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Encyclopedia > Pentecontaetia

Pentecontaetia (Greek, "the period of fifty years") is the term used to refer to the period in Ancient Greek history between the defeat of the second Persian invasion of Greece at Plataea in 480 BC and the beginning of the Peloponnesian War in 433 BC. The term originates from Thucydides, who uses it in his description of the period. The Pentecontaetia was marked by the rise of Athens as the dominant state in the Greek World, and by the rise of democracy in Athens. Since Thucydides focuses his account on these developments, the term is generally used when discussing developments in and involving Athens.[1] Ancient Greece is the period in Greek history which lasted for around one thousand years and ended with the rise of Christianity. ... The Persian Empire was a series of historical empires that ruled over the Iranian plateau and beyond. ... Combatants Greek city-states Persia Commanders Pausanias Mardonius† Strength 100,000 (Pompelus) 110,000 (Herodotus) 120,000 (Ctesias) 300,000 (Herodotus). ... Events King Xerxes I of Persia sets out to conquer Greece. ... Combatants Delian League led by Athens Peloponnesian League led by Sparta Commanders Pericles Cleon Nicias Alcibiades Archidamus II Brasidas Lysander The Peloponnesian War (431 BC–404 BC) was an Ancient Greek military conflict fought by Athens and its empire and the Peloponnesian League, led by Sparta. ... Centuries: 6th century BC - 5th century BC - 4th century BC Decades: 480s BC 470s BC 460s BC 450s BC 440s BC - 430s BC - 420s BC 410s BC 400s BC 390s BC 380s BC Years: 438 BC 437 BC 436 BC 435 BC 434 BC - 433 BC - 432 BC 431 BC... Bust of Thucydides residing in the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto. ... Athens (Greek: Αθήνα, Athína IPA: ) is the capital and the largest city of Greece. ...

Shortly after the Greek victory of 480 BC, Athens assumed the leadership of the Delian League, a coalition of states that wished to continue the war against Persia. This league experienced a number of successes, and was soon established as the dominant military force of the Aegean. At the same time, a number of developments led to growing Athenian control over the league. A number of allies were reduced to the status of tribute paying subjects, and by the middle of the 5th century BC the league had been transformed into an Athenian empire. Athens benefitted greatly from this tribute, undergoing a cultural renaissance and undertaking massive public building projects; the democracy there, meanwhile, developed into what is today called radical or Periclean democracy, in which the assembly of the citizens and the juries exercised near-complete control over the state. Delian League (Athenian Empire), at its height in 450 B.C. The Delian League was an association of Greek city-states in the 5th century BC. It was led by Athens. ...

The later years of the Pentecontaetia were marked by increasing conflict between Athens and the traditional land powers of Greece. Between 460 BC and 445 BC, Athens fought against a shifting coalition of mainland powers in what is now known as the First Peloponnesian War. During the course of this conflict, Athens gained and then lost control of large areas of central Greece. The conflict was concluded by the Thirty Years Peace, which lasted until the end of the Pentecontaetia and the beginning of the Peloponnesian War. Centuries: 4th century BC - 5th century BC - 6th century BC Decades: 500s BC 490s BC 480s BC 470s BC 460s BC - 450s BC - 440s BC 430s BC 420s BC 410s BC 400s BC Years: 465 BC 464 BC 463 BC 462 BC 461 BC - 460 BC - 459 BC 458 BC... Centuries: 6th century BC - 5th century BC - 4th century BC Decades: 490s BC 480s BC 470s BC 460s BC 450s BC - 440s BC - 430s BC 420s BC 410s BC 400s BC 390s BC Years: 450 BC 449 BC 448 BC 447 BC 446 BC - 445 BC - 444 BC 443 BC... Combatants Delian League led by Athens, Argos Peloponnesian League led by Sparta, Thebes Commanders Pericles Cimon Leosthenes Tolmides Myronides Pleistoanax Nicodemes The First Peloponnesian War began in 460 BC and lasted circa 15 years. ...

The eventual breakdown of the peace was triggered by increasing conflict between Athens and several of Sparta's allies. Athens' alliance with Corcyra and attack on Potidaea enraged Corinth, and the Megarian decree imposed strict economic sanctions on Megara, another Spartan ally. These disputes, along with a general perception that Athenian power had grown so great as to become dangerous, led to the breakdown of the Thirty Years Peace; the Peloponnesian War broke out in 431 BC. (This article is about the Greek island known in English as Corfu. ... Potidaea (Greek: Ποτίδαια Potidaia, modern transliteration: Potidea) was a colony founded by the Corinthians around 600 BC in the narrowest point in Pallene (now Kassandria) in the western point of Chalkidiki (Chalcidice) in what was known as Thrace, Potidaea was maintaining trade with Macedonia. ... Corinth, or Korinth (Κόρινθος; see also List of traditional Greek place names) is a Greek city, on the Isthmus of Corinth, the narrow stretch of land that joins the Peloponnesus to the mainland of Greece. ... The Megarian decree was the set of economic sanctions levied upon Megara by the Athenian Empire during the Peloponnesian War in 435BC. The decree banned Megarians from Athenian harbours and marketplaces, therefore putting a damper on Megarian economy. ...


  • Hornblower, Simon, and Anthony Spawforth ed., The Oxford Classical Dictionary (Oxford University Press, 2003) ISBN 019866172X
  • Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War

Bust of Thucydides residing in the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto. ...


  1. ^ Victor Ehrenberg and P.J. Rhodes, "Pentecontaetia," from The Oxford Classical Dictionary, Simon Hornblower and Antony Spawforth, ed.



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