5th century BCE was a period of great development in Ancient Greece, and specifically
in Athens. The development of so many cultural achievements within Athens
and the Athenian Empire has led scholars to deem this period a "Golden Age."
It is true that his period had many achievements, but in the light of the
Athenians treatment of women, metics (non-Athenians living in Athens), and
slaves it is given to question whether or not the period can truly be called
The 5th century and the Athenian Empire gave birth to an amazing
amount of accomplishments. One such accomplishment was the minting of standard
Athenian coins that were used throughout the Athenian holdings as valid for
trade. The use of standard Athenian-minted coins helped the Athenians establish
and maintain control over their empire by helping to control trade and the
economy of the area to the Athenians' benefit.
Since Athens regularly received
tribute from the states it controlled, Pericles, the leader of Athens, began
a building project in Athens that was legendary. Athens had been sacked by
the Persians during the Persian Wars and Pericles set out to rebuild the city.
The city's walls had already been rebuilt right after the end of the second
Persian War so Pericles rebuilt temples, public grounds, and other impressive
structures. One of the most famous structures to result from Pericles' building
project was the Parthenon. The Parthenon and other such structures re-established
Athens's glory and while some Athenians criticized the projects as too lavish,
most Athenians enjoyed the benefits of the program. A major benefit to the
Athenian people was that there was an abundance of work in the polis.
5th century BCE was also an important time for Athenian thought. "Sophists,"
paid teachers, taught rhetoric amongst other subjects to wealthy Athenian citizens.
The Sophists were criticized by Athenians who thought that Sophists were destroying
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(1999, 10). Was the 5th Century Bce a "Golden Age" for Athens?. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 10, 1999, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/5Th-Century-Bce-Golden-Age-Athens-19564.html
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