Greece During the Peloponnesian War ca. 425 B.C.E.
Following the Greek victory over the Persians in the fifth century B.C.E., the two Greek states of Sparta and Attica (of which Athens was the leading city) fell into war with one another. The Peloponnesian War, as it was called, pitted the Spartans and Athenians against each other along with their diverging world views. The Spartans were militaristic and oligarchic, whereas Athens represented one of the ancient world's first proto-democracies. Despite having recently fought as allies against the Persians, these two Greek camps were at war with one another for nearly three decades. As this map depicts, territory was mixed, with Sparta maintaining control of mainland areas in the north and south, while the Athenians controlled most of the Greek islands (though Athens itself can be found on the Greek mainland. The Athenians were powerful at sea while the Spartan army ruled on land. The Peloponnesian War, with its decades of violent conflict, marked the end of Greek's Golden Age. The war finally ended in 404 B.C.E. with the destruction of the Athenian army by Sparta.