Wednesday, December 06, 2017

First Paragraph

In April 404 B.C. the Spartan admiral Lysander finally led his vast armada of ships, crammed with some 30,000 jubilant seamen, into the hated port of Athens at the Piraeus to finish the Peloponnesian War. After the destruction of its imperial fleet at the battle of Aegospotami ("Goat Rivers") in the waters off Asia Minor the prior September, the once splendid city of Athens was now utterly defenseless. Worse still was to come. It was soon surrounded, broke, jammed with refugees, starving, and near revolution. Such an end would have seemed utterly inconceivable just three decades earlier when a defiant Pericles promised his democracy victory. But then neither had 80,000 Athenians fallen to plague nor 500 ships been sunk at Sicily and on the Aegean.

- From A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War by Victor Davis Hanson

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