Sparta had a clear military advantage on land, but the Athenian navy surpassed Sparta’s capabilities at sea; neither side was able to seize and maintain the upper hand.
‘ This Athenian naval reputation resulted largely from the role played by the Athenian fleet in the defeat of the Persians at Salamis in 480 and also from the Athenian maritime empire which enjoyed hegemony in the Aegean following the Persian Wars. Clearly, Athens was the pre-eminent naval power among the Greek states.
To meet the enormous expenses of maintaining its powerful navy, democratic Athens gave wealthy citizens responsibility for financing and commanding the fleet. Known as trierarchs—literally, ship commanders—they bore the expenses of maintaining and repairing the ships, as well as recruiting and provisioning their crews.
In the fifth century B.C., Athens created the first great naval-based empire. For modern students of sea power, this almost accidental development provides valuable guidance in understanding both the utility of sea power and the dangers of overreliance on this one factor.
Was Athens military strong?
The military strength that made Athens unquestionably the strongest city-state in the Delian League was its navy. The Delian league was formed to fight the Persians, who were a seafaring enemy with their own navy.
Did Athenian slaves fight in wars?
To defeat Persia, Athens’ upperclass hoplites, “reportedly armed three hundred slaves, probably as hoplites, to fight at the battle of Marathon against the Persians” (Brown 21). … During the Second Persian War, the Athenians fended off the Persians again.
What was Athens known for?
Athens was the largest and most influential of the Greek city-states. It had many fine buildings and was named after Athena, the goddess of wisdom and warfare. The Athenians invented democracy, a new type of government where every citizen could vote on important issues, such as whether or not to declare war.
What did Athens and Sparta have in common?
One of the main ways they were similar was in their form of government. Both Athens and Sparta had an assembly, whose members were elected by the people. … Thus, because both parts of Athens’ government had leaders who were elected, Athens is said to have been the birthplace of democracy. Spartan life was simple.
What made Athens powerful?
This rise occurred largely due to its prominent location and control of key trading routes and leadership in the wars against Persia. While other Greek cities held more powerful armies, such as Sparta, Athens’ leadership proved attractive and helped pave the way for its influence.