Volume V of the new edition of The Cambridge Ancient History encompasses the first Classic age of European civilization--the fifth century BC. This was the first and last period before the Romans in which great political and military power was located in the same place as cultural importance. This volume, therefore, is more narrowly focused geographically than its predecessors and successors, and hardly strays beyond Greece. Athens is at the center of the picture, both politically and culturally, but events and achievements elsewhere are assessed as carefully as the nature of our sources allows. Two series of narrative chapters, one on the growth of the Athenian empire and the development of Athenian democracy, the other on the Peloponnesian War that brought them down, are divided by a series of studies in which the artistic and literary achievements of the fifth century are described.
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