Athens is a state in which the government is ruled by its people. However, no state has been able to utilize this notion as well as we have. Within our society, stands the very grounds of civilization. The idea of Democracy will be the future of political structure. This idea has advanced us being our years, maybe we have our invention of political theory to thank.
Political theory is our way of contemplating the best way to govern our society. Democracy is a product of political theory and it comes from the idea of ruling with the masses rather than a monarch or a small group of aristocrats. Democracy has many challengers, so many that the entire way of life that comes with democracy is threaten. A familiar challenger would be the people of Sparta. The difference in political structure may have been one of the main causes of the Peloponnesian War. The Spartans may fear the untapped potential of democracy.
Athens has been the birthplace of many great ideas such as democracy, but what about the people who come up with these innovative ideas. Athens was home to many philosophers: Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, etc. The logic used by these philosophers will influence our thought and the thoughts of generations after us.
Pythagoras used mathematics to understand the universe around us. Socrates used a method of questioning to question accepted notions in the Athenian society. Plato envisioned a society in which philosophers were kings, and Aristotle came up with a set of logical statements called a syllogism. All of these inventions made by philosophers will lead the future of scientific investigation.
Roman copy in marble of a Greek bronze
A bust of Socrates in the Louvre.
Bust of Pythagoras of Samos in
the Capitoline Museum, Rome.
Athens great political leaders
Athens has had many great political leaders in its history. Two examples of these leaders would be Solon and Pericles. These political leaders saved Athens in times of dire need, and made Athens fruitful in times of prosperity.
Solon is the political leader who repealed laws regarding debt slavery and instituted a democratic society. Pericles strengthen Athens army, navy, commerce, and instituted a building program which sent Athens into a golden age and made it the strongest city-sate in Greece. The policies of these men will be scrutinized and followed by later generations who seek guidance.
Victory against odds
When Greece was being invaded by the Persian empire, Athens was the first to march to battle against the Persians. The Persian empire was much larger then Greece, but yet we were able to pull off a glorious victory against them. When the Greek colony of Ionia was attacked by the Persians, Athens sent soldiers and aid to assist the Ionians. After that, a 10,000 men Athenian army was able to defeat a 25,000 men Persian army. When the Persian's invaded once more, a Greek fleet was able to defeat a much larger Persian fleet, sending the Persians into retreat.
The effect of the Persian Wars sent Athens into a brief golden age. Athens established the Delian League to protect and defend Greece from future invasions. The Delian League made Athens the most powerful Greek city-state. Other city-states in the Delian League had to pay Athens dues to maintain the League, and eventually the Delian League became an empire headed by the city-state of Athens.
Athens vs Sparta
Though Sparta was more influential when it came to their famous "militaristic society," Spartans lacked creativity. This is when the great minds of Athens come into play. The great minds of Athens will be influencing the minds of the future generations to come.
Aristotle. Wikipedia. copyright date: Can't find. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristotle 5 May 2015.
Socrates. Wikipedia. copyright date: Can't find. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socrates 5 May 2015.
Pythagoras. Wikipedia. copyright date: Can't find. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pythagoras 5 May 2015.