By the mid-fifth century, Athens had consolidated its power as an empire abroad and with democratic institutions at home. But soon, Athens’s political dominance and overreaches would be perceived as a threat by many of the city-states and forcefully contested by Sparta. This lecture traces the developments in the years before the Peloponnesian War and the ideas (as identified by the historian Thucydides) behind the military conflict that would lead to the end of a century of Athenian political leadership.

PDF • 2.12 MB