Explanation of the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War.

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In 432 B.C., a fight between Corinth and Epidamnus broke out. Epidamnus was allied to Sparta, thus Spartan troops arrived in aid to Epidamnus. Corinth wasn't allied to Sparta nor Athens, but due to an overwhelming situation Corinth pleaded to Athens for aid. Athens dispatched thirty ships as a result of Corinth's plea. Another fight broke out in 432 B.C. involving Corinth, Potidea, and Athens. Athens set siege to Potidea and ravaged the surrounding areas. These aggressive military actions by Athens were stepping stones leading to the Peloponnesian war. Corinth summoned a meeting of the Peloponnesian confederacy and demanded something be done about the Athenian military threat. A war that would span for twenty seven years, the Peloponnesian War had begun.

The Peloponnesian War would be a war primarily fought between Spartan and Athenian soldiers. Though both Sparta and Athens had allies and were members of leagues, most of their allies could only afford to contribute money.

The Spartan army would consist of 24,000 infantry and light-armored troops; Thebes had contributed 10,000 infantry and 1000 calvary to the Spartan army. The Athenian army had a fighting force including 13,000 infantry, 1,000 calvary, and a navy far greater than that of Sparta's. Spartans and Athenians had very different characters. Athens was a democracy with a steadily rising economy, whose way of life was based around the thought of intellectual ideas. Athens was made up of a large number of colonies whose naval power was unmatched. Athenian military training started at age 18 and continued until the age of 60. Sparta; known for their quick reaction time on the battlefield and narrow-minded, isolated ideas, controlled a powerful empire protected by the most powerful army in the Aegean. Military training began at age 7 and ended at age 30.

According to Thucydides...