The Athenian Adventurer (c. 1300 B.C.)
Theseus suppressed crime and brought the natives of
Attica together into the first democracy. He
saved the Athenian children from the Minotaur, but his
kidnap of the queen of the Amazons brought trouble,
and he ended his days in disgrace.
The Father of Sparta (c. 800 B.C.)
Lycurgus established harmony, simplicity, and strength
in Sparta. This warrior society tamed its youth
through systematic education aimed at developing
leadership, courage, public spirit, and wisdom.
The Lawmaker of Athens (c. 600 B.C.)
Athens, unlike Sparta, was a money-mad commercial city.
The constitution framed by Solon mitigated the class
struggle between the rich and the poor, and allowed
for the growth of democratic institutions.
"The Just" (530 - 468 B.C.)
Aristides was so respected throughout Greece for his
fairness that Athens assumed the leadership of the
alliance against the Persian invaders. His
character is a model for all ages.
"The Olympian" (495 - 429 B.C.)
By the power of his eloquence, and the money embezzled
from Athens' unwilling allies, Pericles built Athens
into a beautiful city and a powerful empire.
Athenian imperialism, however, led to war with Sparta,
known to history as the Peloponnesian War.
The Slave of Fear (died 413 B.C.)
The turning point of the war with Sparta was the
disastrous Sicilian Expedition eagerly undertaken by
the greedy Athenians. Nicias was the reluctant
leader in this debacle.
The Lame King of Sparta (444 - 360 B.C.)
Agesilaus inherited the Spartan throne after Sparta
had defeated Athens in the Peloponnesian War.
At that time, Sparta was the undisputed master of
Greece and the Aegean. Because of his stubborn
lust for conquest, Agesilaus violated the laws of
Lycurgus against imperialistic ventures and fighting
too much with the same enemy. By the time
Agesilaus died, Sparta had lost most of its prestige
The Freedom Fighter (410 - 364 B.C.)
Pelopidas led the Thebans to recover their liberty,
then he led them to victory over the invincible
Spartans. From beginning to end, his was the
life of a hero.
The Savior of Syracuse (409 - 354 B.C.)
Sicily was an important part of the Greek world. Dion
led the struggle against tyranny in its largest city,
Syracuse. Betrayal and ingratitude were his
reward for indulging the democrats of Syracuse.
The Friend of Fortune (411 - 336 B.C.)
Against heavy odds, but with the help of the gods,
Timoleon took up where Dion had left off, and
liberated Sicily from barbarians and tyrants.
His courage and wisdom established peace and
prosperity where before there had been desolation and
"The Great" (356 - 323 B.C.)
In an amazing eleven-year journey of conquest, young
Alexander of Macedonia conquered all the way from
Egypt to India. Behind him came Greek
institutions and the Greek language, which became the
standard of the ancient world. The intoxication
of power caused Alexander to become strange to his
friends, and he died unhappy.
"The Good" (402 - 318 B.C.)
After her defeat in the Peloponnesian War, and her
surrender to the power of Macedonia, Athens became a
decadent democracy. Phocion did his best to save
his fellow citizens from their own foolishness, and at
last he earned the reward of Socrates.
The Fool of Hope (319 - 272 B.C.)
In Pyrrhus' wild career of restless trouble-making, we
see a soul incapable of satisfaction. He was a
mighty man of war, and nearly conquered Rome, but he
could never finish what he started before getting
distracted by a new project.
The Reformer of Sparta (reigned 245
- 241 B.C.)
The love of money had virtually destroyed the laws of
Lycurgus in Sparta by the time Agis became king.
This idealistic young man tried to restore the old way
of life that had made Sparta great, but he was
defeated by the power of greed.
"The Last of the Greeks" (252 - 182
Philopoemen led the last remnants of resistance to the
creeping domination of Rome in Greece. In this
austere general, we see an indomitable character,
superior to his circumstances.
to Major Topics:
War | Amazons
of the Snake |
of Marathon | Battle
of Salamis | Battle
of Plataea | Battle
of Leuctra |
Four Ages of Humanity