1 Introduction


The City of Athens

Athens in the 5th and 4th centuries BC was one of the most vibrant and creative societies known in all human history. During these years, the city invented democracy and drama, while it was also the home of some of the greatest artists, philosophers and playwrights in European history. In fact, many of the ideas which we associate with ‘western civilisation’ can be traced back to classical Athens. So what made this society so remarkable?

Extra Resources


The video below gives an overview of Ancient Greece, from the Cretan Minoans to Alexander the Great. You do not need to know all this information, but it might help you to put the period we are studying – Athens in the 400s BCE – into context.