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The Persian Wars
• Ionian Greeks in Asia
Minor rebelled against
Persians, Athens sent
ships to help them in
499 B.C.
• Rebel cities are
crushed; King Darius
wants to punish
Outbreak of War
• King Darius sent
messengers to Greek
demanding gifts
• Spartans and
Athenians refuse,
throw messengers
down a well and a pit
Run Pheidippides Run…
• King Darius was furious
and sent ships to attack
the city of Marathon,
which was just north of
• Greeks outnumbered 2 to
1, but won anyway
• Pheidippides ran 26.2
miles to Athens to tell
Athens, died upon
Turning Point in European History
• Darius’s son Xerxes sent an even bigger army to
conquer Greece
• Greece wins war because of three critical battles
Athenians at Marathon
Spartans at Thermopylae
Naval Battle at Salamis
The Spartans at Thermopylae
• Sparta fought until
every last man was
• Persians marched to
Athens and burned it,
but had lost far more
Postwar Athens
• Athens becomes most powerful city-state
• It organized the Delian League, an alliance
of city-states
• Used its influence to create an Athenian
The Age of Pericles
• Pericles hired the best
architects, had the
Acropolis rebuilt
• He turned Athens into the
cultural center of Greece
• By 750 B.C., the polisearly Greek city-state,
consisting of a city or
town and its surrounding
territory, became the
central focus of Greek
Greek vs. Greek
• To counter Athens, Sparta forms the
Peloponnesian League
• A 27 year war, the Peloponnesian War- the
war between Athens and Sparta, breaks
• With the help of Persia, Sparta defeats
• War ends Athenian greatness
• During the Age of Pericles, the Athenians
became deeply attached to their political
system of direct democracy
• Democracy suffers
• Both city states were extremely weakened
• In ancient Greece, at the earliest stage,
physics, mathematics, and astronomy were
included as parts of “philosophy”, which
means “the love of wisdom”.
• Socrates
• Born in Athens (469 - 399 B.C.)
• Ugly, yet mind was creative, clear,
critical, and eager
• Socrates was first interested in natural
science, including “whether the earth is
flat or not’, but he was not satisfied with
the result of his research; so he
abandoned the study of natural science
and turned to the study of human life.
“What did Socrates really know?”
• Socrates did not claim to know anything
• Socrates did not think he knew a lot.
• But, the Delphi’s Oracle, “no one is wiser
than Socrates”!
• Socrates used a teaching method that is
still known by his name. The Socratic
method uses a questions-and-answer
format. Socrates believed that all
knowledge is already present within each
• In 399 B.C., 3 Athenian citizens accused
Socrates of (1) “heresy” (or “impiety”); (2)
did not believe or observe the gods of the
polis; and (3) “corrupted the minds of the
• His ‘mission,’ which he explains in the
Apology, was to expose the ignorance of
those who thought themselves wise and to
try to convince his fellow-citizens that every
man is responsible for his own moral
attitudes. …
• Plato- considered by many to be the greatest
philosopher of western civilization. (427-347 B.C.)
• born in Athens,
• of noble birth, yet his youth witnessed the decline
and fall of Athens (in 404 B.C., Sparta defeated
Athens in the Peloponnesian War; in 399 B.C.,
the trial and execution of Socrates, his beloved
mentor/master, via “democratic” ways, [thus,
Plato preferred Spartan timarchy to Athenian
democracy (which was with ‘selfish individualism,
civic irresponsibility, diversity, disintegration,
dislike of authority, no respect for the authority,
class war and lack of cohesion, that is, all
• After the execution of Socrates in 399 B.C.,
with final disillusionment, Plato left Athens
and traveled, including to Syracuse in
southern Italy.
• In 386 B.C., Plato returned to Athens and
founded the Academy where he taught for
the rest of his life (d. 347 B.C.).
• Plato used the dialogue form of writing as
the most effective means of presenting his
philosophical ideas.
• It was not Plato’s intention to answer
specific question or to propose final and
dogmatic solutions to any of the problem
that were being discussed.
• Plato’s Republic:
• With theories of government;
• It represents what Plato regarded as the ideal
toward which actual states should strive [it is a
little bit too idealistic; in a later and considerably
longer dialogue titled, The Laws, Plato proposed a
less idealistic but more practical alternative for the
organization of state government].
Timarchy (Sparta)
Democracy (Athens)
• To Plato, “democracy was controlled by the
ignorant majority; and there was no
order/discipline. Yet, there were
political/class/power struggles, disorder, and
• Aristotle (c. 384-322 B.C.)
• Born in Stagir, Macedonia, son of a
physician, studied under Plato in his
Academy, teacher of Alexander the Great
• Works: (1) scientific: Physics, The
Generations of Animals, … ; (2)
philosophical/political: Ethics, Politics,
• Aristotle was praised for his contributions in
natural science, such as biology, zoology, … by
his approach of classification and observation in
experiments (contrary to Plato, his teacher)
• On ethics, Aristotle believed in “the golden
means” (between the extremes) [cf. Confucian
chung yung]
• Aristotle’s master and his pupil [Plato and
Alexander the Great, respectively’ were the two
greatest men of his time, with the possible
exception of Aristotle himself. The association
between Aristotle and Alexander has naturally
excited the imagination of later ages: the future
master of the known world … makes a romantic
picture. The probable truth is that neither had
any marked effect on the other. … [Aristotle’s
main approaches and interests were opposite to
Plato’s] …
• Alexander’s achievement was to transform
the world on lines of which his tutor had
no inkling, and there is little evidence that
he shared Aristotle’s academic aspirations.
He is reported to have financial support to
Aristotle researches in biology and to have
instructed his subjects to help Aristotle
with his search for objects of scientific
interest.” (The Philosophy of Aristotle, pp.
Alexander the Great
356-323 B.C.E.
Philip Builds Macedonian Power
• Macedonia
– Macedonia—Kingdom of mountain villages
north of Greece
– King Philip II—ruler, brilliant general; dreams
of controlling Greece
– Macedonians call themselves Greek; rest of
Greece does not
• Philip’s Army
– Philip creates well-trained professional army;
plans to invade Greece
Philip Builds Macedonian Power
• Conquest of Greece
– It was easy because “more than one Greek
city felt ambivalent about fighting back.”
(Bauer, p. 579)
– Some Greek cities invited Philip to invade
– Athens asked Sparta for help against
invasion, but Sparta declined
– At the Battle of Chaeronea one thousand
Athenians were killed.
– 338 B.C. Macedonians defeat Greece
Philip Builds Macedonian Power (cont.)
• After the Battle of Chaeronea, Philip changes his
strategy and treats Athens with great respect,
releasing Athenian prisoners of war.
• As a result the Athenians then “chose to pretend
that Philip was now a friend of Athens.” (Bauer,
p. 580)
• Philip makes a speech at Corinth suggesting
Greek submission to his kingship would be good
for Greece.
• The Corinthian League is formed, led by King
Philip, with the intent of attacking the Persians.
Murder of Philip
• Philip married again, for a fifth time, a
Macedonian woman.
• His son Alexander was legitimate, but half
• This marriage gave Attalus, one of Philip’s
generals, occasion to call into question the
legitimacy of a half-Greek prince inheriting
the Macedonian throne.
Murder of Philip (cont.)
• Greek historian Diodorus tells us that Philip was killed by
his ex-lover Pausonius (who was one of his guards)
because Philip rejected him.
• Some suspect, however, that Alexander was behind the
• The 2004 film Alexander directed by Oliver Stone puts
the lays the blame at the feet of Olympias, Alexander’s
mother so that her own son would become king and
there would be no full-blood Macedonian heir. The film
depicts Alexander was an innocent bystander.
• This occurs in 336 B.C.
• His son is named king of Macedonia and becomes
Alexander the Great
Alexander Defeats Persia
• Alexander’s Early Life
– Tutored by Aristotle
– Inspired by the Iliad
– Military training
– Becomes king when 20 years old
– Destroys Thebes to curb rebellion
Alexander Defeats Persia
• Invasion of Persia
– 334 B.C. Alexander invades Persia with a
quick victory at Granicus River.
– Darius III, King of Persia, assembles an army
of 50,000-75,000 men.
– Alexander defeats Persians again, forces
King of Persia to flee.
Alexander Defeats Persia
• Conquering the Persian Empire
– Alexander marches into Egypt and is crowned
Pharaoh in 332 B.C.
– At Gaugamela in Mesopotamia, Alexander defeats
the Persians again.
– Alexander captures cities of Babylon, Susa, and
– Persepolis, the Persian capitol is burned to the
– Ashes of Persepolis signal total destruction of the
Persian Empire
Alexander’s Other Conquests
• Alexander in India
– Alexander fights his way across the deserts of
Central Asia to India
– Alexander conquers Indus Valley area in 326
– Reluctantly returns to Babylon and dies in 323
Alexander the Great’s Empire
Building Greek Cities in the East
A New
Trade in the Hellenistic World
Hellenistic Culture in Alexandria
• Cultural Blending
– Result of Alexander’s Policies—a new vibrant
– Hellenistic culture —Greek blended with
Egyptian, Persian, Indian culture
• Trade and Cultural Diversity
– Alexandria—Egyptian city become the center
of Hellenistic civilization
Library at Alexandria (333 B.C.E.)
Hellenistic Culture in Alexandria (cont.)
• Alexandria’s Attractions
– Lighthouse, called the Pharos, stands over
350 feet tall
– Museum contains art galleries, a zoo,
botanical gardens, dining hall
– Library holds masterpieces of ancient
literature; supports scholars
Science and Technology
• Alexandria’s Scholars
– Scholars preserve Greek and Egyptian
learning in the sciences
• Astronomy
– Astronomer Aristarchus proves sun is larger
than Earth
– Proposes planets revolve around sun; not
accepted for 14 centuries
– Eratosthenes uses geometry to calculate
Earth’s circumference
Science and Technology
• Mathematics and Physics
– Euclid—mathematician; his work Elements is
the basis for courses in geometry.
– Archimedes—scientist and mathematician
• He accurately estimated the value of pi (p).
• He explained the law of the lever.
• He invented the Archimedes screw—a pump
which raised water from one level to another.
• He invented the compound pulley for lifting objects.
Philosophy and Art
• Stoicism and Epicureanism
– Zeno founds Stoic school of philosophy which
promoted virtuous and simple lives.
– Epicurus believes people should focus on
what the senses perceive.
• Realism in Sculpture
– Colossus of Rhodes—Hellenistic bronze
sculpture over 100 feet tall.
– Sculptors move to non-classical, natural
forms; real people.
Hellenic & Hellenistic Art
The “Known” World – 3c B.C.E.
The Arts & Sciences
$ Scientists / Mathematicians:
 Aristarchus  heliocentric
 Euclid  geometry.
 Archimedes  pulley.
 Ptolemy  geocentric theory.
Ptolemaic View of the Universe
The Breakup of Alexander’s Empire
Alexander’s Legacy
• Alexander melds Greek and Persian
• He takes a Persian wife.
• Empire becomes three kingdoms
– Macedonia, Greek city-states
– Egypt
– Old Persia, also known as the Seleucid
The Incursion of Rome into the
Hellenistic World