How did democracy develop in Athens? • 508 BCE Kleisthenes established the first democratic government in Athens • He diminished the influential families by dividing the citizenry into demes and tribes • Citizens were selected by their demes to serve on juries, engaging in this first direct democracy • Democracy threatened by the Persians under Darius and his son Xerxes • Darius “king of the Earth” invaded Greece but was routed by Miltiades at Marathon • At the battle of Salamis, the Greeks routed the much larger Persian contingent of 800 ships
Darius and Xerxes Receiving Tribute, detail of a relief, Persepolis, Iran. Darius’ subjects bring gifts -23 subject nations in all –each culture is recognizable by its beards and costumes.
Golden Age • After the battle of Salamis, Pericles urged Athenians to rebuild the city in honor of Athena who saved the city • Pericles - dominant figure in Athenian democracy • Principles of freedom and civic responsibility • Individuals are free under the law and distinguish themselves by their service to the community
The Partheon In the clarity of its parts, the harmony among them, it represents the epitome of classical architecture It appears symmetrical though it is built without any straight verticals or horizontals, adjusting for the distortions of the spectator’s gaze. By using entasis, it appears symmetrical. It commemorates the warrior maiden goddess Athena.
Kritios Boy, kouros, Acropolis, Athens, 480 BCE. The emphasis is on naturalistic explanation over divine explanation. Contrapposto (counterpoised position)
Doryphoros, or Spear Bearer Contrapposto pose The weight falls on the forward right leg.
Riace Warrior A, found in the sea off Riace, Italy, perhaps the work of Phidias, 450 BCE. It might represent Miltiades
Lapith Overcoming a Centaur, south metope 27, Partheon It represents the clash between the forces of civilization – the Greeks – and their barbarian opponents.
The Philosophical Tradition in Athens • Pre-Socratic: What is the nature of reality? • Sophists: itinerate teachers who claimed to teach arete • “Man is the measure” • Socrates opposed relativism and skepticism • Developed the dialectical method • Plato’s Republic – delineates the futures of a perfectly just society • Society will be governed by philosopher rulers who are actuated by a love of the good and not money or honor • Plato – idealist who sees an unchanging world of perfect forms as providing the exemplars for their terrestrial manifestations • Aristotle – the essence of things can be abstracted from the material objects which are perceivable through empirical study
Alexander the Great, 4th c. BCE. Aristotle’s pupil Alexander the Great unified Greece after the Peloponnesian Wars, and went on to conquer Persia, Egypt, Babylon, reaching as far as India. Cross-fertilization of eastern and western cultures
Alexander’s empire as of his death in 323 BCE and the route of his conquests. He founded over 70 cities throughout his empire, naming many after himself
Praxiteles, Aphrodite of Knidos, 350 BCE. The sculpture is a frank celebration of the body – reflecting in the female form the humanistic appreciation for the dignity of the human body.
The Theater of the People • Three types of drama: • Satyr plays, farce • Comedy • Tragedy • Drama developed from festivals in honor of the god of Dionysus, the god of wine • The theme of tragedies is death, and tragedies were tied to Dionysus’ function as the god of death and rebirth • Aeschylus • Sophocles • Euripides