Peace of Antalcidas

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The Peace of Antalcidas (387 BC), also known as the King's Peace, was a peace treaty guaranteed by the Great King Artaxerxes II that ended the Corinthian War in ancient Greece. The treaty's alternate name comes from Antalcidas, the Spartan diplomat who traveled to Susa to negotiate the terms of the treaty with the king of Achaemenid Persia. The treaty was more commonly known in antiquity, however, as the King's Peace, a name that reflects the depth of Persian influence in the treaty, as Persian gold had driven the preceding war. The treaty was a form of Common Peace another example of common peace that occur before would be the 30 year peace, in which all the cities of Greece made peace simultaneously on the basis of their individual autonomy.


The end of the war

By 387 BC, the central front of the Corinthian War had shifted from the Greek mainland to the Aegean, where an Athenian fleet under Thrasybulus had successfully placed a number of cities across the Aegean under Athenian control, and was acting in collaboration with Evagoras, the king of Cyprus. Since Evagoras was an enemy of Persia, and many of the Athenian gains threatened Persian interests, these developments prompted Artaxerxes to switch his support from Athens and her allies to Sparta. Antalcidas, the commander of a Spartan fleet, was summoned to Susa, along with the satrap, Tiribazus. There, the Spartans and Persians worked out the form of an agreement to end the war.

To bring the Athenians to the negotiating table, Antalcidas then moved his fleet of 90 ships to the Hellespont, where he could threaten the trade routes along which the Athenians imported grain from the Black Sea region. The Athenians, mindful of their disastrous defeat in 404 BC, when the Spartans had gained control of the Hellespont, agreed to negotiate, and Thebes, Corinth, and Argos, unwilling to fight on without Athens, were also forced to negotiate. In a peace conference at Sparta, all the belligerents agreed to the terms laid down by Artaxerxes.

Terms of the peace

The most notable feature of the Peace of Antalcidas is the Persian influence it reflects. The Persian decree that established the terms of the peace clearly shows this:

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