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Ancient Greece


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Title: Ancient Greece

Ancient Greece
Geography of Greece
  • Mountainous allowed for the Greek polis or
    city-state to develop in isolation and
    independent of one another.
  • Seas Greek city-states and its people became
    seafarers due to the close proximity of the
    Aegean Ionian Seas
  • The warm climate promoted an outdoor life.

Mycenaean Civilization Develops
  • Came into contact with the Minoans sometime after
    1500 BCE either by trade or war.
  • Preserved spread aspects of the Minoan culture
    (writing system, art, literature, religion).

Cultural Diffusion
  • Primarily through Trade Networks
  • Concept will be repeated throughout history
  • Two major types
  • diffusion through choice where the group
    adopts new concepts because they want to do so
  • diffusion by coercion where the group is
    forced to adopt new concepts by war and
    domination of another culture

The Trojan War
  • During the 1200s BCE, the Mycenaeans fought a
    ten-year war against Troy.
  • Last great military campaign for the Mycenaeans.
  • Fought over Helen who was kidnapped by a Trojan
  • Not long after the war the Dorians became the
    dominant Greek civilization a period of decline
  • Little is known of the Dorians because they kept
    no written records.
  • Most of the time periods history was passed down
    through story telling.
  • Homer Iliad and the Odyssey

Ancient Sparta
Sparta Government Society
  • Spartan citizens elected officials who made up
    the Council of Elders which made laws.
  • The major social classes of Spartan society were
    made up of citizens with history in Sparta, then
    non-citizens who were free and owned land and
    lastly the helots who were servants and slaves.

Daily Life
  • The military was the central focus of Spartan
    society. They were the most advanced military of
    their time.
  • At the age of 7 all males were sent to live in
    army barracks where they were trained to read,
    write and fight.
  • At age 30 they were sent home to marry then they
    reported to the military front.
  • At age 60 they were allowed to retire.

Daily Life Cont.
  • Spartan women were also given military training
    and were fed more food than their Athenian
  • Spartan women had considerable freedom especially
    in running the household.
  • Spartan women were strong both physically and
    mentally telling their husbands
  • come back with your shield or on it.

The Persian Wars
  • Name given to a series of battles between the
    Greeks and Persian Empire.
  • The Spartan army used a military tactic known as
    a phalanx. (Standing side by side)
  • Victories at Marathon and Thermopylae helped the
    Greeks drive out the Persian army.
  • Victory in the Persian Wars led a great
    confidence on the part of the Greeks and led to a
    brief Golden Age for Athens.

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Four Forms of Government in Ancient Greece
  • Monarchy form of govt. in which the ruling power
    is in the hands of a single person. This was the
    case under the Mycenaeans who ruled Greece from
    2000 to 1100 BCE.
  • Oligarchy Form of govt. in which the ruling
    power is in the hands of a few leaders. Between
    1100 and 800 BCE small groups of people began to
    share the ruling power This was shared among
    aristocrats. People lacked full political rights

Four Forms of Government in Ancient Greece
  • Tyranny form of govt. in which the ruling power
    is in the hands of an individual who has seized
    control, often by illegal means. Tyrannies in
    Greece first arose during the mid 600s BCE. Many
    tyrants only ruled for short periods of time.
  • Democracy form of govt. in which the ruling
    power is in the hands of all the people.
    Democracy developed in ancient Greece around 500
    BCE in the city-state of Athens, where many
    people began to oppose the rule of the tyrants.
    One important fact. Public officials did not have
    that much individual power.

Greek Golden Age
  • Occurs during the leadership of Pericles in the
    5th Century BCE.
  • The achievements were mainly confined to the
    city-states of Athens where a strong economy and
    good government created the conditions necessary
    for such advancements.
  • Pericles increased the number of paid officials
    in Athens.

  • The Ancient Greeks were the first to use
    democracy as a form of government. 
  • Under Pericles, male citizens in Athens
    participated in the daily running of government. 
  • This form of direct democracy excluded all
    non-citizens, such as women and slaves. 
  • Today, many governments around the world practice
    some form of democracy.

The Peloponnesian War
  • Fought by Athens and its empire against the
    Peloponnesian League, led by Sparta.
  • More than 1/3 of the Athenians, including
    Pericles, died as a result of disease.
  • Won by Sparta.

  • Greek philosophers, or "lovers of wisdom," used
    observation and reason to study the world around
  • Socrates encouraged Greeks to question themselves
    and their moral character. ( Socratic Method).
    Tried for corrupting the youth put to death.
  • Plato wrote The Republic favored a strong
    central government.
  • Aristotle favored human reason as a way to solve
    problems. (Teacher of Alexander the Great.)
  • Socrates

  • Early Greek literature was in the form of plays
    developed for religious ceremonies.
  • Famous writers, such as Aeschylus and Sophocles,
    wrote tragedies and comedies about human conflict
    and interaction between the gods and man. 

  • Herodotus a Greek who lived in Athens for a
    time, pioneered the accurate reporting of events.
    His book on the Persian Wars is considered the
    first work of history.
  • Greatest historian of the classical age was
    Thucydides. The approaches Thucydides used in
    his work still guide historians today.

Drama and History
  • Greeks invented drama as an art form and built
    the first theaters in the west.
  • Tragedy a serious drama about common themes
    (love, hate, war, betrayal) and featured a tragic
    hero (important person and often gifted with
    extraordinary abilities). The heros downfall
    was often a tragic flaw such as hubris (excessive
  • Comedies contained scenes filled with slapstick
    situation and humor. Playwrights often made fun
    of politics, respected people, and ideas of the

Art Architecture
  • Greek artists portrayed the human figure in
    idealized realism.  Paintings and sculptures
    show humans in the perfect form. 
  • Greek architects build elaborate buildings using
    marble and the Greek column.  The most famous
    example of Greek architecture is the Parthenon in
  • Many buildings around the world today use Greek
    architectural ideas.

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  • Hippocrates, a 5th century BCE physician, studied
    the causes of illnesses and experimented with
    various cures. 
  • He is also credited with creating a set of
    ethical standards for doctors called the
    Hippocratic Oath.

Math Science
  • Greek mathematician Pythagoras, developed a
    formula to calculate the relationship between the
    sides of a right triangle, a method still in use
  • Aristarchus, a Greek astronomer, discovered that
    the earth rotated on its axis, and revolved
    around the sun. 
  • Eratosthenes discovered that the earth was round,
    and accurately calculated its circumference.
    Euclid wrote a book called The Elements, which is
    the basis for modern geometry. 
  • A Greek scientist named Archimedes tried to use
    science for more practical matters, he showed how
    the use of a lever and pulley system could lift
    just about any weight.

  • By 3000 BCE, the Minoans lived on the large Greek
    island of Crete.
  • The Minoans created an elegant civilization that
    had great power in the Mediterranean world.
  • Bronze Age civilization.
  • The Minoans were primarily a mercantile people
    engaged in overseas trade. (tin)

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  • A long narrative poem celebrating the deeds of
    legendary or traditional heroes

  • Relating to the civilization, language, art,
    science, and literature of the Greek world from
    the reign of Alexander the Great to the late
    second century B.C.

  • An Indo-European person who settled on the Greek
    mainland around 2000 B.C.

  • A traditional story about gods, ancestors, or
    heroes, told to explain the natural world or the
    customs and beliefs of a society.

  • A government in which power is in the hands of a
    few people especially one on which rule is
    based on wealth

Hellenistic Age
  • Occurs under the leadership of Alexander the
    Great, who conquered an empire stretching from
    the Greek mainland all the way to the Indus River
  • Hellenistic society was a blending of Greek,
    Egyptian, Persian, and many other cultures that
    gave rise to advancements in math, science, art,
    and literature.

Accomplished by the age of 33. Undefeated as a
battlefield commander.
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