Delian League


by Wikipedia
published on 28 April 2011
Delos Lion Sculpture (

The Delian League was an association of approximately 150 5th-century BCE Greek city-states under the leadership of Athens, whose purpose was to continue fighting the Persian Empire after the Greek victory in the Battle of Plataea at the end of the Greco–Persian Wars.

Founded in 478 BCE, the League's name derives from its official meeting place, the island of Delos, where congresses were held in the temple and where the treasury stood until Pericles moved it to Athens in 454 BCE. Shortly after its inception Athens began to exploit the League's navy for its own benefit. This behaviour would frequently lead to conflict between Athens and the less powerful members of the League. By 431 BCE Athens' heavy-handed control of the Delian League would prompt the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War; the League was dissolved upon the war's conclusion in 404 BCE.

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Visual Timeline
  • 479 BCE - 478 BCE
    Combined Greek operations in the Hellespont and Cyprus.
  • 478 BCE
    Many Cycladic states join the Athenian led Delian League as a defence against Persian agression.
  • 478 BCE - 454 BCE
    The treasury of the Delian League is kept on Delos until its removal to Athens.
  • 478 BCE - 404 BCE
    The Delian League in Greece, led by Athens.
  • 477 BCE
    Athenians take control of joint operations: formation of Delian League. First assessment of contributions by Aristides, an Athenian.
  • 477 BCE - 474 BCE
    Delian League operations carried out by Cimon, son of Miltiades, victor of Marathon.
  • c. 472 BCE
    Carystos forced to join League.
  • c. 470 BCE - c. 469 BCE
    Attempted secession of Naxos from the Delian League. It is defeated and enslaved.
  • c. 467 BCE
    The island of Naxos rebels against Athenian dominance of the Delian League.
  • c. 465 BCE
    Secession of Thasos.
  • 464 BCE - 463 BCE
    Earthquake in Sparta, followed by slave revolt. Surrender of Thasos.
  • 462 BCE - 461 BCE
    Radicalisation of democracy in Athens; Cimon exiled, Pericles comes to exercise influence.
  • 460 BCE - 459 BCE
    Megara switches sides to Athens; outbreak of war with the Peloponnesians – Athenians initially victorious.
  • c. 457 BCE - 454 BCE
    Large expedition to Egypt, to aid rebels against Persian rule.
  • 456 BCE - 455 BCE
    Athenians spread their power in northern Peloponnese.
  • 454 BCE
    Failure of Egyptian expedition; some League members unsuccessfully revolt. Removal of League treasury from Delos to Athens.
  • 451 BCE - 450 BCE
    Peace between Argos and Sparta. Athens and Sparta conclude five-year truce.
  • 447 BCE - 446 BCE
    Boeotian cities revolt against Athens. Secessions in Euboea and Megara.
  • 446 BCE - 445 BCE
    Spartans invade Attica. Thirty Years’ Peace between Athens and Sparta.
  • 441 BCE
    Revolt of Samos.
  • 436 BCE - 435 BCE
    Expedition of Pericles into the Black Sea. Corcyra/Epidamnus affair draws in Corinth and the Athenians.
  • 433 BCE - 432 BCE
    Athens concludes treaties with Italiot and Siceliot cities. Megarian decree commercially isolates Megara.
  • 432 BCE
    Secession of Potidaea involves Corinthians.
  • 431 BCE - 404 BCE
    The 2nd Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta (the Delian League and the Peloponnesian League) which involved all of Greece.
  • 428 BCE - 427 BCE
    Unsuccessful secession of Mytilene.
  • 427 BCE
    First Athenian expedition to Sicily.
  • 421 BCE
    Peace of Nicias, a truce between the Delian and Peloponnesian Leagues.
  • 421 BCE - 416 BCE
    ‘Cold war’ between Athens and Corinth.
  • 415 BCE - 413 BCE
    Great Athenian expedition to Sicily ends in failure.
  • 413 BCE
    Wholesale revolt of League members; War recommences. Spartans and Corinthians gain advantage from League seccessions and help from the Persians.
  • 404 BCE
    Athens loses War; League dissolved.

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