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Iphigenia in Taurus Historical Context

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Historical Context

The Peloponnesian Wars

The Peloponnesian War waged off and on for twenty seven years (431-404 B.C.), finally ending with the near total destruction of Athens by its economic rival Sparta. Pericles, for twenty years the military general—the Greek equivalent of a president—of Athens, had engineered Athens rise to greatness through his superior oratory skill and his determination to build a true democracy through the education of Greek peoples. But he aggravated the rivalry between Athens and Sparta, sparking the Peloponnesian War, thus named because Sparta led the league of southern Greece called the Peloponnese.

The war waxed and waned between years of intense fighting, siege warfare, and periods of stalemate. Athens held the advantage at sea, while the Spartan army dominated land conflicts. Eventually, Sparta allied with Persia, obtaining needed funds to develop a naval force, and Athens, already weakened at sea, was...

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This section contains 524 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Iphigenia in Taurus Study Guide
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Iphigenia in Taurus from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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