Greece - History
The Classical Period in Greece28-02-2013 20:17During the Classical period, Greek culture reached its apex, producing great architectural shapes in buildings such as the Parthenon, philosophy and theatre. Despite the Persian expansionism wars, the Greeks did not settle for a stable peace among them and especially between the two major powers of that time, Athens and Sparta, leading to the Peloponnesian War.
Two events played a signal role in differentiating the Classical period Greece. The first was the deposition of the tyrants from the political scene of the Greek States that each of them had developed the system of government they would maintain throughout the Classical period: Athens had democracy, Sparta was ruled by a dual kingship and military aristocracy, Corinth had a board of magistrates and Thebes was governed by the Boeotarchs.
The second major event was the wars against the Persian invasion after the defeat of the kingdom of Croesus. In 490 BC Persians were defeated in the Battle of Marathon but came back under the commands of Xerxes I, Darius’s successor, to win the Spartan king Leonidas at Thermopylae in 480 BC. The Persians occupy Attica and sack the Acropolis in Athens. The Greeks won a naval victory at Salamis later that same year and won also a decisive victory at Plataea the next year.
The defeat of the Persians left Athens and Sparta as the dominant powers in mainland Greece. Athenians along with the Greek maritime powers created an alliance known as the Delian League because the treasury of the league was kept at Delos, the island sacred to Apollo in Cyclades. Athens used the Delian League to expand their policy and transformed it into the Athenian Empire. Athens removed the treasury from
Delos to Athens and used the revenues to finance its own building projects, like the constructions of the defensive Long Walls, the Temple of Parthenon and Propylea on Acropolis.
These policies caused rebellions throughout the league and eventually caused Sparta to bring an army into Attica. Although Pericles negotiated a Thirty Years’ Peace with the Spartan army, this laid the groundwork for the future Peloponnesian War that broke out in 431 BC and would last nearly thirty years.
At the same time, the 5th century BC was also the era of the theater. At the festival of Dionysia, Athenian citizens watched the tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. The same century also saw the development of historical writing. Herodotus was the first to write about the war against Persia and Thucydides wrote the history of the Peloponnesian War.
During the Classical Era, the most famous philosophers were to live and put the fundamental basis of philosophic thinking in the Greek and later in the European civilization: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Along philosophy, oratory saw a great development with Lysias and Demosthenes being the two most important of orators in Classical period.
The last two decades of the Classical period saw the rise of Macedonians in power and this period is considered to end in 323 BC with the death of Alexander the Great.
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More than just a famous tourist destination, Santorini boasts a romantic scene where you can have some really memorable moments with your partner. The time when the sun sets deep down to the Aegean Sea and the sky gets these amazing orange colors is the best to enjoy a cocktail. One of the best places to do so is the Classico bar restaurant in the capital of Fira.
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Explore the fascinating volcanic island of Santorini the way you want it yourself! Enjoy a unique accommodation experience, with huge doses of privacy and luxury by choosing to stay in Incognito Villa.
Like a relay race of three generations; a journey with happy days, sad days, joys, sorrows, wars, Occupation, poverty, hunger, deaths, volcanic eruptions, catastrophic earthquakes, flee for a better life, return, better days, feasts, tourism explosion, financial crises and so on… Everything has been indelibly inscribed on the walls of this small building, Aktaion. I feel grateful that life has given me the opportunity to hold the reins of Aktaion all the way to its centennial.
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