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  • Greece occupies a small area in the Mediterranean
    and Aegean Seas
  • Made up of the mainland and numerous islands
  • Two geographic features played a significant role
    in developing Greece
  • Mountains
  • Isolated Greeks from one another different
    communities develop

  • However, rivalries between communities led to
    warfare that devastated Greek society
  • The Sea
  • Became seafarers who established colonies that
    spread Greek civilizations
  • Peninsula land that is surrounded on three
    sides by water
  • Archipelago a chain of islands

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Early Greek Civilizations
  • The Minoan civilization (3000 1450 BC)
  • Established on the island of Crete
  • Named after King Minos, legendary king of Crete
    (the Minotaur story)
  • Used bronze to make weapons
  • Large palace at Knossos had basic plumbing
  • was destroyed several times and rebuilt
  • Sudden and catastrophic collapse around 1450 BC
  • Volcanic eruption, tidal wave, mostly invaded
  • Historians cant read the writings of the Minoans

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  • The Mycenaean State
  • First Greek state, flourished between 1600-1100
  • Mycenaeans are considered to be the first Greeks
    because they spoke a form of the Greek language
  • The Mycenaeans were Indo-Europeans who entered
    Greece, gained control of the Greek mainland, and
    developed a civilization
  • Mycenaean society was dominated by warfare and
    powerful kings
  • Small kingdoms often fought each other, prided
    themselves on being a warrior people
  • Conquered Crete, supposedly destroyed Troy

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  • Had tombs built into hillsides where members of
    the royal families were buried
  • Collapsed due to famines, invasion by outsiders,
    war between the Mycenaean cities, and the end of
  • By 1100s BC the Mycenaean cities were mostly in
  • Dark Age
  • Decline in population and food production
  • People fled cities, farmers struggled to grow
    enough food to eat
  • Large numbers of Greeks left the mainland for
    various islands
  • Many went to Ionia the western shores of Turkey

  • Lost the use of writing for several centuries,
    Greek civilization almost disappeared
  • 8th century BC the Greeks adopt the alphabet from
    the Phoenicians
  • Reduced to 24 letters which made reading and
    writing easier
  • Homer
  • One of the greatest poets of all times, wrote
    epic poems based on the Trojan War that became
    the basis for Greek education system
  • Epic poem a long poem that tells the deeds of a
    great hero
  • Iliad tale of the Greek hero Achilles
  • Odyssey long journey home of Greek hero

Greek City-States
  • The central focus of Greek life and society was
    the polis
  • Polis Greek city-state
  • Acropolis fortified gathering place at the top
    of a hill which was sometimes the site of temples
    and public buildings
  • Agora an open area that served as a gathering
    place and as a market
  • Polis community of people with a common
    identity and common goals
  • Each polis developed independently of its
    neighbors, own form of govt , laws, and customs

  • Greeks were fiercely loyal to their polis and
    regarded themselves not as Greeks, but as members
    of a particular city-state
  • Make-up of a polis
  • Citizens who had political rights adult males
  • Citizens who had no political rights women and
  • Non-citizens slaves and foreigners
  • Some cities develop democracy govt by the
    people or rule by the many
  • Other city-states develop an oligarchy rule by
    the few

  • New military system develops
  • Based on hoplites heavily armed foot soldiers
  • Carried a round shield, short sword, and a
    thrusting spear
  • Formed a phalanx for protection
  • Phalanx a wall of shields created by foot
    soldiers marching close together in rectangular
  • Greek colonies established, one of the most
    famous being Byzantium
  • Spread of cultural and political ideas
  • Two prominent city-states emerge

  • Found on the peninsula of Attica
  • First ruled by kings, then aristocrats
  • However poor people are getting poorer and they
    demand reform
  • Cleisthenes creates the foundation of Athenian
    democracy (worlds first democracy)

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  • Standards for voting must be a free male over
    the age of 20 who has completed military training
    and owns land
  • Accounts for 10 of the population
  • Duties of people allowed to vote
  • Vote in all elections and serve in office if
  • Serve on juries and in the military during war
  • Athenian democracy consisted of three main bodies
  • Council of Five Hundred who proposed laws that
    would be voted on by the Assembly and supervised
    both foreign affairs and the treasury

  • Athenian Assembly composed of all male citizens
    who were eligible to take part in the govt
  • This assembly voted on and passed the laws
  • Direct democracy people participate directly in
    govt decision making and vote directly on an
  • Complex series of courts
  • The archon served as the chief of state and was
    head of both the Assembly and Council
  • Economy was largely based on farming and trade
  • Family primary function was to produce new

  • Women could not own property and always had a
    male guardian
  • Chief obligation was to have children
  • Were expected to stay at home and out of sight,
    unless attending religious festivals or funerals
  • Demographics of Athens around 430 BC
  • 150,000 citizens, 43,000 of whom were males with
    political power
  • 35,000 foreigners had protection of laws and
    some responsibilities
  • 100,000 slaves

  • Located on the Peloponnesus, the large peninsula
    of southern Greece
  • Like most city-states, Sparta needed more land,
    so they conquered neighboring peoples instead of
    starting new colonies
  • The Spartans turned these conquered peoples into
    helots state slaves
  • The helots were given to Spartan citizens to work
    on farms
  • Spartans were now free to spend all their time
    training for war

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  • Spartans decide to create a military state to
    keep control over the helots
  • Helots outnumbered Spartan citizens by 7 to 1
  • Life in Sparta was rigidly organized
  • Babies were examined at birth and if they were
    found to be weak, they were put to death
  • Men
  • Taught physical toughness by parents until age
  • They then entered a school system designed to
    teach them combat
  • At the end of their training, boys were sent into
    the wilderness and expected to survive

  • At age 20 the boys became hoplites in the Spartan
  • Allowed to marry, but had to live in barracks
    until age 30
  • Could now live their own lives, but expected to
    fight with the army when needed
  • Allowed to vote in the assembly at age 30,
    retired from the army at age 60
  • Women
  • Expected to exercise and raise healthy children
  • Had greater freedom and power in the household
    due to separation from their husbands
  • Could own property

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  • Government structure
  • Was an oligarchy headed by two kings who led the
    army on its campaigns
  • Ephors a group of five men elected each year
  • Responsible for the conduct of all citizens and
  • Council of Elders composed of the two kings and
    28 citizens over the age of 60
  • Decided the issues that would be presented to the
  • Assembly of male citizens voted on the issues
  • Foreigners were discouraged from visiting and
    Spartans were not allowed to travel abroad
  • Kept out dangerous ideas and discouraged new

  • Where Located
  • Govt Type
  • Military State?
  • Accepts Foreigners?
  • Who Can Vote?
  • Voting Age?
  • Life of Women

The Persian Wars
  • (490 BC - 479 BC)
  • Greeks in Ionia rebel against Persian rule, ask
    for help from other Greeks
  • Persian emperor Darius decides to get revenge on
    the Greeks
  • First Persian Invasion 490 BC
  • Battle at Marathon Athenians attack the
    Persians while they are unloading and the
    Persians retreat
  • An Athenian messenger runs 26 miles from Marathon
    to Athens to announce the victory
  • He dies after delivering the message

  • Darius is furious over the humiliating defeat and
    starts to plan another invasion
  • However he dies and his son Xerxes vows to get
    revenge for his father
  • Second Persian Invasion 480 BC
  • Battle at Thermopylae
  • Greeks are afraid they wont have enough time to
  • A group of 300 Spartans decide to hold off the
    entire Persian army at the mountain pass of
  • Are successful for several days until a local
    shows the Persians an alternate path through the
    mountain and they kill all the Spartans

  • The Persians advance and burn Athens
  • Need the Persian navy to bring additional
  • Battle of Salamis
  • An Athenian navy commander lures the Persian navy
    into the narrow Strait of Salamis
  • Persian ships were very large and could not
    maneuver well
  • Xerxes watches from a throne on the shore as his
    navy is destroyed
  • The Persian army is now stranded in Greece with
    few supplies
  • In 479 BC a large Greek army led by the might of
    Sparta crushes the Persians, ending the war

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The Golden Age of Athens
  • Athens and Sparta became the two most powerful
    city-states as leaders in the Persian Wars
  • Sparta not popular, Athens becomes the leading
  • Dozens of Greek city-states banded together for
  • This alliance was to be a league of equals
  • Athens, as the largest and richest, ended up
    controlling the entire alliance
  • Became known as the Delian League

  • As the Leagues leader, Athens controlled its
    ships and money
  • Would not allow unhappy members to quit
  • Would attack rebelling members with the League
  • The League more or less turned into an Athenian
  • Used League funds to rebuild Athens
  • Built the Parthenon a grand temple dedicated to
    the goddess Athena
  • Pericles
  • Great champion of democracy and most influential
    politician in Athens
  • Commissioned the Parthenon

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  • Introduced payment for those who served in public
    offices and juries
  • Believed in the superiority of Athens
  • Trade brought much wealth to Athens
  • Athens at the time was the heart of Greek culture
  • Greatest rival was Sparta
  • Had its own allied city-states Peloponnesian
  • Athens fears the military might of Sparta and
  • Sparta fears that the Athenian navy would stop
    Sparta from trading
  • This mutual fear led to Sparta and Athens
    declaring war in 431 BC

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The Peloponnesian War
  • War between Athens and Sparta
  • Sparta and allies dominate the land
  • Athens and allies dominate the sea
  • Spartans surround Athens hoping for an open
  • Athens avoids any battles on land
  • Knowing they cant compete in open battle, they
    hide behind their city walls, relying on supplies
    from their navy and colonies
  • In 430 BC a terrible plague breaks out in Athens,
    killing a third of the people, including Pericles
  • 421 truce, war breaks out six years later when
    Athens attacks one of Spartas allies

  • This time Sparta destroys the Athenian navy and
    Athens surrenders
  • The walls of Athens are torn down and the Empire
  • Costs of the war
  • Weakened major Greek city-states
  • Athens nearly destroyed, Sparta exhausted as well
  • Sparta tries to act as Greeces dominant power
  • Lost too many resources, defeated by Thebes who
    also cant maintain control
  • Struggle for power in Greece led to a long cycle
    of warfare that left all of Greece vulnerable
  • Ignored the growing power of Macedonia to the
  • Loss of freedom

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Greek Culture
  • Philosophy the search for wisdom and knowledge
  • Greek word meaning the love of wisdom
  • Socrates
  • First of the great Athenian philosophers
  • Everything known about Socrates comes from the
    writings of his students
  • Interested in broad concepts of human life
  • Best way to learn is to ask questions
  • Use question-and-answer format to acquire
  • Known as the Socratic method

  • Socrates was charged with disrespect for religion
    and corrupting the citys children
  • Thought he caused children to question the
    actions of the gods
  • Believed the displeasure of the gods caused
    Athens to lose the war
  • Sentenced to death by drinking a cup of hemlock,
    a poison
  • Plato
  • Student of Socrates
  • His most famous work was the Republic
  • Govt should be led by the people most qualified
    to make good decisions - philosophers

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  • Plato founded the Academy, a school where
    respected philosophers could teach their students
    and hold debates
  • Questioned reality and believed in ideal Forms
  • Every material object in the world was only the
    reflection of a perfect ideal
  • Aristotle
  • Student of Plato
  • Emphasis on reason and logic to study the natural
  • Reason clear and ordered thinking
  • Logic the process of making inferences

  • Aristotle believed in analyzing through
    observation and investigation
  • People should use reason to learn about the world
    by making careful observations
  • Influenced the development of science in Europe
  • History
  • A systematic analysis of past events, created by
    the Greeks
  • The Greeks were one of the first people to write
    about and analyze the past
  • Herodotus First historian, wrote about the
    Persian Wars

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  • Thucydides considered to be the greatest
    historian of the ancient world
  • Included many primary speeches and looked at his
    sources critically
  • Greek Drama
  • Used for entertainment, two distinct forms of
  • Tragedies usually focused on hardships faced by
    Greek heroes
  • Comedies satires, written to expose the flaws
    of society
  • Several well-known Greek playwrights

  • Sophocles concentrated on the suffering people
    brought upon themselves
  • Many of his characters had fatal flaws
  • Famous play Oedipus Rex, the story of a king
    who accidentally kills his father and marries his
  • Aeschylus wrote plays based on ancient Greek
  • Famous play Oresteia, the tragedies faced by
    the leader of the Greek army on his way home from
    the Trojan War
  • Euripides wrote about characters whose tragedy
    was brought about by irrational behavior

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Alexander the Great
  • Macedonia was a powerful kingdom to the north of
    the Greek city-states
  • Philip II reorganized the Macedonian army and
    adopted the phalanx system
  • Conquered all of the major Greek city-states
    except Sparta and became the new leader of Greece
    in 338 BC, he was assassinated in 336 BC
  • After his death, his son Alexander came to the
    throne (356-323 BC)
  • Alexander was a great military leader and

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  • Reestablished control in Greece due to a revolt
  • Thebes resisted and Alexander burned down the
    city and sold all the people into slavery
  • Decided to fulfill his fathers dream of
    conquering the Persian Empire
  • Destroyed the Persian army and emperor Darius III
    fled he was later murdered by one of his own
  • After this victory, Alexander led his army deeper
    into Asia
  • Went and conquered parts of India
  • When his army refused to go any further,
    Alexander agreed to go home

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  • On his way back home, Alexander fell ill in the
    city of Babylon and died a few days later
  • He left no heir, so his generals began to fight
    for control
  • In the end the empire was divided among the three
    most powerful generals
  • Macedonia and Greece, Persian Empire, and Egypt
  • Legacy of Alexander
  • Created new cities, most of them named Alexandria
  • Built Alexandria as the Greek capital of Egypt
    important city which had a famous library
  • Alexander envisioned a world in which many
    cultures would live together

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  • Made a conscious effort to bring people and ideas
    from different places together
  • Alexander married two Persian princesses
  • Encouraged Greeks to move to the Alexandria
  • Created a new type of culture
  • Blended elements of Greek civilization with ideas
    from Persia, Egypt, and Central Asia
  • Created the Hellenistic Era
  • Hellenistic means to imitate the Greeks
  • Expansion of Greek language and ideas to other
    parts of the world
  • Massive spread of Greek colonists to Asia

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  • Hellenistic Achievements - philosophers
  • Interest in Greek philosophy
  • Cynicism school of philosophy cynics rejected
    ideas of pleasure and wealth
  • Instead people should live according to nature
  • Epicureans people should seek out pleasure and
    avoid pain
  • Stoicism great emphasis on reason,
    self-discipline, and emotional control
  • Stoics believed people should identify their
    proper role in society and strive to fulfill that

  • Hellenistic Achievements Science and Math
  • Euclid formulated many of the ideas about
    geometry that are still used and learned today
  • Eratosthenes determined the world was round and
    calculated its circumference
  • Archimedes of Syracuse one of the greatest
    inventors of the ancient world
  • Established the value of pi, developed a compound
    pulley that could lift heavy loads, and used
    levers and pulleys to lift a ship out of the
  • Alexanders empire fell apart soon after his
    death, and the different Hellenistic kingdoms
    were shortly conquered by the Romans

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