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The Persian Wars and the Golden Age

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  1. The Persian Wars and the Golden Age

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. The Golden Age of Greece

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Drama • 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

  18. 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 Comedy Tragedy

  19. History • 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

  20. 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.

  21. 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

  22. 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.

  23. 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

  24. Socrates • 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.

  25. Plato • 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.

  26. Aristotle • 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