Society of African Journal Editors

Ibadan Journal of Humanistic Studies

Epiteichismos in the Peloponnesian War

Authors: PKT Grant, JA Otchere

Journal: Ibadan Journal of Humanistic Studies

Generally, historians who deal with ancient Greek history and thereby tackle the Peloponnesian War have mostly failed to recognize the full significance or import of the Epiteichismos (Greek: “to build upon”) strategy and its contribution to the rise and the imperialistic ambition of Athens, and Athens‟ subsequent defeat during the Peloponnesian War, due, perhaps, to their different motives, orientations, philosophy, targeted audience and aims for writing. Such accounts include those of De Ste. Croix (1972), Robinson (1962), Westlake (1969), Powell (1988) and Pomeroy et al. (1999) and others. Notwithstanding the fact that Thucydides is the primary source with respect to the account of the Peloponnesian War, traits of the intendment of the Epiteichismos strategy are equally scattered throughout the history of antediluvian warfare. Using a critical analysis of primary and secondary sources and noting the deficiencies in existing secondary sources, this paper makes an attempt to give not only a systematic and coherent outline of the significance of the Epiteichismos strategy as the war unfolded, but to also show how both Athens and Sparta exploited this strategy to their respective advantages in the Peloponnesian War.