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Sparta's First Attic WarThe Grand Strategy of Classical Sparta, 478-446 B.C.$
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Paul A. Rahe

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780300242614

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300242614.001.0001

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War in Two Theaters

War in Two Theaters

(p.152) Chapter 5 War in Two Theaters
Sparta's First Attic War

Paul A. Rahe

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses the outbreak of hostilities between Athens and Sparta. By this time, the Athenians knew that the helot rebellion would someday come to an end, that the Spartans would then find an occasion in which to march into Attica with their allies, and that they could neither defeat the Peloponnesians in the field nor withstand a lengthy siege. With this prospect in mind, they garrisoned Megara and Pegae and set about building walls on either side of a corridor designed to serve as an umbilical cord, linking the town of Megara, which was just under a mile inland from the Saronic Gulf, with Nisaea, its port on that body of water. In this fashion, by making it easy to resupply the Megarians from the sea, they rendered it impossible for Lacedaemon and her Peloponnesian allies to mount a successful siege of their town. In this fashion, they also arranged that, if the Peloponnesians managed to force their way through Geraneia and the Megarid and enter Attica, they would have a sizable Athenian garrison in their rear.

Keywords:   Athens, Sparta, helot rebellion, Megara, Pegae, Lacedaemon

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