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When we think about Ancient Greece, we most likely think of the Classical Age. Starting with the first Persian invasion and ending with the rise of Macedonia, this was the period in which Athens and Sparta vied for control of Greece. It was also a time of remarkable cultural and intellectual achievement.
The Classical Age saw the flourishing of the polis, or the city-state. At this time, the Hellenic world was largely separated by nascent city-states. These young city-states needed new institutions for governance, leading to the development of modern politics. Many of the city-states were democratic, but the old aristocracy was still influential.
Classical Greece was a turbulent time, beset by wars and the rise and fall of empires. It saw the defeat of the Persians and the rise of Athens, Sparta and Thebes. The rise of Macedon ended the era of the Greek city-state. What is most remarkable about the Classical Age was its cultural, artistic and intellectual achievements. Without this period, the modern world as we know it likely wouldn’t exist.