The Dellian League, established in 477 BC, arose as a democratic alliance of Greek city-states in Asia minor and the Aegean islands, to be led by Cimon of Athens, to defend, aggressively attack and attain a significant victory over the powerful Persians in 467 BC. The Dellian League, under the leadership of Pericles grew in power, wealth, culture, arts and politics, to become what we know as the Athenian Empire.
Sophists: – Sophists were the travelling, professional wise men of Greece who acquired name, fame and wealth at the end of the 5th century BC by wandered from place to place to dissipate knowledge on a variety of subjects, such as rhetoric, politics, grammar, etymology, history, physics, and mathematics.
The teachings of Sophists exercised great influence on the thought of fifth century BC, especially in the field of politics and rhetoric, stressing that complete knowledge is unattainable, and the way of public life is to be learnt, not by philosophical thoughts, but by acquiring the art of public speaking and debating, Thales: –
Thales was a highly esteemed thinker, philosopher and scientist who was born in the mid 620s BC at Miletus in Greek Ionia and lived not only to study all areas of knowledge, but to investigate and theorize on a variety of subjects including, philosophy, history, science, mathematics, engineering, geography, and politics. Thales, one of the seven sages of Greece, is remembered as the founder of Greek astronomy, Milesian school of natural philosophy and as the initiator of scientific enterprise!
The League Of Corinth: – The League of Corinth, comprising of all Greek states except Sparta, was established by Philip II of Macedonia in 338 BC/ 337 BC, and later led by his son Alexander, to confederate military forces against Persia. The League of Corinth is remembered for it’s treatment of rebel Thebans, who were enslaved and their territory divided among its neighbours. Alexandria: –
The city of Alexandria, founded by Alexander the Great around 334 BC was the large, wealthy, political, and economic Hellenistic metropolis designed by the famous architect Deinocrates. Alexandria, the capital of Graceo-Roman Egypt is well known not only for the Great Library or the legendary lighthouse, which is one of the seven wonders of the world, but as the seat where tragedies of Cleopatra, Julius Caesar, Mark Anthony and Octavian took place.
Senate: – The 300 member Roman Senate was the advisory and governing council of Elders, of the ancient Roman Republic and the Roman Empire during 6th century BC. Despite the fact that it did not have law-making powers, the Roman Senate exercised significant influence in the political arena to appoint officials and governors, conduct wars, appropriate public funds, and to declare martial law or instruct the nomination of a dictator in state of emergency.
Consuls: – Consuls were the two highest elected officials of the Roman Republic since its foundation in 509 BC until the battle of Actium in 31 BC. The significance of the consuls was that they had extensive powers besides performing certain religious duties, such as, the role of highest military command during wartime, representatives of Rome in foreign matters, leaders of the senate and other administrative, legislative and judicial responsibilities.
Tribunes: – Tribunes of the Plebs or Tribunes of the people, first established in 494BC, were elected 10 in number annually, as an office to be revered, with certain privileges to safeguard the interests of the plebeians such as protection from physical harm, the right of help and the right to protect a plebeian from a patrician magistrate.
With time the Tribunes acquired greater significance with greater powers vested in them such as the right of intercession, power to use a veto against a magistrate, to summon a senate and, the power to exercise capital punishment. Appian Way: – The Appian Way built by Appio Claudius in 312 BC during the Sannite wars, was the most important road that connected Rome with the Southwestern provinces of the peninsula, Africa and the East.
The Appian Way was an example for all Roman roads because it brought order, peace and freedom to the people of Italy. Pyrrhus: – Pyrrhus (318-272 BC), inherited the throne of the Hellenistic kingdom called Epirus, and lived a restless and unquiet life filled with wars, victories and losses. Remembered as the greatest military commander after Alexander and throned and dethroned as the king of Macedonia a couple of times, Pyrrhus is famous for the phrase “Pyrrhic victory” because of his costly military successes.
Cannae: – Cannae is the name of an ancient village located on a hill on the banks of river Aufidus in the Apulia region of Southeast Italy. The significance of Cannae in history, lies in the famous Battle of Cannae (216 BC) in which Hannibal, the great carthagian warrior and politician defeated the Romans Tiberius Gracchus:- Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, born in 163 BC to a politically important family of Rome, grew up to distinguish himself as a warrior and later became a Plebeian Tribune.
Tiberius, despite his elite background struggled for the lower classes of Rome to cause political turmoil, which eventually led to his death at the hands of riotous senators. Marius:- Gaius Marius (157 BC- 86 BC) born at Arpinum in Latium, belonged to a family of peasants and grew up to become a Tribune and a Roman General with the title of Military LegateNumidicus. Marius goes down history as the only individual to be appointed consul seven times in his lifetime, and for the reforms in the Roman army that he brought about during that time.
Sulla: – Sulla or Lucius Cornelius Sulla Felix (138-78 BC), born to a patrician family is known for his legendary cunning and bravery to first become a quaestor to Marius and later a Consul and finally the Dictator of Rome. Sulla is remembered for his fearlessness, mysterious nature, prowess at war, his dictatorship of Rome and most of all the fact that unlike any other dictator, Sulla resigned his dictatorship, only to leave behind a legacy of despotism to be followed by the likes of Julius Caesar.
First Triumvirate: – The first Triumvirate (60-54 BC) refers to the political alliance of Julius Caesar, Pompeius Magnus, Markus Licinius Crassus and other political men of the time, which was originally a secret coalition to fulfil the political objectives of the three men. The First triumvirate ended with the death of Crassus at the Battle of Carrhae, civil war between Pompey and Julius Caesar, which ended with Caesar becoming the emperor of Rome in 49 BC.
Rise & Fall of Athens (how did Athens create an empire and then lose it? ) :- Athens, named after Goddess Athena, was the world’s leading cultural and intellectual centre from 500 BC to 323 BC, rising to this position after a series of wars and assassinations. Imbued with a newfound love and regard for their government and city, the Athenians fought against the invading Persian Empire to be victorious, which led to the forming of the Dellian League to protect the Greek city-states from further assaults.
The Dellian League is seen as the beginning of the Athenian Empire, which suffered a downfall in 431 BC , defeated by Sparta at war besides suffering several deaths because of the plague. The strategic mistake of Sicily and tactical blunders such as the fort at Decelea and the use of Persian capital to build a fleet not only led to a mere defeat of Athens but what may be described as the ruin of a dynamic imperial city. Macedon and the Successor Kingdoms (the consequences of Alexander the Great):-
Alexander the Great ( 356-323 BD), the king of Macedonia, conquered almost the whole world from Greece to modern day Pakistan, in a short span of twelve years, making Macedonia stronger while spreading the Hellenic influence. After Alexander’s death, Macedonian generals fought amongst themselves to control the territory that Alexander had won and founded several states, dynasties and monarchies and continued the massive spread of Hellenistic civilization.
Blossoming of trade further marked the spread of Greek officials and merchants in every region, spreading Greek as a language and the Hellenic influence continued to exercise an influence on the spread of Christianity. However, repeated struggles for the hold over Macedon and Greece and wars against Rome led to Macedonia being annexed as the first Roman province, after which Macedon lost all its political importance in ancient times. Origins of Greek Philosophy (conversation as a way of life?
) Greek philosophy is said to be the earliest philosophy of the west, which started with a group of philosophers commonly known as pre-Socrates who were naturalists or cosmologists. Constantly pondering and discussing the fundamental questions about the formation and evolution of the universe, the first Greek philosophers chose reasoned arguments and oral debate as their vehicle for spreading their views on the world that they saw around them.
Although it is difficult to pin down the ideas of Thales, Anaximander, Pythagoras and Heraclitus- the first pre-Socratic philosophers- their lines exist as common sayings in today’s parlance. Later, Socrates and his pupil Plato and Aristotle went on to spread the method of inquiry via arguments in the form of conversations on subjects such as methods of acquiring knowledge, justice and practical ethics, metaphysics, reason, knowledge and human life.
The Beginnings of Rome (what’s Roman for `Republic`? ):- The legendary beginnings of Rome may be ascribed to the twins Romulus and Remus, sons of the vestal virgin, who were set afloat on the river Tiber in a basket from which they emerged at the banks to set up the Roman Empire. The worldly beginnings of Rome may be traced back to the Indo-Europeans who migrated to settle down in tribal clans among hills that were Rome, which was eventually captured by the Etruscan kings in 600BC.
In 509 BC the Romans drove out Tarquin, the Etruscan king and Rome became a republic with the senate of patricians, led by two consuls, becoming the chief organ of the government. The Roman Republic is remembered as a tumultuous, chaotic, and often violent period between the two classes of patricians and plebeians who vied for political power, until its demise at the hands of Caesar in the middle of the first century BC Roman Expansion (from farming village to Imperial capital): –
Rome was first established as tribal clans living in villages, tending to cattle and sheep on the shores of river Tiber and ruled by the Etruscan kings, from which Rome emerged as a Republic in 509 BC. The Romans thereafter rose to dominance in the Mediterranean with territorial expansion to the entire Italian Peninsula south of Po Valley, also conquering territories of Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica, Spain and Numidia and all of eastern and western Mediterranean.
Rome’s success as an imperial capital may be attributed not only to its military superiority but also to its policy of not enforcing absolute subjection and showing respect for local governments, laws and traditions. The Roman Republic in its last century extended to northern Africa, southern France and Asia with Caesar ‘s campaigns spreading the Roman language and civilization far and wide. The Decline of the Roman Republic (what can happen to a republic if you can’t keep it)
The Decline of the Roman Republic was a consequence of a series of actions and achievements over several years coupled with the prevalent social conditions and the continuous expansion of the Roman Empire that started with the Punic Wars. The class system in society and the political infighting, use of citizen assemblies for popular agendas and men like Gaius Marius and Sulla, worked to divide the people into warring factions.
Julius Caesar was not the only man who brought about the fall of the Roman Republic, but definitely did play a huge role in initiating the demise which was complete with his assassination and his heir Octavian coming to head Rome. The Republic system had become lifeless and it was time to convert it into an Empire, and fortunately there was Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus Augustus, who rose above corruption and political opposition to control the senate, the masses and the legions to reform, stabilize, and rule, as the first Emperor of the Roman Empire!