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  • Print publication year: 1992
  • Online publication date: March 2008

10 - The Peace of Nicias and the Sicilian Expedition


Argos had done well out of her neutrality in the Archidamian War, and the prospect of leadership in a new alliance appealed to a people conscious of their heroic past. Mantinean democracy was a further bond with Argos. Many historians have blamed Athens for not supporting her Peloponnesian allies with larger forces in 418, attributing this to indecision between the policies of Nicias and Alcibiades. Thucydides comments on the fact that Sparta did not treat an Athenian raid from Pylos in summer 416, which took much booty, as releasing them from the Peace of Nicias. Athens' interest in the west was not new. It had been clear to Thucydides, still in Athens, that the expedition of 427 was to explore the possibility of gaining control over all Sicily, and the generals who assented to the Peace of Gela had been punished for not pursuing that objective more resolutely.
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