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Greece’s Early Civilizations. Minoan Civilization Minoans civilization was the first to develop in the Aegean Sea region – they were not Greeks – lasted.

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Presentation on theme: "Greece’s Early Civilizations. Minoan Civilization Minoans civilization was the first to develop in the Aegean Sea region – they were not Greeks – lasted."— Presentation transcript:

1 Greece’s Early Civilizations

2 Minoan Civilization Minoans civilization was the first to develop in the Aegean Sea region – they were not Greeks – lasted from c BCE – c BCE – trade was an important economic activity – civilization collapsed c BCE Theories: earthquakes caused tsunamis; Mycenaean's from the Greek mainland invaded Crete

3 Mycenaeans c BCE – left Asia moved to Greece and set up several kingdoms Mycenaean Kingdom: palace for king on a hill surrounded by thick stone walls; palaces were centers of government c BCE the Mycenaeans conquered the Minoans and controlled the area – expanded their military strength; successful during the Trojan War

4 Dark Age Mycenaean civilization declined over time – kingdoms fought one another – earthquakes destroyed palace fortresses – c BCE the Mycenaean civilization had crumbled Greek-speaking people known as the Dorians invaded the Greek mainland from the north and took control of the region – thousands fled the mainland and ended up on the Aegean islands and western Anatolia

5 Hellenes By 750 BCE many descendants of those who ran away returned bringing new ideas, crafts, and skills Farmers grew more than they needed; surplus food was traded; a need for writing developed Greek alphabet had 24 letters; record keeping became easier; people wrote down stories

6 Colonies and Trade By 700 BCE farmers couldn’t produce enough food for the growing population To solve this problem, communities began to send people outside the region to establish colonies Greek culture spread into new areas Greeks began to make coins, affecting trade – trade expanded because merchants traded money for goods rather than barter

7 Greek City-State Mountains and seas separated Greek communities from each other Communities became fiercely independent Across Greece, nobles ruled numerous city- states Like Mesopotamia, the Greek city-state was made up of a town and the surrounding area Each city-state or polis was like an independent country

8 Polis Polis was the basic political unit of Greek civilization – at the center was a fort built on a hilltop – the hilltop was called an acropolis – outside the acropolis was an open area called an agora – the agora was a marketplace where people could: gather and debate issues; choose officials; pass laws and carry out business neighborhoods surrounded the agora; beyond the city were villages and farmland (all a part of the polis

9 Greek Citizenship We owe many of our ideas about citizenship to the ancient Greeks Greek citizens were members of a political community with rights and responsibilities Male citizens had: – the right to vote, hold public office, own property, and defend themselves in court Male citizens had the responsibility to: – serve in government and fight for their polis as citizen soldiers

10 Greek Citizenship cont. In most Greek city-states only free, land- owning men born in the polis could be citizens They believed the responsibility to run the city-state was theirs because the polis was made up of their property Women and children might qualify for citizenship, but they had none of the rights

11 Citizen Soldiers Wars were fought by wealthy nobles riding horses and driving chariots Additionally, citizens called hoplites made up the city-state armies – hoplites fought on foot The success of the hoplites came from their pride in fighting as brave warriors Polis gave Greek citizens a sense of belonging Strong loyalty to their own city-state divided the Greeks – they were not unified as a whole country This lack of unity weakened Greece, making it easier to conquer


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