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Greece’s Golden Age
Chapter 4
Section 4
Greek Philosophy
• After its defeat, Athens became home to
several philosophers who tried to
understand human life.
• The work of many of these Greek
philosophers are still influential today.
Socrates and The Rise of
Political Philosophy
• One of the greatest contributions of
Greece was its origination of political
• Just before and during the Pelopponnesian
War, an Athenian citizen, Socrates, began
raising questions such as, “What is
• Socrates asked these questions of his fellow
citizens, in public places.
Socratic Method
• Socrates’ mode of inquiry, asking
questions and analyzing the
answers, became known as the
Socratic Method.
• He was viewed as a threat to
Athenians settled way of life.
• He was finally put to death by Athens
for corrupting the youth.
Death of Socrates
Jacques-Louis David (1748–1825)
• Socrates’ most famous student was Plato,
who wrote the first great works of political
• His most famous work is The Republic,
• His books are written as dialogues, or
• These conversations are usually between a
character named Socrates, and other
Athenian citizens.
• Plato started a school, called The Academy.
• His most famous student was Aristotle.
• Aristotle wrote many works of philosophy, and made
the first systematic effort to collect and organize
information on a wide variety of topics.
• Considered to be the first scientist.
• His works are written as treatises, which are more
systematic, but much drier than dialogues.
• One of these is the Politics, the first systematic
treatise on politics.
Other Greek
• Along with theater and philosophy, other
things were gaining importance in studies.
Astronomy, Astrology and Medicine left
lasting effects of this great Greek society.
• Most important was the idea started by the
Athenians known as a Democracy or a
representative government.
Olympic Games
• Greece gave rise to the Olympics games
• Every 4 years, some 40,000 Greeks
crowded into the stadium built in Olympia to
watch competitions.
– Earliest games featured foot races of about 200
• Later athletes also competed in wrestling, boxing,
jumping, javelin and discus throwing events
– Allowed soldiers and athletes a way to compete
and gain glory and honor through competition.