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CLASSICAL ERA GREEK BATTLES AND WARS

John Sloan

 

PREFACE:
This is a compendium, a selection, of articles about events and individuals. The theme is conflict as described in accounts of wars and battles. But that is a superficial theme. For one thing, conflict was,and is, constant between individuals and groups, which did not count as wars. The personal conflicts between individuals and families continued as basic motivations throughout the centuries, expanding in scope and violence as the geographic dimensions of the territories they claimed to rule expanded. The level and intensity of war expands at the level and extent of the resources avaiable to conduct it expands. So this is but a basic skeleton on which to hang more fundamental considerations.
What the reader should be considering are the questions: What were the real causes and results? Who made the decisions to take the actions that led to and who conducted these wars and battles? What were the ideas (beliefs) that motivated societies and the individuals who led them? It is ideas that generate decisions and decisions that result in actions.

Dr. McCloskey coined the term 'betterment' to describe the motivation of 'bourgeois' society in Europe in the 18th century. A wonderful concept - my review of her books is here. Her purpose, well achieved, was to describe the change in the fundamental basis and content of the thought system that expressed what 'betterment' meant to western Europeans in the 18th century.
The many individuals mentioned in this compendium were, indeed, seeking personal 'betterment' but mostly at the expense of other people's, not even limited to their direct rivals', survival, let alone 'betterment'. They pillaged, raped, assassinated, murdered, conspired, and betrayed each other without compunction. The content of their thought system differed in significant ways from that of ancient and classical societies. For instance, slavery was so endemic and socially basic to those societies that authors rarely even thought to mention the organized slave trade as a topic needing description.
Another example is the ideas and actions of the Rurikid family through centuries in Russia, which I describe in the elaborate section here.
Human groups from families to empires always have rulers. The Greeks classified rulers into three types by numbers - the one - the few - and the many. Many, but for sure not ALL.
There are two concepts (ideas) that are essential aspects of rulership -legitimacy and justification. From the earliest records of Mesopotamiaand Kings (and for communities that left no written records) The idea that there must be a ruler was taken for granted. The question in the people's minds was which individual or group was deemed to be the legitimate ruler and on what basis? Then the question was on what basis were his decisions and actions considered justified? These issues were, themselves, the subjects for conflict at all levels from the most local to the widest regions that became the locus for the exercise of power. This article is focused only on a very small part of the world. One can rest assured that conflict was equally endemic throughout the rest of the world. And conflict over legitimacy and justification have been a central aspect of societies before and since. For instance read - Shield; and Sawyer and Aztec
These are the fundamental questions that the reader might consider when studying the historical accounts. The answers are frequently not obvious - even apparent - in the summary accounts.
For an enjoyable read one can turn to the last chapter in Quintus Curtius Rufus's classic The History of Alexander to savor the struggle over legitimacy and justification that occupied Alexander's stalwart leading generals while his body remained in his tent barely attended to. To read about how the results were eventually worked out check the concluding sections below on the Wars of the Diodochi.
Considering the essential role of ideas, the reader should delve into references that address this subject in either or both general terms and specifically Greek and Persian terms. Among useful books, in addition to those mentioned, include Herbert Muller's Freedom in the ancient World; Fustel de Coulanges' The Ancient City; G. T. Griffith's The Mercenaries of the Hellenistic World; M. I. Finley's Economy and Society in Ancient Greece, and other references listed below.
A brilliant recent book is J. e. Lindon's Soldiers & Ghosts: A History of Battle in Classical AntiquityThe author focuses on Greek culture as the basis for the conduct of war and in particular claims that the influence of Homer was a powerful source of beliefs and attitudes toward military culture.
I mention in passing that economists today support their theories of human economic activity on disparate ideas of what constitutes 'betterment' as a motivating force. But we leave that for another study.

 
 

Before we delve into the wars and battles waged during the Classical Greek era here are several basic concepts to consider.

Military history:

 
 

Military strategy:

 
 

Military tactics

 
 

Strategy

 
 

Military logistics

 
 

This essay is an expanded version of the article - 'Peloponnesian War' - I wrote for Brassey's International Military and Defense Encyclopedia Vol. 5, pgs., 2117 - 2119, published in 1993. The essay is at its chronological place in this version, but I have extended the chronological time frame from before 500 BC to about 200 BC. But I have not attempted to describe the many wars that preceded or followed the 'Great Peloponnesian war' in such detail.
And I have created links to more specialized articles -one is an alphabetical list ofbattles and wars - another is an alphabetical listing of people and placesand terms. I attempt to cross reference battles, leaders, and this chronological listing. I expanded the content also to include my previous writing about Marathon and Alexander the Great. And I have included links to some other background material. But there is much more at. {short description of image}

 
 

Text books on the Peloponnesian War mostly treat it separately without the larger historical context of the prior conflicts between Athenians, Spartans, Corinthians, Thebans and the many other Greek communities. And they do not fully consider the role the Persian monarchs and their satraps in Asia Minor played especially with respect to interventions alternatively aiding Sparta or Athens, or seeking to disrupt both. For the history of Greek activities among themselves and their expanding conflicts with Persia during the previous century we rely on the famous account of Herodotus - Histories. For the war we read Thucydides. And for the concluding years of the war and subsequent wars we rely on Xenophon and Diodorus: Plus individual biographies by Plutarch and Cornelius Nepos and discussions of strategy by Frontinus and Polyaenus.To these written histories modern authors add archeological resources and other written material such as plays, poems, inscriptions, coinage.

 
 

A listing of recommended references is at the end of this table. Several are worth discussing here. Greenhalgh's Early Greek Warfareis a detailed general description of warfare in Homeric and Archaic Greek eras but the author does not and cannot describe or even name the individual battles of those eras. Simon Anglim and his fellow authors in Fighting Techniques of the Ancient World 3000 BC to AD 500 describes in detail equipment, tactics and warfare but also has no contemporary sources to name or describe individual early Greek battles. The same problem faces John D. Montagu for Greek and Roman Warfare, Battles, Tactics and Trickery.
Moving on to the period after 600 BC for which authors can and do describe individual wars, campaigns, and battles they give short shrift to economic and logistical aspects of warfare. The only account I have found that analyzes logistics is Donald Engles' Alexander the Great and the Logistics of the Macedonian army. G. E. M Ste Croix and G. B. Grundy do focus much attention to broad economic issues in the context of their general histories of the Peloponnesian war. G.T Griffith'sThe Mercenaries of the Hellenistic World is valuable as he describes basic issues such as the supply and demand for fighting men, and their recruitment and pay; and their ideas and motivations in contrast to those of the leaders.
What the contemporary authors from Herodotus to Diodorus Siculus and then to Plutarch and Nepos do stress is the role of individuals, families and social interest groups in the motivations and decisions that generate the causes for conflicts and wars. This vital subject is frequently overlooked by political analyst authors today who like to deal in 'forces' - 'states' and aggregates to which they ascribe individual human psychology.
An excellent understanding and analysis of the concept of causation in the classical world, not appreciated by many today, is William Blum's essay, "Causal Theory in Thucydides' Peloponnesian War" in Political Studies, Vol X, Feb. 1962 Number1'

 
 

I am sure everyone knows that warfare was endemic in Greece even before there were Greeks there. The archeological record is vast including not only real estate such as fortress walls, but also artifacts found in graves in in ruined settlements and in illustrations on pottery. There are also written remains. And some oral accounts eventually became written legends and myths such as the great epics about the Trojan War. Just to provide some sketchy background I include a few links to references about Mycenaean civilization and the Doric Invasion. I considered adding the Trojan war but the stories do not add anything significant to our knowledge of the actual details of early Greek warfare. But Homer's account does focus on and bring attention to the general issues such as causation, individual responsibility, role of rulers, motivations and beliefs. Here is a link to an article on the Trojan War.
J. E. Lendon has written a very important and interesting book - Soldiers and Ghosts - in which, rather than recounting the Trojan War, he describes in detail with examples the significant influence of Homer's version on many Greek and Macedonian leaders, generals, and public on their beliefs and culture which determine decisions and actions.
Read Greenhalgh - Early Greek Warfare; Drews - The End of the Bronze Age: Ferrill - The Origins of War; , and Anglim - Fighting Techniquies of the Ancient World 3000 BC - 500 AD, : for summary and analysis of the broad topic of ancient warfare. References are listed in the bibliography and the Wikipedia entries.

 
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Mycenae - 5000 - 1550
Neolithic Age Mycenae, an acropolis site, was built on a hill 900 feet (274 meters) above sea level, some 19 kilometers (12 miles) inland from the Gulf of Argolis. Situated in the north-east corner of the Argive plain, it easily overlooked the whole area and was ideally positioned to be a centre of power, especially as it commanded all easy routes to the Isthmus of Corinth. Besides its strong defensive and strategic position, it had good farmland and an adequate water supply. There are only faint traces of Neolithic settlement on the site although it was continuously occupied from the Early Neolithic (EN; c. 5000–c. 4000 ) through the Early Helladic (E H; c. 3200–c. 2000 ) and Middle Helladic (MH; c. 2000–c. 1550 ) periods. EN Rainbow Ware constitutes the earliest ceramic evidence discovered so far.
The lengthy entry continues from here, on the link.

 
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Mycenaean Greece:
Mycenaean Greece (or the Mycenaean civilization) was the last phase of the Bronze Age in Ancient Greece, spanning the period from approximately 1600–1100 BC. It represents the first advanced and distinctively Greek civilization in mainland Greece with its palatial states, urban organization, works of art, and writing system. The most prominent site was Mycenae, in the Argolid, after which the culture of this era is named. Other centers of power that emerged included Pylos, Tiryns, Midea in the Peloponnesus, Orchomenos, Thebes, Athens in Central Greece and Iolcos in Thessaly. Mycenaean and Mycenaean-influenced settlements also appeared in Epirus, Macedonia, on islands in the Aegean Sea, on the coast of Asia Minor, the Levant, Cyprus and Italy. The Mycenaean Greeks introduced several innovations in the fields of engineering, architecture and military infrastructure, while trade over vast areas of the Mediterranean was essential for the Mycenaean economy.
The lengthy article continues from here on the link.

 
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The military nature of Mycenaean Greece (c. 1600–1100 ) in the Late Bronze Age is evident by the numerous weapons unearthed, warrior and combat representations in contemporary art, as well as by the preserved Greek Linear B records. The Mycenaens invested in the development of military infrastructure with military production and logistics being supervised directly from the palatial centres. This militaristic ethos inspired later Ancient Greek tradition, and especially Homer's epics, which are focused on the heroic nature of the Mycenaean-era warrior elite. Late Bronze Age Greece was divided into a series of warrior kingdoms, the most important being centered in Mycenae, to which the culture of this era owes its name, Tiryns, Pylos and Thebes. From the 15th century , Mycenaean power started expanding towards the Aegean, the Anatolian coast and Cyprus. Mycenaean armies shared several common features with other contemporary Late Bronze Age powers: they were initially based on heavy infantry, with spears, large shields and in some occasions armor. In the 13th century , Mycenaean units underwent a transformation in tactics and weaponry and became more uniform and flexible and their weapons became smaller and lighter. Some representative types of Mycenaean armor/weapons were the boar's tusk helmet and the "Figure-of-eight" shield. Moreover, most features of the later hoplite panoply of Classical Greece were already known at this time.
This illustrated entry continues from here on the link.

 

DORIAN INVASION

 
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This is an historiography essay discussing the concept developed by later historians that there was an 'invasion' of the territory we call Greece by a warlike people we call Dorians. For the purpose of this effort it can serve as an example of what we 'lay people' have to contend with when attempting to understand what the academic historians tell us about something as complex as ancient Greek warfare. For an excellent book that describes and analyzes early Greece from neolitic through the stages of Mycenea and the 'dark age' through the Dorian Invasion read Pierre Leveque's book - The Greek Adventure- the first 150 pages cover these periods. But I disagree with the author's adoption of the standard economists' theories about barter and the origins of money.
Citations to references on those topics is a vast but separate subject.

 
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MILITARY TACTICS IN ANCIENT GREECE

This link is to a brief and somewhat disappointing article in Wikipedia. See printed references.

 
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Ancient Greek Warfare:
Warfare occurred throughout the history of Ancient Greece, from the Greek Dark Ages onward. The Greek 'Dark Age' drew to a close as a significant increase in population allowed urbanized culture to be restored, which led to the rise of the 'city-states' (Polis). These developments ushered in the period of Archaic Greece (800-480). This lengthy article continues from here. It is a general overview of the subjects discussed in detail on the following sections. - see the link.

 
 

GREEK AND PERSIAN ACTIVITIES
PRIOR TO THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR
AND THE IONIAN REVOLT

 
 

737
Corinth created colonies on Sicily and Corcyra which figured in warfare centuries later. By 730 it was a significant economic power due to its location.

Colonization was a significant activity for many communities as a release from over population. See A. j Graham, Colony and Mother City in Ancient Greece.

 
 

724 -
First Messenian War- Messenians led by Aristodemus defeat Spartans led by Theopompus and thus preserve their independence. But they were eventually subjugated and enslaved as 'helots'.

 
 

720 -650
TheLelantine war- This is an example of the routine warfare that continued throughout pre-proto- and early Greece for thousands of years. Repeated wars occurred between Chalcis and Eretria, two relatively strong but small communities living a few miles apart on Euboea island who fought over the fertile plain between them. Both communities suffered substantial decline as a result of the lengthy conflict. Their perennial conflict over land drew in the participation of other Greek communities. Their conflict is a 'micro' example of the very much larger but remarkably similar conflict that Spartans and Athenians brought on to the entire "Greek World' and even beyond to include communities from Sicily to Asia Minor, the Black Sea region, and Persia. In turn, after Alexander the Great had expanded the breadth of conflict, his death resulted in even larger scale warfare throughout the region until an even more powerful and aggressive people, the Romans, arrived to subordinate all these to its power.
Victor David Hanson writes that this is the first war in Greek history for which there is specific evidence of named battles. It is an example of the results of what amounted, if not of 'fratricide', at least an ability to set the destructive nature of personal and group aggrandizement in service of greed and domination as motives for nearly constant conflict and warfare.

 
 

700
Aegina becomes significnt merchant trading city with Asia minor and Egypt

 
 

685 -
Second Messenian War- Messenians led by Aristomenes defeat Spartans temporarily. Eventually Spartans conquered the Messenians and turned them into agricultural slaves -helots. But then centuries of fear that the helots would revolt forced the Spartans into creating a militaristic society.

 
 

684 -
Battle ofDeres in Second Messenian war
Battle of Boar's Barrow - Second Messenian War - Aristomenes led Messenians to defeat Spartans led by Anaxander

 
 

682
Battle of Great Foss - Second Messenian War - Spartans defeat Aristomenes - Messenians

 
 

675
Sicyon became independent from Argos

 
 

669 -
Battle of Hysiae - Argive-Spartan War in which Argives defeat Spartans.

 
 

668 - 596
There is extensive evidence of warfare during the period 670 - 590 from artifacts such as vase painting and actual armor, enough for historians today to reconstruct the developments in warfare in considerable detail including the books by J.J. Anderson and Victor D. Hanson, but little or no documents describing actual battles. However, general histories of ancient Greece contain much information about political and cultural history during this period.

 
 

657 - 627
Cypselus was polemarch - commander of the army - and seized power in Corinth from the Bachiadae. He ruled until 627. Corinth had been at war with Argos and Corcyra.

 
 

627 death of Cypselus and begining of reign of Periander, his son, as tyrant of Corinth.

 
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595

FIRST SACRED WAR - 595 - 585

 
 

Here is a summary essay on the First Sacred War
The First Sacred War, or Cirraean War, was fought between the Amphictyonic League of Delphi and the city of Kirrha. At the beginning of the 6th century the Pylaeo-Delphic Amphictyony, controlled by the Thessalians, attempted to take hold of the Sacred Land (or Kirrhaean Plain) of Apollo which resulted in this war. The conflict arose due to Kirrha's frequent robbery and mistreatment of pilgrims going to Delphi and their encroachments upon Delphic land. The war, which culminated with the defeat and destruction of Kirrha, is notable for the use of chemical warfare at the Siege of Kirrha, in the form of hellebore being used to poison the city's water supply.

 
 

595 - 585
The 10 year siege of Kirrha - Cirrha which was the content of this war between that town and the Amphictonic League of Delphi. The city was destroyed.

 
 

594
The agreed date for Solon's reforms in Athens. There is no date agreed to by historians forLycurgus' reforms in Sparta. Some date him around 720. He is mentioned by many classic authors including Plutarch who wrote a 'biography'. But some modern authors consider him to be 'mythical'.

 
 

585
Death of Periander, tyrant of Corinth. He was succeeded by Psammetchus

 
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580
Pentathlus' Expedition to Sicily of c.580 was probably one of the first clashes between the Greeks and the Phoenician inhabitants of western Sicily, and ended with a victory for the Phoenicians and their local allies. During the previous two centuries the Greeks had slowly been spreading west across Sicily, but their colonies hadn't directly threatened the three main Phoenician cities of Motya, Panormus and Soluntum, on the western and north-western coasts. The Greeks had founded a city at Selinus, on the south-west coast, but their main opponents appear to have been the Elymians, one of the three native groups on Sicily. This changed in around c.580, when an expedition of Greeks from Rhodes and from Cnidus, on the south-west coast of Anatolia, decided to found a new city on Sicily in an attempt to escape harsh treatment by the kings of Asia.
Penthalus was killed and the survivors decided to abandon the new colony and return home. Although the Phoenicians aren't mentioned here, there is no reason to believe that they couldn't have fought alongside their Elymian allies, reconciling the two accounts. This wasn't the end of their story. On the way home they stopped at Aeolian Islands, off the north coast of Sicily. They decided to settle on the islands instead of returning home. They were apparently welcomed by the inhabitants of the island of Lipara, the survivors of an earlier Greek colony, and there established a successful society (at least partly based on piracy).
See the link for more.

 
 

579-554 - little information but there were many conflicts

 
 

556
Sicyon allied with Sparta

 
 

554

 
 

553
Cyrus revolted against the Median Empire

 
 

552

 
 

551

 
 

550
The Battle of theFetters was an engagement between Sparta and Arcadia c. 550, in which the Arcadians defeated the Spartans. According to Herodotus, the Spartans consulted the Delphic Oracle before taking military action. They were told that they would not conquer all of Arcadia but it was possible for Tegea to fall, for the oracle would "give you Tegea to dance in with stamping feet and her fair plain to measure out the line". The title 'fetters' comes from the Spartans having taken iron chains to use on the Arcadians but the result was in reverse.
Corinth forms alliance with Sparta

 
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550
Foundation of the Achaemenid Empire byCyrus the Great, which lasted until conquered by Alexander in 330. It was followed by a series of kingdoms and empires. The article at the link is a general summary of the history of the Achaemenid empire to 330 - and information about the Achaemenid army.

 
 

549

 
 

548

 
 

547
Achaemenid conquest of Lydia

 
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546
Cyrus defeats Croesus at battle of Thymbra and then at siege ofSardisresulting in Achaemenid conquest of Lydia

Pallene the ancient name of the westernmost of the three headlands of Chalcidice, which run out into the Aegean Sea
Battle of Pallene in which Peisistratos is restored as tyrant of Athens.

 
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545
Battle of Thyreatis (battle of 300 champions) in which Spartans defeated Argives in their feud. According to Herodotus Sparta had surrounded and captured the plain of Thyrea. When the Argives marched out to defend it, the two armies agreed to let 300 champions from each city fight, with the winner taking the territory. Presumably the idea was to reduce the total number of casualties.
See the link for details.

 
 

544

 
 

543

 
 

542

 
 

541

 
 

540
Persians complete subjugation of the Greek Ionian mainland cities. They impose a tribute system and establish local tyrants at rulers. Polycratesis tyrant of Samos. He wages war against Milesians and Lesbians and practices piracy. He makes Samosthe strongest naval power in the Aegean.

 
 

539
Achaemeid conquest of Babylon

 
 

538

 
 

537

 
 

536

 
 

535

 
 

534

 
 

533

 
 

532

 
 

531

 
 

530
Persian king Cyrus dies and is succeeded by his son Cambyses II

 
 

529

 
 

528

 
 

527

 
 

526

 
 

525
Cambyses is successful in invading and conquering Egypt.
While Cambyses is campaigning in Egypt the Spartans wage war againstPolycrates tyrant of Samos. He had a large fleet and army and robbed and looted throughout the eastern Aegean. Polycrates had formed an alliance with Amasis, king of Egypt.
Samos was powerful and wealthy due to its location on a narrow strait off the coast of Asia minor through which much north-south merchant trading shipping passed and was subject to toll.
The Persians had some control over the Phoenician fleet but Cambyses sent to Polycrates for supporting fleet and troops. Polycrates selected individuals he most suspected of being rebels and sent them. These rebels then obtained the support from Sparta. The Spartans were joined by Corinthians who also opposed Polycrates. But even this very large force failed in its siege of Samos and returned home.

 
 

524
Following the defeat of the Spartan siege at Samos the rebels who had sought them had to retreat as well. They sailed to the very wealthy island Siphnos (located south-east of Attica) and attacked the town. The Samians won and extracted 100 talents ransom. From there they sailed to Crete which they occupied for 6 years until captured and enslaved by the Aeginetans.

 
 

523

 
 

524

 
 

523

 
 

522
The Persian satrap at Sardis, Oroetes, who controlled Lydia decides to conquer Samos. He killed Polycrates.
Death of Persian king Cambyses II from wound in battle. He is succeeded after a struggle by Darius I.
Control of Samos devolves to Maeandrius.

 
 

521
After various intrigues and struggles Darius Ibecomes king of Persia and assassinates Oroetes. Later Darius decides to conquer Samos.

 
 

520

 
 

519

 
 

518

 
 

517

 
 

516

 
 

515
Darius captures Samos and kills all the inhabitants

 
 

514

 
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513
Darius begins campaign across the Bosporus and Danube against the Scythians. For this crossing he commissioned Mandroclesof Samos to build a floating bridge across the Bosporus, where as later Xerxes had his bridge across the Hellespont. He has naval support from Greek Ionians, from both mainland and island cities and other tyrants including Miltiades of Chersonesus and Ariston of Byzantium.
The account of the campaign at the link contains a convenient listing of the Greek and other 'tyrants' and their cities who accompanied Darius. It also contains modern historians consensus appraisal of Darius' motives and results.
After retreating from the Scythians. Darius establishes a Persian satrapy in Thrace with Megabazus as satrap. He expands control against the Paeones in the Strymom river valley, and at Perinthus, a town near Byzantium. He makes an alliance with the rulers of Macedon. His replacement, Oranes, continues offensives on both sides of the Hellespont, capturing Byzantium, Chalcedon, Antandrus and Lamponium. Using ships from Lesbos he conquers Lemnos and Imbros.

 
 

512
King Amyntadas I surrenders Macedonia to the Persians.

 
 

511

 
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510
Dorieus' Expedition to Sicily was an unsuccessful attempt by a band of Greek adventurers to capture the town of Eryx in western Sicily and use it as the basis of a new Greek city. Dorieus was a member of the Spartan royal family, a younger son of Cleomenes, king from c.520 and the brother of King Leonidas of Thermopylae fame. A few years after his father came to the throne Dorieus decided to seek his fortune overseas. His first venture, in c.514, was to North Africa, where he attempted to found a colony between the Persian and Carthaginian Empires. He was expelled by the Carthaginians and Libyans, and returned to Greece where he consulted the oracles. They told him to 'found Heraclea in Sicily', which he interpreted as an instruction to found a city in western Sicily.
Dorieus's new target was the town of Eryx, an Elymian settlement on the north-west coast of Sicily, between the Phoenician cities of Motya and Panormus. According to legend this town had been conquered by Hercules during one of his labors, but then returned to its inhabitants until one of his descendants came to claim it. As a member of the Spartan royal house Dorieus could claim descent from Hercules. Dorieus gathered a band of adventurers, including four other Spartans, who would join him as co-founders of the new settlement. They departed for Sicily in about 510, and after taking part in some fighting in southern Italy soon reached their target. After that the expedition was a total disaster. Dorieus and his band may have held Eryx for long enough to rename it Heraclea, but they were quickly defeated by an alliance of Phoenicians and Elymians. Dorieus was killed and most of his army destroyed. Only one of the fire Spartan 'co-founders', Euryleon, survived the disaster. He took his surviving men and captured a nearby Greek settlement at Minoa. His army then moved south and helped the inhabitants of Selinus overthrow Peithagoras, their tyrant. Euryleon then threatened to become a tyrant himself and was killed. Dorieus' death was later used by Gelon, tyrant of Syracuse in the 480s in an attempt to gain support from mainland Greece for his attempted conquests, but without much success.

 
 

509

 
 

508

 
 

507

 
 

506

 
 

505

 
 

504

 
 

503

 
 

502 The Persians unsuccessfully attackNaxos prompting the Ionian cities to consider rebellion.

 
 

501

 
 

500

 
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Classical Greece - a general overview for background at the link.

 
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Classical Athens - another background essay at the link.

 
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Fifth Century Athens
This brief article is inserted here as background information about Athens in the century from the Ionian revolt to the defeat of Athens in 404. There are many books that describe Athens and Greece in general, often with little detail on military affairs. (See the reference list.)

Athenian military

 
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Sparta:
Sparta was a unique society so requires a more detailed description found in this entry.

 
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Corinth:
Corinth was one of the most wealthy and powerful Greek cities due to its location at the western end of the isthmus between the Peloponnesus and Attica and central Greece. It had ports on both the Corinthian Gulf and Saronic Gulf. It was a major trader with the west - to Italy and Sicily.

 
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Thebes:
Thebes was the major city in Boeotia, the plain just north of the Corinthian Gulf and Attica. It was one of the most ancient cities in Greece, having significant mention in the earliest myths. The Thebans sought to gain more power than their location assured due to the other cities in Boeotia and adjacent regions. They repeatedly allied themselves with stronger powers even including Persia in hopes of gaining power in Boeotia.

 
 

499
Aristagoras, tyrant of Miletus began the Ionian Revoltfrom Persia. He went to Sparta which refused and then to Athens and obtained aid.

 
 

499
The siege of Naxos was an unsuccessful Persian backed attempt to restore a party of exiled Naxian aristocrats. The failure of the attack played a part in the outbreak of the Ionian Revolt , an attempt to overthrow Persian control of the Greek cities of Ionian.

 

IONIAN REVOLT

 
 

498
Ionian Revoltbegins
- Near Pamphylia battle in which the Athenians and Ionians defeated the Persians
Battle at Ephesus(Ephesus) in which Persians defeated the Athenians and Ionians
The siege of Amathus (c.498/7) was an attempt by Greek rebels to capture the pro-Persian Phoenician city of Amathus on Cyprus.

 
 

497
The battle ofSalamis , was a land and sea battle on and by Cyprus, won by the Persians on land and the Cypriotes and their Ionian allies at sea. The battle in Cyprus in which the Persians led by Artybius defeated the Ionians and Cypriots led by Onesilus and another battle at the 'Keys of Cyprus' in which the Ionian fleet defeated the Phoenician fleet.
Battle at Marsyas River in which the Persians defeated the Carians. The estimated casualties were 10,000 Carians and 2,000 Persians

The siege of Paphos (c.497) was part of the Persian reconquest of Cyprus after the defeat of the Cyprian rebels at Salamis.
The siege ofSoli (c.497) was part of the Persian reconquest of Cyprus after the island's failed participation in the Ionian Revolt, and was the last to be concluded, lasting for four months.
The battle of the Maeander (497) was the first of three battles between Carian rebels and the Persians that eventually disrupted the first major Persian counterattack during the Ionian Revolt.

 
 

496
Battle at Labrunda was the second of three battles between the Persians and Carian rebels in which the Persians defeated the Carians and Milesians who had retreated to the sacred grove of Zeus Stratios after loosing at Marsyas River.
The battle ofPedasus or Pedasa (497 or 496) on the road from Labrunda was the third in a series of battles between the Persians and Carian rebels during the Ionian Revolt, where the Carians ambushed the Persians was a major Persian defeat that effectively ended their first large scale counterattack against the rebels.

 
 

495 Kimon (Cimon) leads Delian League force against Skyros which was then made an Athenian colony.

 
 

494
Naval battle off Ladeisland (Lade)in which the Persians defeated the Ionians led by Dionysius after the Samian and Lesbian fleets quit and sailed home was the decisive battle of the Ionian Revolt, and was a crushing Persian naval victory that eliminated Ionian naval power and left the individual Ionian cities exposed to attack.
Battle ofSepeia in which the Spartans led by Cleomenes I defeated the Argives in the battle considered to have had the greatest number of casualties in classical Greek times - the Argives never forgot their hatred for the Spartans over the events of this battle.
The siege of Miletus (494) followed the Ionian naval defeat in the battle of Lade, in which the Persians recaptured the city that had triggered the Ionian Revolt in 499.

The battle of Malene (494) in which Harpagus defeated the Ionians and Aeolians led by Histiateusending the career of Histiaeus, former Tyrant of Miletus, a former support of Darius who may have played a part in the outbreak of the Ionian Revolt, but who ended his career as something of an adventurer.

 
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493
The battle of the Helorus River (c.493) in which Hippocrates, tyrant of Gela, defeated the army of Syracuse, but he was unable to capitalise on his victory by capturing the city. See the link.

Probable end of the Ionian Revolt (499-493)

 
 

492

 
 

491

 
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FIRST PERSIAN INVASION OF GREECE

 
 

This is a summary of the Wikipedia article that includes much more and many illustrations.

 
 

Persian navy - A brief summary of its history and organization.

 
 

490
The siege of Carystus (490) on Euboea was an early Persian victory in the campaign that ended at the battle of Marathon.
The battle of Eretria(490) on Euboea island was the second and final Persian success during the campaign that ended in defeat at Marathon.
The battle of Marathon (12 September 490), in which the Athenians and Plataeans led by Miltiades defeated the larger Persian force send by king Darius I, was the decisive battle that ended the Persian invasion.
We are preparing a special section with many references and maps.

From 490 - 480 Aegina is at height of its significance as economic power with strong fleet and widespread commerce, and the Athenians don't like it, especially is contacts with Persia.

 
 

489
The siege of Paros was the final campaign of Miltiades, the most important Athenian leader during the battle of Marathon of 490. He convinced the Athenian assembly that he could lead a naval campaign across the Aegean and when he was unsuccessful he was tried and convicted but soon died in prison from injury made during the campaign. His trial is an example of the typical response of the Athenian assembly.

 
 

488

 
 

487

 
 

486

 
 

485

 
 

484

 
 

483
Athenians begin to build 200 triremes using profit from their silver mines at the urging of ThemistoclesHis stated purpose was to war against Aegina (since that was an immediate issue whereas popular thought about Persia was slight) but the fleet proved to be critical during the second Persian invasion

 
 

 
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SECOND PERSIAN INVASION OF GREECE

 
 

There were conflicts, off and on, between the Spartans (Peloponnesians) actually (Lacedaemonians) and Athenians prior to and after the second Persian invasion and Greek counter- offensive (480 - 461) and the outbreak of the First Peloponnesian War in 461 which ended in a truce in 446. In Greek philosophy war was the natural condition of man and peace was an unusual interlude. War was the ultimate means for deciding conflicts between peoples.

 
 

481
Xerxesassembles his Persian army at Sardis
The Carthaginian Invasion of Greek Sicily of 481-480 took place at the same time as Xerxes's invasion of Greece and ended with a Greek victory at the battle of Himera.in 480.

 
 

480
The Persian army crosses the Hellespont and enters Thrace.

 
 

480
Battle at Thermopylae in which the Persians commanded by Xerxes defeated the Spartans led byLeonidas .

 
 

480
Naval battle off Cape Artemisium in which the Athenians and allies led byEurybiades and Themistocles against the Persians resulted in an inconclusive draw and ended when the Greek fleet withdrew after learning that the Persians had won and could pass through Thermopylae.

 
 

480
- Xerxes captures Athens, Athenians move to Aegina and Salamis islands and to Peloponnesus mainland.

 
 

480
In September (23 or 24), naval battle at Salamis in which the Greek allies commanded by Eurybiades andThemistocles defeated the Persians was the decisive event of Xerxes' invasion which forced him to withdraw leaving a large army to winter in Thrace and Macedon.
Siege of Potidaea by Persians during their retreat from Plataea

The siege of Himera was the first military action of the Carthaginian invasion of Sicily of 480, and was ended by the dramatic Carthaginian defeat at the battle of Himera. The battle of Himera was a famous victory won by the Greeks of Syracuse over an invading Carthaginian army.

The siege of Andros is an incident recorded by Herodotus as taking part in the period after the Greek naval victory at Salamis.

 
 

480
Xerxes retreats with part of his army through Thrace, finds the bridge at Hellespont destroyed by weather, crosses to Abydus using ships. He leaves Mardonius in command of remaining Persian army in winter quarters in Thessaly and Macedon. Artabazus besieges Poteidae unsuccessfully for 3 months over the winter. Mardonius attempts diplomatically to detach the Athenians from the Hellenic League Greek cause, sending Macedonian king, Alexander, to negotiate.
Meanwhile in Sicily The siege of Himera in 480 was the first military action of the Carthaginian invasion of Sicily of 480, and was ended by the dramatic Carthaginian defeat at the battle of Himera. The battle of Himera (autumn 480) was a famous victory won by the Greeks of Syracuse over an invading Carthaginian army.

 
   
 

Critical events after the defeat of the Persians at Salamis

 
 

479
The Spartans want to fortify the Corinthian Isthmus and defend only the Peloponnesus - The Athenians want the Spartans to advance into Boeotia to protect Attica. The Greek fleet assembles at Aegina. (Herodotus's account of 110 ships is questionable).

 
 

479
In the summer Mardonius advances the Persian army south into Boeotia. The Athenians again evacuate Athens sending families to Salamis and Trozen. Mardonius occupies Attica and again offers Athenians an alliance. Athenians send envoys to Sparta threatening to switch sides and complaining about failure to defend Attica. The Spartans relent and under Pausanias' command send 5000 Spartiates, 5000 perioeci and 35,000 helots north. Meanwhile Mardonius sacked Athens and retired back into Boeotia using Thebes as a friendly base. By exploiting the rift between the Athenians and Spartans he caused the latter to shift from strong defense at the Isthmus into operations favorable to the Persians on the open plain of the Asopus river.

 
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479
Battle ofPlataea The Greek force totalled 38,700 hoplites, mostly from Sparta, Athens and Corinth. The Persians numbered over 40,000. Mardonius attempted to use his superiority in cavalry. Aristides commanded the Athenian force.

Map of Persian control prior to Plataea.

 
 

479
Meanwhile the combined Greek fleet was sailing east from Aegina under command of the Spartan king Leotychides. Xanthippus commanded the Athenian contingent. They received messengers from Chios urging the overthrow of their tyrant, Strattis, and from Samos urging overthrow of their tyrant, Theomestor, which urged the Hellenic navy to proceed further east from Delos. Leotychides was then assured that Ionian cities would all revolt, so he sailed on to Samos. Xerxes remaining fleet spent the winter at Cyme and then gathered at Samos. On the arrival of the Greek fleet the Persian commanders sent their Phoenician fleet home and retired across the strait from Samos to Mt. Mykale under protection of the Persian army garrison. Leotychides landed his force near the Persians, then urged the Ionians in the Persian force to defect. He then advanced west and attacked the Persian position. The Greeks routed the remaining Persians, the Samians and other Ionians deserted and turned against the Persians. After the great victory the Greeks retired to Samos to decide on what to do next. The decision was to admit the defensible islands, Samos, Lesbos and Chios into the Hellenic League, but to abandon the Ionians on the mainland as the league did not have sufficient forces to defend them from the Persians.

 
 

479
Leotychides leads the Hellenic League fleet to the Hellespont to destroy the Persian bridge, finding it already destroyed the Spartans sail for home but the Athenians, commanded by Xanthippus remained to attempt to capture the Chersonesus and the Hellespont where they did successfully besiege the Persian garrison in Sestos. This small event was important in shifting relations between Athenians and Spartans.

 
 

479
Pausanias leads Spartan troops to Thebes after the battle of Plataea to force the disbandment of the Theban federation and surrender of its leaders. The Thebans had sided with the Persians or at least had given them lodging (under some duress.)
The siege of Potidaea (480-479) was an unsuccessful Persian attempt to capture the strongly fortified city in the aftermath of Xerxes's retreat from Greece, and is notable for the first historical record of a tsunami.
The battle of Plataea (27 August 479) was the decisive land battle during the Persian invasion of Greece (480-479) and saw the Persian land army left behind after the failure of the 480 campaign defeated by a coalition of Greek powers.
The battle of Mycale (479) was a land battle that resulted in the destruction of the Persian fleet in Asia Minor, and that encouraged the Ionian cities to rebel against Persian authority.

Battle of Tegea in which the Spartans attacked the Argives and Tegeates.

 
 

479/8
The Spartans demand that the Athenians not rebuild their city walls but Themistocles went to Sparta and by subterfuge delayed discussion until the Athenians quickly rebuilt the city walls and then the walls from Athens to Peiraeus. This also was a critical event in the changing relations between Spartans and Athenians.
The siege of Thebes in 479 followed the Greek victory over the invading Persians at Plataea, and ended after the main Persian supporters in Thebes surrendered.

479/8
The Spartans had already created a Peloponnesian League comprising the smaller towns there plus Corinth and several Boeotian cities as a defensive league.
The siege of Olynthus in early 479 was a success for the Persian forces that had escorted Xerxes back to the Hellespont after the battle of Salamis and saw the city fall to assault and a large part of its population massacred.

 
 

478
Sestus, siege, 479-478
The Spartan regent and general, Pausanias, leads the Greek naval campaign to free the Ionian cities from Persia but angers the citizens there by being so domineering and generally objectionable. The fleet consisted of 20 ships from the Peloponnesus, 30 from Athens, and others from allied cities. They sailed to Cyprus although the Persians still had garrisons at Eion and Doriscus in Thrace and at Byzantium. After succeeding in collecting booty in Cyprus Pausanias led the fleet the long route to Byzantium where he besieged the Persian garrison. It was there that Pausanias became too despotic that the allies detested him. Sparta lost its popularity throughout the Aegean islands and the Asian coast, The Ionians asked the Athenians to take over command. The Spartans at home recalled Pausanias and put him on trial. They sent Dorcis with some ships to replace him but the Ionians refused to accept him. But Pausanias acquired a trireme for himself, sailed to Byzantium and took command of the city in 477.

 
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WARS OF THE DELIAN LEAGUE (477 - 449)

 
 

478-77
The League of Delos to defend against Persia was founded by the Greek Ionian cities who were disgusted with the Spartans and asked the Athenians to lead them. The members were tasked with providing a set number of ships, or for those who could not or chose not to they were to provide money. The Athenians assigned Aristides to establish the quotas of ships or money and appointed the 'treasurers' to collect and safeguard the money (tribute) on Delos Island. There also a congress of representatives met to decide policy. Historians still today discuss who were the actual members of the League.

 
 

477
Pausanias was ejected from Byzantium, recalled by the Spartan ephors, put on trial again. He took refuge in a temple which was then bricked up to let him starve to death.

 
 

476
Miltiades' son,Kimon, (Cimon) and led the first Delian League campaign against the Persian garrison in Eion a port at the Strymon river on the north-west Aegean coast.

 
 

475
The League forces commanded by Cimon then attacked Scyros Island, enslaved its inhabitants and replaced them with new settlers. Next they attacked Carystus on Euboea Island. It surrendered on terms.

 
 

474

 
 

473

 
 

472
The battle of Akragas (c.472-1) was a clash between Heiro, tyrant of Syracuse and Thrasydaeus, tyrant of Akragas, that ended in victory for Hiero.

 
 

471
Battle ofDipaea in which the Spartans attacked the Arcadian League and Tegea
The Elians consolidated by moving inhabitants from neighboring villages to create a larger city of Elis. Mantinea had already done a similar shift at an unknown date.

 
 

470
Having forced Carystus (Karytos) on Euboea to join the Delian league, the Athenians attacked rebellious Naxos and forced its citizens to give up their ships and pay a fine - This was example of growing Athenian imperialism.

 
 

469

 
 

468
Kimon (Cimon) led large Athenian and allies' (Delian League) naval force at battle ofEurymedon River (Greek victory on both land and sea over Persians).
Battle of Syedra in which Kimon again led Delian League navy to defeat the Phoenicians.

 
 

467

 
 

466
The Syracusan Revolution ended a period of tyrannical rule in the city and ushered in a prolonged period of democracy and prosperity.

 
 

465|
The battle ofCrastus took place in the period between the removal of several Tyrants on Sicily and the establishment of a period of peace, and was fought between Akragas on one side and the inhabitants of the town of Crastus and their allies from Himera and Gela on the other.
Earthquake in Lacedaemon (Sparta region) and revolt of Messenians against the Spartans who asked for assistance. They besieged the Messenians on Mt. Ithome for 6 years.

Thasos island attempts to revolt from Athenian alliance but was forced to surrender after two year siege. They are forced to give tribute. Other allies continue to attempt revolts.

 
 

464

 
 

463
Historians consider that the Delian League reached its greatest extend in membership cities in this year, in which it included most of the Aegean islands, and the cities on both shores. And the Athenian hegemony reached a greater extent.

 
 

462
Spartans appeal to Athenians and other Greek communities for assistance against Messenians. Aegina and Mantinea and Plataea responded. The Spartans initially were most desirous of Athenian assistance in siege warfare- but only Kimon's Athenian forces were then sent back by Spartans - Athenians considered this a huge slight on their 'honor'- Athenians form alliance with Megarians, Argives and Thessalians. (Raphael Sealey considers that this caused a major shift in Athenian attitudes toward Sparta)

 
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FIRST PELOPONNESIAN WAR (461 - 446)

 
 

The war between Athenians and the Athenian empire versus Spartans, Thebans, Corinthians, and other members of the Peloponnesian Confederacy 431 - 404. Large scale but sporadic campaigns and heavy fighting took place from Sicily to the coast of Asia Minor and from the Hellespont and Thrace to Rhodes. It was the first war in history to be recorded by an eye witness historian of the highest caliber. It has come down through history as the archetypical war between a commercial democracy and an agricultural aristocracy and a war between a maritime superpower and a continental military machine. But some modern commentators consider that it was actually a economic trade war because the real Athenian opponent was the Corinthians who were contesting international trade with them. Others note the significant 'racial' basis of conflict between Dorian and Ionian Greeks.
Thucydides' history is itself a classic, which for generations was considered a foundation of a proper education. In his manuscript he also included a sketch of the previous history of Greek city relations. But he did not complete a history of the entire war. That was accomplished by Xenophon in his Hellenica. Much information also comes to us from Diodorus Silicus, Cornelius Nepos, and Plutarch. Scholars of ancient Greek history and literature also mine even fragments of plays and speeches and archeological findings. .

 
 

Raphael Sealy devotes much attention to the question, "Why did the First Peloponnesian War break out?" He describes the internal political rivalry of the leading families and their leading politicians, especially the conflict between Cimon and Ephialtes. "Personal ties were crucial in an Athenian politician's career; rising politicians looked primarily to their friends in the city for support. The personal ties of leading Athenians with families outside Attica might well repay study". One such rivalry was between Cimon and Ephialtes, which extended into opposition between them on pro-and anti-Spartan policy.

The war resulted largely due to the change in Athenian foreign policy after Cimon was sent home with his troops by the Spartans. They established an alliance with Thessaly, Megara and with Argos, which was at war with Sparta, but did not conduct serious operations against Sparta itself during the war. It was the alliance plus Athenian fortifying and garrisoning Megara which disturbed the Corinthians greatly. Megara (capital of the Megarid) was located on the eastern end of the Corinthian Isthmus blocking movement from the Peloponnesus to both Attica and Boeotia. It had harbors at both Pegae on the gulf of Corinth and at Nisea on the Saronic Gulf. Initially the Athenian operations were directed against Corinth and Aegina, both closer rivals. The Corinthians were also concerned for their colonies at the western end of the Gulf such as Leucas, Ambracia and Anactorium

The fighting outbreak of First Peloponnesian War began with conflicts between Corinth and Athens. Then a variety of raids and small campaigns between Spartan and Athenian forces or their allies. However they had been rivals for years already prior to the Persian war. Rather, in Athens there were oligarchical and democratic factions that intrigued - the oligarchs to obtain outside help to overthrow the democrats and the democrats working to overthrow oligarchs in other communities. While in the Spartan oligarchic politics there was rivalry and the Spartans depended on a large population of helot slaves. The Spartan political structure pitted the two hereditary kings versus the elected ephors and the 30 senior (over 60 years old) members of a special committee.
Internal politics also was dominated by competition between individual leaders who relied on family relations and supporters to maintain power. Both cities needed alliances with as many of the other of the hundreds of Greek communities as possible in order to maintain their leading positions. Thus decisions for war depended on assessment of both internal and external political conditions.
As Thucydides noted, the individual Greeks were motivated by concepts of security (safety), honor, and interest (wealth). This resulted in fear at the likely loss of either of these desired conditions.

In 462 the Spartans asked for assistance from other Greek cities in suppressing a revolt by their subject Messenians. The Athenians sent a small force along with troops from other cities. But the Spartans sent them, and only them, back thus 'dishonoring' them. In retaliation for their 'dishonor' in 462 in 460 the Athenians made an alliance with the Argives. Argos was major enemy of Sparta in the Peloponnesus. The Athenians also detached Megara from the Peloponnesian League thus angering the Corinthians. This was even more dangerous for Corinth than Sparta. And the Corinthians were continually and aggressively urging the Spartans to wage war to reduce Athenian power. Corinth was at the eastern end of a gulf that opened to the west and enabled it to conduct wealthy economic trade with all the Greek cities throughout the Mediterranian as far as Sicily and Italy. Corinthians were always fearful of Athenian efforts to take some of that lucrative trade, which, indeed, the Athenians were greatly desiring to do. In support of the alliance with Argos the Athenians sailed across to the Port of Halieis between Argos and Athens. There they were defeated by a combined force of Corinthians and Epidaurians. But soon after the Athenians won a naval victory over a Corinthian and Aeginetan fleet off Cecryphaleia, an island between Aegina and the Peloponnesus. The Athenians defeated the Aeginetans again at Aegina, capturing 70 ships, and then landing on the island to besiege the city. The Athenians were always enemies of the Aeginetans who occupied the island right opposite Athens. In retaliation the Corinthians invaded the Megarid, but Myronides led Athenian reserve troops to engage the Corinthians in two battles of which he soundly won the second, sending the Corinthians home.

In 458 the Spartans bypassed Megara by crossing Corinthian gulf to invade Boeotia and defeated the Athenians and their Delian League and Argive troops at Tanagra in 457. But after the Spartans returned home the Athenians won a battles of Oinophyta and then proceeded to conquer Boeotia. In 458 the Spartans finally defeated the Messenians at Mt. Ihome - That year the Athenian general Tolmides' lead an Athenian naval expedition around the Peloponnesus to burn Spartan dockyards and raid areas in Lakonia. He then continued north and captured the Corinthian town, Chalkis, and also Naupaktos on the north shore of Gulf of Corinth. He populated it with displaced Messenians. Thus the Athenians were already at war with the Corinthians without direct contacts. In 454 the Athenians conducted another naval campaign in the Corinthian Gulf to raid Spartan and Corinthian allies. In 451 the Athenians and Spartans signed a Five Year Truce -And the Spartans signed a 50 year Truce with the Argives who then did remain mostly neutral during the next war.

 
 

461
Democratic revolution in Athens - Ostracism of Cimon, who returned from exile in 451 but died on Cyprus in 449.

Outbreak of First Peloponnesian War with variety of raids and small campaigns between Spartan and Athenian forces.

 
 

460
In retaliation for their 'dishonor' in 462 the Athenians make an alliance with the Argives. Argos was major opponent of Sparta in the Peloponnesus. The Athenians support Argive interests by fighting the Corinthians and Epidaureans in the Saronic Gulf and at Aegina.
Athenians detach Megara from the Peloponnesian League thus angering the Corinthians - Athenians fortify Megara linking it to port at Nisaia and establish an Athenian garrison in the city.

Birth of Thucydides, the author of the Syngraphe('write up') of the great was -as he stated, between the Spartans and Athenians, NOT between Sparta and Athens. That must be stressed.

 
 

459 - 454
Athenian expedition with Delian League allies to Egypt- to secure a source for grain and to Cyprus. They sent several hundred Triremes from Cyprus in support of Inarus, who had taken advantage of the assassination of the "King of Kings', Xerxes, in 465 to seize Egypt from Achaemenes, the Persian satrap there. The Athenians considered their grain supply from Crimea and north coast of Black Sea vulnerable due to Persian ability to block the Bosporus and capture Byzantium.
Athenians transfer the Delian League treasury from Delos to Athens.
Athenians begin construction of their "long walls' from Athens to port at Peiraieus.

Athenians make alliance with Thessalians who occupy the large plain north of Boeotia. This is the Athenian expansion of power from Aegean Islands onto mainland Greece which generates general consternation, especially from Thebans and the rest of the Boeotians. The Athenians want to obtain support from Thessalian cavalry.
Battle of Halieis in which the Corinthians and Epidaurians defeated the Athenians
Naval battle off Cecryphalea in which the Athenians defeated the Peloponnesians
Naval battle off Aegina in which Leocrates led the Athenians to victory over the Aeginetans

 
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SECOND SACRED WAR (458 - 448)

 
 

The Second Sacred War was the Spartan defeat of Phocians at Delphi and the restoration of Delphian self-control. In 458 or 457, Phocians captured three towns in the Spartan metropolis of Doris. A Spartan army marched on Doris, defeated the Phocians, and restored Dorian rule. On their way back to Peloponnesus, Athenians attacked the Spartan army; they were repelled, and Sparta's army returned home. After the Five Years Truce, Sparta embarked on a campaign of truncating "Athens' imperialistic ambitions in Central Greece".
See the link for more.

 
 

458
In 458 or 457, Phocians captured three towns in the Spartan metropolis of Doris. A Spartan army marched on Doris, defeated the Phocians, and restored Dorian rule. On their way back to Peloponnesus, Athenians attacked the Spartan army; they were repelled, and Sparta's army returned home.
After the Five Years Truce, Sparta embarked on a campaign of truncating "Athens' imperialistic ambitions in Central Greece". The Spartans defeat the Messenians at Mt. Ihome
General Tolmides leads an Athenian naval campaign around the Peloponnesus and burns Spartan dockyards. He captures Chalkis and Naupaktos from which the Athenians can control the western end of the Gulf of Corinth.
The Spartans cross the Gulf of Corinth to bypass Megara to operate against Boeotians. . The Athenian fleet in the Gulf of Corinth prevents the Spartans from crossing by ship on their way home. The Spartans remain in southern Boeotia.
Battle of Megara in which the Athenians led by Myronides defeated the Corinthians.

 
 

457
The Athenians assemble the largest force they can including contingent of 1000 men from Argos and Thessalian cavalry, in total about 14,000. .They join battle at Tanagrain 457. Nicomedes led the Spartans . Kimon commanded the Athenians at battle of Tanagra, which they lost when the Thessalian cavalry deserted. The Spartans then continued home through the Megarid. The battle at Tanagra reestablished the general Greek belief in the superiority of the Spartan hoplite phalanx.
However 62 days later Myronidesbrought Athenian troops into Boeotia and won the battle of Oenophyta, which gave them control over Boeotia and Phocis. They destroyed the fortifications at Tanagra. Athenian influence in Central Greece remained strong for 10 years but the cities there did not become members of the Delian League. .

 
 

456
The Aeginetans surrender.

 
 

455
Battle at Sicyon in whichTolmidesled the Athenians to victory over the Sicyonians

Birth of Thucydides

 
 

454
|Athenians conduct another naval expedition in the Corinthian Gulf to raid Spartans and their Corinthian allies.

In Egypt Inarus is defeated by the Persians and crucified when Persian king Artaxerxes sent Megabazus with a large army into Egypt,. After a siege of a year and a half, the Athenian's expedition is destroyed at Prosopitis in the Nile Delta with loss of 250 - 300 triremes. Even an Athenian reinforcement fleet of 50 ships sailed unexpectedly into a further disaster and was lost. This was the largest single disaster the Delian League ever had. They lose access to Egyptian wheat. Meanwhile the Athenians had been trying to restore their influence in Thessaly by conducting an expedition against Pharsalus to restore the Thessalian leader Orestes - they failed. And they failed again in a different expedition led by Pericles to Oeniadae in Acarnania on the Corinthian gulf but could not capture the town.

After the defeat in Egypt and Persian reconquest there the Athenians move the Delian League treasury to Athens claiming necessity for its safety. They must gain secure access to Black Sea grain by controlling Byzantium and the Hellespont.
The Athenians decided that their goddess Athena should receive a share of the annual tribute (1/60th of it).

 
 

453
Apparently, these defeats in 454 resulted in Athenian remaining relatively quiet and perhaps regaining some strength for the following years. and they were contesting much unrest from members of their Delian league, including revolts such as by the Milesians and by Erythraens. The Athenians had to station squadrons at Caria and places along the Ionian coast.
Battle of Sicyon in which the Athenians led by Pericles defeated the Sicyonians

 
 

452

 
 

451
Return of Kimon (Cimon) who then led the expedition on 200 ships of the Delian (Athenian) League to Cyprus. Six of these went on to support Amyrtaeus at Egypt while the remainder besieged Citium- Kimon died during the siege. Running short of supplies the fleet withdrew. Then near the Cyprus Salamis they met a fleet of Phoenicians, Cypriotes and Cilicians commanded by Artabazus and Megabazus and defeated them. Both fleets returned home. , .

The Spartans and Athenians sign a 5 year truce. The Spartans and Argives sign a 50 year truce

Perikles law on Athenian citizenship
The siege of Motyum in 451 was the first known attempt by the Sicel leader Ducetius to conquer an area held by one of the major Greek powers of Sicily, and led to his greatest victory over the Greeks at the battle of Motyum.
The battle of Motyum in 451 was the most important battlefield victory won by the Sicel leader Ducetius, but he was defeated at Nomae in the following year and forced into exile.

 
 

450
Birth of Alkibiades
The battle of Nomae in 450 was a defeat that reduced the power of Ducetius, king of the Sicels, and that eventually forced him into exile.

 
 

449
Peace of Kallias between Athenians and Persians
The Peace of Callias (c.448) was almost certainly a formal peace treaty between Persia and the Athenian-led Greek alliance that ended half a century of open conflict between the two powers, and established their spheres of influence in the eastern Mediterranean. The Peace of Callias is a purported peace treaty established around 449 between the Delian League (led by Athens) and Persia, ending the Greco-Persian Wars. The peace was agreed as the first compromise treaty between Achaemenid Persia and a Greek city. The peace was negotiated by Callias, an Athenian politician. Persia had continually lost territory to the Greeks after the end of Xerxes I's invasion in 479 BC. The exact date of the treaty is debated, although it is usually placed after the Battle of the Eurymedon in 469 or 466 or the Battle of Cypriot Salamis in 450. The Peace of Callias gave autonomy to the Ionian states in Asia Minor, prohibited the encroachment of Persian satrapies within three days march of the Aegean coast, and prohibited Persian ships from the Aegean. Athens also agreed not to interfere with Persia's possessions in Asia Minor, Cyprus, Libya or Egypt (Athens at that time lost a fleet aiding an Egyptian revolt against Persia.

 
 

448

 
 

447/6
Battle of Coronea - Athenian exiles seize Orchomenus, Chaerona and other places in Boeotia. Athenian general Tolmides commands Athenian response and captures Coronea.

Begining of construction of Parthenon in Athens

 
 

446
The battle of the Himera River in 446 was a clash between the Greek cities of Syracuse and Akragas, triggered by the return to Sicily of the Sicel leader Ducetius
Athenians commanded by Tolmides defeated at Coroneia by forces including Boeotians, Locians and Euboeans and driven out of Boeotia except for Plataea.
Thebes becomes leader of Boeotian alliance.
Euboea revolts from Athens. Pericles leads Athenian troops to Euboea.
Revolt of Megarians, killing the Athenian garrison, forces Pericles to be recalled.
Megarians admit troops from Corinth, Sicyon and Epidaurus. Peloponesians prepare to invade Attica, king Pleistranix commands Spartan troops at Eleusis to raid western Attica. Pleistranix and Pericles make agrement enabling Pericles to return to Euboea and capture the cities. He forces Histiaea citizens out and replaces them with Athenians.

446/5
Thirty years peace treaty between Athenians (Delian League) and Spartans (Peloponnesian Confederation) The Athenians are forced to give up the Megarian harbors at Nisaea, and Pegae plus Troezen, and Achaea. This forces the Athenians to give up their expansion and control of central mainland Greece.

 
 

445

 
 

444

 
 

443
Athenians make treaties with Greek colonists on Sicily and Italy in Leontini and Rhegion. This is part of the Athenian effort to secure grain from Sicily and expand trade with western Greeks.

 
 

442

 
 

441
With Persian assistance, Samos revolts from Delian League

 
 

440
The siege of Trinacie (c.440) was one of the final stages in the Greek conquest of the Sicels, the native inhabitants of eastern Sicily.
Spartans advocate war against Athens but their allies in Peloponnesian League vote NO.
Samian Revolt
Sea battle off Tragis Islands in which Pericles leads the Athenians to victory over the Samians.

 
 

439
Samian Revolt
Naval battle off Samos in which the Samians led by Melissus defeated the Athenians but then Samos surrenders to Athenians

 
 

438
Dedication of the Parthenon

 

BOSPORAN WARS OF EXPANSION

 
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438 -385 These intermittent wars between the Greek kingdom located at the modern Strait of Kerch in Crimea and across the strait were waged by the Bosporan Kingdom attempting to expand in the Cimmerian Bosporus and the surrounding territories from around 438 until about 385. Bosporan expansion began after Spartokos I, the first Spartocid (and after whom the dynasty is named) took power and during his seven-year reign, established an aggressive expansionist foreign policy that was followed by his successors. See the link for more details.

 
 

Here is a digression
We visited Crimea and had guided tours to ruins of several of the Greek cities dating from the era of the Bosporan kingdom continuing into the middle ages. Some text and photos are here.
Kaffa - {short description of image}
Kaffa -Theodosia {short description of image}
Kalos Liman {short description of image}
Kare Tebe {short description of image}
Kutluk {short description of image}
Chersonese photos {short description of image}
Chersonese text {short description of image}

 
 

437
Foundation of Amphipolis

 
 

436

 

CORINTHIAN - CORCYRA WAR 435-431

 
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The Corinth-Corcyra War in 435-431 began as a dispute between Corinth and her colony Corcyra, but the Athenians were soon dragged into the conflict, and it contributed to the outbreak of the Great Peloponnesian War.

 
 

435
The War of began as a dispute between Corinth and her colony Corcyra, but the Athenians were soon dragged into the conflict, and it contributed to the outbreak of the Great Peloponnesian War. War between Corinthians and Corcyraeans over Epidamnos
The siege of Epidamnus(435 ) saw the Corcyraeans capture their own former colony, overcoming a garrison partly provided by their own mother city of Corinth
The naval battle of Leucimme(435 ) was a naval victory won by Corcyra over the Corinthians that gave them control of the seas around the western coast of Greece and allowed them to launch raids on Corinth's allies for much of the next year

 
 

434

 
 

433
The naval battle of Sybota in 433 was an inconclusive naval battle between Corinth and Corcyraean that saved Corcyra from invasion, but that also played a part in the outbreak of the Great Peloponnesian War.

The war between Corinthians and Corcyraeans continues in which Athenian navy became involved in the naval battle of Sybota. The Athenians have developed a new type of trireme that uses ram and develops new naval tactics to employ it rather than hoplites to board enemy ships.
War between Corinthians and Corcyreans concludes.
Athenians renew treaty with Leontini and Rhegion.

 
 

432
The siege of Potidaea (432-430/29) saw the Athenians besiege a city that was part of their empire, and was one of a series of relatively minor military clashes that helped to trigger the Great Peloponnesian War.
Poteidaians revolt against Athenians - Potidaea was founded as a Corinthian colony but was a member of the Athenian league.
Battle at Potidaea in which Calliasleads the Athenians against the Corinthians led by Aristeus.
Perikles issues Megarian Decrees designed to force Megrians to renounce friendship with Corinthians. These are two more immediate causes of the Second Peloponnesian war.

 
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SECOND PELOPONNESIAN WAR (431 - 404)

 
     
 


The much more famous Second Peloponnesian War began on 4 April 431 with a Theban attempt to surprise Plataea, Athens' ally and outpost on the northern base of Cithaeron. It ended on 25 April 404, when Athens capitulated.
The cities of the Boeotian Confederacy under Theban leadership were Sparta's allies from the first. Syracuse and other Sicilian cities gave active help in the last part of the war. Argos, her hands tied by a treaty with Sparta, remained neutral during the first ten years, but as a democracy, was benevolently inclined towards Athens. Persia at first held aloof, waiting for an opportunity to regain her dominion over the Greek cities on the Asiatic seaboard, which Athens had liberated, but finally provided the crucial financial and logistic support required by Sparta to conduct a maritime offensive. Athens, was unpopular with many members of her own empire, but held most under control by her maritime supremacy. The war may be divided into three major periods or five phases:

 
 

The Archidamian war;phase 1 431-427; phase 2 426-421:

 
 

The Sicilian war: phase 3: 421-413:

 
 

The Ionian orDecelean War; phase 4 412-404; phase 5 407-404:

 
 

Cause of the war

 
 

According to Thucydides, the underlying cause of the war, was the Spartan's fear of the growth of the power of Athenians. (NOT Sparta's) And many subsequent writers have taken Thucydides as the authority, but substitute SPARTA for Spartans - and Athens for Athenians. But by no means do all modern historians agree with Thucydides either on the actual causes or on which party was the most responsible. And others claim that he is being misunderstood and or mistranslated. For instance G. E. M. de Ste. Croix devotes his entire scholarly study - The Origins of the Peloponnesian Warto these issues.
But why did Spartans 'fear' Athenian power and why did Thucydides consider that was the 'underlying or basic cause'? The Athenians had no potential for conquering Sparta nor did they express a desire to do so. Might it have been because the Athenian democrat faction was encouraging overthrow of oligarchies and Sparta was one of these, and moreover the Spartans were always in fear of a revolt of their helot slave laborers. There was no likelihood that the Athenians could ever invade the Peloponnesus and attack Sparta directly.
Another possible cause was the nature of the internal political structure in each Greek community - namely, a struggle between an oligarchic and a democratic faction reflected also in the personal struggles for leadership and power between individuals and families who were part of or relied on one of those factions. Another potential cause was economic - a trade war - in this case between Corinthian and Athenian merchants, not between Athenian and Spartan merchants. It was the Corinthians who argued so strongly to entice reluctant Spartans to declare war. They actually threatened to leave Sparta's critical Peloponnesian League if they did not declare war. But Thucydides does not dwell much on economic issues directly. An entirely different cause of Thucydides' statement might be his desire to shift 'blame' from the Athenians.

However, many contemporary Greeks considered the Athenians the instigators because of their attitude of imperial domination over other independent Greek communities rather than Sparta itself. At any rate, both communities did have a long history of conflicts, which Thucydides lists, and were well prepared for war. The whole history of the rise and power of Athens in the 50 years preceding may justify this view, though the immediate occasion of the war concerned Korinth, Sparta's chief naval ally. Since the peace of 445, Perikles had consolidated Athenian resources, made Athens' navy incomparable, concluded in 433 a defensive alliance with the strong naval power, Korcyra, (Korinth's most bitter enemy), and renewed alliances with Rhegium and Leontini in the west. The very food supply and wealth from trading of the Korinthians from Sicily was endangered. Also, immediately after the defeat of the Persians Themistocles, over the strong objections of the Spartans, refortified Athens and extended the fortifications to include its harbors, thus making the city defensible against the siege capabilities of the times.

In the Aegean Athens could always enforce a monopoly of seaborne trade. But to the west - to important food supplies and trade coming from Greek cities in Italy and on Sicily the conflict was between the Corinthians and Athenians. To this extent the Peloponnesian War was a trade war and it was on this ground chiefly that the Corinthians appealed to Sparta to take up arms. Corinth was located on the western (Peloponnesian end of the Isthmus) and had its ports on both the Saronic Gulf and the Gulf of Corinth which was open toward Sicily and much nearer than a sea route around the Peloponnesus. Corinth had a powerful navy and was a major trading and wealthy city well before Athens. Megara was located on the eastern (Athenian) end of the same Isthmus. When Megara built a port on the Gulf of Corinth in addition to its port on the Aegean side, the Korinthians recognized a coming foreign trade rivalry - economic rivalry. Worse, the Athenians helped fortify Megara and its ports and even occupied the city. Then the Megarians switched friends and sent the Athenians home. Athenians then retaliated by issuing the "Megarian Decree' which excluded the Megarians from ALL ports on the Aegean side. This was a threat of starvation, an example of economic warfare. The Megarians appealed to the Corinthians who appealed to the Spartans. The appeal was backed by Megarians, nearly ruined by Perikles' economic boycott, and by Aegina a reluctant member of the Athenian empire.

But if the Spartans had not also been willing for war then peace would have lasted. According to the 30 years peace treaty there should have been negations and compromise. The Spartans were then waiting for an opportunity that came when Athens was temporarily embarrassed by the revolt of her subject-ally Potidaea in Khalcidice in the spring of 432. The rebel city held out until the winter of 430 and its blockade meant a constant drain upon Athenian military, and naval resources. As was common in all Greek towns, there were political parties in Sparta, one urging war and the other urging peace. The pro-war Spartans seized the opportunity. Confident of speedy victory they refused an offer of arbitration made by Pericles. Instead, they sent an ultimatum, focused on Megara, but acceptance of which would have practically destroyed Athenian power - partly economic but largely psychological with respect to its relationship with its own subject 'allies'. Perikles urged the people to refuse and Sparta declared war. We have also to consider Perikles' own position and motivations with respect to his political situation.

 
     
 

Phase 1: 431-427

 
 

In a war between the main military and main naval powers in Greece a decisive result was unlikely to occur quickly. The Spartans relied on the traditional strategy of Greek warfare. They hoped that by invading Attica and destroying the crops they would force the Athenians either to sue for peace or come out to fight the standard set piece battle in which typical Greek wars were decided. In numbers as well as discipline and combat effectiveness of troops Athens was decidedly inferior to the Spartan-Theban forces. The defect in this strategy was that Athens unlike other Greek cities could not be starved into surrender, nor be made to fight a pitched battle by occasional occupation of its individual citizen's farm lands. For one thing already Athenian agriculture already had largely shifted from growing wheat to grapes and olives for commercial export. Her food supply came principally from Egypt and Crimea, and potentially also from Sicily. The the old king of Sparta, Archidamus, knew this and warned his people about it. But the Spartan war party were still confident in a quick victory in pursuing their strategy of annihilation.
Perikles based his own confidence on his opposite strategy. He wanted only the status quo ante and not conquest, which was quite beyond the means available. Therefore, knowing his city walls were impregnable and connected Athens to the sea port at Piraeus and his navy would be able to insure the food supply, he opted for a defensive strategy of attrition.

When the Spartans invaded, the rural population of Attica moved into the city. Athens became an island impregnable to attack. Its great fleet would secure the empire against revolts from within and attacks from without and take the offensive to raid the Peloponnesian coast. Meanwhile, every spring and autumn the Athenian land army would devastate the lands of Sparta's allies (especially Megara) at the Korinthian Isthmus, while the Spartans were home tending to their own crops. If Megara could be recovered, then Spartan land access to Attica would be blocked and her Theban allies would not dare come down from the north unaided.
The Periklean strategy also had weaknesses. He was too fearful of the effect that high casualties would have on public sentiment in a democracy, if he had conducted more aggressive offensive military actions. He had not seen the opportunities for combined land and naval actions to bring a higher intensity of war to Spartan territory with little risk in order to hasten the effect of the attrition on Sparta. Such a strategy could have been employed with relatively little danger to Athenian hoplites despite they being weaker than Spartans. The defect essentially was that the Athenian people's morale proved unequal to the strain, and, after his death, rushed into rash attempts to over-reach their means. Their morale was already weakened due to crowded, cramped, living conditions inside Athens and forced observation of some destruction of their agriculture. But it was practically destroyed by the unpredictable onset of plague level disease that killed a third or so of the population. Meanwhile, the Spartans were stoic and persistent in the face of failure, until they found foreign resources sufficient to turn the tables on Athens.

Chance too entered the lists, when in June 430 plague brought with the vital grain from Egypt or Libya swept the city, overcrowded with the rural refugees. Athenian troops sent north to reinforce the army besieging Potidaea merely brought the plague along. But no other Greek city suffered, thanks to the lack of contact during the war. Perikles himself died in 429. Megara held out, although starving. The Athenian naval raids on Sparta's coastal allies were too feeble to bother Sparta. Therefore it was Athens which suffered the attrition meant for Sparta. Athens' vast financial resources were strained and she began exacting even more onerous taxation from her empire, which only engendered more unrest and rebellion. In particular a strong force sent to operate from Kythera would have at least kept Sparta's armies out of Attica. Thus the admiral, Perikles, threw away the strategic opportunities available by the proper use of his navy.

Athenians began to offer peace in 430, but Spartans refused. In 430-29 Potidaea finally surrendered, boosting the Athenian position. Then in the fall of 429 Athens won two great naval battles at Khalcis and Naupaktus. The later won by Phormio taking advantage of superior Athenian seamanship. In June 428 Mitylene on Lesbos revolted. In 427 the Spartan fleet under command of Alkidas retreated without even offering battle, instead of helping Mitylene, forcing the city to surrender in July. But this was countered by the surrender in August of Athens' ally, Plataea, to a Theban army which destroyed both population and city itself. In 426 Athens gained the upper hand in Korcyra, but only after a ghastly slaughter. This brought the war to a near stalemate.

 
 

431
Outbreak of Second Peloponnesian War - Thebans conduct an unsuccessful night attack on Plataea. Plataea is located in Boeotia strategically guarding the main route between Thebes and Atticia.
Peloponnesians, commanded by king Archidamus, invade Atticia to destroy crops and dwellings in expectations they can force Athenians to come out of their fortified city to fight an open battle. Athenians refuse.

 
 

430
Plague at Athens - not elsewhere except to several locations to which Athenian soldiers took it on campaigns.
Perikies expedition around Peloponnesus to raid and destroy resources in hopes of keeping Spartans on defensive - He is deposed and fined.
Poteidaians surrender to Athenians
Athenian general, Phormio, conducts naval expedition around Peloponnesus to Naupaktos at entrance to the Corinthian Gulf. He defeats Corinthians at naval battle of Patras, and again at Naupak(c)tos.

 
 

429
The battle of Spartolus of 429 was a costly Athenian defeat in a battle fought just outside the city of Spartolus in Chalcidice. The battle of Stratus (429 was a Spartan defeat that ended a brief campaign designed to drive the Athenians out of Acarnania, the area to the north-west of the entrance to the Gulf of Corinth (Great Peloponnesian War)
The naval battle offChalcis(429) in which Phormio led the Athenians to victory over Corinthians was the first of two Athenian naval victories won in the same year in the Gulf of Corinth that helped demonstrate their naval superiority in the early part of the Great Peloponnesian War. {short description of image}
The Naval battle off Naupactus (429) in which Phormiodefeated the Peloponnesians led by Cnemus was a second Athenian naval victory won in a short period around the Gulf of Corinth, but was won by a very narrow margin and only after the narrow failure of a Peloponnesian plan to trap the entire Athenian fleet.
Death of Perikles as plague continues

Battle of Stratus in which the Stratians (Acarnanians) defeat the Spartans led by Cnemus

The siege of Plataea (429-427 was a Theban victory that saw them capture Athens' only ally in Boeotia, although only after a two-year long siege

 
 

428
In the siege of Mytilene on Lesbos (428-427) the Athenians defeated a revolt on the island of Lesbos, and it is most famous for the two debates about the correct punishment for the rebels. Mytilenians on Lesbos Island revolt against Athenians continuing into 427
Peloponnesians send 40 ships to aid but arrive too late .
Athenians pass emergency eisphora tax

Second naval battle of Sybota Islands - Leucaians and Ambraciots attack Corcyra,
Peloponnesians (Corinthians) send 53 ships
Athenians have 12 ships at Naupakltos
Corinthians defeat Corcyraeans but not Athenians and retreat when 60 more Athenian ships arrive

 
 

427 -424 - First Athenian expedition to Sicily

 
 

Phase 2: 426-421

 
 

In 426 the Athenians began more active operations under direction of new political leaders of the democratic party, Kleon and Demosthenes. Despite continued resistance by the upper classes led by Nikias, they initiated a vigorous offensive strategy. Athenian forces attempted to carry the war to Boeotia (Thebes), Sparta, and even Sicily. In 426 two Athenian armies moved toward Thebes, one under Demosthenes via Acarnania under cover of an attack on Sparta's ally, Ambracia; and the other under Nicias via Tanagra. The plan failed. Demosthenes' force of mostly local allies was trapped and routed, although he managed to escape to Naupactus. Nicias, ever the reluctant warrior, won a small victory at Tanagra and then withdrew. To cover expenses Kleon in 425 raised the tribute from the empire. The Spartans began reprisals. A large army under Eurylochus marched from Delphi, threatened Naupactus, and laid siege to Amphilochian Argos. Demostheneswon two great victories at Olpaeand Idomene by clever tactical techniques. This destroyed Spartan hegemony, pushed Arcania and Abracia out of the war, and opened the way for the Athenian navy to Sicily. In 426 they sent Memosthened with a fleet to capture Messena to cut off grain imports to the Peloponnesus. On the way the fleet was forced by a storm into the bay at Spactaria Island.

In 425 Athens won its greatest victory at Spacteria. Its fleet en route to Sicily put in at Navarino Bay and Demosthenes built and garrisoned a fort there on Pylos promontory. The Spartans attacked by land and sea. He drove off the assault on the fort, and the Athenian fleet, returning at his request, blocked the Spartan navy in the bay and cut off the Spartan force of 420 men on Spacteria island. Athens secured the surrender of the enemy fleet, leaving Sparta without one for many years. Kleon brought reinforcements, which enabled the Athenians finally to overwhelm the Spartan resistance and capture 292 prisoners including 120 Spartiates, who were taken to Athens. This was an unprecedented disgrace for Sparta. The "hostage" issue (that is the personal and group honor of Spartans) of these prisoners-of-war not only secured all Attica from Spartan attacks, but was played upon by Athens until Sparta sued for peace, which, foolishly, Kleon refused.

In 424 all Athenian offensive plans failed. Their admirals were forced to return from Sicily, due to Syracusan policies, but were nevertheless severely punished by the democratic led assembly. In November their three- pronged offensive against Thebes was defeated at Delium, thanks to a new tactical deployment of Pagondas using a deep infantry wing and skillful use of cavalry. The Athenian attempt to capture Megara by treachery was blocked by the Spartan relief force under Brasidas. Brasidas then marched full speed through Boeotia and Thessaly to Chalcidice stirring up revolt and offering freedom. Amphipolis surrendered.
In 422 Brasidas continued his victorious campaign despite Athenian reinforcements. Brasidas sallied from Amphipolis and defeated the Athenian force, killing Kleon, but dying in the process as well. Thus in one battle two of the greatest advocates and practitioners of offensive warfare died. Then, by April 11, 421 Nicias concluded a peace treaty between Athens and Sparta that he hoped would end the war.

 
 

426
The battle of Aegitium was an Athenian defeat that ended a short-lived invasion of Aetolia in which the Aetolians defeated Demonsthenescommanding an Athenian and allied force
The siege ofNaupactus was a short-lived Spartan attempt to capture a key Athenian naval base on the northern shores of the Gulf of Corinth.
The battle of Olpaewas an Athenian victory, led by Demosthenes, that ended a Spartan campaign aimed at the conquest of Acarnania and Amphilochia.
The battle of Idomene was a second victory in three days won by Demosthenes against the Ambraciots in the north-west of Greece.
The battle of Tanagra was a minor Athenian victory won close to the city of Tanagra in Boeotia in which Hipponicus and Eurymedon led the Athenians to victory over the Boeotians.

Battle of Mylae in which Laches led the Athenians to victory over the Messanians
Battle of Inessa in which the Syracusians defeat the Athenians.

 
 

425 Athenians occupy and fortify Pylos on west coast of the Peloponneses.
The battle of Pylos ) was the first part of a two-part battle most famous the surrender of a force of Spartan hoplites trapped on the island of Sphacteria.
The battle of Sphacteria was the second part of a two-part battle which ended with the surrender of a force of Spartan hoplites (Great Peloponnesian War).
The battle of Solygia was a minor Athenian victory during a raid on Corinth, but one that had little long term impact (Great Peloponnesian War). In the battle Nicias led the Athenians to victory over Lycophron leading the Corinthians

Eurymedon and Sophocles (withDemosthenes along) sail from Athens with 40 ships headed for Sicily, They are forced to stop (briefly they think) on the Laconia west coast at Pylos and then at Corcyra. Demosthenes recognizes the windfall and builds a small fort atPylos. He remains there with 5 ships as Eurymedon and Sophocles continue. The Spartans react. Demosthenes sends to Eurymedon to return which he does. After some fighting in the bay and on land the Athenians capture some Spartan prisoners on Sphakteria Island- next to Pylos.
Spartans urgently seek to ransom their men. They send peace offer to Athenians in exchange for prisoners but Cleon, ever the aggressive advocate for war, refuses the opportunity. Cleon takes reinforcements to Pylos.
Battle at straits of Messina in which the Athenians and Rhegians defeat the Syracusians

 
 

424
Athenians led by Nicias capture Cytheria island and continue raids on Lakonian (Spartan) coast. They recapture Nisaea.
The Athenians commanded by Hippocrates fortify Delium but the Boeotians led by Pagondas defeat him at Tanagra and then retake Delium. The battle of Delium (424) was a costly Athenian defeat that came during an unsuccessful attempt to seize control of Boeotia.
The battle of Megara was fought between Athens and Megara, an ally of Sparta. The Athenians were victorious. Megara was in the country of Megarid, between central Greece and the Peloponnese. Megara, an ally of Sparta, consisted of farming villages, with flat plains and foothills, and hosted two harbors: Pagae (modern Alepochori-Corinthian Gulf) and Nisaia (Saronic Gulf), making it a prime focus of contention.
Spartan general Brasidascaptures Amphipolis in Chalcidice, with mostly non-Spartan mercenary troops, It is an Athenian colony far from Peloponnesus but most of the population are locals who side with Brasidas and let him rule. - - Thucydides is exiled on charge of failure to defend Amphipolis, but he was prevented from reaching the city in time, but did retain Eion.

Death of Artaxerxes I. He was succeeded by his son, Xerxes II, who was promptly assassinated. Sogdianus who apparently had gained the support of his regions declared himself king and reigned for six months and fifteen days before being captured by his half-brother, Ochus, who had rebelled against him. Sogdianus was executed by being suffocated in ash because Ochus had promised he would not die by the sword, by poison or by hunger. Ochus then took the royal name Darius II. Darius' ability to defend his position on the throne ended the short power vacuum.

 
 

423
Revolts against Athenians at Scione and Mende. Nicias and Nicostratus defeat the revolts.
The siege of Scione came after the city rebelled against Athens, with Spartan support, but continued on after those cities agreed a short-lived peace treaty, and at the end the defenders of the city were either executed or sold into slavery. One year truce agreed between Spartans and Athenians

 
 

422
The battle of Laodocium (423 or 422 was a clash between two Peloponnesian cities, fought during a brief armistice between Athens and Sparta (Great Peloponnesian War).
Athenian generalCleonand Spartan general Brasidas killed in battle atAmphipolis. They are both leaders of the pro-war party in their communities. The Spartans kept control.

 
 

421
The Peace of Nicias brought a temporary end to the fighting in the Great Peloponnesian War. Although it was meant to last for fifty years, it was broken after only a year and a half, and the war continued until 404. Athenian general Nicias (a leader of the peace party) negotiates a 50 year alliance between Athenians and Spartans (Peace of Nikias)

 
 

Phase Three: 421-417

 
 

All the animosities and policy conflicts which divided the Greek cities remained during this period as all sides strove to regain their strength. Corinth and Thebes refused to adhere to the peace treaty. Neither the Spartans nor the Athenians actually fulfilled their obligations, except that the Athenians did give up their Spartan prisoners. In 420 a new alliance of Athens, Argos, Mantinea, and Elis faced the Spartan - Boeotian Alliance. Athens now had Alcibiades back as leader.

The reminder of the war was marked by the bitter internal political struggle between the democratic war party led by Alcibiades and the aristocratic (oligarchical) elements led by Nicias and others. This struggle led to outright treason, vicious internal partisan purges, and the final destruction of Athens' empire, hegemony, and very independence.

The Athenian's third offensive strategy was the most ambitious conception so far, but it was ultimately negated by the internal opposition of Alcibiades' political opponents. Thanks to the new allies in the Peloponnesus, they threatened the Spartans at home and forced them into a pitched battle on home territory. The Spartans responded to the crisis by bringing forth another great military leader in King Agis II. Taking the initiative, Agis assembled a powerful army at Phlius by masterly night marching and descended from the north on Argos, but was forced to make a treaty and withdraw due to the failure of his Boeotian allies. However, a few months later Alcibiades was able to pressure the Argives into denouncing the treaty and threatening Tegea. Athens then sent only an inadequate force in support and Elis sent none at all. Agis brought up the full Spartan army and in August 418 won the largest land battle of the war at Mantinea. This not only restored Spartan self-confidence and prestige but also knocked out Athens' allies. The Spartans installed an oligarchy in Argos.

Athenian hopes now rested on taking up an even more bold offensive to cut Spartan and Corinthian supplies from Sicily. In 416 Alcibiades promoted an ambitions strategic plan for conquering Syracuse, controlling all of Sicily, defeating Carthage, and then returning with greatly strengthened forces to the final defeat of a surrounded Peloponnesus. The conception was brilliant, but required the undivided support of the entire Athenian polity. The democrats embraced it with enthusiasm, but as usual Nicias opposed and recommended continued traditional operations in Chalcidice. The expedition was voted and launched in June of 415, but with a fatally divided command of Alcibiades, Nicias, and the professional soldier, Lamachus. The campaign was barely begun when Alcibiades was recalled to stand trial on charges brought by his opponents, (desecrating the hermes) leaving the hopes of Athens in the hands of the chief opponent of the strategic plan. Rather than face certain execution, Alcibiades fled to Sparta!

At first the campaign gained successes. Syracuse was duly invested by land and sea, but Athenian attempts to build a wall of circumvallation were blocked by a Syracusian counter wall. At Sparta Alcibiades recommended that they send Gylippus to aid the Syracusians and that they capture and build a fortress in Attica at Decelea. Lamachus was killed, the fleet was defeated, then supplies ran out, a Spartan general, Gylippus, arrived to aid the defense, and Nicias was procrastinating as usual. A second fleet was sent commanded by Demosthenes. But his assault in July 413 was also defeated. Demosthenes then urged a general withdrawal to Athens, but Nicias would neither advance nor retire. The Athenian fleet was blocked in the harbor and then defeated in battle. Nicias attempted to move the army inland, but it was pursued, surrounded, and finally massacred. Both generals were executed and the few "survivors" were enslaved.

 
 

420

 
 

419

 
 

418
Battle of Mantinea- Peloponnesian army of Spartans, Skiritai, Arkadians, Tegeans and Lakonians commanded by Agis decisively defeated the Mantineas and allies of Athenians, Arkadians, and Argives - next year the oligarchs in Argos with Spartan help overthrow the democratic faction.
The siege ofOrchomenes in 418 was a short-lived success won by an alliance of Greek cities led by Argos and that included Athens. In 421 the Peace of Niciashad temporarily ended the fighting during the GreatPeloponnesian War. One of Sparta's reasons for agreeing to the peace was that their peace treaty with Argos, a key rival in the Peloponnese, was about to expire and Sparta didn't want a war on two fronts.

 
 

417

 
 

416
Athenians invade Melos - kill all the males and send females and children into slavery. Siege of Melos This entry includes the Melian debate and Decree

 
 

415 - Athenian expedition to Sicily begins TheSicilian Expedition was an Athenian military expedition to Sicily, which took place from 415–413 during the Peloponnesian War between the Athenian empire, or the Delian League, on one side and Sparta, Syracuse and Corinth on the other. The expedition ended in a devastating defeat for the Athenian forces, severely impacting Athens. The expedition was hampered from the outset by uncertainty in its purpose and command structure—political manoeuvreing in Athens swelled a lightweight force of twenty ships into a massive armada, and the expedition's primary proponent, Alcibiades, was recalled from command to stand trial before the fleet even reached Sicily. Still, the Athenians achieved early successes. Syracuse, the most powerful state in Sicily, responded exceptionally slowly to the Athenian threat and, as a result, was almost completely invested before the arrival of back up in the form of Spartan general, Gylippus, who galvanized its inhabitants into action. From that point forward, however, as the Athenians ceded the initiative to their newly energized opponents, the tide of the conflict shifted. A massive reinforcing armada from Athens briefly gave the Athenians the upper hand once more, but a disastrous failed assault on a strategic high point and several crippling naval defeats damaged the Athenian soldiers' ability to continue fighting and also their morale. The Athenians attempted a last-ditch evacuation from Syracuse. The evacuation failed, and nearly the entire expedition were captured or were destroyed in Sicily. The effects of the defeat were immense. Two hundred ships and thousands of soldiers, an appreciable portion of Athens' total manpower, were lost in a single stroke. The city's enemies on the mainland and in Persia were encouraged to take action, and rebellions broke out in the Aegean. Some historians consider the defeat to have been the turning point in the war, though Athens continued to fight for another decade. Thucydides observed that contemporary Greeks were shocked not that Athens eventually fell after the defeat, but rather that it fought on for as long as it did, so devastating were the losses suffered. Athens managed to recover remarkably well from the expedition materially, the principal issue being the loss of manpower rather than the loss of ships.
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415
Egesta appeals to Athens for assistance against Selinous.
Second Athenian Expedition to Sicily commences.
Alcibiades recalled but escapes to Sparta.
First battle at Syracuse at Olympieium during the Athenian campaign in whichNiciasdefeated the defending Syracusians

 
 

414
Battle at the Syracuse Epipodae in which the Athenians defeat Diomilus the Syracusian defender
Battle at Syracusian Syce that the Athenians again win
Battle at Syracusian Lysimeleia - another Athenian victory led by Lamachus
Death of Lamachus
Another battle at Epipodae in which the Spartan general, Gylippus defeated the Athenian Nicias.

 
 

413
Battle at Syracusian Plemmyrium in which the Athenains defeat Gylippus
Four battles in the Syracusian harbor in which Gylippus defeats Demosthenes or Eurymedon and or Nicias. Athenians surrender and are killed or enslaved.

Spartans capture Athenian border outpost at Dekeleia(Decelea) and fortify it as base for constant raids in Attica.

 
 

Phase Four: 412-408

 
 

The last phases are frequently termed theDecelean War

 
 

The Spartans resumed the war officially in August 414 and all Greece expected Athens to loose. Sparta now had a strong fleet with additional reinforcements from the west. Athens had lost its best sailors and had nearly exhausted its treasury.
In March 413 King Agis occupied Decelea to keep Athens in a constant blockade on the land side and cut off the Athenian silver mines. The Athenian empire soon started to fall apart with one city revolt after another in 412 and 411. Finally Persia entered the contest by authorizing its satrap in Sardis, Tissaphernes, to support Sparta. An oligarchic party seized power in Athens and started to offer surrender until blocked by a resurgence of the democratic party. Alcibiades now fled from Sparta to Sardis where he persuaded Tissaphernes to withhold his support from Sparta. The Athenian navy now recalled Alcibiades to command and resumed operations.
With the grain supply from Sicily in complete Spartan control and that from Egypt blocked by the same forces, (and Persia), Athens now was totally dependent on food from Crimea through the Hellespont. There the Athenian commanders Thrasybulus and Thrasyllus defeated the Spartan, Mindarus, in the Hellespont at Cynossema in September of 411. In Athens an oligarchic party seized power but was overthrown in 410. In March of 410 Alcibiades (with Thrasybulus and Thrasyllus) won a great victory over the opposing navy and supporting Persian army at Cyzicus on the Sea of Marmora, giving Athens again maritime supremacy. Sparta again suggested peace, but the democrat demagogues as usual refused to listen.

In 409 The Spartans drove the Messenians out of Pylos thus securing their western front.
In 409 Alcibiades recaptured Byzantium, cleared the Bosporus and secured the grain supply. He made a triumphant return to Athens on 16 June 408, but his enemies remained unreconciled.

 
 

412
Spartans seek and obtain financial help and treaty with Persian king Darios II - enables them to construct and man a fleet
The Spartans decided to send a fleet to Chios so they hauled 39 ships across the Corinthian Isthmus from the Gulf to sail there, but the Athenains saw them before they passed through the Saronic Gulf and forced them into the harbor at Spiraeum.
Battle of Spiraeum in which the Athenians defeat the Peloponnesians led Alcamenes who was killed in battle. But later the remaining Spartan ships broke out and defeated the blockading Athenians.
The Chians had revolted from Athens which sent a fleet commanded by Leon and Diomedon who landed troops on the island and a series of battles ensued.
Battle of Bolissus in which Leon and Diomedon led the Athenians to victory over Chians
Battle of Cardamyle in which Leon and Diomedon also led the Athenians to victory over Chians
Naval battle off Pharnae in which the Athenians defeat the Chians
Battle of Leconium , another victory of the Athenians over the Chians
Battle of Panormus
Siege and battle of Miletus in which the Athenians defeat the Milesians.
The battle of Cnidus (412/411) was an inconclusive naval battle which meant that the Athenians were unable to prevent two Spartan fleets from uniting on the coast of Asia Minor (Great Peloponnesian War).

From 412 Darius II, at the insistence of Tissaphernes, gave support first to Athens, then to Sparta,

 
 

411
Naval battle off Samos Island in which Astyochus led the Spartans to victory over Charminus leading the Athenians.
The Spartans encouraged the Rhodians to revolt against Athens.
Battle at Rhodes in which Leon and Diomedon led the Athenians to victory over the Rhodians and Spartan fleet beached there.

Athenian allies revolt throughout Aegean

Athenian oligarchic party succeeds in revolution and installs pro Spartan government.
Spartan admiral Agesandridas led his fleet around Lyconia to Epidarus and attacks Aeginia then moves to Megara to threaten Athens. He then sails to Oropus in Attica opposite Euboea. Athenian general Thymochares rushes a small fleet to Eretria on Euboea, thinking the city was loyal and safe. But some po-Spartans alert Agesandridas by pre-arrangement when the Athenian sailors are searching the town for lunch. The Spartans attack the disorganized Athenians and capture most of them and their ships

Athenian army and fleet at Samos with Alcibiades in command remains loyal to democratic government party.


Naval Battle off Chios island in which the Spartans defeated the Athenians.
Battle at Lampsacus in which Strombichides led the Athenians to victory over the Lamsaceni.

Naval battle offCynossema point in the Hellespont in which Thrasybulus and Thrasyllus defeated the Spartans and Syracusians commanded by Mindarus.
Naval battle of Abydos in the Hellespont in which the Athenians again defeated Mindarus.

 
 

410
full democracy restored in Athens
Naval battle of Cyzicusin the Sea of Mamora in which Alcibiades and Thrasybulus and Thrasyllus defeated Mindarus who was killed in battle.

 
 

409
Spartans drive Messenians out of Pylos - Spartans capture and control Chios island.

Battle of Ephesus in which the Ephesians defeated the Athenians led by Thrasyllus.
Battle at Cerata Mountain in which the Athenians led by Leotrophides and Timarchus defeated the Megarians.

 
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408
Siege of Chalcedon across the Bosporus from Byzantium in which Theramenes, Alcibiades and Thrasyllus defeated Hippocrates leading the Spartans. They then moved across to Byzantium.
Siege of Byzantium in 408 was an Athenian victory in which they regained control over the Bosporus, and removed a threat to Athens's food supplies from the Black Sea (Great Peloponnesian War). Byzantium had been part of the Athenian Empire, but it had rebelled after the Athenian disaster at Syracuse, and by 408 was held by a mixed garrison of Byzantines, Perioci (free non-citizens of Sparta), Neodamodes (Helots freed after serving in the Spartan army), Megarians and Boeotians, all commanded by the Spartan governor Clearchus.

Darius II decides to send his younger son as satrap Cyrus the younger to command Persian forces in western Anatolia.

 
 

Phase Five: 407-404

 
 

In autumn of 408 a new Spartan admiral, Lysander,arrived at the chief naval base at Ephesus and began building a new fleet with the aid of the new Persian satrap, Cyrus the Younger(son of Persian king). With unlimited Persian resources, he soon had a formidable force, but continued throughout 407 to refuse Alcibiades' enticements to come out for battle. Finally Alcibiades was forced to divide his own fleet due to supply shortages. Leaving one force at Notium under Antiochus to observe but with strict orders to refuse battle, Alcibiades sailed north to re-provision by plundering enemy towns. Lysander promptly sailed out and routed Antiochus. Alcibiades returned to renew the blockade but the damage was already done. His personal enemies at home were now able to force his recall. Instead, Alcibiades again fled, this time to a castle in Thrace next to the Hellespont.
For the next year Lysander was superseded by Callicratidas, according to the Spartan legal requirement for single year appointments. Callicratidas blockaded the Athenian fleet of Conon in Mitylene harbor. Another fleet sailed from Athens and in the battle of Arginusae in August 406 the largest fleets so far seen in the war entered battle. Callicratidas was drowned while loosing and Sparta again offered peace. Again the Athenian democrats led by Cleophon refused. Even more incredible, during the course of their victory bad weather had prevented the Athenian admirals from rescuing some of their own sailors from sinking ships. The democrat party had them recalled and six were executed. The new, less experienced, generals for 405 were Alcibiades' opponents.

They now moved the entire fleet up to the open beach at Aegospotami on the northern (European) side of the Hellespont. Lysander lay opposite in a good harbor at Abydos. (the accounts of the battle by Xenophon and Diodorus differ considerably) Vainly Alcibiades went to warn the Athenians of their danger, but the commanders, Philodes and Adeimantus, would not listen, In September 405 Lysander captured practically the whole Athenian fleet either without a blow or after a fight, and thus brought the entire war to an end in one stroke. With the grain supply now cut Lysander could proceed to Athens itself to blockade it from the sea while the Spartan army under King Pausanius held the land side. After six months of starvation and no prospect for relief, Athens surrendered in 404 on generous terms offered by Sparta. Corinth and Thebes protested, demanding total destruction, but Sparta did not want to create too great a power vacuum. The city walls and those connecting Athens to Peiraieus were torn down and the empire dissolved.

 
 

407
Battle of Gaurium in which Alcibiades led the Athenians to victory over Andrians and Peloponnesians

Lysander takes command of Spartan navy in Aegean and forms a close alliance with Cyrus the Younger, obtaining funds to expand the Spartan navy.

At his death bed, Darius' Babylonian wife Parysatis pleaded with him to have her second eldest son Cyrus (the Younger) crowned, but Darius refused. Queen Parysatis favored Cyrus more than her eldest son who became Artaxerxes II. Cyrus began to assemble forces and funds for a rebellion.

 
 

406
Naval battle off Notium in which Lysander led the Spartans to victory over Antiochus leading the Athenians because Alcibiades went elsewhere and left command to his stearsman, Antiochus. Alcibiades was again sent into exile.
The siege of Delphinium in 406 was a minor Peloponnesian success that came early in the command ofCallicratidas, an admiral who replaced the popular Lysander in command of the Peloponnesian fleet in Asia Minor (Great Peloponnesian War
Siege of Methymne in which Callicratidas captured the town
Battle of Mytilene (siege) in which Callicratidas led the Spartans to victory over Conon leading the Athenians.
Naval battle off Arginusae Islands in which Thrasyllusand 7 other generals led the Athenians to victory over Callicratidas who died leading the Spartans - but 6 of the best Athenian generals (admirals) were tried and convicted of failure to rescue sailors during the battle.

 
 

405
Battle of Aegospotami in which Lysander led the Spartans to decisive victory over Athenians led by Philodes and Adeimantus - they returned from a daily effort to entice the Spartans out to battle and then foolishly left their fleet beached while looking for lunch, and Spartans simply rowed across the narrow strait and captured it - Aegospotami is a beach and stream on the coast of Hellespont - result was that the Athenian food supply from Crimea and Black sea coast was cut off and the Athenians were forced by famine to surrender. This is one of the most decisive non-battles in history.

 
 

404
Lysander takes Aegean islands and cities from Athens then blockades Athens resulting in Athenian surrender and end of the Peloponnesian war. The Athenian 'long walls' are partially destroyed.
Rule of the 'Thirty tyrants' in Athens.
Darius II dies and Artaxerxes II becomes 'king of kings' of Persia

 
 

404 -371 This period is considered one ofSpartan hegemony.

 
 

403
Battle ofPhyle in Acharnae in whichThrasybulus leading Athenian democrats defeated the Thirty Tyrants installed to rule Athens. Achrnae was a hilly region in northern Attica.
Battle of Munychia in which Thrasybulus completed the overthrow of the Thirty Tyrants

 
 

Date

MORE CONFLICTS

 
 

401

Cyrus the Younger revolts against his elder brother, Artaxerxes II
Battle ofCunaxa
Xenophon accompanies Greek mercenary force organized and commanded by Clearchus then employed by Cyrus the Younger to Cunaxa to overthrow Cyrus' elder brother King Artaxerxes II, where Cyrus is killed and the Greeks then march north to the Black Sea coast. Greek leaders are assassinated and Xenophon is voted to be new commander. Xenophon describes the march to the sea and to Byzantium.

 
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400 -387

PERSIAN-SPARTAN WAR

 
 

400

The war between Sparta and Persian took place at the same time or overlapping with the Corinthian War. The campaign of Agesilaus II was part of this war.
In the winter of 400-399 the Spartans sent an army to Asia Minor under the command of Thimbron. He was given 1,000 emancipated helots, 4,000 Peloponnesian allied troops and 300 Athenian cavalry (although Sparta's Corinthian and Theban allies refused to take part). Thimbron was joined by 2,000 local troops, and then managed to recruit the survivors of the '10,000', looking for a role after the end of their journey. Encouraged by his new recruits, Thimbron moved to Pergamum, and won over a number of nearby cities.

 
 

399

Thimbron then besieged Egyptian Larissa (399), but was ordered to abandon the siege and move into Caria.
The Siege of Theodosia in 389 was the first of three sieges carried out against the city of Theodosia (modern day Feodosia) by the rulers of the Bosporan Kingdom, who attempted time and time again to annex the city to their dominions during the long Bosporan-Heracleote War. The first of these sieges was carried out by Satyros I, the father of Leukon I.

 
 

398

He moved slowly to Ephesus, where he was removed from command for being too slow and replaced by Dercylidas(398). At the end of the year Dercylidas established a truce with Pharnabazus, and moved to Bithynian Thrace on the southern side of the Bosporus for the winter. T
The Siege of Segesta took place either in the summer of 398 or the spring of 397 . Dionysius the Elder, tyrant of Syracuse, after securing peace with Carthage in 405 , had steadily increased his military power and tightened his grip on Syracuse.

 
 

397

At the start of the campaigning season of 397 the Spartans moved west to the Hellespont. A group of Spartan commissioners arrived and ordered him to cross the Hellespont and build a wall to defend the Chersonese, so he arranged another truce with Pharnabazus. After completing the walls the Spartans returned to Aeolis and besieged Atarneus, where a group of exiles from Chios held out for eight months. Soon after the siege ended Dercylidas was ordered to move south to protect the Greek cities ruled by Tissaphernes. He advanced into Caria, a move that nearly triggered a major battle. But both sides considered their opponent too strong so made a truce.
At the end of summer the Spartans received word that Pharnabazus and Conon were preparing ships to campaign in the Aegean.
The Ephors ordered King Agesilaus II to campaign in Asia Minor.

 
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AGESILAUS CAMPAIGN IN ASIA MINOR

 
 

396

Battle of Dascylium in which Agesilausled Spartan mercenaries to defeat Tissaphernes leading Persians.

 

395 - 387

CORINTHIAN WAR (395 - 387)

 
   

We have two excellent, detailed accounts and analysis of this war. Here {short description of image} with a map.

 
 

395

Battle ofHaliatus - in Boeotian war of Thebes versus Spartans commanded by Lysanderwho died in the battle.
Battle ofNaryxin whichIsmeniasled Boeotians to defeat Phocians led by Alcisthenes

Battles this year not part of the Corinthian war
Battle of Sardis in which Agesilaus led Spartan mercenaries to defeat Tissaphernes leading his satrap Persians.
Battle of Dascyliumin whichPharnabazus IIled Persians to defeat Agesilaus.
Battle of Caue in which Agesilaus led Spartan mercenaries to defeatPharnabazus II.

 
 

394

Battle ofNemea River near Corinth in which the Spartans commanded by Aristodemus defeated the Corinthian confederation of Athens, Thebes, Corinth, and Argos.

Battle of Narthacium in Thessaly where Agesilaus defeated Polycharmus of Pharsalia while on his march back from Asia to aid Sparta. This is also part of the Corinthian war since his return was ordered by the Spartan govenment to participate.

Battle of Coronea in which Agesilaus leading Spartan mercenaries defeated Corinthians and confederates.
The sea Battle off Cnidus was a military operation conducted in 394 by the Achaemenid Empire against the Spartan naval fleet during the Corinthian War. A fleet under the joint command of Pharnabazus and former Athenian admiral, Conon, destroyed the Spartan fleet led by the inexperienced Peisander, ending Sparta's brief bid for naval supremacy. The battle outcome was a significant boost for the anti-Spartan coalition that resisted Spartan hegemony in the course of the Corinthian War.
This battle may be also considered as part of the Corinthian war and also the Spartan-Persian war.

 
 

393

Battle of Phlius in which Iphicrates leading mercenaries defeated Philiasians

 
 

392

Battle at Corinthian long walls at Lechaeum in which Praxitas led Spartans to defeatIphicrates leading a mercenary army.
Battle ofPhliusin which Iphicrates leading mercenaries defeated Phliasians.
Battle of Sicyon in which Iphicrates defeated Sicyonians.

 
 

391

 
 

390

Battle of Lechaeum near Corinth in which Iphicrates defeated a Spartan 600 man detachment in a famous victory of peltasts over hoplites.
Battle of Aegina.

 
 

389

Battle of Methymna during revolt of Lesbos from Athens in which Thrasybulus led Athenians to defeat Therimachus leading Spartans.
First siege of Theodosia

 
 

388

Battle of Cremase to command the Hellespont in which Iphicrates led mercenaries to defeat Anaxibius leading Spartans

 
 

387-6

Persian king Artaxerxes II issues decree establishing the 'king's peace;. Peace of Antalcidas.

 
 

386

The Persian king, Artaxerxes II, began a war against Evagoras, king of Salamis on Cyprus. He assembled a very large naval and military force, the commander of the fleet was Tirbazus and of the land force, Oroetus (his-brother-in-law). Recognizing the coming war, Evagoras obtained allies including Acoris, king of Egypt, and Hecatomnus, lord of Caria. He used Egyptian and other funds to hire mercenaries. As the Persian fleet passed Citium Evagoras attacked and was at first successful, but eventually the larger Persian fleet forced Evagoras to retreat with significant losses. Then the Persian land force assembled at Citium and moved to open a siege of Salamis. Evagorus escaped with 10 triremes to Egypt.

The Spartans violated the Peace of Antalcidas and renewed war, besieging Mantinea.

 
 

385

Evagoras returned to Cyprus with Egyptian money to continue the war. He surrendered on terms

 
 

385 - 360

BOSPORIAN- HERACLEOTE WAR

 
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The Bosporan–Heracleote War was a long and enduring conflict between the Hellenistic states of Heraclea Pontica and the Bosporan Kingdom. It lasted decades, but ended after the Bosporans finally conquered the city-state of Theodosia in around 360.
The war took place in modern day Crimea. The region is not often included in articles and books about Greek warfare. I visited some of these places including Theodosia and Chernoses and have photos appended.

 
 

384

 
 

383

 
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382 - 379

OLYHTHIAN- SPARTAN WAR

 
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382

The battle of Olynthusin 382 was a near defeat for a Spartan army that had been sent north to more vigorously conduct the war against Olynthus that had begun earlier in the same year. City of Olynthusduring Olynthian campaign in which Teleutias led Spartans and Macedonians to defeat Olynthians.

Birth of Antigonus I

 
 

381

The battle of Olynthusin 381 was the second battle fought by the Spartans close to the city during their expedition to Chalcidice, and ended with defeat and the death of the Spartan commander Teleutis.

The siege of Phlius in 381-380/379 saw the Spartans besiege one of their allies in order to restore the rights of a group of exiled oligarchs, one of a series of heavy handed Spartans interventions in the internal affairs of other Greek cities that came in the aftermath of the end of the Corinthian War.Like many Greek cities, Phlius suffered from an ongoing struggle between democrats and oligarchs. During the Corinthian War the democrats were in charge, and many of the former oligarchs were in exile, and their property confiscated. In 394 Phlius refused to contribute troops to the Spartan army, using a religious festival as an excuse, and thus missed the battle of Nemea Battle of Apollonia {short description of image}
Naval battle off Citium in which Glos commanded the Persian fleet that defeated Evagoras of Cyprus

 
 

380

 
 

379

 
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378 -362

THEBAN-SPARTAN WAR (378 - 362)

 
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378-362

BOEOTIAN WAR

 
   

This is another name for what was essentially the same war, but the descriptions and emphasis are somewhat different. There were other 'wars' going on at the same time. Thus this chronological listing shows battles from different wars in the same year.

 
 

377

 
 

376

Naval battle offNaxosIsland in which Chabrias led the Athenian fleet to defeat Pollis commanding a Spartan fleet.
Battle of Citheron was a minor Spartan defeat that prevented them from conducting a fourth invasion of Boeotia in four years.

 
 

375

Naval battle off Alyzeia in which Timotheus led the Athenians to victory over the Spartans commanded by Nicolochus.
Battle ofTegyra in which Pelopidas led the Thebans to victory over the Spartans led by Gorgoleon and Theopompus. This was the first recorded battle in which a smaller force defeated the Spartans in a set piece battle.

 
 

374

 
 

373

 
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372

REVOLT OF THE SATRAPS (372 -362)

 
   

The Satrap's Revolt (c.370s-350s) was a prolonged period of unrest within the Persian Empire, marked by a series of revolts by the satraps, or provincial governors. By the end of the period the Persian emperors had regained control of most of their empire, mainly because the satraps rarely coordinated their activities. A key feature of the period is that the loyal satraps of one stage of the revolt became the rebels of the next stage.

 
 

372 -362

Revolt ofDatames against Persian king Artaxerxes II. Datames, the satrap of Cappadocia and a talented military commander, had inherited his satrapy from his father Camissares after 384 but later problems with the court led him to revolt in 372. The court commanded the neighboring satraps, Autophradates of Lydia and Artumpara of Lycia, to crush the rebellion but Datames successfully resisted their attacks. He was killed in 362 after his son in law Mitrobarzanes betrayed him, falsely claiming to be his ally against the king. {short description of image}

 
 

371

Battle ofLeuctra in which Epaminondas led the Thebans and allies to victory over the Spartans led by Cleombrotus- This was a decisive victory shattering Spartan military supremacy in both reality and public perception. It is also one of the ancient battles still studied for its innovative tactics and Epaminondas is still regarded at a great commander.

 
   

371 - 362 This period is considered one of Theban hegemony

 
 

370

Battle of Orchomenus in Arcadia in which Lycomedes led the Mantineans to victory over the Spartans led by Polytropus

 
 

369

Battle of Corinth in whichChabrias led the Athenians and allies to victory over the Thebans led by Epaminondas
Sicyon was captured by Thebans

 
 

368

Battle of Melea (Tearless Battle) in which Archidamus led the Spartans to victory over the Arcadians and Argives

 
 

367

 
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366 - 363

Revolt of Ariobarzanesagainst Persian king Artaxerxes II
Ariobarzanes, satrap of Phrygia and a son of the ruler of Pontus, had been made acting satrap of Hellespontine Phrygia until Artabazos, the legitimate heir of the satrapy could take office. But when Artabazos was ready to take the satrapy Ariobarzanes refused to surrender it and joined Datames' revolt in 366. Ariobarzanes sought foreign aid and he received it from Spartan King Agesilaus IIwho was campaigning in Asia Minor. Ariobarzanes withstood a siege at Adramyttium in 366, from Mausolus of Caria and Autophradates of Lydia, until Agesilaus negotiated the besiegers' retreat. As signal of sympathy in the effort, Athens made Ariobarzanes and three of his sons citizens of Athens. Ariobarzanes was betrayed by his son Mithridates to his overlord, the Persian king, who had Ariobarzanes crucified.

 
 

ELEAN-ARCADIAN WAR (365-364)

 
 

365

Battle of Lasion in which the Arcadians defeated the Eleans.
Battle of Dromnus in which the Arcadians again defeated the Eleans.

Second Siege of Theodosia was a siege carried out by Leukon Isometime after his accession to the Bosporan throne in around 365. Satyrus I, the father of Leukon, had previously laid siege on Theodosia but died during it. The exact numbers of the forces in the siege aren't known.

 
 

364

Battle of Olympia in which the Pisadatans, Arcadians and Argives defeated the Eleans and Achaeans
Battle of Cynoscephalae in which Pelopidas led the Thebans and Thessalians to defeat Alexander of Pherae.
The Thebans sacked Orchomenus.

 
 

363

 
 

362

Revolt of Orontes, satrap of Armenia, revolted after he was ordered by the King Artaxerxes II to move to Mysia. His noble birth led the other satraps to recognize him as leader of the revolt, but Orontes later sought a compromise with the King and betrayed the other satraps, and the rebellion collapsed shortly afterward. Orontes received much of the Aegean coast while Datames was killed after his son in law Mitrobarzanes betrayed him. Ariobarzanes was also killed, but the other satraps were pardoned, thus ending the rebellion.

Battle of Mantineain which Epaminondas led the Theban army to defeat the Spartans and Mantineans.

 
 

361

Piratical raid of Alexander of Pherae against the Athenians led by Leosthenes

 
 

360

Third Siege of Theodosia was the third and final siege by the Bosporan Kingdom under Leukon I against the city of Theodosia, a probable colony of Heraclea Pontica, who had aided the city in two previous sieges.

 
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359 -336

King Philip II expands Macedonia in a progression of wars on each border until he controls all of Greece and is ready to invade the Persian Empire. The authors of the article at the link describe and analyze the events listed during the following years from the perspective of Macedonian involvement. A key innovation by Philip was creation of the Macedonian phalanx.

Although the development of artillery weapons was first expanded by Dionysius I and II in Syracuse and the ancient methods of siegecraft were brought from Carthage as well as the middle east, Philip further developed both and employed professional engineers for the purpose. With him, his son Alexander, and the Diodochi siege warfare was even more significant. Some references - Duncan Campbell - Greek and Roman Siege Machinery 399BC - AD 363 - and Greek and Roman Artillery 399BC - AD 363. Of course fortification was well known and extensive in Greece since Mycenea and its superiority over attack methods since then is what led to Greek failures to capture cities except through treason or famine within.

 
 

359

 
 

358

Battle of Heradlea Lyncestis in which Philip II of Macedon defeated Illyrians led by Bardylis.

Death of Artaxerxes II and succession of Artaxexes III

 
   

SOCIAL WAR(357 - 355)

 
   

Other essays about thisSocial War Social war

 
 

357

Battle ofChios Island in which the Chians defeated the Athenians led by Chares and Chabrias Siege of Amphipoliswas an early victory for Philip II of Macedon, and saw him capture a key foothold in Thrace, although at the cost of permanently damaging his relationship with Athens

 
 

356

Siege ofSamos
Battle of Embata in which the Chians again defeated Chares

 
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THIRD SACRED WAR(356 -346)

 
   

Another essay about this Third Sacred WarThis war began as a 'sacred' war involving Thebes and Phocia in Boeotia. But by intervening Philip II of Macedon used it as a major tool in his advancement into all of Greece.

 
 

356

Destruction of temple at Delphi - Hilomelus with Phocians and allies defeated Locrians

 
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355

The siege ofMethone in late 355 - early 354 enabled Philip II of Macedon to capture the last potential Athenian base on the Macedonian coast.
Artaxerxes_III forced the Athenians to depart from Asia Minor holdings. Artaxerxes started a campaign against the rebellious Cadusians, but he managed to appease both of the Cadusian kings. One individual who successfully emerged from this campaign was Darius Codomannus, who later occupied the Persian throne as Darius III.

 
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354

The battle of Argolas in Spring 354 was a Phocian victory over a Thessalian army early in the Third Sacred War, fought at an otherwise unknown hill somewhere in Locris.
Battle ofNeonin the Third Sacred War in which Thebans defeated the Phocians led by Philomelus was notable for the death of the Phocian leader Philomelus.

Artaxerxes ordered the western satraps to disband their mercenaries in 355, the refused, but after being defeated by the central army they did disband in 354.

 
 

353

Battle of the Hermeum in which Onomarchus led the Phocians to defeat the Boeotians

 
 

352

Battle of Crocian Plain (Battle of Crocus field) at which Philip II of Macedon defeated Onomarchus leading Boeotians.
Battle ofOrneae in which Archidamus led Spartans to victory over Argives and Thebans in a dispute over Megalopolis.
Battle of Thelpusa in which the Thebans defeated Anaxander leading Spartans and Phocians as result of the same dispute.
Battle of Orchomenus in which the Boeotians (Thebans) defeated the Phocians led by Phayllus It was the first in a series of defeats suffered by the Phocian leader Phayllusduring a failed invasion of Boeotia in the Third Sacred War.
Battle of the Cephisus river in which the Thebans defeated the Phocians led by Phayllus
Battle of Coroneia in which the Thebans again defeated Phayllus
Battle of Abae in which again the Thebans defeated Phayllus
Battle of Naryx in which Phayllus defeated the Boeotians
Battle of Chaeroneiain which the Thebans defeated Phayllus

 
 

351

Artaxerxes began a campaign to recover Egypt. Despite bringing a very large army he was defeated by Pharaoh Nectanebo II who employed Greek mercenaries..

 
 

350

 
 

349

 
 

348

The siege ofOlynthus in which Philip II of Macedon completed his conquest of the Chalcidic League, one of his more powerful immediate neighbors, and an ally for several years.

Battle of Tamynae during the Euobean's revolt - in which Phocion led the Athenians to victory over the Euboeans

 
 

347

Battle of Hyampolisduring the Third Sacred War in which the Thebans again defeated the Phocians
Battle of Coronea during same war in which the Phocians defeated the Boeotians

 
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346

Battle of Hyampolis again in which Philip of Macedon destroyed the city.
The siege of Halus was carried out as the same time as peace negotiations between Philip II of Macedon and Athens, and may have been part of Philip's wider plan for a campaign in central Greece (Third Sacred War) 358-338

 
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346

The Peace ofPhilocrates (346) ended the ten year long War of Amphipolis between Athens and Macedon, and helped establish Philip II of Macedon as a power in central and southern Greece. For the previous ten years two parallel wars had dominated Greece. In central Greece the Third Sacred War involved Phocis, Athens and Sparta on one side and Thebes, Boeotia and Thessaly on the other, and saw armies campaigning in Boeotia, Phocis and Thessaly. Further north Macedon and Athens had officially been at war since Philip attacked and captured Amphipolis, also claimed by Athens. The war had seen Athens form alliances with the Chalcidice League and various Thracian kings, but without achieving anything. See the entry for much more details including a discussion of the war itself.

 
 

345

 
 

344

Battle of Hadranum during Timoleon's campaign from Syracuse in which he defeated Hiceas of Leontini

 
 

343

In 343 , Artaxerxes assigned responsibility for the suppression of the Cyprian rebels to Idrieus, prince of Caria, who employed 8,000 Greek mercenaries and forty triremes, commanded by Phocion the Athenian, and Evagoras, son of the elder Evagoras, the Cypriot monarch. Idrieus succeeded in reducing Cyprus.
Artaxerxes initiated a counter-offensive against Sidon by commanding Belesys, satrap of Syria, and Mazaeus, satrap of Cilicia, to invade the city and to keep the Phoenicians in check. Both satraps suffered crushing defeats at the hands of Tennes, the Sidonese king, who was aided by 40,000 Greek mercenaries sent to him by Nectanebo II and commanded by Mentor of Rhodes.
Artaxerxes nest step was to destroy rebellious Sidon for which he relied heavily on 10,000 Greek mercenaries, despite having a huge Persian army. He executed their king, Tennes, along with ten's of thousands of citizens who died as their city was burned.

Second Achaemenid conquest of Egypt:
The reduction of Sidon was followed closely by the invasion of Egypt. In 343 , Artaxerxes, in addition to his 330,000 Persians, had now a force of 14,000 Greeks furnished by the Greek cities of Asia Minor: 4,000 under Mentor, consisting of the troops that he had brought to the aid of Tennes from Egypt; 3,000 sent by Argos; and 1000 from Thebes. He divided these troops into three bodies, and placed at the head of each a Persian and a Greek. The Greek commanders were Lacrates of Thebes, Mentor of Rhodes and Nicostratus of Argos while the Persians were led by Rhossaces, Aristazanes, and Bagoas, the chief of the eunuchs.
Nectanebo II had 20,000 Greek mercenaries.

 
 

342

 
 

341

 
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340 -339

Siege of Perinthusin 340 was an unsuccessful attempt by Philip II of Macedon to defeat the Athenian forces at Perinthus, and take the city. The siege was conducted alongside an unsuccessful siege of Byzantium. Both sieges took place in the period just before the Fourth Sacred War.

Siege of Byzantium in 340-339 was an unsuccessful attempt by Philip II to defeat a former ally, and was begun after his siege of nearby Perinthus ran into difficulties. The difficulties were the result of Artaxerxes intervention to thwart Philip's expanding power.

 
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339-338

FOURTH SACRED WAR -339-338

 
   

The Fourth Sacred War or Amphissean War was the final step in Philip II of Macedon's rise to a position of dominance in Greece, and ended with the defeat of the joint Athenian and Theban army at the battle of Chaeronea.

 
 

339

Battle of Crimissus River during Timoleon's campaign out of Syracuse in which he defeated Carthagians Asdrubal and Hamilcar

 
 

338

Battle of Abolus River during his campaign in which he defeated Mamercus of Catana.

 
 

338

Battle of Chaeronea in which Philip II of Macedon defeated Chares leading the Athenians and Theagene leading the Thebans. This ended the Fourth Sacred War and established Macedon's power over most of Greece. {short description of image}
Artaxerxes III was poisoned by Bagonas. Artaxerxes III was succeeded by Artaxerxes IV Arses, who before he could act was also poisoned by Bagoas. Bagoas is further said to have killed not only all Arses' children, but many of the other princes of the land. Bagoas then placed Darius III, a nephew of Artaxerxes IV, on the throne. Darius III, previously Satrap of Armenia, personally forced Bagoas to swallow poison.

 
 

337

Philip II sends Parmenion with the Macedonian advance units across the Hellespont into Asia.

 
 

336

Philip II is assassinated and Alexander becomes King of Macedon

Quintus Curtius discusses this event. And Peter Greek in his Alexander of Macedon 356-322 B.C. examines the whole bakground and draws conclusions about causes and results of the death of Philip and results for Alexander

 
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WARS OF ALEXANDER THE GREAT

 
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Alexander's campaign, while relatively brief, was such a momentous historical event and about which such a huge volme of works by many ancient and modern authors have been published, to include even a summary (such as the above one on the Peloponnesian war) would disrupt this outline. A separate section is provided by a link.

 
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335

Alexander's campaign in the Balkans and crossing the Danube: He has to supress various local tribes north and west of Macedon itself. The Landmark edition of the Anabasis Alexandrou has excellent maps of these campaigns. He moves from his capital at Pela near the coast east to Amphipolis then continuing east along the coast into Thrace to cross the Nestros river and from there turns directly north, crossing several Balkan mountain chains defended by local tribes to reach the Danube. He crosses using leather sacks full of straw to suprise and defeat the Getae. He receives various chiefs who offer allegiance. Then he turns south west to defeat the Triballoi . Passing them he reaches Pelion in Illyria and defeats the locals. From there he marches due south through Thessaly, responding to rebellion in Boeotia at Thebes. He besieges and destroys the city enslaving the survivors except for religious leaders. The other Greek cities quickly expressed friendship and submission. Arrian describes these battles and the diplomatic activities fully.

 
 

335

Battle at Shipka Pass in which Alexander defeated Thracians
Battle of Lyginus River in which Alexander defeated the Triballi
Battle of Iser River in which Alexander defeated the Getae
Battle of Pelium in which Alexander defeated Cleitus leading Illyrians and Glalcias leading Talantians
Battle of Thebes in which Alexander defeated Thebans - There is an excellent plan of the siege and assault in Arrian.

 
 

334


Darius completed his suppression of rebellion in Egypt again.

Philip II has already sent Parmenion and the Macedonian advance guard across the Hellespont Alexander crosses from Sestos to Abydos and diverts to visit Troy. He then marches along the Asiatic coast of Hellespontine Phrygia eastward to face the assembling forces of the Persian satraps.
Battle of Granicus River -first battle during Alexander's campaign against Persia

From there Alexander moves south west through Aeolis and Ionia to the Aegean coast and invests the critical city, Miletus.

The Siege of Miletus was Alexander the Great's first siege and naval encounter with the Achaemenid Empire. This siege was directed against Miletus, a city in southern Ionia, which is now located in the Aydin province of modern-day Turkey. During the battle, Parmenion's son Philotas would be key in preventing the Persian Navy from finding safe anchorage. It was captured by Parmenion's son, Nicanor in 334.
Continuing along the coast, Alexander took all the cities between Miletus and Halicarnsus including Myndos on the coast west of the latter city. He besieged and took Myndos which helped encircle Halicarnssus.

Siege of HalicarnassusThe Siege of Halicarnassus was fought between Alexander the Great and the Achaemenid Persian Empire in 334.
Alexander, who had dismissed his small navy, (a significant strategic mistake) was constantly being threatened by the Persian navy. It continuously attempted to provoke an engagement with Alexander, who would not oblige them. Eventually, the Persian fleet sailed to Halicarnassus, in order to establish a new defense. Alexander was able to take part of the city but not its citadel, well defended by Orontobates and Memnon of Rhodes (who would continue to wage naval war for several years). He considers continuing the expensive siege as a waste of time as well as money so moves on.
Alexander appointed Ada, queen of Caria, as satrap to govern the region for him.
By winter the other cities of Lycia had surrendered. He continues to capture the cities in Pamphylia.

 
 

333

In spring of 333 Alexander makes a huge diversion by moving north across Asia Minor to Gordion where he cut the famous knot and also received about 4,000 new reinforcements brought by Parmenion..
Memnon is successfully conducting naval warfare and capturing islands in the Aegean including Chios and Lesbos, and invested Mytilene, and captured Methymna both on Lesbos; until the Persian campaign falters when Memnon died. The Persian naval campaign continued under command of Autophradates and Pharnabazus, son of Arrabaszos.
Alexander decides that his taking the Phoenician seaports will eventually defeat the remaining Persian naval forces. He is back to the Aegean coast after moving through the Cilician Gates in the Taurus Mountains and subduing Pisidae and Cappadocia in south central modern Turkey. He reaches the coast at Tarsus. About that time Halicarnassus finally is completely captured while Alexander completes control of Psidia, Pamphylia and Cilicia. Alexander is continuing south along the Lebanese coast when Darius III moves from Damascus through the Amanic Gates in Alexander's rear and kills the sick and wounded Macedonians left at Issus.
Alexander has to turn completely around and meet Darius at the Pinaros River? Unfortunately for Darius by moving from an open plain into the very narrow coastal strip he has lost for himself the advantage of his large numbers.

Battle of Issus in which Alexander defeated Darius III
The Landmark edition of Arrian has excellent maps and detailed descriptions of the battle. Many other modern authors have analyzed this battle.

The Persian admirals continue naval warfare and expand operations to enlist Spartan King Agis III in opposing the Macedonians in Greece. But the failure of the Persians to pursue a more active support campaign to raise rebellion in Greece enabled Alexander to proceed by leaving military affairs there to Antipater. The Persian admirals managed to land some thousands of Greek mercenaries to join Darius' army prior to Issus.
After Issus the Phoenician king surrendered. Alexander moved across the mountains to capture Darius' logistic base and treasury at Damascus before continuing south along the coast.

 
 

332

Most cities surrendered without a struggle but Tyre, positioned mostly on an island and vaunting its history of having repelled numerous attackers, refused Alexander's offers.

Siege of TyreThe Siege of Tyre, which lasted 7 months, was orchestrated by Alexander to complete control of all the ports. The Macedonian army was unable to capture the city, which was a strategic coastal base on the Mediterranean Sea, through conventional means because it was on an island and had walls right up to the sea. They enlisted the support of the Phoenician navy to maintain the blockade and assist with besieging towers on ships.

Alexander continued down the coast to Egypt, along the way he took more towns and had to capture the well-fortified Gaza.
Siege of Gaza - The Siege of Gaza was a military event in the Egyptian campaign of Alexander. During the Siege of Gaza, Alexander succeeded in reaching the walls by utilizing the engines he had employed against Tyre. And he built huge earthen mounds around the city. After three unsuccessful assaults, the stronghold was taken by storm.

Hegleochus recaptured Methymna and Lesbos for Alexander.

He spent the remainder of 332 in Egypt where he founded Alexandria and visited Memphis. He was proclaimed Pharaoh.

 
 

331

In the spring Alexander marched back north to Tyre, crossed the mountains to Damascus and continued to Thapsacus to cross the Euphrates. From there he wisely marched north-east along the favorable lowland before turning south east to cross the Tigris to Gaugamela, rather than taking a direct route east through desolate desert country lacking food resources.

Battle of Megalopolis in the Peloponneses during a Greek revolt in which Antipater defeated Agis III leading Spartans.
Battle at Gaugamela (Arbela) in which Alexander finally defeated Darius III and Persian army.
The edition of Arrian has map.
And there are many modern books with details of the battle, including E. W. Marsden's The Campaign of Gaugamela and Donald Engels' Alexander the Great and the Logistics of the Macedonian Army..

After this victory Alexander was welcomed into Babylon, continued east to one of the Persian capitals at Susa, where he collected immense quantities of gold, silver and other wealth.

 
 

330

Alexander continued east to Persepolis which he burned. But he had to fight his way there.
Battle at Susian - Persian_ Gates in which Alexander defeated Ariobarzanes leading local tribes. During the summer he moved north through mountains and the Caspian Gates to resume pursuit of Darius. By the time he caught up he found Darias had been assassinated by Bessos. He then marched into Hyrcania where he defeated the Tapourians. He had anough free time to spend some days enjoying the comforts of the Queen of the Amazons.
In Zadrakarta he had to supress more uprisings including two revolts led by one of Darius' satraps, Satibarzanes. At this time one of the several internal plots (real or imagined) occured. Alexander executed Philotas and had his father, Parmenion, assassinated.

 
 

329

Continuing Persian and local tribal resistance, Alexander continued east across Sogdiana as far as Maracanda and even Cyropolis on the Iaxartes River.

Siege of Cyropolis Cyropolis was the largest of seven towns in the region that Alexander the Great targeted for conquest in 329. His goal was the conquest of Sogdiana. Alexander first sent Craterus to Cyropolis, the largest of the Sogdianan towns holding out against Alexander's forces. Craterus' instructions were to "take up a position close to the town, surround it with a ditch and stockade, and then assemble such siege engines as might suit his purpose....". The idea was to keep the inhabitants focused on their own defences and to prevent them from sending assistance out to the other towns. Alexander has to defeat a former ally, Spitamenes, twice. But rather than continuing directly north-east he turned sharply south to subdue uprisings and reached the location of modern southern Afghanistan, then marched north- east to Kabul area and then across the Hindu Kush over the Khawak Pass back to Balk. View of the Khawak Pass. Alexander completely outmaneuvered the resistance north of the mountains who didn't expect him to use this pass.

 
 

328

Alexander spends the year trying to subdue the Scythians and local tribes.

Battle at Jaxartes River in which Alexander defeated Scythians
Battle at Alexandria Eschate in which Alexander again defeated Scythians

 
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327

Alexander remains in Sogdiana and Bactria. Spitamenes makes more attacks until he is killed by Scythians interested in alliance with Alexander.

Siege of theSogdian Rock Alexander assaults and captures Pareitakene.

By the end of 327 he has moved back across Afghanistan and entered north-west India

Map showing Alexander founding cities as he goes.

 
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326

Alexander passes through the Kyber Pass while sending Hephaistion and Perdikkas on a parallel route to the north through the mountains to the upper Indus river in order to subdue resistance and protect his left flank. He turns north to the the fortified mountain called Aornos (Pir Sar today) while Hephaistion moves directly to cross the rivers.
Sir Aurel Stein's identification of Aornos on Pir Sar
The army crosses the Indus on a bridge built by Hephaistion.
Alexander reaches Taxila whose king named Taxiles, greets him as an ally.

Map of Alexander's campaign into Pakistan.

Battle atHydaspes River in which Alexander defeated Porus, Indian king Alexander makes Porus an ally as vassal king.

After the battle he continues east continuing to found more cities. and forcing the submission of more local rulers. The army refuses to continue east into unknown India. Alexander creates a huge river flotilla and starts down the Hydaspes then the Indus to the sea. Along the way he besieges more towns includingSangala. Further down the river they besiege Mallon where Alexander is again seriously wounded. The Malloi and Oxydrakai submit.

 
   

Brief digression: At this point Alexander and the Macedonians - Greeks have run into and bested a large body of elephants (pun) for the first time. So I can suggest - H. H. Scullard's The Elephant in the Greek and Roman World and Konstantin Nossov's War Elephants for reference and details. The use of and role of elephants in battles increases in some of the battle waged by Diodochi - for instance Raphia.

 
 

325

Continuing down the Indus Alexander subdues the Brahmans, Mousikanos and Sambos. He decides to explore the coastline and march the main army back to the Tigrus along that coast and through the forboding Gedrosia desert. He sends Craterus with much of the army including the elephants more directly back across southern Afghanistan. The elaborate logistical plan is for the army to dig wells along the coast to supply water to the fleet while Nearchos moves the fleet along with it supplying food. But they do not understand the monsoon wind. It prevents Nearchos from sailing for months. The two parts of the army-navy never meet until reaching southern Persia. The desert route consumes a large part of the army.
They are united at Carmania. Alexander visits Pasargadae and orders that Cyrus' tomb be restored.

 
 

324

Back in Susa Alexander explores the southern Tigris and Euphrates. He is thinking of a campaign through the Red Sea back to Egypt. At Susa he reorganizes both military and civil government. He encourages marriage between Macedonians -Greeks - with Persian wives. During the summer at Opis he faces near mutiny of the army over dissatisfaction over the changes in military organization. particularly integration of Persians and other peoples.

 
 

323

Back in Babylon Alexander prepares further campaigns -west - along the Arabian Peninsula . But he dies that summer, leaving several heirs who can claim the throne but who have personal weaknesses that his leading generals exploit. Thus begins the struggle for power.

 
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323-322

LAMIAN WAR

 
   

List of battles in the Lamian war This is the first of several centuries of warfare between Alexanders principle commanders and their heirs - Diodochi.

 
 

323

Battle of Plataea in which Leosthenes defeated Boeotians
Battle of Thermopylae in which Leosthenes defeated Antipater commanding the Macedonian reserve.
Settlement of Babylon between the successors of Alexander but it did not prevent the Diodochi wars.

 
 

322

Siege of Lamia in which Antipater was defending the city against Leosthenes who was killed outside the wall.
Naval battle of Echinades in which Cleitus defeated the Athenians
The Defeat of Leonnatus by Antiphilus at an un identified location fought between the Greek allies who had rebelled against the Macedonian Empire, and Leonnatus, the Macedonian satrap of Phrygia who had come to aid the regent Antipater who was being besieged by the Greeks in Lamia. The Greeks defeated the Macedonians. The Greeks, hearing news of Leonnatus's advance, lifted the siege of Lamia and detached their baggage train and camp followers to Melitia and advanced with their army hurried to defeat Leonnatus before Antipater's forces could join him. The Greeks and Macedonian armies were equal in number but the Greeks' 3,500 horsemen, including an elite 2,000 Thessalians commanded by Menon, against the Macedonians' 1,500 horse gave the advantage of mobility to the Greeks. When the battle began, although the Macedonian phalanx gained the advantage everywhere, the Thessalians drove off the Macedonian cavalry and Leonnatus was carried from the battlefield already mortally wounded. After their cavalry was driven back the unsupported Macedonian Phalanx retreated from the plain to difficult terrain where the enemy cavalry couldn't pursue them. The next day Antipater arrived at the field and joined with the defeated army. He decided not to fight the Greeks yet, in view of their superior cavalry, and instead retreated through the rough terrain.

Battle of Rhamnus in which Phocion commanding Athenians defeated Mocion commanding Macedonians
Naval Battle off Abydus in which Cleitus led Macedonians to defeat Evetion leading Athenians
Naval battle off Lichades Islands in which Cleitus led Macedonians to defeat Athenians
Naval Battle off Amorgos island in which Cleitus led Macedonians to defeat Evetion leading Athenians
Battle of Crannon in which Craterus and Antipater defeated the Greeks.

 
 

WARS OF THE DIADOCHI

 
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The Wars of the Diadochi or Wars of Alexander's Successors, were a series of conflicts fought between Alexander the Great's generals (and their heirs) over the rule of his vast empire after his death. They occurred between 322 and 281. The link is to an attempt by Wikipedia to provide a general but concise full story of the 50 years of conflict between Alexander's former subordinate generals. The accounts frequently mention 'wealth'. - What they do not specify is that Alexander's seizure of the incredible hoard of gold, silver, and precious jewel in the Persian treasuries financed all this hireing of mercenaries, pay to the Macedonian veterans, funding of massive new warships, fostered the expansion of economic activity (but focused on warfare rather than investment in raising living standards). For instance, gold coins circulated from one general's treasure box to that of another back and forth while also circulating between the boxes to pay for economic activity and then back to the rulers in taxes.
Actually tens of thousands of the civilian population either died or were enslaved. Note that at first the struggle was 'legitimized' in theory between claimants to succeed as the ruler of a still unitary Empire. But after the number of contending parties was reduced the remaining 'winners' openly declared them Kings of the regions they had managed to seize and hold.
See the link for two lengthy descriptions of the entire sequence of wars.

James Romm provided an excellent summary of the causes, course and end of this struggle in an Epilogue "The Breakup and Decline of Alexander's Empire" in the Landmark edition of Arrian's Campaigns of Alexander of which he is also the editor.

 
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Hellenistic Armies:
The Hellenistic armies is the term applied to the armies of the successor kingdoms of the Hellenistic period, which emerged after the death of Alexander the Great. After his death, Alexander's huge empire was torn between his successors, the Diadochi. During the Wars of the Diadochi, the Macedonian army, as developed by Alexander and Philip II, gradually adopted new units and tactics, further developing Macedonian warfare and improving on the tactics used in the Classical era. The armies of the Diadochi bear few differences from that of Alexander, but during the era of the Epigonoi "Successors", the differences were obvious, favoring numbers over quality and weight over maneuverability.
I might point out also had access to the distribution of immense wealth from the looting of the Persian treasury. And that except for Egypt, the large Diadochi kingdoms (empires) had the opportunity to recruit larger numbers of mercenaries from Greece and Macedon due to high population and shortage of employment there. (See G/ T. Griffith, The Mercenaries of the Hellenistic World)
There is also an excellent description in Appendix D "Alexander's Army and Military Leadership" in the Landmark edition of Arrian's The Campaigns of Alexander.

 
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323

Partition of Babylon:
The details of the 'conference' held while Alexander's body was still in his tent are described in humorous detail by Quintus Curtius Rufus in The History of Alexander (modern title).

 
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321

Partition of Triparadisus:
After several of the original leaders died and the new status developed it was necessary to reassign the territories to various different rulers. They met at Triparadisus to divide up the spoils, but their agreement did not survive their greed for power and wealth, and fear of each other.

 
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322 -320

First Diodach War

 
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321

Battle in the Hellespont in which Eumenesof Cardia defeated Crateruswho was killed, and Neoptolemus.
Perdiccaswas killed in Egypt leaving that part of the empire and Macedonian army to Ptolemy.

 
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320

Birth of Antigonus II Gonatas:
Antigonus II Gonatas (320 – 239) was a Macedonian ruler who solidified the position of the Antigonid dynasty in Macedon after a long period defined by anarchy and chaos and acquired fame for his victory over the Gauls who had invaded the Balkans.

 
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319-316

Second Diodach War

 
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319

Battle of Cretopolisin which Antigonus I defeated Alcetas

 
 

318

Battle of Bosphorus I in which Cleitus defeated Nicanor
Battle of Bosphorus II in which Antigonus I and Nicanor defeated Cleitus

 
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317

Battle of Coprates River in which Eumenes of Cardia defeated Antigonus I
Battle of Orkyia in which Antigonus I defeated Eumenes
Battle of Paraitakene in which Eumenes of Cardia defeated Antigonus I

 
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316

Battle ofGabiene in which Antigonus I defeated Eumenes after which Eumenes was killed

 
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316-311

Third Diodach War (316 -311)

 
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316-311

The Third Diadoch War was the struggle between the successors of Alexander the Great to prevent Antigonus Monophthalmus from reuniting Alexander’s empire

 
 

315

Battle of Aphrodisias in which Polycleius defeated Theodotus and Perilaus

 
 

314

Battle of Caprima in Caria in which Ptolomaeus defeated Eupolemus

 
 

313

 
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312

Battle of Gazain which Ptolemy I and Seleucus I defeated Demetrius "Poliorcetes""
Battle of Euryeneae in which Lyciscus and Deinias defeated Alexander and Teucer
Battle of Apollonia in which the Apollonians defeated Cassander

 
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311 -308

Babylonian War (311-308)

 
 

311

The Babylonian War was a conflict fought between 311–309 between the Diadochi Antigonus Monophtalmus and Seleucus, ending in a victory for the latter. Seleucus defeated Antigonus's general, Nicanor, at the crossing of the Tigris River.
The conflict ended any possibility of restoration of the empire of Alexander the Great, a result confirmed in the Battle of Ipssus. See the link for details.

 
 

308

Ptolemy captured Corinth from Antigonus but it was recaptured by Dmitrius in 304.

 
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307-301

Fourth Diodach War (307 - 301)

 
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306

Battle of Salamis on Cyprus in which Antigonus sent his son, Demetrius, with a fleet and army to Cyprus to attack Ptolemy from Egypt. He was met by Ptolemy's brother, Menelaus, who was defeated and driven back into the city whereupon Demetrius laid siege using new and innovative engines and methods.
Another battle at Salamis in which Ptolemy brought a larger army and fleet including quinqueremes from Egypt. Demetrius blockaded Menelaus's fleet in Salamis harbor while he destroyed Ptolemy's fleet. Celebrating this victory Antigonus decleared himself and Demetrius to be King.

 
 

305

Battle at Elatea:
Cassander attacked Athens but failed to capture it. Athenians led by Olympiodorus sailed to Aeotolia and marched into Phocis where he defeated Cassander.

 
 

305

Foundation of the Ptolemaic Kingdomin Egypt by Ptolemy I Soter
The kingdom (based on ancient Egypt with a few and changing other areas), such as Cyprus, was small relative to the Seleucid and other kingdoms but enjoyed Egypt's protective geographic location and immense economic output.

Ptolemaic Army

Ptolemaic Navy

 
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305 - 303

SELEUCID- MAURYAN WAR

 
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The Seleucid–Mauryan War was fought between 305 and 303. It started when Seleucus I Nicantor, of the Seleucid Empire, sought to retake the Indian satrapies of the Macedonian Empire which had been occupied by Emperor Chandragupta Maurya, of the Maurya Empire. The war ended in a settlement resulting in the annexation of the Indus Valley region and part of Afghanistan to the Mauryan Empire, with Chandragupta securing control over the areas that he had sought, and a marriage alliance between the two powers. After the war, the Mauryan Empire emerged as the dominant power of the Indian Subcontinent, and the Seleucid Empire turned its attention toward defeating its rivals in the west.

 
   

Seleucid Empire
One of the great components into which Alexander's short lived empire divided.

Seleucid Army
An interesting detailed study of the centerpiece of power of the Seleucid Empire for as long as it lasted.

 
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301

Battle ofIpsus:
Antigonus was attempting to reunite all Alexander's territories under himself. The other Diadochi didn't like this so united against him. Seleucus and Lysimachus engaged Antigonus and Demetrius near Ipsus in Phrygia in a very large battle with about 70,000 infantry and 10,000 cavalry on each side. Plus Seleucus had elephants. Demetrius defeated Seleucus' cavalry but pursued them too far, enabling Seleucus to interpose his elephants to prevent Demetrius to return. Meanwhile Seleucus defeated Antigonus's infantry and Antigonus was killed. Demetrius escaped with some cavalry and infantry. But Antigonus' territories were then partitioned.
See the links for details.

 
       
       
 

294

Another battle at Mantinea
Demetrius was back in Greece and captured Athens. He then campaigned into the Peloponnesus and defeated Archidamus, king of Sparta, at Mantinea in Arcadia.
Battle at Sparta - Demetrius continued south into Laconia. He was about to capture Sparta itself when he learned that Lysimachus had captured his cities in Asia and Ptolemy was again attacking Cyprus. Demetrius had to withdraw and rush back.

 
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287

The Siege of Athens lasted through 287 when the city was put under siege by King Demetrius I of Macedon.

 
 

286

Battle at Edessa:
Pyrrhus, King of Epirus, invaded Macedonia, latter Lysimachus counter attacked and captured Pyrrhus' camp and supplies, forcing him to retreat.

 
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281

Battle ofCorupedium:
- The last of Alexander's former generals, Lysimachus (and) and Seleucus I Nicator remained to fight for supremacy. They met at Corupedium in Lydia in a battle in which Lysimachus was killed. But Seleucus was murdered by Ptolemy Ceraunus soon after. The Battle of Corupedium, was the last battle between the Diadochi, the rival successors to Alexander the Great. This ended the wars of the Diadochi. But didn't end war, as their heirs continued to fight until the Romans arrived to settle it all.
Antiochus I Sotor became ruler of the Seleuid Empire on the death of his father, Seleucus I until 261.

Map of Seleucid Empire at greatest.

 
 

But many wars continued between the rulers of the various successor kingdoms plus new foes such as the Celts and between the Greeks in Sicily and the Carthaginians. There were - the Chremondian war - Five Syrian Wars - Wars of the Achean League - war of Demetrius - Cleomenean War - Illyrian wars - Three Macedonian wars - plus other briefer or more local wars some simultaneous with the others. Finally the Romans conquered the whole territory.

 
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279

GALLIC INVASION

 
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279

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277

In 277, Antigonus II Gonatas defeated the Gauls at the Battle of Lysimachia and the survivors retreated, founding a short-lived city-state named Tyle. Another group of Gauls, who had split off from Brennus' army in 281, were transported over to Asia Minor by Nicomedes I to help him defeat his brother and secure the throne of Bithynia. They eventually settled in the region that came to be named after them, Galatia.

 
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276 - on

Antigonid Macedonian army:
The Antigonid Macedonian army was the army that evolved from the kingdom of Macedonia in the period when it was ruled by the Antigonid dynasty from 276 to 168. It was seen as one of the principal Hellenistic fighting forces until its ultimate defeat at Roman hands at the Battle of Pydna in 168.
See the link for details.

 
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274-271

FIRST SYRIAN WAR

 
   

The First Syrian War was a major victory for the Ptolemies. Antiochus took the Ptolemaic controlled areas in coastal Syria and southern Anatolia in his initial rush. Ptolemy reconquered these territories by 271, extending Ptolemaic rule as far as Caria and into most of Cilicia.
See the link for details.

 
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267- 261

CHREMONIDEAN WAR

 
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The Chremonidean War (267–261) was fought by a coalition of some Greek city-states and Ptolemaic Egypt against Antigonid Macedonian domination. The end result of this conflict was a Macedonian victory which confirmed Antigonid control over the city-states of Greece. The origins of the war lie in the continuing desire of many Greek city-states, most notably Athens and Sparta, for a restoration of their former independence along with the Ptolemaic desire to stir up discontent within the sphere of influence of its Macedonian rival.
Dr. Gabbert provides a map showing Antigonus had fortresses or city garrisons from Demetrias in southern Thessaly to Chalis and Eretria in Euoboa to Rhamnous and Sounion and Athens and Elusis in Attica to Trouzen, Agora and Epidauros in the Peloponneses.
Siege of Athens 263-261

 
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260-253

SECOND SYRIAN WAR

 
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Antiochus II Theos succeeded his father in 261 as ruler of the Seleucid Empire and thus began a new war for Syria. He reached an agreement with the current Antigonid king in Macedon, Antigonus II Gonatas, who was also interested in pushing Ptolemy II out of the Aegean. With Macedon's support, Antiochus II launched an attack on Ptolemaic outposts in Asia. Most of the information about the Second Syrian War has been lost.

 
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261-258?

The battle of Cos was the decisive battle of the Second Syrian War. It was fought between the fleets of Ptolemy II of Egypt and Antigonus of Macedonia, and marked a resurgence of Macedonian naval power. During the Chremonidean War an Egyptian fleet had virtually blockaded Macedonia, restricting Antigonus to mainland Greece

 
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246 -241

THIRD SYRIAN WAR (246 - 241)

 
   

The Third Syrian War was one of a series of conflicts between the Seleucid Empire and Ptolemaic Egypt, fought for control of Syria and the coast of Asia Minor. The Third Syrian War developed out of events meant to bring the two empires closer together. After the Second Syrian War, the Seleucid emperor Antiochus II had married Berenice Syra, the daughter of Ptolemy II. To do this he had had to repudiate his first wife, Laodice (thus the Laodicean War). Laodice and their children were sent to Ephesus while Berenice replaced her at court, and produced a son. The split between Laodice and Antiochus was clearly not total – in 247 Antiochus died while visiting her at Ephesus, while her brother Alexander was retained as general of Lydia. In the aftermath of Antichus’s death, Laodice claimed that he had named her son, Seleucus II, as his heir. Soon after this, Ptolemy II died and was succeeded by his son Ptolemy III, Berenice’s brother. While Laodice was strong in Asia Minor, Berenice appears to have had support in Antioch.
See both links for details.

 
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246

Battle of Andros is one of the more obscure naval battles of the Hellenistic era. It was fought between a Macedonian fleet under Antigonus “the old man”, and an Egyptian fleet, close to the important Egyptian naval base on Andros. The date of 246 is not certain, and is partly based on the establishment of two vase festivals at Delos in 245 by Antigonus II Gonatas to celebrate an unknown victory. This date would place the battle as taking place during the Third Syrian War (246-241), between Ptolemaic Egypt and the Seleucid Empire. Although Macedonia is not known to have taken part directly in that war, that does not preclude this date. The result of the battle is known. The Macedonian fleet, under the command of Antigonus, defeated a larger Egyptian fleet, under a commander called Sophron. The defeat seems to have ended serious Egyptian interest in the Aegean, although she still possessed a powerful fleet, which played a part in the Third Syrian War, as well as limited possessions in the area, including the island of Thera.

Seleucus II Callinicus became Ruler of the Seleucid Empire until 226

 
 

245

Antigonus II takes Corinth

 
 

244

   
 

243

Aratus of Sicyontakes Corinth back.

 
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229 -222

CLEOMENIAN WAR (229 - 222)

 
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229 -222

The Cleomenean War (229/228–222) was fought by Sparta and its ally, Elis, against the Achaean League and Macedon. The war ended in a Macedonian and Achaean victory.

 
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229

The Battle of Mount Lycaeum was a battle fought between Sparta led by Cleomenes III and the Achaean League commanded by Aratus. It was the first major battle of the Cleomenean War. The battle occurred at Mount Lycaeum on the border of Elis and Arcadia and ended in a Spartan victory.

 
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226

The Battle of Dyme or Dymae was a battle that was fought by the Achaean League under the command of their Strategos, Hyperbatas, and a Spartan army under the command of King Cleomenes III, and was part of the Cleomenean War. The battle took in place near Dyme in north-west Achaea and was fought in 226.

 
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222

The Battle of Sellasia took place during the summer of 222 between Macedon and the Achaean League, led by Antigonus III Doson, and Sparta under the command of King Cleomenes III. The battle was fought at Sellasia on the northern frontier of Laconia and ended in a Macedonian-Achaean victory and the total defeat and occupation for the first time in history of Sparta.

Antiochus III" the great" became ruler of Seleucid Empire until 187

 
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219-217

FOURTH SYRIAN WAR

 
   

Upon taking the Seleucid throne in 223, Antiochus III the Great (241–187) set himself the task of restoring the lost imperial possessions of Seleucus I Nicator, which extended from Greco-Bactrian Kingdom in the east, the Hellespont in the north, and Syria in the south. By 221, he had re-established Seleucid control over Media and Persia, which had been in rebellion. The ambitious king turned his eyes toward Syria and Egypt. Egypt had been significantly weakened by court intrigue and public unrest. The rule of the newly inaugurated Ptolemy IV Philopator (reigned 221-204) began with the murder of queen-mother Berenice II. The young king quickly fell under the absolute influence of imperial courtiers.
See the link for details.

 
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217

Battle of Raphia , also known as the Battle of Gaza, was a battle fought on 22 June 217 near modern Rafah between the forces of Ptolemy IV Philopator, king and pharaoh of Ptolemaic Egypt and Antiochus III the Great of the Seleucid Empire during the Syrian Wars. It was one of the largest battles of the Hellenistic kingdoms and was one of the largest battles of the ancient world. The battle was waged to determine the sovereignty of Coele Syria.

 
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209

The Second Battle ofLamia was fought in 209 between the forces of Philip V of Macedon and Pyrrhus, a general of the Aetolian League. Pyrrhias was once again aided by Pergamene forces and Roman advisors but again he was defeated. His side suffered heavy casualties.

 
     
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202-195

FIFTH SYRIAN WAR

 
   

The death of Ptolemy IV in 204 was followed by a bloody conflict over the regency as his heir, Ptolemy V, was just a child. The conflict began with the murder of the dead king's wife and sister Arsinoë by the ministers Agothocles and Sosibius. The fate of Sosibius is unclear, but Agothocles seems to have held the regency for some time until he was lynched by the volatile Alexandrian mob. The regency was passed from one adviser to another, and the kingdom was in a state of near anarchy. Seeking to take advantage of this turmoil, Antiochus III staged a second invasion of Coele-Syria. See the link for details.

 
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200

The Battle of Panium (also known as Paneion) was fought in 200 near Paneas (Caesarea Philippi) between Seleucid and Ptolemaic forces as part of the Fifth Syrian War. The Seleucids were led by Antiochus III the Great, while the Ptolemaic army was led by Scopas of Aetolia. The Seleucids achieved a complete victory, annihilating the Ptolemaic army and conquering the province of Coele-Syria. The Ptolemaic Kingdom never recovered from its defeat at Panium and ceased to be a great power but remained independent until absorbed by the Romans. Antiochus secured his southern flank and began to concentrate on the looming conflict with the Roman Republic.

 
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200

The siege of Abydos in 200 was one of the final of a series of conquests made by Philip V of Macedonia around the Aegean that helped trigger the Second Macedonian War (against Rome).

 
       
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195

The Siege of Gythium was fought in 195 between Sparta and the coalition of Rome, Rhodes, the Achaean League, and Pergamum. As the port of Gythium was an important Spartan base.

 
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190-189

The Battle of Magnesia took place in either December 190 or January 189 . It was fought as part of the Roman–Seleucid War, pitting forces of the Roman Republic led by the consul Lucius Cornelius Scipio Asiaticus and its Pergamene allies under Eumenes II against a Seleucidarmy of Antiochus IIIthe Great. See the link for extensive detail of this important 'turning point' battle.

 
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170-168

SIXTH SYRIAN WAR

 
   

The causes of this conflict are obscure. In 170, Eulaeus and Lenaeus, the two regents of the young king of Egypt Ptolemy VI Philometor, declared war on the Seleucid ruler Antiochus IV Epiphanes. In the same year, Ptolemy's younger siblings Ptolemy VIII Physcon and Cleopatra II were declared co-rulers in order to bolster the unity of Egypt. Military operations did not begin until 169 when Antiochus quickly gained the upper hand, seizing the important strategic town of Pelusium.
See the link for more detail.

Map of the Seleucid remaining territory -confined to Syria and Clecia by 87 BC.

 

Bibliography:

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Wood, NealXenophon.

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