Presentation on theme: "Founders of Western civilization. Ancient Greece was not a unified country. It was made up of many “city- states”, each of which was made up of a city."— Presentation transcript:
Founders of Western civilization
Ancient Greece was not a unified country. It was made up of many “city- states”, each of which was made up of a city and the surrounding countryside. The two most important city- sates were Athens and Sparta. Even though all people in these states spoke the same language, wore the same styles of clothes and ate the same kinds of food, they frequently fought with each other.
Athens Athens was the most powerful of the city-states. It was built around a high, rocky hill called the Acropolis. At the top of the Acropolis was the Parthenon, a temple sacred to Athena, goddess of wisdom, who was the patron of Athens. Athens was a democracy. Citizens met n the Agora (marketplace) to debate important issues and to vote on them. Women, foreigners and slaves had no vote. Women in Athens had to do as they were told by their fathers and husbands. If the people of Athens felt that a politician was becoming too powerful, they wrote his name on piece of pottery (called ostrakon) and if he got enough of these, he was exiled for 10 years. Athens had a strong army and a very powerful navy. It was a great trading centre
Sparta Sparta was the other centre of power in Greece. Sparta was very different from Athens. The Spartans kept a huge number of slaves, called helots, who outnumbered them about 10 to 1. The helots were treated very badly, and the Spartans feared they would revolt. As a result, all male Spartans were expected to be warriors. When a child was born, a committee would order it to be put to death if they thought it would be weak. Spartan boys left home at the age of seven, and went to live in army barracks. They were beaten, starved and badly treated. They had to train hard in the martial arts. Women in Sparta had moe rights than women in most parts of Greece. They were educated and could own their own property. They were expected to keep themselves fit and healthy.
Religion The Ancient Greeks believed in many gods and goddesses. The ruler of the gods, Zeus, ruled from Mount Olympus, the home of the gods. His wife was Hera. Other important Greek gods and goddesses were: Apollo, god of the sun, music and poetry Artemis, goddess of the moon, young girls and hunting Athena, goddess of wisdom Aphrodite, goddess of love Ares, god of war Hades, god of the underworld Poseidon, god of the sea The Greeks said prayers to their gods, built temples for them, and offered food as a sacrifice.
Greek clothes Greek men and women both wore a tunic, called a chiton, made from wool or linen. They frequently went barefoot, although they had sandals for summer wear and boots for winter wear. They had hats and cloaks to protect them when the weather was bad. Men normally wore their hair short. They frequently had beards, which they shaved off in times of mourning. Women wore their hair elaborately dressed and often decorated it with ribbons. Women wore tunics down to their ankles, whereas most men’s tunics were knee-length. Children dressed like their parents.
Greek homes The Greeks built their homes from brick and stones. Men and women lived in different parts of the house. Houses were frequently built around a central courtyard. As you can see from the pictures, there was a considerable difference between the homes of he rich and poor. Temples were decorated with marble, with relief (3D) carvings as decoration. Houses were often whitewashed.
Greek Food Bread was the main food of all classes. Olives, grapes, apples, peas and beans were also common foodstuffs. The main meats eaten were goat and lamb. Wine was drunk by everyone, even children! In fairness, the wine wasn’t as strong as today’s wines, and children added plenty of water to their wine! Olive oil was used for cooking and cleaning. Cheese made from sheep’s milk was also popular
Education Schools were private businesses, and the teachers were paid per pupil per day. In Athens, only the boys went to school. They learned reading, writing, arithmetic and rhetoric (public speaking) Girls stayed at home and learned domestic skills (cooking, weaving, spinning etc.) from their mothers, although many of them also learned to read and write. In Sparta, both boys and girls were educated. Discipline was strict, and children were beaten with a cane if they misbehaved or did not pay attention. Our alphabet is based on the Geek alphabet, and takes its name from the first two Greek letters, Alpha and Beta.
Sports and pastimes The Greeks practiced a lot of sport, for fun, to train for war, and to honour their gods. They practiced running, jumping, throwing the discus and the javelin, boxing, wrestling and pankration which was a bit like modern cage-fighting. They exercises naked, as sports gear hadn’t been invented! Their training areas were called gymnasiums. After training, they would take a bath or sauna and get a massage from a slave, who would scrape them down with olive oil and a strigil ( a piece of bone or ivory). Greeks also enjoyed going to the theatre to watch actors and musicians. They also went to taverns (pubs) to talk and drink wine.
Myths and legends The Greeks enjoyed telling stories about their gods and heroes. One famous tale, made into a poem by the blind port Homer, was the Illiad, the tale of how Menelaus, king of Sparta, invaded the great city of Troy after his wife Helen ran away with a Trojan prince. The war lasted for 10 years. The main Greek hero was Achilles. Eventually, the Greeks pretended to sail away, and left a huge wooden horse, which the Trojans thought was a gift from the gods. They brought it into their city, but Greek soldiers were hiding inside. They opened the gates and Troy was destroyed. They also told stories about the great hero Hercules, son of Zeus, and about monsters such as the Minotaur and the Gorgon Medusa.
The Greek Legacy Much of our Western European civilization is based on the civilization of the ancient Greeks. They gave us democracy, modern politics, sports, music, plays and great works of art that we still enjoy today. Ancient Greece flourished about 2500 years ago. It was eventually conquered by Rome, but the Romans were so taken with Greek ideas that they adopted a lot of them, passing them down to us.