Age of Pericles (461 BC)

  1. Introduction
  2. The architecture of the age of Pericles
    1. Acropolis
    2. The Parthenon
    3. Facts on Parthenon
    4. The temple of Athena Nike
    5. The Temple of Zeus at Olympia
    6. Apollo at Delphi
  3. Philosophers: Socrates and Plato
    1. Socrates
    2. Plato
    3. The difference in philosophy
  4. Apollo at Delphi
    1. The Legend of the Pytho
    2. The Pythia

Introduction

Greek statesman and general Pericles developed democracy in Athens and helped propel it into its cultural and political golden age. Athens flourished politically, economically, and culturally after the Persian Wars. Under Pericles, the Delian League, an alliance of city-states, was formed, which provided Athens with the influence and economic means for social and cultural innovation. This included the construction of the Acropolis, the Parthenon, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Temple of Zeus at Olympia, Apollo at Delphi, and in politics, the implementation of direct democracy, the Council of the Five Hundred, and the Ecclesia. Notable figures during this time include the sculptor Pheidias, mathematicians Euclid and Pythagoras, and philosophers Socrates and Plato.

The architecture of the age of Pericles

The age of Pericles was remarkable in the field of Architecture and Sculpture. The architects and sculptors of that age have immortalized their name by building many cities, palaces, houses, temples, theatres, and gymnasiums. Elegance, balance, and beauty were the hallmarks of Greek Architecture.

Architecture is both the process and the product of planning, designing, and constructing buildings or other structures. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural symbols and as works of art.

Greek architects provided some of the finest and most distinctive buildings in the entire Ancient World and some of their structures, such as temples, theatres, and stadia.

The Greek concern with simplicity, proportion, perspective, and harmony in their buildings would go on to greatly influence architects in the Hellenistic period and in the Roman world, providing the foundation for the classical architectural orders which would dominate the western world from the Renaissance to the present day.

Acropolis

The Acropolis of Athens is an ancient citadel located on a rocky outcrop above the city of Athens and contains the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historical significance, the most famous being the Parthenon.

 The sites on the Acropolis include the Propylaea, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Parthenon, and the Erechtheion.

In 480 BC, Persian forces led by King Xerxes I burned down the city of Athens, as well as the Acropolis, in what is called “the Persian Destruction of Athens.” The destruction of the great city took place during the Persian Wars, a series of conflicts that began in 499 BC and lasted until 449 BC

The Parthenon

The Parthenon is a former temple on the Athenian Acropolis, Greece, that was dedicated to the goddess Athena during the fifth century BC. Its decorative sculptures are considered some of the high points of Greek art.

Facts on Parthenon

For a time, it was used as a mosque. It was originally quite colorful. It’s not the first temple in this space. After the Ottoman conquest in the mid-fifteenth century, it became a mosque. In the Morean War, a Venetian bomb during the 1687 siege of the Acropolis landed on the Parthenon, which the Ottomans had used as a munitions dump. The resulting explosion severely damaged the Parthenon.

The temple of Athena Nike

The Temple of Athena Nike is a temple on the Acropolis of Athens, dedicated to the goddesses Athena and Nike. Built around 420 BC, the temple is the earliest fully Ionic temple on the Acropolis.

The Temple of Zeus at Olympia

The Temple of Zeus at Olympia was an ancient Greek temple in Olympia, Greece, dedicated to the god Zeus. The temple, built in the second quarter of the fifth century BC, was the very model of the fully developed classical Greek temple of the Doric order.

The temple was of peripteral(surrounded by columns) form with a porch, mirrored by a similar arrangement at the back of the building, the inner shrine.

Apollo at Delphi

The Temple of Apollo, god of music, harmony, light, healing, and oracles occupied the most important and prominent position in the Delphic Panhellenic Sanctuary. The famous oracle, the Pythia, operated inside the temple, the location is chosen, according to one tradition, due to a sacred crater beneath the site emitting vapors, which were inhaled by the Pythia.

Philosophers: Socrates and Plato

•Socrates and Plato are two famous Greek philosophers whose ideas still impact society today. In ancient Greece, philosophers contemplated and theorized about many different ideas such as human nature, ethics, and moral dilemmas. •And if we’re going to talk about philosophy in ancient Greece, the most famous two philosophers are Socrates, and Plato. Now, before we get into the first of them, and really the teacher of Plato, let’s get a little bit of context on this time period. •All two of these men lived in Athens for most of their lives, and they knew each other. Socrates came first, and Plato was his student, around 400 BC.

Socrates

Socrates was a moral philosopher. He was not interested in mathematics and science but was concerned with the quality of his soul and that of others. Socrates’ philosophy examines how we should live. This led him to discussions on various virtues, things like wisdom, justice, courage, piety, and so on.

Socrates, (born c. 470 BCE, Athens—died 399 BCE, Athens) was an ancient Greek philosopher whose way of life, character, and thought exerted a profound influence on ancient and modern philosophy.

Socrates of Athens (l. c. 470/469-399 BCE) is among the most famous figures in world history for his contributions to the development of ancient Greek philosophy which provided the foundation for all of Western Philosophy. He is, in fact, known as the “Father of Western Philosophy” for this reason.

Plato

The ancient Greek philosopher Plato was a student of Socrates and a teacher of Aristotle. His writings explored justice, beauty, and equality, and also contained discussions on aesthetics, political philosophy, theology, cosmology, epistemology, and the philosophy of language.

The difference in philosophy

Socrates has his teachings centered primarily around epistemology and ethics while Plato was quite concerned with literature, education, society, love, friendship, rhetoric, arts, etc. Socrates disagreed with the concept of overreaching; he describes it as a foolish way to live.

Apollo at Delphi

The Legend of the Pytho

Legend says that Zeus sent 2 eagles from each end of the world, and they met at Delphi. This Spot was marked by a stone, guarded by a legendary serpent, called Pytho. But when Apollo killed the Pytho, he made Delphi his home, establishing Delphi as the best place to seek guidance from the God of Prophecy.

The Pythia

But How is God’s will and guidance shared with the people? An oracle known as the Pythia communicates Apollo’s will. Reserved only for women, it was one of the most important jobs. People from as far as Afghanistan and Egypt came to seek to advise. No important event happened without consulting the oracle.

Before seeking advice from the Pythia, people went through the process of purification. They had a sacred fountain to clean themselves. An inscription near it states – “ For the good pilgrim a drop is enough, for the bad, not even an ocean could remove his stains. “. The Pythia channels the inspiration of Apollo in a chamber called the Adyton. There, it is said they inhale the gases from the buried body of the Pytho.

The temple and the Pythia were popular for quite some centuries. They faced a major decline when Emperor Nero of Rome destroyed the temple and looted it. When King Julian sent one of his men to pose a question to the Oracle, he received the following answer

Tell the Emperor that the glorious temple fell into ruins. Apollo does not have a roof over his head anymore. The leaves of the laurels are silent, the sources and prophetic streams are dead. “

In the early 20thCentury, people found no evidence of any kind of gases, therefore declaring all of this a superstition. But in the late 20thCentury, with the help of technology, geological studies found a fault line where the Adytonwas located, thus making a possibility that gases may have been released.