History Resources

This excellent history of the Parthenon and Acropolis from the ancient world to the present is a useful starting place for students beginning their study of the ancient Hellenic world.

It could be used as an introduction to and body of teaching about that focuses on Pericles Athens

After showing students this work by Costas Gavras tewachers might like to ask some of these questions as a means of establishing students entry knowledge.

  • How do you think Kostas Gavras came to know about the ancient past?
  • What sources of information might he have had access to?
  • If you asked Kostas Gavras why and where did the ancient Greek societies develop, what do you think he might say?
  • What were the main features of ancient Greek society up to the time of the Parthenon’s construction?
  • What has this ancient society given us, in other words, what have we learned from them?

This could be done as a class discussion, as group work activity involving Internet or library research, or as a homework exercise supported by Internet based research.

Students could also build a time line for the Parthenon while watching the video.

Students could use screen captures of the different periods in the history of the Parthenon to illustrate their time line.

Secrets of the Parthenon

Geographical setting, natural features and their influence on development

Students are expected to be able to:

  • describe the geographical setting and natural features of the ancient society
  • explain how the geographical setting and natural features influenced the development of the society

Here is an image of the Acropolis with the Parthenon prominently featured. It shows the physical environment – today

Ancient Greek civilisation has greatly changed the environment pictured here.


This area is known as Attica. It’s easy to find this location using Google maps.

It’s easy to see that people have built on this rocky outcrop. People’s ideas are expressed in the structures on the Acropolis hill.

  • Why would ancient Greeks have chosen this place to build?
  • What materials did they use to build these structures?
  • What reason might people have to build on a hill like this?
  • Does Attica provide any unique building materials? Explain.
  • How might the physical setting of Attica influenced the development of Pericles Athens?

Click on this link for evidence that will help you answer these questions.

Ancient Athens 3D might also be a useful resource for gaining an orientation

Describing major periods of historical time and sequences events, people and societies from the past HT4-2

  1. Wikipedia Free Encyclopaedia has an excellent timeline of the ancient history.  There is also a more specific time line of Greece in the 5th century bce.

2. Here is Ancient Western Civilisations timeline from 3500bce to 4756ce

Organisation, government, law and religion

Students are expected to:

  • outline how the ancient society was organised and governed including the roles of law and religion

There are many resources,  Here is a short collection:

Society, classes, bureaucracy, women and slaves

Students are expected to:

  • describe the roles of appropriate key groups in the ancient society, eg the ruling elite, the nobility, citizens (Greece and Rome), bureaucracy, women and slaves

Here is a short collection of resources:

  • describe the everyday life of men, women and children in the ancient society

Suggested Site Study – The Evidence of Ancient Greek Society  – today

Here is an excellent, platform independent, HTML5 resource that allows us to explore the Acropolis using virtual reality and meets the requirement of the site study component of the depth study on ancient Greece, visiting as virtual archaeological site.


Click here to begin the virtual tour of the Acropolis

Construction – Logistics, creative processes, architecture, mathematics

The Mystery of the Parthenon – YouTube

Acropolis of Athens – Virtual Tourist

Ancient Greece During its “Golden Age” Focus on the city Athens and its Acropolis

The Parthenon –  Some significant misconceptions about Elgin, not historically accurate

Religious significance in Athens 447BCE


Aesthetics in context – the Panathenaic festival

  1. Economic and Social significance in Athens 447BCE

Why Study Athens – Cornell University