II. Ancient and Classical Periods, 3500 B.C.E.–500 C.E. > D. Classical Greece and the Hellenistic World > 4. The Classical Age, 510–323 B.C.E. > d. The First Peloponnesian War
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
d. The First Peloponnesian War
The First Peloponnesian War broke out between the Athenians and Peloponnesians, caused in part by Athen's alliance with Megara and Argos. In the same year, the Athenians sent a fleet of some 200 ships to Egypt to aid its revolt against the Persians. The Athenians defeated a Persian fleet on the Nile and besieged a Persian army in the citadel of Memphis.  1
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The Athenians were defeated at Halieis by the Corinthians and Epidaurians, but their fleet won a victory at Cecryphaleia.  2
The Aeginetans joined the Peloponnesian alliance, but their combined fleet was defeated by the Athenians in the Battle of Aegina. The Athenians, under the command of Leosthenes, landed on the island of Aegina and besieged the city. The Corinthians invaded Attica, trying to force the Athenians to raise the siege, but were defeated by a reserve force of old men and boys under Myronides. A second force of Corinthians was surrounded and annihilated in the Megarid.  3
The Aeginetans surrendered, turned their fleet over to the Athenians, and joined the Delian League. Sparta then entered the war, sent an army across the Corinthian Gulf, and restored the Boeotian League under the hegemony of Thebes. The Athenians were defeated at the Battle of Tanagra, but the Spartans then returned home, and the Athenians then defeated the Boeotians at the Battle of Oenophyta. Athens then enrolled all the Boeotian cities except Thebes in the Delian League; Phocis and Opuntian Locris also joined.  4
Pericles made the zeugitai class eligible for the archonship. The thetes, though never legally eligible, were soon permitted to hold the office.  5
A Persian force under Megabyzus defeated the Athenians at the citadel of Memphis. The Athenians were in turn besieged on the island of Prosopitis in the Nile Valley.  6
The Athenian general Tolmides sailed around the Peloponnese, raiding the coast, burning the Spartan naval base at Gytheum, and recruiting Achaea into the Delian League.  7
An Athenian force led by Pericles landed in Sicyon and defeated the Sicyonians. Joined by Achaeans, Pericles unsuccessfully tried to take Oeniadea on the Corinthian Gulf, before returning to Athens. After an eighteen-month siege, the Athenians beseiged on Prosipitis in Egypt were defeated, and all but a few killed or captured. A relief expedition of 50 ships was also destroyed by the Persians. Due to this defeat, the treasury of the Delian League was moved to Athens.  8
In Sicily, the towns of Segesta and Halicyae started a war with Selinus and approached Athens for an alliance, which was granted.  9
After three years of inactivity, Cimon returned from exile and negotiated a five years' truce with Sparta. Argos, losing Athenian protection, was forced to make a thirty years' peace with Sparta.  10
At Athens, pay was instituted for the dicasts or jurors of the popular courts, which made it possible for the poorest citizens to serve. In the same year, Pericles passed a law restricting Athenian citizenship to those having two Athenian parents (repealed in 429, reenacted in 403).  11
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.