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  • Print publication year: 2010
  • Online publication date: October 2010
  • First published in: 1852

CHAPTER LXXVII - From the Subjugation of Olynthus by the Lacedæmonians down to the Congress at Sparta, and Partial Peace, in 371 B.C.


Great ascendency of Sparta on land in 379 b.c.

At the beginning of 379 B.C, the empire of the Lacedæmonians on land had reached a pitch never before paralleled. On the sea, their fleet was but moderately powerful, and they seem to have held divided empire with Athens over the smaller islands; while the larger islands (so far as we can make out) were independent of both. But the whole of inland Greece, both within and without Peloponnesus–except Argos, Attica, and perhaps the more powerful Thessalian cities–was now enrolled in the confederacy dependent on Sparta. Her occupation of Thebes, by a Spartan garrison and an oligarchy of local partisans, appeared to place her empire beyond all chance of successful attack; while the victorious close of the war against Olynthus carried everywhere an intimidating sense of her far-reaching power. Her allies, too–governed as they were in many cases by Spartan harmosts, and by oligarchies whose power rested on Sparta–were much more dependent upon her than they had been during the time of the Peloponnesian war.

Such a position of affairs rendered Sparta an object of the same mingled fear and hatred (the first preponderant) as had been felt towards imperial Athens fifty years before, when she was designated as the “despot city”.

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