Delian League and Spartan
Confederacy
9/13/11
What Really Happened….
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Allegiances
• Delian League
• Spartan Confederacy
– Argos
– Melos
– Corcyria
– Corinth
– Thebes
– Pylos
Neutral
Macedonia
The Delian League
• Initially formed to
•
•
continue the naval
war against Persia
To protect trade
routes
Liberate Greek
Islands from Persian
control
Purposes of Spartan Confederacy
• A mutual desire for security
• Support other oligarchy governments
• Stop Athenian domination of the Greeks
The Leagues Transition
• Athens power continued to grow and it
began to dominate the Delian League
• Sparta became paranoid and suspicious of
the Delian leagues intentions. As a result,
their members began to encourage action
against Athens.
New League Goals
• Delian/Athens
– Retain all members
– Promote democratic
governments
– Maintain position of
power
• Sparta
– Prevent Athenian
domination
– Assist oligarchic
governments
– Protect other citystates attempting to
leave the Delian
League
What were the purposes and goals
of the two leagues?
Discussion!
Relationship between Athens and
Sparta
• During the Persian war Athens and Sparta were
•
•
•
allies
For much of the war Sparta was in charge of the
Greek alliance against the Persians
After the Delian league was established, Sparta
gave up its leadership of the war against Persia
As a result, relations between Athens and Sparta
eventually became strained-especially, once
Athens began to appear to be establishing an
empire
How The Delian League Functioned
• Athens was made the leader due to naval
•
•
•
strength
After becoming a member, city-states had to
pay regular fees and supply ships
Initially, each city-state had an equal vote, but
Athens eventually took over decision making
Athens was always able to control the majorityensuring its will was carried out
How the Spartan Confederacy
Functioned
• Offensive and defensive alliance
• League councils were used for decision making
• Bound together by a mutual desire for security
•
•
•
and protection
Leadership of the member city-states was a
close knit group of oligarchs
Larger city-states could influence Spartan policy
Geographic proximity of the Peloponnesus
strongly influenced league membership
– Smaller city-states joined out of fear of Sparta
How did the two leagues function?
Discussion!
Athenian Perspective on Power
• Corcyria:
– got involved in a civil war Epidamnus.
– It supported a democratic government over
an opposing aristocratic government
– As a result, the democratic government won
– Corcyria was afraid of an attack from Corinth
because they had helped the democratic party
– Out of fear Corcyria turned to Athens
Other Examples of Athenian
Perspectives on Power
• Melos: A city-state that wanted to stay neutral and was
forced to become part of the Athenian Empire. Men
were killed, women and children were sold as slaves,
and 500 settlers were sent to colonize their island.
– Example: Melian Dialogue is a document that describes a
conversation between the leaders of Melos and Athenian
delegation. Here we see the Athenians demanding submission
of Melos. Document is recorded by Thucydides.
• “The strong do what they can and the weak submit.”
• Aigina, another city-state, tried to leave the Delian
League. It was subjected by Athens in a similar way.
Its land was ravaged, cities besieged, and navy
defeated. They were forced to pay money to Athens on
a regular basis.
Spartan Perspective on Power
• Corinth:
– Allied with Sparta since the Persian War and possibly before.
– Corinth mainly joined Sparta due to its rivalry with Athens.
– Athens was perceived as a threat to its communications, trade,
and wealth.
• Thebes
– Neighboring Boeotian city-states were taken over by Athens and
made into democracies, therefore, making Thebes isolated as an
oligarchy
– Turned to Sparta because they shared common interests and
government structure
• Infanticide
• Annual wars on helots to keep them in “Spartan” shape
How did the two leagues achieve
the allegiance of the city-states
mentioned in the examples?
Discussion!
How do you think Athens and
Sparta demonstrated imperialism?
Perspectives of Athens and Sparta
• Athens
– Justified their
dominance based on
their leadership role in
the Persian War
– The strength they had
developed
– Their promotion of
democracy
• Sparta
– Justified their criticism
of Athens as a moral
crusade against the
suppression of
unwilling city-states in
the Athenian Empire
– Felt suspicious of
Athens intent and how
far they would take
their empire
What were the perspectives of the
two leagues?
Discussion!
Do you think these leagues will
lead to war or peace?
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Delian League and Spartan Confederacy