Thursday, November 19, 2015

Ancient Greece

Hello and welcome to my blog! Today's topic is my Greek course. As I have mentioned in previous posts, this course is about the history of Ancient Greece, not the mythology, although it does have some mythology mixed in with it. As some of you may know, I am a firm believer in the mythology of Ancient Greece.

This course, offered by Wesleyan University, is taught by Professor Andrew Szegedy-Maszak. Homer, a great philosopher, is mentioned very early in the course. I talk a bit about him, as well as other philosophers, here. Next up on the menu is some juicy informal tidbits on the Persian Wars.

Two major events in Greek history are the Persian Wars, which took place from 499 B.C.E to 449 B.C.E., which is about 50 years.The first war was held when Persia attempted  to invade Greece, only to be humiliated at the Battle of Marathon, in which the Persian king was killed. Then, the son of the king, Xerxes I, staged another invasion of Greece to avenge his father. The Greeks lost at Thermopylae thanks to a traitorous Spartan who defected to Persia during the first war. At Salamis, however it was a different story. This was a naval battle, and the Greeks triumphed thanks in no small part to the Athenian navy. This victory was part of what would lead to Athenian tyranny...

After the wars, Athens formed the "Delian League", whose treasury was held at Delos until Peisistratos moved it to Athens (more on him shortly). The League's members paid tribute in the form of either money or ships in order to keep Greece safe from Persia, or so Athens said. The ships patrolled for a year, and then were returned to the country that donated them. The money, however, went to Athens, where it was used to build more ships for the Athenian fleet. Athens slowly began to tyrannize the League over the years, but it peaked when Peisistratos began ruling Athens. He sent League ships to punish disobedient League members, and as I said earlier, turned the League treasury into part of the Athenian treasury. His sons, Hippias and Hipparchus, continued the tyranny until they were killed and Sparta overthrew Athens and dissolved the League.

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