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Warring City States
750 B.C.
• Why it matters now?
• Many political systems in today’s world
evolved in Greece.
Rule & Order in Greek
What is a Polis?
The basic political unit (city & countryside)
Who ruled them?
Monarchy- King
Aristocracy- small group of nobles
Oligarchy- ruled by few powerful men
A New Kind of Army
At first only bronze weapons
Only rich could afford them
Steel made weapons cheaper & affordable
This allowed all citizens to purchase
• Result- The Hoplite Phalanx
• It was the most powerful fighting force in
the ancient world
Spartans valued –duty , strength, & duty
“Return Victorious or on your shield”
It develops a military state
Conquered Messenians(helots) are their slaves
Two kings ruled with a council of elders
Spartan education – Rough life
Women- Public life- Ran wrestled & played
• Athens avoids civil war by developing a
• Solon Reforms the legal system, the
assembly , trade, but neglected the peasants
• Cleisthenes reforms the assembly
• He creates the Council of 500(citizens) to
balance power against the nobles
• Women –Girly life out of site.
The Persian Wars
490 B.C.- 479 B.C.
• Battle of Marathon-10,000 Greeks Vs 25,000
Persian, Phalanx destroys Persians
• 6400 dead Persians to 192 Greeks
• Pheidippides- ran from Marathon to Athens to
report the win & not give up the city
• Battle of Thermopylae- Xerxes of Persia brings an
enormous invasion force
• 300 Spartans make a stand to allow for a retreat
• Held of the entire army for 3 days before dying
• Battle of Salamis (Naval Battle)
• Surprise attack by Greeks destroys 1/3 of
Xerxes fleet
• He watches in horror from a chair on a cliff
• Battle of Plataea- Final defeat of Xerxes
• This begins the Greece Golden Age
• Write an essay- Would you rather be an
Athenian or Spartan?
• Why?