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HOW ATHENS TOOK OVER LEADERSHIP OF SPARTA AFTER THE PERSIAN WARSDuring the period of Greek history from the last years of the Persian Wars till the beginning of the First Peloponnesian War the primacy of Sparta declined whileAthens was gaining increased influence in Greece The Athenian Thucydides 460-400 BC one among few contemporary historians left behind the most creditable records about this period Although he did not give enough documentation for many events he described his Histories remained the main resource of the facts from that time In consideration of the fact that he was an Athenian and a participant of the Athenian army future historians could not entirely count upon his writing In the 480-479 BC there was great anxiety about the strength and magnitude of the Persian threat Although the Greeks had managed to force Persians retreat from the Greek mainland the danger of reconquest by the Persians was still present In the battle of Plataea 479 BC the Greeks under the Spartan regent and general Pausanians obliterated the Persian army The Greeks also won a naval victory at Mycale Although the war drugged on for many years these two victories marked the end of the Persian threat to Europe and the beginning of the period of Greek greatness The idea of panhellenism - the awareness of Greek unity- appeared as a reaction to the fear of the Persian invasion This is how Persia helped the Greece to recognise their identity which gave significance to the year 479 BC to be marked as the beginning of the Classical Greek period At the other side the year 479 BC does not represent a vital turning-point in politics Spartas control over her allies was still unbroken After the Greeks triumph on Plataea when the fear of the Persian invasion decreased the idea of the united Greeks started diminishing Phthonos envy was
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