Existing treatments of Peloponnesian history are fragmented by poleis and period. This book offers a comprehensive narrative of the political history of the entire Peloponnese from 371 to 146 BC, using both literary and epigraphic evidence. In the Hellenistic Peloponnese a long shadow was cast by the geo-political changes of the 4th century. Many continuities trace back to the forty years after Leuktra (371-330). Internal divisions and alliances are interwoven with the interventions of external powers: Thebans, Macedonian rulers, and finally the Romans. The author's findings reveal remarkable consistencies in the history of the Peloponnese. After Sparta's long-invincible army was defeated at the battle of Leuktra, there was much in Sparta's influence which was far from crushed. Not only did Sparta's confidence persist, as she agitated for centuries to renew her power; other states of the Peloponnese conducted their own foreign policies in reaction either to Sparta's decline or, especially, to her resurgence - and to the prospect of further resurgence still. The book reveals continuity as regards Sparta in the foreign policies of Elis, most of Arkadia, Messenia, and the Achaian Confederacy. These definite patterns formed Peloponnesian history far beyond the narrow relation of each community to Sparta: they also shaped the relation of most major Peloponnesian powers to each other.
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