Ancient Greek Peloponnesian War Facts
The Peloponnesian Wars, which were fought between numerous ancient Greek city-states led by Athens on one side and Sparta on the other, would devastate
ancient Greek civilization. This war, fought between 431 BC and 404 BC, was actually two wars separated by a 6 year truce. The Peloponnesian Wars involved
almost every ancient Greek city-state.
Below you will find a list of interesting information about this ancient war including such facts as who fought it, how it started, and when it took place.
As with all our pages this information is written for both kids and adults.
Facts about the First Peloponnesian War
- The First Peloponnesian War went on for 10 years from 431 BC to 421 BC.
- The First Peloponnesian War is also called the Archidamian War named after the Spartan king Archidamus II.
- The war started in 431 BC when Sparta declared war on Athens due to a conflict over the city-state of Corinth. It was the culmination of years of tension
between the 2 most powerful city-states after their joint effort to defeat the Persians in the Persian War; which ended in 449 BC.
- During this war the Spartans well trained and highly disciplined army dominated the land whereas the Athenians powerful navy controlled the sea.
- The Athenians constructed long defensive walls from Athens to the seaport of Piraeus. These walls were never breached by the Spartans and their allies during
the First Peloponnesian War.
- This first war ended with a truce called the Peace of Nicias in 421 BC. This was an uneasy peace full of tension between Athens and Sparta that lasted for 6
Facts about the Second Peloponnesian War
- The uneasy truce between the Greek city-states after the First Peloponnesian War broke out into warfare in 415 BC when the Athenians attacked the city-state
of Syracuse in Sicily.
- The Second Peloponnesian War is also called the Decelean War or Ionian War.
- This war went on for 11 years from 415 BC to 404 BC.
- The Spartans actually borrowed money from the Persians which they used to build a fleet of warships. These ships would end up being crucial in their victory
- In 404 BC Athens surrendered to the Spartans. The great Athenian fleet had been beaten the previous year and the city of Athens was surrounded by the
Interesting Peloponnesian War Facts
- How did the Peloponnesian War get its name? The peninsula at the tip of southern Greece is called the Peloponnese. Many of the ancient Greek city-states
involved in the war were located here including Sparta, Corinth, Messene, and Argos.
- The alliance of city-states led by Athens during this war is referred to as the Delian League and the alliance of city-states led by Sparta is called the
- The Spartan victory in the Peloponnesian War resulted in them becoming the most powerful city-state in Greece. Athens lost its pre-war glory and influence
which it would never regain.
- Upon Sparta's victory several of the city-states wanted Athens burnt to the ground and the citizens enslaved. Sparta did not do this but did make the
Athenians tear down the long defensive walls protecting the city of Athens.