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Ch 7: AP World History: Hellenism and Athenian Philosophy

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons on Hellenism and Athenian philosophy and learn about democracy in Athens, philosophical concepts, Greek theatre, and more. Discover how Hellenization benefited the ancient world, and take a virtual mini-tour of Alexander the Great's empire in this AP World History course.

AP World History: Hellenism and Athenian Philosophy - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

For a long period of history, Greece was the center of the world, producing philosophers, scientists, leaders, and authors who still hold influence today. In this chapter, you'll learn about society and life in Athens, from its political structure to its arts. Our lessons are broken down in order to explain each aspect of the Hellenistic world in more detail. You'll learn about the relationship and ideas of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle and the main concepts we still think about today. After completing this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Describe the structure and function of Athenian democracy
  • Name the works of the great playwrights of Athens
  • Explain the wars and conquests during this era
  • Talk about the philosophical concepts of this time

VideoObjective
Athenian Democracy: Solon and CleisthenesExplore the political and social reforms of these two men and the structure of democracy in Athens.
Pericles, the Delian League, and the Athenian Golden AgeTake a look at Pericles' life and his plan to turn Athens into the seat of a maritime empire.
Greek Theatre: Tragedy and ComedyLearn about Sophocles, Aeschylus, and Euripides and their works that made them the top three Greek tragedians.
Peloponnesian War and ThucydidesCompare Thucydides and Herodotus as historians and learn about the Greek history they wrote.
Socrates: Life, Death, and PhilosophyExamine the life and works of the great philosopher as well as his dramatic end.
Platonic Idealism: Plato and His InfluenceDiscover Plato's central philosophical concepts, how he expanded on Socrates' work, and the way he shaped generations of future philosophers.
Aristotelian Logic: Aristotle's Central Concepts and InfluenceExplore Aristotle's philosophy, how he reacted against Plato, and how he influenced the state of philosophy for ages to come.
Alexander the Great and the Birth of HellenismTake a look at Alexander the Great's life, achievements, and legacy in his attempts to spread Greek culture.
The Library of Alexandria and the Benefits of HellenizationLearn about the library that was at the center of scholarship for the world and the information contained there.
Euclid, Archimedes, and Ptolemy: Alexandrian Hellenistic PhilosophersCompare the ideas and accomplishments of these three great Alexandrian philosophers.
New Schools of Philosophy: Cynics, Epicurean, and StoicsExamine the central tenets of these three schools of philosophy that developed in Athens.
The Argonautica Textual Analysis: Underlying Themes in the Myth of Jason and the ArgonautsDiscover the plot, characters, and themes in this epic poem full of magic, adventure, and fighting.
The Seven Wonders of Alexander the Great's EmpireTake a look at Alexander's empire by way of visiting its most famous wonders.

9 Lessons in Chapter 7: AP World History: Hellenism and Athenian Philosophy
Athenian Democracy: Solon and Cleisthenes

1. Athenian Democracy: Solon and Cleisthenes

Although Athens is remembered for creating the first democracy, it took many years and multiple leaders to develop the system we think of today. Learn about who took control, what reforms they made and how the people revolted against the old system.

Pericles, the Delian League, and the Athenian Golden Age

2. Pericles, the Delian League, and the Athenian Golden Age

This lecture covers the formation of the Delian League, its development into the Athenian Empire and the peculiar place of Pericles in the midst of it all, turning the city of Athens into the seat of an empire.

Peloponnesian War and Thucydides

3. Peloponnesian War and Thucydides

This lecture covers the Peloponnesian War. First we enumerate the causes of the war. Then we examine Pericles' plan to win it. We see how Pericles' plan eventually fell apart and how the Athenians struggled without leadership until their eventual destruction at the hands of the Spartans.

Socrates: Life, Death and Philosophy

4. Socrates: Life, Death and Philosophy

This lecture is a whirlwind tour through the life of Socrates. It begins with an explanation of the Socratic problem, followed by an examination of his philosophy. The lecture ends with a summary of Socrates' legacy.

Platonic Idealism: Plato and His Influence

5. Platonic Idealism: Plato and His Influence

This lecture examines the philosophy and legacy of Plato. It covers the Allegory of the Cave, the Realm of Forms and Plato's views on politics and the soul. Finally, it shows Plato's enduring legacy in modern science.

Aristotelian Logic: Aristotle's Central Concepts and Influence

6. Aristotelian Logic: Aristotle's Central Concepts and Influence

This lesson will explore the life of the famous philosopher Aristotle. It will highlight his life in Northern Greece and Athens, as well as his interactions with Alexander the Great. It will also explain the main tenants of Aristotelian logic.

Alexander the Great and the Birth of Hellenism

7. Alexander the Great and the Birth of Hellenism

This lesson describes Alexander the Great's mighty empire. Beginning with a brief account of his father Philip, the lecture then turns to an enumeration of Alexander's conquests. Next, Alexander's methods are explored. Finally, we will discuss Alexander's legacy of Hellenization.

Euclid, Archimedes & Ptolemy: Alexandrian Hellenistic Philosophers

8. Euclid, Archimedes & Ptolemy: Alexandrian Hellenistic Philosophers

This lecture recounts the achievements of the many great minds that called Alexandria home. We will look at Euclid, Ptolemy, Archimedes, Aristarchus, Herophilos, Erasistratus and Eratosthenes.

Schools of Philosophy in Antiquity: Cynics, Epicureans & Stoics

9. Schools of Philosophy in Antiquity: Cynics, Epicureans & Stoics

In this lesson, we will study three schools of philosophy in antiquity: the Cynics, the Epicureans, and the Stoics. We will discuss the founder of each school, as well as its major characteristics.

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