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The Persian War and Athenian Progress – Ancient History

Athens, is one of the Greek cities, had importance just as others such as Sparta had. It had a very successful naval power but was behind in other sectors, including arts. All this came to change after the Persian war. This paper will analyze the Athenian progress of attaining democracy and economic variations that resulted after the Persian war while outlining those who participated in the radical democracy, strengthened the economy and the influence of the Ionian philosophy in Athens.

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Persia had developed into a stronger realm through reigns of Cyrus, Darius, and Cambyses. Ionian metropolitans were in revolt before Darius’ death resulting in the Persian war. Being the most dominant Greek marine power, Athens utilized the chance to create a widespread empire. Acropolis was rebuilt, as a result.

Lot selected all administrative officers who could not hold office more than twice while key officials were elected by voting. Pay for jurors, and afterward, assembly overture encouraged involvement and strengthened the autonomous leaders (Harding 4).

Literature and art were necessitated through the wealth and leisure that resulted thereafter (Powell 21). This provided Athens with much lasting interest in the art industry. In the political arena, Athens included both the rich and the poor that reduced the threat of internal enmity. Social peace was another achievement worth mentioning. The internal conflict that most threatened Greek was that between the rich and the poor. This promoted democracy and freedom as a rule of the poor.

The poor were able to receive the landholdings and pay for military service through the public works program. The Athenian constitution rewarded the ordinary Athenians in the form of payment for services in the courts, allotted office, and the assembly. The citizens were allowed to raise questions concerning the land. This enhanced democracy as people were freer in expressing their views. Administration of the city was done through the decentralized system. The leaders were chosen through a lot.

The court system was also done through a lot, and it was not based only on the expertise. To include the number of people who participated in the military, the poor citizens who were not able to buy their own weapon were involved in the construction of the naval ships which helped in the reduction of poverty and enhanced democracy.

The citizens who were selected through the lot system also conducted modern civil services. They supervised all other matters pertaining to internal developments as well as discreet business. Exclusion without harm was introduced, and those who were victims sent to exile, but their family and property not sabotaged. The citizens themselves depending on the number of shares someone got determined their being sent away.

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Growing irritation and threat from the Persians made a number of Ionian cities join for common protection. Athens was to spearhead because of its strong naval power. They located the treasury and representatives at Delos, which later became the joined name, the Delian league. They were committed to remaining violent free from each other and had common enemies. Stronger associates were to contribute ships and weaker ones to contribute in money form.

The Athenians were able to convert some of this money to the construction and rebuilding of the old towns. As a result, they were growing in power. They also had enough control to vote over the use of money in the league that saw them build the Periclean building and the Parthenon. Democracy was advantageous to the poor over their lives and actions undertaken by those who run the state.

Athenian democracy refers to a set of constitutional reforms introduced by Ephialtes and Pericles, beginning in 462 BC. All citizens had equal rights of participation though Adult men participated most. Women were restricted in appearing in public; hence, they did not participate in most voting. They were, therefore, left out in the participation.

Democrats such as Croesus and Pericles were such great influencers, and many people listened to their methods of leadership. Cleisthenes later spread out democracy by offering equal rights to the populace in terms of open and free politics involvement.

Pericles was a skillful, inspirational speaker and a cherished general. He dominated the life of Athens for around thirty-two years. He made landmark reforms in his tenure as discussed below:

Increment of Public and Paid Officers

To strengthen democracy, Pericles increased the number of public paid officials. Earlier, only the wealthiest would rule since they would not be paid. By so doing, it meant that even the poorest were eligible to hold public offices either through election or nomination. He introduced the direct democracy system by allowing his citizens to rule directly, which strengthen the leadership system among the citizens. In addition, Pericles built a giant statue of Athena Promachus, the Parthenon, and the Propylaea.

The Delian alliance Treasury funded construction projects which helped citizens recollect themselves and realize their abilities and weaknesses as well as giving thanks to gods. To limitations on citizens, he put bound on people entitled to hold office. Only people of full Persian origin were allowed to hold office eligibly.

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The Ionian logicians are also known as the ancient Greek philosophers who pioneered great ideas of humanity. They tried to explain some phenomenon having had learned some philosophy from their neighbors. Religion in Greek was not as sanctified as that of their neighbors Babylonians and Egyptians that gave them the freedom of thought and later allowed them to shine by developing different theories and philosophies.

The early Ionian School consists of Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes, and Pythagoras who are traditionally regarded as the first Greek Philosophers (Idanget 59).


Thales was the founder and leading member of the Ionian school of ancient thinkers. He descended from Phoenicians who had settled in Miletus. He was one of the legendary seven wise men of Ancient Greece. He used his knowledge to explain the nature and movement of the physical world in a rational manner. Apart from attempting to explain the nature of the physical world by reason, he also attempted to discover the basic constituents of the world. He would make theoretical discoveries that made him famous.

Most of his discoveries have continued to echo from generation to generation. He was principally significant in the application of innate phenomenon without alluding to myths. To date, he has been regarded as the father of Western philosophy. This is because his hypotheses and other scientific principles have remained a puzzle. He is also credited as the first scientist to adopt deductive reasoning in geometry. He contributed towards shaping the life and education of his successor Pythagoras of Samos.


Anaximander was known in the Greek tradition as the pupil, associate, and successor of Thales. He took part in the founding of Apollonia on the Black Sea. He was concerned with the origin of things, and he attempted to explain the origins of the universe through his theory of the operation. Anaximander also made a great contribution to the sailors of Milesian by constructing the map through his practical work that he believed in.

He is remembered as the author of the old yet still existing lines of Western philosophy and has contributed towards disciplines such as philosophy, geography, and philosophy. In matters astronomy, he is remembered and known as the first astronomer whose works were recognizable. He is again known to be the brainchild behind the modern observation of the world as an open universe. This is contrary to the ancient view of the world as an enclosed extraterrestrial vault.

His scientific works have far much remained relevant to this generation as one of the greatest scientists that ever lived. Considering his discovery about the ‘Boundless’ present scholars regard him as the first metaphysician. He has also been given acclaim as the first geographer for having managed to draw the world map single-handedly.


Anaximenes was the last of the first three Greek philosophers from Miletus. Anaximenes followed Thales in conveying a determinate element as the basic material for all other things. He postulated air as the determinate element or the origin of all things. Anaximenes explained matter through a condensation mechanism. He pegged the conclusion of his observable phenomena such as rarefaction and condensation to be linked to stones which were products of forms of condensed air.

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Pythagoras was a Greek philosopher, theologist, and mathematician, who also contributed to astronomy. Born in Samos, Pythagoras studied in Miletus in Thales, where his interest in mathematics and astronomy increased. He believed in reducing complex problems into numbers and solving them. His discovery of music and its relation to numbers led to the improvement of better sound.

Thales who happened to be an ancient philosopher did the construction of the instrument, which could be used by sailors to know the distance of ships in the sea. Ancient philosophy helped the Milesian sailors to get their map that was first developed by Anaximander. Ancient philosophers helped the people understand the universe in better ways not only through spirits and gods but also in developing a foundation of philosophy and science where solutions were to be derived from rational thinking and experiments.

Pythagoras also contributed towards changing geometrical studies into that of freethinking. He probed the principle of his theorems in a more immaterial yet logical manner in order to be understood by his followers. He is also credited for having discovered and contributed towards the theory of irrationality.

In conclusion, Athens exhibited knowledge about leadership, power, and democracy in their country because of the Persian war. Promotion of music and art raised long-lasting interests and social and civil life improved. The difference between the classes ended, giving more weight and freedom in speech and expression.

Discoveries enhanced growth in the education sector, and methods of trade improved between the countries that formed various treaties. Thinkers such as Anaximenes, Pythagoras, and Socrates initiated critical discoveries in the world. They have unmistakable recognition that they laid the foundation to science to date.

Works Cited

Harding, Tim. “Radical Democracy in Ancient Athens.” Yandoo, 2013. Web.

Idang, Gabriel. “Thales, Anaximander and Anaximenes as pathfinders of modern science.” International Journal of Philosophy, 1.4 (2014): 57-65. Print

Powell, Anton. Athens and Sparta, 2 ed. London: Routledge, 2001. Print

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