ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How Athens Lost Second the Peloponnesian War

Updated on December 26, 2016
Pericles, great Athenian statesman and general
Pericles, great Athenian statesman and general

Athens was one of the powerhouses of Ancient Greece. There’s a reason everyone talks about Athens, while no one talks about Corinth. Athens had the democracy, the math, and even an army. So how was it defeated in the Second Peloponnesian War? Athens had the smart people, but what they did will leave you scratching your head.

Who Defeated Athens?

In the Second Peloponnesian War, Athens and its allies were fighting against the military juggernaut that was Sparta.

So What Exactly Happened?

Athens spent most of the war licking its wounds. Their expedition into Sicily was a disaster, the mines that were funding their war efforts were raided, and Sparta’s allies were engaging them in constant skirmishes. To make things even doomier and gloomier, during the Sicilian expedition, their navy was routed and their soldiers were either dead or being forced to work in stone quarries. Sparta was coming, and Athens was helpless.

Athens, however, managed to survive, and defeated Sparta in several battles. It was at the battle of Arginusae, though, where the tables began to turn on Athens.

When Athens heard that a Spartan fleet was coming, they hastily scraped together a navy manned by conscripts from all walks of life. Against all odds, Athens was victorious. Their ragtag sailors beat the experienced Spartan navy.

This Is Where It Gets Funny

Well, relatively funny.
Well, relatively funny. | Source

Victory does not come without a price. 25 Athenian warships either sank or were otherwise in no condition to make the journey home. The 8 generals of the fleet attempted to rescue the crews of the warships when their efforts were thwarted by a storm. The crews perished, and Athens was livid.

Despite the fact that they had won the battle, Athens, in one of the most hilarious overreactions in history, had 6 of the 8 generals executed for not rescuing the men even though they would not have been able to without destroying more of the navy. With 6 generals executed and the other 2 in hiding, there was no one left to command the Athenians. Those who could would not after witnessing such a devastating blow to their morale. Athens tried to make things right by executing the people who had the generals executed in the first place, but the damage was done.

When the Spartans attacked again, they soundly beat Athens at the Battle of Aegospotami and effectively ended Athens’ reign as the top dog of the city states.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)