They all began in classical Greece

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They all began in classical Greece

Classical Greece flourished from 480 – 323 BC. The period known as classical Greece began with the Peloponesian War in 490-479 BC. Although wars and invasions were prevalent during this period, it was also during this time that the Greeks produced magnificent arts, literature, philosophy, poetry, and drama, which all have great influence on modern fundamentals. It was in classical Greece where women began to take active functions in state affairs and were no longer just confined to the homes.

Classical Greece Warfare

The Athenians gained and maintained its empire due its superiority in the naval warfare. The invaders can only be kept in the coast of the Aegean Sea and nearby islands where the allies of the empire were spread out. Naval warfare was more important to the Athenians than its hoplites that fought on land because they realized they could not surpass the Spartan infantry strength.

During the Peloponnesian War, the Athenians built two walls to protect and ensure communication between its two ports Piraeus and Phaleron to the city. This ensured that the grain staples could reach its naval fleet without any threat from the Spartan infantry.

Classical Greece Politics

It was in the classical Greece that the Athenian democracy was adopted by Herodutos upon the advise of a Persian named Otanes. Demos means “the people of the country” and krateo “rule”. Democracy allowed equality under the law for all the peoples of Athens even the weak and the wealthy. Written laws were posted in the Agora (assembly place) for everyone to read. The famous king Theseus, also a founder of democracy, commented that it is only through written laws that the citizens from all spectrum of the society can have equal justice to avoid exploitation.

In the adaptation of democracy to its politics in classical Greece, the Athenians implemented the selection of the magistrates through the people’s choice – this is also to avoid political rivalry. They also implemented the assembly (the Athenian highest decision-making body); the council (consisted of 500 members selected by lot and whose terms lasted a year although councilors can be selected twice); law courts were vital to the Athenian democracy and required that “no one” can be above the law.

Pericles, in the meantime, who was Athens’ leading statesman from 461-429 introduced taxation (payment for public office) and spearheaded the construction of the Parthenon under the supervision of the celebrated Athenian sculptor Pheidias. In the midst of the Peloponnesian War, which lasted 27 years, drama, arts and philosophy flourished in classical Greece.

It was also in the period of classical Greece that 3 systems or “orders” were followed in architecture namely: Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. The Doric order was dominant on the Greek mainland, Sicily, and south of Italy and was based on wood construction of the earlier type. The Ionic order was prevalent in Greek cities in Asia Minor but never gained ground on the mainland. The Corinthian order can be found mostly in the islands of Greece whose pillars had laurel leaves sculpture for its design.

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