The Golden Age of Athens
The Golden Age of Athens was from 479 BC to 431 BC, during this time there were many aspects that helped Athens become a strong and notable society. A few being achievements in philosophy, democracy and their dedication to their religion. Pericles, a wise and able statesman who led Athens during much of its golden age, had three goals for Athens; to strengthen Athenian democracy, to hold and strengthen the empire and to glorify Athens. To strengthen democracy he increased the number of public officials who were paid salaries. In earlier Athens, most positions in public office were unpaid therefor only the wealthy could afford to hold office. The Greeks worshiped a family of Gods and Goddess called the Twelve Olympians. Each one ruled a different area in human life as well as aspects of the natural world. Athenians took much care when they honored their gods, always avoiding angering them. Each city-state honored one of the gods by building a temple to that god. In Athens, the patron Goddess is Athena. The temple of Athena Nike, “Victorious Athena” is a temple built on the Acropolis. Some Athenians liked to talk about nature, how the world was made of and how it worked they also talk about things they couldn’t see, such as the meaning of life, justice, truth and beauty. This kind of thinking was called philosophy, which means “the love of wisdom”. One of the greatest philosophers in Athens was named Socrates. He taught by asking his students thought provoking questions. He encouraged people to question the very things they thought they knew. These are just a few examples of what helped make Athens strong, thrive and be one of the most notable societies in history.