From One War to the Next
This introductory chapter considers the implications of the aftermath of the Persian Wars. Prior to Sparta's defeat of the Persian army, there was every reason to suppose that the Greek resistance would collapse and that Hellas would soon fall. When the dust had settled, however, it gradually dawned on all concerned that affairs had undergone a decisive change; and everyone in and on the periphery of the Mediterranean world began to reassess. That such a turn of events could take place—that a ragtag navy and militia, supplied by tiny communities hitherto best known for their mutual hostility, should annihilate an armada greater than any the world had ever known—this was then and remains today both a wonder and an occasion for rumination. But this chapter shows that such an incredible outcome had its own issues. The unity displayed by the Hellenes during the war was unprecedented, after all. Whether or not this alliance would hold after the war, however, became a great cause for concern for those living in the postwar world.
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