pp 135-138 ^ Donald Kagan, The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War
Peloponnesian War
(Cornell University Press: Ithaca, New York, 1969) p. 9. ^ Donald Kagan, The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War, p. 31. ^ Carl Roebuck, The World of Ancient Times (Charles Scribner's Sons: New York, 1966) pp. 244-248. ^ Carl Roebuck, The World of Ancient Times, p. 249. ^ Carl Roebuck, The World of Ancient Times, p. 254. ^ Carl Roebuck, The World of Ancient Times, p. 256. ^ Carl Roebuck, The World of Ancient Times, p. 255. ^ Donald Kagan, The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War, p. 44. ^ a b c d Donald Kagan, The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War, p. 10. ^ Donald Kagan, The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War, p. 128. ^ Carl Roebuck, The World of Ancient Times, p. 261. ^ Donald Kagan, The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War, pp. 2-3. ^ Plutarch, The Age of Alexander: Nine Greek Lives (Penguin Books: New York, 1980) p. 25. ^ a b c Plutarch, The Age of Alexander: Nine Greek Lives, p. 26. ^ Donald Kagan, The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War, pp. 206-216. ^ Carl Roebuck, The World of Ancient Times, p. 278. ^ Carl Roebuck, The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War, p. 278. ^ Carl Roebuck, The World of Ancient Times, pp. 278-279. ^ Donald Kagan, The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War, pp.252. ^ a b c Carl Roebuck, The World of Ancient Times (Charles Scribner's Sons: New York, 1966) p. 287. ^ a b c Donald Kagan, The Peace of Nicias
Nicias
and the Sicilian Expedition Cornell University Press: New York, 1981) p. 148. ^ Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War: Book 5 (Penguin Books: New York, 1980) pp. 400-408. ^ Carl Roebuck, The World of Ancient Times p. 288. ^ Donald Kagan, The Peace of Nicias
Nicias
and the Sicilian Expedition, p. 171. ^ Donald Kagan, The Peace of Nicias
Nicias
and the Sicialian Expedition, p. 169. ^ Donald Kagan,The Peace of Nicias
Nicias
and the Sicilian Expedition, pp. 193-194. ^ Carl Roebuck, The world of Ancient Times, pp. 288-289. ^ Donald Kagan, The Peace of Nicias
Nicias
and the Sicilian Expedition, pp. 207-209. ^ Carl Roebuck, The World of Ancient Times, p. 289. ^ Donald Kagan, The Fall of the Athenian
Athenian
Empire (Cornell University Press: New York, 1987) p. 385. ^ a b c Plutarch, The Age of Alexander: Nine Greek Lives, p. 27. ^ Carl Roebuck, The World of Ancient Times, p. 305. ^ Carl Roebuck, The World of Ancient Times, pp. 319-320 ^ These sources include Xenophon's continuation of Thucydides' work in his Hellenica, which provided a continuous narrative of Greek history up to 362 BC but has defects, such as bias towards Sparta, with whose king Agesilas Xenophon
Xenophon
lived for a while. We also have Plutarch, a 2nd-century Boeotian, whose Life of Pelopidas
Pelopidas
gives a Theban version of events and Diodorus Siculus. This is also the era where the epigraphic evidence develops, a source of the highest importance for this period, both for Athens
Athens
and for a number of continental Greek cities that also issued decrees. ^ Plutarch, The Age of Alexander, p. 28. ^ Carl Roebuck, The World of Ancient Times (Charles Scribner's Sons: New York, 1966) p. 305. ^ a b Carl Roebuck, The World of Ancient Times, p. 306. ^ Plutarch, The Age of Alexander: Nine Greek Lives, pp. 33 to 38. ^ Plutarch, The Age of Alexander: Nine Greek Lives, p. 39. ^ Plutarch, The Age of Alexander: Nine Greek Lives, p. 45. ^ a b Carl Roebuck, The World of Ancient Times, p. 307. ^ Carl Roebuck, The World of Ancient Times, pp. 307-308. ^ a b c Carl Roebuck, The World of Ancient Times, p. 308. ^ a b c Carl Roebuck, The World of Ancient Times, p. 311. ^ Plutarch, The Age of Alexander: Nine Greek Lives, p. 81. ^ a b Plutarch, The Age of Alexander: Nine Greek Lives, p. 82. ^ Carl Roebuck, The World of Ancient Times, pp. 308-309. ^ Plutarch, The Age of Alexander: Nine Greek Lives, p. 83. ^ Carl Roebuck, The World of Ancient Times, p. 309. ^ a b c Carl Roebuck, The World of Ancient Times, p. 310. ^ Plutarch, The Age of Alexander: Nine Greek Lives, p. 97. ^ Plutarch, The Age of Alexander: Nine Greek Lives, p. 99. ^ Carl Roebuck, The World of Ancient Times (Charles Scribner's Sons: New York, 1966) p. 317. ^ Harold Lamb, Alexander of Macedon, p. 76. ^ a b Carl Roebuck, The World of Ancient Times, p. 317. ^ Plutarch, The Age of Alexander: Nine Greek Lives, p. 198. ^ Plutarch, The Age of Alexander: Nine Greek Lives, p. 231. ^ Carl Roebuck, The World of Ancient Times, p. 319. ^ Harold Lamb, Alexander of Macedon, p. 65. ^ Harold Lamb, Alexander of Macedon
Macedon
(Pinnacle Books: New York, 1946) p. 9. ^ Harold Lamb, Alexander of Macedon, p. 30. ^ Harold Lamb, Alexander of Macedon, p. 55. ^ Harold Lamb, Alexander of Macedon, p. 83. ^ Harold Lamb, Alexander of Macedon, p. 82. ^ Harold Lamb, Alexander of Macedon, p. 86. ^ Arrian, The Campaigns of Alexander (Penguin books: New York, 1979) p. 41-42. ^ Harold Lamb, Alexander of Macedon, p. 96. ^ Arrian, The Campaigns of Alexander, p. 64. ^ Arrian, The Campaigns of Alexander, p. 65. ^ Carl Roebuck, The World of Ancient Times, p. 349. ^ Arrian, The Campaigns of Alexander, p. 395. ^ Carl Roebuck, The World of Ancient Times, p. 362. ^ Will Durant, The Life of Greece
Greece
(The Story of Civilization, Part II) (New York: Simon & Schuster) 1939: Introduction, pp. vii and viii.

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