ANG KABIHASNANG GRESYA
ATHENS AT SPARTA
Ang kabisera ng Gresya. Ito ay isa sa mga pinakamatandang lungsod sa buong mundo, na may nakasulat na kasaysayan na humihigit sa 3,000 taon. Ipinangalan ito sa dati nitong patron na si Athena noong unang panahon.
Sa kasalukuyan, may populasyon ng 745,514 noong 2001 ang lungsod ng Atenas, at 3.37 milyong katao sa kalakhan nito. Bilang isang bantog at kosmopolitano na lungsod, ang Atenas ay nagiging sentral sa buhay ekonomikal, pampananalapi, pang-industriya, politikal at kultural sa Gresya. Mabilis rin itong maging isang sentro ng negosyo sa Unyong Europeo.
Noong unang panahon, isang malakas na lungsod-estado at bantog na sentro ng sining, kultura, edukasyon at lalo na sa pilosopiya ang Atenas. Bilang luklukan ng Akademya ni Platon at ng Liseo ni Aristoteles, naging lugar ng kapanganakan ang Atenas nina Socrates, Pericles, Sophocles at ibang mga importante at maka-impluwensiyang mga pilosopo, manunulat at politiko ng matandang daigdig. Kilala rin ang lungsod bilang duyan ng sibilisasyong Kanluranin at ng demokrasya dahil sa impakto ng mga inambag nitong ideya at gawaing kultural at politikal noong ikalima at ika-apat na siglo BC sa ibang mga bahagi ng noong-kilalang kontente ng Europa.
Magagaling ang mga ito sa larangan ng palakasan.
The Battle of Thermopylae [thər móppəlee] (Greek: Θερμοπύλαι), detailed primarily by Herodotus, was fought in August 480 BC, between an alliance of Greek city-states and the invading Persian Empire of Xerxes I, at the pass of Thermopylae in central Greece. Vastly outnumbered, the Greeks held up the Persians advance for seven days in total (including three of battle), before the rear-guard was annihilated in one of history’s most famous last stands. During two full days of battle, the small force led by King Leonidas I of Sparta blocked the only road through which the massive Persian army could pass. After the second day of battle, a local resident named Ephialtes betrayed the Greeks by revealing a small path used to take goats to other cities that led behind the Greek lines. Aware that they were being outflanked, Leonidas dismissed the bulk of the Greek army, remaining to guard the rear with 300 Spartans, 700 Thespian, 400 Thebans and perhaps a few hundred others.
The Persians succeeded in taking the pass but sustained losses disproportionate to those of the Greeks. Nevertheless, in doing so, they conquered Boeotia and Attica, burning Athens in the process. However, the fierce resistance of the Spartan-led army had given the Allies valuable time to prepare the defense of the Peloponnesus, at the Isthmus of Corinth, and later that year the Athenian-led navy was able to win a decisive naval battle that would do much to determine the outcome of the war. The Greek victory at the Battle of Salamis prevented a naval invasion of the Peloponnesus, and therefore prevented the completion of the Persian conquest. Demoralised, Xerxes retreated to Asia, leaving a force in Greece under Mardonius to complete the subjugation of the Greeks. The following year, however, a full-strength Allied army defeated the Persian force at the Battle of Plataea, ending the expansion of the Persian Empire into Europe.
Both ancient and modern writers have used the Battle of Thermopylae as an example of the superior power of a patriotic army of freemen defending native soil. The performance of the defenders at the battle of Thermopylae is also used as an example of the advantages of training, equipment, and good use of terrain as force multipliers and has become a symbol of courage against overwhelming odds.
The Battle of Salamis (Ancient Greek: Ναυμαχία τῆς Σαλαμῖνος), was a naval battle fought between an Alliance of Greek city-states and the Achaemenid Empire of Persia in September 480 BC in the straits between the mainland and Salamis, an island in the Saronic Gulf near Athens. It marked the high-point of the second Persian invasion of Greece which had begun in 482 BC.
To block the Persian advance, a small force of Greeks blocked the pass of Thermopylae, whilst an Athenian-dominated Allied navy engaged the Persian fleet in the nearby straits of Artemisium. In the resulting Battle of Thermopylae, the rearguard of the Greek force was annihilated, whilst in the Battle of Artemisium the Greeks had heavy losses and retreated after the loss at Thermopylae. This allowed the Persians to conquer Boeotia and Attica. The Allies prepared to defend the Isthmus of Corinth whilst the fleet was withdrawn to nearby Salamis Island.
Although heavily outnumbered, the Greek Allies were persuaded by the Athenian general Themistocles to bring the Persian fleet to battle again, in the hope that a victory would prevent naval operations against the Peloponessus. The Persian king Xerxes was also anxious for a decisive battle. As a result of subterfuge on the part of Themistocles, the Persian navy sailed into the Straits of Salamis and tried to block both entrances. In the cramped conditions of the Straits the great Persian numbers were an active hindrance, as ships struggled to manoeuvre and became disorganised. Seizing the opportunity, the Greek fleet formed in line and scored a decisive victory, sinking or capturing at least 200 Persian ships.
As a result Xerxes retreated to Asia with much of his army, leaving Mardonius to complete the conquest of Greece. However, the following year, the remainder of the Persian army was decisively beaten at the Battle of Plataea and the Persian navy at the Battle of Mycale. Afterwards the Persian made no more attempts to conquer the Greek mainland. These battles of Salamis and Plataea thus mark a turning point in the course of the Greco-Persian wars as a whole; from then onward, the Greek poleis would take the offensive. A number of historians believe that a Persian victory would have stilted the development of Ancient Greece, and by extension ‘western civilisation’ per se, and has led them to claim that Salamis is one of the most significant battles in human history.
Plataea or Plataeae was an ancient city, located in Greece in southeastern Boeotia, south of Thebes. It was the location of the Battle of Plataea in 479 BC, in which an alliance of Greek city-states defeated the Persians and ended the Persian Wars. Plataea was destroyed in the Peloponnesian War by Thebes and Sparta in 427 BC and rebuilt in 386 BC.
Pericles (also spelled Perikles) (c. 495 – 429 BC, Greek: Περικλῆς, meaning “surrounded by glory”) was a prominent and influential statesman, orator, and general of Athens during the city’s Golden Age—specifically, the time between the Persian and Peloponnesian wars. He was descended, through his mother, from the powerful and historically influential Alcmaeonid family.
Pericles had such a profound influence on Athenian society that Thucydides, his contemporary historian, acclaimed him as “the first citizen of Athens”. Pericles turned the Delian League into an Athenian empire and led his countrymen during the first two years of the Peloponnesian War. The period during which he led Athens, roughly from 461 to 429 BC, is sometimes known as the “Age of Pericles“, though the period thus denoted can include times as early as the Persian Wars, or as late as the next century.
Pericles promoted the arts and literature; this was a chief reason Athens holds the reputation of being the educational and cultural centre of the ancient Greek world. He started an ambitious project that built most of the surviving structures on the Acropolis (including the Parthenon). This project beautified the city, exhibited its glory, and gave work to the people. Furthermore, Pericles fostered Athenian democracy to such an extent that critics call him a populist.
The Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC) was an Ancient Greek military conflict, fought by Athens and its empire against the Peloponnesian League, led by Sparta. Historians have traditionally divided the war into three phases. In the first, the Archidamian War, Sparta launched repeated invasions of Attica, while Athens took advantage of its naval supremacy to raid the coast of the Peloponnese attempting to suppress signs of unrest in its empire. This period of the war was concluded in 421 BC, with the signing of the Peace of Nicias. That treaty, however, was soon undermined by renewed fighting in the Peloponnesus. In 415 BC, Athens dispatched a massive expeditionary force to attack Syracuse in Sicily; the attack failed disastrously, with the destruction of the entire force, in 413 BC. This ushered in the final phase of the war, generally referred to either as the Decelean War, or the Ionian War. In this phase, Sparta, now receiving support from Persia, supported rebellions in Athens’ subject states in the Aegean Sea and Ionia, undermining Athens’ empire, and, eventually, depriving the city of naval supremacy. The destruction of Athens’ fleet at Aegospotami effectively ended the war, and Athens surrendered in the following year.
The Peloponnesian War reshaped the Ancient Greek world. On the level of international relations, Athens, the strongest city-state in Greece prior to the war’s beginning, was reduced to a state of near-complete subjection, while Sparta was established as the leading power of Greece. The economic costs of the war were felt all across Greece; poverty became widespread in the Peloponnese, while Athens found itself completely devastated, and never regained its pre-war prosperity. The war also wrought subtler changes to Greek society; the conflict between democratic Athens and oligarchic Sparta, each of which supported friendly political factions within other states, made civil war a common occurrence in the Greek world.
Greek warfare, meanwhile, originally a limited and formalized form of conflict, transformed into an all-out struggle between city-states, complete with atrocities on a large scale. Shattering religious and cultural taboos, devastating vast swathes of countryside, and destroying whole cities — the Peloponnesian War marked the dramatic end to the fifth-century-B.C. golden age of Greece.