In modern history, there are a huge number of wars. The ancient world perceived any military action in a special way, as people were burning with the idea of taking new lands, overcoming the local population and forcing them to work for themselves. The most brutal was the Peloponnesian War. When it was 455 BC, Ancient Greece included 2 hostile states: Sparta and Athens. These were 2 fairly large cities that actually existed independently of each other, while actively fighting and conducting sorties. Each ruler in the city believed that it was he who was worthy to rule the main competitor. It was on this basis that Athens and Sparta were constantly at war with each other.
Why didn’t the Spartans destroy Athens?
Every inhabitant of any state understood: war is devastation. If hostilities begin, one state will have to capitulate to another. In 455, a special peace treaty was signed, according to which the states stopped fighting at all (and raiding). The agreement worked for 20 years, and during this time both cities were very actively preparing for the next hostilities, developing the economy and military craft.
Both Athens and Sparta gradually entered into peace treaties with their neighbors. The task was simple: to sign an agreement in order to get another ally and increase economic power. At some point, Athens made it clear to one of its allies that they were ready to help in the war against Sparta. Bottom line: Sparta and Athens resumed the active phase of hostilities.
Both states understood that each had some advantages in the field of economy, which could significantly affect the outcome of any battle. However, even the civilian population supported their leaders. They were also ready to actively support the soldiers in the fight against the main enemy.
Preparation and start of the war
Initially, Athens and Sparta were very well armed. At the same time, the number of troops was approximately equal. Before the start of the war, Athens was especially tough on neighboring states, forcing them to pay huge tribute. All this led to the fact that many went to the side of a more civilized Sparta.
War and defeat of Athens
Athens tried so many times to overcome Sparta, but nothing worked. In 415 BC, the government of Athens decided to start another war. It was far from an easy decision. The population rebelled after numerous defeats. The authorities felt that the people had a need to boost military and morale. All this led to the fact that Athens again gathered a huge fleet and suffered another defeat from Sparta.
The Peloponnesian War ended in 404 BC. Athens not only lost the war, they deprived themselves of everything. First of all, it was about a huge fleet, which eventually came under the leadership of Sparta. The Spartans entered Athens, and initially there was a decision to burn the city to the ground, but a certain Lysander (a very smart ruler and warrior) gave the command not to touch the local population. Moreover, Athens remained to live. He held long negotiations with the military leaders in Athens and offered to go under his complete subordination. In fact, all of Athens came under the command of Sparta. There were no more wars between the population of both cities. Why didn’t the Spartans destroy Athens? They understood that the economic and military power of Athens made it possible to concentrate all forces on more global tasks. In the future, they conquered all their neighbors and became a more powerful power that lasted for many years. Modern Greece should be proud of its ancestors, who for a long time stood up not just for the right to life, but tried to fight each other, measuring their strength by victims. This is a nation that will be difficult to defeat.