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The Persian Wars
Lesson 5 Core Knowledge History and
Geography 6th grade.
The Persian Wars
The beginning of the War.
You’ve recently learned that
there were a number a city-states
on the coast of Asia Minor
(another name for the Anatolian
Peninsula, where much of Turkey
is located). About 546 B.C. These
city-states came under the control
of the Persians, who appointed
harsh tyrants to rule each citystate.
● In 499 B.C. The city-state
Miletus rebelled against Persian
● Athenians agreed to help
(Sparta refused).
● Athens victory on Sardis created momentum and everybody
wanted to join in on the REVOLT!
● Athens went back home…. what?!
● 3 years later the Persian king Darius regained control of the Greek
city states in Asia Minor.
● Persians were now angry with the Athenians.
■ dun dun dun...
● The Athenians and the Persians met on the plain at
Marathon, about 26 miles from Athens.
● The Athenians attacked even though they were badly
outnumbered and were successful.
● By the end of the battle 6,000 Persians were dead,
while only 192 Greeks had fallen.
● The Greeks ordered a messenger to run back to Athens
to deliver the news. He ran the 26 miles, gasped out his
victory announcement: “Rejoice, we conquer!” then died
of exhaustion.
In 480 B.C. (10 years later) another Persian
army was dispatched to defeat the Greeks.
With an army of more than 100,000 men as well
as 600 - 700 ships, the Persian king Xerxes was determined to conquer all
of Greece.
FINALLY… Athens and Sparta put aside their differences. (hip hip hurray!)
With these two joined together along with a few other city-states they had
about 10,000 men and 200 to 300 ships. This army was led by King
Leonidas of Sparta.
By battling in Thermopylae, about 75 miles northwest of Athens, they
delayed the battle trying to increase their chances.
Things didn’t turn out as planned… traitor/retreat, 300 valiant Spartans
died defending the pass.
● Athens was burnt to the ground after the attempt at Thermopylae.
● Persians were set to conquer all of southern Greece.
● Xerxes set out with his Navy first clashing near the island called
● The Persians had big ships but the Greeks knew the waterways.
● Persians were lured into the shallow waters where their ships were
● The Athenian navy was able to defeat the huge Persian fleet.
● Xerxes immediately left Greece and sailed home. (boo hoo)
● The next year the Spartan general Pausanias led the Greeks against
the Persians in the battle of Plataea. Pausanias won the battle and
drove the Persian army out of Greece.
The Golden Age of
Lesson 6 Core Knowledge History and
Geography Grade 6.
Rise of the Athenian Empire
The Greek’s unexpected
victory in the Persian Wars
ensured that the Greek citystates would remain free
and independent. The war
also established Athens and
Sparta as the two leading
Greek city-states.
After the Wars
● Despite working together
during the Wars Athens
and Greece Pursued
separate paths as soon
as the wars were over.
● Spartans went home to
keep an eye on the
● Athenians began
building a mighty empire.
● Delian League established
● Athens thought they were
the ones in charge.
● Money from the League
went to fund the Golden
Age of Athens.
● During this time Athens
created some of the
greatest artistic and
cultural achievements.
Pericles (PER ih kleez)
Pericles was one of the leading
citizens during the Golden Age.
He was reelected for 30 years as
one of the ten strategoi or
He eventually became the most
powerful and influential man in
His best skill was an orator
(public speaker).
○ “his words were like thunder
and lightening.”
He was also known for his hard
work and dedication.
He did not believe in wasting time
at parties and social events.
He helped the Athenian empire to
grow stronger.
He strengthened the Athenian
He supported and was a patron
of the arts.
The Parthenon
The most famous of all the
buildings built under Pericles.
A temple to Athena ~ The Greek
Goddess of wisdom.
Considered the greatest of all
Greek buildings and one of the
treasures to human culture.
The Parthenon is 230 feet long,
100 feet wide, and 60 feet tall.
More than 20,000 tons of marble
were used in the construction.
Three styles of architecture based on a
distinctive type of column.
Doric: The oldest and the simplest.
Featured a large ridged column
with a capital, or a top, shaped like
a saucer.
Ionic: Tall and slender with spiral
scroll-like curlicues on either side.
Corinthian: most ornate. The
capital on top of the column looks
like a basket with layers of leaves
in it.
Greek Drama
Over 15,000 Athenians could
gather here.
Like the Olympics, Greek drama
began as part of a religious
Performances grew from a single
actor to several and were judged
and prizes given to the best
Two kinds of drama: Comedy
and Tradegy.
Other Cultural Achievements
In addition to architecture and drama,
a number of other arts also flourished
during the Golden Age of Athens.
● Pottery that was decorated with
pictures from mythology.
● Historians who wrote history and
● Advances in Science and
The Peloponnesian War
Lesson 7 Core Knowledge History and
Geography Grade 6
Athens vs Sparta
As Athens built its empire, Sparta
looked on with concern. The Spartans
worried that Athens was becoming
too powerful. They also resented
Athenian attempts to push Athenianstyle democracy on other Greek citystates.
Sparta joined together with its
allies and created the
Peloponnesian League.
430 B.C. relations between
Athens and the Peloponnesian
League deteriorated.
One year later the Peloponnesian
war broke out.
This war continued for more than
25 years and would eventually
put an end to the Athenian
The Peloponnesian War
Pericles was still leader of
Spartan Army was stronger but
Athenian’s had a stronger Navy.
Athenians did not fight the
Spartans on their terms.
They hid behind their walls.
The country people beyond the
walls poured into the city.
The Spartan army burnt the
crops and farm houses.
Pericles was cautious and
wouldn’t let the Athenians fight
just yet.
He figured the longer the
Spartans had to wait the fewer
supplies they would have.
During the first year of war this
strategy was successful.
The Spartans gave up and left.
On their way the Athenian Navy
attacked several cities on the
coast of Peloponnesus.
Peloponnesian War
2nd Year of War
● Began with another Spartan land
● Athenians retreated again.
● A terrible plague swept through
the Athens.
plague: a disease that sweeps through a town
or country, causing many to die.
The plague lasted for 3 years.
The war dragged on for years
with no victory on either side.
Peloponnesian War
About 415 B.C. an Athenian named
Alcibiades proposed that the
Athenians conquer the island of Sicily,
now a part of Italy but then inhabited
by Greeks. This island was on the
other side of Peloponnesus. If it was
conquered, then Athens could renew
its supplies, attack Sparta from both
sides, and defeat their archrivals.
● Not all Athenians were in favor of
this and did not trust him, but
there were enough that were so
they invaded.
The attack on Sicily ended
tragically. Lives were lost and
many Athenians were made
Alcibiades fled to Sparta and told
them Athen’s plans.
Spartans took the information but
didn’t trust him. He fled to
Persia… they didn’t trust him
Booo Alcibiades!
Peloponnesian War
The defeat in Sicily weakened
the Athenian army and navy.
Spartans built a big navy.
Persians became the Spartans
Spartan had a naval victory
cutting off Athens supply of
In 404 B.C. Athens surrendered.
The Spartans and their allies won
the Peloponnesian war.
Athenians had to tear down their
No more democracy ~ ruled by
30 nobles.
These nobles were corrupt and
cruel. Athenians rebelled and in
403 B.C. the kings of Sparta
decided that as long as Athens
was peaceful they would leave
them alone.
Greek Philosophy and
Lesson 8 Core Knowledge History and
Geography Grade 6
Philosophy and Adversity
People often grow more philosophical
during times of adversity. When life is
good, it is easy to ignore large
questions about the meaning of life.
But when times are tough, these
questions seem to thrust themselves
upon us with increased urgency.
Why? Where? How?
These questions were answered:
“because of the Gods!”
By the 6th century B.C. some
people were no longer satisfied
with that answer.
Philosophy: love of wisdom.
Philosopher: Lover of wisdom
who used reason to acquire this
One of the most famous Greek philosphers.
469 - 399 B.C.
Fought in the Peloponnesian war as a young
Socrates wrote nothing down. His student,
Plato, wrote down what we know about
Interested in where the world came from and
what it might be made of. How are humans to
One of the first to study ethics.
ethics: the branch of philosophy that studies what it means to
live a good, moral life.
Socrates talked with other
athenians and made his
philosophies more personal.
He tried to get the Athenians to
examine their life.
○ “the unexamined life is not
worth living.”
Asked questions instead of giving
answers then would point out the
contradictions between their
answers and the way they were
The Socratic Method.
The question asking method is still
widely used today.
He insisted that he never taught
anyone anything.
Conversations always based on
two principles:
○ Don’t ever do anything
○ If you understood right and
good you couldn’t possibly
choose the wrong thing.
Death of Socrates
By a count of 280 to 221 Socrates was sentenced
to death.
While imprisoned people wanted to help him
escape. He argued, “one must obey the
commands of one’s city and country, or persuade
it as to the nature of justice.”
Socrates was executed by drinking a poisoned
drink called hemlock.
Today Socrates is remembered for the Socratic
Method and for his commitment to seeking the
It wasn’t enough to seek goodness, he wanted
people to live right every day.
Plato and Aristotle
Lesson 9 Core Knowledge History and
Geography Grade 6
427 - 347 B.C.
Like Socrates Plato was born in Athens and spent his
life as a philosopher who sought truth.
He was a brilliant writer.
Plato fled Athens after Socrates was executed in 399
He returned in 387 B.C. and opened up an Academy.
This school lasted for more than 900 years. It was
eventually closed by a Roman emperor because it did
not teach Christianity.
The Dialogues
● Plato’s way of allowing his
readers to imagine that they were
part of a philosophical
conversation with Socrates.
● He encouraged people to think
about their own opinions and
ideas and showed them that they
could use reason to discover
Before people could study with
Plato they had to master
Plato believed that math led to
abstract truth.
Philosophy, for Plato, was to
identify the perfect forms that life
really has in its ideal state.
Mathematics + Philosophy = an
understanding of what things
really are.
He did not believe in democracy.
He felt like it gave power to
people who did not understand
Plato believed that the right kind
of education would teach people
how to control themselves, to act
for the good of others, and to be
less selfish.
384 B.C. - 322 B.C.
Plato’s student for 20 years.
Aristotle’s father was a doctor and taught him to
observe the world around him carefully.
Plato and Aristotle did not always agree and
argued from time to time.
Collected and examined insects, animals, and
From his years of observation he learned that there
is more than one way to explain things.
Aristotle didn’t know it, but by
collecting facts, analyzing them,
and coming up with theories
about his observations, he was
developing the basics of scientific
He led philosophy down the path
that would eventually lead to
modern science.
Wrote about what it meant to
lead a good and just life.
"It is possible to feel fear, confidence,
desire, anger, pity -- but feel those
emotions at the right times, on the
right occasions, and toward the right
people in the right ways is the best
Alexander and the
Hellenistic Period
Lesson 10 Core Knowledge History and
Geography Grade 6
Alexander the Great
During Aristotle’s lifetime, a king
named Alexander rose to great
prominence. Some say he was the
greatest general who ever lived. He
certainly accomplished a great deal
during his brief lifetime, and changed
the Mediterranean world forever.
Alexander the Great
Reasons he was called Alexander the
Great. He:
● Conquered more land than
anyone else had ever done.
● Collected more wealth than
anyone before him.
● Ruled more people than any
previous king.
A student of Aristotle
Son of King Philip II,
King of Macedonia
Alexander became king at the
age of 20 when his father was
He was strong, handsome, and
extremely intelligent. *a triple
Despite all those fine qualities his
greatest attribute was his
Alexander and the Persian Empire
After King Philip's death
Alexander decided to attack the
Greek’s old enemies, the
He wanted to have a few small
victories to have supplies on
hand and to prove his strength
and bravery.
He then attacked Asia Minor with
such a fierce battle the Persian
king, Darius III fled which
enabled Alexander to march
south seizing towns along the
coast of the Mediterranean Sea.
Alexander and the Persian Empire
The Persian emperor asked
Alexander for peace.
He saw no reason even
with the emperor’s promises
to accept the offer.
Alexander wanted ALL of
the Persian Empire.
It took only 11 years to
establish his empire.
Alexander faces the Nobles
The Persian nobles thought
Darius III was weak and
murdered him.
They wanted to take on
The Persian Nobles thought they
were just as brave and strong as
Battle upon battle they continued
to fight him.
In the end, Alexander won.
He had now conquered the most
powerful empire of its time.
Alexander Wanted the World!
Alexander’s army decided they had
enough after winning a difficult battle in
The Indian army had over 5,000 attack
elephants that they would have to
defeat… they would eventually learn to
sidestep and kill, but Alexander’s army
was tired.
He eventually conquered what was
then virtually known as the world in
327 B.C.
In 323 B.C. Alexander caught a fever
and died at the age of 33.
The Hellenistic Period
323 B.C. o 30 B.C. is known as
the Hellenistic Period.
When Alexander died he left
neither an heir nor directions as
to how the empire should be
The empire was eventually
divided among the 5 of his Greek
generals who fought among
They did, however, spread the
Greek culture wherever they
During the Hellenistic Period:
● Kings made coins that looked like
Greek coins.
● Educators imitate the Greek style
of education.
● Philosophers pored over the
works of Plato and Aristotle.
● Artists copied Greek statues and
architects built buildings in Doric,
Ionic, and Corinthian styles.
● Learning science flourished.
One of the major cities of the
Hellenistic Period.
Located in Egypt, it was a model
Greek town.
King Ptolemy (TAHL uh mee)
ruled Alexandria.
This king began a library there
that would be envied by people
throughout the Mediterranean
Eventually would house over
700,000 scrolls.