The Peloponnesian War and Its Sieges

Michael Seaman

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 Peloponnesian War and Its Sieges


This chapter discusses the sieges of cities, wanton plunder, and massacres in the period of the Peloponnesian War, which contributed more misery to the Greeks than all previous wars and saw an increase in the number of cities taken and Greeks killed or exiled. It can often be seen in Greek siege warfare that a city surrendered after internal ideological strife brought about a betrayal of the town. The Greeks experienced a dramatic rise in the number of sieges during the Peloponnesian War, but sieges and the atrocities that often accompanied them were experienced by Greek poleis before the Peloponnesian War and long before the late fifth century BC. They made assaults on cities throughout the Peloponnesian War.

Keywords: sieges; Peloponnesian War; Greeks; Greek siege warfare; poleis

Article.  6990 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Ancient Greek History

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribeRecommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »