Pericles: A Pandemic Of Plague Of Athens

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Unfortunately, Pericles could not foresee that overcrowded city during summer months would become an easy target to a sudden pandemic of plague, which broke out in Athens and took the lives of about thirty thousand people – one third of the Athenian population, including Pericles himself, as well as “…four thousand four hundred hoplites in the ranks died of it and three hundred cavalry” (3.87.3. P.202). However his genius was able to predict everything else: “He told them to wait quietly, to pay attention to their marine, to attempt no new conquests, and to expose the city to no hazards during the war, and doing this, promised them a favorable result. What they did was the very contrary, allowing private ambitions and private interests, in…show more content…
P. 309), but among Spartans and their allies were many those who were not desiring it. First, the Peloponnesian states out of their own interests, e.g. Argos in 421 B.C, rock the boat until open hostilities restarted (5.26-5.27. P. 316-317), second, Spartan ephors plot intrigues against the treaty with Athens (5.36. P. 322). During the whole period of the war, multiple attempts and short-term truces fail due to these reasons. As the enemy forces were about equal, then military action differed special ferocity, was at the limit of strength, and balance of power was constantly shifting from one to the other side. Anger, frustration and desire for vengeance increased as the fighting went on. The longer the war persisted the lower became the civilized human level of fighting and warfare. The war now took on a more cruel phase with Sparta killing all the citizens of Hysiae (5.83.2. P.350) and Athens executing the citizens of Melos (5.116.4. P.357). Both sides suffered heavy losses; many were killed because of treachery. “…the whole Hellenic world was convulsed; struggles being everywhere made by the popular leaders to bring in the Athenians, and by the oligarchs to introduce the Spartans.” (3.82.1. P. 199) “The cause of all these evils was the lust for power arising from greed and ambition, and from these passions proceeded the violence of parties once engaged in contention. The leaders in the cities made the fairest…show more content…
Continued Spartan ambitions in central and northern Greece, Asia Minor and Sicily once again dragged the city into another extended conflict. As a result Sparta surrendered its empire first to Persian control and in the long term even to Macedonia which under Philip II was able to invade with relative ease the weak Greek city-states. Neither city-state regained the military strength they once had. The unjustified risks they got involved in destroyed them. The constant fighting left them bankrupt, exhausted and

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