After the fall of the Mycenaean age in about 1100 B.C.E. Greece went into a period known as the dark ages. During the dark ages people lived scattered around Greece in farm villages. These villages grew and evolved. They established governments, educational systems, and military. The villages became what is known as a city-state or a Polis.
After Greece defeated Persia in the in around 470 B.C. the city-state Athens formed the Delian League. The Delian League was a group of about 200 city-states.(Map of Delian League) These city-states formed an alliance with Athens being the leading city-state. Athens used their power to control the other city-states creating an Athenian empire. As Athens grew in power other city-states began to view them as a threat. Another alliance of city-states formed called the Peloponnesian league.(Map of Peloponnesian league) Sparta was the head of the Peloponnesian league and was only about 150 miles from Athens. Everyone knew war between Athens and Sparta was inevitable. In 431 B.C. only about 40 years after Greece defeated Persia, Sparta declared war on Athens. But, which city-state was more fit to rule. (Keynote Chart)