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Sparta's Second Attic WarThe Grand Strategy of Classical Sparta, 446-418 B.C.$
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Paul A. Rahe

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780300242621

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300242621.001.0001

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A Tug of War

A Tug of War

(p.83) Chapter 3 A Tug of War
Sparta's Second Attic War

Paul A. Rahe

Yale University Press

This chapter reviews Thucydides's admiration for Themistocles above all other statesmen and Pericles, who he held in high esteem. It describes the strategic vision articulated by Pericles, emphasizing that Athens had the resources and the strength to “win through” its struggle with Lacedaemon and its Peloponnesian allies. It also investigates how Pericles persisted in attributing pronoía regarding the war even after his expectations had come to naught. The chapter also mentions the unanticipated surprise attack that the Thebans launched on Plataea at the very beginning of the spring in 431. It also points out how citizens of a self-governing pólis in the Hellenic mainland had never fought a war in which they refused battle and cowered behind their walls while Greek invaders repeatedly ravaged their land.

Keywords:   Thucydides, Themistocles, Pericles, Lacedaemon, Peloponnesian, pronoía, Thebans, Plataea

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