The Success of The Delian League

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Same friends as well as enemies…

The Success of The Delian League

What is the Delian League, and what did this accomplish?

Map athenian empire 431 BC-en

What was the Delian League, and why was it formed? During the Persian wars, after the Battle of Salamis victory, Ionian cities, including Athens, came together with a common goal, mutual protection, and a military alliance against any enemy, including Persian aggression. Their confederation was called the Delian League. They wanted to have the same friends as well as enemies.

With their mighty naval power, Athenians held the leading position even though the power was decentralized equally by allowing one vote per member. 

While Athens provided naval protection, those who couldn’t offer military support had to pay a monetary tax. Indeed, this economic tax helped Athens to expand its navy and improve its economy. 

Athens continued to maintain and improve its massive navy, and league members could find protection for less than it would cost to preserve autonomous forces.

For about ten years, the Delian League was unbeaten in defending themselves from Persian invaders and pirates. The league famously defeated a Persian army at the Battle of Eurymedon in 466 BCE. 

But were they successful in keeping the peace among themselves? 

The contributions in the form of monetary tax imposed by Athenians in return for military protection helped build an Athenian empire. Eventually, when Athenians moved the league’s treasury stored at the Delos island to their city, the financial and military power centralized into one polis, strengthening Athens. However, not every member was content with this power shift. Some members wanted to leave the league. But Athens objected to that and destroyed their forts, making them vulnerable to an attack.

The Delian League broke up when Sparta captured Athens in 404. Athens lost her colonies and most of her navy and then submitted to the reign of the Thirty Tyrants.

Nakhiengchanh, M. (2018, March 18). The Delian League: The Athenian Empire – Ancient History. See U in History

In what ways was the Delian League successful?

The Delian League was successful in many ways. First, it established a common defence against the Persians, a significant threat at the time. Second, it created a unified front allowing more effective military action. Third, it fostered a sense of cooperation and camaraderie among the member states. Finally, it helped to spread Greek culture throughout the world.

Did the Delian League succeed? There is debate among historians as to whether or not the Delian League was a success. Some argue that it was successful in its mission to free Greece from the Persians. However, others point out that the league eventually fell apart, and the Romans conquered Greece.

Why was the Delian League so important?

Some say the Delian League was a resounding success, while others believe it had its share of failures. The League was undoubtedly successful in uniting the Greek city-states against a common enemy and protecting Persia. However, it is also true that the League was plagued by internal conflict, and its members often fought among themselves. Ultimately, the Delian League fell to the Macedonians, who went on to conquer all of Greece.

How did the Delian League make Athens stronger?

By 478 B.C., Athens was strong enough to ally—the Delian League—with other Aegean states that wanted to resist the Persians. The League’s treasury was kept on the island of Delos, and member states contributed ships and money to it. Athens provided a sizable fleet and became the leader of the League. The League eventually helped Athens liberate mainland Greece from Persian rule during the Greco-Persian Wars.

How did the Spartans respond to the creation of the Delian League?

The Spartans were fine with the creation of the Delian League at first. They even sent an ambassador to the first meeting. But, after they learned more about the league’s goals, they became suspicious of it. They thought it was just a way for Athens to become more powerful. They also thought that the league would take away their independence. So, they decided not to join it.

Why did the Delian League fail?

One of the main reasons the Delian League failed was its lack of a central government. The League was created as a voluntary association of Greek city-states to free Greece from the Persians. Each city-state retained its government and laws, which made it difficult to make decisions or take action as a group. Additionally, many city-states were constantly at odds, making it difficult to work together towards a common goal.

Who won the Peloponnesian War?

The Peloponnesian War was fought between the Greek city-states of Athens and Sparta. The war lasted for 27 years, with Athens ultimately being victorious. The war was primarily fought on land, with the two sides engaging in several battles.

Check the following articles to learn more about The Success of The Delian League:

  1. Gill, N.S. (2020, February 11). Formation of the Delian League. Thoughtco. URL
  2. Lendering, J. (2007, December 01). Livius. URL
  3. Gulati, A. (n.d.). Archaeologies of the Greek Pas: Delian League. Brown University. URL
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