Women of Trachis: Trachiniae Historical Context

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Ancient Athens and the Golden Age

The ancient civilizations that existed in what is approximately present-day Greece flourished during Sophocles's lifetime to become the most culturally and economically advanced societies in the world. In the sixth century b.c.e., power and influence were concentrated in the urban centers of Sparta, Corinth, Thebes, and Athens, whose powerful landowning aristocrats controlled the surrounding areas. As these cities grew wealthier, however, a mercantile class became increasingly influential and eventually contributed to the founding of the world's first major democracy (though only male citizens could vote), erected around 500 b.c.e. in Athens. At this time, Athens and the other Greek cities were united in war with Persia, and after the conflict abated Athens emerged unchallenged as the dominant power of the region.

Athenian dominance ushered in a period of cultural and economic prosperity marked by extraordinary advances in philosophy, literature...

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This section contains 836 words
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Buy the Women of Trachis: Trachiniae Study Guide
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