Medea Historical Context

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The year Euripides produced Medea, the devastating Peloponnesian War (431-404 B. C.) began. The tensions which precipitated this conflict between Athens and its neighbors on the Peloponnesian peninsula, primarily the cities of Sparta and Corinth certainly existed before the first recorded battle and possibly led Euripides to set his play in Corinth. Thucydides (c.460-400 B.C.) claims that the true cause of the war was Athen's rise to greatness, which made Spartans fearful. However, trade rivalry with Corinth may also have fueled the conflict. At any rate the Peloponnesian War was to last the next thirty years, with great losses suffered by both winners and losers. Ultimately, after a victory at Aegospotami, Sparta forced Athens decimated in money and ships, emotionally enervated, and without allies to submit to its terms. The Golden Age of Athens had come to an...

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This section contains 809 words
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Medea from Drama for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.