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Sparta and Athens the two most powerful cities of Hellas did not have much in common The Athenians attempted to develop their artistic and intellectual capabilities while Sparta remained isolated from the rest of Hellas without art or literature without beautiful buildings without any development of their social and political traditions Sparta lived on as a fossilized military city though its military capabilities and more or less stable form of government still were admired by many other Greeks NewThe development of Athens as an aggressive leader of its own Delian League was closely followed by Sparta Still Sparta had cleared the road for an Athenian hegemony by retreating in a conservative isolationism in 478 The first signs of serious rivalry showed when Themistocles persuaded the Athenians to turn their city into an enormous stronghold to prevent another sacking like the one in 480 by the Persians Another reason was that they would no longer have to be dependent of the much stronger Peloponessian land armies to protect their city The fortification was a logical next step in the policy of Athens to become primarily a seapower The most important constructions were two parallel walls from Athens to Piraeus which turned harbour and city into one huge fortress newSparta did envy the Athenian harbours Piraeus and Munichia but they were no threat to Sparta itself as they were mainly used for the trade The walls around Athens and towards the Piraeus were a completely different story The only logical reason for their construction was that Athens had aggressive plans reasoned Sparta Would Athens attempt to attack Persia Then the Persian empire might see this as an attack from Hellas on Persia and attack a city without these enormous walls Sparta for example as a revenge But what if Athens did not have any plans to attack Persia then it would surely try to attack Sparta NEWSparta send a delegation
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