I. Geography of Greece A. Mountains-Greece consists of small plains and river valleys surrounded by high mountain ranges. Mountains make up 80% of the Greek landscape, causing different Greek city-states to develop their own ways of life.
B. Seas-The Aegean, Mediterranean, and Ionian Seas make up the eastern, southern, and western borders of Greece.
1. Long seacoast is dotted by bays and inlets that provided many harbors. As a result, the Ancient Greeks became seafarers.
II. Early Civilization in Greece • Mycenaean-Flourished between 1600 B.C.E. and 1100 B.C.E. This was the first city-state. 1. Warrior People-Remains of wall murals that display war and hunting scenes suggest that the Mycenaeans were a warrior people
2. Commercial Network-The Mycenaean monarchies developed an extensive commercial network throughout the Mediterranean, in Syria and Egypt to the east and Sicily and southern Italy to the west. View from the acropolis
After the collapse of Mycenaean civilization, Greece entered a dark age between 1100 B.C.E. and 750 B.C.E. Not until 850 B.C.E. did farming revive. a)Homer-Wrote the epic poems, the Iliad and the Odyssey, that recount the Trojan War and the story of Achilles.
B. City-states-By 750 B.C.E., the city state—or what the Greeks called a polis—became the central focus of Greek life.
Acropolis-The main gathering place in the polis was usually a hill. At the top of the hill was a fortified area called an acropolis. a) Served as a place of refuge during an attack and sometimes came to be a religious center.
2. Agora-Below the acropolis was an agora, an open area that served as a place where people could assemble as a market.
C. Sparta-The Spartans took over the Laconians and Messenia. To assert their dominance over their conquered people, the Spartans created a military state between 800-600 B.C.E.
1. Males-Spent their entire childhood learning military discipline. By the age of 20, they enrolled in regular military service. They would stay in the army until 60.
2. Women-Lived at home while their husbands lived in barracks. As a result, Spartan women had greater power than elsewhere in Greece. They were expected to remain fit to bear and raise healthy children.
3. Oligarchy-A government ruled by a few. a) The Spartan government was headed by two kings, a group of five men, and a council of elders.
III. Challenge of Persia-Persia was an empire located across the Middle East. A. In 490 B.C.E., the Persians landed at Marathon, only 26 miles from Athens. The Persians were defeated and motivated Xerxes to seek revenge.
B. Xerxes led a massive invasion force of 180,000 troops into Greece in 480 B.C.E. The Greek city-states would unite to drive the Persians back to Asia. Thermopylae
C. After the defeat of the Persians, Athens took over the leadership under a defensive alliance known as the Delian League formed in 478 B.C.E.
IV. Athens- A.Age of Pericles-Between 461-429 B.C.E., Pericles was a prominent political leader. This was when Athens was at the height of its power.
1.Direct Democracy-All men voted on all issues in the government. The pnyx
B. Women in Athens- 1. Women were considered property in Athens. 2. They did not receive any formal education. 3. If they left the house, women had to have a companion
C. Slaves in Athens-Slaves numbered around 100,000 of 300,000 people in Athens. Most Athenians owned at least 1 slave.
D. The Great Peloponnesian War-A struggle for power finally broke out in 431 B.C.E. between Sparta and Athens.
1. Sparta had a great army, whereas Athens had an excellent navy. The Spartans were able to surround Athens, hoping to draw the Athenian army into the open field. They were 66 feet high and connected Piraeus, four miles away
2. In the second winter of fighting a plague broke out in Athens. 25 years later, the Athenians lost. This led in a downfall of Greek power.
E. Philosophers of Greece 1. Philosophy-Refers to an organized system of thought. Term comes from a Greek word that means, “love of wisdom.”
a) Socrates- Believed all real knowledge is already present within each person. Only critical examination is needed to call it forth. His teaching method was called the Socratic Method.
b) Plato-One of Socrates’ students was Plato. Plato attempted to explain the ideal state in The Republic. He felt that the state should be ruled by philosopher-kings.
c) Aristotle-Aristotle’s interests lay in analyzing and classifying things based on observation and investigation. Many of his ideas became the basis for western thought. For instance, he believed in the geocentric theory.
V. Hellenistic Age- A. The Macedonians-Due to the petty wars of the Greeks, the Macedonians were largely ignored neighbors to the north. In 359 B.C.E., Phillip II came to the throne to unite the Greeks in an invasion of Persia.
B. Alexander the Great, Phillip’s son, took over after Phillip was assassinated and led the invasion.
C. Alexander entered Asia in 334 B.C.E., with an army of 37,000 men. By the winter of 332 B.C.E., he had captured Syria, Palestine, and Egypt.
D. By 326 B.C.E., Alexander conquered the Persian Empire and reached India. He would die in 323 B.C.E. and his empire would be divided.
E. Why was he successful? 1. His military strategy of using the phalanx and cavalry was superior to his opponents. 2. Alexander was an inspiration to his own soldiers by risking his own life.
F. Hellenistic Legacy-Alexander spread Greek culture throughout the world. Greek culture would combine with Persian, Egyptian, and Indian culture to form Hellenistic civilization.
1. Alexandria-He built Alexandria as the Greek capital of Egypt. The library in Alexandria was the largest in ancient times, with more than 500,000 scrolls.
What did Homer recount from this era? Why were the Greeks able to develop a commercial network? Why did different city-states develop? What cultures does the term Hellenistic encompass? Why was Alexander the Great successful? What part of the world were the Persians based in? Why were the Greeks able to defeat the Persians? 700 B.C.E.-Sparta had a tightly controlled society 440 B.C.E.-Age of Pericles in Athens 1500 B.C.E.-Mycenae flourished 479 B.C.E.-Persian army was defeated 323 B.C.E.-Alexander the Great is at the height of his power What dominated Spartan society? What was the difference in terms of gender in Sparta? What type of governmental system dominated the Age of Pericles? How were women viewed in Ancient Athens?