Democracy and Greece’s Golden Age Notes



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Democracy and Greece’s Golden Age Notes

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  1. Pericles’ Plan for Athens

    1. Stronger Democracy

      1. Pericles was an honest and fair politician and general. Ruled Greece during most of the Golden Age

      2. Increased the number of public officials who were paid salaries. Earlier the positions were unpaid.

      3. Introduction to Direct democracy

        1. A form of democracy where the people rule directly on laws, not through representatives.

    2. Athenian Empire

      1. After the defeat of the Persians Athens made the Delian League.

        1. A lot of money was spent on building a strong army and navy for protection.

    3. Glorifying Athens

      1. Bought lots of marble, and gold

        1. Paid artists to make statues glorifying the city

  2. Glorious Art and Architecture

    1. Architecture and Sculpture

      1. The Parthenon was built on the style that had been used to create Greek temples for 200 years.

      2. Built to honor Athena, the goddess of wisdom and protector of Athens.

  3. Drama and History

    1. Tragedy and Comedy

      1. The Greeks wrote two kinds of drama–tragedy and comedy. A tragedy was a serious drama about common themes such as love, hate, war, or betrayal.

      2. A comedy contained scenes filled with slapstick situations and crude humor. Playwrights often made fun of politics and respected people and ideas of the time.

    2. History

      1. The epic poems of Homer recount stories, but are not accurate recordings of what took place.

        1. Herodotus, a Greek who lived in Athens for a time, pioneered the accurate reporting of events.

          1. His book on the Persian Wars is considered the first work of history.

        2. Thucydides believed that certain types of events and political situations recur over time.

          1. Studying those events and situations, he felt, would aid in understanding the present.

            1. The approaches Thucydides used in his work still guide historians today.

  4. Athenians and Spartans Go to War

    1. Peloponnesian War

      1. Athens had the stronger navy.

      2. Sparta had the stronger army, and its location inland meant that it could not easily be attacked by sea.

      3. Pericles' strategy was to avoid land battles with the Spartan army and wait for an opportunity to strike Sparta and its allies from the sea.

        1. Eventually, the Spartans marched into Athenian territory. They swept over the countryside, burning the Athenian food supply.

        2. Pericles responded by bringing residents from the surrounding region inside the city walls.

        3. The city was safe from hunger as long as ships could sail into port with supplies from Athenian colonies and foreign states.

    2. Sparta Gained Victory

      1. Athenians carried a huge fleet to Sicily, Sparta’s biggest trade supplier. They were destroyed.

  5. Philosophers Search for Truth

    1. Philosophers were thinking about

      1. The universe (land, sky, and sea) is put together in an orderly way, and subject to absolute and unchanging laws.

      2. How people can understand these laws through logic and reason.

    2. Socrates

      1. Believed that absolute standards did exist for truth and justice.

        1. However, he encouraged Greeks to go farther and question themselves and their moral character.

        2. Was brought to trial for corrupting children’s minds

          1. Socrates said that his teachings were good for Athens because they forced people to think about their values and actions. The jury disagreed and condemned him to death.

    3. Plato

      1. Was a student of Socrates

        1. Wrote a book called The Republic

          1. Set forth his vision of a perfectly governed society. It was not a democracy.

    4. Aristotle

      1. Questioned the nature of human belief, thought and knowledge. Taught Alexander the great.


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