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“Famed for its literature, poetry, drama, theatre, schools, buildings, government, and intellectual superiority you have no doubt that your polis, Athens, is clearly the shining star of all Greek city-states.”(Daily life in ancient Greece) Athens was a mighty city-state of Greece. Even though it was a very intellectual and powerful city-state, it did not mean that it was necessarily a good city. Athens was the cause of the Peloponnesian War. It deceived the other city-states by making them send money to Athens, so Athens could build a powerful army to protect Greece from the Persians. Athens started to use that money on the city of Athens. Eventually the citizens of Athens did not have to pay taxes. The other city-states got angry, thus beginning the Peloponnesian war. The war lasted about 30 years, starting from 461-406 BC.
An aristocrat named Cleisthenes, who was trying to gain more power, invented a form of government called democracy. Democracy was used in Athens. Athens was lead by a great statesman named Pericles. He died during the war because of disease. Many people died of the same disease.
After the war, Sparta set up a government of thirty tyrants. Two of the tyrants were students of the renowned philosopher, Socrates. That stirred up some controversy later with Socrates and the Athenian aristocrats. A year later the democratic form of government was restored, and the Athenian government went back to normal.
Men were prominent figures of government. Women were thought to be foolish and irrational, which we all know is not true. “Men, in the Greek view, were rational, thinking, stable, normal creatures, while women were irrational, hysterical, and dangerous.”(History for kids) Women for that reason were not given political rights.
Athens had good soil, since it was near the coastline. They also had just enough rainfall, not too much or too little. They grew grain, grapes, olives, legumes, lentils, beans and chickpeas.
The Athenians believed in many gods, just like all the other people of Greece. They had 7 seven main gods. The most important of all the gods was Zeus, the king of the gods, who was married to his sister Hera. The gods had humanlike characteristics; they got jealous and would do stupid things just like humans do.
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1.History for Kids: Greece. http://www.historyforkids.org/ . October 20, 2001
2. Athens, city, Greece .The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. July 2001. http://www.bartleby.com/65/at/AthensGr.html. October 19, 2001
3. Lin and Donn. Daily Life in Ancient Greece. http://members.aol.com/Donnclass/Greeklife.html. October 20, 2001
4. The costume in Ancient Greece. http://www.firstnethou.com/annam/costhist.html/ancient.html/index.html. October 20, 2001