Professor Oguagha My Response to
‘The Greeks Crucible of Civilization’
By: Anthony Geffen
November 15, 2014 The Greeks Crucible of Civilization documentary video is about the rise about the rises and falls of Athens. The filmmaker Anthony Geffen covered both the fourth and fifth centuries B.C. Actors were also used to portray historical events and people during this period. The documentary starts with the history of Athens beginning with the rule of Peisistratus whom transformed the city. He needed allies, in that way his son could have the throne. Peisistratus encouraged farming and provided loans and soon Athens was exporting olive oil to nations around the Mediterranean to Egypt, Persia, and Phoenicia. In our World Civilization class we were told to write a response based on this video which explores these ideologies that then formulated from this very logic, and here is what I've found.
The booming trade made Athens wealthy and prosperous. Athens was the largest city in Greece, and controlled a region called Attica between the many mountains were fertile valleys, with many farms. Athens became rich because Attica also had valuable sources of silver, lead and marble. Athens also had the biggest navy in Greece. Athens was a beautiful and busy city. People came to the city from all over Greece, and from other countries, to study and to trade. The city's most famous building was the temple called the Parthenon. It stood on a rocky hill called the Acropolis. . Inside the Parthenon stood a statue of the city's protector-goddess Athena which was the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, strategic warfare, mathematics, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill in ancient Greek Religion and Mythology.
Athens became the big apple of Greece. At this time potters were the lower of the lows in Athens. After the death of Peisistratus, his son Hippias took over. He ruled fairly at first, but after his brother’s death, he turned to be a tyrant. Self-defense was his only motive and since his only threat was from aristocrats, he turned against them. The aristocrats under the leadership of Cleisthenes captured Hippias and banished him from Athens.
The people of Athens then took destiny into their own hands. Isagoras and his partners locked themselves in the Acropolis, but they were forced to surrender and he was forced into exile. Cleisthenes was recalled from exile and asked to form a Government. He came up with the idea of people, both rich and poor, discussing the issues facing them and casting votes to make a decision. On issues like rising of taxes, building of roads and going to war, votes were cast, with a white stone for yes and a black one for no. The super power in the world at that time was Persia.
In the early 500s BC a new way of government was invented in Athens. It was "smogracy" or "'rule by the people". Not everyone had a vote though. Only a male citizen had a say in how the city was