The Peloponnesian War: The Defeat of Athens Term Paper by Attorney Guy

The Peloponnesian War: The Defeat of Athens
A discussion of whether the Athenian Sicilian Campaign of 415 to 413 B.C. was a good idea, badly executed, or a bad idea.
# 54184 | 2,536 words | 4 sources | APA | 2004 | US
Published on Dec 17, 2004 in History (Greek and Roman)

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This paper examines how the military force that the Athenians fielded in the Sicilian Campaign was unprecedented in the Peloponnesian War. It attempts to determine why it was it utterly defeated. It looks at how a series of failures of command from the political and military leadership exacerbated the likely failure of the campaign. It also explores how the end result was a greatly weakened Athens, how there were numerous defections from the Delian League, and how the myth of Athenian invincibility on the seas was shattered.

Hubris Within Athens
Hubris Within the Expedition
The Athenian Failures of Command

From the Paper:

"The war-time footing on which the Athenians found themselves was difficult for them to maintain. The destruction of their lands and homes outside of the walls of Athens, the plague, and gradual breakdown of the structure of Athenian society led a shift away from Pericles' strategy for victory and away from the unity of purpose and common good within Athens and towards private ambition and gain. By the Melian dialogue, a year or so before the Sicilian Campaign, the Athenians had given up Pericles' conservative approach and limited war aim, the defeat of Sparta, when an Athenian acknowledged that of gods and men, "by a necessary law of their nature they rule wherever they can." Though not universal, by 415 B.C., the dominant theme among Athenians was the overbearing belief in their abilities and the growth of the empire."

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