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Ancient Greece Located on the peninsula between the waters of the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas. Because the land was mostly mountainous, there wasn’t.

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Presentation on theme: "Ancient Greece Located on the peninsula between the waters of the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas. Because the land was mostly mountainous, there wasn’t."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ancient Greece Located on the peninsula between the waters of the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas. Because the land was mostly mountainous, there wasn’t much possibility for agriculture development on the scale of the ancient river valley civilizations.

2 Ancient Greece Natural harbors and mild weather –Trade and cultural diffusion by boat Limited geography also contributed to it’s dominance –Looking to establish colonies abroad to ease overcrowding and gain raw materials –Powerful military

3 Social Structure and Citizenship Collection of city-states Each city-state, known as a polis, shared a common culture and identity Two main city-states were Athens and Sparta

4 Athens and Sparta Athens –Political, commercial, and cultural center of Greek civilization Sparta –Agricultural and militaristic region Most citizens lived a very disciplined existence “Spartan existence” All boys and some girls received military training Stressed equality but not individuality

5 Social Structure and Citizenship Each polis contained 3 groups –Citizens, composed of adult males, often engaged in business or commerce –Free people with no political rights –Noncitizens (slaves, who accounted 1/3 of the people of Athens)

6 Among the Citizens Civic decisions were made openly, after engaging in debates –All citizens were expected to participate This practice led Athens to be called the first democracy –Why is not a democracy in the modern sense of the word?

7 Draco Around 620 BC Draco, the lawgiver, wrote the first known written law of Ancient Greece. Draco was an Athenian lawgiver whose harsh legal code punished both trivial and serious crimes in Athens with death--hence the continued use of the word draconian to describe repressive legal measures. Draco's laws were shockingly severe, so severe that they were said to have been written not in ink but in blood. Solon succeeded him in about 594 BC

8 Solon Solon's great contribution to the future good of Athens was his new code of laws. The first written code at Athens, that of Draco, was still in force.. Solon made Athenian law altogether more humane. His code, though supplemented and modified, remained the foundation of Athenian statute law until the end of the 5th century, and parts of it were embodied in the new codification made at that time.

9 Social Structure and Citizenship Ironically it was slavery that enabled the Greeks to develop their democracy –It was by slave labor that Greek citizens gained the time to meet and vote, and to create great works of art and philosophy

10 Greek Mythology Polytheistic The Greek polytheism was unique in one major respect: The Greek gods were believed to possess human failings- they got angry, got drunk, took sides, and had petty arguments

11 War with Persia: Greece holds On Prior to the development of the democracy in Athens, Greece was involved in a series of wars that threatened the Greek city-states against mutual enemy Persia. Remember that the Persian empire was the largest empire in the eastern Mediterranean an Mesopotamia to date.

12 War with Persia: Greece Holds On Much of Athens was destroyed by these wars, but Greece held on and the wars ended in stalemate. Two huge victories by the Greeks, one at Marathon and the other at Salamis allowed the Greeks to main control of the Aegean Sea. With Persia held back, Greece was free to enter an era of peace and prosperity…The Golden Age of Pericles.

13 The Golden Age of Pericles Under the leadership of Pericles, Athens became a cultural powerhouse. Pericles established a democracy for all adult males. Pericles established the Delian League with other city-states, an alliance against aggression from its common enemies. Philosophy and art flourished and continued to do so for the next two centuries.

14 Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle They believed the truth could be discerned through rational thought and deliberate and careful observation. The virtue of goodness would lead to internal peace and happiness. Some of their observations proved false in time… especially the functioning of the universe on a cosmic scale, BUT it was the process that they established, rather than the conclusions that they drew, that were so revolutionary. These three men are still revered today as the fathers of rational thinking.

15 Greek Drama and more… During the Golden Age, Greek Drama was dominated by the comedies and tragedies of Aeschylus and Euripides. Sculptures of Phidias adorned the streets; Greek architecture earned its place in history with the distinctive Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian columns. Math and science thrived under the instruction of Archimedes, Hippocrates, Euclid, and Pythagoras (sound familiar? Pythagorean theorem)

16 Trouble Ahead for Athens After years of increasing tension between Athens and Sparta, a trade dispute involving the city of Corinth pushed Athens and Sparta into the Peloponnesian War in 431 B.C.E. Athens attempted a defensive strategy, hiding behind its great walls while allowing the Spartan army to ravage its farmland.

17 Trouble Ahead for Athens This worked for Athens until two tragedies occurred… a great plague afflicted the city killing a vast number of population including Pericles. Athen’s navy suffered a devastating defeat at Syracuse on the island of Sicily.

18 Trouble Ahead for Athens Sparta didn’t destroy Athens out of respect for the defeated city’s former role in the Persian War. Sparta failed to dominate the region for long, because in spite of it’s victory, it was so weakened by the war it became venerable to outside aggression. The Macedonians, under the rule of Philip of Macedon, invaded Athens from the north and conquered the entire region. Fortunately, Philip respected Greek culture and encouraged it to flourish.

19 Alexander Adds Greatness Philip’s son, Alexander the Great, who was taught by Aristotle, widely expanded Macedonian dominance. Under Alexander, they conquered the mighty Persian Empire and moved eastward to the shores of the Indus River, today India, eventually creating the largest empire of the time.

20 Alexander Adds Greatness To manage the empire he divided it into three empires; –Antigonid (Greece and Macedon) –Ptolemaic (Egypt) became the wealthiest. Alexandria, its capital was built on the north of the Nile. The rulers did not interfere with Egyptian society. This also became the cultural center of the empire. –Seleucid (Bactria and Anatolia) Greek culture spread to the world –Hellenism- the culture, ideals, and pattern of life of classical Greece- it became influential far beyond its original boarders

21 Alexander Adds Greatness When Alexander dies at the age of 33, his empire begins to crumble. Because the Macedonians were focused on the East and on Egypt, the door was open to the West for the new power to rise on the world stage. The power was the Romans.

22 Legacy of Greece Greece set lasting standards in politics and philosophy. The Greeks did not rely on superstition or traditional explanations of the world. Instead they used reason and intelligence to discover predictable patterns that they called natural laws. The Greeks did not wish to be subject to authoritarian rulers. So they developed direct democracy in order that citizens could actively participate in political decisions. Other contributions of the Greeks were in mathematics, literature, theatre, astronomy, science, medicine, architecture and the Olympic games.


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