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Greek Democracy &
Golden Age
Age of Pericles 461-429 B.C.

Pericles
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Wise
Power 32 years
Skillful Politician
Inspiring speaker
Respected general
3 Goals of Pericles’
1.
2.
3.

Strengthen Athenian Democracy
Hold & strengthen empire
Glorify Athens
How?
1. Stronger Democracy

Increase # of paid public officials

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Before only wealthy could hold office
Now everyone could
Result: most citizens engaged in government
Direct Democracy

Citizens in rule directly & not through
reprehensive
2. Athenian Empire

Enlarge:

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Wealth
Power
Strengthen navy
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Why?
200 ship navy
Location to sea
Needed trade
3. Glorifying Athens
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$ used to beautify Athens
Bought gold, ivory, & marble
Paid artisans to build from 447-432 B.C. &
created the Parthenon
Art

Parthenon
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23,000 ft²
Typical temple design
Built in honor of
Athena
Greek sculpture

Statue of Athena
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Goddess of wisdom
Athens protector
38 foot tall w/ gold &
ivory in it
Wanted statues
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Graceful
Strong
Perfectly formed
Faces showing serenity
Classical Art
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Body in motion
Order
Balance
Proportion
Drama

1st theaters built in west
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Dramatize stories
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Showed civic pride
Tribute to gods
Colorful costumes, masks, & sets
Leadership
Justice
Duties owed to gods
Paid for by wealthy citizens
Tragedy & Comedy
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Serious drama w/ themes
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Tragic hero (main)
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Love
Hate
War
Betrayal
Tragic flaw leads to
downfall
Hubris is biggest
3 main playwrights

Aeschylus: 80 plays
Sophocles: 100 plays,

Euripides
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Oedipus the King
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Slap stick
Crude humor
Satires
Aristophanes (most
famous)
Made fun of the Athenian
people & government

Meaning?
Philosophers Search for Truth
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Philosophers=“Lovers of Wisdom”
Basic principles

Universe
Land
 Sky
 Sea
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Understanding through logic & reason
1. Socrates
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Wanted people to examine themselves
Judge own morals
399 B.C. (age 70) put on trial

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Charged w/ corrupting youth
Neglecting city’s gods
2. Plato
Socrates pupil
28 when Socrates dies
385-380 B.C. wrote The Republic

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Perfect governed society
÷ into 3 Groups
1.
2.
3.


Farmers & artisans
Warriors
Ruling class
Greatest insight from ruling class was “Philosopher
King”
Dominated thought of Europe for 1,500 years
3. Aristotle
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Plato’s pupil
Created basis for scientific method today
Method of arguing according to rules of
logic
Famous pupils was Alexander
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Son of King Philip of Macedonia
343 B.C. took invitation to tutor 13 year old
prince
336 B.C. stopped when Alexander b/c king