What were the main causes of the peloponnesian war

In this lecture, Professor Kagan focuses on the causes of the Peloponnesian War and the possible motivations for Thucydides' book, The History of the Peloponnesian War. Concerning the first point, Professor Kagan parts ways with Thucydides and argues that the war was not inevitable and that the Athenians under Pericles followed a policy of deterrence, which was aimed at peace. Similarly, he points out that there were a number of Spartans who did not want war as well. Therefore, according to this line of reasoning, war broke out due to a number of factors that were avoidable. Concerning the second point, Professor Kagan argues that Thucydides was a revisionist historian. In other words, Thucydides was writing not as a disinterested historian, but as a historian with a point to make, namely, that the war was inevitable and that Athens was only a democracy in name under Pericles. Finally, Professor Kagan acknowledges that his two points are debatable.

24. The Causes of the Peloponnesian War and the Athenian andSpartan Strategies.

I have intended this book to be brief in keeping with its purpose. Its plan is as follows. The first four chapters discuss some of the background to Thucydides' ; its subject, method, and structure; its explanation of the causes of the Peloponnesian War; and the historian's view of the Athenian leader Pericles. The next three chapters present an overview or survey of Thucydides' account of the war to the point in 411 where he ceased writing, and also continue the story to the end of the war in 404. The main focus in these chapters is on a number of revealing and significant events as related by Thucydides, such as the revolution in Corcyra, the Melian Dialogue, and the Sicilian expedition. The eighth and concluding chapter deals with Thucydides as a thinker and philosophic historian. My emphasis throughout has been on the mind of Thucydides and his treatment of the subject and for this reason I have quoted him liberally. I have included a number of notes in every chapter in order to document certain points and to suggest further references to the reader. To assist the reader, I have also added a short list of some recommended works at the end of the volume.

The Causes of the Peloponnesian War. - Prezi

The main cause of the Peloponnesian War was Sparta's fear of Athens' growth The construction of the Parthenon was a key political issue not only for Athens, but for all Greece. Among others, Thucydides deals extensively with this issue in explaining the causes of the Peloponnesian War, the catastrophe that brought Greek classical civilization to a tragic end. The beginning of the construction in 447 B.C. is related to a decisive turning point in Greek politicis: In 448 B.C. occurred the death of Cimon, the leader of the oligarchic party in Athens, which stood for an understanding with Sparta and for a sacred union of all the Greeks in a national war against Persia. Cimon’s death gave a chance to Pericles, the leader of the democratic party, to proceed to a total reversal of Athenian policy. Pericles’ aim was to transform the Delian league, which had been created for the purpose of opposing Persian expansion, into an instrument of Athenian imperialism. The key point of this imperialistic policy was to force the other Greek cities to pay tribute to Athens. Money had been originally collected by Athens on the ground of providing for the transport of the Athenian fleet which defended all the Greeks against Persia. However, by developing the Athenian fleet, the policy of Cimon built the power of the democratic party. According to Greek political conceptions and practices, only those who served their country militarily had the right to participate in political decisions. The lower classes could not serve in the land army, which was open to those able to provide their own armor and, even more important, those who had received the gymnastic education that only the relatively well-to-do could afford. The poor an uneducated could serve as oarsmen in the fleet and receive pay for it. Hence, the development of the fleet permitted the formation of a democratic party whose program was political power and state subsidies for the poor and uneducated. The policy of Pericles aimed at collecting tribute from other Greek cities for the purpose of establishing various forms of financial subsidies for the poor and the democrats. This was the reason why democracy and imperialism came to be identified.

Causes of the Peloponnesian War ..

Much ink has been spilt over the Megarian decrees and the causes of the Peloponnesian War. A range of interesting and competing contexts for the decrees has emerged from the debate, some of which seem unnecessarily complicated in their approach. A simpler view needs to be adopted; one which centres itself firmly upon Thucydides, who has provided us with the only serious contemporary account to have survived.

Causes of the Peloponnesian War - History Haven