Ancient Greece's Influence On Athenian Society

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While currently the city of Athens is the capital of the modern state of Greece, thousands of years ago, it was the greatest polis, or city-state, in the region. Indeed, it is one of the oldest known cities in the world, and one of the most influential. Despite the height of their civilization having fallen thousands of years ago, Athens, alongside the rest of classical Greece, managed to be one of the biggest influences of western civilization and its conception. The Athenian philosophers, kings, and scholars who shaped their society continued beyond death to help shape others. The history of Athens is a long and great one, and like any such story, deserves repeating, for it is in the study of the ancient world that we may understand more…show more content…
“…Theseus conceived a wonderful and far-reaching plan, which was nothing less than to concentrate the inhabitants of Attica into a capital… he named the city Athens…” (Plutarch 516-526). He named it after the Greek goddess Athena, who competed with Poseidon over who would become the protector of the city. In reality, however, the city grew naturally from the Neolithic Era, as all human settlements are wont to do. Over time, it became an important economic center of the Mycenaean civilization. Industry, trade, and farming made up the brunt of the Athenian economy. They dealt with the trade of wheat, olive oil, grapes and wine throughout the Mediterranean, in addition to the manufacturing of pottery and metal goods. They even had slave gangs working large silver mines within their…show more content…
Their defeat of the Persians secured their role as the greatest polis in Greece. Under their leadership, they formed the Delian League along with other Greek cities, and pushed the Persians out of Ionia. Athens sought to keep this league standing in order to become what was effectively the Athenian Empire. However, conflicts with other members of the Delian League arose, and during these rebellious times, Athens and Sparta went to war. Sparta, having formed its own alliance, the Peloponnesian League, would likely have not won what this Peloponnesian War if not for a plague killing thousands of Athenians, and more rebellions from their allies. After the Spartans subjugated them, they would eventually regain control of their city and form The Second Athenian Empire, which crumbled

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