Main Idea The earliest cultures in Greece, the Minoans and the Mycenaeans, were trading societies, but both disappeared and were replaced by Greek city-states. Objectives What were Minoan and Mycenaean cultures like? What were the common characteristics of Greek city-states? What role did stories of gods and heroes play in Greek culture?
I. Minoans and Mycenaeans Much early Greek history unknown; two distinct cultures developed
c. 3000 BC - Minoans on Crete built first Greek civilization; lasted nearly 2,000 years A. The Minoans of Crete
A. The Minoans Named after King Minos; palace was in Knossos The throne of King Minos, earliest surviving throne of the western world Artist's rendition of the palace at Knossos
A. The Minoans Minoans - sailors, fishermen, traders; had colonies on Aegean islands Fresco from the Minoan Culture c. 1700 BC
A. The Minoans Some homes had running water, walls covered with frescoes Fresco found at the Palace of Knossos, with a representation of the bull-leaping, a kind of contest, probably religious in character, in which both men and women took part
A. The Minoans Knowledge of them comes from art and artifacts; Their writing, Linear A, is undeciphered A fisherman from the 16th century BC Minoan Gold Bee Pendant 1800-1700 BC
A. The Minoans 1628 BC- volcanic eruptions weakened Minoa 1400 BC - conquered by the Mycenaeans Ash deposited during the Minoan eruption of Santorini volcano
B. The Mycenaeans Mycenaeans considered first true Greeks; spoke Greek language
B. The Mycenaeans Powerful kingdoms dominated by competition and warfare Mycenaean Warrior Krater 12th century BC
B. The Mycenaeans Built fortresses in Peloponnesus and northern Greece; great traders The Mycenaean Acropolis Greek Trireme Olympias
B. The Mycenaeans Most famous legend was epic of Trojan War: The Iliad by Homer; also wrote The Odyssey
B. The Mycenaeans By 1100s BC: invasions, war, famine destroyed most cities; a dark age followed Ruins of the Mycenaean Acropolis
B. The Mycenaeans Important contribution was a writing system, Linear B
B. The Mycenaeans Upper left - pre-linear A script from Crete - hieroglyphic Upper right - Linear A (untranslated) Lower - Linear B Script, the Mycenaean language
II. Greek City-States 800s to 700s BC - the independent polis arose in Greece
A. Life in the Polis The polis was the center of Greek identity; inhabitants were intensely loyal
A. Life in the Polis Polis built around acropolis, an agora was below; walls protected the polis Ruins of Ancient Agora Thessaloniki, Greece Acropolis in Athens
A. Life in the Polis Each polis had own government, laws, money, and patron god Relief showing Democracy placing a wreath on the head of the Athenian "Demos" (body of the citizens)
A. Life in the Polis All Greeks shared language, religion, culture, and social characteristics Greek Drama Greek Gods
B. The Might of Sparta Sparta seized surrounding towns and enslaved residents, who became helots Helots lived in their master's household but were owned by the state; unlike ordinary slaves, their master could not declare them free. They served as agricultural and domestic slaves, and sometimes military servants as well. Spartans usually allowed agricultural helots to keep excess produce. Helots outnumbered Spartans seven to one
B. The Might of Sparta Sparta’s highly militarized society demanded strength and toughness Boys were taught physical, mental toughness by mothers. At age 7, boys left home for military training and schooling. The state-controlled education in Sparta was designed not to instill literacy, but fitness, obedience, and courage. Boys were taught survival skills, encouraged to steal what they needed without getting caught, and, under certain circumstances, to murder Helots. At birth unfit children would be left to die. The weak continued to be weeded out, those who survived would know how to cope with inadequate food and clothing. Soldiers could not engage in trade or business and remained available for military service until age 60.
B. The Might of Sparta Men trained for war at 18; began military service as hoplites at 20 Chigi Vase, 650.BC. First piece of archaeological evidence showing a hoplite phalanx formation. Greek Phalanx
B. The Might of Sparta Spartan girls received physical training, taught devotion to Sparta In no other Greek City-state did women enjoy the same freedom and privileges of Spartan women. Only in Sparta did girls receive public education; in other city- states most women were completely illiterate. Only in Sparta were girls allowed to engage in sport. Only in Sparta did women possess economic power and influence. Bronze statuette of girl runner, probably from Sparta.
B. Government in Sparta Two kings headed government and served as military commanders Archidamos III of the Eurypontid family King Leonidas of the Agiad family
III. Gods and Heroes Greeks created myths about gods, goddesses, and heroes to explain their world
III. Gods and Heroes 12 most important gods lived on Mount Olympus; had great power but far from perfect The Greek Olympian are Zeus, Hera, Aphrodite, Apollo, Ares, Artemis, Athena, Demeter, Hephaestus, Hermes, Hestia, and Poseidon. They are all related to each other in one way or another and each performed different duties.
III. Gods and Heroes Sacred locations – Delphi and Olympia Every four years Greeks assembled at Olympia for Olympic Games where athletes competed against each other to honor the gods Priestess of Apollo at the oracle of Delphi. Sitting over a fissure in the earth and bathed in rising vapors, would go into a trance from which she could advise and warn.
The Olympian games were so important that many Greeks dated their historical periods from the first games, which were held in 776 BC
III. Gods and Heroes Heroes killed monsters, founded cities, talked with gods on equal terms
III. Gods and Heroes Hubris brought many heroes to tragic ends Odysseus and the Sirens