The Athenian Expedition to Sicily

Lee L. Brice

in The Oxford Handbook of Warfare in the Classical World

Published in print January 2013 | ISBN: 9780195304657
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

The Athenian Expedition to Sicily

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Classical Studies
  • Ancient Greek History



This chapter discusses the Sicilian Expedition by Athens. Athens sent a large military force to Sicily in what has come to be called the Sicilian Expedition. The expedition, which grew into a massive military effort led by multiple generals, began with multiple leaders, one of whom, Nicias, had opposed it from the beginning. It is noted that the Athenian withdrawal in Sicily initially appears to have been ridiculous given their success, but as Thucydides explained, it was based on the late season and the lack of cavalry, money, allies, and supplies. The final phase of the expedition began with a naval battle. The expedition that had begun in 415 with a grand send-off in Athens ended in 413 with a tortuous retreat and pursuit.

Keywords: military force; Sicilian Expedition; Athens; Nicias; Sicily; Thucydides; naval battle

Article.  9227 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Ancient Greek History

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribeRecommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »