In the context of the art, architecture, and culture of Ancient Greece , the Classical period  corresponds to most of the 5th and 4th centuries BC the most common dates being the fall of the last Athenian tyrant in BC and the death of Alexander the Great in BC. The Classical period in this sense follows the Greek Dark Ages and Archaic period and is in turn succeeded by the Hellenistic period.
This century is essentially studied from the Athenian outlook because Athens has left us more narratives, plays, and other written works than the other ancient Greek states. From the perspective of Athenian culture in Classical Greece, the period generally referred to as the 5th century BC extends slightly into the 4th century BC.
In this context, one might consider that the first significant event of this century occurs in BC, with the fall of the last Athenian tyrant and Cleisthenes' reforms. However, a broader view of the whole Greek world might place its beginning at the Ionian Revolt of BC, the event that provoked the Persian invasion of BC. The Persians were defeated in BC. A second Persian attempt , in — BC, failed as well, despite having overrun much of modern-day Greece north of the Isthmus of Corinth at a crucial point during the war following the Battle of Thermopylae and the Battle of Artemisium.
Athens' excesses caused several revolts among the allied cities, all of which were put down by force, but Athenian dynamism finally awoke Sparta and brought about the Peloponnesian War in BC. After both forces were spent, a brief peace came about; then the war resumed to Sparta's advantage. Athens was definitively defeated in BC, and internal Athenian agitations mark the end of the 5th century BC in Greece. Since its beginning, Sparta had been ruled by a diarchy.
This meant that Sparta had two kings ruling concurrently throughout its entire history. The two kingships were both hereditary, vested in the Agiad dynasty and the Eurypontid dynasty. According to legend, the respective hereditary lines of these two dynasties sprang from Eurysthenes and Procles , twin descendants of Hercules. They were said to have conquered Sparta two generations after the Trojan War. Cleomenes I , king of Sparta, put in place a pro-Spartan oligarchy headed by Isagoras.
But his rival Cleisthenes , with the support of the middle class and aided by democrats, took over. Cleomenes intervened in and BC, but could not stop Cleisthenes, now supported by the Athenians. Through Cleisthenes' reforms, the people endowed their city with isonomic institutions—equal rights for all citizens though only men were citizens —and established ostracism. The isonomic and isegoric equal freedom of speech  democracy was first organized into about demes , which became the basic civic element. The city's administrative geography was reworked, in order to create mixed political groups: not federated by local interests linked to the sea, to the city, or to farming, whose decisions e.
The territory of the city was also divided into thirty trittyes as follows:. A tribe consisted of three trittyes, selected at random, one from each of the three groups. Each tribe therefore always acted in the interest of all three sectors. It was this corpus of reforms that allowed the emergence of a wider democracy in the s and s BC.
Even in the early 6th century, the Argives attempted to control the northeastern part of the peninsula. Cynetes Mastia. Reprint Edition. Thr quesrion waq whcther thc Aihenians shnulcl risk an engagemcnt with the Pcrsian forces; if they did, ant1 clefeated thcm, there was still timr to doubIt back T r the defence of Athens. See details.
In Ionia the modern Aegean coast of Turkey , the Greek cities, which included great centres such as Miletus and Halicarnassus , were unable to maintain their independence and came under the rule of the Persian Empire in the mid-6th century BC. Asia Minor returned to Persian control. He was victorious and again subjugated the former and conquered the latter,  but he was wounded and forced to retreat back into Asia Minor.
In addition, a fleet of around 1, ships that accompanied Mardonius on the expedition was wrecked by a storm off the coast of Mount Athos. Later, the generals Artaphernes and Datis led a successful naval expedition against the Aegean islands. Historians are uncertain about their number of men; accounts vary from 18, to , They landed in Attica intending to take Athens, but were defeated at the Battle of Marathon by a Greek army of 9, Athenian hoplites and 1, Plataeans led by the Athenian general Miltiades.
The Persian fleet continued to Athens but, seeing it garrisoned, decided not to attempt an assault. In BC, Darius' successor Xerxes I sent a much more powerful force of , by land, with 1, ships in support, across a double pontoon bridge over the Hellespont.
This army took Thrace, before descending on Thessaly and Boeotia, whilst the Persian navy skirted the coast and resupplied the ground troops. The Greek fleet, meanwhile, dashed to block Cape Artemision. After being delayed by Leonidas I , the Spartan king of the Agiad Dynasty, at the Battle of Thermopylae a battle made famous by the Spartans who faced the entire Persian army , Xerxes advanced into Attica, and captured and burned Athens.
The subsequent Battle of Artemisium resulted in the capture of Euboea , bringing most of mainland Greece north of the Isthmus of Corinth under Persian control. In BC, during the period of peace between the two Persian invasions, a vein of silver ore had been discovered in the Laurion a small mountain range near Athens , and the hundreds of talents mined there were used to build warships to combat Aeginetan piracy. The Persians then began to withdraw from Greece, and never attempted an invasion again. The Athenian fleet then turned to chasing the Persians from the Aegean Sea, defeating their fleet decisively in the Battle of Mycale ; then in BC the fleet captured Byzantium.
At that time Athens enrolled all the island states and some mainland ones into an alliance called the Delian League , so named because its treasury was kept on the sacred island of Delos. The Spartans, although they had taken part in the war, withdrew into isolation afterwards, allowing Athens to establish unchallenged naval and commercial power. In BC war broke out between Athens and Sparta. The war was a struggle not merely between two city-states but rather between two coalitions, or leagues of city-states:  the Delian League , led by Athens, and the Peloponnesian League, led by Sparta.
The Delian League grew out of the need to present a unified front of all Greek city-states against Persian aggression. In BC, Greek city-states, including Sparta, met in the first of a series of "congresses" that strove to unify all the Greek city-states against the danger of another Persian invasion. Plataea was the final battle of Xerxes' invasion of Greece. After this, the Persians never again tried to invade Greece. With the disappearance of this external threat, cracks appeared in the united front of the Hellenic League.
This coalition met and formalized their relationship at the holy city of Delos. Its formal purpose was to liberate Greek cities still under Persian control.
A competing coalition of Greek city-states centred around Sparta arose, and became more important as the external Persian threat subsided. This coalition is known as the Peloponnesian League. However, unlike the Hellenic League and the Delian League, this league was not a response to any external threat, Persian or otherwise: it was unabashedly an instrument of Spartan policy aimed at Sparta's security and Spartan dominance over the Peloponnese peninsula. It was not really a "league" at all. Nor was it really "Peloponnesian".
Furthermore, most of its members were located outside the Peloponnese Peninsula. Contemporaries instead referred to " Lacedaemonians and their Allies" to describe the "league". The league had its origins in Sparta's conflict with Argos , another city on the Peloponnese Peninsula. In the 7th century BC, Argos dominated the peninsula. Even in the early 6th century, the Argives attempted to control the northeastern part of the peninsula.
The rise of Sparta in the 6th century brought Sparta into conflict with Argos. However, with the conquest of the Peloponnesian city-state of Tegea in BC and the defeat of the Argives in BC, the Spartans' control began to reach well beyond the borders of Laconia. As the two coalitions grew, their separate interests kept coming into conflict. This treaty took effect the next winter in BC  Under the terms of this treaty, Greece was formally divided into two large power zones.
Despite the Thirty Years Peace, it was clear that war was inevitable.
One line of hereditary kings was from the Eurypontid Dynasty while the other king was from the Agiad Dynasty. With the signing of the Thirty Years Peace treaty Archidamus II felt he had successfully prevented Sparta from entering into a war with its neighbours. The immediate causes of the Peloponnesian War vary from account to account.
However three causes are fairly consistent among the ancient historians, namely Thucydides and Plutarch. Prior to the war, Corinth and one of its colonies, Corcyra modern-day Corfu , went to war in BC over the new Corcyran colony of Epidamnus. Corinth was known to be a traditional enemy of Athens. However, to further encourage Athens to enter the conflict, Corcyra pointed out how useful a friendly relationship with Corcyra would be, given the strategic locations of Corcyra itself and the colony of Epidamnus on the east shore of the Adriatic Sea.
This was too good of an offer for Athens to refuse. Accordingly, Athens signed a defensive alliance with Corcyra. Many historians consider these to be merely the immediate causes of the war. They would argue that the underlying cause was the growing resentment on the part of Sparta and its allies at the dominance of Athens over Greek affairs. The war lasted 27 years, partly because Athens a naval power and Sparta a land-based military power found it difficult to come to grips with each other. Sparta's initial strategy was to invade Attica , but the Athenians were able to retreat behind their walls.
An outbreak of plague in the city during the siege caused many deaths, including that of Pericles. At the same time the Athenian fleet landed troops in the Peloponnesus, winning battles at Naupactus and Pylos However, these tactics could bring neither side a decisive victory. After several years of inconclusive campaigning, the moderate Athenian leader Nicias concluded the Peace of Nicias In BC, however, conflict between Sparta and the Athenian ally Argos led to a resumption of hostilities.
Alcibiades was one of the most influential voices in persuading the Athenians to ally with Argos against the Spartans. Accordingly, Argos and the rest of the Peloponnesus was brought back under the control of Sparta.
Soon trade recovered and tribute began, once again, rolling into Athens. Concentration on the Athenian Empire, however, brought Athens into conflict with another Greek state. By refusing to join the League, however, Melos reaped the benefits of the League without bearing any of the burdens. However, Melos fought off the attack and was able to maintain its neutrality. The island of Melos provided an outlet for this energy and frustration for the military party. Furthermore, there appeared to be no real opposition to this military expedition from the peace party. Enforcement of the economic obligations of the Delian League upon rebellious city-states and islands was a means by which continuing trade and prosperity of Athens could be assured.
Melos alone among all the Cycladic Islands located in the south-west Aegean Sea had resisted joining the Delian League. This success on the part of Athens whetted the appetite of the people of Athens for further expansion of the Athenian Empire. Thus, in BC, Alcibiades found support within the Athenian Assembly for his position when he urged that Athens launch a major expedition against Syracuse , a Peloponnesian ally in Sicily.
Although Nicias was a sceptic about the Sicilian Expedition , he was appointed along with Alcibiades to lead the expedition. However, unlike the expedition against Melos, the citizens of Athens were deeply divided over Alcibiades' proposal for an expedition to far-off Sicily.
In June BC, on the very eve of the departure of the Athenian fleet for Sicily, a band of vandals in Athens defaced the many statues of the god Hermes that were scattered throughout the city of Athens. Successfully blaming Alcibiades for the action of the vandals would have weakened Alcibiades and the war party in Athens.
Furthermore, it is unlikely that Alcibiades would have deliberately defaced the statues of Hermes on the very eve of his departure with the fleet. Such defacement could only have been interpreted as a bad omen for the expedition that he had long advocated. Even before the fleet reached Sicily, word arrived to the fleet that Alcibiades was to be arrested and charged with sacrilege of the statues of Hermes, prompting Alcibiades to flee to Sparta.
The entire expeditionary force was lost and Nicias was captured and executed. This was one of the most crushing defeats in the history of Athens. Meanwhile, Alcibiades betrayed Athens and became a chief advisor to the Spartans and began to counsel them on the best way to defeat his native land. Alcibiades persuaded the Spartans to begin building a real navy for the first time—large enough to challenge the Athenian superiority at sea.
Additionally, Alcibiades persuaded the Spartans to ally themselves with their traditional foes—the Persians. As noted below, Alcibiades soon found himself in controversy in Sparta when he was accused of having seduced Timaea, the wife of Agis II, the Eurypontid king of Sparta. In the Persian court, Alcibiades now betrayed both [ clarification needed ] by helping Sparta build a navy commensurate with the Athenian navy. Alcibiades advised that a victory of Sparta over Athens was not in the best interest of the Persian Empire.
Rather, long and continuous warfare between Sparta and Athens would weaken both city-states and allow the Persians to dominate the Greek peninsula. Among the war party in Athens, a belief arose that the catastrophic defeat of the military expedition to Sicily in — could have been avoided if Alcibiades had been allowed to lead the expedition.
Thus, despite his treacherous flight to Sparta and his collaboration with Sparta and later with the Persian court, there arose a demand among the war party that Alcibiades be allowed to return to Athens without being arrested. Alcibiades negotiated with his supporters on the Athenian-controlled island of Samos. Most notably, the red-figure technique superseded the black-figure technique, and with that, great strides were made in portraying the human body, clothed or naked, at rest or in motion.
Although the high point of Classical expression was short-lived, it is important to note that it was forged during the Persian Wars — B. The conflict continued intermittently for nearly thirty years. Athens suffered irreparable damage during the war and a devastating plague that lasted over four years. Although the city lost its primacy, its artistic importance continued unabated during the fourth century B. The elegant, calligraphic style of late fifth-century sculpture One of the far-reaching innovations in sculpture at this time, and one of the most celebrated statues of antiquity, was the nude Aphrodite of Knidos, by the Athenian sculptor Praxiteles.
Its slender proportions and distinctive contrapposto stance became hallmarks of fourth-century B. Greek sculpture. In architecture, the Corinthian—characterized by ornate, vegetal column capitals—first came into vogue. And for the first time, artistic schools were established as institutions of learning.
Among the most famous was the school at Sikyon in the Peloponnesos, which emphasized a cumulative knowledge of art, the foundation of art history. Greek artists also traveled more extensively than in previous centuries. The sculptor Skopas of Paros traveled throughout the eastern Mediterranean for his commissions, among them the Mausoleum at Halicarnassos, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. While Athens began to decline during the fourth century B. Depictions of Athenian drama, which flourished in the fifth century with the work of Aeschylus, Sophokles, and Euripides, was an especially popular subject for locally produced pottery During the mid-fourth century B.
During his reign, Alexander cultivated the arts as no patron had done before him. Among his retinue of artists was the court sculptor Lysippos, arguably one of the most important artists of the fourth century B.
Jun 1, In the early 5th century BC, after the fall of the Lydian Empire, the Persian Wars began. It was an ideological conflict which pitted a proud. The Greek and Persian Wars BC (Men-at-Arms) [Jack Cassin-Scott] on ykoketomel.ml *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. In the early 5th century BC.
Qty: Add to Basket.