Peloponnesian War: name of the conflict between Athens and Sparta that broke out in 431 and continued, with an interruption, until 404. Athens was forced to dismantle its empire. The war however, was not decisive, because within a decade, the defeated city had regained its strength. The significance of the conflict is that the divided Greeks could not prevent the Persian Empire from recovering their Asian possessions. Besides, this violent quarter of a century had important social, economic, and cultural consequences.


435 Conflict between Corcyra and Corinth concerning Epidamnus  
434 Corcyrans defeat Corinthians at Leucimme  
433 Athens allies itself to Corcyra
Battle of Sybota
433/432 Athens renews its alliance with Rhegium and Leontini  
432 Revolt of Potidea
Megarian Decree
87th Olympic games
Meton improves the calendar
432/431 Siege of Potidea
Conference of the Peloponnesian League in Sparta

Archidamian War

431 March: Theban attack on Plataea (text); outbreak of Archidamian War
Siege of Potidea continued
First Spartan invasion of Attica
Euripides, Medea
431/430 Siege of Potidea continued Funeral oration of Pericles
430 Second Spartan invasion of Attica
Siege of Potidea continued
Plague in Athens (text)
Pericles fails to take Epidauros
Spartan failure to send an embassy to Persia (text)
Birth of Xenophon
430/429 Phormio sent to Naupactus
Fall of Potidea
429 Siege of Plataea (text)
Plague continues
Victories of Phormio (text)
Death of Pericles
429/428 Sitalces of Thrace invades Macedonian  
428 Third Spartan invasion of Attica
Siege of Plataea continued
Revolt of Mitylene
Euripides, Hippolytus
88th Olympic games
Death of Anaxagoras
Birth of Plato
428/427 Siege of Mitylene
Siege of Plataea continued
427 Fourth Spartan invasion of Attica
Fall of Mitylene
Fall of Plataea
Civil war in Corcyra
First Athenian expedition to Sicily
Death of the Spartan king Archidamus II; regency because his son Agis II is too young
Gorgias of Leontini in Athens
427/426 Plague breaks out again  
426 Demosthenes in western Greece
Cleon triples tribute of the subject allies
426/425 The Athenians purify Delos
Battle of Olpae
Death of Artaxerxes I Makrocheir
Spring: eruption of the Etna
Aristophanes, Acharnians
425 Fifth Spartan invasion of Attica
Demosthenes captures Pylos (text)
Cleon captures of 292 Spartans at Sphacteria
Destruction of the Corcyran oligarchs
Crisis of succession in the Persian empire
425/424   Darius II Nothus becomes sole ruler in Persia
Aristophanes, Knights
424 Congress at Gela; peace at Sicily
Fighting at Megara
Athenians defeated by the Thebans at Delium
89th Olympic games
424/423 Brasidas captures Amphipolis (text); Thucydides exiled
Brasidas captures Torone
423 Spring: armistice Aristophanes, Clouds
423/422 Brasidas fails to capture Potidaea Aristophanes, Wasps
422 End of the armistice; Cleon recovers Torone but is killed in action at Amphipolis; Brasidas killed  
422/421 Peace negotiations  
421 Peace of Nicias Aristophanes, Peace (text)

The entr'acte

421 Athenians capture Scione
Alliance between Argos and Corinth
421/420 Fruitless negotiations between Athens and Sparta  
420 Alliance between Argos, Mantinea, Elis, and Athens Cult of Asclepius introduced in Athens
90th Olympic Games: Alcibiades wins 1st, 2nd and 4th prizes
419 War between Argos and Epidaurus
Agis II prefers not to intervene
418 Agis II defeats the Athenian coalition at Mantinea (text)  
418/417 Oligarchic interlude in Argos  
417   Ostracism of Hyperbolus
417/416   Agathon wins the Lenaea (occasion of Plato's Symposium)
416 Athens attcks Melos 91st Olympic games
Euripides, Heracles?
416/415 Athens captures Melos
Preparations for Sicilian Expedition

Sicilian Expedition

415 Mutilation of the Athenian herms; Alcibiades accused
Launching of the Athenian expedition to Sicily
Alcibiades recalled; he flees to Sparta
Euripides, Trojan Women
Tissaphernes succeeds Pissuthnes
415/414 Hermocrates convinces the Camerinans not to support the Athenians  
414 Athenians start siege of Syracuse
The Spartan Gylippus arrives at Syracuse
Aristophanes, Birds
Euripides, Iphigenia in Tauris?
414/413 Nicias asks for reinforcements  
413 Demosthenes with reinforcements to Sicily
Naval fight in harbor of Syracuse
Late summer: destruction of the Athenian expeditionary force (text)

Decelean or Ionian War

413 Early spring: the Spartan king Agis captures and fortifies Decelea (beginning of the Decelean war)
Mycalessus sacked
Euripides, Ion?
413/412 Athenian crisis measures Agis' wife Timaea seduced by Alcibiades
412 Revolt of the Athenian allies (beginning of the Ionian War)
Alcibiades brings Spartan support to Ionia; Athenians start the siege of Chios
First agreement between Sparta and Persia
Euripides, Helen
92nd Olympic games
412/411 Siege of Chios continued; Tissaphernes in Miletus
Second agreement between Sparta and Persia
Spartans capture Iasus; end of Amorges
Aristophanes, Lysistrata
411 Third agreement between Sparta and Persia
Oligarchic coup in Athens (the Four Hundred; text)
Spartan attack on Euboea
Countercoup by Theramenes (the Five Thousand)
Athenian naval victories at Cynosema and Abydus
[End of Thucyides' History]

Aristophanes, Thesmophoriazusae
Euripides, Phoenician women?
410 Athenian naval victory at Cyzicus
Spartan peace offer refused
Restoration of the Athenian democracy
Euripides, Electra?
Pogrom in Elephantine
409 Thrasyllus in Ionia
Death of the Spartan king Pleistoanax; he is succeeded by Pausanias
Foundation of Rhodes
Carthaginian expedition to Sicily
Sophocles, Philoctetes
409/408   Aristophanes, Plutos (first version)
408 Athens recovers Byzantium
Spartan embassy to Darius II Nothus
93rd Olympic games
Euripides, Orestes
408/407 Cyrus becomes satrap of Lydia  
407 Alcibiades in Athens
Lysander in command of Spartan fleet
407/406   Death of Euripides
406 Athenian defeat at Notion; fall of Alcibiades
Athenian victory at Arginusae
Victorious generals executed
Death of Sophocles
Second Carthaginian expedition to Sicily
406/405 Spartan peace offer of peace, rejected by Cleophon Rise of Dionysius of Syracuse
405 Lysander defeats the Athenians at Aigospotamoi
Revolt of many Athenian allies
Pausanias, Agis, and Lysander lay siege to Athens
Aristophanes, Frogs
Peace between Syracuse and Carthage
405/404 Siege of Athens continued; Theramenes conducts negotiations Illness and death of Darius II Nothus
404 April: Fall of Athens; Long walls pulled down (text) Artaxerxes II Mnemon becomes king of the Persian empire


404 Oligarchic regime of the Thirty; reign of terror (text) 94th Olympic games
Alcibiades assassinated
Revolt of Amyrtaeus in Egypt
404/403 December?: Democrats, led by Thrasybulus, capture Phyle
Execution of Theramenes
403 Democrats capture of Piraeus; battle of Munichia
Critias killed
September: King Pausanias of Sparta restores democracy
403/402 Rewards for the liberators of Athens (text)  
402 Fall of Lysander  
401 Civil war in the Persian empire between king Artaxerxes II Mnemon and his younger brother Cyrus, who is supported by a Greek mercenary force (the Ten Thousand), which included Xenophon Sophocles, Oedipus in Colonus (posthumous)
401/400 Return of the Ten Thousand through Armenia  
400 Death of Agis II; he is succeeded by Agesilaus
Spartan war against Tissapernes, led by Thibron
95th Olympic games
399   Xenophon in exile; Socrates executed