Athens and Sparta The Acropolis played an integral role in Athenian life. This hilltop not only housed the famous Parthenon, but it also included temples, theaters, and other public buildings that enhanced Athenian culture.
Its empire began as a small group of city-states, called the Delian League —from the island of Deloson which they kept their treasury—that came together to ensure that the Greco-Persian Wars were truly over.
What then ensued was a period, referred to as the Pentecontaetia the name given by Thucydidesin which Athens increasingly became in fact an empire,  carrying out an aggressive war against Persia and increasingly dominating other city-states. Athens proceeded to bring under its control all of Greece except for Sparta and its allies, ushering in a period which is known to history as the Athenian Empire.
By the middle of the century, the Persians had been driven from the Aegean and forced to cede control of a vast range of territories to Athens. At the same time, Athens greatly increased its own power; a number of its formerly independent allies were reduced, over the course of the century, to the status of tribute-paying subject states of the Delian League.
This tribute was used to support a powerful fleet and, after the middle of the century, to fund massive public works programs in Athens, causing resentment. The Spartans summoned forces from all of their allies, including Athens, to help them suppress the revolt.
Athens sent out a sizable contingent 4, hoplitesbut upon its arrival, this force was dismissed by the Spartans, while those of all the other allies were permitted to remain. According to Thucydides, the Spartans acted in this way out of fear that the Athenians would switch sides and support the helots; the offended Athenians repudiated their alliance with Sparta.
A fifteen-year conflict, commonly known as the First Peloponnesian Warensued, in which Athens fought intermittently against Sparta, Corinth, Aeginaand a number of other states. For a time during this conflict, Athens controlled not only Megara but also Boeotia ; at its end, however, in the face of a massive Spartan invasion of Attica, the Athenians ceded the lands they had won on the Greek mainland, and Athens and Sparta recognized each other's right to control their respective alliance systems.
The rebels quickly secured the support of a Persian satrapand Athens found itself facing the prospect of revolts throughout the empire. The Spartans, whose intervention would have been the trigger for a massive war to determine the fate of the empire, called a congress of their allies to discuss the possibility of war with Athens.
Sparta's powerful ally Corinth was notably opposed to intervention, and the congress voted against war with Athens. The Athenians crushed the revolt, and peace was maintained. After suffering a defeat at the hands of their colony of Korkyraa sea power that was not allied to either Sparta or Athens, Corinth began to build an allied naval force.
Alarmed, Corcyra sought an alliance with Athens, which after debate and input from both Corcyra and Corinth, decided to swear a defensive alliance with Corcyra.
At the Battle of Sybotaa small contingent of Athenian ships played a critical role in preventing a Corinthian fleet from capturing Corcyra. In order to uphold the Thirty Years' Peace, however, the Athenians were instructed not to intervene in the battle unless it was clear that Corinth was going to press onward to invade Corcyra.
However, the Athenian warships participated in the battle nevertheless, and the arrival of additional Athenian triremes was enough to dissuade the Corinthians from exploiting their victory, thus sparing much of the routed Korkyrean and Athenian fleet.
During the subsequent Battle of Potidaeathe Corinthians unofficially aided Potidaea by sneaking contingents of men into the besieged city to help defend it.
This was a direct violation of the Thirty Years' Peace, which had among other things stipulated that the Delian League and the Peloponnesian League would respect each other's autonomy and internal affairs.
It was alleged that the Megarians had desecrated the Hiera Orgas. These sanctions, known as the Megarian decreewere largely ignored by Thucydidesbut some modern economic historians have noted that forbidding Megara to trade with the prosperous Athenian empire would have been disastrous for the Megarans, and have accordingly considered the decree to be a contributing factor in bringing about the war.
This debate was attended by members of the league and an uninvited delegation from Athens, which also asked to speak, and became the scene of a debate between the Athenians and the Corinthians. Thucydides reports that the Corinthians condemned Sparta's inactivity up to that point, warning the Spartans that if they continued to remain passive while the Athenians were energetically active, they would soon find themselves outflanked and without allies.
The Athenian Empire, although based in the peninsula of Attica, spread out across the islands of the Aegean Sea; Athens drew its immense wealth from tribute paid from these islands.The cities of Athens and Sparta were bitter rivals in ancient Greece.
Geographically they are very close to each other, but have sometimes had very different values, lifestyles, and cultures. About The capital and largest city of Greece. Known in Greek as Sparti. The city lies at the southern end of. Sep 03, · The term Ancient, or Archaic, Greece refers to the time three centuries before the classical age, between B.C.
and B.C.—a relatively sophisticated period in world history. The Importance of Athens in Greek History, Chapter 1 & 2 A Day in Old Athens, by William Stearns Davis () Professor of Ancient History They lived in many "city-states" of more or less importance, and some of the largest of these contributed very little directly to our civilization.
Sparta, for example, has left us some noble lessons. Sparta in Mythology. In Greek mythology the founder of the city was Lacedaemon, a son of Zeus, who gave his name to the region and his wife’s name to the city.
Sparta was also an important member of the Greek force which participated in the Trojan War. Some of the most important city-states were Athens, Sparta, Thebes, Corinth, and Delphi.
Of these, Athens and Sparta were the two most powerful city-states. Athens was a democracy and Sparta had two kings and an oligarchic system, but both were important in the development of Greek society and culture.
The Importance of Athens in Greek History, Chapter 1 & 2 A Day in Old Athens, by William Stearns Davis () Professor of Ancient History Ancient History & Culture Greece & Sparta Basics Major Figures & Events however, our histories promptly teach us, did not form a single unified nation.
They lived in many "city-states" of more or.