Maps of the Antique
Pottery and ceramics
After the Ionian invasions, the Attic is organized in a multitude of cities, among which Cecropia, that will become Athens. This villages did not suffer from the Dorian invasion but, ca 800 B.C., receive populations which flee away from it. They gather around Athens which owns the Acropolis whose site offers the protection of a natural fortress. |
From the 7th century B.C. this area knows a real revolution with the development of an intense trading activity and the apparition of the money.
The farmers suffer from the competition of the fertile colonies, some sell themselves as slaves to enriched tradesmen, and thus come to compete with the class of the small craftsmen. The new emergent social class is interested in beauty and art, but becomes also a military force, because it acquires weapons. A deep social and politic crisis takes place.
" Who wants to speak? "
The reforms of Dracon (ca. 621-620 B.C), Solon (594 to 593), Clisthène (ca. 508) and finally of Periclès in 451, lead to this extraordnaire invention: the democracy. Deep changes touch up to the spirit of Athenians: the power relies no more on divine right, the man is from now on “the measure of all things”. With the need for creating convincing arguments develop also the dialectical reasonment, logic, philosophy, and that is also of benefit to theatre, architecture, art and the bases of the scientific mind.
A short political domination, but a definitive mark
Under Pericles, Athens dominates Greece by its political, military, commercial and financial power, but also by its artistic and cultural creativity. The “century of Pericles” will last in fact only 30 years (from 461 to 431), and the political power of Athens will not resist the Peloponnesian War, but the cultural influence of Athens will still continue for several centuries, and its spirit will mark western civilization definitively.