492 First expedition of the Persians against
432 The Athenians, involved in power struggles in Macedon, where they have taken side for a rival of king Perdiccas, and in bad terms with Corinth, owing to the affair of Corcyra, worry about the possible defection of Potidæa, a colony of Corinth in the peninsula of Chalcidice that had become a member of the Delian League, and is being pushed to rebellion by Perdiccas. They send troops there that first fight the Macedonians and manage to sign a truce with Perdiccas before turning against Potidæa, which has in the meantime signed an alliance with Sparta. A battle takes place in front of the city and a siege ensues, that will last till 429 (Thucydides, I, 56-66).
According to Symposium, 219e-220e, Socrates (aged about 38) took part in this campaign and saved Alcibiades' life during the battle. The Lysis is supposed to take place shortly after this battle (see Lysis, 153a)
Approximate date of Empedocles' death at age about sixty. A legend has it that he jumped into the crater of the Etna
429 Pericles is reinstated and elected once again commander in chief, but dies soon after from the plague
Capitulation of Potidæa
Darius II becomes king of
421 Following the battle of Amphipolis, negociations between the Athenian general Nicias and Pleistoanax, the Spartan king, lead to a treaty known as the Peace of Nicias, supposed to put an end to a war that had already lasted ten years. Under its terms, a truce of fifty years is decided, prisonners and captured cities should be returned, and future quarrels should be settled by negociation rather than arms. Yet, several cities, including Corinth, the cities of Boeotia, Megara and Elis, refuse to sign the treaty. A separate treaty of mutual assistance between Athens and Sparta alone includes provisions for the former to help the later in case of a revolt of Helots (Thucydides' Histories, V, 17-24).
But from the start, things go wrong : Sparta doesn't return Amphipolis and Athens refuses to evacuate Pylos. Besides, some of the frustrated allies of Sparta will soon seek alliances with Athens. If Athens and Sparta will be spared war on their own territory for six years to come, the war will never really stop in the rest of Peloponnese (Thucydides, V, 25-26).
Indeed, hardly have they left the peace conference in Sparta that the Corinthians turn toward Argos, which, as hereditary rival of Sparta for hegemony in Peloponnese, had mostly stayed out of the war so far, to induce it to take the lead of the Peloponnesian cities worried by Sparta's imperialistic stance (Thucydides, V, 27-28). Mantinea first, followed by Elis, Corinth and the cities of Chalcidice, conclude alliances with Argos (Thucydides, V, 29-31).
First performance of Aristophanes' Peace, written while the Peace of Nicias was been negociated and played a few days before the signature.
385 Birth of Aristotle in Stagira, in
349 Philip of Macedon attacks Olynthus in
322 Death of Aristotle in Chalcis, in the
Suicide of Demosthenes after the defeat of the Greek against the Macedonians at Crannon, so he will not be taken alive by his ennemies