Know locations of: Balkan Peninsula, Mycenae, Athens, Sparta, Crete, Aegean Sea, and Asia Minor

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Know locations of: Balkan Peninsula, Mycenae, Athens, Sparta, Crete, Aegean Sea, and Asia Minor

  • • Time Line

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    • o Minoan

    • o Mycenaean

    • o Dorian

The Importance of Greece

    • • Much of Western civilizations, the cultures that in later centuries evolved in Europe and spread to the Americas, has its foundation in early Grecian history

    • • This includes democracy and self-governance, universal education, capitalism, etc.

3 Pillars of Greek society

    • • Minoans

    • • Mycenaean

    • • Dorian

Minoan Civilization

    • • The Minoans came from the island of Crete, jut south of Greece

    • • They were names after Minos, the legendary King of Crete

    • • According o the legend, Minos kept imprisoned a giant creature known as Minotaur – half human and half bull

    • • The Minoan civilization was well developed by 2000 B.C., and likely influenced by nearby Nile and Fertile Crescent civilizations

    • • However the Minoans developed their own unique culture, revealing a highly artistic people

    • o Very artistic

    • o Known for their elaborate carvings in ivory, stone, gold, silver and bronze

    • o The royal palaces and homes of the wealthy also had frescoes – painting made on wet plaster walls

    • • Archaeologist believe the Minoans were a cheerful people who enjoyed festivals

    • • They worshipped the bull and some form of earth goddess

    • • Women also played a key role in Minoan society

    • • The soil of Crete was unsuitable for crops, therefore the Minoans relied on the sea for their nourishment

    • • In 1500 B.C. a volcanic eruption on a nearby island sent tidal waves crashing across Crete, nearly destroying the Minoans

    • • Although they rebuilt the royal palace (known as Knossos, also spelled Cnossus), by 1400 B.C. the Minoan civilization had vanished.

Mycenaean Civilization

    • • Around 2000 B.C. a group of Indo-Aryans from the north began invading the Balkan Peninsula (modern day Greece)

    • • Known as the Mycenaean’s, they dominated the Greek mainland from 1600-1200 B.C.

    • • The Mycenaean’s were aggressive, warlike people who sought to conquer the eastern Mediterranean

    • • Eventually they conquered the island of Crete, adopting many elements of the Minoan culture

    • • However, frequent earthquakes and wars weakened the Mycenaean’s

    • • Eventually the Mycenaean civilization collapsed around 1100 B.C. most of their cities were destroyed or abandoned.

Dorian Civilization

    • • Following the Mycenaeans were the Dorians – a more primitive Greek civilization that inhabited the fertile areas of Peloponnesus, Crete and Asia Minor

    • • The Dorians were aggressive yet illiterate; the knowledge of writing disappeared and a dark age fell upon Greece for many centuries

Greek City-States

    • • Influenced by the Geography of the Balkan Peninsula (mountainous and surrounded on three sides by the sea), early settlers to the area began establishing city-states.

    • • The Greek word for city-states is polis

Greek Government and Society – Section 2

    • • As independent city-states (polis) emerged, a variety of governments began to develop on the Balkan Peninsula

    • • During this time, although they were advanced in other areas, the Greeks communicated verbally (Remember the Dorians?)

The Homeric Age – Named after Homer

    • • Poets wandered from village to village, singing or reciting songs and epics

    • • Epics were long poems describing heroes and great events

    • • During the 700s B.C., much of this oral poetry was gathered together and written down

    • • The most famous of these was the Iliad and the Odyssey supposedly written by Homer, a wandering poet

    • • The Iliad and the Odyssey depict the Trojan War between the city-states of Sparta and Troy

Greek Religious and Moral Beliefs

    • • Greek religious beliefs differed greatly from the religions of the Egyptians, Persians, and Hebrews

    • • The Greeks asked 3 things of their religion – an explanation for:

    • o The mysteries of the physical worlds

    • o The passions of human nature

    • o The means to gain a long life and good fortune

    • • The Greek religion did NOT focus on morality or the notion of being “saved”

    • • Unlike the Egyptians, the Greeks attributed human qualities to all their gods – even the qualities of weakness and human needs

    • • In addition, while other religions believed their gods lived only in a spiritual realm, the Greeks believed their gods lived on Mount Olympus

    • • To explain the world, the Greeks developed myths

    • • Because Greeks believed displays of human strength and courage pleased the gods, they held athletic contests in their honor

Myth – story about something that may be true but you cannot prove it

    • • Traditional stories about the deeds and misdeeds of gods, goddesses, and heroes

Gods and Goddesses

    • • Zeus: King of the gods, father of some of the gods as well as humans

    • • Hera: Zeus’ sister and wife, protected women and marriage

    • • Poseidon: God of the sea

    • • Athena: “Daughter” of Zeus, goddess of wisdom, female virtue and technical skill, protector of Greek city-states. The city of Athens was named after her.

    • • Aphrodite: Daughter of Zeus, goddess of love and beauty

    • • Apollo: Song of Zeus, brother of Aphrodite, god of sun and light, music, poetry and male beauty

    • • Dionysus: God of fertility and love

    • • Greeks believed their gods and goddesses spoke through priests or priestesses at special sanctuaries called oracles

    • • The most notable of these competitions was help in Olympia every fourth year to honor Zeus, and came to be known as the Olympic Games

Rise of the Nobles

    • • Greek city-states began as small kingdoms. The kings of these kingdoms relied on wealthy landowners (nobles) for assistance in protecting the kingdom

    • • By 700 B.C. the nobles had generally overthrown the kings by controlling land, farming, and the military. The city-states controlled by the nobles were called aristocracies (“ruled by the best”)

    • • The nobles also encouraged unhappy farmers to establish colonies outside of Greece

    • • These colonies encouraged trade; importing (purchase) and exporting (sale) of goods in and out of Greece

Fall of the Nobles

    • • By 600 B.C., non-aristocrats became wealthy enough to purchase their own weapons

    • • Eventually, non-aristocrat soldiers called hoplites became powerful enough to demand changes in the city-state aristocracies

    • • These hoplites, along with a growing number of poor farmers, began to overthrow the aristocracies

    • • The eventual leaders of these new governments were called tyrants

    • • Tyrants were defined as those who seized power in defiance of law, yet ruled with the support of the people

Rise of Democracy

    • • Some of these tyrants became harsh leaders, and were ousted (removed) by the people

    • • In place of these tyrants, the concept of popular government came about

    • • Popular government refers to a government led by the people, which eventually led to a democracy – a government in which all citizens take part

    1. 1. Kings

    2. 2. Nobles/Aristocracies

    3. 3. Nobles encouraged non-aristocrats to develop colonies and trade

    4. 4. Hoplites

    5. 5. Tyrants

    6. 6. Popular Government

    7. 7. Democracy

Sparta and Athens


    • • Military Ideal

    • • The Dorians eventually made Sparta their capital, forcing the people they conquered (known as helots) to serve them. Those in Sparta became known as the Spartans, and developed into a highly militaristic society.

    • • Three primary social groups developed in Sparta:

    • o Equals – Descendants of the Dorians who controlled the city-state of Sparta

    • o Half-Citizens – Free citizens who held no political power

    • o Helots – Servants of the Equals

    • • The Helots greatly outnumbered the Spartans, and were therefore systematically terrorized to keep them from rebelling. This, as well as the focus on developing all male citizens into warriors, added to the militarism of Sparta

    • • All male babies were inspected at birth to separate out any who seemed weak, deformed, or unhealthy. Those who were unfit for the future military service were abandoned in the countryside to die

    • • At the age of seven, all young boys were sent to harsh military schools. At the age of 20 men were officially inducted into the military and served until they were 60. They could marry, but could not live at home or enter the marketplace between the ages of 20 and 30

    • • Young Spartan women had to remain healthy as well, and were trained to be good future mothers of Spartan soldiers.

    • • Because of this focus on militarism, the Spartan society produced nothing in art, literature, philosophy or science

    • o 5 Ephors

    • o 2 Kings – A council of Elders

    • o Army

    • o Helots

Athens – The Birth of Democracy

    • • While Sparta developed as a powerful military force, because the Dorian invaders bypassed it Athens developed into a democratic and highly skilled society

    • • The Athenians built their city inland to protect it against pirates, yet also constructed Piraeus as its port to take advantage of the sea and the trade that naturally occurred because of the sea

    • • In Athenian society:

    • o Athenian-born men had full political rights regardless of whether they were born rich or poor

    • o Women were also citizens, but they could not vote or hold political office

    • • Government in Athens:

    • o People born outside of Athens who live in Athens were called metics. Although free, paying taxes, and working as merchants and artisans, they could not own land or take part in government.

    • o Like all Greek city-states, Athens began as a small kingdom with a monarch, and eventually developed into an aristocracy – only wealthy landowners help political office

    • o During this time, the adult males elected military generals when necessary, as well as nine archons (rulers), each of whom served a one-year term of office, who in turn appointed other officials to make laws

    • o However, these laws were not written down, allowing the Judges (who were all nobles) to interpret and apply the laws as they saw fit – people became upset

Day Life in Athens – Section 4

    • • Farming

    • o The soil in ancient Greece was not very good for grain crops (wheat, corn, barley)

    • o This forced farmers to leave their land fallow (unplanted) every second year in order for the soil to regain its fertility

    • o In response, farmers concentrated on growing olives, grapes, and figs on terraced hillsides

    • o Terracing involved creating small, flat plots of land on hillsides protected by low walls of stone or soil

    • o The early Greek diet consisted mainly of fish, cheese, some grains, and at times, lamb meat

    • • Manufacturing and Trade

    • o Most manufacturing in Athens took place in small workshops and homes, by families working with slaves and free citizens

    • o Because of the poor soil of Greece, the Athenian economy depended heavily on trade to maintain and increase a reliable food supply

    • o This need for trade resulted in the formation of the Athenian fleet, which sailed everywhere in the Mediterranean world – from the Black Sea on

    • • Homes and Streets

    • o While the Athenians built magnificent temples and public building, their homes were very simple

    • o Most homes were built of sun-dried bricks on narrow crooked streets, and had no plumbing or sanitation services

    • • Family Life

    • o Athenians considered marriage a very important institution, designed primarily for procreation (having babies)

    • o Marriages were always arranged by the parents, and girls were typically married by the age of 13 or 14

    • o The groom would often be twice as old as the bride

    • o Women often died during childbirth because of poor medical knowledge and conditions

    • o If a family could not afford to raise a child, they often abandoned it to die (especially if it was a girl)

    • o Although they were citizens, legally and socially women were considered inferior to men

    • o Women could not own or inherit land, make a contract, or sue in a court of law

    • o Socially, women were expected to remain in the background, rarely appeared in public and only then by the permission of their husband

    • o At the age of seven, boys were placed in the care of a male slave called a pedagogue, who taught him manners and accompanied him everywhere – including school

    • o Girls were educated to the age of seven, and then stayed at home

    • • Education and Military Service

    • o Literacy and education were highly valued in Athenian culture

    • o Schools taught literature, reading, writing, grammar, poetry, music and gymnastics

    • o Students memorized Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey (and you thought Faith was hard!)

    • o In the 400s B.C., men who called themselves Sophists (meaning “wise”) opened schools for older boys

    • o At these schools the students studied Rhetoric (public speaking and debate)

    • o At the age of 18, boys received a year of military training

    • o A young man who could pay for weapons and armor then served as a hoplite in the army for a year – the hoplites served in the center of the infantry during battle (phalanx), while poorer men served on the army’s flank (outer edges)

    • • That’s Greek to me!

    • o The English language uses many words derived from the Greek language

    • o Most terms in modern medicine come from the Greek language

Section 5 part 1 The Expansion of Greece

    • • The Persian Wars

    • o Greek city-states continued to develop throughout the Balkan Peninsula

    • o However, in 546 B.C. Cyrus of Persia conquered the region of Lydia in Asia Minor, acquiring Greek city-states along the western coast of the Aegean Sea

    • o Cyrus treated the Greeks relatively well and permitted them to retain their own governments.

    • o Yet when a new leader of the Persian Empire, Darius, took over, he tightened Persian rule over the Greek city-states and raised taxes

    • o In response to Darius’ increased controls, the Greek city-states began to rebel. Athens began to extend aid to the city-states rebelling against Persia.

    • o From 500 B.C. to 479 B.C., these revolts were known as the Persian Wars

    • o Initially, Darius easily crushed the revolts and continued to extend the Persian Empire westward

    • o In 492 B.C, Darius sent a Persian army and fleet of ships to regain control of the regions of Thrace and Macedonia that he had lost during the Persian Wars

    • o Darius also used this as an opportunity to punish Athens for helping the other city-states

    • o However, the Persian fleet shipwrecked off the Greek coast

    • o Darius regrouped his naval fleet and began a direct attack against Athens in 490 B.C., landing on the coast of Attica – 24 miles north of Athens

    • o Although the Persians greatly outnumbered the Athenians, the Athenian army defeated the Persians at the Battle of Marathon

    • o 10 years of uneasy peace followed

    • o Yet I 480 B.C., Darius’ son, Xerxes decided to attack Greece again, this time with an army of 10,000 men – marching through Thrace and Macedonia on its way to Athens

    • o Greeks from Athens and Sparta joined other city-states to meet the Persians

    • o To reach Athens, the Persians had to march through the Pass at Thermopylae

    • o King Leonidas of Sparta led a force of 300 Spartans and several hundred other Greeks to the Pass at Thermopylae, to meet the Persians in battle

    • o The Greeks held the narrow pass for 3 days

    • o Unfortunately, a Greek traitor showed the Persians another way around the pass. Realizing they were defeated, Leonidas sent many Greek soldiers home.

    • o However some Spartan soldiers and other Greeks remained, fighting the Persians

    • o Although defeated at Thermopylae, the Greeks were inspired by the courage of the Spartans who continued to fight

    • o Thermopylae became a symbol of resistance against great odds

    • o The Persians, led by Xerxes, continued their march on Athens

    • o Athenian leader Themistocles persuaded his people to abandon Athens

    • o Xerxes entered Athens and destroyed it

    • o Yet Themistocles tricked the Persians into attacking the Athenian fled in the Straight of Salamis

    • o The passage was so narrow that only a few ships could pass through at a time

    • o Xerxes was defeated, and returned home with a part of his army

    • o The rest of the Persian army was defeated at Plataea by the combined forces of the Athenians and Spartans

    • o While the Persians remained powerful, and at times meddled in Greek affairs, the Battles of Marathon, Salamis and Plataea were considered decisive – giving the Greeks tremendous confidence to create their own empire

The Expansion of Greece, Section 5, part 2

The Emergence of Greece as a World Power

    • • After the Persian Wars, Athenians rebuilt Athens with magnificent temples and public buildings

    • • Sparta wanted Greek unity under its own leadership, yet their fear of Helot revolts kept them from reaching much beyond Peloponnesus

    • • The Athenians were much more successful at bringing Greek unity

    • • They used diplomacy to form the Delian League – a system of alliances that included 140 other city-states

    • • Athens, as the lead city-state, had the power to control the armed forces and resources of the Delian League, which were housed on the Island of Delos

    • • The great general, orator, and statesman, Pericles, became the dominant figure in Athenian public affairs during this time (461-429 B.C.)

    • • Under Pericles, Athenian democracy reached its peak, and he used the Delian League to benefit Athens

    • (It would be good to review the chart, Democracy in Athens, on page 120 in your textbook)

The Peloponnesian War

    • Some city-states began to resent the power of Athens

    • Quarrels with Athens’ commercial rival, Corinth, and Sparta with its allies eventually turned into a bloody war in 431 B.C.

    • Sparta began the conflict by invading the Attica region that surrounded Athens

    • The Athenians withdrew behind their defensive walls

    • The Spartans tried unsuccessfully to starve the Athenians

    • Yet the Athenians maintained their superior naval fleet, using the port of Piraeus to bring in food and supplies to the city

    • Unfortunately a terrible plague broke out among the Athenians in 430 B.C., killing thousands including Pericles

    • The war went on intermittently for decades. Even during a period of peace between Athens and Sparta, the Athenians attacked the Greek city of Syracuse – an all of Sparta

    • The attack was a failure, and the democratic government in Athens was discredited

    • Eventually the Athenians could no longer hold out, and surrendered to the Spartans in 404 B.C.

    • Sparta then attempted to dominate the Balkan Peninsula with harsh rule

    • City-states rebelled, and Thebes eventually defeated the Spartan in 371 B.C.

    • Thebes was also unsuccessful in leading Greece

    • The Greek wars continued, and unity would not come for many decades, under leadership that (unknowingly) paved the way for the Gospel

Menoans, Mycaneans, Dorians 2 harsh wars Alexander The Great …

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