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Ancient Greece Greece & Rome Unit 3.

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1 Ancient Greece Greece & Rome Unit 3

2 Geography Geography played an important role in the development of Greek civilization. Compared to the landmasses of Mesopotamia and Egypt, Greece occupies a small area. It consists of a mountainous peninsula and numerous islands that encompass about 50,000 sq. miles of territory (about the size of Louisiana).


4 Mountains Seas About 80% of Greece is mountainous
Olympus is the highest peak in the Pindus Mountains, which divide the mainland Mountain ranges isolated Greeks from one another, causing different Greek communities to develop their own ways of life Seas The Aegean, Mediterranean, and Ionian Seas make up the eastern, southern, and western borders of Greece Although Greece is small, it has an 8,500 mile coastline (no part of the Greek mainland is more than 60 miles from a body of water) Ancient Greeks also lived on a number of islands to the west, south, and east of the mainland

5 Minoan Civilization By 2800 BC a Bronze Age civilization had been established on the island of Crete Called the Minoan civilization, it flourished from 2700 – 1450 BC At the beginning of the 20th century an English archaeologist discovered an enormous palace complex on Crete at Knossos, the remains of which revealed a rich culture, that had a far-ranging sea empire based on trade

6 The ships of the Minoans took them to Egypt as well as southern Greece
They traded finely crafted pottery, gold and silver jewelry in exchange for other goods and ideas Although Minoans built palaces on several sites in Crete, the palace at Knossos was where the royals lived Several private living rooms, workshops, and bathrooms formed the complex The centers of Minoan civilization on Crete suffered a sudden and catastrophic collapse around 1450 BC Some believe it was a tidal wave spurred by a volcanic eruption that was responsible Most historians believe that the destruction was a result of invasion by mainland Greeks known as the Mycenaeans

7 Mycenae Mycenae, a fortified site on the Greek mainland, was one center in a Mycenaean Greek civilization that flourished between 1600 and 1100 BC The Mycenaean Greeks were part of the Indo-European family of peoples who spread into Europe and Asia Mycenaean civilization was made up of powerful monarchies Each family resided in fortified palace centers built on hills and surrounded by stone walls (like Mycenae itself) A noticeable feature of these centers were the tholos tombs built into hillsides for the royal families

8 Mycenaean's were a warrior people who prided themselves on their heroic deeds in battle
Some historians believe that they spread their control by conquering Crete and other Aegean islands Their most famous military adventure is recounted in the poetry of Homer The Mycenaean Greeks, led by Agamemnon, sacked the city of Troy on the northwestern coast of Asia Minor around 1250 BC By the late thirteenth century Mycenaean Greece was showing signs of serious trouble Mycenaean states fought one another, and major earthquakes caused widespread damage In the 12th century new waves of Greek-speaking invaders moved into Greece from the north By 1100 BC, Mycenaean civilization collapsed

9 Greeks in the Dark Age After the collapse of Mycenaean civilization, Greece entered a difficult period in which the population declined and food production dropped. Historians call the period from 1100 BC to 750 BC the Dark Age because few records of what happened exist.

10 Changes of the Dark Age During the Dark Age, many Greeks left the mainland and sailed across the Aegean Sea to various islands Many went to the western shore of Asia Minor to Ionia in modern day Turkey Two other major groups settled in established parts of Greece: The Aeolian Greeks (northern and central Greece) colonized the island of Lesbos and the territory near the mainland The Dorians settled in southwestern Greece and some Aegean islands, including Crete

11 In addition to agriculture, there was a revival of some trade and economic activity during the Dark Age Iron replaced bronze in weapons and iron farming tools helped reverse the decline in food production At some point in the 8th century BC the Greeks adopted the Phoenician alphabet to give themselves a new system of writing They reduced all words to a combination of 24 letters and made learning to read and write simpler

12 Homer The Iliad and the Odyssey were the first great epic poems of early Greece Homer proved to be of great value to later Greeks, not because he recorded history, but because he created it They looked at the Iliad and the Odyssey as true history that gave the Greeks an ideal past with a cast of heroes The values Homer taught were courage and honor and gave later generations of Greek males a model of heroism and honor

13 Greece: A Moment of Excellence

14 Greek City-States By 750 BC, the city-state – or what the Greeks called a polis – became the central focus of Greek life The gathering place was at the top of a hill in a fortified area known as an acropolis, here they would meet for political, social, and religious activities The acropolis was also a place of refuge during an attack and came to be religious centers where temples were built Below the acropolis was an agora, an open area where people would assemble; it was also a market The polis was a community that consisted of citizens with political rights (adult males), citizens with no political rights (women and children), and noncitizens (slaves)

15 As the polis developed, so too did a new military system
City-states distrusted one another, and the diversion of Greece into fiercely patriotic independent units helped to bring about its ruin As the polis developed, so too did a new military system By 700 BC the military system was based on hoplites (heavily armed infantry soldiers), each of which carried a shield, short sword, and a spear Hoplites went into battle as a unit marching shoulder to shoulder in a rectangular formation known as a phalanx; this created a wall of shields to protect the hoplites

16 Greek Colonies Between 750 and 550 BC, large numbers of Greeks left their homeland to settle in distant lands looking for good farmland and the growth of trade

17 Tyranny in the City-States
The expansion of trade and industry created a new group of wealthy individuals, which fostered the rise of tyrants in the 7th and 6th centuries BC The tyrants gained power and kept it by using hired soldiers Tyrants also built marketplaces, temples, and walls which increased their popularity However tyranny didn’t last long, as the Greeks believed in the rule of law and tyranny ended in the 6th century Tyrants were rulers who seized power by force from the aristocrats

18 The rule of tyrants had ended the rule of the aristocrats in many city-states and its end allowed many new people to participate in government This led to the development of democracy (government by the people or rule of the many) Other city-states remained committed to government by an oligarchy (rule by the few)

19 Sparta Like other city-states, Sparta needed more land and chose to conquer their neighbors rather than starting new colonies Once they took over an area those people they conquered (helots) became their serfs Between 800 and 600 BC the lives of the Spartans were rigidly organized and tightly controlled Males spent their childhood learning military discipline, enrolled in the army at 20, were required to live in military barracks until 30 (this is when they were allowed to vote in the assembly), and had to stay in the army until age 60

20 The Spartan government was an oligarchy headed by two kings
While their husbands lived in the barracks, Spartan women lived at home Because of this freedom, Spartan women had greater freedom of movement and greater power in the house Many women upheld the strict Spartan values, expecting their husbands and sons to be brave in war (mothers would tell their sons to bring their shields home from war or be carried home on it) The Spartan government was an oligarchy headed by two kings A group of five men (ephors) were elected each year and were responsible for the education and conduct of all citizens A council of elders (28 citizens over 60) decided on issues that were presented to them

21 To make their new military state secure, Spartans turned their backs on the outside world
Foreigners were discouraged from visiting Except for military reasons, Spartans were not allowed to travel abroad, where they might encounter ideas dangerous to the stability of the state Spartan citizens were discouraged from studying philosophy, literature, or the arts (the art of war was the ideal and all other forms were frowned upon)

22 Athens Early Athens was ruled by a king, but by the seventh century BC, it became an oligarchy under the control of its aristocrats Near the end of the seventh century, Athens faced political turmoil because of serious economic problems Many farmers were sold into slavery when they couldn’t repay their debts to the aristocracy; even though people begged for the aristocracy to cancel all debt and return the debt…civil war seemed likely

23 In 560 BC, Peisistratus seized power and led the tyranny in Athens
The ruling Athenian aristocrats reacted to this crisis in 594 BC by giving full power to Solon He cancelled all land debts and freed people who had fallen into slavery He refused to take land from the rich and give it to the poor, which left the aristocrats very powerful In 560 BC, Peisistratus seized power and led the tyranny in Athens He aided trade as a way of pleasing the merchants and gave the aristocrat’s land to the peasants The Athenians rebelled against his son and ended the tyranny in 510 BC In 508 BC Cleisthenes gained control He created a council of 500 that supervised foreign affairs, oversaw the treasury, and proposed laws Because the assembly control the central political role, his reforms created the foundations for democracy

24 The Challenge of Persia
As the Greeks spread throughout the Mediterranean, they came in contact with the Persian Empire Ionian Greek cities in Asia Minor fell to the Persian Empire by the mid-sixth century BC In 499 BC an unsuccessful revolt by the Ionian cities (assisted by the Athenian navy) led the Persian ruler Darius to seek revenge In 490, the Persians landed in Marathon (26 miles from Athens) and were defeated by a much smaller Athenian army When the Athenians won a runner raced back to Athens to announce it…this is why marathons today are 26 miles

25 After Darius died in 486 BC, Xerxes became the new Persian monarch and vowed revenge against Greece
In preparation for the attack some of the Greek states formed a defensive league under the Spartans The Athenians however followed a new military policy and built a navy (they had 200 vessels by the time the Persians invaded in 480) Xerxes led a massive invasion force into Greece, which included 180,000 troops and thousands of warships and supply vessels Despite their differences, Athenians, Spartans, and other Greeks were united by a common goal of defeating the Persians In 479 BC the Greeks formed the largest Greek army at that time and defeated the Persian army at Plataea

26 The Athenian Empire After the defeat of the Persians, Athens took over the leadership of the entire Greek world In 478 BC they formed a defensive alliance against the Persians known as the Delian League It was headquartered on the island of Delos, however all of the commanders lived in Athens They pursued the attack against the Persian empire, eventually liberating virtually all of the Greek states in the Aegean Under Pericles Athens expanded its empire abroad while democracy flourished, creating the height of Athenian power and brilliance

27 The Age of Pericles Pericles created a direct democracy, where every male citizen participated in the governing assembly and voted on all major issues The assembly met every 10 days and passed all laws, elected public officials, and made decisions concerning war and foreign policy Athenians devised the practice of ostracism to protect against ambitious politicians People wrote down the name of someone they considered “harmful”, if at least 6,000 members named the same person they were banned from the city for 10 years Any one who attended could speak in assembly; made it possible for the poor to participate in public affairs

28 Daily Life, Economy & Society
By the 5th century BC, Athens had the largest population of all the Greek city-states with about 300,000 people Nearly 10,000 people were considered non-citizens, though they served in the military and helped to fund festivals Most people in Athens, except the very poor, owned at least 1 slave (100,000 slaves total) who mostly worked in the fields or in the home

29 The Athenian economy was largely based on farming and trade
Mostly grew grains, vegetables, grapes and olive trees Raised sheep and goats for wool, milk, and dairy products Because of the lack of land, Athens imported 50-80% of their grain and became the leading trade center in the 5th century An Athenian woman was expected to be a good wife and her chief obligation was to bear children Women were strictly controlled (couldn’t own land, always had a male guardian, etc) Many learned to read and play a musical instrument, though girls were not provided a formal education Only poor women could work outside the home and then only at unskilled jobs

30 Greek Religion Twelve chief gods and goddesses were thought to live on Olympus Zeus (chief god and father of gods), Athena (goddess of wisdom and crafts), Apollo (god of sun and poetry), Artemis (goddess of the moon and the hunt), Ares (god of war), Aphrodite (goddess of love), and Poseidon (god of the seas and earthquakes) Greek religion did not have a body of doctrine and it didn’t focus on morality (all spirits went to the gloomy underworld ruled by Hades) However religious rituals became very important so the gods would look favorably on their activities

31 Festivals also developed as a way to honor the gods and goddesses
Numerous events, including athletic games, took place in honor of the gods at Greek festivals (the first such games were held at the Olympic festival in 776 BC) The Greeks also had a great desire to learn the will of the gods by using an oracle (a sacred shrine where a god revealed the future through a priest or priestess) Responses were often puzzling and could be interpreted in more than one way Although Greek religion is no longer practiced, it was the source of most Greek drama and art Not only did the Romans adopt their gods, but many stories and references about Greek gods appear in European and American literature

32 Drama Drama as we know it in Western culture was created by the Greeks
The first Greek dramas were tragedies, which were presented in trilogies built around a common theme They examined such problems as the nature of good and evil, rights of the individual, divine forces, and human beings Striving to do the best thing may not always lead to success, but the attempt is a worthy endeavor Greek comedy developed later than tragedy and were used to criticize politicians and intellectuals Meant to entertain and provoke a reaction

33 The Writing of History The Greeks were the first people in the Western world to present history as a systematic analysis of past events Herodotus wrote History of the Persian Wars, often seen as the first real history He traveled widely and questioned many people to obtain his information Many historians consider Thucydides to be the greatest historian of the ancient world He wrote about war and political activities seeing it as an act of human beings, not gods He believed the study of history was a great value to understanding the present

34 Greek Philosophy The term philosophy comes from a Greek word meaning “love of wisdom” Many early Greek philosophers tried to explain the universe on the basis of unifying prinicples Pythagoras taught that the essence of the universe could be found in music and numbers In the 5th and 4th centuries, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle raised basic questions that have been debated for two thousand years

35 Socrates All we know about Socrates is what we have learned from the writings of his pupils, because he left no writings himself He had many pupils as he believed the goal of education was to improve the individual Socrates taught his students to live by a code of ethics People could be happy by living moral lives and they could be taught to behave morally He used the Socratic Method to teach students to see things for themselves and use their own reasoning Socrates was accused and convicted of corrupting the youth of Athens by teaching them to question and think for themselves Real knowledge is present within each person and critical examination is needed to call it forth

36 Plato Unlike Socrates, Plato wrote a lot and is considered the greatest philosopher of western civilization He believed that a higher world of eternal, unchanging Forms has always existed Objects we perceive with our senses are simply reflections of the ideal Forms Plato explained his ideas about government in The Republic, as he distrusted the workings of democracy His ideal state had people divided into three basic groups: philosopher-kings at the top, warriors second, and all the rest were at the bottom (those not driven by wisdom but by desire) Plato believed all men and women should have the same education and equal access to positions

37 Aristotle Aristotle was Plato’s most famous pupil who studied at his Academy for 20 years Aristotle believed that people’s happiness was tied to their behavior He studied natural science (one of his many interests) by making and recording obsevations Until the 17th century science in the Western world was largely based on his ideas He also wanted an effective form of government that would rationally direct human affairs and tried to find the best form of government by observing other forms He analyzed constitutions of 158 states and found 3 good forms of government: monarcy, aristocracy, and constitutional government

38 Philip & Alexander In 359 BC, Philip II became the ruler of Macedonia (a powerful kingdom to the North of Greece) He built a powerful army and was soon drawn into Greek affairs as he longed to unite Greece and Macedonia The Athenians feared Philip and would ally with other Greek states to fight the Macedonians…they were crushed by the Macedonian army Philip quickly gained control of all Greece, bringing an end to the freedom of the city-states Philip insisted the Greek states join him in a war against the Persians, but before he could undertake the invasion of Asia he was assassinated, leaving the task to his son Alexander

39 Alexander the Great was only 20 when he became king of Macedonia
Alexander had grown up studying his father in warfare and was also a student of Aristotle He moved quickly to fulfill his father’s dream and was motivated by the desire for glory Alexander was taking a chance in attacking the Persian Empire with only 37,000 men His cavalry of about 5,000 would play an important role as a striking force By the next year Alexander had freed the Ionian Greek cities; by winter 332 BC Alexander had Syria, Palestine, and Egypt (where he built Alexandria as the Greek capital of Egypt); soon after Alexander controlled the rest of the Persian Empire; in 326 Alexander reached India, where his soldiers refused to go farther and then returned home Alexander returned to Babylon, planning more conquests, but in 323 BC he died from his wounds and a fever…he was 32 years old


41 The Hellenistic Era Alexander created a new Hellenistic Era, which comes from the Greek word meaning “to imitate Greeks” The united empire that Alexander had created soon fell apart over a struggle for power amongst his generals, leaving only four kingdoms: Macedonia, Syria, Pergamum, and Egypt (all of which would be conquered by the Romans) The Hellenistic monarchs relied on Greeks and Macedonians for form the new ruling class They created a series of new cities and military settlements The Greek cities of the Hellenistic Era spread Greek culture to Southwest and Central Asia (as far as to modern day Afghanistan and India)

42 Arts & Literature The Hellenistic Era was a period of considerable cultural accomplishment in many areas, especially science and philosophy The library in Alexandria became the largest in ancient times with over 500,000 scrolls and encouraging the study of literature and language Rebuilding and creating new cities presented many opportunities for Greek architects and sculptors Thousands of statues were erected in towns and cities all over the Hellenistic world, which maintained the classical period skills but also adopted more emotion and realism A great quantity of literature was also produced during this time All buildings were characteristic of the Greek homeland (theaters & temples lined the streets)

43 Science & Philosophy Math and astronomy were two areas that considerable advances were made during this time Eratosthenes determined that the Earth was round and calculated its circumference within 185 miles of the actual number Euclid wrote the Elements textbook on plane geometry Archimedes developed the concept of pi, and worked on the geometrical concepts of spheres and cylinders Epicurus, the founder of Epicureanism, believed that humans were free to follow their own self interest and make happiness their goal Stoicism became the most popular belief and would flourish during the Roman Empire, teaching that material possessions were not necessary in order to be happy; “bear anything life hands you”

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