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Greece – Classical Age

Greece – Classical Age

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Greece – Classical Age

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  1. Greece – Classical Age Chapter 6-1 Geography of Ancient Greece Video: Minoans and Mycenaeans – 25m TN SPI – 6.5.11

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

  3. Geography and Agriculture Trading Cultures Government City-States

  4. 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

  5. Agriculture • 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

  6. 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.


  8. Trading Cultures • Two of the earliest cultures that settled in Greece were: • the Minoans – seafaring traders (non Greek) • the Mycenaeans – considered the first Greeks

  9. 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.

  10. 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.


  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.