Then philosophy migrated from every direction to Athens itself, at the center, the wealthiest commercial power and the most famous democracy of the time [ note ]. Socrates, although uninterested in wealth himself, nevertheless was a creature of the marketplace, where there were always people to meet and where he could, in effect, bargain over definitions rather than over prices. Similarly, although Socrates avoided participation in democratic politics, it is hard to imagine his idiosyncratic individualism, and the uncompromising self-assertion of his defense speech, without either wealth or birth to justify his privileges, occurring in any other political context. If a commercial democracy like Athens provided the social and intellectual context that fostered the development of philosophy, we might expect that philosophy would not occur in the kind of Greek city that was neither commercial nor democratic.
The victorious Greeks developed a sense of confidence that led to an era we now call the Classical Age of Greece. The Persian Empire conquered Ionia. Ionia is east of the Greek peninsula in Asia Minor, land that is now part of the modern nation of Turkey.
In a phalanx, heavily armed soldiers held overlapping shields that protected the combatants on either side. The phalanx required soldiers to depend on one another for their safety, so Athenian warriors fought as a unit instead of as individuals. The well-trained Athenian phalanx helped repel the Persians from Ionian land.
King Darius of Persia swore revenge on Athens.
The Persians planned to use Marathon as a base from which to attack, but a spy alerted Athens. The Athenian army was outnumbered by about two to one, but they marched through the night to make a surprise attack on the Persian forces at dawn.
The frightened Persians fled to their ships and retreated from Greece. Modern marathons are exactly 26 miles, yards, exactly the distance Pheidippides is believed to have run.
The Persian king watched from a mountaintop as the Greeks managed to destroy the Persian fleet. Athens had twice resisted the most powerful empire in the world, but Athens was certain that Persia would make another attempt to conquer Greece.
Athens asked all of the Greek poli to meet on the island of Delios where the poli formed an alliance known as the Delian League. Each member of the Delian League contributed soldiers, ships and money to fight the Persians. The Delian League used its powers first to punish the poli that supported Persia in the past.
Then, the combined forces of the league conquered the remaining Persian territories in Ionia. The united Greeks no longer feared the Persians because the Greeks had enough military power to fend off the powerful empire in the world.
During the classical age, artists, poets, sculptors and architects developed a culture that was unique to Greece. Sparta and Athens were the two most powerful poli of the Classical Age.
Sparta was a disciplined military power that discouraged traveling and visitors. Athens was a port city whose merchant ships traveled throughout the Mediterranean Sea. In time, the rivalry between Sparta and Athens would lead to the end of the Classical Era.
Ionia is east of the Greek peninsula on land that is part of the present-day nation of Turkey. The Athenian soldiers used a battle formation called a phalanx to defeat the powerful Persian Empire.
Athens sent its army to aid an Ionian rebellion against the Persians.
This reconstruction depicts what Persian ships may have look like on the eve of the Battle of Marathon advertisement.As Professor Hale demonstrates, the Greek and Persian wars served as the crucible in which the most important cultural events in the history of the Western world occurred, including the invention of medicine, history, philosophy, and drama, as well as remarkable achievements in sculpture and architecture.
This period lays the foundation for much of civilization as we know it today. The classical Greeks lay the cultural foundation for Western civilization. The Achaemenid Persians under Cyrus unify much of the Middle East and Egypt. Alexander the Great unifies Greece with Persia. Later, the Roman Empire dominates the Mediterranean and Europe.
Horse Head in gilded silver ( CE) Example of Sassanid metalwork from Kerman. Louvre, Paris. Persian Art: Introduction ( BCE) Persia, one of the oldest countries in the world, and one of the earliest civilizations in the history of art, occupies the Persian plateau, bounded by the Elburz and Baluchistan mountains in the north and east.
The Origin of Philosophy: The Attributes of Mythic/ Mythopoeic Thought. The pioneering work on this subject was The Intellectual Adventure of Ancient Man, An Essay on Speculative Thought in the Ancient Near East by Henri Frankfort, H.A. Frankfort, John A. Wilson, Thorkild Jacobsen, and William A.
Irwin (University of Chicago Press, , -- also once issued by Penguin as Before Philosophy). This is a quick paced, not too lengthy, robustly described story of Persian invasion of Greece in V century B.C. If you like books about real historical events with less fiction and more history, this is .
The magnificent historical city of Susa is mentioned in the Old Testament as the place where the biblical Prophet Daniel lived. Susa was built in south-western Persia and marked the progress in complex political and social institutions.