431 BCE

Peloponnesian War Begins

This war was the climax of the rivalry between Athens and Sparta

The Athenian leader was Pericles

The Spartans had the superior army so the Athenians avoided land battles and relied instead on control of the sea

The Spartan strategy was to invade yearly, encouraging Athenians to rebel

During the first battle, a plague removed 1/4 of the Athenian population and caused Pericles' death

Next the Spartan army invaded Attica, hoping to incite Athenian subjects to rebel, it was unsuccessful

Athens retaliated by raiding the Peloponnesian coast, to retain control of the sea, this too was unsuccessful