ABSTRACT

Athens in 370 led a large and potentially powerful naval alliance, the so-called Second Athenian League. This was a politically more acceptable revival of the fifth-century ‘Delian League’ that had brought Athens an Aegean empire under cover of an offensive and defensive alliance directed against Persia. One Greek state, however, which had fought at Mantinea, deliberately and ostentatiously excluded itself from this Common Peace. The Battle of Chaeronea, as contemporary and subsequent historians have for the most part recognized, sealed the political fate of all Aegean Greece. The third invasion of Laconia within the lifetime of Sparta’s new Eurypontid king Agis III, proved definitive in the most literal sense. In short, Sparta retained, apart from the Eurotas valley with its invaluable alluvium worked by the Laconian Helots, only the bulk of the Mani peninsula and the eastern, Malea peninsula (most important for its iron ores) out of a civic domain formerly more than twice as extensive and populous.