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study guide 2003 peloponnesian

study guide 2003 peloponnesian - History of the...

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History of the Peloponnesian War Thucydides Plot Summary The Peloponnesian War was fought between Athens and Sparta. The war was mostly a demonstration and challenge of power between the two Hellenic forces. The tension between the two nations spawned from conflicts over shipping, trade and colonial expansion. The result of these conflicts was a twenty-seven year war in Northern Greece. This account of the war details the disastrous conflict that led to the downfall of the Athenian empire. Characters Athens (and it’s allies)– Takeover of its allies - don’t care about the internal politics of the other countries…rules allies through global imperialism…post politics - Athens liked to be innovative and to change, they were a liberal society, which continually changed their model of society and philosophized about their culture. > Athens cared a lot about the physical structure of their society and culture…this says a lot about the way that they view themselves. - They had a lot more money than Sparta. - The laws were more revisable depending on who could convince the will of the mass. > The “mass”, there is almost no majority. Spartans (and it’s allies) – Controls their allies, but works with them…their allies were controlled politically instead of economically. - Spartans were a conservative and traditional power. - Spartans were the first to have laws free from tyranny and kept those laws - Not democracy nor tyranny (may feel safer in Sparta because of the consistency of law) *Similarities – viewing alliances as a superstructure Major Themes Speeches - the decline in the quality of the speeches represent the quality of Athens. Dispute over Corcyra (1.31-43) – Corcyra and Corinth are on the verge of war, both go to Athens to present why they should be supported instead of the other. Corcyra speaks first. They speak of being the neutral victims, and ways which they can help Athens by being allies. Corinth responds by saying that they are not innocent victims, and with point out that they have a peace treaty with Athens that will be broken if they become allies of Corcyra. Abstract: Both sides present a case, second case clearly responds to the points of the first. Debate at Sparta (1.66-78) – Many of Sparta’s allies send delegates to Sparta, and delegates of Athens were there on business. The speeches given are by Corinth and Athens. Corinth says that Sparta needs to prepare as much as Athens does for war. Athens responds by saying that they are not to be blamed for the state of
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affairs, that if Sparta were in their position they would have done the same. Abstract: Second case not a direct response to the first, but a defense by point out different aspects. All speakers are in first person plural, speech coming from a group of people. (1.80-87) – When the speeches are done, Spartans ask all others to leave and have
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