The Grand Strategy of Classical Sparta

The Lacedaemonians abandoned the grand strategy they had articulated early on. Introduction In ancient Lacedaemon, as in all enduring political communities, there was a symbiotic relationship between the form of government chosen, the way of life that this form of government fostered, and the grand strategy that the community gradually articulated for the defense of[…]

The Delian League: Revenge and Hellenic Liberation

The alliance’s name derives from the island of Delos, where the League originally housed its treasury. By Christopher PlaneauxLecturer in Classical StudiesIndiana University Origins Down to the Battle of Eurymedon Introduction The modern term Delian League refers to the primarily maritime συμμᾰχία or symmachy (offensive-defensive alliance) among various Greek poleis, which emerged after the second Mede invasion of the[…]

The Peloponnesian League and Spartan Dominance

The League gave Sparta protection from uprisings within its own borders and eventually secured its dominance in the region. By Mark CartwrightHistorian Introduction The Peloponnesian League (c. 550 BCE – c. 366 BCE) was a loose confederation of Greek city-states led by Sparta. The League was the oldest and longest-lasting political association in the ancient[…]

Thucydides on Brasidas: The Most Athenian of Spartans

Thucydides placed Brasidas’s Homeric ending in a singularly admirable light. By Nathan A. JenningsNATO Planner, Afghanistan In his seminal work, The Peloponnesian War, the ancient historian Thucydides employs numerous characters from the storied conflict as devices to reveal competing aspects of human nature. Among the varied personalities exposed by the tensions of war, the Spartan commander[…]

‘The First Man of Greece’: Epaminondas and the End of Spartan Tyranny over Thebes

Epaminondas transformed the Ancient Greek city-state of Thebes, leading it out of Spartan subjugation into a preeminent position in Greek politics. Introduction Epaminondas (Greek: Ἐπαμεινώνδας) (ca. 418 B.C.E.–362 B.C.E.) was a Theban general and statesman of the fourth century B.C.E. who transformed the Ancient Greek city-state of Thebes, leading it out of Spartan subjugation into a preeminent position in Greek politics. In the process he broke Spartan[…]