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SS.6.G.4.1 The Golden Age of Athens. Athens’ Golden Age  From about 479-431 B.C.E., Athens experienced a period of great peace and wealth.  The threat.

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Presentation on theme: "SS.6.G.4.1 The Golden Age of Athens. Athens’ Golden Age  From about 479-431 B.C.E., Athens experienced a period of great peace and wealth.  The threat."— Presentation transcript:

1 SS.6.G.4.1 The Golden Age of Athens

2 Athens’ Golden Age  From about B.C.E., Athens experienced a period of great peace and wealth.  The threat from Persia was over, and Athens became the artistic and cultural center of Greece.  Educated citizens would help to create new advances in architecture, sculpture, drama, philosophy, and sports.

3 A City of Contrasts  Even though the public places in Athens were beautiful and impressive, the people of Athens lived in small, uncomfortable houses that lined narrow streets.  People threw their garbage into the streets, so neighborhoods often smelled bad.  Even the homes of the rich were plain and often uncomfortable.

4 The Pride of Athens  To the Athenians, city life was much more important than private life, so their public places were the real pride of the city.  On the acropolis, the hill above the city, the Athenians built magnificent temples which were believed to serve as homes for the gods and goddesses.  The most famous temple was the Parthenon, built to honor Athena.

5 The Temple at Delphi  Another famous temple was located in Delphi and dedicated to the god Apollo.  Here, people could ask Apollo questions through a priestess called the oracle.  To answer a question, she would go into a trance, and the words she spoke were thought to come from Apollo himself.

6 Architecture  Temples were built with rows of tall columns.  The Greeks used 3 kinds of columns.  Doric: the simplest, no base, slimmer toward the top  Ionic: thinner, sat on a base, spirals carved into the top  Corinthian: most complex, usually had carvings of leaves at the top

7 Sculpture  Creating lifelike statues was one of the greatest achievements of Greek sculptors.  Figures held natural poses with much more detailed muscles, hair, and clothing than in earlier Greek or Egyptian sculptures.  Greek sculptures were colorful with bronze, wax, or bright paint used to accent hair, lips, and clothes.  The colors on surviving statues, of course, have faded.

8 Drama  Going to the theater was a regular part of Athenian life.  Plays were staged in open-air theaters built into the side of a hill.  The theater was shaped like a bowl, and seats rose in a semicircle around the stage at the bottom so everyone could hear and see.  The Athenians even had contests for best playwrights and actors, although only men were allowed to perform on stage.

9 Philosophy  The ancient Athenians loved to talk and argue, especially about things they couldn’t see such as the meaning of life, justice, truth, and beauty.  They called this kind of thinking philosophy, which means “the love of wisdom.”

10 Socrates  One of the greatest philosophers in Athens was Socrates who always encouraged people to question the things they thought they knew.  He taught others by asking them questions that forced them to think about their beliefs.  Socrates once said he was the wisest man in Greece because he knew that he did not know anything!

11 Trouble for Socrates  Many disagreed with Socrates’ methods saying he led young people to disobey their elders by questioning their beliefs.  In 399 B.C.E., Socrates stood trial and was found guilty of crimes against Athens.  Although his friends urged him to escape, Socrates said he would honor the law and drank the poison hemlock.  His message continued, though, with his most famous student, Plato, who would later teach another great philosopher, Aristotle.

12 Athens…Athletes…Get it??  The Greeks’ interest in philosophy shows how much they valued the mind, but their love of sports shows that they also prized a healthy body.  The Greeks often held athletic events to honor gods and goddesses.  To Athenians, the most important of these competitions was the Panathenaea which honored Athena.  The most famous throughout Greece, though, were the Olympics, a set of games played every 4 years at Olympia to honor Zeus.  These games were so important, the Greeks would call a truce from all wars so that athletes could travel safely to the games.


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