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Ancient Greece. Geography. not a country, but a collection of lands and islands, many miles of coastline; inlets and bays Sea: Aegean, Ionian, and Black seas united them Poor resources on land meant increased sea travel, trade and imports Land : ¾ mountains; highest Mt. Olympus

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Geography l.jpg
Geography

  • not a country, but a collection of lands and islands, many miles of coastline; inlets and bays

    • Sea: Aegean, Ionian, and Black seas united them

      • Poor resources on land meant increased sea travel, trade and imports

    • Land: ¾ mountains; highest Mt. Olympus

      • Difficult to unite under one government; divided by mountains

      • Broken into different city-states, called Polis (Poleis, pl.)

    • Climate: moderate temps. Men led outdoor life, most activity – shopping, civic meetings, athletic activities



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Early Greeks

  • Crete (2000-1400 BCE)

    • Minoans (after their king Minos)

    • Wealthy traders; built large homes, had fancy clothes, etc…

    • Ended by volcano, undersea earthquake, tidal waves, invasion, evidence exists for all these theories

  • Bronze Age (2000 BCE)

    • Mycenae – mainland Greek city of Mycenae built on steep ridge

      • Fortified their cities with stone walls

      • Wealthy from piracy

    • Trojan War: 1200 BC

      • Greek kings attack Troy, a trading city on the coast of Asia Minor

      • Greek king’s (Menelaus) wife (Helen) stolen by a Trojan youth (Paris); archaeological evidence shows some proof of this, prolonged wars


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The Dark Ages 1200 BC (early iron age)

  • Dorians

    • Greek speaking people from the north come in with iron weapons

      • Little skill, less advances

      • Trade at a standstill

      • Skill of writing is lost for about 400 years (1150-750 BC)

    • Homer

      • The blind poet

      • Depended on spoken words (bards)

      • Wrote long epic poems, ideals of heroism, Arête: heroic ideal: strive for excellence, courage, fame and honor

      • Interested in individuals, heroes compete for glory

    • The Iliad and The Odyssey around 750 BC

Carving of Trojan Horse; 7th C. BCE


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Bonds Uniting Greeks

  • Language and Literature

  • Religion: Polytheistic

    • Gods Lived on Mt. Olympus, immortal

    • The were very “human” – fought a lot, had human weaknesses

    • Religion linked to government and civic pride


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More Bonds

  • Olympics

    • Began in 776 BC every 4 years

    • All athletes from Aegean area traveled to Mt. Olympus, home of the gods, to honor Zeus

    • Pentathlon most important event (racing, jumping, discus, javelin, wrestling)

    • Prize= honor and fame (arête)

  • Fear of Persia

    • to the east, Greeks felt the Persians were Barbarians