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Ancient Athens was recognized predominantly during its Golden Age.

Unfortunately, the

events during this era of innovation also lead to the destruction of Athens’ city and culture. The

main reason for this downfall is due to the aftermath of the Peloponnesian War. This essay will

go in depth about the events of the Golden Age, and what led to the downfall of Ancient Athens.

But to do that, it is imperative to discuss the events that led to the rise of Ancient Athens.

When Athens first started, they were not focusing on agricultural trade, instead opting for

the route of sea trade. This gave them a strong advantage over other cities, allowing them faster

travel times. Massive fortresses were constructed during the era of the Mycenaeans, which was

good for helping defend Athens. Later during the rise of Athens, an Athenian named Draco came

up with the first set of laws. Solon later reformed Draco’s harsh and stern punishments, which

ultimately led to the backbone of one of the first democracies. These reasons, along with many

others, led to what is defined as the Golden Age of Ancient Athens.

The Golden Age was a revolutionary era for the Athenians in ancient times.

Mathematicians like Euclid, who was one of the first to study Geometry, was living there.

Scientists like Archimedes, one of the first physicists, resided within the walls of Ancient

Athens. Modern medicine was also known to flourish well here. Later during this age, Athens

and many other Greek city-states formed the Delian League. This was created to pool resources

to raise defenses and militaries. Athens was mostly known as being the leader of this ancient

league. Any city-state that tried to exit the league would be ravaged to make an example out of

them. This exertion of power would ultimately lead to the downfall of Ancient Athens.
The downfall of Ancient Athens is generally due to one major event: the Peloponnesian

War. Due to the growing tension between Athens and Sparta, mainly due to Sparta losing trust in

Athens, they both waged war on each other. Athens eventually lost the war, due to Pericles’

overconfidence of the Athenians’ ability. He later failed in regaining their trust after the war. The

war led to the death of over 25% of the population. He was later voted out of office because of

the Athenians’ distrust for their leader. The aftermath of the war and losing so much of the

population was what created the downfall, and ultimately made most people lose respect for


Due to the Peloponnesian War, the ancient city of Athens unfortunately became a much

weaker power. But, it is not competent to disregard all other Athenian accomplishments due to

their fall. Everything has a rise and fall, and the Athenians made many revolutionary strides in

the fields of science, mathematics, and medicine before reaching their fall. Obviously, we must

still put blame to the ruler Pericles’ incompetence during the war. It is to be noted that, without

him as a ruler, Athens may have lasted longer as a functioning city-state. In conclusion, Athens

had a rise and fall like all other civilizations, but they made outstanding achievements in many

modern studies.

Works Cited

Mark, Joshua J. “Athens” Ancient History Encyclopedia, 28 April 2011, www.ancient.eu/Athens

Anonemuss. “The Golden Age of Athens” Owlcation, 11 February 2019,


Alejandra Mendez. “The Fall of Athens” StMU History Media, 2 November 2017,


“Ancient Greece/Peloponnesian War” Ducksters,