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Just before the Peloponnesian War began Pericles of Athens and King Archidamus of Sparta provided net assessments of the comparative strengths and weaknesses of the two sides Evaluate their projections A study of the strategies and projections of King Archidamus of Sparta as compared to those of Pericles of Athens reveal Archidamus understanding of the superiority of land power as a basis for success at sea in the ancient Mediterranean - as well as Pericles naivet as to this tenet Background The Peloponnesian War between the city-states of Athens and Sparta and their respective allies lasted from 431-404 BC Conflicts between the two cites dated back further however with skirmishes from 460-445 effectively ending in a draw Major fighting in the Peloponnesian War occurred from 431-421 and ended in Athenian victory Renewed conflict raged from 413-404 ultimately concluding in Spartan victory An understanding of these very different cultures is illustrative of their leaders ultimate strategies and projections before the conflict At the time of the war Greece was divided into two great alliances Sparta dominated the Peloponnesian League an alliance in the Peloponnese region These allies included small states close enough to the militant Sparta to be easily controlled stronger and more remote states over which Sparta still had considerable influence and the truly strong independent cities of Thebes and Corinth Spartan dominance rose from its unquestionable position as the preeminent continental army of the region The farming and manual labor of the city was provided by slaves which freed the male citizens to 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 Athenian Empire was a more voluntary alliance of city-states that were impressed by the Athenian Navys prowess in the Persian War and were willing to pay for its protection Athens used this revenue to
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