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    Greece The Polis in Decline, 400-335 B.C.
    Source: The Library of Congress Country Studies

    Following the collapse of Athens, Sparta controlled an empire that encompassed much of present-day Greece. Sparta's tenure as head of the empire was shortened, however, by a combination of poor leadership, wars with Persia and with Sparta's former allies, and social weakness at home. Sparta suffered a drastic shortage of manpower, and society neared revolution because of the huge amounts of wealth falling into the hands of a few. Thebes, Thessaly, and a resurgent Athens each was able to carve out small domains for themselves because of Spartan ineptitude. In the next fifty years, however, Sparta's rivals obtained only temporary advantages over other ambitious states. Thebes, for example, crushed the Spartan army at the Battle of Leuctra in 371 B.C., dominated the peninsula for ten years, then declined rapidly.

    In the fourth century B.C., many Greek states suffered bloody class struggles over money and land. During this conflict, the kings of Persia contributed large amounts of money to whichever side would provide the best advantage to Persian interests.

    Data as of December 1994

    NOTE: The information regarding Greece on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Greece The Polis in Decline, 400-335 B.C. information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Greece The Polis in Decline, 400-335 B.C. should be addressed to the Library of Congress.

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