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Greece. Location. In Southeastern Europe Near Turkey, Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Albania 40°N, 25°E . Ancient Greece. Physical Geography of Greece. Part of the Balkan peninsula, which extends southward into the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Mountains divide the peninsula into isolated valleys.

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  • In Southeastern Europe

  • Near Turkey, Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Albania

  • 40°N, 25°E

Ancient greece

Ancient Greece

Physical geography of greece

Physical Geography of Greece

  • Part of the Balkan peninsula, which extends southward into the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

  • Mountains divide the peninsula into isolated valleys.

  • Beyond rugged coasts, hundreds of rocky islands spread toward the horizon.

Effects of geography

Effects of Geography

  • Isolated people

  • Formation of city-states

    • Difficult to united people into a large empire.

    • A city-state is a political unit made up of a city and the surrounding lands.

Early greek civilizations

Early Greek Civilizations

  • Minoans (2000-1400BCE)

    • Not sure what these people called themselves, referred to as Minoans, after their King Minos.

    • Sea traders around Crete.

    • Rulers lived in a place at Knossos

Early greek civilizations1

Early Greek Civilizations

  • Mycenaeans (1600-1100 BCE)

    • Successful sea traders, dominated the Aegean world.

    • Lived in separate city-states in the mainland.

    • Contact with Egypt and Mesopotamia

    • Reach their height during the Trojan War.

The trojan war

The Trojan War

  • Took place around 1250BCE.

  • The Mycenaens vs. The Trojans

  • Troy, a rich trading city in present day Turkey.

    • Controlled straits, which are, narrow water passages, that connect the Mediterranean and Black seas.

Truth to the myth

Truth to the Myth

  • Heinrich Schliemann, a German businessman set out to prove the legend was fact.

  • Excavated the site of ancient Troy.

  • Discovered city was rebuilt many times, layer dating 1250 BC, had evidence of fire and war.

Oral records

Oral Records

  • New invasions and war ruin Mycenaean Civilization.

  • Stories are preserved by Homer and his epic poems, through oral tradition.

  • Iliad

  • Odyssey

Greek city states

Greek City States

  • Construction

    • Built on a polis or hill with government buildings on top

      • Great marble temples dedicated to different gods and goddesses

    • Included an agora or open area for markets


  • Government

    • Varied by city- state

      • Monarchy- rule of one most popular

        • Usually a King

      • Aristocracy- rule of few (landowners) used sometimes

        • Powers shifted to a group of rich landowners, at first defended the King, but eventually wanted power for themselves

      • Oligarchy- rule of few (businessmen) used sometimes

        • Middle class merchants, challenged landowners for power

      • Democracy- rule of many (citizens) primarily in Athens

Social structure

Social Structure

Population in each city-state was fairly small

Whole community joined in festivals honoring the gods



Who were the spartans

Who were the Spartans?

  • A group of invaders, called the Dorians.

  • The invaders turned the conquered people into helots (slaves), which outnumbered the Spartans.

  • Set up a brutal system of control.

Spartan government

Spartan Government

  • Included two Kings and a council of elders.

  • An assembly made-up of all citizens.

    • Approved major decisions

    • Citizens were male, native-born Spartans, over 30 years old

    • Assembly elected five ephors, officials who held the real power.

The rigors of citizenship

The Rigors of Citizenship

  • From childhood a Spartan prepared to be part of a military state.

  • Officials examined every newborn, sickly children were abandoned to die.

  • At age 7, boys began training for a lifetime in the military.

    • Moved into barracks, exercised, and were rigidly disciplined.

    • Boys encouraged to steal food, if caught they were beaten.

    • At 20 could marry, lived in barracks until they were 30, ate in barracks for another 40 years.



  • Were expected to produce healthy sons

  • Trained to exercise and strengthen their bodies

  • Right to inherit property, while men were at war

Sparta s weaknesses

Sparta’s Weaknesses

  • Isolated themselves from other Greeks

  • Looked down upon trade and wealth

  • Had little use for new ideas and the arts

  • Eventually suffered from their rigid ways and inability to change.

  • In time warrior class shrank and power declined.



Early athens

Early Athens

  • Monarchy → Aristocracy

  • Nobles judged many cases in court and dominated the assembly.

Demands for change

Demands for Change

  • Athenian wealth and power grew under the aristocracy

  • Merchants and soldiers resented power of the nobles

  • Demand for change came from farmers

    • In hard times were forced to sell land to nobles

Solon s reforms

Solon’s Reforms

  • Solon was appointed, archon, chief official, in 594 BC

  • Outlawed debt slavery

  • Gave assembly more say in important decisions

  • Introduced economic reforms

  • Widespread unrest led to the rise of tyrants, people who gained power by force

Later reforms

Later Reforms

  • Pisistratus seized power in 546 BC

    • Gave farmers loans and land, taken from nobles

    • Gave jobs to the poor

    • Weakened aristocracy by giving citizens a greater voice

  • Cleisthenes set up Council of 500, in 507 BC

    • Members were chosen from the citizens

    • Council prepared laws for the assembly

    • Assembly was a legislature, law making body the debates laws before deciding to approve or reject them.

Limited rights

Limited Rights

  • Only male citizens could participate in government

  • Tens of thousands of Athenians were slaves

  • Labor of slaves gave the citizens the time to participate in government



  • Women did not have a part in public life

  • Managed the entire household

  • Cared for children and prepared food

  • Protected from the outside world



  • Boys attended school

  • Studied music, memorized poetry

  • Became skilled speakers

  • Received athletic training

Greek culture

Greek Culture

What are the pieces of culture

What are the pieces of culture?

  • Hellenism

    • Hellenism is the name for Greek Culture

    • All Greeks shared the same language, values, religion and history.

    • The ideas of the Greeks are still important today and many of our traditions come from them.


  • Religion

    • Greeks were polytheistic

    • They believed all of their gods lived on Mt. Olympus and influenced their lives.

    • Natural disasters were believed to happen to people that offended the gods, while sacrifices would please them.

    • In their stories, Greeks portrayed their gods with human emotions such as love, vanity and anger.


  • Mind

    • Athenians valued people that spoke well in public

    • Philosophy- love of wisdom, use reason and observation to prove things true.

  • Socrates(469- 399)

    • Believed that if you questioned people’s beliefs, you could reach the right answer.

    • Athenian officials accused him of corrupting the youths and he forced to commit suicide.

  • Plato (428- 347BCE)

    • Student of Socrates

    • Wrote all of Socrates’ ideas down in Dialogues

    • Wrote down his recommendations for government in the Republic

      • Believed reason was necessary to rule “philosopher kings”

    • People should be taught to be good, they did bad things out of ignorance

  • Aristotle (384- 322BCE)

    • Student of Plato

    • Used reason to study astronomy, zoology, math and philosophy

    • Tutored the future Alexander the Great of Macedonia


  • Body

    • Spartans valued physical fitness

    • Idealistic Art- Statues portrayed ideal physical features (muscles, no deformities)

    • The Olympics

  • Only Greek citizens could compete

  • They were held at Olympia

  • They reflected the ideals of fitness and Greek superiority.

  • Winners competed for a laurel wreath of victory in

    • Marathons

    • Discus and javelin throws

    • Wrestling

    • Fighting

Persian wars

Persian Wars

First Phase

  • 499BCE, Darius began war with the Athenians

  • 490BCE, Battle of Marathon: Smaller Athenians destroy a Persian army  


  • Second Phase:

    • 480, Xerxes sends a larger force to Greece

    • Battle of Thermopylae: Spartans defend pass

    • Battle of Salamis: Athens trap and destroy the Persian Navy

    • 479, Finally finished off at the Battle of Plataea


  • Greek military superiority

    • Hoplites- soldiers equipped with a shield short sword and spear

    • Phalanx- formation of soldiers

Greek vs greek

Greek vs. Greek

  • Many Greek city-states began to resent Athenian domination.

  • To counter the Delian League, Sparta and other enemies of Athens formed the Peloponnesian League.

The peloponnesian war 431 404 bc

The Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC)

  • Sparta attacks Athens, “freeing Greece from the Athenian Empire”

  • Athens faced geographic disadvantages

  • Plague breaks out in Athens, killing 1/3 of population, including Pericles


  • Sparta allies itself with Persia

  • In 404 BC, Persian navy defeats Athens

  • Sparta strips Athens of power

  • Sparta is eventually defeated by Thebes

Greek history

Greek History

  • Herodotus- “Father of History”

    • Visited many places in the ancient world (Egypt, Mesopotamia)

    • Wrote about the Persian Wars

    • Included his own opinions, showing bias

  • Thucydides

    • Wrote about the Peloponnesian War

    • Used facts to support his ideas and tried to be fair on both sides


Thucydides wrote about an event he had lived through because he believed it will still have an impact years later.

As a group choose an event during your own lifetime that you think historians will write about 100 years from now.

Answer the following about the event (It will be collected):

- Why is this event important?

- Why should we remember it?

At the end of class we will discuss the events

Alexander the great

Alexander the Great

Philip ii

Philip II

  • Philip II, ruler of Macedonia, dreamed of conquering city-states to the south.

  • Built up a superb army, formed alliances

  • Athens and Thebes join forces, are defeated in battle of Chaeronea

  • His goal is to conquer the Persian Empire



  • At 20 years old was already an experienced soldier.

  • In 12 years time earns the title of Alexander the Great

  • Had a love for learning but he was first and foremost a warrior

Conquest of persia

Conquest of Persia

  • By 334 BC he had enough ships to cross the Dardanelles

  • Persia, not as great as it once was, stretched more than 2,000 mi., from Egypt to India.

  • Alexander wins victory after victory against the Persians.

  • Heads to Northern India, never losing a battle

  • Heads back home tries to conquer Babylon

Sudden death

Sudden Death

  • Alexander dies of a fever

  • Leaves empire to “the strongest”

  • No one leader was strong enough to succeed Alexander

  • After years of disorder three Generals split up the empire into three parts

Legacy of alexander

Legacy of Alexander

  • Spread of Greek culture

  • Founded new cities, set up temples, statues, athletic contests

  • In turn Greeks adopt local customs

  • Hellenistic civilization: A blend of Greek, Persian, Egyptian, and Indian influences.

  • City of Alexandria-located between Europe and Asia

    • Museums: center of learning

      • Laboratories, lecture halls, library, and zoo

Hellenistic civilization

Hellenistic Civilization

  • Political Turmoil allows for different philosophies

    • Stoicism, founded by Zeno

      • Urged people to avoid desire, accept what life brought

  • Advances in Math and Science

    • Pythagoras

    • Archimedes

      • Applied principles of Physics to make practical inventions

  • Medicine

    • Hippocrates

      • Studied causes for illness and looked for cures

      • Hippocratic oath

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