Corinthian War

Corinthian War (395 B.C.–86 B.C.), armed conflict between Corinth, Argos, Thebes, and Athens on one side and Sparta on the other. Angered by Sparta's tyrannical overlordship in Greece after the Peloponnesian War, several Greek states took advantage of Sparta's involvement in war with Persia to challenge Spartan supremacy. With Persian aid, Athens was able to build a fleet, refortify its port, and eventually recover the islands of Lemnos (now Límnos), Scyros (now Skíros), and Imbros (now Gökçeada). Unable to fight a war on two fronts, Sparta withdrew its forces from Asia Minor. Meanwhile, Antalcidas, the Spartan agent in Persia, attempted to bring about peace with Persia and halt Persian support to the rebellious Greek states. He persuaded Artaxerxes II to agree to the so-called King's Peace, or Peace of Antalcidas, but the terms were those of the Persian king. Cyprus and the Greek city-states in Asia Minor were returned to Persia; the Athenians were forced to give up their conquests except Lemnos, Imbros, and Scyros; and the Greek city-states (except those in Asia Minor) were to be independent, thus eliminating combinations such as the Theban-dominated Boeotian League, which had fought against Sparta. Sparta interpreted the terms of peace to justify interference in the Greek states, which eventually revolted against its domination, thus bringing about the Spartan defeat by Thebes at Leuctra in 371 B.C.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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