2 Minoan CivilizationSir Arthur Evans discovered ancient ruins on the island of Crete in 1878.He named the civilization after the legendary tale of King Minos and the Minotaur.The Minoans were advanced in many ways, one included the use of indoor plumbing.The mythology can be found, The tale roughly translates, the god Poseidon sent a perfect white bull to King Minos (meant as a sacrifice). However, King Minos tried to switch bulls and keep the perfect bull for himself. Poseidon, angered by this, made King Minos’ wife fall in love with the bull. She then gave birth to what was the Minotaur, and King Minos enlisted the help of Daedalus to create the Labyrinth. Every year seven Athenian men and women would be sacrificed to the Minotaur. One year Theseus (prince of Athens) volunteered to go to Crete and kill the minotaur. As he left Athens he told his father King Aegeaus that he would switch the sails on his ship from black to white to indicate the success of the mission. When Theseus arrived in Crete he soon fell in love with Ariande (King Minos’ daughter). When it came time for Theseus to defeat the Minotaur, Ariande gave Theseus a ball of string so he could find his way out of the labyrinth. Theseus killed the Minotaur, and returned to Athens only to forget to switch the color of his sails. His father seeing the black sails through himself into the sea believing his son was dead. Thus where we get the name Aegean Sea.
3 Minoans Cont.On the island of Crete the palace of Knossos, there is a palace with frescos depicting:SailingFishingTradeBull JumpingWomen PriestsNote: Minoans were a peaceful civilization, and had an extensive trade network. Mycenaeans were a war-like people.
4 Minoan LanguageLinear A was the language the Minoans used; however, scholars cannot translate it.This is the reason why the Minoan Civilization still remains to be a great mystery to historians and archeologists.Michael Ventris deciphered Linear B, and it is the earliest form of Greek.Linear B is associated with the Mycenaean Civilization.Why can’t scholars translate Linear A? It is a much early writing style and is associated with the Minoans (which were an early civilization). Linear B has roots in Greek which can be translated.
5 A Mysterious Disappearance After 1628 BC, much of the Minoan Civilization is reduced to ruins.On the island of Thera/Santorini, a volcano erupted causing world wide upheaval. According to scientists, the volcano ranked at a VEI-6 or 7.The destruction at Akrotiri may be the origins of Atlantis.There also may be a connection to the Biblical Exodus in Egypt.The civilization lingered until about BC, until the Mycenaeans conquered what was left of the Minoan civilization.A comparable eruption is Mount Tambora in 1815, “a year without a summer.” This year in history caused great famine and starvation around the world, and was inspiration for Mary Shelley to write “Frankenstein.”
6 Mycenaeans Civilization “Historians consider the Mycenaeans the first Greeks, because they spoke a form of the Greek language.”While the Mycenaeans copied many aspects of the Minoans they were sharply different.They were more war-likeTrojan War in Homer’s Iliad (Trojan Horse)Powerful Kings dominated city-statesBuilt monuments like the Lion’s GateMyth of the Trojan War in Homer’s Iliad was verified by Heinrich Schiemann when he discovered Troy.
7 Downfall to Dark AgesMany theories exist on why the Mycenaeans failed, but some include:Drought and FamineInvasion by the “Sea Peoples”Collapse of TradeThe Greek Dark Ages (1200 – 800 BC)Decrease in populationTowns and cities were abandonedWriting and Trade ceased
9 Geography of Greece Greece is mountainous! Greek communities often times developed independently because of the mountains, thus they were diverseAs a result, they had their own government, laws, and customs.
10 Greek Polis Around 800 BC, Greece stabilized! Polis- City State Each polis was unique, and developed separately.Acropolis- a walled “high area” containing fortifications and temples and located in the center of a polisAgora- an open area that served as a meeting place & market in early Greek city-statesAgoraphobia- fear of open spaces.The two major city-states were Athens and Sparta.
11 Athens was the first democracy. Democracy: type of government where people vote.Athens was a direct democracy where people vote on everything. However, only citizens could voteBreakdown of Athenian Social Structure
12 Sparta Sparta was an oligarchy: rule by the few! Sparta was ruled by two kingsHelots outnumbered Spartans 7 to 1! This was the main reason for the strict war-like society…Breakdown of Spartan Social Structure
13 SpartaSparta was an isolated city-state that was culturally and politically different from Athens.Great military, army feared by other nations.Fighting Machines!During the Peloponnesian War Sparta sacked Athens.
14 Greek Military This is a hoplite, a Greek infantry soldier. Hoplites were middle class freemen who had to pay for their own weapon and shield.
15 Greek Military: Phalanx Soldiers get in a tight box. They each have a large shield and a 9 foot long spear.Was used in the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC. The Athenians defeated the Persians with this tactic.
16 Greeks were Polytheistic! Certain Gods were like “patron saints” of individual city-states. Corinth for example had the god Apollo, and Athens had Athena.