2If Athenians living in 500 BC could somehow have traveled 65 years into the future, they would have been amazed by what they saw. In the city’s harbor many ships would be tied at a long dock leading straight to a huge trading area. People could buy a wide range of goods, from Egyptian papyrus to Italian cheese, with coins from Athens or Persia. Walking up the road to the city– now surrounded by walls– they would have seen grand stone temples were far simpler ones had once stood. Athens, clearly, was flourishing.
3How the Success of Athens Happened The city-states of Greece went to war against Persia. Athens created a mighty naval fleet and they joined forces with Sparta and other city-states. Together, they beat the Persians.Other city-states that were still facing the danger of Persia would pay the Athenians for the protection of their navy. This money aided the improvement of Athens.Around 460 BC, Athens had a rich culture. Some refer to this time as the “Golden Age”.
5A Walk through AthensThe religious center of Athens was the Acropolis. Yes, many city-states had acropolises, but this was THE Acropolis and much larger than the others.Atop the Acropolis, were many buildings to show the city’s wealth and power.They had a temple in the center for Athena. This temple is known as the Parthenon.The AcropolisThe Parthenon
6Activity in the AgoraWhether it was for the market or the government, shopkeepers, students, and lawyers were always heading to the agora for business.A monument served as the city’s “bulletin board” in one corner of the agora. Here, people posted messages or upcoming news or matters to be voted on.People would travel to the agora for many things: buying, selling, studying, passing through, gathering and leaving information, meetings, etc.
8Athenian GovernmentA small council of powerful citizens made all of the city’s important decisions when Athens first began.Later in time, the council’s powers had been taken over by an assembly of citizens. They voted on issues that helped shape the future of Athens.Assembly- a lawmaking body of a government.
9A Great Statesman“Our city is called a democracy because it is governed by the many, not the few…. No one, moreover, if he has it in him to do some good for the city, is barred because of poverty or humble origins.” - Pericles, an Athenian leaderPericles made sure poor and rich citizens could take part in government.Citizens not only served on the assembly, but also sat on juries.Jury- a group of citizens chosen to hear evidence and make decisions in a court of law.All citizens could be a part of the assembly and jury, which were paid positions.
10Philosophy- the search for wisdom and the right way to live. Philosophy in AthensPhilosophy- the search for wisdom and the right way to live.SocratesPlatoSocrates lived in the middle of the 400’s BC.He taught his students philosophy.They talked about what makes the best kind of government or citizen.He began questioning Athenian values, which upset the Athenians.He was “urging Athens’ young people to revolt”, so the Athenian jury decided to have him sentenced to death.Plato was one of Socrates’ students.He wrote down all of Socrates’ teachings.Plato would one day become a famous philosopher.
14War & ConflictSparta and other Greek city-states became jealous of the power and wealth during Athens’ Golden Age, so it did not last.The jealous city-states formed the Peloponnesian League.This caused the Peloponnesian Wars.Peloponnesian Wars- A war fought between Athens and Sparta in the 400 BC.
15Battles on Land and SeaThe war began with an attack on Athens from the Spartans.The Spartan army was much stronger than the Athenian army, so Pericles had all Athenians move inside the city walls, which protected the city.The Athenians’ farmland was destroyed by the Spartan military. Luckily, they controlled the Aegean Sea, which allowed them to receive grain from other areas.Because the Athenians’ had a navy, they won most of the battles at sea, while the Spartanswon most of the battles on land.During the war, a terrible diseaseswept through Athens killing 1/3 ofits population– Pericles included Yet, the war continued.
16“War is a violent teacher.” -Thucydides A Final BlowIn 404 BC, Sparta cut off the Athenian grain supply from the Black Sea.This caused the Athenians to starve, which resulted in them surrendering.All of Greece suffered many losses from the Peloponnesian Wars.“War is a violent teacher.” -Thucydides
17The End of a Golden AgeAfter the Peloponnesian War, Sparta was the leading polis in Greece. Yet, their victory was short lived.No city-state was able to maintain control for long over the next 50 years, due to others challenging it.These unsettled times would leave Greece open to threats from a new power to the North.
18Main IdeasIn the 400s BC, during their “Golden Age”, Athenians discussed philosophy, wrote plays, and built many grand buildings.Though democracy was still limited to male citizens, Pericles worked to give poorer citizens a voice in Athenian government.The Peloponnesian Wars ended the “Golden Age” of Athens. Afterward no single polis dominated Greece.