Corinthian War

Also found in: Wikipedia.

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.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.
References in periodicals archive ?
Sparta's authority was challenged in the so-called Corinthian War (395-387) when Persian gold helped unite Athens with Sparta's former allies.
He covers Sparta's overseas battles and the Corinthian War 400-387; Chalcidian, Boeotian, and Spartan wars around the Mediterranean Sea 386-360; the rise of Macedonia and the conquest of Greece and sacred, Persian, and Sicilian wars 359-336; battles in the era of Alexander the Great 335-324; and battles of his successors 323-301.
For more than a decade surrounding the Corinthian War (395-387 B.C.), the Spartans and their allies laid waste regularly to the Corinthian countryside, burning crops, stealing livestock, and driving residents from their homes.
The standard of scholarship is again excellent, while the range of areas and topics is awesome: Sparta, Persia, the Corinthian War, Sicily, the Second Athenian Confederacy, Thebes, regional surveys of the Persian empire (Asia Minor, Mesopotamia, Judah, Cyprus and Phoenicia, Egypt), Carthage, South Italy, Celtic Europe, Illyrians, Thracians, Scythia and the Crimea, Mediterranean communications, social .
Cicero tells us that this oration was so well received in Athens that it was still delivered once a year, even in the first century B.C.(3) It is understandable that the Athenians should find the Epitaphios of the Menexenus pleasing because it relates Athenian history in the most glowing terms possible, from its mythical autochthonous origins to the King's Peace at the end of the Corinthian War in 386 B.C.
The Socrates of the Menexenus is a shade, but this realization would not impinge on a reader's consciousness until halfway through the dialogue when Socrates completed his summary of Athenian history with his references to the Corinthian War and the King's Peace.
Principal wars: Corinthian War (395-387); Theban War of Independence (379-371); Social War (358-355).
[GREEK TEXT OMITTED] Likewise the Peloponnesian allies were involved at the outset in the Corinthian War (ibid.
Principal wars: Peloponnesian War (431-404); Corinthian War (395-387).
Principal wars: Corinthian War (395-386); Social War (358-355).