- Greek city-states became Greek city-men during the Persian War.
- Workplace tensions between Athens' Delian League and Sparta's Peloponnesian League could not be resolved by HR, initiating the Peloponnesian War in 431 BC.
- Sparta refuses to get wet, and Athens doesn't want to get out of the pool, so the war goes nowhere at first.
- Jack Bauer rescues his daughter and takes down the Serbian agent who kidnapped her, only to realize that he killed the agent's body-double's second-cousin-twice-removed, and had mistaken his daughter with a My Size Barbie.
- Athens and Sparta agree to the Peace of Nicias, putting the war on hold...for now...
|Fig.1: Despite popular knowledge,
this gentleman would not be
involved in Syracusan politics
until the mid-4th century BC.
|Fig.2: All the ladies loved
Alcibiades' debonair person-
ality and sophisticated vocab-
ulary, or as he put it, he was
simply "da bomb."
The Athenians continued their occupation of Sicily nonetheless. They defeated the Syracusians in a pitched battle outside the city walls, but both sides put out their JV teams and the victory was not decisive. Meanwhile, Sparta decided to get in on this action and sent a general named Gylippus, along with a small fleet, to aid Syracuse. His help proved instrumental in foiling the siege, as well as picking off Athenian soldiers in minor skirmishes. Lamachus would meet his end during one of these battles: his aggressive mentality finally caught up to him as he got his own head cracked in several places. Nicias was the last Athenian general standing, which is ironic since he was the one who didn't even want to go to Sicily in the first place. With siege after siege failing, and with more and more soldiers dying or falling ill, and with less and less bottles of triple-filtered sparkling raspberry-flavored water to spare, Nicias wrote to Athens in early 414 BC asking for an unreasonable amount of reinforcements in troops, weapons, and supplies. He hoped the assembly would reject this and recall the whole expedition. Much to his horror, his request was actually granted, and Athens invested even more money and manpower into the trip. Sounds like somebody was getting terrible advice from their broker!
|Fig.3: After Sicily, the next time the
moon would play a large role in
deciding the outcome of a military
expedition was Napoleon's failed
attempt to use its cheesy surface
for rations during his Invasion
It pretty much went downhill for Athens from then on. A coup ousted the assembly in 411 BC, and Athens came under the control of a group known as the Four Hundred, ruling alongside their beloved One Hundred and One Dalmatians. This created a mini-civil war situation within Athens for the next two years, which Sparta and their allies were more than happy to take advantage of. Athens managed to hang in there, and even scored a major naval victory at the Battle of Arginusae. Unfortunately, the celebration was marred by the fact that several Athenian sailors were unable to be rescued due to a storm, and many blamed the generals for never seeing Black Hawk Down and knowing never to leave a man behind. There was a whole big trial and everything, and six of Athens' top generals were executed in Greek history's biggest over-reaction until Socrates was forced to commit suicide for breaking off a cracker in the hummus. Athens never got over the loss, and the Spartans, under the cunning general Lysander, would finally ditch their arm floaties and truly fight on the seas. They won a naval battle at Aegosoptami, destroying the rest of Athens' navy and taking away their privileges to swim in the deep end. With their sea empire gone, Athens had no choice but to surrender for good in 404 BC.
The Peloponnesian War was finally over, but its effects would echo throughout Greece for decades to come. Now that Sparta was top dog, they started doing the same annoying things Athens did after the Persian War: bossing around their allies, forcing neutral city-states under their control, leaving the toilet seat up. So eventually Athens allied with their former enemies in Corinth and Thebes against Sparta. But then Athens became powerful again, and they switched sides against them. Eventually Thebes emerged as the dominant state, followed by Corinth, then Sparta again, then Athens for a little bit, then Hoboken for some odd reason, then Thebes once more. This merry-go-round of hegemony in Ancient Greece was mercifully ended by King Philip of Macedon, ruler of the land to the north that conveniently started getting stronger as Greece was busy destroying itself. Once Philip conquered Greece in 338 BC, his son Alexander (who is believed to have been pretty Great) conquered most of the known world (fig.4), plus a slice of Antarctica for good measure.