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The Golden Age of Pericles and the
Peloponnesian War 449 – 404 BCE
Following the Persian Wars, the Greeks
were united under the leadership of
Pericles of Athens. The Greeks had
preserved their independence by uniting
against Persia, their common enemy.
To make sure that they could defend
against a future attack by Persia or any
other empire, the city states formed the
Delian League, dominated by Athens.
Your textbook talks about how Pericles of
Athens wanted to strengthen the
Empire. What empire? Athens was a
democratic city state.
Why is your textbook calling
Athens an empire?
Talk to your neighbor.
Many historians refer to Athens as an Empire
during this time period because Athens controlled
the Delian League which was made up of many
Greek city states.
Pericles is considered the “Father of
Democracy” because he expanded the
government workforce to include the
It is during Pericles’ time that Direct
Democracy was practiced by most
citizens of Athens.
The Greek city states paid Athens as members of the Delian
League. Their dues was to be used for strengthening the
Athenian navy which had been so effective in defeating
Persia during the Persian wars.
But, the Athenian assembly used much of the money to
rebuild the city of Athens. Temples, including the
Parthenon and beautiful sculptures were built using
expensive materials.
The Athenians loved art.
Sparta resented Athenian domination and
misuse of league funds. It then formed its
own league. Many of its allies broke away
from the Delian League and joined Sparta’s
league which was called the Peloponnesian
league. Its purpose was to defend Sparta
and league members against aggressors,
including other city states.
As hostilities grew, Athens enjoyed a
golden period in which art and culture
School of Athens
The dramas of Aeschylus and Sophocles became popular forms
of entertainment performed in outdoor amphitheaters. Tragedies
and comedies were regularly performed.
Sculptures and columns were built to
beautify the city of Athens.
What the acropolis probably looked like during
the golden age.
Which is which?
National Archives Building
Washington, DC
Scientists and Mathematicians made great
discoveries during this time period.
Philosophers also made great strides in their
quest for knowledge.
The philosophies of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle
became a foundation for Western thought.
Historians wrote about the Persian
and Peloponnesian Wars
Thucydides wrote about the
Peloponnesian War
The Delian and Peloponnesian Leagues began to fight
for control of the Greek world which led to the Peloponnesian
Sparta eventually won after surrounding the
Acropolis. Athenians had evacuated to the
Acropolis where a plague broke out and many
Athenians, including Pericles, died.
Effects of the Peloponnesian Wars
• Both Athens and Sparta were weakened,
which led to Macedonian conquest.
• Ended the reign of Athenian greatness.
• Corruption replaced good citizenship
– People lost faith in democracy.
• Macedonia becomes the next great
The Golden Age of Pericles and the
Peloponnesian War 449 – 404 BCE
The Delian League
What was its purpose?
Which city state dominated the league and is called an Empire by historians?
Which social class did Pericles expand government jobs to?
Delian League $$$
Athens was to spend Delian League money on __________________________
Instead, it spend it on ________________________________________.
Sparta broke away from the Delian League and formed its own league called the
___________________. Which other city states joined the Peloponnesian league?
The Peloponnesian War was fought by the Delian League (Athens) and
the Peloponnesian League (Sparta). Who won? __________________
Meanwhile, Athens is enjoying a Golden Age. What does this mean?
Art & Architecture
Math and Science
Drama: Tragedy and comedy
• Geometry
• Medicine
Columns: Draw and label
the top of three types of