Ancient Greece Essay

Submitted By Easy-B
Words: 1793
Pages: 8

Hellas: Islands in the Aegean Sea + Greek peninsula

Hellenic Period (2000 BCE–338 BCE) Between the arrival of the Greeks and the victory of Philip of Macedon

Hellenistic Period (336–146 BCE)
Beginning with the reign of Alexander and ending with the conquest of the Hellenistic East

Pre-Classical Greece
Minoans Mother Goddess
King Minos 3-storey palace
Linear A wall frescoes
Our knowledge is incomplete

The Myceneans Linear B
Excavated in 1876: German Heinrich Schliemann
Greatest single hoard of gold, silver, and ivory before the discovery of Tutankhamen’s tomb

Importance of geography in Greek history
Minoan Crete, 2000-1450 B.C.E.
Height between 2000 and 1450 B.C.E.
Sudden and catastrophic collapse around 1450 B.C.E.
Mycenaean Greeks, 1600-1100 B.C.E.
Flourished from 1400 to 1200 B.C.E.
Indo-European / warrior people
Mycenae torched about 1190 B.C.E.

The Greek Dark Age (1100–750 B.C.E.)
Collapse of agricultural production
Migration east across the Aegean Sea
Ionian Greeks
Homer: Around 8th Century BCE
Iliad, Odyssey
Heroic values form the core of aristocratic virtue
Highest virtue: manliness (excellence)
Entertainment: athletic contests

The Polis
The polis is a small but autonomous political unit in which all major political, social, and religious activities are carried out in a central location

Acropolis and Agora Aristocratic republic
Citizens and non-citizens
Military system
Hoplites (heavily armed infantrymen) formed into phalanx
Political and military repercussions
Phalanx in Motion
Colonization and Rise of Tyrants
Colonization: 8th–6th centuries BCE
Gulf between rich and poor, overpopulation, and trade added vowels to a borrowed writing system to create the first true alphabet
Panhellenic (all-Greek) spirit
Trade and commerce

Tyrants: 700 to 500 BCE

A tyrant was someone who came to rule by unconstitutional ways in 7th and 6th centuries B.C.E.
Support came from the new rich from trade and industry who opposed the old aristocracy


Poor peasants becoming indebted to the landholding aristocrats

Tyrants favored merchants and traders

Extinguished by end of 6th century B.C.E.
Ended the rule of aristocratic oligarchies
Opened the door to open participation by the citizens

Society in Archaic Greece
Aristocrats employed laborers, had slaves
Symposium: organized activities for MEN ONLY
Poetry, philosophy, athletic contests, wrestling, entertainment
Important social center for the rich
Contrasts between life of rich and peasants

Greek Religion

Zeus, Hera, Apollo, Athena, Artemis
No central ecclesiastical authority and no organized creed
Temples: not a meeting place for a spiritual community
Hero: born of a union of a god and a mortal
Greek Religion
Was necessary for the well-being of the state
Mount Olympus
No body of doctrine or focus on morality
Oracle of Apollo at Delphi
Conquered Laconia and Messenia
Helots (a type of serf)
Reforms by Lycurgus
Military society
Two kings share power with a council of 28 elders over the age of 60 serving for life
Established about 700 B.C.E.
End of the 7th century B.C.E., farmers sold into slavery for not paying debts
Solon (c. 640-c. 560 B.C.E.)
594 B.C.E. canceled all debts, outlawed new loans based on human collateral, freed people who had fallen into slavery for debts
Did not initiate land redistribution

What is the nature of the universe?
What is the purpose of human existence
What is our relationship with the divine forces?
What constitutes a community?
What constitutes a state?
What is truth? How do we realize it?

Pre-Socratics: What are things made of?
Thales (600 BCE): Water (rock, air)
Heraclitus (500 BCE): unity of opposites;
Everything is in flux; strife and contradiction cannot be avoided
Pythagoras (570 BCE): Math & Philosophy
Hippocrates (450 BCE)

Sophists: trained young men for