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Chapter 5: Ancient Greece

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1 Chapter 5: Ancient Greece
Section 1: Early People of the Aegean

2 Minoan Civilization (2700-1400 BC)
Crete --- cradle of early Greek civilization Height/greatest success ( ) British archaeologist Arthur Evans called the people of this civilization Minoans –named after legendary King Minos Legend of the Minotaur Evans led the excavation at Knossos in the late 1800s/early 1900s AD Minoan success was based on trade…not conquest; had contact with Mesopotamia & Egypt

3 Island of Crete

4 Palace at Knossos Home of royal family
Religious shrines honored gods/goddesses (mother goddess & bull) Palace wall covered with frescoes --- watercolor paintings on wet plaster Paintings showed imp. of the sea (dolphins), religion and games such as bull jumping (& boxing) Women and men seen as equals in society

5 Arthur John Evans (1851-1941) British archaeologist
Inspired by Schliemann’s discovery of Troy in 1870 AD Excavated Knossos in 1900 AD Worked to transcribe over 3,000 clay tablets Found a civilization earlier than the Mycenaeans…Minoans Knighted in 1911

6 Bulls and Bull Jumping “Minoan wall-paintings usually seem to follow the convention (familiar from Egyptian art) where male flesh is brown and female white, and this has led to the conclusion that some of the bull-jumping acrobats are female, though they wear masculine dress.” (British Museum)

7 End of Minoan Civilization (1400 BC)
Why did it vanish??? Possible reasons include: volcanic eruption on nearby island, earthquake, tidal wave – 1st approx BC (the Cretans rebuilt), 2nd approx BC: massive volcanic eruption on Thera (Knossos was a weakened city) Invaders known as the Mycenaeans conquered the Greek mainland and then invaded Crete (approx BC)

8 Mycenaean Civilization (1600-1100 BC)
First Greek speaking people on record Sea traders like the Minoans; warriors unlike the Minoans Borrowed art of writing from the Minoans (Linear A - Minoan/Linear B – Mycenaean) Photo shows Linear B tablet – register of amount of wool to be dyed Lived in separate city-states on the mainland

9 The Trojan War (1250 -1240 BC? – dates given by Herodotus)
Origin 1: Economic rivalry btw. Mycenaean Greece and Troy (a rich trading city in Asia Minor) Origin 2: Trojan prince Paris captured Helen (the face that launched a thousand ships), wife of King Menalaus of Sparta 1870s: German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann led excavation of Troy and found evidence of the war…believed by many to be legendary The Troy of Homer’s Iliad was possibly level VII of IX unearthed cities.

10 Trojan War ( BC???)

11 The Apple of Discord The Trojan War has its roots in the marriage between Peleus and Thetis, a sea-goddess. Peleus and Thetis had not invited Eris, the goddess of discord, to their marriage and the outraged goddess stormed into the wedding banquet and threw a golden apple onto the table. The apple belonged to, Eris said, whomever was the fairest. Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite each reached for the apple. Zeus proclaimed that Paris, prince of Troy and thought to be the most beautiful man alive, would act as the judge. Hermes went to Paris, and Paris agreed to act as the judge. Hera promised him power, Athena promised him wealth, and Aphrodite promised the most beautiful woman in the world. Paris chose Aphrodite, and she promised him that Helen, wife of Menelaus, would be his wife. Paris then prepared to set off for Sparta to capture Helen. Twin prophets Cassandra and Helenus tried to persuade him against such action, as did his mother, Hecuba. But Paris would not listen and he set off for Sparta. In Sparta, Menelaus, husband of Helen, treated Paris as a royal guest. However, when Menelaus left Sparta to go to a funeral, Paris abducted Helen (who perhaps went willingly) and also carried off much of Menelaus' wealth. In Troy, Helen and Paris were married. This occurred around 1200 B.C. (Eratosthenes dates the war from BC)

12 The Judgement of Paris – Peter Paul Rubens

13 Archaeologist or Treasure Hunter?
Schliemann smuggled most of the artifacts off the site at Troy. He dismissed all of his workers and excavated alone. Some items found: copper shield, cauldron, and vase, two golden cups, a silver goblet, seven double-edged daggers & lance-heads; Some of King Priam’s Treasure was acquired (1880) by the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, where it remained until 1945, when it was removed by the Soviet Red Army to Moscow from a protective bunker beneath the Berlin Zoo. Russia has not returned the treasure to Germany. Schliemann died December 26th in Naples, Italy of a severe ear infection. He is buried in Athens in a mausoleum.

14 Heinrich Schliemann (1822-1890) “For the Hero Schliemann”

15 Trojan War Legacy One of the only times that Greek city-states united to fight a common enemy Result: Greeks seized Troy and burned the city to the ground Accepting the gift of the Trojan horse (idea of Odysseus & Athena) led to Troy’s downfall (Why???) Trojans accepted the horse as a sign of surrender; celebrated; were attacked at nightfall when they slept

16 The Trojan Horse

17 The Age of Homer/Dark Age (1100 – 800 BC)
Greek-speaking Dorians invaded the mainland Mycenaeans abandoned cities, trade & culture declined (art of writing was lost, etc.) Civilization took a step backward Two epics, Homer’s Iliad (Troy= Ilium) (15,000 lines) and Odyssey (12,000 lines), give hints of life during this time period

18 Time of Homer Lived sometime between 850-750 BC???
Blind poet (according to tradition) who traveled from village to village singing heroic tales Tales passed on orally (by word of mouth) before being written down Homer’s Iliad = chief source of info. about the Trojan War (fought ???)

19 Homer continued… Iliad covers last 50 days of the 10th year of the war
Odyssey tells of the struggles of Greek hero Odysseus on his return (20 year journey!) home to faithful wife Penelope after the fall of Troy Iliad and Odyssey tell us about Greek values through the heroes, gods, goddesses, etc. King Menalaus (Sparta), King Agamemnon (Mycenae), Achilles & Odysseus (Greek heroes), King Priam (Troy), Paris & Hector (Trojan heroes) Both epics are a great source of national pride for Greeks.

20 Riddle posed to Homer According to the legend, Homer himself did not know where he was born. He went to Delphi to consult the oracle.He was told – “The isle of Ios is your mother’s country and it shall receive you dead; but beware the riddles of young children.” As an old man, he visited Ios and met children of local fishermen coming back from the sea. He asked them what they had caught. What we caught we threw away; what we didn't catch, we kept. He couldn’t answer; slipped…bumped his head & died! Lice!

21 Looking Ahead After Dorian invasions --- Greeks lived in small, isolated villages Had no writing and few outside contacts Eventually Greece develops a strong civilization that will impact Western Europe and the rest of the world.

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