The Delian League

The Delian League was a league of people that banded together in order to form a group that would help to support the armies of Greece.

This league was formed around 478 BC.

The Delian League

Delian League

The Delian League was made up of over 200 people.

These people worked together to create a treasury.

Money was put into the treasury so that the city-states would be able to make weapons and to use the money for building ships and training warriors.

Problems with War

There are man problems with war and one of the problems is money.

When the Greeks went to war against Persia, it cost a lot of money for them to win.

They had to be ready to fight in case the Persians ever came back and so they needed to step up and train and be ready to make weapons for fighting.

They knew that if Persia came back for a fourth time that they might defeat them.

The Persians were a huge threat to the Greeks.


The Athenians played a big role in the Delian League and they helped to guard the money that came into the treasury.

They collected money from people all over the city-states and gave a lot of money themselves to the cause.

The Athenians would charge a small fee for keeping up and collecting the money, but the other city-states were happy to do this so that they would not have to collect and store the money.


The Athenians would charge 1/60th of the money that came into the Delian League but whoever was in charge of counting and keeping up with the money did a great job.

Even though the Athenians only charged 1/60th of the money, the amount of money that was coming into the league was huge and so Athens eventually became rich.


Sparta did not like that Athens was able to control the money and especially that they were getting rich off of it.

The Spartans worried that the Athenians would not be able to keep up with the money and they felt that the money should be spread out across the city-states so that other people could be involved.

Athens disagreed with this and the rest of the city-states chose to not get involved.

Sparta and Athens were known to always be arguing about something and so no one was surprised that this caused such an uproar.


The Delian League would hold meetings on Delos Island that was located in the Aegean Sea.

This is where they would talk about what they would do with the money and talk about how the money would be used.


The money that was collected was help in a bank like building on the island and the city-states were able to decide what happened with the money.

Facts About the Delian League:

  • Some of the money collected was used to build the Parthenon.
  • The Parthenon was built in honor of the leader of Athens named Pericles.
  • The city-states that were in the Delian League were not allowed to battle against each other.
  • If the city-states went to war with each other, they were thrown out of the league.
  • Naxos was a leader in Greece, and he decided to leave the league and then refused to give them money.
  • Athens then attacked Naxos and forced him to be in the league.
  • The Peace of Callias came because of the Delian League and ended the wars with Persia forever.
  • The purpose of the Delian League at the beginning was to fight and take revenge on Persia.
  • Athens became stronger because of the Delian League but other city-states become poorer.
  • The cities in the Delian League included Lesbos, Chios, Athens and Chios.


What Did You Learn?

  1. What is the Delian League?  The Delian League was a group of city-states in Greece that formed together to make a treasury.
  2. What was the money for the Delian League used for? The money from the Delian League was used to make weapons, armor and prepare armies to fight.  It was used to cover the cost of war.
  3. What was the purpose of the Delian League? To keep Greece safe from Persian attack.
  4. What is the Delian League like? The Delian League was like a bank that we have now.
  5. Why was the Delian League like a bank? The Delian League was like a bank because they charged people when they put money in.
  6. Who was angry that the Athenians had control of the money? The Spartans thought it was unfair that the Athenians had all of the control of the money.
  7. Why was the Delian League important for Athens? The Delian League was important for Athens because they became rich because they charged people 1/60th of the money in order to keep up with the money for them.