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Aim: Should the AP Board give more recognition to the Golden Age of Athens?


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Title: Aim: Should the AP Board give more recognition to the Golden Age of Athens?

Aim Should the AP Board give more recognition to
the Golden Age of Athens?
Do Now What do you think Socrates meant by the
following quote? Do you agree? Why or why not?
The unexamined life is not worth living.
NY State Standards 2, 3 Common Core RS 7, 9
I Pericles and the Athenian Golden Age
  1. Recall that in 479 BCE Athens with the help of
    Sparta, won the Persian Wars. Athens emerged as
    the most powerful polis (Greek city-state) in
    Greece, and became head of the Delian League.
  2. Pericles, one of Athens leading generals, used
    the money from the Delian League treasury to fund
    beautiful structures on the citys hilltop
    Acropolis the Temple of Athena Nike, the
    Erechtheum , and the towering Parthenon. He
    subsidized theater admission for poorer citizens
    and enabled civic participation by paying
    citizens to perform jury duty. The playwright
    Sophocles was among his friends.

II The Greek Philosophers
  • A) Philosophers are lovers of wisdom. They ask
    questions about humanity, reality, and existence.
    They then try to answer these questions with
    logic and reason.
  • B) Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle were the most
    influential Greek philosophers.

Greek Philosophers Continued
  • Socrates 470 399 BCE
  • a) Born in Athens, he lived during the time of
    Pericles and fought in the Peloponnesian War. In
    his 40s, he began to ask questions such as What
    is wisdom?. He lead open discussions to try and
    answer these difficult questions. Through these
    open discussions, Socrates developed the Socratic
    Method you teach by asking questions, and having
    the students find the answer themselves. He soon
    had a following of young men, including his most
    famous student Plato. Socrates never wrote down
    his own dialogues. Thankfully, Plato did.
  • b) Socrates was deeply interested in
    understanding the limits of human knowledge. When
    he was told that the Delphic oracle had declared
    that he was the wisest man in Athens, Socrates
    balked until he realized that, although he knew
    nothing, he was (unlike his fellow citizens)
    keenly aware of his own ignorance.

Socrates Continued
  • c) Socrates strongly disagreed with the Sophists.
    The Sophists charged money for their teaching,
    and believed that all beliefs are equally true
    therefore, you can argue anything. Socrates never
    charged money for his teachings, and he believed
    that TRUTH does exist therefore, not all
    arguments are correct.
  • d) In 403 BCE the Athenian government ordered
    Socrates to participate in the execution of Leon
    of Salamis, but Socartes refused an act of civil
    disobedience that Martin Luther King would cite
    in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail. In 399
    BCE Socrates was indicted for failing to honor
    the Athenian gods and for corrupting the youth.
    Plato recounts Socrates mounting a defense of his
    virtue before the jury but calmly accepting their
    verdict. His execution was delayed for 30 days
    due to a religious festival, during which the
    Socrates friends tried unsuccessfully to
    convince him to escape from Athens. Socrates
    drank the cup of hemlock his executioner handed
    him, and waited for the poison to reach his

Greek Philosophers Continued
  • c) 399 BCE Socrates was arrested for corrupting
    the youth of Athens. He had a trial in front of
    501 jurors. He refused to defend himself, and was
    found guilty. Many historians believe he had the
    opportunity to flee (and remain forever in
    exile). However, Socrates remained in Athens, and
    carried out his own sentence by drinking poison

Why do you think that Socrates was willing to
die, rather than to flee Athens?
Greek Philosophers Continued
  • 2. Plato 427 347 BCE
  • Recall that Plato was the most famous student of
    Socrates, and wrote down the dialogues of his
  • Plato believed in a higher reality than the
    world in which we live in. He believed that ideas
    are always more ideal than physical objects.
  • - The ideal form of a man is his soul, not his
  • c) Plato wrote The Republic in it he described
    his ideal society, ruled by philosopher-kings
    (the most intelligent of the population).
  • d) Plato founded The Academy, a school for the
    study of philosophy. It also was the first known
    university in human history!

Greek Philosophers Continued
  • e) One of Platos most important dialogues was
    the Allegory of the Cave. The Allegory of the
    Cave can be found in Book VII of Plato's
    best-known work, The Republic, a dialogue on the
    nature of justice. The Republic is dedicated
    toward a discussion of the education required of
    a Philosopher-King. An allegory is a story, poem,
    or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a
    deeper meaning.
  • Socrates And now, I said, let me show in a
    figure how far our nature is enlightened or
    unenlightened --Behold! human beings living in a
    underground cave, which has a mouth open towards
    the light and reaching all along the cave here
    they have been from their childhood, and have
    their legs and necks chained so that they cannot
    move, and can only see before them, being
    prevented by the chains from turning round their
    heads. Above and behind them a fire is blazing at
    a distance, and between the fire and the
    prisoners there is a raised way and you will
    see, if you look, a low wall built along the way,
    like the screen which marionette players have in
    front of them, over which they show the puppets.

Platos Allegory of the Cave Continued
  • Glaucon I see.
  • Socrates And do you see, I said, men passing
    along the wall carrying all sorts of vessels, and
    statues and figures of animals made of wood and
    stone and various materials, which appear over
    the wall? Some of them are talking, others
  • Glaucon You have shown me a strange image, and
    they are strange prisoners.
  • Socrates Like ourselves, I replied and they
    see only their own shadows, or the shadows of one
    another, which the fire throws on the opposite
    wall of the cave?
  • Glaucon True, he said how could they see
    anything but the shadows if they were never
    allowed to move their heads?
  • Socrates And of the objects which are being
    carried in like manner they would only see the
  • Glaucon Yes, he said.

Platos Allegory of the Cave Continued
  • Socrates And if they were able to converse with
    one another, would they not suppose that they
    were naming what was actually before them?
  • Glaucon Very true.
  • Socrates And suppose further that the prison
    had an echo which came from the other side, would
    they not be sure to fancy when one of the
    passers-by spoke that the voice which they heard
    came from the passing shadow?
  • Glaucon No question, he replied.
  • Socrates To them, I said, the truth would be
    literally nothing but the shadows of the images.
  • Glaucon That is certain.
  • Socrates And now look again, and see what will
    naturally follow if the prisoners are released
    and disabused of their error. At first, when any
    of them is liberated and compelled suddenly to
    stand up and turn his neck round and walk and
    look towards the light, he will suffer sharp
    pains the glare will distress him, and he will
    be unable to see the realities of which in his
    former state he had seen the shadows and then
    conceive some one saying to him, that what he saw
    before was an illusion, but that now, when he is
    approaching nearer to being and his eye is turned
    towards more real existence, he has a clearer
    vision, -what will be his reply? And you may
    further imagine that his instructor is pointing
    to the objects as they pass and requiring him to

Platos Allegory of the Cave Continued
  • them, -will he not be perplexed? Will he not
    fancy that the shadows which he formerly saw are
    truer than the objects which are now shown to
  • Glaucon Far truer.
  • Socrates And if he is compelled to look
    straight at the light, will he not have a pain in
    his eyes which will make him turn away to take
    and take in the objects of vision which he can
    see, and which he will conceive to be in reality
    clearer than the things which are now being shown
    to him?
  • Glaucon True, he now.
  • Socrates And suppose once more, that he is
    reluctantly dragged up a steep and rugged ascent,
    and held fast until he 's forced into the
    presence of the sun himself, is he not likely to
    be pained and irritated? When he approaches the
    light his eyes will be dazzled, and he will not
    be able to see anything at all of what are now
    called realities.
  • Glaucon Not all in a moment, he said.
  • Socrates He will require to grow accustomed to
    the sight of the upper world. And first he will
    see the shadows best, next the reflections of men
    and other objects in the water, and then the
    objects themselves then he will gaze upon the
    light of the moon and the stars and the spangled
    heaven and he will see the sky and the stars by
    night better than the sun or the light of the sun
    by day?

Platos Allegory of the Cave Continued
  • Glaucon Certainly.
  • Socrates Last of he will be able to see the
    sun, and not mere reflections of him in the
    water, but he will see him in his own proper
    place, and not in another and he will
    contemplate him as he is.
  • Glaucon Certainly.
  • Socrates He will then proceed to argue that
    this is he who gives the season and the years,
    and is the guardian of all that is in the visible
    world, and in a certain way the cause of all
    things which he and his fellows have been
    accustomed to behold?
  • Glaucon Clearly, he said, he would first see
    the sun and then reason about him.
  • Socrates And when he remembered his old
    habitation, and the wisdom of the cave and his
    fellow-prisoners, do you not suppose that he
    would felicitate himself on the change, and pity
  • Glaucon Certainly, he would.
  • Socrates And if they were in the habit of
    conferring honors among themselves on those who
    were quickest to observe the passing shadows and
    to remark which of them went before, and which
    followed after, and which were together and who
    were therefore best able to draw conclusions as
    to the future, do you think that he would care
    for such honors and glories, or envy the
    possessors of them?

Platos Allegory of the Cave Continued
  • Would he not say with Homer, Better to be the
    poor servant of a poor master, and to endure
    anything, rather than think as they do and live
    after their manner?
  • Glaucon Yes, he said, I think that he would
    rather suffer anything than entertain these false
    notions and live in this miserable manner.
  • Socrates Imagine once more, I said, such an one
    coming suddenly out of the sun to be replaced in
    his old situation would he not be certain to
    have his eyes full of darkness?
  • Glaucon To be sure, he said.
  • Socrates And if there were a contest, and he
    had to compete in measuring the shadows with the
    prisoners who had never moved out of the cave,
    while his sight was still weak, and before his
    eyes had become steady (and the time which would
    be needed to acquire this new habit of sight
    might be very considerable) would he not be
    ridiculous? Men would say of him that up he went
    and down he came without his eyes and that it
    was better not even to think of ascending and if
    any one tried to loose another and lead him up to
    the light, let them only catch the offender, and
    they would put him to death.

Platos Allegory of the Cave Continued
  • Glaucon No question, he said.
  • Socrates This entire allegory, I said, you may
    now append, dear Glaucon, to the previous
    argument the prison-house is the world of sight,
    the light of the fire is the sun, and you will
    not misapprehend me if you interpret the journey
    upwards to be the ascent of the soul into the
    intellectual world according to my poor belief,
    which, at your desire, I have expressed whether
    rightly or wrongly God knows. But, whether true
    or false, my opinion is that in the world of
    knowledge the idea of good appears last of all,
    and is seen only with an effort and, when seen,
    is also inferred to be the universal author of
    all things beautiful and right, parent of light
    and of the lord of light in this visible world,
    and the immediate source of reason and truth in
    the intellectual and that this is the power upon
    which he who would act rationally, either in
    public or private life must have his eye fixed

(No Transcript)
Greek Philosophers Continued
  • 3. Aristotle 384 322 BCE
  • Aristotle was not born in Athens, but he
    attended Platos Academy in 350 BCE.
  • Aristotle was very interested in science. He
    wanted to use Socrates methods of questioning to
    understand how the world works. This is why
    Aristotle is often called the father of the
    scientific method.
  • Aristotle believed that to be moral is to follow
    the Golden Mean at one end is excess, and on the
    other end is deficiency. One should strive for
    somewhere in-between.
  • Aristotle was the tutor of a future ruler of the
    world, Alexander the Great.

III Greek Architecture
  • A) The Egyptians were the first to invent
    columns, but the idea soon spread to Greece. The
    Greeks created 3 new types of columns, which are
    still used today!

Early Egyptian columns were not free standing
the Egyptian engineers were afraid that they
would fall. The Greeks did not have that fear
Greek Architecture Continued
  • Greek Doric Columns

As seen in the Parthenon, Athens
Greek Architecture Continued
  • Greek Ionian Columns

As seen in the Apollo Temple, Didyma, Turkey
Greek Architecture Continued
  • Greek Corinthian Columns

As seen in the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Athens
Greek Architecture Continued
  • B) The Parthenon was built between 447 and 432
    BCE, on top of the Acropolis (the highest hill in
    Athens). It was a temple dedicated to Athena, the
    patron Goddess of Athens. It was made from
    limestone and marble. Inside was a statue of
    Athena. On the outside, it is decorated with
    Doric columns, as well as a frieze of statues,
    depicting a procession in honor of Athena. The
    columns are not all the same size it is an
    optical illusion! The architects wanted to show
    order and symmetry, as they believed the universe
    to be ordered.

A frieze is a broad band of sculpted decoration.
An earlier temple was destroyed by the Persians
during the Persian Wars.
Greek Architecture Continued
  • The Parthenon Interior View

Greek Architecture Continued
  • Lord Elgin of Britain stole the Elgin Marbles
    from the Parthenons frieze in the early 19th
    century. Today they are housed in the British
    Museum, and Greece is fighting to get them back!

IV Greek Art
  1. Greek Sculpture

1. Early Greek sculpture (800 500 BCE) is known
as archaic. It was similar to Egyptian sculpture
stiff, not very detailed or realistic.
Greek Art Continued
  • 2. By 460 BCE Greek sculpture became more
    detailed and realistic. (This is known as the
    Classical Period.) This was due to the belief
    that the human body is beautiful. Many sculptures
    were created to honor the gods.

Greek Art Continued
  • B) Greeks decorated vases and amophorae (a vase
    with two handles). First the potter shaped the
    the vessel on a wheel. They were then decorated
  • Painting black figures onto the red vessel.
  • Painting a black background, leaving red figures.
    This was a more difficult skill.

Vases and amphorae had a practical purpose! They
were used as storage vessels for liquids such as
yummy Greek wine.
V The Olympics
  • The Olympics began in Athens in 776 BCE. The
    games were dedicated to the Gods, and held every
    4 years until 393 CE.
  • The male athletes trained in gymnasiums.

Unlike our modern games, the male athletes had to
participate in EVERY event. Women were not
allowed to participate or to even observe, often
with the punishment of death.
VI Greek Literature and Theatre
  • A) Classical Greek literature developed out of an
    older tradition of oral storytelling. For
    centuries, literacy was rare, and oral
    storytelling was the only way to transmit
    information to large groups of people. Wandering
    poets would set histories, legends, and religious
    stories into verse. Such poems were generally set
    to music and sung, sometimes with the
    accompaniment of instruments or simple dances.
    These performances provided entertainment and
    education at the same time. Around the eighth
    century BC, Homer, a poet who lived in Asia
    Minor, began preserving these ballads and epic
    tales in writing. His most famous works were The
    Iliad and The Odyssey (about the Trojan War
    between the Mycenaeans and Troy).

Not that Homer
Greek Literature and Theatre Continued
  • B) The poems of the sixth century BCE had
    developed into something more like plays. An
    actor would take turns reciting the lines of a
    poem with a chorus, or group of dancers. Often
    the actor and the members of the chorus would
    wear masks, and the chorus would complement the
    poetry with interpretive dances. These new plays
    were generally performed at festivals honoring
    gods and goddesses, or celebrations of seasonal
    events, such as the first grain harvest or the
    summer rains. Formal competitions, where poets
    and playwrights would submit their work and vie
    for prizes, became popular. One of the most
    famous of these was held during a springtime
    festival in Athens to honor the god Dionysus (of

Greek Literature and Theatre Continued
  • C) In the early years of the fifth century,
    several distinct varieties of dramatic poetry
    began to appear tragedies and comedies. Tragic
    plays, despite the name, were not necessarily
    sad. They were dramatic, and dealt with a range
    of complex and serious topics such as psychology,
    philosophy, and morality. Comic plays, on the
    other hand, were filled with bawdy and raucous
    jokes, and were intended to provoke laughter and
    to entertain. Despite their light and humorous
    presentation, some of the better comic
    playwrights used these plays to express genuine
    and serious political and social commentary.
  • D) The comic playwright Aristophanes is today
    regarded as the best of the classic comic
    playwrights. Aristophanes plays certainly
    contain many wild and vulgar jokes, yet they also
    discuss serious concerns of his time, such as
    politics, art, and education. His work provides
    modern readers with some of the clearest images
    of the life and daily affairs of fifth-century

Greek Literature and Theatre Continued
  • E) Sophocles' tragedies are generally very
    optimistic, full of the spirit of Athens in the
    classical period. He sees men (and to some extent
    women) as powerful, rational, creative beings,
    the masters of the world around them, and the
    proud creations of the gods. Sophocles also
    remembers the terrors of war and barbarism, which
    can sometimes overcome men and women. He pleads,
    in his plays, for the triumph of reason over wild
    emotion and anger. Here is an excerpt from
    Antigone There are many wonders, and none is
    more wonderful than man he crosses the stormy,
    raging sea, sailing a path through swallowing
    waves and he digs up the Earth, the oldest,
    undying, untiring god. He turns the dirt with
    mules, as the plows go back and forth through the
    fields and the years. And the easy-going birds,
    and the gangs of savage beasts, and the salty sea
    creatures, he catches them all in nets he weaves,
    he catches them, man is so smart. And he knows
    how to catch wild animals, who wander in the
    hills man breaks shaggy wild horses, he tames
    tireless bulls and yokes their necks. And man
    taught himself to talk, and to think quicker than
    the wind blows, and all the moods that make a
    town a city. And he figured out how to flee the
    frost-arrows, when it's too cold to stay outside
    under the clear sky, and how to get out of the
    rushing rain yes, he can do anything. Nothing
    finds him hopeless, only against Death he is
    helpless but even for mysterious diseases he
    finds cures. His fertile skill is cunning beyond
    dreams of cunning it brings him sometimes to
    bad, sometimes to good.

(No Transcript)
VII Origin of Written History
  • In the 5th century BCE Herodotus the father of
    history wrote about the history of Greece,
    Egypt, and other civilizations.

In peace, sons bury their fathers. In war,
fathers bury their sons.
VIII Government
  • Do not forget Athens was the birthplace of

IX Ancient Athenian Trade
  • From the 5th century BCE, Athens port of Piraeus
    became the most important trading center in the
    Mediterranean. Goods which were traded within
    Greece between different city-states included
    cereals, wine, olives, figs, pulses, eels,
    cheese, honey, meat (especially from sheep and
    goats), perfumes, and fine pottery, especially
    Attic and Corinthian wares. Fine Greek pottery
    found as far afield as the Atlantic coast of
    Africa! Other Greek exports included wine, bronze
    work, olives and olive oil (transported, like
    wine, in amphorae), and marble from Athens and
    Naxos. The goods available at the market places
    (agorai) of major urban centers which were
    imported from outside Greece included wheat and
    slaves from Egypt, salt and grain from the Black
    Sea (especially via Byzantium), and wood
    (especially for shipbuilding) from Macedonia and

(No Transcript)
Focus Questions
  1. In your own words, describe the main beliefs
    and/or achievements of Socrates, Plato, and
  2. What is the true meaning of the Allegory of the
  3. If you were Socrates, would you have drunk the
    hemlock or would you have escaped? Explain your
  4. Which Greek philosopher do you most agree with
    and why?
  5. Describe at least 2 additional achievements of
    the Athenian Golden Age that you think are the
    most memorable and why.

Key Vocabulary
  • Allegory of the Cave
  • Amphorae
  • Archaic Greek Sculpture
  • Aristophanes
  • Aristotle
  • Classical Greek Sculpture
  • Comedies
  • Corinthian Columns
  • Delian League
  • Democracy
  • Doric Columns
  • Elgin Marbles
  • Frieze
  • Golden Mean
  • Herodotus
  • Homer
  • Iliad and the Odyssey
  • Ionian Columns
  • Olympics