Why did the Peace of Nicias fail to reconcile Athens and Sparta? Donald Kagan examines the years between the signing of the peace treaty and the destruction of the Athenian expedition to Sicily in 413 B.C. The principal figure in the narrative is the Athenian politician and general Nicias, whose policies shaped the treaty and whose military strategies played a major role in the attack against Sicily.
Part One: The Unraveling of the Peace
1. A Troubled Peace
2. The Separate League
3. The Alliance of Athens and Argos
4. The Challenge of the Separate League
5. The Battle of Mantinea
6. After Mantinea: Politics and Policy at Sparta and AthensPart Two: The Sicilian Expedition
7. The Decision to Attack Sicily
8. Sacrilege and Departure
9. Athenian Strategy and the Summer Campaign of 415
10. The First Attack on Syracuse
11. The Siege of Syracuse
12. Athens on the Defensive
13. Defeat on Land and Sea
14. Retreat and Destruction
Index of Modem Authors
Index of Ancient Authors and Inscriptions
"Kagan brings new insight into the natures of Agis II and Gylippus, Nicias and Alciabiades, and they come alive as never before."
""The temptation to acclaim Kagan's four volumes as the foremost work of history produced in North America in the twentieth century is vivid.... Here is an achievement that not only honors the criteria of dispassion and of unstinting scruple which mark the best of modern historicism but honors its readers. To read Kagan's 'History of the Peloponnesian War' at the present hour is to be almost unbearably tested."-George Steiner, The New Yorker"
"A profound analysis of the relation of strategy to politics, a sympathetic but searching critique of Thucydides' masterpiece, and a trenchant assessment of the voluminous modern literature on the war."
The Atlantic Monthly
"This is a solid piece of scholarship, a readable, consistent, and understandable account of a difficult period in Greek history, and rife with astute and provocative observations on Thucydides."