Golden Age of Greece Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Michelle Jones

Michelle has taught at the elementary level and has earned a master's degree.

There was a time in ancient Greece when the cities were at peace. The government was strong and people were encouraged to follow their passions. Here you will learn about this important time in Greece's history.

What is the Golden Age?

Imagine living somewhere in a time of peace and happiness. There is no war. The government is supportive and encouraging, and almost all opinions are heard. There are beautiful paintings and sculptures around the city, and entertaining plays and poets can be seen on the streets and in theaters.

About 2,400 years ago, that's pretty much what it was like in Greece. This time is known as the Golden Age, and Athens was the main city where it occurred. Pericles was the leader of Athens during this successful time in Greece's history. From around 460 BCE - 429 BCE, Pericles put money into the city of Athens and its people which allowed them to enjoy daily life and create the base of many ideas that we use in our country today. Athens became so important that it is now the capital of Greece.

Map of Greece showing Athens
Map of Greece, showing Athens

Architecture

During a previous war, one of the most popular and largest buildings in Athens was destroyed. The Parthenon sits on the Acropolis, which is the highest part of the city. Pericles paid workers to rebuild the Parthenon using beautiful columns made of marble. He also hired artists to paint murals on the outside and inside of the building. All of this hard work made the Parthenon even better than it was before and turned it into one of the most famous buildings in Greece.

The Parthenon during the Golden Age
Drawing of the Parthenon

Arts

Around the city of Athens, painters and sculptors used their talent to make the city look beautiful. There were paintings on buildings and sculptures of gods and goddesses. If you ever visit Washington D.C., you will notice columns and paintings on many of the buildings. These are ideas we got from Greece.

Pericles didn't want his citizens to be bored either, so he hired writers, play directors, and philosophers to entertain people throughout the city. People who loved to read enjoyed books such as Homer's The Iliad. There were plays that were funny, known as comedies, and plays called tragedies, that didn't have such a happy ending. Philosophers are people who study knowledge, values, and ideas about life. Socrates was a famous philosopher who lived during the Golden Age.

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