The Archidamian War (A New History of the Peloponnesian War)

The Archidamian War (A New History of the Peloponnesian War)

Donald Kagan

Language: English

Pages: 400

ISBN: 0801497140

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This book, the second volume in Donald Kagan's tetralogy about the Peloponnesian War, is a provocative and tightly argued history of the first ten years of the war. Taking a chronological approach that allows him to present at each stage the choices that were open to both sides in the conflict, Kagan focuses on political, economic, diplomatic, and military developments. He evaluates the strategies used by both sides and reconsiders the roles played by several key individuals.



















vicissitudes of war could not be predicted by a man like Archidamus even though his prediction of the course of the war in general was largely correct. However that may be, the most plausible explanation of Archidamus' actions is that he had not yet given up hope that the Athenians would see reason at the last moment, that as long as possible he wanted "to hold as a hostage" the most prized fields of Attica. If that was indeed his hope he was disappointed, for the thoughts of the Athenians were

essentially within the framework established by those who embarked on it. Departures from the original strategies were necessary, but none compared with the great changes that followed the Peace of Nicias. The sending of an Athenian army into the heart of the Peloponnese in 418, the invasion of Sicily, the shift of the center of warfare from the mainland to the Aegean and the Hellespont, all were unforeseen by the men who began the war. They could not have anticipated what happened after 41 I,

doubt, because of the need to placate the Thebans. In the Spartan alliance, the leader could not dictate to the other members. A state like Thebes was largely independent and could not be counted upon to obey Spartan orders or execute Spartan policy unless it wanted to.8 The attack on Plataea may have been the price Sparta paid for continued Theban support. 9 The attack on Plataea was particularly embarrassing for the Spartans, who purportedly launched the war ".to free the Greeks." Plataea was

Athens' allies would soon take place. 108 These men who, for whatever reason, had become agents of a 1061.55ยท lOT 1.550'. Thucydides speaks of the captives as follows:

At-henian blockade, nonetheless believe that Pericles planned a vigorous use of the fleet in an offensive strategy. "If the strategy of Pericles was defensive by land, it was offensive by sea." aT The navy would force encounters on the sea and make landings on the Peloponnese; "and if occasion arose, it might establish fortified posts on enemy territory." 58 Another version says, "If Pericles recognized the necessity of conducting a defensive war and avoiding any battle, that did not mean that

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