THE HISTORY: Classical Period - "The Golden Age"
Pericles stamped the Classical Period with the seal of his personality and, despite the horror of war, the flowering of culture in this period was unique in history. The tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides; the comedies of Aristophanes, the histories of Herodotus and Thucydides, the unique personality of Socrates, the Parthenon, the sculptures, Pheidias and so many other artists, the wonderful pottery with its red designs - they all constitute a group of people,ideas, creators and works by which Greece established its eternal fame. Plate and Aristotle pronounced their philosophical systems and sought the revival of the ideal of the "republic" while Isocrates vainly called upon the Greeks to unite.
In the 4th century, Philip of Macedon undertook the definitive expulsion of the Persians from the Aegean and rescued the Greeks from enslavement. The Battle of Chefoneia in 338 B.C. marked the beginning of a new era for Greece, The small city-states lost their independence and the foundations for the future unity of the country were laid. The superiority of the Macedonian army, Philip's great abilities and the abundant financial means at his disposal all contributed to the prevalence of this new Greek race, the Macedonians. Philip was succeeded to the throne by his son, Alexander, at the age of twenty in 336 B.C.
Alexander the Great
Gifted with physical attributes and intelligence, Alexander
was the greatest conqueror of the ancient world. Taught by Aristotle and inspired
by Greek classical culture, he was also a military genius who mounted an expedition
against the Persians. His aspiration was to conquer the Persian empire and his
aim was to reach the edge of the world and come to the Ocean, which according
to Greek belief, surrounded the earth. Within seven years he has conquered the
entire Persian state and then decided to conquer India too, which he also succeeded
in doing. He died at the age of 33 in 324 B.C. The conquests and achievements
of Alexander brought about radical changes in the ancient Greek world, having
given access to the wealth of the East. He founded new Greek cities in the new
lands and thus created centres of Greek culture. He promoted the sciences, mainly
geography and also mathematics, astronomy and physics. The Greek language was
spoken everywhere and became the lingua franca of commerce.