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[[File: PEP ONE.jpg|thumbnail|left|
300px|A bust of Pericles]]
The Peloponnesian War was one of the greatest conflicts in the Classical World. It was a conflict that involved the Athenian Empire and its allies in a brutal struggle with Sparta and the Peloponnesian League. The war lasted almost three decades (431-404 BCE) and was to change the Greek world. Perhaps one of the most important events in this was Athens Sicilian Expedition (413-415 BCE). The Athenians sought to conquer the island of Sicily. This expedition resulted in a disastrous Athenian defeat that is seen as a turning point in the Peloponnesian war. Prior to the expedition, Athens held its own against Sparta and maintained its Empire. However, the disastrous Sicilian expedition severely weakened Athens and exacerbated existing domestic tensions in its society. The combination of a military disaster and internal dissent ultimately led to the defeat of the City and the loss of its Empire.