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thought of the day
Thought of the Day

Yesterday we discussed the geography, development, and well-known events of ancient Greece. Describe the geography of Greece. What two civilizations emerged in ancient Greece? We also discussed the famous writer Homer and his epic poems The Iliad and The Odyssey. What was the background story to the stories?

greek city states
Greek City-States

750BC Greek city-states known as apolis (town, city, or village)

Apolis is on top a hill called the acropolis; people go here if attacked; also have religious temples & public buildings

Below acropolis is the agorawhere people assemble like the market (ex. Athens)

Political rights- only adult males, none for women, children, laborers, or slaves

City-states divided; extremely patriotic; rival one another

military techniques
Military Techniques

Nobles (landowners) on horseback fought wars

700BC Hoplites (heavily armed infantry soldiers) carried round shields, short swords, and a spear

Battled as unit, marched shoulder to shoulder in rectangular formation called a phalanx (made it hard for enemy to hurt them)

greek colonies
Greek Colonies

Spread along the Mediterranean Sea (S. Italy, S. France, N. Africa, & Thrace)

Colonies spread Greek culture & political ideas

Increased trade; exported pottery, wine, olive oil; imported-grains, metal, fish, timber, wheat

New group of wealthy people wanted political power called tyrants

Poor farmers indebted to aristocrats; tyrants gain power & have new temples built

Allowed new people to partake in government which led to the development of democracy (gov’t ruled by the people)

Other city-states remained committed to government by oligarchy (rule by few)


On peninsula of Attica

700BC was ruled by a king then an oligarchy under control by aristocrats

Farmers sold into slavery (couldn’t pay their debt)

Civil war broke out; aristocrats gave power to Solon (he canceled all debts)

Wouldn’t give land back to poor (tyranny)

Peisistratus seized power in 560BC; gave land to peasants

People rebelled against son

2 years later Cleisthenes ruled & created the Council of 500 to oversee foreign affairs, make laws, creates founding for Athenian Democracy


Needed more land so conquered nearby areas

800-600BC created military state that was highly disciplined, organized, & controlled

Young men learn military discipline; enroll at 20yrs old; stay until 30yrs old then vote in assembly

Women have lots of freedom

Oligarchy government had 2 kings & led army

5 men (Ephors) elected each year; Council of Elder (2 king & 28 men over 60) decided on issues to present to assembly

Spartans aren’t allowed to travel or study