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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:

  • 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

Culturesof theMountains and the Sea

Section 1

p. 111-114

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

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 Land

  • 3/4th of Greece is covered with mountains

  • This made unification of Greece difficult

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

The Land

  • Uneven terrain made land travel difficult

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

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 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

  • 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • 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

"Beware of Greeks bearing gifts"

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 (?)

  • Found at Mycenae by Heinrich Schliemann in 1873

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

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

  • Less advanced than the Mycenaean Greeks

  • The economy collapsed

  • Trade came to a standstill

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

  • 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

  • Greek hero - Achilles

  • Trojan hero – Hector


  • The Greek ideal of virtue and excellence

  • Could be displayed on the battlefield or in athletic events

The Odyssey

  • Odysseus uses his wits and trickery to defeat the Trojans

Penelope Weaves a Tapestry

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

  • 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


  • 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

Warring City-States

Section 2

p. 115-119

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 is the public center of a city-state

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 Agora at Athens

Greek Political Structures

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

Greek Political Structures

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

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

  • 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 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

  • Became the most powerful fighting force in the ancient world

Phalanx photo

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 is isolated in the southern part of Greece

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

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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Two kings ruled over Sparta’s military

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

  • 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 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 was north of Sparta

  • In outlook and values, Athens contrasted sharply with Sparta

Athens and Sparta

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

  • 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

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 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 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

  • 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

  • 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 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

  • 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

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

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…

  • 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 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

  • 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 Wars

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

DemocracyandGreece’s Golden Age

Section 3

p. 120-125

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

  • Increased the number of paid public officials

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

Direct Democracy

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

Athenian and United States Democracy

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

  • 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

Three Styles of Greek Columns

Greek Styles in Art

  • The Parthenon is considered the ideal classical Greek building

The “Golden Mean”

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 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

  • 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

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

  • Avoid land battles with the superior Spartan army

  • Wait for opportunity to attack Sparta from the sea

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

  • 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

  • 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

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

  • The democracy of Athens was weakened

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

  • 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 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 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 GreatEmpire Builder

Section 4

p. 128-131

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

  • 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 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • The two forces meet at the Granicus River

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

Darius’ Response

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

  • They were determined to crush the Macedonians

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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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 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 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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 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 SpreadofHellenistic Culture

Section 5

p. 132-135

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

  • 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

  • Broad avenues

  • Greek statues

  • Royal palaces overlooking the harbor

  • The Tomb of Alexander

  • 400 ft tall lighthouse known as the Pharos

Tomb of Alexander

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

  • Half a million papyrus scrolls

  • First research library in the world

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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Stood over 100 feet tall

  • Toppled by an earthquake

Winged Victory of Samothrace

Hellenistic Sculpture

  • More realistic

  • More emotional

  • Real people in real situations were carved

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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