changing relationship between Athens and its allies during this period

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Athens had an ever changing relationship with its allies during the period of 500- 440 BC from its alliance with the city states including Sparta during the Persian Wars to the formation of the Delian league and the establishment of Athens as an empire. The main source we have for this period is the work of Thucydides and his insights written in his work The Peloponnesian Wars. He describes the build up and the history behind the Peloponnesian Wars and the relations between the Greek city states focusing on Athens and Sparta. Thucydides writings are generally considered as an accurate and unbiased account of the Peloponnesian wars however other sources are needed to fill in the gaps in Thucydides writing. At the beginning of the period of interest, that is, the beginning of the 5th century Athens is one of the most powerful Greek city states attempting to gain support of other States. Through the Persian Wars they build up their reputation as a protector of the Greek states until near the end of the period where the Athenian empire is formed with allies becoming subjects to the more powerful Athens. Throughout this period Athens built alliances made enemies that led to Athens eventual downfall. The Ionian revolt in 499 BC can be seen as a first attempt by Athens to gain support from Greeks in Asia Minor as Athens provided assistance to the Ionian Greeks in liberating them from Persian occupation therefore allowing them to gain their autonomy back. At this time the Greek states were continually at war with one another and there was no unity between them. Athens also had a close link to the Ionian Greeks as said by Aristagoras in Herodotus who tells us that “Miletus had been founded by Athenian settlers so it was only natural that the Athenians, powerful as they were, would help her in her need” . However critics suggest that Herodotus’ writing is too anecdotal,
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