History Week 20 Review: The Peloponnesian Wars
In the past week, I’ve been learning about the Peloponnesian Wars in Greece. These wars, lasting about 35 years altogether, 18 the first and 17 the second, wreaked havoc on pretty much all of Greece. In both wars, Sparta won, the first time because of strategy, and the second time, from Persia’s financial support. Both times Athens was literally crushed, and sent into a state of decline. Therefore, Sparta became the most powerful city-state in Greece. Sparta won the first war because they made a run for the Hellespont, Athens’ grain supply, and captured it.
The cause of the second war was a lot like the cause of WWII, built off the war before, except from the opposite end of the spectrum. Sparta had not been sharing credit for winning with its allies, making them angry, and those allies, especially Thebes and Corinth, turned on Sparta and, gathering up an alliance with a couple other city-states (including Athens), attacked Sparta.
In the end, really both Athens and Sparta lost, and Persia won, because the Greeks had weakened themselves by fighting amongst themselves. That was why Persia had been helping both sides. And later, this proved to be the end of Greece, as they fell prey to the growing Roman Empire, and later Persia.