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Ancient Greece: Why were they so Important?. Questions to think about. In what ways have modern governments been influenced by the Ancient Greeks? In what ways have modern social ideas been influenced by the Ancient Greeks?. Religion. Government. Persia. I. The Persian Tradition.

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questions to think about
Questions to think about
  • In what ways have modern governments been influenced by the Ancient Greeks?
  • In what ways have modern social ideas been influenced by the Ancient Greeks?




i the persian tradition
I. The Persian Tradition
  • Cyrus the Great-Founded the first Persian Empire in the 500s BCE
  • At the height of power, the empire was over 5 million square miles and spanned 3 continents
  • An extremely diverse Empire that brought multiple cultures under one rule.
  • Military Superpower until Alexander
  • Zoroastrianism
    • Zoroaster-
    • Ahura Mazda
    • State religion of Persia/Iran until marginalized by Islam
  • Persian influence felt through the Mediterranean world, and the middle east for centuries

Arts and Sciences



Ancient Greece



greek history
Greek History
  • 2000 small islands surround the Greek peninsula.
  • Rugged terrain and remote islands make it hard to unite the villages.
  • The first people settled Greece between 5000 and 3000 BCE.
  • Mycenae-an archeological site from the Golden Age of Greece, around the time of the writing of the Iliad and Odyssey, c. 1900 BCE
  • The Olympics-a series of athletic competitions held between various city-states of Ancient Greece held in honor of Zeus. The exact origins of the Games are shrouded in myth and legend but records indicate that they began in 776 BC in Olympia in Greece.
  • City states
greek history continued
Greek History-Continued

Peloponnesian Wars:

  • Philip II of Macedon:
    • The Macedonian Invasion,
    • the uniting of the city states
  • Hellenistic Period:
    • The Empire of Alexander
    • The spread of Greek culture
  • Alexandria: The epicenter of Greek learning in the Near East-Founded By Alexander the Great. One of the reasons Greek Culture spread so far afield.
it is war
It is War!!!!
  • “Many considerations may easily convince us that, if only the phalanx has its proper formation and strength, nothing can resist it face to face or withstand its charge. For as a man in close order of battle occupies a space of three feet; and as the length of the sarissae are sixteen cubits according to the original design, which has been reduced in practice to fourteen; and as of these fourteen four must be deducted, to allow for the weight in front; it follows clearly that each hoplite will have ten cubits of his sarissa projecting beyond his body, when he lowers it with both hands, as he advances against the enemy: hence, too, though the men of the second, third, and fourth rank will have their sarissae projecting farther beyond the front rank than the men of the fifth, yet even these last will have two cubits of their sarissae beyond the front rank; if only the phalanx is properly formed and the men close up properly both flank and rear, like the description in Homer:
  • So buckler pressed on buckler; helm on helm; And man on man; and waving horse-hair plumes In polished head-piece mingled, as they swayed In order: in such serried rank they stood. [Iliad, 13.131]”

Polybius, The Histories, Book XVIII, Chapters 28-32

prepare for war ancient greek style
Prepare for war-Ancient Greek Style
  • Read the primary source
  • Write out a step by step process of how to form the phalanx
  • Discuss Military commands
  • Learn a battle strategy:
  • Arm ourselves!
  • Practice Military Drills on Football feild
reflection questions
Reflection Questions
  • Why do you think that this military formation was so successful for Alexander?
  • What do you think that it would have been like to march with Alexander’s army?
greek government
Greek Government


    • Greek towns and cities became city states, which are political units made up of a city and it surrounding villages.
    • Each city state chose different forms of government.
  • Most people were farmers or worked by the sea. They were ruled by kings, queens, or tyrants.
  • Citizenship and the Ancient Greeks-Only free adult males were citizens.
  • Pericles
    • Direct Democracy
    • NOT freedom for all
  • Tyrant-A person who takes power illegally, usually by force of army
  • Oligarchy-rule by a small group of people, usually military leaders
religion and culture
Religion and Culture
  • The Pantheon
  • The Mystery Religions-member-by-invitation religious cults in Greece and Rome
  • Philosophy
    • Thales, Anaximander, Democritus, and other pre-Socratics
    • Socrates-The Father of The dialectic, or the art of questioning
    • Plato-Socrates Student, wrote many important books including the Allegory of the Cave
    • Aristotle-Plato’s student, tutored Alexander the Great
    • Stoics-Believed in suppressing emotion
iv religion and culture continued
IV. Religion and Culture (continued)
  • Sciences:
    • Ptolemy: A mathematician, astronomer, geographer, astrologer, and poet
    • Pythagoras: A Greek philosopher and mathematician, He developed a method of calculating angles called the Pythagorean theorem
  • Literature Briefly describe each:
    • Sappho-Well known ancient Greek Female Poet
    • Sophocles-Greek playwright, wrote 123 plays over the course of his life, including Oedipus Rex
    • Iliad, Odyssey –Famous Greek Epics, attributed to the writer Homer.
government debates
Government debates!
  • Watch the Types of Government PowerPoint slides
  • Fill out the government graphic organizer provided my Mr. Reid.
  • Choose one of the types of Government to promote in a debate.
  • Develop five strong, detailed, well thought out reasons why your type of government is superior to the other types.
  • You will be paired with another student for head to head debates!
  • This form of government is considered to be more fair than some others, and is based on involving the people in making decisions for the bettering of the country. A direct democracy allows for the people to vote on laws to gather their input and decide what will be best for the country as a whole.  The decision that gets the highest number of votes ultimately wins and is enacted. An indirect democracy allows people to vote for leaders who then vote in laws.
  • Although it is the fairest option, there are some problems with it. As the democracy gets larger, it is harder to get mostly everyone to agree on the issue and also keep everyone informed of all of the information.  Also, by taking the most popular vote, the minority gets ignored and exploited. Sometimes the most popular decision is not exactly the right one, and it takes an even longer process to go about changing it and/or informing people of new information.
  • United States, Ancient Athens, Most countries of Modern Europe
communism socialism
  • Communism is the idea that there will be no private property-everything will be owned by the state and, in theory, divided equally to all people. This si called redistribution of weath.The State controls the means of production, meaning all factories, facilities, industries, and services are ran by the state. This often leads to dictatorships.
  • Socialism is a version that can be compatible with democracy, but it still requires that the state regulate the means of production, and the government facilitates some redistribution of weath through taxation.
  • An oligarchy government is one in which a select few people have the power to make the decisions for the region. Generally, the select few are the people who are the wealthiest within the country, causing them to be the most powerful. Oligarchies are not run by a constitution or charter, and the rules are made up by the elite and they see fit.
  • In an oligarchy, decisions can be made easily and quickly, and there is power sharing involved because there is not one absolute ruler. Problems with this type of government involve not getting the people’s input when making decisions. The general public does not even get to decide the people in power because they are chosen by the other wealthy and elite people.
  • A dictatorship is defined as an autocratic form of government in which the government is ruled by an individual, the dictator. It has three possible meanings that are used.
  • In this form of government the power rests entirely on the person or group of people, and can be obtained by force or by inheritance. The dictator(s) may also take away much of its peoples' freedom.
  • In contemporary usage, dictatorship refers to an autocratic form of absolute rule by leadership unrestricted by law, constitutions, or other social and political factors within the state.
  • The Roman Empire was a dictatorship, Nazi Germany, Stalin’s USSR are other examples
  • A monarchy is a form of government in which the office of head of state is usually held until death or abdication, is most often hereditary, and usually accords official pre-eminence to members of the reigning dynasty.
  • The monarch often bears the title king or queen. However, emperor/empress, grand duke/grand duchess, prince/princess and other terms are or have been used to designate monarchs. Although the word monarch derives from the term 'single ruler', traditionally heads of state bearing the title president or premier are not officially considered monarchs