Early Civilizations In Greece Chapter 4.1
The Impact of Geography • The mountains that divided Greece led to a cultural and political divisions between the Greeks. • However, the seas linked Greece to the rest of the world.
Mountains • The landmass of Greece is mainly made up of two peninsulas. • The Isthmus of Corinth connects the Peloponnese peninsula to the mainland. • Over 80% of Greece is mountainous with Mt. Olympus being the highest peak. • These mountains isolated Greeks from one another, causing different Greek communities to develop their own ways of life.
Seas • The Aegean, Mediterranean, and Ionian Seas make up the eastern, southern, and western borders of Greece. • Greece has 13,700 km of coastline and no part of Greece is more than 100 km from a body of water.
Seas • The ancient Greeks lived on a number of small islands to the west, south, and east of the Greek mainland. • Because of their close relation to water the ancient Greeks became excellent seafarers and would establish colonies throughout the Mediterranean.
Minoans and Mycenaeans • By 2800 B.C. a bronze age civilization, called the Minoans, had been established on the Island of Crete. • Sir Arthur Evans discovered the remains of the Minoan civilization on the island of Crete. • The Minoan civilization flourished from 2500 to 1450 B.C. and would collapse around 1850 B.C.
Minoan Civilization • The Minoan’s earned their living from the sea on boats built from the oak and cedar that grows on the island. • They acted as middlemen for the empires of Egypt and Mesopotamia and by 2000 B.C. Minoan fleets dominated the eastern Mediterranean. • The cities of Crete did not have walls as they believed their navy would keep them safe from foreign attack. Model recreation of a Minoan ship.
Minoan Civilization • The Minoan palace at Knossos was the royal seat of the kings. • It was an elaborate palace with numerous private living rooms, workshops, and bathrooms with drainages systems. • Rooms were decorated with brightly colored paintings featuring sporting events and nature scenes.
The Mycenaean Civilization • The Mycenaean civilization flourished from 1600 to 1100 B.C. and originated from Indo-European peoples of central Asia. • Each Mycenaean kingdom centered around a hilltop fortress circled by stone walls. • The palaces in in Mycenae served as both government administration and production. • Taxes were collected in the form of wheat, livestock, and honey to pay government employees and to reimburse the king for military protection. • The Mycenaean's would be overrun by the Dorians and many people would leave for Ionia on the coast of what is now Turkey.
The Mycenaean Civilization • The royal Mycenaean families built elaborate tombs called tholos tombs. • They were built into the hillside with an entryway that led into a circular tomb chamber that was constructed in a beehive shape.
Greeks in the Dark Age • When the Mycenaean civilization collapsed, Greece entered a period where food production and population declined. • The period from about 1100 B.C. to 750 B.C. would become known as the Greek Dark Ages because few records of what happened exist.
Changes of the Dark Age • During the Dark Age many Greeks left the mainland and sailed across the Aegean Sea to Ionia (modern day Turkey). • The Aeolian Greeks of northern Greece colonized the large island of Lesbos. • During this time Dorians settled on the Peloponnese and on Crete
Changes of the Dark Age • The Greeks at some point the Greeks adopted the Phoenician Alphabet. • By reducing all words to a combination of 24 letters it made learning to read and write simpler.
Homer: Poet of the Dark Age • Homer, a blind Greek poet composed the two most famous Greek epics: • The Iliad- A story of a Trojan prince named Paris who falls in love with Helen, the wife of a Mycenaean king. The Mycenaean's lay siege to Troy for ten years before deceiving the Trojans with a wooden horse. • The Odyssey- Tells the story of Odysseus, the King of Ithaca, and his 10 year voyage home after the fall of Troy. • The values Homer taught were courage, honor and that a hero strives for excellence, which the Greeks call arete. • Arete is won through a struggle or contest in which he protects his family and friends, and preserves his own honor. The Greek poet Homer is thought to have lived around 700 B.C. and composed The Iliad and the Odyssey.