The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War (The Peloponnesian by Donald Kagan

By Donald Kagan

The first volume of Donald Kagan's acclaimed four-volume historical past of the Peloponnesian struggle bargains a brand new overview of the origins and motives of the clash, in accordance with facts produced through sleek scholarship and on a cautious reconsideration of the traditional texts. He focuses his learn at the query: was once the struggle inevitable, or may possibly it were avoided?

Kagan takes factor with Thucydides' view that the battle used to be inevitable, that the increase of the Athenian Empire in a global with an current rival strength made a conflict among the 2 a walk in the park. saying as a substitute that the foundation of the warfare "cannot, with out critical distortion, be taken care of in isolation from the interior background of the states involved," Kagan lines the connections among household politics, constitutional association, and international affairs. He extra examines the proof to determine what judgements have been made that ended in struggle, at each one aspect asking even if a distinct choice could were attainable.

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8 Soon the rest of Arcadia came under Spartan control. lO Each extension of the Spartan alliance meant that one more state had agreed to a treaty that turned control of its foreign policy over to Sparta. This was obviously agreeable to Sparta, but why were their allies willing to enter upon such agreements? The Tegean experience, of course, offers one explanation. Beaten in the field, the Tegeans must have been glad to accept comparatively generous terms, for they retained their land, their freedom, and some degree of autonomy.

Graec. 5. See also Quaest. Rom. 52. Eduard Meyer (GdA 2. 766) places the treaty in the sixth century. but Hiller von Gaertringen (IG, II, 3) puts it in 468, after the great Arcadian uprising. He is followed by Busolt and Swoboda (GS, 1320, n. 3). L. I. Highby (The Erythrae Decree, Klio, Beiheft, XXXVI [1936], 72-73) argues persuasively for a sixth-century date, which I accept. 8 Xen. Hell. 20; Busolt and Swoboda, GS, 1320 and 1325. 9 Busolt and Swoboda, GS, 1320; Herodotus (1. 68) tells us that by the time of the Tegean defeat the Spartans controlled the greater part of the Peloponnese.

45 Such independence, however, was always temporary and sometimes costly. The third category consists of states so remote or so powerful that their independence was rarely tampered with and whose conduct of foreign policy was rarely subordinated to Spartan interests. Only 41 Xen. Hell. 5. 2. 11-23. 42 Xen. Hell. 5. 4. 59-60. 43 See Thuc. 5. 31, where Elis attacks Lepreum; 4. 134, where Mantinea attacks Tegea; 5. 29. 1, where the Mantineans subdue part of Arcadia; and 1. 104, where Megara fights Corinth.

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