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Ancient Greece: Wars and Contributions. Dr. East. Time Line. Clash of Super Powers: Persian Wars (546 – 449 B.C.). Athens and Sparta had a mutual enemy – Persia See pg. 132, book for good map

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clash of super powers persian wars 546 449 b c
Clash of Super Powers: Persian Wars (546 – 449 B.C.)
  • Athens and Sparta had a mutual enemy – Persia
  • See pg. 132, book for good map
  • 546 B.C. – Persians united under Darius the Great conquered Ionia (land in Western Anatolia where Greeks had long settled)
  • Athens attempted to come to their aid but were defeated
  • 490 B.C. – Persians decided to take Athens and sent ships across the Aegean Sea
battle of marathon 490 b c
Battle of Marathon (490 B.C.)
  • 25,000 Persians landed northeast of Athens on plain called Marathon
  • 10,000 Athenians matched them in battle
  • Result: Huge Persian defeat with approx. 6,000 dead before they retreated to the sea; only 200 Athenian casualties
  • Why the defeat?
  • Ans.: Greeks had better battle formations learned during land wars between city-states
    • Greek Army of Hoplites (all kinds of men), iron weapons, and a fighting form called the Phalanx destroyed the unprepared Persians
  • After their retreat to the sea, the Persians tried to sail into the harbor and conqueror from this new area. They were met by a heavily defended city. A runner named Pheidippides warned the Athenian people to ready for battle. Joined by the returning Greek Hoplites, the Persians found a heavily defended place and they again retreated. Guess how far he had to run?_________
battles of thermopylae salamis and plataea defeats of xerxes
Battles of Thermopylae, Salamis, and Plataea (Defeats of Xerxes)
  • By 480 B.C. Darius’ son, the Persian King Xerxes, tried again and sent a huge invasion force overland to invade Athens from the northwest (See map pg. 132)
  • In trying to get trough a mountain pass at Thermopylae, 7,000 Greeks, including 300 Spartans blocked his way for 3 days until he found a work around… The Spartans held off the force while the other Greeks retreated thus giving the rest of the Greeks time to reposition their forces... All Spartans died.
  • Retreating Greeks decided to evacuate Athens and fight from the sea in a narrow channel near the island of Salamis. Xerxes ships were large and unwieldy and smaller, faster Greek ships were armed with battering rams and they tore the Persian fleet apart…. 1/3 of the Persian fleet was lost in this battle
  • The Persians’ last major attack occurred in 479 B.C. on land at Plataea where the Greeks easily defeated them… after this the Persians were simply on longer an affective threat to Greece.
height of democracy the short golden age of pericles 461 429 b c
Height of Democracy: The Short, Golden Age of Pericles (461-429 B.C.)
  • After the war, Athens joined with other city-states in military league called the Delian League (in the 470s this was a league of 200 city-states)
  • Athens emerged as a clear leader with a strong ruler, Pericles
  • He strengthened democracy and tried to make Athens the undisputed imperial ruler of Greek culture
  • He rebuilt the city after it burned during the Persian Wars
    • Responsible for rebuilding the Parthenon
  • He started paying people salaries to serve in political office thus he opened up government positions to poorer men (in the past under Cleisthenes only property owning, richer men served)
  • Under Pericles, direct democracy flourished in the Council of 500
  • Unfortunately, he used monies from the Delian League to glorify Athens only… this would eventually become Athens downfall as the other city-states would rise up against it.
dissension within peloponnesian war 431 404 b c
Dissension Within: Peloponnesian War (431-404 B.C.)
  • Angered by Pericles's use of Delian monies, Sparta declared war on Athens, 431 B.C., and created a Peloponnesian League to defeat it …. See map pg. 137
  • Athens had a better navy; Sparta had a better army
  • Sparta was hard to get to by sea and land
  • Spartans burnt the Athenian hinterland (destroying the city’s food supply) and later on a plague would destroy the city from within
  • Both sides signed a temporary truce, which Athens broke in 413 B.C. when it tried to take the Spartan allied city-state of Syracuse… again the Spartan trained armies defeated the Athenians; Athens surrendered by 404 B.C.
alexander the great the hellenistic age
Alexander the Great & the Hellenistic Age
  • Wars between the city-states weakened them all, efforts toward democracy slowed, and Greek cultural advancements lagged… Athens and Sparta were ripe for the taking
  • King Phillip II of Macedonia advanced and his armies easily defeated the weakened city-states, Athens, Sparta and many others fell to him
  • By 338 B.C. King Phillip of Macedonia controlled Greece
  • He died suddenly and his son, Alexander, went on to create a huge empire that spread from Greece to Egypt, through Persia and into India
  • In a 13 year epic journey, Alexander spread Greek culture throughout the East… in so doing he spread a little of Eastern cultures into the West… thus Hellenistic culture was characterized by a blend of Greek, Egyptian, Persian, and Indian cultural traditions
  • Alexander died in 323 B.C. leaving his empire to be divided up between Greek generals
*** Movie ***
  • Discovery Channel: The Conquerors, Alexander the Great

*** Watch from 10 min. in

the contributions of greek culture
The Contributions of Greek Culture
  • Spread throughout the world by Athens and later by Alexander the Great
  • Drama, Tragedy & Comedy:
    • Tragedy – serious drama about common themes such as love,hate, war, or betrayal
      • Hero usually has a tragic flaw… like pride or being blinded by love
    • Aeschylus, writer, 80 plays, most famous tragedy was Oresteia, stories of Agamemnon, the Mycenaean King of Troy
    • Sophocles, writer, over 100 plays, author of tragedies like, Oedipus the King and Antigone
  • Poetry: Homer’s Iliad & Odyssey, epics, narrative poems describing heroic deeds, actions of Gods, and in the Iliad, the Trojan War
  • History:
    • Herodotus, “Father of History”, wrote first book on Persian wars that is considered to be the first historical analysis … not a poem
    • Thucydides, wrote “History of Peloponnesian War” greatest historian of classical age Greece, he felt like a better understanding of history to aid us for decisions in the present
contributions cont sculpture
Contributions Cont. – Sculpture
  • Sculpture – Phidias, sculptor that created statue of Athena in the Parthenon, Athena Parthenos

40 ft tall, … made of marble, silver and gold. On the middle of her helmet is placed a likeness of the Sphinx ... and on either side of the helmet are griffins in relief. ... The statue of Athena is upright, with a tunic reaching to the feet, and on her breast the head of Medusa is worked in ivory. She holds a statue of Victory (Nike) about four cubits high, and in the other hand a spear; at her feet lies a shield and near the spear is a serpent. This serpent would be Erichthonius. On the pedestal is the birth of Pandora in relief.[5] - Wikipedia

contributions cont science
Contributions Cont. – Science
  • Many Greek Scientists’ work emerged from Alexandria – the Center of Hellenistic Greece
  • Archimedes –
    • accurately estimated Pi, ratio of a circumference of a circle to a diameter
    • Ideas about levers
  • Hippocrates – medicine, Hippocratic Oath “never do harm”
    • Hippocrates and other Greek doctors believed that the work done by a doctor should be kept separate from the work done by a priest. They believed that observation of a patient was a vital aspect of medical care. Ancient Greek doctors did examine their patients but Hippocrates wanted a more systematic period of observation and the recording of what was observed. Today, we would call this ‘clinical observation’. Such ideas have lead to Hippocrates being called the ‘Father of Medicine’.
contributions cont mathematics
Contributions Cont. -- Mathematics
  • Euclid – geometry, author of Elements, with 465 proofs, it is still the basis for modern geometry courses
  • Pythagoras – founder of a mathematical school that adopted Chinese, Arabic, and Egyptian ideas about triangle math during Hellenistic age … theory known as Pythagorean theorem associated with this school …
    • The square of right triangle’s hypotenuse equals the sum of the squared lengths of the two remaining sides.