This varied over the centuries. During this period alliances shanged regularly. Before and during the Persian wars Sparta and Athens were allies. Then Athens helped Sparta put dow a rebellion. Then, after Persia was no longer a threat, Athens dominated the anti-Persian alliance, and became recognised as a threat by the Peloponnese city-states which turned to Sparta for leadership.

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Thebes was an ally of Sparta in the war with Athens. Thebes and Sparta were adversaries after that war.

It was a pattern of shifting lliances based on expediency.

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