Free effects of war Essays and Papers - 123HelpMe
Free Pericles Essays and Papers - 123HelpMe
The lack of wisdom in the Athenian decision to refuse the Spartan offer of peace after the battle of Pylos in 425 B.C became clear with the next unexpected development of the war: a sudden reversal in the Spartan policy against waging military expeditions far from home. In 424 the Spartan general Brasidas led an army on a daring campaign against Athenian strongholds in far northern Greece hundreds of miles from Sparta. His most important victory came with the conquest of Amphipolis, an important Athenian colony near the coast that the Athenians regarded as essential to their strategic position. Brasidas' success there robbed Athens of access to gold and silver mines and a major source of timber for building warships. Even though he was not directly involved in the battle at Amphipolis, Thucydides lost his command and was forced into exile because he was the commander in charge of the region when the city was lost and was held responsible for the catastrophe.
Free Pericles papers, essays, and research papers
In 425 B.C. the Athenian general Cleon won an unprecedented victory by capturing some 120 Spartan Equals and about 170 allied troops in a battle at Pylos in the western Peloponnese. No Spartan soldiers had ever before surrendered under any circumstances. They had always taken as their martial creed the sentiment expressed by the legendary advice of a Spartan mother as she handed her son his shield as he went off to war: "Come home either with this or on it," meaning he should return either as a victor carrying his shield or as a corpse carried upon it. By this date , however, the population of Spartan Equals had been so reduced that the loss of even such a small group was perceived as intolerable. The Spartan leaders therefore offered the Athenians favorable peace terms in return for the captives. Cleon's success at Pylos had vaulted him into a position of political leadership, and he advocated a hard line toward Sparta. Thucydides, who apparently had no love for Cleon, called him "the most violent of the citizens." At Cleon's urging the Athenian assembly refused to make peace with Sparta.