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Classical Greece. By William B. Hockaday. Greek Religion. The Greeks had a plethora of deities, making them polytheistic. The Greek creation story revolves around how Zeus and his siblings rebelled against the Titans, the immortal beings before the Gods and Goddesses.

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Classical greece

Classical Greece

By William B. Hockaday


Greek religion
Greek Religion

  • The Greeks had a plethora of deities, making them polytheistic.

  • The Greek creation story revolves around how Zeus and his siblings rebelled against the Titans, the immortal beings before the Gods and Goddesses.

  • The Gods and Goddesses were anthromorphic, having beauty and strength past any human, yet they had human vices as well.

  • The Greeks practiced sacrifice, and often sacrificed domesticated animals, mostly pigs. They would wrap the animal to be sacrificed in ribbons and would lead it to an altar, throw barley and wheat on it, then pour water on its head. Finally, the animal would be sacrificed by having its throat slit, but this act was not to be considered violent; the mortals, immortals and even animals were to all be willing participants. The animal was eaten by humans, and the bones, fat and spices were given to the Gods and Goddesses.


Greek warfare
Greek Warfare

  • The Greco-Persian War lasted from 499 B.C.E., when Persia attacked Eretria and Athens, to 449 B.C.E., when Athens and Persia established a peace treaty.

  • The Hoplite Phalanx formation was the most important fighting unit in Greece, and battles often lasted until one of the two sides broke their formation, leaving all soldiers open to death.

  • A Hoplite Phalanx formation was often hundreds of men across and 8 or more men deep.

  • The Greek Hoplite Phalanx formation had to often be backed up by cavalry and archers, who protected the flanks and rear.

  • The Greek warriors were required to arm themselves, making the high class often the cavalry, middle class the hoplites, and the lowest class archers or oarsmen.

  • Greek hoplites were often armed with long spears called doru, often 7-9 feet in length. They carried spears in their right hands and shields in the left. Hoplites in the first rank of the Hoplite Phalanx formation used and underhand grip on spears for leverage, and hoplites in the second and third ranks used overhand grips.

  • Greek short swords or xiphos were used when spears were lost in combat or when pursuing enemies. They were often 2 feet in length. However, the Spartans used 1 to 1.5 foot short swords to get in gaps in the enemy Hoplite Phalanx formation, because when the 2 formations clashed, there was an open shot to an enemy groin, armpit or throat.


Greek politics
Greek Politics

  • Greeks often had tyrannical kings or oligarchies, where aristocrats controlled the government, controlling city-states before Athens created a democratic system.

  • Athens developed a democratic system in which each adult, free, native-born male had an equal say, in theory.

  • Greek city-states were paranoid towards one another and often fought each other and were in conflict.


Greek education
Greek Education

  • Greece developed an alphabet-system, which was much easier to learn than other writing-systems, like cuneiform and hieroglyphics which had hundreds of symbols and took years to learn.

  • The easy-to-learn Greek alphabet led to an increased literacy rate in Greece.

  • Greek philosophers developed new ideas on how the world worked, like that the world was made of atoms/small particles, which combined to make new things.


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