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Ancient Greece


Cultural slate 'wiped clean' by Dark Ages (1200-750 BCE) ... 'Dark Ages' in the Near East were shorter, ending around 900 BCE. Homer provides some glimpses ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Ancient Greece

Ancient Greece
  • -Key Concepts-

I. Prehistoric Beginnings
  • The Myceneans and the Minoans
  • Heinrich Schliemanns Discoveries
  • --Ancient Troy (1870)
  • --Mycenae (1876)
  • Arthur Evans Uncovers Knossos (1899)

A. Minoan Civilization
  • Society at its peak between 2000-1500 BCE
  • Harmonious and peaceful society
  • --first known flush toilet
  • Minoan civilization closely interrelated to
    Mycenean civilization
  • Minoan government

A. Minoan Civilization (cont)
  • Minoan Social Classes
  • Treatment of Women
  • Minoan Entertainment
  • A Gift for Inventions and Engineering
  • Minoan Religion
  • Minoan Art

B. Mycenaean Civilization
  • Emergence of Mycenean Civilization
  • Mycenean Conquest of the Minoans
  • The Fall of Mycenean Civilization
  • --Dorians
  • Mycenean Culture and Government
  • -- wanax
  • A culture geared toward war
  • Mycenean Art

C. Influence and Significance of Early Greek
  • Minor impact on later Greek life and culture
  • Cultural slate wiped clean by Dark Ages
    (1200-750 BCE)
  • Great wave of immigration during this era all
    over the Aegean and along western coast of Asia
  • Still, significant contributions
  • --earliest European civilizations
  • --progressive Minoan art
  • --Minoans worldly and innovative

II. The Dark Ages (1200-750 BCE)
  • Dark Ages in the Near East were shorter, ending
    around 900 BCE
  • Homer provides some glimpses
  • Simple political patterns
  • Emergence of an aristocracy exerting influence
    over society

II. The Dark Ages (cont)
  • Social Life during the Dark Ages
  • Purpose of Early Greek Religion
  • Anthropomorphic Greek gods
  • Greek indifference to an afterlife
  • The role of arete or excellence in early Greek

III. Early Greek Literature and the Greek
  • Development of the Greek alphabet
  • Benefits of the Greek alphabet
  • Homers Iliad
  • --Achilles and the Trojan Wars
  • Homers Odyssey
  • --Odysseus and Penelope

III. Early Greek Literature (cont)
  • Lessons of Homers Epics
  • Women as well as men pursued excellence
  • Homers depiction of the gods
  • Arete and the Birth of the Olympic Games (776
  • Centrality of religion for communal activity

III. Early Greek Literature (cont)
  • Hesiod and the theme of justice
  • -- Works and Days
  • Solon and the theme of moderation
  • 6th Century BCE Lyric Poetry
  • --Sappho from the island of Lesbos
  • --Archilocus the sailor

IV. Greek Geography
  • Mountains and islands created isolation
  • Blessed with lots of good harbors
  • Isolation led to political disunity
  • Intimate size of Greek city-states
  • Most plentiful natural resources

V. Early Political History and Colonization
  • The Emergence of the City-State (Polis)
  • --Athens, Sparta and Thebes
  • Importance of access to the sea in trading
  • Role of the gods in sea travel
  • The prosperity of Corinth
  • Origins of Greek colonization movement

V. Early Political History (cont)
  • Reasons for Greek colonization between 735-600
  • The Pattern of Greek colonization
  • -- metropolis
  • -- oikist
  • Interaction with local inhabitants
  • --1500 city-states stretching from modern Spain
    to Asia Minor (550)

V. Early Political History (cont)
  • Influence of other cultures through trade on
    Greek culture
  • Evolution of Greek city-state government
  • --phalanxes
  • Difference between ancient Greek political system
    and current American system

V. Early Political History (cont)
  • The concept of Greek citizenship
  • --ethnos (league)
  • --metics
  • Extension of some political rights to the poor
  • Humanistic approach to politics

VI. The Centrality of the Greek Polis
  • The basic political unit was the polis
  • The center of the polis was the acropolis
  • The Greek agora or marketplace
  • --Athens Painted Stoa
  • Most Greeks were farmers
  • Some small-scale craftsmen

VI. The Centrality of the Greek Polis (cont)
  • Intimacy was a key feature of polis life
  • Polis laws and government varied
  • The simplicity of the Greek lifestyle
  • Layout of Greek homes
  • --mens dining room
  • --womens room for working wool
  • --courtyard
  • Furniture and clothing

VI. The Centrality of the Greek Polis (cont)
  • Greek Dietary Habits
  • The nature of Greek slavery
  • Duties of Greek slaves
  • Sources of slaves
  • Treatment of slaves
  • Leisure and sociability of Greek life
  • Greeks were very religious people
  • Individual defined by place within the polis

VII. The Armed Camp of Sparta
  • Spartan militarism forged out of treatment of
    their neighbors
  • --Messenian Revolt (650 BCE)
  • Spartan governmental system
  • --ephors (overseers)
  • The equality of Spartan citizens Equals

VII. Ancient Sparta (cont)
  • Treatment of Helots
  • The training of Spartan boys
  • The role of women in Sparta
  • The common mess of Spartan men
  • Spartan attitudes toward materialism
  • Spartan military posture was isolationist and

VIII. The Athenian Political Partnership
  • The legend of Theseus
  • Athens evolved in a different direction than
  • Hereditary aristocracy ruled from 750-600 BCE
  • --Dracos Laws (610 BCE)
  • Emergency powers given to Solon (594 BCE)
  • Solon introduces democratic principles

VIII. Athenian Political Partnership (cont)
  • The tyranny of Pisistratus (546 BCE)
  • The overthrow of the tyranny of Hippias (510
  • Lasting stability introduced by Cleisthenes (507
  • All Attica divided into 10 regions demes

VIII. Athenian Political Partnership (cont)
  • Basic components of Athenian political system
  • --Assembly
  • --Athenian Council
  • --magistrates
  • --generals
  • The institution of ostracism

VIII. Athenian Political Partnership (cont)
  • Athenian democracy was never truly democratic,
    but close
  • Problems with the system
  • --undue influence of persuasive speech
  • --continuity of experience of officeholders
  • Reason-focused, humanistic foundation for
    Athenian political system

IX. Greek Military History
  • The golden age of Greece is set between two wars
    like giant bookends.

A. The Persian Wars
  • Initial Athenian contact with Persia
  • Athenian assistance to Ionian Greeks
  • Two Persian campaigns 490 and 480-479 BCE
  • The Battle of Marathon (490 BCE)
  • Xerxes invasion of Northern Greece (480)

A. The Persian Wars (cont)
  • The burning of Athens and Spartan resistance at
    the Pass of Thermopylae
  • The naval battle of Salamis (479 BCE)
  • Significance of victory over the Persians
  • Victory released a tremendous surge of confidence
    and optimism in human potential

B. Growth of the Athenian Empire (478-431 BCE)
  • Glorious war followed by inglorious era
  • Establishment of the Delian League
  • --triremes
  • Growing Athenian abuse of the Delian League
  • Spartan creation of the Peloponnesian League

B. Growth of Athenian Empire (cont)
  • Rich Athenians exploited the Delian League
  • Evolution of the Athenian Jury System
  • The political leadership of Pericles
  • Aggressive foreign policy against Sparta

C. The Peloponnesian War (431-404 BCE)
  • Origins of the War
  • Athenian military strategy
  • Problems with this strategy
  • Faltering Athenian religious confidence
  • Deteriorating political leadership in Athens
  • --Cleons capture of 120 Spartan Equals (425)

C. Peloponnesian War (cont)
  • Changing Spartan Military Strategy
  • --Athenian siege of Melos (416 BCE)
  • --Betrayal of General Alcibiades
  • Athenian surrender and aftermath
  • --Rule of the Thirty Tyrants
  • Continuing strife between Greek city-states

X. Women and Slaves in the Daily Life of Ancient
  • Discrimination against women seclusion
  • Special privileges for priestesses and
  • --Aspasia
  • Ancient Greek marriage
  • Life expectancy and daily duties of women
  • Property rights of Athenian women

X. Women and Slaves in Athens (cont)
  • Sexual bias against women
  • Legendary bias against women
  • --Pandoras box
  • The importance of bearing male children
  • The role of Athenian slaverysmall-scale but
    crucial to the development of Athenian culture

XI. Early Greek Philosophy
  • Phileo To love
  • Sophia Wisdom

A. Ionian Cosmologists (or Pre-Socratics)
  • Studied the workings of the physical universe
    apart from a religious context
  • --Thales
  • Nature is not governed by chance or manipulated
    by the godsnature is orderly
  • Importance of human reason

A. Ionian Cosmologists (cont)
  • All things could be reduced to a primary
  • --concept of metaphysics
  • --Thales water
  • --Democritus primal matter (atoms)

A. Ionian Cosmologists (cont)
  • Used general concepts crucial to abstract
  • --Anaximander notion of boundless and
  • --Pythagoras numbers explain natural world
  • --Parmenides reality known solely through the
    mind, not the senses

B. The Sophists
  • Professional teachers offering worldly wisdom and
    lessons in persuasion
  • The importance of oral culture in Athens
  • The training of Athenian youth
  • --Symposium

B. The Sophists (cont)
  • Humanistic and relativistic teaching of
  • -- Man is the measure of all things
  • --no absolute truths
  • Impact of such teaching
  • Conservative criticism of the Sophists
  • Fear that Sophist teaching would offend the gods

C. Socrates
  • His life and background
  • Human beings and society were the essential
    subjects of philosophical inquiry
  • Did believe in universal values and absolute
  • His method of teaching was continuous questioning

C. Socrates (cont)
  • New Direction in Greek philosophy Ethics
  • An emphasis on critical self-examination
  • Charges brought against Socrates by a democratic
  • The trial of Socrates
  • The execution of Socrates

XII. Greek Religion in the Classical Period
  • Concept of reciprocity
  • Divine punishment of humans
  • --miasma
  • The nature of the gods
  • No uniform Greek faith or creed
  • Priests, priestesses and religious observances

XII. Greek Religion in the Classical Period
  • The nature of a religious sacrifice
  • The role of hero cults
  • --Hercules
  • The Cult of Demeter and the Mysteries of Eleusis

XIII. Greek History
  • historia humanistic inquiry
  • Herodotusthe Father of History
  • --Father of anthropology as well
  • --chronicled the Persian Wars

XIII. Greek History (cont)
  • Thucydides and the Peloponnesian War
  • --scrutinized the reliability of sources
  • --sought underlying principles of history
    moralistic writing
  • --Athenian hubris led to Peloponnesian War
  • --humanistic explanation for historical events

XIV. Greek Medicine
  • Hippocrates Father of Scientific Medicine
  • Four humors (fluids) in the human body blood,
    phlegm, black bile and yellow bile
  • Physician should base his knowledge on careful
    observation of patients and their response to

XV. Greek Art and Architecture During the Golden
  • Black Figure Vases and jugs
  • Athenian sculptors took human greatness as their
    main theme
  • Well-proportioned, naturalistic human nudes
    appear early in the 5th century BCE
  • Sculptors and tragedians both depicting
    universal man

XV. Greek Art and Architecture During the Golden
Age (cont)
  • Aristocrats commission public statuary
  • Popularity of bronze as a medium for sculptors
  • --Myrons Discus Thrower
  • Motion and energy in Greek statuary reflected the
    possibility of change and instability in
    classical Greek times

XV. Greek Art and Architecture During the Golden
Age (cont)
  • The Athenian Parthenon (447-438 BCE)
  • Difference from Egyptian and Near Eastern
  • A new depiction of Athena
  • Not a gathering place for worshippers
  • Size and appearance of the building
  • An Ionic Frieze is used on a Doric-style Temple

XVI. Classical Greek Drama
  • Emergence of the Tragic Drama (500 BCE)
  • Athenian dramatic competitions
  • --protagonists
  • The role of the chorus and special effects
  • Tragedies were very humanistic
  • The universal law of fate and the role of
    rational reflection

XVI. Classical Greek Drama (cont)
  • The theatrical production
  • --Thespis first single actor
  • Ideal plot inspired pity or fear leading to a
    catharsis or cleansing for the audience
  • --Sophocles Antigone
  • Plays frequently featured women as central,
    active figures

XVI. Classical Greek Drama (cont)
  • Aeschylus and patriotic dramas
  • --The Persians
  • Sophocles and the problems of the human
    conditionmoderation also a key
  • --Oedipus Rex

XVI. Classical Greek Drama (cont)
  • The innovations of Euripides
  • --Medea and Electra
  • --most psychological of classical Greek
  • Aristophanes and classical Greek comedies
  • --The Clouds
  • --Lysistrata
  • --Birds (414 BCE)
  • State sponsorship of Greek comedies with no

XVII. The Significance of Greek Athletics
  • Origins of the Olympic Games
  • Importance of sportsmanship at the games
  • Individual, not national competition and the
    nature of training
  • Classical Greek Olympic Events

XVII. Greek Athletics (cont)
  • Determining a winner
  • Prizes for victors and the keeping of Olympic
  • --The significance of the pentathlon
  • No women allowed athletes performed in the nude
  • Later history of the Olympics before the modern

XVIII. The Legacy of Ancient Greece
  • See the Greeks realistically
  • The primacy of freedom
  • --eleutheria
  • Glorification of the mind and body
  • Dignity of the individual
  • Key words traced back to Greek civilization
  • Notion of democracy
  • Rich philosophical foundation
  • Fullest development of the human potential
  • --paidea everyone must sculpt their own statue