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Chapter 4 The Civilization of the Greeks

The Civilization of
the Greeks
Early Greece
Importance of geography in Greek history
 Sea
 Topography (Map 4.1)
Minoan Crete, 2000-1450 B.C.E.
 Height between 2000 and 1450 B.C.E.
 Knossus
 Sudden and catastrophic collapse around 1450 B.C.E.
Mycenaean Greeks, 1600-1100 B.C.E.
 Flourished between 1400 and 1200 B.C.E.
 Indo-European / warrior people
 Agememnon
 Mycenae torched about 1190 B.C.E.
Ancient Greece (c. 750 – 338)
Although not much of the
site remains today,
Mycenaean civilization
erected several fortified
palace complexes on these
hills in the fifteen century
The Greek Dark Age (c. 1100-c.
750 B.C.E.)
 Collapse
of agricultural production
 Migration east across the Aegean Sea
Ionian Greeks
 Two
other major groups
Aeolian Greeks
 Homer
Heroic values form the core of aristocratic virtue
The Greek City-States: (c. 750 – c. 500 B.C.E.): The
 The
polis is a small but autonomous political unit
in which all major political, social, and religious
activities are carried out in a central location
 Acropolis and Agora
 Citizens, non-citizens, and responsibilities
 Military system
Hoplites (heavily armed infantrymen) formed into
Political and military repercussions
Colonization and the Rise of
Gulf between rich and poor, overpopulation, and trade
Founded as a polis
Cultural diffusion
Trade and commerce
A tyrant was someone who came to rule by unconstitutional ways
in 7th and 6th centuries B.C.E.
Support came from the new rich from trade and industry who
opposed the old aristocracy
Poor peasants becoming indebted to the landholding aristocrats
Tyrants favored merchants and traders
Extinguished by end of 6th century B.C.E.
• Ended the rule of aristocratic oligarchies
• Opened the door to open participation by the citizens
 Southwestern
 Conquered neighboring Laconia and Messenia
Helots (a type of serf)
 Reforms
by Lycurgus
Military society
 Government
Two kings share power with the gerousia (council of 28
elders over the age of 60 serving for life)
Apella – assembly of all male citizens
Established about 700 B.C.E.
End of the 7th century B.C.E., farmers sold into slavery for
not paying debts
Solon (c. 640-c. 560 B.C.E.)
594 B.C.E. canceled all debts, outlawed new loans based on
human collateral, freed people who had fallen into slavery for
Did not initiate land redistribution
Pisistratus seize power in 560 B.C.E. and pursued policies
to aid trade
Cleisthenes seized power in 508 B.C.E.
Creates Council of 500 that was responsible for the administration
of foreign and financial affairs
Athenian assembly had final authority in passing laws
Creates the foundation of Athenian democracy
The Parthenon
The Parthenon, which dominated the Acropolis of fifth century B.C.E.
Greece and the Athens of today, represents the glory that was Greece in
the age of Pericles.
The Challenge of Persia
 Darius
Unsuccessful revolt of Ionian cities
Attacks the mainland Greeks
Battle of Marathon, 490 B.C.E.
 Xerxes
(522-486 B.C.E.)
(486-465 B.C.E.)
Invasion of Greece, 480-479 B.C.E.
• Spartan league and Athenian navy
• Battle of Thermopylae, 480 B.C.E.
• Battle of Salamis, 480 B.C.E.
• Battle of Plataea, 479 B.C.E.
The Growth of an Athenian Empire
in the Age of Pericles
 Delian
League formed 478-77 B.C.E.
Under the leadership of Athens, the Persians attacked
and virtually all Greek city-states in the Aegean freed
Athens comes to control the League and forbids any
state to withdraw
 Pericles
Expanded democracy at home and an empire abroad
Elected to generalship 30 times between 461 and 429
The Great Peloponnesian War and
the Decline of the Greek States (431404 B.C.E.)
 Sparta
and allies v. Athens and allies
 Athens stays behind its walls and Sparta ravages
the land of Attica
 Plague in 429, B.C.E., takes Pericles
 Battle of Aegospotami, 405 B.C.E.
 Surrender of Athens, 404 B.C
 Effects of the wars
©2004 Wadsworth, a division of Thomson Learning, Inc. Thomson Learning ™ is a trademark used herein under license.
Classical Greece
Culture of Classical Greece
Greek Drama
 Tragedy
 Comedy
The Arts: The Classical Ideal
 Architecture
• Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian columns
• Temples
• Parthenon
 Sculpture
• Subjects of male nudity
• Proportional and life-like
Theater at Epidaurus
The acoustics at this great
outdoor theater at Epidaurus
are so clear that a whisper on
stage could be heard from
any of its 14,000 seats.
The Greek Love of Wisdom
Philosophy meant “love of wisdom”
Socrates (469-399 B.C.E.)
 Socratic method
 Goal of education was to improve the individual
 Questioned authority
Plato (c. 429-347 B.C.E.)
 The Republic
 The Academy
Aristotle (384-322 B.C.E.)
 Politics
 Importance of his ideas on Western thought
Greek Religion
 Was
necessary for the well-being of the state
 Mount Olympus
 No body of doctrine or focus on morality
 Festivals
 Oracle of Apollo at Delphi
Daily Life in Classical Athens
 150,000
citizens, 43,000 of which were adult
males who exercised political power
 Economy based on agriculture and trade
 Family the central institution
 Women kept under strict control
 Male homosexuality a prominent feature
Rise of Macedonia and the
Conquests of Alexander
 Philip
II (359-336 B.C.E.)
 The Battle of Chaeronea
 Assassinated in 336 B.C.E.
 Alexander the Great (336-323 B.C.E.)
 Persian Empire
• Battle of Granicus River, 334 B.C.E.
• Battle of Issus, 333 B.C.E.
• Battle of Gaugamela, 331 B.C.E.
• Persepolis, 330 B.C.E.
• Alexander in India, 327 B.C.E.
• Death of Alexander, 323 B.C.E.
The Conquests of Alexander the
The Legacy of Alexander
 Hellenistic Age
(“to imitate Greeks”)
 Destruction of Persia
 Benefits Greek engineers, intellectuals,
merchants, administrators, and soldiers
 Political unity based on monarchy
 Culture
 Art, architecture, language, literature
 Cities
The Hellenistic Kingdoms
Four Hellenistic kingdoms emerged
 Macedonia under the Antigonid dynasty
 Syria and the east under the Seleucids
 Attalid kingdom of Pergamum in western Asia Minor
 Egypt under the Ptolemies
Greeks and Macedonians formed the new ruling class
Hellenizing an urban phenomenon
Greeks and Macedonians colonists provided a pool for civilian
administrators and workers
Agriculture and trade
 Agriculture was central to Hellenistic economy
 Trade and commerce experienced considerable expansion
©2004 Wadsworth, a division of Thomson Learning, Inc. Thomson Learning™ is a trademark used herein under license.
The World of the Hellenistic
Culture in the Hellenistic World
Greeks provided sense of unity
Hellenistic era was time of accomplishments
 Scholars
 Art
Golden Age of Science
 Separation of science and philosophy
 Archimedes (287-212 B.C.E.)
 Athens still the center of philosophy
 Epicurus (341-270 B.C.E.)
 Zeno (335-263 B.C.E.) and Stoicism
©2004 Wadsworth, a division of Thomson Learning, Inc. Thomson Learning™ is a trademark used herein under license.
The World According to
Discussion Questions
How did geography and the sea help to shape Greek
Compare and contrast the city-states of Sparta and Athens.
How would you explain their divergent development?
What did “democracy” mean to the ancient Greeks? What
groups were excluded from Athenian democracy?
How would you explain the rise of kingdoms and the
demise of independent city-states during the Hellenistic
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