77: Athens Carries On

Casting Through Ancient Greece

Step back in time once again to the second year of the Peloponnesian War and immerse yourself in the heart of ancient Athens, a city grappling with a devastating plague. But in this intriguing narrative, our journey takes a unique twist, leading us northward to the Chalcidice, where Athens has dispatched additional forces to besiege Potidaea. Along this expedition, we’ll uncover the intricate tapestry of diplomacy in Thrace and Macedon.

During this period, diplomatic endeavours were abundant, and it’s worth noting that Sparta was actively engaged in these manoeuvres as well. Their strategic approach was two-fold: disrupting the situation in the north and forging alliances with external powers. Towards the end of summer, Sparta initiated a diplomatic mission targeting Thrace and the Persian Empire.

As we return to Athens, our focus shifts towards the city itself and its magnetic leader, Pericles. Amidst the devastating plague, Pericles found himself in a precarious political position, navigating the intricate landscape of Athenian politics. We’ll explore Pericles’ strategies in addressing the mounting discontent towards his policies, especially as Athens faced adversity on multiple fronts.

As the second year of the war’s campaign season drew to a close, both Sparta and Athens were engaged in activities across Greece. Athens, now under the influence of the war party, responded to Peloponnesian threats with a more assertive stance. These actions marked a departure from the moderate policies that had guided the initial two years of the conflict under Pericles’ leadership.

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