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Chapter 4. Classical Greece p. 128-161. Athens Builds an Empire. Delian League formed to defend the Greek states in case Persia attacked again Created by Aristeides Each state signed a defence treaty with Athens and agreed to pay tribute towards maintaining a common fleet

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chapter 4

Chapter 4

Classical Greece

p. 128-161

athens builds an empire
Athens Builds an Empire
  • Delian League formed to defend the Greek states in case Persia attacked again
  • Created by Aristeides
  • Each state signed a defence treaty with Athens and agreed to pay tribute towards maintaining a common fleet
  • Athens provided all the officials and commanders of the league
  • Treasury and meetings were held at the sanctuary of Apollo on the island of Delos
delian league
Delian League
  • Was originally voluntary, but soon became forced
  • Kimon moulded the League into an effective force to fight the Persians – beat them in 467 BCE
  • After this success, Periclesof Athens freed the Greeks on the island of Cyprus and helped in a revolt in Egypt
    • Persians wiped out the Greek fleet on the Nile
    • In 454 BCE, Pericles moved the treasury to Athens  League now an empire controlled by Athens
pericles and democracy1
Pericles and Democracy
  • Athens enjoyed its greatest period of wealth and power (30 years) under Pericles
  • Democracy
    • Every citizen could speak and vote on every piece of legislation in the Assembly
    • Every citizen had an equal chance to hold public office (except general)
    • All law cases were decided by juries of between 201 and 1501 people
    • All civic offices elected for 1 year terms and candidates selected by a lottery – even Pericles was elected annually to the Board of Generals
    • Was paid to be on the Council, juries, and civic offices
rivalry between sparta and athens
Rivalry Between Sparta and Athens
  • Kimon had diffused the rivalry between Sparta and Athens, then in 462 BCE, Sparta asked for help from Athens during the Helot Revolt, but when the Athenians arrived, Sparta refused their help
    • Kimon had convinced the Athenians to help, but when Sparta refused, he was ostracized and Pericles rose to power
athens vs sparta
Athens vs. Sparta
  • During the leadership of Pericles, Athens tried to build up a land empire
  • Threat to Sparta
  • Increased tensions between Athens and Sparta
  • In 445 BCE, signed a 30-year peace treaty
  • Sparta led the Peloponnesian League in central Greece
  • Athens held the coast and islands in the Aegean
differences between athens and sparta
Differences Between Athens and Sparta



Sea power


Leader in culture

Progressive, wealthy, trading nation

Expanded its empire for power and wealth

  • Land power
  • Conservative, oligarchic government
  • Backwards in terms of trade, wealthy, and culture
  • Sought leadership to protect itself and its interests, not for wealth, power, or expansion
  • Many Greek cities resented Athens’ domination of the Delian League
    • Some revolted against Athens
  • Sparta and Athens were long time rivals
  • Sparta led the Peloponnesian League to oppose the Delian League
athens strategy
Athens strategy
  • Naval power
    • Surround Sparta by sea
    • Prevent food and supplies from reaching Peloponnesian League
sparta strategy
Sparta Strategy
  • Sparta had a strong army
    • Surround Athens and prevent it from raising food around the city
  • Did not have a navy until the end of the War
  • For much of the war, neither side could gain the upper hand over the other
  • With a few short period of peace in between, it lasted 30 years
  • Athens was severely weakened when a plague broke out
  • It killed almost 1/3 of the population including Pericles, Athens’ able leader
syracuse expedition
Syracuse Expedition
  • The Athenians made a huge mistake in 416 BC, they invaded Sicily to conquer Sparta’s ally, Syracuse.
  • They hoped to destroy the Spartan’s food supply
  • They were surrounded and annihilated
the war ends
The war ends
  • Syracuse weakened the Athenians, but they held out for over 10 more years
  • The Spartans finally conquered Athens in 404
    • Athens had to give up its navy and empire
    • Athens had to follow Spartan foreign policy
  • Athens was the strongest, now Sparta
  • Much of Greece lie in ruin
  • Greece was severely weakened economically and militarily
  • Greek culture slowed
  • Wrote History of the Peloponnesian War
  • Fought in the war as an Athenian commander
  • Refused to help the Athenians near Amphipoli in 424 BCE, which ruined his military career went into exile
  • Lived to see the end of the war, though his book ends mid-sentence in the year 411 BCE
  • During the rule of Pericles, Athenian society reached a cultural peak
  • Playwright SophoclesAntigone
  • Playwrights Aeschylus and Euripides homed to improve their world by examining serious issues like the basis of justice and the status of women
  • Comic playwright, Aristophanes, wanted to change the world by making fun of it
    • In Lysistrata, he had the women refuse to have sex with their husbands until the men ended their war
the parthenon
The Parthenon
  • Most celebrated building is the Parthenon, built during the rule of Pericles
  • Was to show off wealth and power of Athens
  • Designed by Pheidias and Ictinus
  • Temple to Athena – inspired by Greek victory of the Persians
  • Skills used were learned 200 years earlier in Egypt
  • Most of the magnificent sculpture now in the British Museum
  • Depicted mythological battles
  • In the cella was a 12 m statue of Athena made of ivory and gold on a wooden frame
the road to persia alexander the great
The Road to Persia: Alexander the Great
  • After Peloponnesian War, Sparta, with Persian support, tried to dominate other Greek states  new alliances made
    • Corinth joined with Athens
    • Thebes defeated Sparta and assumed Greek leadership (371-362 BCE)
      • Ended with the death of general Epaminoandas
      • New power would dominate – Macedonia
philip of macedon
Philip of Macedon
  • Macedonians spoke Greek
  • Farmers and shepherds
  • Behind in wealth and culture
  • Several kings united the Macedonians and brought them success in battle
    • Key figure was Philip the Great
philip the great
Philip the Great
  • Had been a hostage in Thebes for 3 years
  • Learned battle tactics there
  • Defeated the southern Greeks at the Battle of Chaeonaea in338 BCE  first time all mainland Greeks united under single leader
  • Before he could turn on the Persians, Philip was assassinated by one of his own officers at a wedding celebration
  • Archaeologists may have found his elaborate tomb at Verginia in northern Greece
alexander the great
Alexander the Great
  • Became king at 20
  • Student of Aristotle
  • One of the most successful military leaders of all time
  • In 334 BCE, set out to defeat the Persians
  • Conquered the Near East all the way to India – never returned to Europe again
how did alexander do it
How did Alexander do it?
  • Only had 35 000 foot soldiers
  • Macedonian army represented the ultimate in improved Greek warfare
  • Army led by commanders all devoted to Alexander
  • Persian king Darius, lead by force and was a despot
  • Once Alexander defeated the Persian foot soldiers, the others lost their will to fight
  • Battle of Gaugamela on 1 October 331 BCEwas the final defeat of the Persians
eastward ho
Eastward ho
  • Alexander was not satisfied with taking over the Persian empire, so he forced his army against several other empires, and ended up in India
  • Wanted to reach the Indian Ocean, but realized he needed to be able to govern this huge empire
  • Tried to make the Greek culture and language a unifying force
  • Respected the customs and laws of the peoples he conquered
  • Unfortunately, Alexander died of an illness before his 33rd birthday (323 BCE)
legends about alexander the great
Legends About Alexander the Great
  • Many legends about Alexander the Great, including a few about his birth and about his solving of the Gordian knot
    • Extraordinary events occurred on the day of Alexander’s birth that foretold his greatness
    • Was told whoever could unravel the Gordian knot would rule the world cut through the knot with his sword
  • Legends usually have an element of truth
the hellenistic age
The Hellenistic Age
  • Death of Alexander separates the Classical Age (480-323 BCE) from the Hellenistic Age (323-31 BCE)
  • Greek culture became the common culture through the Near East
  • Teachers, soldiers, craftsmen, artists, writers, and merchants went to the newly conquered lands to find fame and fortune
  • Alexander founded over 70 cities
  • Greek became the language of the educated class and Greek literature and arts were the epitome of perfection
division of alexander s empire
Division of Alexander’s Empire
  • Divided by three generals into three kingdoms
    • Seleucus took over Asiatic part of empire Seleucid dynasty
    • Ptolemy took over Africa (Egypt and Libya)  Ptolemaic dynasty – last one being Cleopatra
    • Antigonus took European portion, including Greece and Macedonia Antigonid dynasty
    • Smaller kingdoms like Pergamon and Rhodes were involved in feuds and were eventually taken over by Rome in 31 BCE
    • Macedonia became a Roman province in 148 BCE
city states
  • Was stability in the city-states
  • Maintained independence in their internal affairs
  • Democracy still the method of government
  • Wealthier citizens gained more power and the average citizen lost interest in participating in government
  • Two leagues were formed – Aetolian and Achaean – to counter the influence of great powers
    • Were no match for Rome, however
citizens slaves and foreigners
Citizens, Slaves, and Foreigners
  • In census of Athens in 317 BCE, Demetrius of Phaleron, governor found
    • 21 000 citizens (men only)
    • 10 000 metics (foreigners)
    • 400 000 slaves
      • Due to large number of people captured during Alexander the Great’s campaigns
      • Slave dealers also rescuing abandoned babies
  • Only men could be citizens
  • Women couldn’t vote, hold office, or own property, but had protection within the family
  • Metics had to pay taxes and contribute to the city, but could not vote, hold office, or own land
  • Slaves had no rights
    • Not a crime to abuse or kill a slave
    • Could gain their freedom from their masters
greek philosophers1
Greek Philosophers

Philosophers – “lovers of wisdom”

Sophists – “workers of wisdom”

– Teachers

phileo = love

sophia = wisdom

If sophia = wisdom and moron = fool, then a sophomore is a “wise fool.”

thales of miletus 636 546 b c
Thales of Miletus636-546 B.C.
  • Earliest known philosopher
  • Studied Egyptian and Babylonian astronomy and mathematics
  • Believed that the universe was controlled by fixed laws
  • Basic element – water.
  • Got rich with olive presses!
the three most famous philosophers
The Three Most Famous Philosophers

Socrates Plato Aristotle

socrates 469 399 b c
Socrates469 - 399 B.C.
  • Critic of the Sophists
  • Encouraged students to think
  • Left no writings – skeptical
  • Dialectic method
      • Conversational
      • Based upon reason and logic
  • Popular among the youth
  • a “gadfly” in Athens
  • Placed on trial for impiety and corrupting the youth
  • Was executed in 399 – drank poison hemlock
socrates 469 399 b c1
Socrates469 - 399 B.C.

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” - Socrates -

socrates 469 399 b c2
Socrates469 - 399 B.C.

Socratic Method:

  • Admit ignorance.
  • Never rely on tradition.
  • Continuously question.
  • Formulate your own opinions.
  • Test your opinions with others.
socrates 469 399 b c3
Socrates469 - 399 B.C.
  • Socrates’ dialectic method was a departure from earlier philosophers.
  • Earlier philosophers were interested in the nature of the universe and basic elements.
  • Socrates’ approach was more rigorous and was the forerunner of logic.
  • Most famous student: Plato
socrates 469 399 b c4
Socrates469 - 399 B.C.

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”

plato 427 347 b c
Plato427 - 347 B.C.
  • Preserved and perpetuated the work of Socrates
  • Most important source of info on Socrates
  • Founded the Academy
  • Wrote dialogues
        • Universal Forms was a recurring theme
        • The Republic – most important dialogue

“Those things which are beautiful are also difficult.”

aristotle 384 322 b c
Aristotle384 - 322 B.C.
  • Most famous student of Plato
  • Most famous teacher of Alexander the Great
  • Developed Logic as a field of study
  • Devised a complex system of classification
        • Used in biology
  • Views on Government
aristotle 384 322 b c1
Aristotle384 - 322 B.C.
  • Views on Government
      • 3 Good Governments:
        • Monarchy
        • Aristocracy
        • Democracy
      • 3 Bad Governments:
        • Tyranny
        • Oligarchy
        • Mob Rule
aristotle 384 322 b c2
Aristotle384 - 322 B.C.
  • “All things in moderation”
  • “Man is by nature a political animal.”
art and architecture
Art and Architecture
  • First to show three dimensions on a flat surface by using different shades of colour to give the illusion of depth
  • Used foreshortening – making near objects look bigger than distant ones
  • Aimed to produce not only real-looking pictures, but ideal ones
  • Reflected the ideal – young, harmonious proportions, calm expression
  • Sculptors also concentrated on producing the ideal form
    • Often sculpted nudes
  • Greek architecture was refined by elaborating on existing styles
  • Public money was spent on non-religious buildings such as theatres, stadiums, and public buildings
  • Rich individuals used buildings to display their wealth
  • Knew how to build arches and vaults out of stone
  • Greek equivalent of hospitals found in the sanctuaries of the healing god, Asclepius
  • Usually located out of the city, near the source of clean, cool spring water
  • Used potions, ointments, healthy diets, exercise, and surgery
  • Usual cure for disease was to sleep in a special hall at the sanctuary and wait for a dream about the god to work a cure
hippocrates 460 377 b c
Hippocrates460-377 B.C.
  • Founded a school of medicine
  • Rejected that sickness comes from the gods
  • Careful observations of symptoms
      • Acute
      • Chronic
  • “Holistic” healing
      • Hygiene
      • Diet
      • Curative powers of nature
  • The Hippocratic Oath
  • Homosexuality was part of life in Ancient Greece
  • Homosexuality was out in the open
  • Many relationships between older men and young goys
  • Homosexuality a common theme in poetry
  • Finest unit in Theban Army – the Sacred Band – was composed of pairs of homosexual lovers as it was believed that they would fight harder to save their beloved
  • Female homosexuality was less common, but found in the poetry Sappho of Lesbos lesbianism
pythagoras 582 500 b c
Pythagoras582-500 B.C.
  • The universe could only be understood through numbers.
  • Sun, moon, and earth revolved around a central fire.
  • Each planet produces a tone!
  • Famous for the Pythagorean Theorem: a2 + b2 = c2
pythagoras 582 500 b c1
Pythagoras582-500 B.C.


  • Pythagorean Theorem: a2 + b2 = c2



protagoras 485 410 b c
Protagoras485 - 410 B.C.
  • Most famous of the Sophists
  • Believed that reason and knowledge should be used to achieve a comfortable, safe, and happy life.
  • Teachings to equip citizens for life in the polis:
      • Public speaking – oratory and rhetoric
      • Politics
      • Grammar – language
      • The art of being respectable
  • Plato named one of his dialogues after him.
democritus 460 360 b c
Democritus460? - 360 B.C.
  • Developed the atomic theory.
  • Taught that the universe was formed out of chaos through the joining of atoms of like shape and size.
  • Atoma = indivisible particles.
  • “the laughing philosopher”
euclid c 300 b c
Euclidc.300 B.C.
  • One of the most prominent mathematicians
  • Wrote The Elements
      • Widely used till about 1903.
      • 2nd only to the Bible in numbers of translations, publications, and study
      • Greek – Arabic – Latin
  • Said to Ptolemy: “There is No Royal Road to geometry!”
archimedes 287 212 b c
Archimedes287 - 212 B.C.
  • Greek mathematician – Geometry
  • War machines and other devices
  • Theory of buoyancy - “Eureka!”
  • Law of the lever
  • Archimedean screw
the role of women
The Role of Women
  • Very sparse evidence on the role of women
  • In Athens, women lived sheltered lives, and rarely ventured out, even to go shopping
  • Spun cloth, but didn’t sell it
  • In Athens, more than 40 priesthoods were held by women, and some festivals and rituals were led only by women
  • Women were expected to be wives and mothers, hidden in the home, unless visiting neighbours or participating in festivals, weddings, funerals, etc
women s legal rights
Women’s Legal Rights
  • Did not vote
  • Couldn’t hold office
  • Couldn’t own land
  • Exception was Sparta, where she could own land
  • Mainly through the imagination of Greek men that women made a contribution to literature and art
  • After 400 BCE, nude statues of women appeared and women were allowed to participate in important athletic competitions (not the Olympics)
daily life in classical athens
Daily Life in Classical Athens
  • Don’t worry about this section
greek religion
Greek Religion
  • Important gods lived on Mount Olympus
  • Built sanctuaries and temples for these gods
  • Gods though to have human forms and characters
  • In exchange for honouring the gods, people expected the gods’ blessings or avoid punishment.
myths and legends
Myths and Legends
  • See the other powerpoint handout on Mythology for this information
temples oracles and curses
Temples, Oracles, and Curses
  • Temples were houses for the gods and were symbols of wealth and power of the community
  • Virtually all rituals took place around altars outside the temples
  • The sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi became famous because the oracle was seen as reliable
  • The normal way to address the gods was through prayers, accompanied by gifts, but you could also cast spells and put curses on people
  • The Olympic Games were part of a five-day festival in honour of Zeus
    • Athletic contests were held on the second and fourth days of the festival, and on the afternoon of the third day
    • The first, third, and fifth days were given over to processions, sacrifices, and prayers to Zeus
religion and political life
Religion and Political Life
  • Were generally tolerant of other religions because Greek religion didn’t have rigid rules
  • But some exceptions:
    • In 414 BCE, a number of wealthy young men of Athens were tried and executed on the charge of impiety
    • Socrates was executed in 399 BCE after being found guilty of corrupting the youth of Athens and introducing new gods
    • No separation of church and state
trade and coinage
Trade and Coinage
  • Trade of any distance or in any bulk product was carried out by ship because the geography of Greece was not good for travel
  • Phoenician ships first visited Greek shores during the Dark Ages for trading purposes
  • Trading was risky, as ships were expensive, and the ships could be captured by pirates or destroyed by storms
trade and coins continued
Trade and Coins continued
  • The most common items shipped to and from Greece included
    • Grain from south Asia, Sicily, or Egypt in exchange for Greek olive oil and wine
    • Luxury goods like glass, alabaster, perfumes, and ivory from Phoenicia and Egypt in exchange for Greek silver or white marble
    • Timber and pitch for shipbuilding from the North Aegean in exchange for Greek olive oil and finished goods like pottery, furniture, jewelry, or textiles
  • Traders, along with mercenaries were the major force for spreading Greek culture abroad before the time of Alexander
  • Traders brought back new goods and ideas
  • Foreigners also came to visit and then live in Greece
  • Trade began by bartering, but this got onerous
  • People began to stamp chunks of metal as being worth a certain amount, and then government began to do so
  • First mints in the 7th century BCE in Lydia and Eastern Greek states, but the idea quickly spread.