The Peloponnesian War, Ancient Greece for Kids and Teachers Illustration

Peloponnesian War, Athens vs Sparta

The Peloponnesian War was a war fought between Sparta and Athens. It lasted 27 years. Sparta and Athens were always in disagreement. They did not get along. But 27 years! It was a terrible war.

When war broke out, everyone who lived in the countryside around Athens fled to the city to escape the Spartan attacks. The city was not ready for that many people to move in. They did not have enough food or water or shelter, or a way to handle that much waste and garbage. By the third year of fighting, more than half the population of Athens had died of illness. More died in battle. It was a horrible time. The war dragged on. Other city-states got involved. Finally, Athens surrendered.

Sparta was generous in victory. Corinth wanted Athens leveled. They never wanted to put up with this bickering and warring again. But Sparta said no. The Spartan's admired bravery and Athens had shown true bravery. Instead, for the next ten years, Athens was an outpost of Sparta, under Spartan rule. After ten years, Sparta gave Athens her independence.

Athens began to regain her former glory. But Athens was never again the shining star of the ancient Greek world. If Athens had had more time, perhaps, the city might have fully recovered. But time was running out for all the Greek city-states.

Macedonia, a kingdom to the north of Greece, had eyed Greece's splendor for some time. The king of Macedonia knew the Greek city-states were weakened by the Peloponnesian War, the war between Athens and Sparta. Macedonia would soon move to conquer all the Greek city-states by diplomacy and by violence.

The Peloponnesian War Scavenger Hunt (interactive)

The Peloponnesian War Battleship (interactive)

Pericles Funeral Oration

Ancient Greek Wars

Ancient Greek Military

The League of Corinth

Alexander the Great

QUIZ: Ancient Greek Wars (Interactive with answers)