The triumph of the Greeks against the Persian threat was followed the pinnacle of Athenian greatness, which emerged as the foremost city of the time and as a great naval power and political center. Athens’ place on top was sustained for an extended period of time due in large part to the effective leadership of Pericles, who during the 4th century B.C., helped create essential societal and political institutions. These institutions included a governing legislative body and the official Church of the city-state, which contributed to the validation of Athens being the birthplace of democracy.
The most advanced, celebrated and revered architectural structure of the day was the Acropolis. While in the cultural arena, philosophy found fertile ground for intellectual growth and advancement through greats like Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, who distinguished themselves by opening their own schools of philosophy. Also during this time, the Greek Tragedy first appeared, with the most well-known playwrights being Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides; whose works are still studied and performed in theaters, including the political satire by Aristophanes, who also was a popular playwright at the time. Finally, Herodotus and Thucydides (known as the Fathers of History), inspired by both the Persian and Peloponnesian Wars, left for us important historical literary works.