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The slight differences between classical Athens and Sparta are magnified in this lesson because it provides for good issue-based discussion. In reality Athens and Sparta were both fairly militaristic, and at other times both were fairly democratic. Contrary to the way they are commonly portrayed, Athens had a powerful army and navy, and Sparta had an Assembly of elected members.


The Acropolis of Athens as it would have appeared in the classical (ca. 420 BC) period. The Acropolis was destroyed by the Persians in 490 BC and rebuilt to even greater levels of splendor. Visible are the famous Parthenon, Erechtheion, and Propylaia.


Themistocles was the architect of Athens' navy. He convinced the Athenians to build a serious fleet in 483 B.C. when they had a surplus of funds. Their fleet, in turn, helped save Greece when the Persians invaded in 480. Indeed, Greece would almost certainly have been defeated w/o Athens, which means that classical Athens as we know it--the radical democracy, art, philosophy and literature, the buildings of the Acropolis--would not have happened.


Parthenon, Greece - The Parthenon is a temple on the Athenian Acropolis dedicated to the Greek goddes athena.


Ancient Greek Architecture. The Statue of Athena at Parthenon Athens, Greece Circa 432 B.C. 40 ft high, made of gold and ivory and designed by Phidias. Tunic was made of gold plates with the skin of ivory. Pausanias, it was said that there was an image of a sphinx was on Athena’s helmet. In one hand was a 6ft statue of victory, spear in the other and shield at her feet.—Scultpture


Plato was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. His student was Aristotle.


/// ATHENS /// is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning around 3,400 years. Classical Athens, as a landlocked location was a powerful city-state that emerged in conjunction with the seagoing development of the port of Piraeus. A centre for the arts, learning and philosophy, home of Plato's Academy and Aristotle's Lyceum