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Supporting pillars in female type hold increase the Erechtheoin porch in Athens. Courtesy MacGillivray Freeman Films

The “golden age” of greece lasted for little more than a century but it laid the structures of west civilization. The age started with the unlikely defeat of a huge Persian army by bad outnumbered Greeks and it ended with an inglorious and prolonged war between Athens and Sparta. This era is also referred to as the “Age of Pericles” ~ the Athenian statesman who directed the affairs of Athens once she to be at the elevation of her glory.

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During this duration of time significant advances to be made in a variety of fields including government, art, philosophy, drama and also literature. Several of the Greek names most familiar to us resided in this exciting and also productive time. It to be an era marked by together high and also diverse levels of achievement that many timeless scholars describe the phenomenon as “the Greek miracle”. Even those who don"t think in miracles will concede that it is feasible that the ever-competitive Greeks to be spurred ~ above to greater levels of invention in their ar by see the bar being raised in so plenty of other areas.

None the this would have actually happened there is no an encouraging environment and Athens to be at the time in ~ the “top of her game”. She citizens were supremely confident, filled with energy and also enthusiasm and also utterly convinced that their city detailed what a combined London - Paris - new York could offer today.

Military victory over the Persians, largely completed under Athenian leadership, collection the stage. The change in federal government from the reluctant hand of the aristocratic elite right into the mass of usual people additionally played vital role. More people felt that their opinions mattered than ever before.

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The theatre in Delos, where a to whisper from center stage quickly reaches the ago row. Courtesy MacGillivray Freeman Films

One the the biggest inventions of the ancient Greeks to be drama. It progressed out of spiritual ritual and also promptly showed to be both an enduring and popular creation. Greek tragedies, special historical and mythological events, to be written and directed by authors such as Aeschylus, Sophocles and also Euripides. (Many feel that just Shakespeare merits inclusion in their company.) each won plenty of prizes and an important acclaim and each added innovations to the ar of drama.

The lyric poet Pindar introduced the era and became famed in his lifetime for win odes created to celebrate athletic success. The authors of prose also flourished. Herodotus, regarded as the dad of history, wrote several illuminating publications on the Persian wars (and is still a regularly consulted source on ancient Egypt). One more war historian, Thucydides, is still admired together a lucid and evocative writer. Plato, whose writings mainly survive, is said to have actually penned the many poetical prose since the Bible.

The golden age gave united state Socrates that steered viewpoint in the direction of morals, logic and ethics. His life, and the manner of his death, had a massive impact on other significant figures the that epoch such together Plato, Aristophanes and also Xenophon.

The physician Hippocrates, the sculptor Phideas, the architects of the Parthenon, all added to one era the truly deserves come be referred to as “golden”.

What carried the golden age to one end? The long and mutually murderous war in between Athens and also Sparta, with their conflict values and aspirations? army misadventures? dreams of imperialism? probably the ideal answer lies in what the Greeks call hubris. Maybe Athens overstepped its bounds and failed to monitor the twin admonitions the Delphi- know thyself and also All things in moderation.

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Perhaps, prefer Icarus, the tried come fly also close come the sun.