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By Hal Marcovitz

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He was the first philosopher to urge people to engage in self-examination, to question their own opinions as well as those of others. Throughout his life he wrote down little, but he believed all vice was a result of ignorance and that to seek knowledge is a virtue. He believed the pursuit of knowledge should be a lifelong goal. Although Socrates held no formal classes, students sought him out to gain his wisdom. One of his closest followers was Plato. Born in 428 BC, Plato was a member of an aristocratic family.

Twenty-seven years of warfare had reduced its population, destroyed its army and navy, and drained its treasury. 62 Continuing Conflicts The end of the Peloponnesian War did not end the era of civil warfare in Greece. In 395 BC an eight-year conflict known as the Corinthian War broke out between Sparta and her former allies, among them Downfall of the Council of Thirty T he Council of Thirty, also known as the Thirty Tyrants, was composed of Athenian aristocrats placed in charge of the city-state by the Spartans following the defeat of Athens in the Peloponnesian War.

In the 360s BC Thebes—believing the Spartans had grown weak after many years of warfare—attempted to dominate the Peloponnesian Peninsula. The Theban general Epaminondas attempted to cut off Sparta from its allies, including Corinth and Phlius. The Thebans were eventually defeated at the Battle of Mantinea in 362 BC by a Spartan army bolstered by a number of allies—including Athens (proof that in ancient Greece, even longtime enemies could occasionally ally themselves against a common foe). The Emergence of Alexander From this chaos, a new leader of Greece would emerge in 336 BC when Alexander III ascended the throne of Macedonia, an independent nation north of Greece.

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Ancient Greece by Hal Marcovitz


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