Corinthian War

(redirected from Antalcidas, Peace of)

Corinthian War

Corinthian War (395 B.C.–86 B.C.), armed conflict between Corinth, Argos, Thebes, and Athens on one side and Sparta on the other. Angered by Sparta's tyrannical overlordship in Greece after the Peloponnesian War, several Greek states took advantage of Sparta's involvement in war with Persia to challenge Spartan supremacy. With Persian aid, Athens was able to build a fleet, refortify its port, and eventually recover the islands of Lemnos (now Límnos), Scyros (now Skíros), and Imbros (now Gökçeada). Unable to fight a war on two fronts, Sparta withdrew its forces from Asia Minor. Meanwhile, Antalcidas, the Spartan agent in Persia, attempted to bring about peace with Persia and halt Persian support to the rebellious Greek states. He persuaded Artaxerxes II to agree to the so-called King's Peace, or Peace of Antalcidas, but the terms were those of the Persian king. Cyprus and the Greek city-states in Asia Minor were returned to Persia; the Athenians were forced to give up their conquests except Lemnos, Imbros, and Scyros; and the Greek city-states (except those in Asia Minor) were to be independent, thus eliminating combinations such as the Theban-dominated Boeotian League, which had fought against Sparta. Sparta interpreted the terms of peace to justify interference in the Greek states, which eventually revolted against its domination, thus bringing about the Spartan defeat by Thebes at Leuctra in 371 B.C.
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Corinthian War


(395–387 B.C.), a war between a coalition of Greek city-states, including Thebes, Argos, Corinth, Athens, Elis, Acarnania, and Megara, and the Peloponnesian League, headed by Sparta.

The Corinthian War broke out as a result of the desire of the economically and politically developed Greek city-states to free themselves from Spartan hegemony. At first the anti-Spartan coalition was financed by Persia, which was at war with Sparta from 399. In 394 a navy built with Persian money and commanded by the Athenian Conon defeated the Spartans near Cnidus. In 394 the successes of the anti-Spartan alliance near Coronea and on the isthmus caused Persia to begin supporting Sparta out of fear that Athens would become too strong. Depletion of its finances and the incipient break-up of the alliance forced Athens to accept peace conditions dictated by Persia (387 or 386), known as the Peace of Antalcidas.


Pozdeeva, I. “Vneshniaia politika Afin v 394–386 gg. do n.e.” Vestnik drevnei istorii, 1959, no. 1.
Cloché, P. La Politique étrangère d’Athénes de 404 à 338 avant I. C. Paris, 1934.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.