Thucydides Book 2 Outline
Dear fellow readers,
I want to wish you a warm holiday season in this extremely cold weather (yes, it is even cold here in Texas!). I am looking forward to our next call on Monday Jan 5th. Till then enjoy the reading. I have included an outline of events below for help in keeping the larger perspective on Book 2.
Outline for Book II, the first three years:
First Year – Main Events
Plataea – Thebes instigates insurrection, invasion of Plataea, an Athenian ally.
official start of war (2.7) with pro-Spartan allies (Thebans) looking like the aggressors although feeling against Athenian imperialism runs high as well (2.8)
Attica – invasion of Attica by Peloponnesian ground forces, Athenians move inside city walls.
Archidamus, Spartan king and military commander, estimates wrongly that the ravaging of the Athenian countryside will eventually force the Athenians to engage the Spartans et al. in ground combat.
Athens responds to the Attic ground invasion with naval raids against the Peloponnesian coast. Athens concludes alliances with Sitalces, king of Thrace, and Perdiccas, king of Macedonia. The conflict later in this book between these two kings is not significantly supported by Athens on either side.
Second Year – Main Events
besides a second invasion of Attica by Peloponnesian ground forces, Athens is hit by a terrible plague.
Thrace – Spartan envoys on their way to the Persian king are captured & executed at Athens
Amphilocian Argos – Ambraciots (pro-Spartan) attack Amphilocian Argos but fail to take the city
Naupactus – Phormio’s (Athenian) ships at harbor
Caria, Lycia – Athens’ naval squadron, ordered to collect tribute and put down privateers in Caria and Lycia suffers a defeat
Potidaea – Potidaea surrenders on terms. Athens criticizes its own generals for granting terms, then sends settlers to colonize the site
Third Year – Main Events
invasion of Attica proper is neglected in exchange for siege of Plataea, question of “neutrality”
Chalcidice – Athenians win an initial success at Spartolus but then suffer heavy losses when defeated by peltasts and cavalry.
Acarnania – at Ambraciot invitation, a Peloponnesian expedition sails to the Ambracian Gulf and launches an attack on Acarnania. Acarnanian victory at Stratus forces the Peloponnesian forces to withdraw through Oeniadae.
Crisaean Gulf – Phormio and Athenian fleet win against larger (mostly troop transport) Peloponnesian fleet; the second naval engagement following has mixed results, but Peloponnesians are able to pin Phormio against the coast before being cowed. Result is that Peloponnesians are learning by their mistakes
Salamis – Peloponnesians attempt a surprise attack on Piraeus, but only get as far as Salamis, Athenians are able to learn from this and strengthen their security of Piraeus.
Thrace – Sitalces king of Thrace invades Macedonia and environs in league with Athens. Athens, however, does not respond with much promised aid to Sitalces, thus a chance is lost to capitalize in this theater with Sitalces simply withdrawing back to Thrace? Athens has made alliance treaties with both kingdoms and very diplomatically avoids angering either side significantly, perhaps playing them off each other?
Acarnania – Phormio advances by land into Acarnania, briefly staying then withdrawing
2.11 Archidamus, Sparta’s king, speaks to the army, calling for caution, vigilance, and discipline
2.35 – 2.46 Pericles’ Funeral Oration
2.60- 2.64 Pericles’ Apology (Defense) of war strategy and fidelity to Athens
2.87 Cnemus, Brasidas & Peloponnesian commanders call on their men to be brave despite their inexperience (in naval engagements)
2.89 Phormio encourages the Athenians even though they remain outnumbered