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Greece – Classical Age. Chapter 6-1 Geography of Ancient Greece Video: Minoans and Mycenaeans – 25m TN SPI – 6.5.11. Directions. For today’s lesson, you will need a sheet of notebook paper folded as a 4-square. Colored Pencils. Geography and Agriculture. Trading Cultures. Government.

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greece classical age

Greece – Classical Age

Chapter 6-1

Geography of Ancient Greece

Video: Minoans and Mycenaeans – 25m

TN SPI – 6.5.11

  • For today’s lesson, you will need a sheet of notebook paper folded as a 4-square.
  • Colored Pencils

Geography and Agriculture

Trading Cultures



geography of ancient greece
Geography of Ancient Greece
  • Greece is a country made up of:
    • Small scattered islands
    • Rugged mountains
    • Many peninsulas
    • Few valleys and coastal plains for farming
    • Isolated communities
  • Because of geography, farming was often difficult.
  • Good farmland was located by the coast and in the valleys.
  • Farms were usually small and only produced enough food to feed one family with a little extra to sell at the market.
    • Major crops: wheat, barley, olives, grapes
    • Farm animals: pigs, poultry, sheep, goats
geographic borders
Geographic Borders
  • Greece is bordered by:
    • Aegean Sea -East
    • Ionian Sea - West
    • Mediterranean Sea - South
    • Macedonia – North
    • Mt. Olympus – 9,570’
  • Since travel inland across rugged mountains was so difficult, the early Greeks became skilled shipbuilders and sailors.
  • The sea was for travel, trading, and a source of food.










trading cultures
Trading Cultures
  • Two of the earliest cultures that settled in Greece were:
    • the Minoans – seafaring traders (non Greek)
    • the Mycenaeans – considered the first Greeks
the minoans
The Minoans
  • The Minoans lived on the island of Crete located south of Greece in the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Although they lived in what is now Greece, they are not considered to be Greek because they didn’t speak the Greek language.
  • They were among the best shipbuilders and traders in the Mediterranean.
    • They traded pottery and olive oil for copper, gold, silver, and jewels.
    • A volcano erupted in the c1600 BC ending the Minoan civilization.
the mycenaeans
The Mycenaeans
  • The Mycenaeans were the first to speak the Greek language and are considered by historians to be the first Greeks.
  • They were builders of fortresses all over the Greek mainland and often attacked other kingdoms.
  • Historians believe the Mycenaeans attacked the city of Troy, possibly starting the legendary Trojan War.
    • The Mycenaean civilization was defeated by invaders from Europe in c1200 BC.
    • This period in Greek history is referred to as the Dark Age of Greece.



greek city states
Greek City-States
  • Geography prevented small communities from coming together. For this reason small city-states (a city and the surrounding area) formed which had their own:
    • Traditions
    • Governments
    • Laws
    • Leaders
      • Hundreds of Greek city-states formed. Athens, Sparta, Olympia, and Troy were most well known.
life in city states
Life in City-States
  • Life in the city often focused on the marketplace, or agora.
  • Many shops bordered the agora.
  • Farmers brought their crops to the market to trade for goods made by artisans.
  • The agora was a large open space that also served as a meeting place for political and religious meetings.
government who ruled
Government - Who Ruled?
  • Oligarchy – rule by a small group (Sparta)
    • Early Greeks were governed by aristocrats, or a small group of rich landowners.
    • As trade increased, a middle class began to grow who resented the aristocracy.
    • The middle class demanded a role in government.
government who ruled18
Government - Who Ruled?
  • Direct Democracy – citizens govern themselves (no elected representatives)
    • Athens formed a democracy .
    • Must be a male citizen 18 years of age.
    • Both parents must be Athenian to be considered a citizen.
    • Women were not allowed to debate laws.
democracy then and now
Democracy Then and Now

Direct Democracy

Republic - Indirect Democracy

Citizens elect representatives to debate and vote on issues for them.

There is a separation of powers. Citizens elect people to create laws, others to enforce laws, and others to be judges.

Men and women who are citizens have the right to vote.

  • All citizens met as a group to debate and vote on every issue.
  • There was no separation of powers. Citizens created laws, enforced laws, and acted as judges.
  • Only free male citizens could vote. Women and slaves could not vote.