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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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(p.187) Chapter 6 Back to Square One
Sparta's First Attic War

Paul A. Rahe

Yale University Press

This chapter discusses the challenges faced by Athens over the course of the Peloponnesian War. It also describes events leading to the war, among them the increasingly prominent role the Persians played in the conflict between Athens and Sparta. In and after the late 460s, the Athenians had begun encroaching on cities, at least partially Greek in population, hitherto relegated to Persia's domain. These gains Artaxerxes will surely have set out to reverse. This ambition was a central feature of the political theology that served as the raison d'être of the Achaemenid monarchy. Nonetheless, the Athenians and their allies thought such an incursion perfectly possible. In the circumstances, it made sense for them to anticipate the worst.

Keywords:   Peloponnesian War, Athens, Achaemenid monarchy, Artaxerxes, Sparta, Athenian Empire

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