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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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PRINTED FROM YALE SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.yale.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Yale University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in YSO for personal use.date: 27 October 2021

A Loss of Strategic Focus

A Loss of Strategic Focus

(p.137) Chapter 4 A Loss of Strategic Focus
Sparta's Second Attic War

Paul A. Rahe

Yale University Press

This chapter begins with Pericles' death in the autumn of 429, which may have been caused by an unexpected plague. It describes Pericles' stature, intelligence, and justified reputation for incorruptibility that enabled him to hold the people in check without flattering them or depriving them of their liberty. The chapter looks at how Pericles had urged his compatriots to embrace a policy of hēsuchía, which was utterly foreign to their temperament. It highlights how Pericles exhorted Athenians to concentrate solely on the war, avoid risky ventures, and resist the temptation to add to their dominion in ways not apt to contribute materially to Lacedaemon's defeat. It also reviews how Pericles' demise did nothing to alter the geopolitical fundamentals.

Keywords:   Pericles, plague, hēsuchía, Athenians, Lacedaemon, geopolitical fundamentals

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