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Bell Ringer:. Based on what you already know about the influences of Geography on people and the development of civilizations, be prepared to discuss how the following geographic features influence civilizations: Rivers Fertile Land Mountains. Classical Greece. Chapter 5.

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Bell ringer

Bell Ringer:

  • Based on what you already know about the influences of Geography on people and the development of civilizations, be prepared to discuss how the following geographic features influence civilizations:

    • Rivers

    • Fertile Land

    • Mountains

Classical greece

Classical Greece

Chapter 5

Cultures of the mountains and the sea

Culturesof theMountains and the Sea

Section 1

p. 111-114

Geography shapes greek life

Geography Shapes Greek Life

  • Greece is mountainous peninsula in the Mediterranean

  • 1400 Islands in the Aegean and Ionian Seas

  • The Greeks had also annexed islands off the west coast of Anatolia

Rugged mountains prevented unity

Rugged mountains prevented unity

The sea

The Sea

  • The Greeks rarely traveled more than 85 miles from the coastline

  • Important trade routes were the Aegean, Ionian, and Black Seas

  • Sea travel and trade were important because Greece lacked natural resources

The greek world

The Greek World

The land

The Land

  • 3/4th of Greece is covered with mountains

  • This made unification of Greece difficult

  • Greece developed small, independent communities (city-states)

The land1

The Land

  • Uneven terrain made land travel difficult

  • Sparta was only 60 miles from Olympia, but travel there took seven days.

The land2

The Land

  • Only 20 % of the land was arable – suitable for farming

  • Without large-scale agriculture, Greece was never able to support a large population.

The land3

The Land

  • The Greek diet was based on staple crops like grains, grapes, and olives

  • The desire for more living space and land for grazing animals led the Greeks to seek sites for colonies

The climate

The Climate

  • Temperatures ranges from 48º in the winter to 80º in the summer

  • The climate supported an outdoor life for the Greeks

  • Men spent time at outdoor public events and met to discuss politics, news and civic life

Exit ticket

Exit Ticket

  • Write a paragraph (at least 5 Sentences) answering the following question:

  • How did the geographic characteristics of Greece influence that civilization?

Mycenaean civilization develops

Mycenaean Civilization Develops

  • They were a group of Indo-European migrants

  • They settled on the Greek mainland around 2000 BC

  • Their name came from their leading city, Mycenae



  • Built on a steep rocky ridge

  • 20 ft thick fortified walls

  • Mycenaean warrior-kings controlled the area from towns like Tiryns and Athens

  • 1600-1200 BC

Culture and trade

Culture and Trade

  • While their nobles led a life of splendor, most people worked as farmers. Others were weavers, goat herders, or stonemasons

Invasion of crete

Invasion of Crete

  • Mycenaean warrior-kings invaded Crete

  • Minoan culture had thrived there for over 600 years

  • Mycenaeans preserved some elements of Minoan culture

  • They adapted the Minoan writing system to the Greek language

Mycenaean vases with minoan designs

Mycenaean Vases with Minoan Designs

Greek culture

Greek Culture

  • Minoan legends formed the core of Greek religious practice, art, politics, and literature

  • Western civilization has roots in early Greek civilizations

The trojan war

The Trojan War

  • Fought between Mycenaeans (Greeks) and Trojans

  • Lasted ten years

  • Legend says the war started because a Trojan name Paris had kidnapped Helen, the beautiful wife of a Greek king

The judgment of paris

The Judgment of Paris

Beware of greeks bearing gifts

"Beware of Greeks bearing gifts"

Heinrich schliemann

Heinrich Schliemann

  • German archaeologist

  • Northwestern Turkey 1870

  • Found the remains of a nine layers of city life

  • One of the layers suggested that the stories of the Trojan war may have been based on real cities, people, and events

Golden mask of agamemnon

Golden Mask of Agamemnon (?)

  • Found at Mycenae by Heinrich Schliemann in 1873

Manfred korfmann

Manfred Korfmann

  • German historian

  • Found a cemetery near the site of ancient Troy

  • He believed the war was fought over control of a crucial waterway in the Aegean Sea

Issue control of trade routes

Issue: Control of trade routes

Greek culture declines under the dorians

Greek Culture Declines Under the Dorians

  • Mycenae collapsed after the Trojan War

  • Sea raiders attacked and burned Mycenae around 1200 BC

  • The Dorians moved into the war-torn countryside

The dorians

The Dorians

  • Less advanced than the Mycenaean Greeks

  • The economy collapsed

  • Trade came to a standstill

The dark age of ancient greece

The “Dark Age” of Ancient Greece

  • Greeks appear to have lost the art of writing during the Dorian Age

  • 400 year period with no written records

  • 1150 BC to 750 BC

  • Without written records, little is known about this period of decline

Epics of homer

Epics of Homer

  • Stories passed down by oral tradition

  • Blind storyteller

  • The Iliad – about the Trojan War

  • The Odyssey – about the return home of Odysseus after the war

The iliad

The Iliad

  • Greek hero - Achilles

  • Trojan hero – Hector

Bell ringer


  • The Greek ideal of virtue and excellence

  • Could be displayed on the battlefield or in athletic events

The odyssey

The Odyssey

  • Odysseus uses his wits and trickery to defeat the Trojans

Penelope weaves a tapestry

Penelope Weaves a Tapestry

Greeks create myths

Greeks Create Myths

  • Traditional stories about their gods

  • Used to explain the mysteries of nature and the power of human passions

  • Greek gods display human qualities

Greek gods

Greek Gods

  • They are jealous, they love and hate

  • They are immortal

  • Chief god = Zeus

  • Hera, his wife is often jealous of his relationships with other women

  • Athena (goddess of wisdom) = daughter and favorite child of Zeus

Olympus in winter

Olympus in winter

Bell ringer


  • In Greek mythology Zeus is the "Father of Gods and men", who ruled the Olympians of Mount Olympus as a father ruled the family; he was the god of sky and thunder in Greek mythology.



  • Athena was thought to be the guardian of cities

  • Athens was built in her honor

Photo of athens

Photo of Athens

Warring city states

Warring City-States

Section 2

p. 115-119

Rule and order in greek city states

Rule and Order in Greek City-States

  • The polis was the fundamental political unit in ancient Greece

  • Most city-states controlled between 50 and 500 square miles of land

  • Often fewer than 20,000 residents

The agora

The Agora

  • The Agora is the public center of a city-state

The acropolis

The Acropolis

  • The highest point in elevation in a Greek city-state

  • Male citizens gathered at the agora or the acropolis to conduct business

  • Acro = High

  • Polis = City

The acropolis at athens

The Acropolis at Athens

The agora at athens

The Agora at Athens

Greek political structures

Greek Political Structures

  • Some city states had a monarchy, rule by a king, queen, or royal family

Greek political structures1

Greek Political Structures

  • Some had an aristocracy, rule by a a small group of land-owning wealthy families

Greek political structures2

Greek Political Structures

  • Later, newly wealthy merchants who were dissatisfied with aristocracy formed a new type of government – oligarchy, rule by a few powerful people

  • The idea of representative governmentbegan to take shape

  • The Greeks looked down on foreigners, who they considered barbarians

A new kind of army emerges

A New Kind of Army Emerges

  • During the Dorian Age only the rich could afford expensive bronze weapons and shields

  • Iron is harder and more common than bronze

  • Iron weapons are cheaper

A new kind of army emerges1

A New Kind of Army Emerges

  • Iron weapons make a new kind of army possible

  • Regular citizens were expected to defend the polis

  • Foot soldiers were called hoplites

  • Their fighting formation was called the phalanx

The phalanx

The Phalanx

  • Became the most powerful fighting force in the ancient world

Phalanx photo

Phalanx photo

Tyrants seize power

Tyrants Seize Power

  • Powerful individuals called tyrants gained control of the government by appealing to the poor and discontented

  • Different competing groups led to many turnovers in control of the government in many city-states

Sparta builds a military state

Sparta Builds a Military State

  • Sparta is isolated in the southern part of Greece

  • Unlike other Greek city-states, Sparta built a military government

Sparta dominates messenians

Sparta Dominates Messenians

  • Sparta conquered Messenia around 725 BC

  • The Messenians became helots, peasants forced to stay on the land they worked

  • Each year the Spartans demanded half of the helots yearly crop

Helots revolt

Helots Revolt

  • Around 600 BC the Messenians revolted

  • Messenians outnumbered the Spartans eight to one

  • The Spartans were barely able to put down the revolt

  • Spartans then dedicated themselves to creating a stronger city-state

Sparta s government and society

Sparta’s Government and Society

  • Two groups governed Sparta

    • An Assembly – all free adult males

      • They elected officials and voted on major issues

    • A Council of Elders

      • Proposed laws on which the assembly voted

  • Five elected Ephors carried out the laws passes by the Assembly

Sparta s military leaders

Sparta’s Military Leaders

  • Two kings ruled over Sparta’s military

Sparta s diverse population

Sparta’s Diverse Population

  • The ruling families who owned land were descended from the original inhabitants of the region

  • Free noncitizens worked in commerce and industry

  • Helots were considered higher than slaves

Spartan education

Spartan Education

  • Military training for men began at age seven

  • Boys left home and moved into barracks

  • Wearing no shoes, they trained and marched during the day

  • They slept on hard benches at night

  • Coarse black porridge at mealtime

Spartan photo

Spartan photo

Spartan education for girls

Spartan Education for Girls

  • No military training

  • They ran, wrestled, and played sports

  • Trained to put love for Sparta over that of family

  • They managed family estates while men served in the polis

  • They could not vote, but had more rights than women in other Greek city-states

    • (Athenian women were expected to stay out of sight and raise children)

Athens builds a democracy

Athens Builds a Democracy

  • Athens was north of Sparta

  • In outlook and values, Athens contrasted sharply with Sparta

Athens and sparta

Athens and Sparta

Political developments in athens

Political Developments in Athens

  • Athenians avoided the power struggles between rich and poor by starting a democracy

  • Democracy = Rule by the people

  • Citizens participated in decision making

Democracy in athens

Democracy in Athens

  • Only free adult males counted as citizens and were allowed to vote

  • Women, slaves, foreigners living in Athens were not considered citizens and had few rights

  • Slaves made up 1/3rd of the population of Athens

Chart comparing athenian democracy to american

Chart comparing Athenian democracy to American

Political changes

Political Changes

  • Clashes between aristocrats and common people led to changes in Athens

  • A failed attempt to establish a tyranny led to the formation of a law code

  • In 621 BC Draco wrote the first Greek legal code

  • It addressed debt slavery, in which poor farmers worked as slaves to pay debts





  • [drey-koh-nee-uh n, druh-]

  • –adjective

  • 1.

  • of, pertaining to, or characteristic of Draco or his code of laws.

  • 2.

  • ( often lowercase ) rigorous; unusually severe or cruel: Draconian forms of punishment.

Solon s political and economic reforms

Solon’s Political andEconomic Reforms

  • Solon was chosen by aristocrats to lead the government

  • Solon outlawed debt slavery

  • Allowed all citizens to participate and debate in the Assembly

  • Any citizen could bring charges against wrongdoers



Solon s political and economic reforms1

Solon’s Political and Economic Reforms

  • Trade was encouraged

  • Olives and grapes were exported in a profitable trade

  • Solon neglected land reforms

  • By the end of his reign, fighting erupted between landowners and the poor



  • Seized power in 546 BC after the death of Solon

  • He became one of Athens first tyrants

  • He appealed to the poor by giving them funds for farm equipment

  • He gave jobs to the poor and earned their support

Reforms of cleisthenes

Reforms of Cleisthenes

  • Reorganized the Assembly to break up the power of the nobility

  • Allowed all citizens to submit laws for debate

  • Created the Council of Five Hundred

    • They were chosen by lot and proposed laws

  • Only 1/5th of Athenians were actual citizens who could vote

The persian wars

The Persian Wars

  • Danger of revolt led to creation of a military state in Sparta

  • Danger of a revolution led to democracy in Athens

  • Danger of invasion by Persians led to cooperation between Athens and Sparta

The persian wars1

The Persian Wars

  • Began in Ionia on the coast of Anatolia where Greeks had established colonies

  • Persians conquered the area in 520 BC

  • Athens sent ships to aid the Ionian Greeks



  • King of Persia

  • Vowed to destroy Athens in revenge for supporting Ionia

Battle of marathon

Battle of Marathon

  • 490 BC

  • Persian fleet carried 25,000 men across the Aegean and landed at Marathon

  • 10,000 Athenians waited in phalanx formation

  • The Greeks charged and defeated the Persians

  • 6400 Persians and 192 Athenians were killed



  • Although the Greeks won the battle, Athens was standing defenseless

  • A runner was sent from the battle sight to take message back to Athens to not give up the city without a fight

  • Pheidippides ran the distance, delivered the message, then collapsed and died

Modern marathons

Modern Marathons

  • The distance of modern marathons is based on the distance between Athens and Marathon

Thermopylae and salamis

Thermopylae and Salamis

  • 480 BC

  • Xerxes – son of Darius tried to crush Greece

  • Greeks were divided about what to do

  • Some want to unite, others want to abandon the Athenians



  • A narrow mountain pass

  • 7000 Greeks including 300 Spartans blocked the Persian army

  • The outnumbered Greeks fought for three days before a traitor told the Persians about a secret path around the cliffs

  • The Spartans held the pass while other Greeks retreated

  • All 300 Spartan soldiers were killed

Meanwhile back in athens

Meanwhile, Back in Athens…

  • Citizens debate on how to best defend the city

  • Themistocles convinces then to evacuate the city and fight at sea

  • The Greek fleet is positioned in a narrow channel at Salamis

  • Xerxes sets fire to Athens but cannot block the channel at Salamis

Greek victory at salamis

Greek Victory at Salamis

  • Greek ships use battering rams into the hulls of Persian ships

  • Xerxes watches as 1/3rd of his fleet is sunk

  • The remainder of the Persian army is defeated by Spartans at the Battle of Plataea in 479 BC

Consequences of the persian wars

Consequences of the Persian Wars

  • Threat of Persian takeover ended

  • Greeks form an alliance of 140 city-states called the Delian League

  • The Delian League drove Persians from areas around Greece

  • Athens used its powerful navy to control the other members of the Delian League

Consequences of the persian wars1

Consequences of the Persian Wars

  • Set the stage for the “Golden Age” of Athens

Democracy and greece s golden age

DemocracyandGreece’s Golden Age

Section 3

p. 120-125

Pericles three goals for athens

Pericles Three Goals for Athens

  • Pericles dominated political life in Athens for 32 years (461 BC to 429 BC)

  • This time is often called the “Age of Pericles”

  • His three goals were…..

Goal 1 stronger democracy

Goal 1. - Stronger Democracy

  • Increased the number of paid public officials

  • Now, even poor people could afford to serve in the government

Direct democracy

Direct Democracy

  • A form of government in which citizens rule directly and not through representatives.

Athenian and united states democracy

Athenian and United States Democracy

Goal 2 strengthen the athenian empire

Goal 2 – Strengthen the Athenian Empire

  • Used money from the Delian League to build Athens’ navy

  • A navy was important because it kept the empire safe and protected trade

  • Overseas trade made Athens prosperous

Goal 3 glorifying athens

Goal 3 - Glorifying Athens

  • Used money from the Delian League to buy gold, ivory, and marble.

  • More money was used to hire artisans who worked for 15 years to build the Parthenon

The parthenon

The Parthenon

Three styles of greek columns

Three Styles of Greek Columns

Greek styles in art

Greek Styles in Art

  • The Parthenon is considered the ideal classical Greek building

The golden mean

The “Golden Mean”

Greek sculpture

Greek Sculpture

  • A statue of Athena was inside the Parthenon

  • The statue was 38 feet tall and covered with gold and precious gems

  • Sculpted by Phidias, Greece’s most famous sculptor

Greek sculpture1

Greek Sculpture

  • Classical Greek statues were graceful, strong, and perfectly formed

  • Their faces showed neither laughter nor anger, only serenity

  • Order, balance, and proportion were most important. They set the standard for what would be called classical art.

Greek drama

Greek Drama

  • The Greeks invented drama

  • Plays were an expression of civic pride and a tribute to the gods

  • Actors wore masks

  • Wealthy citizens paid the costs of producing the plays





  • A drama with a tragic hero who faces a dilemma, a choice between two negative outcomes

  • The hero has a tragic flaw, often hubris, or excessive pride.



  • Wrote more than 80 plays

  • The Oresteia is based on the family of Agamemnon, commander of the Greeks during the Trojan War



  • Wrote about 100 plays

  • Oedipus the King

  • Antigone



  • Medea



  • Often poked fun at subjects like politics, customs, or respected people



  • First great comedies for the stage

  • The Birds

  • Lysistrata

    • About the women of Athens forcing their husbands to end the Peloponnesian War

Spartans and athenians go to war

Spartans and Athenians Go to War

  • The two city-states became rivals and leaders in both pressed for war

Peloponnesian war

Peloponnesian War

  • Sparta declared war on Athens in 431 BC

  • Athens has a powerful navy, but Sparta could not be attacked easily from sea

Peloponnesian war pericles strategy

Peloponnesian War – Pericles’ Strategy

  • Avoid land battles with the superior Spartan army

  • Wait for opportunity to attack Sparta from the sea

The spartan s advance

The Spartan’s Advance

  • Spartans march into Athenian territory and burn their food supply

  • Pericles brings those who live in the area around Athens inside the city walls

  • Athens was safe as long as ships could bring supplies into the port of Athens

Sparta gains the edge

Sparta Gains the Edge

  • A plague hits Athens in the second year of the war

  • 1/3rd to 2/3rd of the population (including Pericles) were killed by the plague

A second disaster for athens

A Second Disaster for Athens

  • 415 BC

  • Athens sends 27,000 soldiers to destroy the polis of Syracuse, an ally of Sparta

  • The expedition suffered a loss in 413 BC

  • They were totally destroyed

  • Athens surrendered nine years later.

  • Sparta had won the Peloponnesian War

War brings political changes

War Brings Political Changes

  • After 27 years of war, Athens had lost its empire

  • The democracy of Athens was weakened

Philosophers search for truth

Philosophers Search for Truth

  • The term philosopher means “lover of wisdom”

  • Greek philosophy is based on two assumptions:

    • 1. The world is put together in an orderly way and subject to unchanging laws

    • 2. people can understand these laws through logic and reason



  • Questioned people’s unexamined beliefs and ideas about justice and traditional values



  • Famous Sophist

  • Questioned the existence of the traditional Greek gods

  • Argued that their was no universal truth

  • “Man is the measure of all things”

  • His ideas were considered radical and dangerous



  • Criticized the Sophists

  • Argued that there are universal standards for truth and justice

  • He encouraged Greeks to question themselves and their moral character

  • “The unexamined life is not worth living”.

The trial of socrates

The Trial of Socrates

  • In 399 BC when Socrates was 70 years old he was charged with “corrupting the youth of Athens” and “neglecting the city’s gods”

  • He was convicted by a jury and sentenced to death

  • He was forced to drink hemlock poison



  • A student of Socrates

  • Wrote down conversations with Socrates

  • Around 385 BC, he wrote is most famous work “The Republic”

Plato s republic

Plato’s Republic

  • Plato’s vision of a perfectly governed society

  • Not a democracy

  • Citizens fall into three groups

  • Farmers and Artisans

  • Warriors

  • The Ruling Class

    • The person with the greatest insight and intellect from the ruling class would be chosen philosopher-king



  • Questioned the nature of the world and human belief, thought, and knowledge

  • Tried to summarize all of the knowledge of the world up to his time

  • Invented rules of logic

  • Applied logic to psychology, physics, and biology

Aristotle s famous student

Aristotle’s Famous Student

  • Aristotle worked as a tutor for Alexander, the 13 year-old son of King Philip of Macedonia

  • In 343 BC, Philip was assassinated and Alexander became ruler of Macedonia

Alexander the great empire builder

Alexander the GreatEmpire Builder

Section 4

p. 128-131

Philip ii of macedon

Philip II of Macedon

  • The Peloponnesian War had weakened both Athens and Sparta

  • Philip II dreamed of taking over Greece first, then Persia



  • Map of Macedonia

Philip builds macedonia s power

Philip Builds Macedonia’s Power

  • Macedonia lies just north of Greece

  • Macedonians lived in mountain villages instead of city-states

  • They considered themselves Greek, but were looked upon as uncivilized by the Greeks

  • Their shrewd and fearless kings were their greatest asset

Philip s army

Philip’s Army

  • Philip became king in 359 BC at 23 years old

  • He organized his army into phalanxes 16 men across and 16 deep

  • They used 18-foot pikes to pave the way for cavalry strikes through enemy lines

  • His army proved to be unbeatable



  • Athenian orator

  • Tried to warn the Greeks of the threat posed by Philip

  • He urged the Greeks to unite against the Macedonians but they would not agree on policy

Battle of chaeronea

Battle of Chaeronea

  • 338 BC

  • Athens and Thebes agree to an alliance against Macedon, but it was too late

  • Macedonians win the battle

  • Philip’s 18 year-old son Alexander led a cavalry charge that helped to win the battle

Conquest of greece

Conquest of Greece

  • The Macedonian victory puts an end to Greek freedom and independence

  • Philip planned to invade Persia next but never got the chance

  • He was assassinated at his daughter’s wedding in 336 BC by a former bodyguard

Alexander the great

Alexander the Great

  • Philip’s son Alexander had the support of the army and proclaimed himself king at 20 years old

  • He will become called Alexander the Great

Alexander defeats persia

Alexander Defeats Persia

  • He had learned science, geography, and literature from Aristotle.

  • He carried a copy of Homer’s Iliad with him

  • He learned to use weapons, ride a horse, and command troops as a young man



  • City in central Greece

  • Rebelled against Alexander

  • He destroyed the city and sold the survivors into slavery

  • Other Greek city-states gave up the idea of rebellion

Invasion of persia

Invasion of Persia

  • 334 BC

  • Alexander leads 35,000 soldiers across the Hellespont into Anatolia

  • A Persian army of 40,000 came to defend their empire

Granicus river

Granicus River

  • The two forces meet at the Granicus River

  • Alexander led his forces in a offensive attack and smashed the Persian defenses

Darius response

Darius’ Response

  • Persians raise an army of between 50,000 and 75,000 men

  • They were determined to crush the Macedonians

Battle of issus

Battle of Issus

  • Alexander realized he was outnumbered at the battle

  • He surprised the Persians by ordering his troops to break through a weak point in the Persian lines

  • They charged straight at Darius

  • Darius fled to avoid capture

  • Alexander took control of Anatolia

Alexander s ambitions grow

Alexander’s Ambitions Grow

  • In an attempt to make peace, Darius III offered Alexander control of the western part of his empire

  • Alexander rejected the offer and marched into Egypt, a Persian territory

  • The Egyptians welcomed Alexander as a liberator

Pharaoh alexander

Pharaoh Alexander

  • While in Egypt, Alexander visited the temple of Zeus-Ammon

  • He was crowned pharaoh

  • He founded the city of Alexandria on the mouth of the Nile

Conquering the persian empire

Conquering the Persian Empire

  • Alexander then moved west to Mesopotamia

  • Darius assembled 250,000 men

  • Persians rode chariots with scythes on the wheels



  • Razor sharp knives or blades

Battle of gaugamela

Battle of Gaugamela

  • Small village on the ruins of ancient Nineveh

  • Alexander launched a phalanx attack followed by a cavalry charge

  • Darius again panicked and fled

  • The battle ended Persia’s power

Alexander takes persia

Alexander Takes Persia

  • Alexander plundered the cities of Babylon, Susa, and Persepolis

  • Treasure is divided among Alexander’s army

  • Persepolis is burned to signal destruction of the Persian Empire

Alexander s other conquests

Alexander’s Other Conquests

  • Alexander wanted to expand his empire

  • He pursued Darius and found him already dead near the Caspian Sea

  • Darius had been murdered by one of his provincial governors

  • Over the next three years, Alexander pushed east into Asia

Alexander in india

Alexander in India

  • In 327 BC Alexander enters the Indus Valley

  • He defeats an Indian army that included 200 elephants at the Hydaspes River

  • After the victory Alexander’s soldiers request to return home

  • A disappointed Alexander agrees

Alexander and his troops

Alexander and His Troops

  • On the return trip the army crossed a desert

  • Some of the men collected water and brought it to Alexander

  • He poured it out in front of his troops to show that he was willing to suffer the same hardships they did

The death of alexander

The Death of Alexander

  • 323 BC

  • Alexander is back in Babylon

  • He announces plans to organize his empire

  • One year after his return Alexander becomes ill with a fever and dies

  • He is one month short of his 33rd birthday

Alexander s legacy

Alexander’s Legacy

  • The empire was divided among Alexander’s three strongest generals

    • Antigonus – became king of Macedonia

    • Ptolemy – became a pharaoh in Egypt

    • Seleucus – took most of the old Persian Empire. (The Seleucid Empire)

Alexander s legacy1

Alexander’s Legacy

  • Ended independent Greek city-states

  • Alexander adopted Persian dress and married a Persian wife

  • He included conquered people in his army

  • A blend of Macedonian, Greek, Persian, Egyptian, and Indian cultures resulted

  • This would come to be known as Hellenistic culture

The spread of hellenistic culture

The SpreadofHellenistic Culture

Section 5

p. 132-135

Hellenistic culture in alexandria

Hellenistic Culture in Alexandria

  • After Alexander’s death a new culture emerged

  • It combined Egyptian, Persian, and Indian influences

  • This was Hellenistic culture

  • The language was Koine



  • The popular language spoken in Hellenistic cities

  • Koine means common

  • It was a dialect of Greek

  • It enabled traders all over the Hellenistic world to communicate

Trade and cultural diversity

Trade and Cultural Diversity

  • Alexandria in Africa was the center of the Hellenistic world

  • Located in a strategic location on the western edge of the Nile

  • It grew and prospered from trade

  • It became an international community

Alexandria s greatest attractions

Alexandria’s Greatest Attractions

  • Broad avenues

  • Greek statues

  • Royal palaces overlooking the harbor

  • The Tomb of Alexander

  • 400 ft tall lighthouse known as the Pharos

Tomb of alexander

Tomb of Alexander

The museum at alexandria

The Museum at Alexandria

  • A temple dedicated to the Muses – Greek goddesses of arts and sciences

  • The word museum comes from muse

  • Art galleries

  • A zoo

  • Botanical gardens

  • Dining hall

The library at alexandria

The Library at Alexandria

  • Half a million papyrus scrolls

  • First research library in the world

Science and technology

Science and Technology

  • Hellenistic scholars preserved Greek and Egyptian learning in the sciences

  • They provided most of the scientific knowledge available in the West until the 16th and 17th centuries



  • The museum contained an observatory

  • Astronomers could study the planets and stars

Aristarcus of samos

Aristarcus of Samos

  • Estimated that the sun was 300 times larger than the earth

  • Proposed that the earth and other planets revolved around the sun

    • Other astronomers of the day did not agree



  • Alexandria’s last renowned astronomer

  • Incorrectly placed the earth at the center of the solar system

  • This view was held by astronomers for the next 14 centuries.



  • Closely calculated the earth’s true size

  • Director of the library at Alexandria

  • Used geometry to calculate the earth’s circumference at 24,662 miles

  • Today we calculate it to 24,860 miles

    • (Within 1% of modern calculations)

Mathematics and physics

Mathematics and Physics

  • Aristarchus and Eratosthenes used a geometry text written by Euclid

  • Euclid wrote “The Elements”

  • 465 geometric propositions and proofs

  • Still the basis for modern geometry textbooks

Pythagorean theorem

Pythagorean Theorem

  • The square of a right triangle’s hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of the other two sides



  • Estimated the value of pi (π)

  • The lever

  • The compound pulley

  • The Archimedes screw

  • Catapult

  • Buoyancy

Philosophy and art

Philosophy and Art

  • Hellenistic scholars believed that the universe followed rational principles

  • Two schools of thought developed during the Hellenistic period

    • Stoicism

    • Epicureanism



  • Founded by Zeno

  • A divine power controlled the universe

  • People should live in harmony with natural law

  • Vices like human desire, power, and wealth should be controlled

  • Followers focused on things they could control



  • Founded by Epicurus

  • Universe is composed of atoms and controlled by gods who had no interest in humans

  • Only objects that the 5 senses could perceive were real

  • The greatest good and highest pleasure come from virtuous conduct and the absence of pain

  • Achieve harmony between body and mind



  • Today the term has come to mean a person devoted to pursuing human pleasures

  • During his lifetime Epicurus advocated moderation in all things

Realism in sculpture

Realism in Sculpture

  • Rulers, wealthy merchants, and cities all purchased statues to honor the gods, commemorate heroes, and portray ordinary people

  • The largest known Hellenistic statue was the Colossus of Rhodes

Colossus of rhodes

Colossus of Rhodes

  • Stood over 100 feet tall

  • Toppled by an earthquake

Winged victory of samothrace

Winged Victory of Samothrace

Hellenistic sculpture

Hellenistic Sculpture

  • More realistic

  • More emotional

  • Real people in real situations were carved

Hellenistic world in decline

Hellenistic World in Decline

  • By 150 BC the Hellenistic world was in decline

  • Rome was growing and gaining in strength

  • Greek drama, architecture, sculpture, religion, and philosophy were preserved and eventually became the core of Western civilization

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