Second Sacred War

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Second Sacred War
Date 449–448 BC
Location Mainland Greece
Result Reinstatement of Phocis in its former sovereign rights on the oracle of Delphi.
No territory change
Commanders and leaders

The Second Sacred War took place between 449–448 BC and resulted in an indirect confrontation between Athens and Sparta during the so-called First Peloponnesian War.

The war erupted when Sparta detached Delphi from Phocis and rendered it independent, handing it back to the Delphians.[1] The Athenians were however champions of the Phocians. Therefore, in 448 BC, Pericles led the Athenian army against Delphi, in order to reinstate Phocis in its former sovereign rights on the oracle of Delphi.[2] Immediately after the Spartans had left, they recaptured Delphi and handed it back to the Phocians.

According to M. Dillon, the military actions of both Sparta and Athens were quick and effective and there is no evidence that they affected pilgrims consulting the oracle.[1]

In contrast to the Third Sacred War, this war was short and not so bitter.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Matthew Dillon (1997), Pilgrims and Pilgrimage in Ancient Greece, 51
  2. ^ Thucydides, I, 112 and Plutarch, Pericles, XXI