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First people to move into Greece came from Turkey around 3000 BC Remained a primitive Neolithic people for a long time.

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Presentation on theme: "First people to move into Greece came from Turkey around 3000 BC Remained a primitive Neolithic people for a long time."— Presentation transcript:

1 First people to move into Greece came from Turkey around 3000 BC Remained a primitive Neolithic people for a long time

2 MINOANS AND MYCENAEANS Came into contact with Minoan civilization on the nearby island of Crete Minoans were merchants who established trade contacts with early Greeks (known as Mycenaeans) – Brought rudiments of civilization to them

3 MINOAN CIVILIZATION Minoan civilization based on huge palace complexes such as one at Knossos Top god was a female goddess called “The Snake Goddess” Had writing system

4 MYCENAEAN CIVILIZATION Mycenaneans later invaded Crete and destroyed Minoan civilization forever Mycenaean civilization: – No centralized state – Just numerous small city-states Surrounded by stone walls Ruled by self-styled “kings” – Primary economic activity was piracy – Primarily warriors who used bronze weapons and fought among themselves continually

5 CATASTROPHE Mycenaean civilization ultimately weakened itself by constant internal warfare – Became the victim of new invaders who moved into Greece from the north around 1100 BC Ionians and Dorians Destroyed much of Mycenaean culture – City-states were destroyed, stone architecture ceased, and writing was forgotten – Greece plunged into a Dark Age

6 END OF THE DARK AGE Population pressure pulled Greece out of the Dark Age around 800 BC In response to population explosion on Greek mainland, many left and settled in groups elsewhere Never lost their Greek identity, remained “Greek” no matter where they settled

7 CIVILIZATION REVIVES With establishment of a world-wide network of colonies, the Dark Age came to an end – Greeks rediscovered trade – Adopted and modified the Phoenician alphabet – Evolved a new form of government The polis

8 THE POLIS Greeks organized themselves into independent city-states – Through a long and complicated process of evolution during the Dark Age, Greek government was based on elected assemblies made up men who were eligible for military service Such men were always relatively wealthy No hereditary kings Greek ballot (made from pottery shard)

9 GREEK “DEMOCRACY” Polis government was not “democratic” in the modern sense of the word Athens – Population of 200,000 – Only 30,000 considered “free citizens” (ie., eligible to participate in politics) Male Native-born Free Could afford to serve in army – Women, slaves, residents not born in Athens, and the lower classes were excluded

10 LEGACY Polis government was still better than the god-pharaohs of Egypt or the absolute emperors of Mesopotamia – Greeks met together in assemblies to work out policy and they elected their own leaders – Citizenship was not as broad-based as we would like but at least the Greeks had rejected the idea that one individual had an inherent right to rule Introduced the concept that people could and should rule themselves

11 THE GREAT PERSIAN WAR In 499 BC, Greek colonies along the coast of Asia Minor rose up in revolt against Persian rule Persian emperor Darius I put down revolt with little trouble – But he learned that Athens and several other city-states on the Greek mainland had aided the rebels – Made up his mind to get revenge by destroying Athens and conquering the Greek peninsula Started “The Great Persian War”

12 GREEKS WIN War lasted from 490-479 BC (21 years) Led by Darius and, later, by his son Xerxes Persia tried to invade and conquer Greece three times But the Greeks dropped their differences, banded together, and turned back each attempt – Led by Athens and Sparta – Persians finally just gave up

13 ATHENS Athens at forefront of Greek Golden Age – Pericles transformed Delian League into a mini-empire Which he then used to finance massive rebuilding of the city-state Transformed it to the most beautiful city in the ancient world

14 SPARTA Sparta was ruled by dual kings Military state par excellence – Infants examined for defects and killed if they had any – Boys taken from their mother at age 7 for 14 years of military training – All men lived together in barracks until age 30 – Entire life spent in army – Civilian work was performed by slaves called helots Sparta Athens

15 PELOPONNESIAN LEAGUE Spartan soldiers had the deserved reputation of being the best in the Greek world – Very courageous – Never surrendered or retreated Sparta used military power to create mini-empire in southern Greece – The Peloponnesian League

16 PELOPONNESIAN WAR Caused by conflicting imperialistic ambitions of Athens and Sparta – 431-404 BC – Caused widespread destruction and loss of life throughout the Greek world – Sparta was the technical victor but it emerged from the war just as exhausted and bankrupt as Athens – More suicidal wars would follow Completely weakening the entire Greek peninsula

17 PHILLIP II Greek city-states unable to put up any effective resistance when invaded by Philip II – “King and Warrior Lord” of Macedonia Conquered the entire region 338 BC

18 ALEXANDER THE GREAT Philip II was assassinated in 336 BC – Was in the middle of planning a war of revenge against Persia In order to win the hearts and minds of the Greeks – Replaced by his 21-year old son, Alexander Would continue his father’s plan and go further than Philip’s wildest dreams – Would create the largest empire the world had ever seen


20 ALEXANDER THE MAN Complex personality – Enormous intellectual talent – Athletic – Brilliant general – But also cursed with an unlimited ego and a strong vindictive streak Mixture of personality traits motivated him – Intelligence and talent, on one hand, and an insatiable desire for glory and cut- throat ruthlessness on the other

21 CONQUEST Joint Macedonian/Greek army of 45,000 men invaded Persian Empire in 334 BC – Conquered the entire empire and pushed eastward into Central Asia and then India Leaving behind hundreds of thousands of corpses, burnt villages and farms, and devastated cities

22 NEW CITIES To guard his lines of communication back to Greece, Alexander built new cities along his route of conquest – Many of them rapidly developed into thriving centers of Greek culture and exerted a powerful influence on their surrounding regions – The best known are Alexandria in Egypt, Antioch in Syria, and Pergamum in Asia Minor Library in Alexandria

23 A SUDDEN AND SURPRISING END Alexander’s army mutinied in central India and refused to move any further east – Homesick – Demoralized – Frightened Alexander relents and agrees to return home – But marches them through a devastating desert as punishment 2/3s of his men die as a result – Sets up temporary headquarters in Babylon Dies there after a drinking party in 323 BC at age 32

24 UGLY AFTERMATH Alexander’s only legitimate heirs are killed during the civil war that erupted after his death – 12 year old son by Persian wife – Retarded older brother Empire is ultimately divided between three of his former generals

25 Ptolemy gets richest portion: Egypt and Mediterranean Coast of Middle East Founds Ptolemy Dynasty that would rule Egypt until 31 BC Selecus gets most of old Persian Empire It would break up over time Antigonus Gonatus gets Greece and Macedonia Also plagued with trouble during the years that followed Together, these states were known as the “successor kingdoms” and the time that they dominated the ancient world (330-150 BC) is known as the Hellenistic Age

26 ILLIAD AND ODYSSEY I Iliad and Odyssey allegedly composed by the blind poet, Homer, around 800 BC – He did not write them – He was a professional story-teller – Probably combined several existing folktales into long narratives – Both would be written down much later

27 ILLIAD AND ODYSSEY II Deal with the wars of the Mycenaeans – Specifically their attack Troy Include some of the best-known characters in Greek mythology – Achilles, Odysseus, Helen of Troy, Hector, Agamemnon, etc – Gods are also characters Portrays characters as both heroic and admirable but also flawed – Often prideful, stubborn, vindictive, jealous, and lustful – Major breakthrough: characters portrayed in sophisticated manner, not just in stark black and white terms Achilles

28 OTHER POETS SAPPHO Lived on island of Lesbos Only fragments of her poems survive Tremendous amount of descriptive beauty and insight into human relationships PINDAR Invented the “eulogy” (long poems praising the lives and exploits of famous individuals)

29 GREEK THEATER Pioneers in the theater – Invented the dramatic forms of comedy and tragedy – Actors in stylized masks acted out stories surrounded by a chorus who sang, danced and chanted a commentary between scenes – Plots were normally derived from Greek mythology But playwrights modified them to address issues concerning universal human problems and concerns

30 GREEK PLAYWRIGHTS Sophocles – Oedipus Rex Euripides – Trojan Women – Lysistrada Aristophanes – The Clouds

31 PHILOSOPHY The most famous Greek philosophers were Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle Appeared one after the other in Athens from the end of the Peloponnesian War to the rise of Alexander the Great Socrates was the first and greatest but he never wrote a word. Everything we know of him comes from his student, Plato Socrates Plato Aristotle

32 SOCRATIC PHILOSOPHY Socrates and Plato were primarily interested in fundamental questions about the human condition – What is justice? – What is good? – What is beauty? Tried to find absolute answers to these questions – Universally valid answers that would apply to all people, at all times, and in all places – Employed rigorous question and answer form of inquiry

33 ARISTOTLE Aristotle was also interested in the same fundamental questions as Socrates and Plato – But he differed from them in method Rather than speculate in a logical manner, he argued that a person should gather evidence on a topic, analyze that evidence, and then base conclusions on that analysis – Pioneered methodology to obtain knowledge still used today by scholars and scientists Aristotle’s school, The Academy, outside of Athens

34 OTHER SCIENTISTS Pythagoras Mathematician who developed the formula to find the square of a right- angle triangle Hippocrates “founder of modern medicine” Rejected concept that evil spirits caused illness Developed theory of “bodily humours” Argued that body was made up of equal parts of four humours (blood, water, bile, etc.) and that a person became sick when the balance between them was thrown off Function of medicine was therefore to get these humours back in balance Also wrote an oath of medical ethics: The Hippocratic Oath

35 PARTHENON Pericles’ building program turned Athenian Acropolis into an eternal monument – The centerpiece was the Parthenon Temple dedicated to Athena Huge rectangle-shaped building with white marble columns supporting a red tile roof with gold trim A panel ran along the roof line, portraying scenes from the life of Athena Inside was dimly lit and dominated by a colossal ivory and god statue of Athena

36 HELLENISTIC ACHIEVEMENTS “realistic sculpture” Individualistic philosophies – Stoicism, Cynicism, Epicureanism, Skepticism Further advances in science – Work of Archimedes Emphasis was on the individual, not the collective

37 HELLENISTIC CITIES Center of scientific, artistic, and intellectual activity shifted from to the old city-states of Greece to the new and great cities of the successor kingdoms – Greece was progressively weakened by this drain of its best and brightest people Gradually sunk into backwardness and decay Greeks were still at the forefront of achievement but they no longer lived in Greece Lighthouse at Alexandria

38 HELLENISM As new Middle Eastern people were brought into contact with Greek culture as a result of the conquests of Alexander and the establishment of the successor kingdoms, Greeks themselves became influenced by Middle Eastern culture as they spread around the world – Result was a certain fusion between East and West – Creation of a new common culture that was part Greek/part Middle Eastern Hellenism Would provide cultural unity to the ancient world Colossus at Rhodes

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