The Peloponnesian War. - First Period, from the commencement of the War to the Peace of Nicias, B.C. 431-421
AR WAS now fairly kindled. All Greece looked on in suspense as its two leading cities were about to engage in a strife of which no man could forsee the end; but the youth, with which both Athens and Peloponnesus then abounded, having had no experience of the bitter calamities of war, rushed into it with ardour. It was a war of principles and races. Athens was a champion of democracy, Sparta of aristocracy; Athens represented the Ionic tribes, Sparta the Dorian; the former were fond of novelty, the latter were conservative and stationary; Athens had the command of the sea, Sparta was stronger upon land. On the side of Sparta was ranged the whole of Peloponnesus, except Argos and Achaia, together with the Megarians, Boeotians, Phocians, Opuntian Locrians, Ambraciots, Leucadians, and Anactorians. The allies of Athens, with the exception of the Thessalians, Acarnanians, Messenians at Naupactus, and Plataeans, were all insular, and consisted of the Chians, Lesbians, Corcyraeans, and Zacynthians, and shortly afterwards of the Cephallenians, To these must be added her tributary towns on the coast of Thrace and Asia Minor, together with all the islands north of Crete, except Melos and Thera.
To Chapter XII : The Peloponnesian War. - Second Period, from the Peace of Nicias to the Defeat of the Athenians in Sicily, B.C. 421-413
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