The relations between Argos and Sparta after the Peace of Nicias and the Olympic crisis of the year 420 BC.

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In 421 B.C. the Archidamic war was concluded by the Peace of Nicias. In the same year expired also the thirty-years truce between Argos and Sparta: a disagreement on the land called Cynuria did not allow to renew it. Meanwhile, the Corinthians, who did not agree the Peace of Nicias, entered into negotiations with the Argives, in order to promote an alliance including Mantinaea, Elis, and the Chalcidian League. The Argives, according to Thucydides and Diodorus, hoped to isolate Sparta, recovering their ancient hegemony on the Peloponnesus. At the beginning of the war season of 420, however, the alliance was not yet established, the relations between Athens and Sparta were good and the Argives were afraid of remaining in isolation. So they tried to find a compromise solution for their disagreement with the Spartans: the two parties agreed to lose the problems about Cynuria with a war in prescribed form, to be fought in the future. But at the end of the summer, after the exclusion of the Spartans from the Olympic Games, the Argives were again ready to fight Sparta and sent ambassadors to the Corinthians, in order to persuade them to enter in the newly established anti-spartan alliance with Argos, Mantinaea, and Elis. Chapters 40-50 of the Thucydides’ fifth book display a changement of Argos’ attitude that can have different (internal and external) causes: but it is probable that the exclusion od the Spartans from the Olympic Games and their lack of reaction to the accident involving Lichas caused a decline of Spartan prestige and the Sparta’s isolation in the Peloponnesus. Therefore, this paper aims to focus on the influence of the Olympic crisis of the year 420 B.C. on the relations among Peloponnesian states in the period between the Peace of Nicias and the battle of Mantinaea in the year 418 B.C.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteWar, Peace, and the Panhellenic Games. Proceedings of the Colloquium, Olympia June 27rd – July 2rd 2005
Numero di pagine20
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2013
EventoWar, Peace, and the Panhellenic Games - Olympia
Durata: 27 giu 20052 lug 2005


ConvegnoWar, Peace, and the Panhellenic Games


  • Argo
  • Argos
  • Olimpiadi 420 a.C.
  • Olympic Games 420 BC
  • Sparta


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