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Athens In The 5th Century B.C.E: Athenians’ Golden Age

764 words - 4 pages

Throughout the centuries, civilizations have prospered and fallen with only their effects left on the world as their evidence of their existence. Ancient Greece is widely accepted as the most influential civilization ever, with the Golden Age of ancient Athens being its pinnacle. The Golden Age of Athens began when Athens became the most powerful Greek city-state, centralizing their power following their victory of the Greco-Persian wars.
Following Athens’ victory over Persia, Athenians entered a golden age due to a strong economy, military and government and faith of the people. The Battle of Marathon took place in Athens in 490 BCE, and the citizens fought against the invading Persian army. Athenians were able to prevent Persian control of Greece, making it the first time Persians had been defeated on land. Because Persia was a superpower, the impact on Athens’ following the triumph was tenfold. Athenians viewed themselves as the epicenter of Greek culture and power. They now had a strong economy because Athenians’ wealth multiplied due to increased trade. Their trade had surged because of their newfound dominance of the sea due to their newly formed Delian League. This strong Navy was the brainchild of Athenian leader Pericles, formed because of widespread Greek fear of Persia’s return. All city-states give money to Athens for the Delian League, and this created a sense of security. Athens had an established government; a direct and limited democracy. Athenians were now more patriotic, prideful and loyal to their city-state now than ever, which they displayed through various cultural achievements such as those in architecture and literature.
Athens’ architecture in the fifth century BCE represented the Athenian quest for beauty and equilibrium. Buildings built during this time are simply, symmetrically, and elegantly constructed. The Parthenon, for example, is highly regarded as the epitome of architecture. This temple was dedicated to Athens’ patron goddess, Athena. The building is the largest building ever to be totally constructed of marble. It has no right angles to create optical refinements. For instance, the Parthenon is built to look geometrically straight, but subtle curves cause each individual piece to be varied by fractions of a millimeter. Its perfect proportions were created by architects who created slight curvatures in each profile of each column. Each...

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