Similarly on land, the post it occupied between northern Greece and the Peloponnese materially influenced its relation to other states, both in respect of its alliances, such as that with Thessaly, towards which it was drawn by mutual hostility to Boeotia, which lay between them; and also in respect of offensive combinations of other powers, as that between Thebes and Sparta, which throughout an important part of Greek history were closely associated in their politics, through mutual dread of their powerful neighbour.
A band of Dorians united with a body of Aetolians to cross the Corinthian Gulf and invade the Peloponnese from the north west.
Nevertheless, it is not probable that without the training introduced by Lycurgus the Spartans would have been successful in securing their supremacy in Laconia, much less in the Peloponnese, for they formed a small immigrant band face to face with a large and powerful Achaean and autochthonous population.
About this time, probably, the Argives, whose territory included the whole east coast of the Peloponnese and the island of Cythera (Herod.
Yet, in spite of the heroic defence of Thermopylae by the Spartan king Leonidas, the glory of the decisive victory at Salamis fell in great measure to the Athenians, and their patriotism, self-sacrifice and energy contrasted strongly with the hesitation of the Spartans and the selfish policy which they advocated of defending the Peloponnese only.