Ancient Greece was one of the most formative civilizations in Western history. While never an Empire, the Greeks, and particularly the people of Athens, developed and put into practice early concepts of democracy and legal equality. Aristophanes and Sophocles wrote classic plays describing issues important to Athenians of the 5th century BCE, but which still resonate today - the social cost of warfare and the contest between loyalty to one’s family and obedience to one's government. Even after the end of the Classical period, when Athens and other Greek city-states fell under the control of Macedon and Rome, the Greeks continued to make their mark on the ancient Western world through the development of Hellenistic art, science, philosophy and religious cults. We'll examine the history of Greece from its prehistoric period through the Classical period and into the Hellenistic Age with a particular focus on the political and intellectual advances made by the Greeks and inherited by all of Western society.