84: In Search of Victory

In Search of Victory

Step back in time with me, Mark Selleck, as we trace the footsteps of Athenian generals post-Pericles, navigating the perilous landscape of public dissent and audacious military campaigns. The death of Pericles marked a significant pivot in Athenian strategy, and we’ll peel back the layers of this tumultuous era, scrutinizing the aggressive maneuvers that propelled the city-state into the contentious Sicilian expedition. On the Spartan side, delve into the mysteries shrouding King Pleistoanax ‘s comeback and the alleged bribery scandal involving the Oracle of Delphi—an episode that further complicates the rich tapestry of Ancient Greek politics.

Feel the ground shake beneath your feet as we recount how natural disasters left indelible marks on Greek military decisions. The Spartans’ superstitious interpretations of earthquakes fuelled a reimagining of their war tactics, prompting them to establish Heraclea. We’ll examine how this strategic pivot eventually lost its lustre due to a combination of diplomatic hostility and internal mismanagement, revealing a side of Spartan governance seldom seen in their laconic annals.

The episode culminates with a gripping recount of the Athenian military blunders and unexpected victories. Demosthenes’ disastrous Aetolian campaign serves as a stark reminder of the volatility of ancient warfare. Yet, amidst catastrophe, the crafty general redeems himself with a masterful victory in Ambracia. The resulting stalemate in the region underscores the broader lesson of our episode: that the tides of war in Ancient Greece were as unpredictable as they were ruthless. Join us for an enthralling exploration of this era’s strategic intricacies and shifting alliances.

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