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The Peloponnesian war is traditionally divided into three phases the Archidamian war 431-421 Peace of Nicias and the Sicilian Expedition 421-413 and the Ionian war 413-404 The war was between the city-states of Athens and Sparta and their respective allies Major fighting occurred during the Archidamian War The first ten years of the war are named after the Spartan King Archidamus who had opposed war with Athens and whose cautions policy dominated Spartan strategy at the start of the war The end of the fighting ended at the Ionian War that was a surprise to the Spartans along with most of Greece that Athens was all but finished A way to get a better understanding about the two different cultures is illustrative of the citys leaders The ultimate strategies and projections before the conflict characterized the cultures Greece was split into two great alliances at that time a war Sparta dominated the Peloponnesian League an alliance in the Peloponnese region The allies that included all the states in the Peloponnese and outside the cities of Megarimus Boetians and other cities The great strength of the Spartan alliance lay in its splendid heavily armed infantry made up of Peloponnesians and Boetians Spartan dominance started rising with its direct position as the top Continental Army of the region Manual labor and farming of the city was done by slaves which let the male citizens serve in the Army Spartan boys were all trained to serve in the military as professional soldiers with individual and family needs subordinated to the needs of the state The Athenians had a different philosophy about the military For them military was more a voluntary alliance of the city-states that were impressed by the Athenians prowess in the Persian War and were willing to pay for its protection The revenue was used to further improve its navy as well as improve its own infrastructure
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