Thermopylae III

Lead: At Thermopylae, a small contingent of Greeks led by the Spartan King Leonidas delayed the onrushing Persian invasion. The tiny blocking force was destroyed, but its resistance paved the way to ultimate victory over Persia.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Thermopylae, the Hot Gates, named for a nearby sulfurous artesian spring, was in 480 BCE a narrow pass between the mountains and the Malian Gulf northwest of Athens. It was one of landside gateways to southern Greece and a well-chosen choke point where a small force could resist to great effect the regiments of Persian King Xerxes.

Read more →

The Trial and Execution of Socrates II

Lead: In 399 BC, Socrates, Greek teacher and philosopher, suspected of complicity in Athens’ defeat in the Peloponnesian War, was condemned to death by a jury of his peers.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: In the modern era, Socrates is regarded as one of the most influential figures in the development of thought and philosophy in the west. In the aftermath of the Peloponnesian War, in 399 BC, Socrates was viewed by some as an enemy of Athenian democracy. Socrates often criticized city officials for their lack of moral and intellectual leadership. In the aftermath of Athens’ defeat, charges were brought against the seventy year old teacher, charges of impiety (religious heresies) and corruption of the morals of the young men of Athens (unpatriotic agitation).

Read more →

The Trial and Execution of Socrates I

Lead: In 399 BC the Greek philosopher and social critic, Socrates, was tried for religious heresies and corrupting the morals of the young. His conviction led to his suicide.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Socrates, left no writings of his own. His life and philosophy are known to us through the writings of Plato, his most famous pupil and follower, and through the Greek historian Xenophon. His ideas became the foundation for an secular ethical philosophy based on knowledge and self-examination. Through knowledge, Socrates maintained, one could learn justice, truth and love, and in their application lead a moral life. Socrates’ method of teaching his philosophy is now known as the “Socratic method”- a dialogue between teacher and student that promotes self-examination. The teacher begins with a question such as “What is courage?” The student responds and thus begins a series of interrogatives, question answer, further question, answer, and so on.

Read more →

Thermopylae II

Lead: The battle at Thermopylae was as much a clash of cultures and competing loyalties as it was a military engagement. It helped preserve a unique part of the western tradition.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: Despite a relatively benign style of imperial administration, the Greeks proved a problem for Persia. The Empire encountered resistance and then in the 490s BCE, open rebellion in the Greek city-state of Iona in what is now western Turkey. Persian attempts to put down that rebellion which had been aided by the city-states of mainland Greece and absorb the peninsula itself came a cropper at the Battle of Marathon northeast of Athens in 490. For ten years, Persia nursed its wounded pride and ambition violated in Darius’ defeat at Marathon. His son, Xerxes was determined to right that failure.

Read more →

Thermopylae I

Lead: During three hot August days in 480 BCE, the Spartan king Leonidas and an elite force of his countrymen and their allies killed or held at bay thousands of Persian troops at the “Hot Gates,” Thermopylae.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The battle at the narrow pass, which for a brief time delayed the enormous armies of Xerxes, has been described as triumph of west over east, one of the singular moments in the developments of western civilization and signaled the superiority of Spartan, hence Greek, hence European, arms and character over the perfidious and uncivilized hoards of the east. Most of that is Greek war propaganda and survives largely because the account of the Greco-Persian Wars was written by a Greek, the eminent historian Herodotus.

Read more →

The Parthenon

Lead: Etched on the Athenian skyline, the Parthenon has been subjected to abuse by a succession of regimes, but throughout, even in ruin, it has retained a profound elemental dignity.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: With the formal cessation of hostilities between the city-states of Greece and their Persian antagonist in 449 BC, the citizens of Athens and their formidable leader, Pericles, returned to pursuits of peace. He wished to make Athens a center of culture and intellect and began with a comprehensive program of construction and refurbishment. Pericles’ first project was a magnificent new structure that would dominate the Acropolis, the magnificent Temple of Athena or Parthenos.

 

Read more →

The Battle of Salamis Part I

Lead: During the 5th century BCE the outcome of the Greco-Persian Wars shifted international power from the Persian Empire to the Greeks. The Battle of Salamis is often regarded as the turning point.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: The Greco-Persian Wars were a series of military conflicts between several Greek city-states and the Persian Empire lasting for two decades from 499 to 479 BCE. The naval Battle of Salamis fought in 480 was documented by the Greek historian, Herodotus and was considered by him to be decisive in determining the outcome

 

Read more →

The Parthenon

Lead: Etched on the Athenian skyline, the Parthenon has been subjected to abuse by a succession of regimes, but throughout even in ruin has retained a profound elemental dignity.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: With the formal cessation of hostilities between the city-states of Greece and their Persian antagonist in 449 BC, the citizens of Athens and their formidable leader Pericles returned to pursuits of peace. He wished to make Athens a center of culture and intellect and began with a comprehensive program of construction and refurbishment. Pericles first project was a magnificent new structure that would dominate the Acropolis, the magnificent Temple of Athena Parthenos.

 

Read more →