The Greek city-states, with ongoing confrontations, became polarised by Athens’ use of the anti-Persian Delian League to further its own interests, prosperity and dominance. Its push for influence brought on formation of the Peloponnesian League led by Sparta to oppose it.

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The result of this confrontation was the Peloponnesian War. Athens over-reached itself, and with Persian assistance the Peloponnesian League defeated Athens and stripped it of the empire it had created.

The city-states continued on with their habitual warfare under different pretexts and alignments. Sparta’s temporary ascendancy after leading the Peloponnesian victory was ended by the ascendancy of Thebes, and Persia had to impose the King’s Peace to stop the fighting spilling over into its enpire.

In this vacuum Macedonia siezed the opportunity to establish dominance, impose some peace in the Greek world, and harness its energies to take over the Persian Empire.

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