Victory and Defeat in the Greek
Key Terms
Direct Democracy
The Persian Wars
• Athens emerged as the
wealthiest Greek citystate
– They sent forces to
help the Ionian Greeks
fight the Persians
• Persia was victorious
• For punishment, Darius I
sent a huge force across
the Aegean to punish
– Battle of Marathon
• Overwhelmed by the
fury of the Athenian
assault, the Persians
hastily retreated to
their ships
Renewed Attacks
• Darius’s son, Xerxes, sent a much larger force to
conquer Greece
• A small Spartan force guarded the narrow mountain
pass at Thermopylae
– Leonidas held out against the Persian Force
– After defeating the Spartans, the Persians marched south
and burned Athens
• The Athenians lured the Persian navy into narrow strait
of Salamis
– Persian navy was trapped
• Greeks defeated the Persians on land in Asia Minor
– Marked the end of the Persian invasions
• Athens emerged
from the war as the
most powerful citystate in Greece
• Athens organized
the Delian League
– Alliance with other
Greek city-states
– Athens dominated
Athens in the Age of Pericles
• Years after the Persian Wars were a golden
– Under Pericles
• Athens was a direct democracy
• Athenian jury included hundreds or even
thousands of jurors
• Citizens would vote to banish a public figure
whom they saw as a threat to their democracy
The Funeral Oration
• Pericles praised the Athenian form of
• Pericles stressed not only the rights but also
the duties of citizenship
• Considered one of the earliest and greatest
expressions of democratic ideals
Economic and Cultural Life
• Hired the best architects and sculptors to
rebuild the Acropolis
• Building projects increased Athenians’
prosperity by creating jobs for artisans and
– Gods favored the Athenians
• Pericles turned Athens into the cultural center
of Greece
The Peloponnesian War
• Other Greek states in the Delian League opposed
Athenian domination
– Sparta formed the Peloponnesian League
• Athens faced a serious geographic disadvantage
• Sparta was located inland so it could not be
attacked from the sea
• Many people from Athens moved within the city
– Overpopulation led to plague
• Killed 1/3 of the population
• With Persian help, Sparta finally over took Athens
The Aftermath of War
• The Peloponnesian
War ended Athenian
domination of the
Greek world
• Athenian economy
revived and Athens
remained the cultural
center of Greece.
Questions to Consider
• What is the Funeral Oration? Why is it
• Explain the importance of the Age of Pericles.
What did Pericles do for Athens?
• What is the difference between the Persian
and Peloponnesian War?