CityStates Greece

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The City-States of Greece : 

The City-States of Greece Sparta and Athens The Persian Wars The Delian League The Decline of Athens

The City-States of Ancient Greece: 

The City-States of Ancient Greece Sparta and Athens The Persian Wars The Delian League The Decline of Athens

Now that’s tough!: 

Now that’s tough! There is a story about a Spartan boy who, in order to conceal a fox which he had stolen, hid it beneath his cloak and allowed the fox to gnaw him rather than let the theft be revealed. He died of the wounds. If he had been discovered, the disgrace would not have been in the stealing, but in allowing it to be detected. The boy's action illustrates the main purpose of the Spartan educational system, which was to produce men capable of showing such bravery as soldiers. Military strength was felt to be necessary to Sparta for their very survival.

Polis = City-State: 

Polis = City-State Greece was divided into city-states, each known as a polis. The two main city-states were Sparta and Athens. The greatest of these was Athens which was a center of intellectual and cultural development - “the nursery of western civilization.” What do you think that means?

Government & Education: 

Government & Education Athenian democracy was for free, male Athenians only. Education for men was highly valued. Only boys of wealthy families attended schools. The term academy comes from Athens.

Structure of the Polis: 

Structure of the Polis Each polis was built around an acropolis, a fortified hill with the temple of the local god at the top.

Structure of the Polis: 

Structure of the Polis At the foot of the acropolis was the agora, an open area used as a marketplace. By 700 B.C. this inner part of the polis had become a city. With the villages and farmland around it, it made up a city-state.


Athens Athens was knows for its great navy and was a rival of Sparta. Its ships were known as triremes because they had three levels of rowers.

Battle of Marathon: 

Battle of Marathon The Persians were defeated by the Athenians at the Battle of Marathon. The Athenians were so joyful in victory that they sent a professional runner, Pheidippides, back to Athens.

A run extraordinaire. . .: 

A run extraordinaire. . . Pheidippidies ran about 26 miles to Athens to report the victory. When he arrived, he cried out, “Nike!” and died from exhaustion. Nike is the goddess of victory.

The Marathon: 

The Marathon The 1896 Olympic marathon distance of 24.8 miles was based on the distance run by Pheidippides. At the 1908 Olympic Games in London, the marathon distance was changed to 26.2 miles to cover the ground from Windsor Castle to White City Stadium, with the 2.2 miles added on so the race could finish in front of royal family's viewing box. This added two miles to the course, and is the origin of the Marathon tradition of shouting "God save the Queen!" (or other words relating to the Queen) as mile post 24 is passed. After 16 years of sometimes angry discussion, this 26.2 mile distance was established at the 1924 Olympics in Paris as the official marathon distance.


Sparta Sparta was known for its great army and was a rival of Athens. Their army was known for holding off the Persian army of 250,000 at Thermopylae for three days with only 7000 soldiers. This gave the people of Athens time to escape before the Persians invaded there.



Spartan Goal: 

Spartan Goal Sparta tried to become the strongest people in Greece. They also disliked change. This would later prove to be a weakness for them. Spartans preferred actions to words. A “Spartan lifestyle” both then and today is one that is simple and highly disciplined with few luxuries.

The Delian League: 

The Delian League The Delian League, based on the island of Delos, was formed to unite the Greek city-states to defend against the Persians. Athens lead the league and gained more and more power over the other city states. Sparta refused to join.

The Delian League: 

The Delian League The other city-states became resentful of Athens’ power over them. A group of city-states led by Sparta waged the Peloponnesian War against Athens for 30 years until Athens surrendered to Sparta. Later, under Spartan control, the Athenians revolted and once more set up a democracy; but they never regained the power they once had.

Greek Decline: 

Greek Decline The Greeks began to lose their sense of community and fought with one another. In 338 B.C. Philip II of Macedonia north of Greece (Alexander the Great’s father) conquered Greece.

Geography In History: 

Geography In History The ancient Greek city-states never united because the land was very mountainous and hilly making travel difficult. This is one case where geography influenced history.

The End.: 

The End.

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