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June 10 , 2011

Sparta: Unfit for Empire


The end of the Peloponnesian War saw Sparta emerge as the dominant power in the Greek world. Had she used this position wisely her hegemony might have been secure. As it was, she embarked on actions that her former allies, Thebes and Korinth, refused to support. The rise of Thebes as a threatening power to Sparta's control of Greece was largely the result of the brilliant exploits of Epaminondas and Pelopidas whose obvious examination of Spartan tactics allowed them to provide counters to them.
While noting the political issues, Godfrey Hutchinson's focus is upon the strategic and tactical elements of warfare in a period almost wholly coinciding with the reign of the brilliant commander, Agesilaos, one of the joint kings of Sparta, who, astonishingly, campaigned successfully into his eighties.

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