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Greece: The Beginnings of Western Civilization. Impact of Geography. How did geography affect the development of Greece? In central & southern Greece, no one lives more than 40 miles from the sea. Plato wrote: Like frogs around a pond, we have settled around the shores of the sea.

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impact of geography
Impact of Geography
  • How did geography affect the development of Greece?
  • In central & southern Greece, no one lives more than 40 miles from the sea. Plato wrote: Like frogs around a pond, we have settled around the shores of the sea.
the tyrants
The Tyrants




persian wars1
Persian Wars
  • Herodotus wrote History of the Persian Wars
  • Wars began in Ionia about 520 BCE
  • Persians conquered the area
  • Greeks eventually revolted with help of Athens
  • Darius put down revolt and vows revenge on Athenians

490 BCE Persian fleet landed at Marathon

  • Athenians won
  • Sent Pheidippides back to Athens with message
  • 10 years later son Xerxes attacks
  • Greeks lost at Thermopylae “Hot Gates” but Spartan king Leonidas and 300 soldiers fought to last man

Battle of Salamis – naval battle won by Athens

  • Battle of Plataea – Spartans beat the remains of Persian army
  • After war Athens took all the glory became leader of Delian League
age of pericles
Age of Pericles
  • Greek culture reaches peak – advances in art and sciences
  • Pericles – Athenian general determined to rebuild Athens
  • Has Parthenon built. Hires Phidias to sculpt statue of Athena
  • Makes a number of contributions to ATHENS
peloponnesian war 431 404 bce
Peloponnesian War 431-404 BCE
  • Thucydides wrote History of the Peloponnesian Wars
  • Began as a competition for allies
  • Spart and Atens went to war – fought off and on for 27 years
  • Plague swept through Athens killing ¼ of the population (including Pericles)
  • 4ll BCE Athens suffered internal revolt

Persians helped Spartans and they defeated Athens in 405 BCE

  • Consequences of the war: weakened all Greek city-states. Destruction of resources, inept governments. Left vulnerable to invasion
thermopylae leonidas 300
Thermopylae & Leonidas’ 300

*Herodotus recounted an incident that preceded the Battle of Thermopylae. The Spartan Dienekes was told the Persian archers were so numerous that when they fired their volleys, their arrows would blot out the sun. He responded with “So much the better, we'll fight in the shade”. [Herodotus The Histories, Book Seven, section 226.]

Spartans Prepare for the Battle of Thermopylae

Decisive Battles: Thermopylae

delian league athenian empire
Delian League & Athenian Empire
  • League of Nations/UN
  • Protection
  • Dues
golden age of greece 480 430 bce
Golden Age of Greece(480-430 BCE)
  • Hellenic: pure Greek style
    • ideal beauty, not realism;
    • harmony, order, balance, & proportion
  • Sophists:
    • no absolute truth;
    • what people see through their senses is the source of knowledge;
    • Man is the measure of all things
greek drama
Greek Drama
  • Honors Dionysus
  • Amphitheatre
  • Sophocles & Tragedies
  • Aristophanes & Comedies

Athens: City of Slaves & Artisans

  • Impact on technological innovation?
  • Focused on philosophy, beauty, nature…

How does Pericles’ Funeral Oration compare to Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address?

philosophers search for truth wisdom
Philosophers: Search for Truth & Wisdom!
  • Socrates: The unexamined life is not worth living.
  • Plato: We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.

Ignorance, the root and the stem of every evil.

  • Aristotle: Republics decline into democracies and democracies degenerate into despotisms.
alexander the great
Alexander the Great
  • 359 BCE – Philip II came to throne of Macedonia
  • 337 BCE – He temporarily united Greece expect for Sparta
  • Aristotle became Alexander’s tutor
  • 336 BCE Philip assassinated at daughter’s wedding (Pausanias – hired by Olympia/Alexander?)

Alexander conquered Persia, Syria, Egypt, Mesopotamia, and as far as the Indus River

  • 323 BCE – Alexander died in Babylon of a fever at age 33
alexander s plan to create a world empire
Alexander’s Plan to Create a World Empire
  • 1. found new cities as cultural centers -Hellenized people, they accepted Greek culture
  • 2. Merge Macedonians & Persians into one ruling race
  • 3. Be considered a divine monarch – a god king

Break-up of Empire

  • 1. Antigonus ruled Macedonia
  • 2. Ptolemy - Egypt
  • 3. Seleucus - Syria
hellenism 323 31 bce
Hellenism (323-31 BCE)
  • Cultural diffusion
  • Blend of Greek, Egyptian, Persian and Indian cultures
  • Realism and movement
  • Balance, harmony, symmetry
  • Alexandria: cosmopolitan city
  • Stoicism: show no emotion; divine power controls universe; virtuous life in harmony with natural law; avoid human desires, power & wealth
  • Epicureanism: happiness comes from good conduct and absence of pain; harmony of body & mind
    • Romans: Eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we shall die!
math science
Math & Science
  • Aristarchus: estimated the sun was at least 300x larger than the earth disproving earth being larger than sun; geocentric
  • Eratosthenes: estimated earth’s circumference (24,662miles), latitude/longitude
  • Archimedes: estimated Pi; Archimedes screw, catapults, laws of levers/pulleys
  • Ptolemy: heliocentric
  • Euclid: compiled geometry textbook The Elements
winged goddess of victory
Winged Goddess of Victory

aka- Nike of Samothrace