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Section 3: Democracy and
Greece’s Golden Age
I. Greece’s Golden Age
– 50 year period (477-431BC) when
Athens experienced a growth in
intellectual and artistic learning
– art, science, literature all reached new
heights during this time
A. Pericles’ Plan for Athens
– Wise statesmen named Pericles led
Athens during much of its golden age
– Well respected Athenian army general
– Had three goals:
1. strengthen Athenian democracy
2. hold and strengthen the empire
3. Glorify Athens
1. Stronger Democracy
–Hired more political officials
–Had more citizens engaged in gov’t than
any other city state in Greece
–One of the most democratic gov’ts in
–Introduced a direct democracy—form
of gov’t in which citizens rule directly
and not through representatives
2. Stronger Athenian Empire
– After the Persian Wars, Pericles helps
form the Delian League.
– Athens took control of Delian League
– Pericles used Delian treasury to make
Athens’ navy strongest in Mediterranean
– Some city states resisted Athens- Sparta
especially resisted
3. Glorifying Athens
– Pericles also used money from the Delian
league to beautify Athens- bought gold,
ivory, and marble
– Pericles’ ultimate goal was to have the
greatest artists/architects create
magnificent sculptors and buildings to
glorify Athens.
A. Glorious Art and Architecture
– Greatest project was the Parthenon- a
large temple to honor the goddess Athena
– In the middle of the temple is a giant
statue of Athena (39 ft. tall)
Athena in the Parthenon
RP- Building
the Parthenon
clip- 6min
C. Architecture and Sculpture
– Greek sculptors created sculptures that
were graceful, strong, perfectly formedshowed values of harmony, order,
balance, proportion
– became known as classical art
Classical Greek Sculpture
The Discus
Winged Victory
II. Drama and History
A. Tragedy and Comedy
– Greeks invented drama as an art form
– Wrote 2 kinds of drama—tragedy/comedy
– Tragedy—tells story of heroes’ downfall;
includes themes of love, hate, and war
– Comedy—makes fun of politics and
respected ppl; slapstick humor
– Dramatist include Sophocles, Euripides, and
B. History
–Accurate history recorded and studied
by Herodotus and Thucydides
–Herodotus’ book on the Persian Wars is
considered the first work of history
–Thought events reoccur over time and
by studying history one could
understand the present
III. Athenians and Spartans Go to War
– As Athens grew wealthier/stronger, other
city states view it w/ hostility- esp. Sparta
– Both want war instead of trying to avoid it
– 431 BC - War finally started b/w Athens &
Sparta= Peloponnesian War
A. Peloponnesian War
– Sparta- better army, Athens- better navy
– Athens not able to attack Sparta from the
sea b/c it is too far inland
– Sparta attacks- burns all of Athens’ crops
– Pericles brings all Athenians inside city
walls for protection
– Everything ok until Plague swept through
Athens killing 1/3 of the pop, w/ Pericles
– After several years of fighting, Sparta and
Athens sign a truce
B. Sparta Gains Victory
–peace does not last long
–Athens attacks but is defeated
–They fight for another 9 years but
Athens eventually surrenders
–The Golden Age of Athens is over
IV. Philosophers Search for Truth
– after war many lose faith in democracy
– philosophers, “lovers of wisdom” seek
– These Greek thinkers based their search
for truth on 2 principles
1. the universe is put together in an
organized way and is controlled by
unchanging laws of nature
2. ppl can understand these laws
through logic and reason
A. Important Philosophers
Socrates- taught that ppl should
examine their lives and question their
beliefs and their character
Plato- student of Socrates, wrote The
Republic, a book describing his idea of a
perfectly governed society
Aristotle- student of Plato, questioned
the nature of the world and of human
belief, thought and knowledge. Formed
the basis of the scientific method
These philosophers and their
teachings dominated European
society and culture for nearly 1,500
years and still have impact today.
Section 4: The Empire of
Alexander the Great
1. What was the result of the
Peloponnesian War?
– severely weakened several Greek
– caused a decline in their military and
economic power
2. Where is Macedonia in relation to Greece
and what is the land like?
– a nearby kingdom to the north of
– rough terrain and cold climate,
mountainous ppl
3. How did the Macedonians view themselves
and how did the Greeks view the
– Macedonians thought of themselves as
– Greeks thought they were uncivilized
4. Who is Philip II?
– 23 year old King of Macedonia
– Brilliant general, ruthless politician
5. Describe how Philip II organizes his army?
– made them a well-trained, professional
– made them phalanxes 16x16, each
armed with an 18ft. spear
– used the phalanx to break though enemy
lines, then cavalry would crush the
divided pieces
6. Describe the conquest of Greece.
– the Greeks tried to unite against Philip of
Macedonia but couldn’t agree
– Thebes and Athens did unite but were
– Greek independence was over though they
did retain control of local affairs
7. Why was Philip unable to invade Persia?
– He was stabbed to death at his
daughter’s wedding
8. Who took the throne after Philip II death?
– His son, Alexander
9. Who taught Alexander? What did he
– the Greek philosopher, Aristotle
– he studied science, geography,
10. Why did Alexander destroy Thebes? What
did other Greek city states do after Thebes
was destroyed?
– ppl rebelled so he destroyed them- killing
most and selling the survivors into slavery
– Other Greek city-states were fearful of
similar treatment and gave up any idea of
11. Where did the Persian and Macedonian
forces first meet?
– at the Granicus river in Anatolia
12. What did Darius III do after learning of the
Macedonian victory at the Granicus River?
– raised a huge army of 50-75,000 men to
face Alexander’s forces
13. What did Alexander do after he rejected
Daruis’ peace settlement?
– said he would take over all of Persia
– marched into Egypt where he was
welcomed and made pharaoh
– left Egypt and defeated Persia for good at
14. What happened to Alexander’s army after
they confronted an Indian army?
– they smashed the army and continued
marching east for 200 miles
– but his army was home sick & tired after
11 yrs of war & 11,000 miles of travel
– Alexander agreed to go home
15. What happened to Alexander’s Empire
after his death?
– his generals fought amongst themselves
for power
– three eventually gained control:
Antigonus, Ptolemy, and Seleucid
16. What cultural impact did Alexander’s
conquests have?
– a vibrant new culture emerged from a
blend of Greek and Eastern (Persian)
Alexander the Great’s Empire
Youtube- Crash Course WH Alexander the Great- start at 2:00min.
Section 5:
The Spread of Hellenistic Culture
I. Hellenistic Culture in Alexandria
– Alexander the Great combined Greek
culture w/ culture of conquered lands
– blending of Greek culture w/ Egyptian,
Persian, Indian= Hellenistic culture
– One important contribution of Hellenistic
culture was Koine Greek - the language
spoken in Hellenistic cities
– A common language allowed educated
ppl to communicate from different cities
all across Alexander’s empire
A. Trade and Cultural Diversity
– Among the many cities of the Hellenistic
world the Egyptian city of Alexandria
became the center of business and
Hellenistic culture
– Alexandria’s location on the Nile River
made it perfect for trading
– Ships from all over the Mediterranean
docked in its harbor making it an
international community
B. Alexandria’s Attractions
– A beautiful, organized city with grand
palaces and broad avenues lined with
statues of Greek gods
Alexandria continued…
– Two big attractions:
The Museum— a temple dedicated to
Muses, the Greek goddesses of arts
and sciences. The museum contained
art galleries, a zoo, botanical gardens,
and a dining hall.
The Library—had a collection of half a
million papyrus scrolls. The world’s
first research library.
The Museum
The Library
II. Science and Technology
A. Astronomy
– The Museum in Alexandria contained a
small observatory (place to study the
– Aristarchus—estimated the sun was 300
times the size of the Earth. Proposed that
Earth and other planets revolved around
the sun
– Ptolemy—incorrectly placed the earth in
the center of the universe, which was
accepted for the next 14 generations
– Eratosthenes—calculated the
circumference of the Earth b/w 28-29,000
miles ( 24,860 miles is the true distance)
B. Mathematics and Physics
– Euclid—mathematician who taught in
Alexandria and whose works are still the
basis for courses in geometry today.
– Archimedes—estimated the value of pi,
invented the pulley system
* By 150 BC the Hellenistic world was in
decline. A new city, Rome, was growing
and gaining strength