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:
Athens’ Golden Age From about 479-431 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.”
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!
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.
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.