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The Persian Wars and the Golden Age. The New Army of Greece. Sparta was already a military state, but Athens only had an army made of wealthy citizens As Greece entered the Iron age, weapons became affordable for all, Athens was able to form a stronger army as everyone could get weapons

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the new army of greece
The New Army of Greece
  • Sparta was already a military state, but Athens only had an army made of wealthy citizens
    • As Greece entered the Iron age, weapons became affordable for all,
  • Athens was able to form a stronger army as everyone could get weapons
    • Created an army of foot soldiers, hoplites, who fought in a phalanx formation.
      • Became the most powerful fighting force in the ancient world.
the persian wars
The Persian Wars
  • Begin in Ionia on the coast of Anatolia
    • Greeks had controlled it but the Persians conquered it around 546 BC
  • Ionian Greeks revolted against the Persians and Athens came to their aid.
  • The Persian King Darius the Great defeated the rebellion and vowed to destroy Athens in revenge!
persians bring revenge
Persians bring revenge!
  • In 490 BC a Persian fleet carrying 25,000 men crossed the Aegean Sea and landed north of Athens on a plain known as Marathon.
  • 10,000 Athenians were there to fight
    • Arranged in Phalanxes
  • The Greeks Charged and the well equipped fighting force forced the Persians to retreat.
    • Persians lost 6,000 men
    • Athenians lost less than 200 men
pheidippides run
Pheidippides’ Run
  • After the Victory the Athenians had a city that stood defenseless
    • Army leaders wanted to warn the city to tell the people not to give up the city without a fight.
  • Army leaders chose a runner named Pheidippides to race back to Athens
    • Ran 26 miles from marathon to Athens
    • Delivered the message “rejoice we conquer” then he collapsed and died.
  • The People readied for attack but the Athenian Army raced back to Athens and when the Persians arrived by sea they found the city heavily defended.
    • They retreated
the reign of xerxes
The Reign of Xerxes
  • Ten years later Darius Son, Xerxes, took control in Persia.
    • Wanted to crush Athens
      • Raised a massive army to attack the main city in Greece
  • The Greeks were divided on how to handle Xerxes
    • Some wanted to fight
    • Others wanted to let him destroy the city and let him leave
    • And others even fought for the Persians.
  • Xerxes army met little resistance as it moved towards Athens
last defense
Last Defense
  • As Xerxes came to a narrow mountain pass at Thermopylae 7,000 Greeks and 300 Spartans were waiting
  • The Greeks stopped the Persians and held them off for 3 days
  • The Persians learned about a secret path that ended the stand off.
  • Fearing defeat the 300 Spartans led a battle to hold off the Persians long enough for the Greek army to retreat
    • All 300 Spartans died but their sacrifice made a huge impressions on the Greeks
defend the city
Defend the City
  • The Athenians knew the battle was coming to Athens
    • Themistocles, an Athenian leader, convinced them to leave the city and fight at sea.
      • Positioned the navy in a narrow channel south of Athens
  • Xerxes set fire to Athens, then sent his ships to block both ends of the channel
    • However the large ships couldn’t move in the narrow channels
    • Greek ships used battering rams to puncture holes in the Persian navy
    • 1/3 of the Persian fleet was sunk
  • Xerxes suffered another defeat at Plataea and from then on they were always on the defensive.
the end of the persian wars
The end of the Persian wars
  • The following year the city states in Greece formed an alliance called the Delian League
    • Named after the headquarter location on the island of Delos
  • In time the league members were able to force the Persians from Greece and surrounding territories and end the threat of future attacks.
  • The Greek city states felt confident and free.
  • Athens would emerge as the leaders of the league and
    • Moved the headquarters of the league.
    • Athens became the leader of the Empire
  • Athens became the center of Greek Culture.b
pericles athens
Pericles’ Athens
  • A wise statesman named Pericles would hold popular support for much of Athens Golden Age
    • 32 years as leader.
  • Skillful leader, politician, great speaker, and respected general
  • Ruled form 461 to 429 BC also known as the Age of Pericles
  • Pericles had 3 goals for Athens
    • Strengthen democracy
    • Hold and strengthen the empire
    • Glorify Athens
stronger democracy
Stronger Democracy
  • Pericles increased the number of public officials who were paid
    • Most positions previously were unpaid, so only wealthy filled them, now anyone could fill the position
      • More people involved in government
  • Athens became on of the most democratic governments in all of history.
  • Pericles also introduced a direct democracy
    • Citizens rule directly and not through representatives.
    • Male citizens who served in the assembly established all the important government policies
athenian empire
Athenian Empire
  • Not only did they move the league to Athens they took control of all the member states
  • Used league money to make the Athenian Navy the strongest in the Mediterranean sea
    • Used it to protect Athens
    • Used it to control and dominate trade
  • Athens used their control of the league to bring members into the empire
    • Though not all members liked this
      • Peloponnesus
      • Sparta
glorifying athens
Glorifying Athens
  • Used money from the Delian League to beautify Athens
    • Didn’t have approval for this
  • Bought gold, ivory, and marble for building projects
  • Paid artists with league funding.
  • Pericles wanted to make Athens stand out with magnificent buildings and sculptures
  • At the center of his plans was a big project to honor Athena
    • The Parthenon
the parthenon
The Parthenon
  • A masterpiece of architectural design
  • 23,000 Square Feet
  • Designed as a temple to honor Athena
    • Goddess of wisdom and protector of Athens
  • Contained statures and art that would set a standard for artists for generations to come.
    • Phidias was the main sculptor
      • Crafted a giant statue of Athena
      • 30 feet tall
      • Made of gold and ivory
classical art
Classical Art
  • Phidias and other sculptors were to create art that was graceful, strong, and perfectly formed
  • Statues were to only show faces with serenity,
    • Wanted to portray ideal beauty not realism
    • Harmony
    • Order
    • Balance
    • Proportion
  • To show civic pride and tribute to the Gods the Greeks invented drama as an art form
  • Built the first theaters in the west
  • Wealthy citizens paid for the productions
  • Plays were about leadership and justice and the duties owed to the Gods
    • Often included a chorus that danced, sang, and recited poetry.
  • The Greeks had two forms of Drama
    • Comedy and Tragedy
greek drama
Greek Drama
  • Scenes filled with slapstick situations and crude humor
  • Made fun of politics and people
  • Aristophanes wrote some of the first comedies
    • The birds and lysistrata
      • Lysistrata represented the women of Athens
  • Demonstrated that Athenians could listen to criticism and were open to public discussion
  • Serious Plays about common themes such as love, hate, war, and betrayal
  • Featured a main character or tragic hero
    • Usually had gifted abilities or extraordinary abilities
    • Hero also had a tragic flaw that lead to the hero's downfall
      • Usually pride



  • It was during the golden age of Greece that accurate reporting of events became important
  • Herodotus – pioneered accurate reporting of events
    • Wrote book on Persian wars that is considered the first work of history.
  • Thucydides
    • Believed that events and situations recur over time
    • Used that belief to write about events in a way to benefit future generations
      • Style still used today
athens and sparta go to war
Athens and Sparta go to war
  • Athens success and wealth made others hostile towards them.
  • Both sides knew war was inevitable so they pushed for war, not peace
  • Sparta declared war on Athens in 431 BC
    • Peloponnesian War
      • Sparta had stronger army
      • Athens had stronger navy
        • Sparta came towards Athens and Pericles moved the people into Athens
          • Plague swept through the city, killed 1/3 of the people including Pericles
      • War continued for years until the two sides reached a truce in 421 BC.
war returns
War returns
  • In 415 BC the Athenians sent a fleet with 20,000 soldiers to the island of Sicily
    • Plan was to destroy Syracuse, one of the allies of Sparta
  • Athenians were defeated in 413 BC
    • Almost all of them died
  • Sparta attacked but Athens held them off for 9 years
  • Finally in 404 BC the Athenians and their allies surrendered
  • Athens lost its empire, power, and wealth
the greek philosophers
The Greek Philosophers
  • Athenians lost confidence in democratic government and began to question their values
  • In the uncertain times, thinkers appeared
    • Determined to seek the truth, no matter where it lead them
  • Became known as philosophers
    • Lovers of wisdom
  • Thinking was based off two assumptions
    • The universe, land sky and sea, is put together in an orderly way, and subject to absolute laws
    • People can understand these laws through logic and reason.
the sophists
The sophists
  • Questioned the unexamined beliefs and ideas about justice and other traditional values
  • Protagoras
    • One of the most famous Sophists
      • Questioned the existence of the traditional Greek gods.
      • No universal standard of truth
  • These were radical ideas at the time
  • Critic of the Sophists
  • Believed that absolute standards existed for truth and justice
  • Encouraged the Greeks to question themselves and their moral character
  • Put on trial for corrupting the youth of Athens and Neglecting the city’s gods.
  • Said his teachings were good because it forced people to think about their values and actions
    • Court disagreed and he was poisoned to death as punishment.
  • Student of Socrates
    • 20 years old when Socrates died
  • Around 370 BC Plato wrote his most famous work
    • The Republic
  • Set forth the vision for a perfectly governed society
    • Not a democracy
    • Divided into 3 groups
      • Farmers and artisans, warriors, and the ruling class.
      • The person with the greatest insight and intellect would be chosen a philosopher king.
  • His ideas dominated philosophic thought in Europe for nearly 1500 years.
  • Only his teacher and his pupil were rivals to his importance.
  • Pupil of Plato
  • Questioned the nature of the world and the human belief, thought, and knowledge.
  • Came close to summarizing all the knowledge up to his time
  • Created a method for arguing according to rules of logic
  • Applied it to psychology, physics, and biology
  • Provides the basis of the scientific method still used today.
  • Taught Alexander, son of king Phillip II of Macedonia.
    • Taught him for 3 years until he was called back to Macedonia