Notes on the Mediterranean Essay

Submitted By grbsk8s
Words: 1243
Pages: 5

Mediterranean culture
-Greece slowed Persian empire, set up a few colonies, but…
-Rome known for empire
-New institutions/values that would remain in western culture
-“our own” Classical past
-U.S. Constitution
-buildings in the U.S.
-founders of the philosophical tradition
-Socratic method
-Greco-Roman history
-more dynamic, but less successful
-* We can clearly recognize the connections and our own debt without adhering to the notion -that the Mediterranean world somehow dominated the classical period
Complicated – passed through two centers
Rome preserved many of Greek achievements
Rome vs. Greece
Mighty empire vs. inept/Greek city-states
Mastered engineering vs. scientific thought western Europe – Greco Roman vs. Eastern Europe – Greek influence
Shared political ideas common religion artistic styles economic structures
The Persian Tradition
550 BCE Cyrus the Great – massive Persian Empire across Middle East
Tolerant of local customs
Advanced iron technology
artistic lifestyle
Conquered by Alexander the Great
Persian language and culture survived into the 20th century
Patters of Greek and Roman History
Crete – showed Egyptian influence by 2000
Monumental architecture
1400 Mycenae – kingdom Trojan War
Indo-Europeans destroyed until 800 – Dark Ages
Rise from 800-600 strong city-states tyrant or aristocratic council divided by mountains unified government difficult trade developed written language came from Phoenician alphabet regular celebrations athletic competitions – Olympic games
Sparta/Athens rose to the top
Sparta – military tradition dominated slves
Athens – commercial state, slaves, artistic/intellectual leadership
5th century – Democracy in Athens
Pericles - most famous political figure
No official position, but influence/negotiation each citizen participated eventually Spartan/Athenian war weakens both sides
Peloponnesian Wars – weakened Greece
Philip II of Macedon came down and took over
Alexander the Great then kept going to Persia
13 years of conquests – 33
Successor kingdoms ruled for centuries
Hellenistic period – Greek art/culture merges
Trade flourished
Scientific centers – Alexandria
Greece decline, but legacy carries on
Started under control of monarchy in 800 – defeated in 509
Roman republic expanded
Always fear of invaders, keep extending boundaries
Across Sicily, conflict with Carthage
Leads to Punic Wars – 3 of them
Bloody defeat by Hannibal – through Gaul
3rd Punic War – salted fields – agriculture
Republic replaced by powerful generals
Caesar first to “Cross the Rubicon” – 45 BCE
August Caesar takes over in 27 BCE – after rivalry following assassinat
Pax Romana – basic structure for Roman Empire
Until 180 CE Marcus Aurelius – peace to Medit. World
Empire expanded to Britain
Gradual fall until 476 when invaders took over economic deterioration – trade loss population loss – declining birth rates government less effective – couldn’t take care of empire unable to take over more land to finance empire too spread out – undefendable
Diocletian Reforms
Constantine – 313 adopts Christianity
After the fall
Governments became local in Western Europe – can’t control/order
Roman armies needed foreign recruits – why are we fighting again?
Greek and Roman Political Institutions
Politics crucial – polis – Greek city-state – similar to China
“Good life” included political service, military
Did not try to administer local regions
Unlike China, never had single set of political institutions/bureaucracy/emp
Like India diverse forms
Monarchy – not preferred – tried to abolish
Individual strongman – tyranny – quite common – some effective
Greece – demos – the people
General assemblies – all vote – direct democracy – not a republic
Executive officers chosen by lot – similar to jury duty
½ citizens – slave/foreigners – women excluded > 25% participate
Negatives of democracy –