The Peloponnesian War was an important event in the Greek history. It is the name that is used to refer to a series of conflicts that took place between 431 and 404 BC in Greece pitting Athens against Sparta. Historical accounts depict a power struggle during the golden period in Greece history, albeit it was a short lived historical era. Athens and Sparta were powerful cities, each demanding to have its own way of life. The war took place in three stages starting with the Archidamian War that ended with the Peace of Nicias in 421 BC. The second phase started with the attack of Athens on Syracuse in 413 BC while the final phase was the Decelean War, also known as the Ionian War that was led by Sparta. The Peloponnesian War was an important even in the history of Greece because it shaped the balance of power but it ended with the weakening of city-states and eventual invasion by Macedonia under Alexander the Great.