The Persians• 550 B.C.E., Cyrus the Great• Zoroastrianism – Good vs. evil – Last judgment • Challenged the Greeks – invasions by Achaemenid Empire (Xerxes) • Conquered by Alexander the Great
The Persian Empire in Its Main Stages
Classical Greece• Classical Greece – City-states (polis) – Mountainous terrain = rivalries Variety of governments• Literature – Iliad, Odyssey - Basis for Hellenic (Greek) culture• Architecture – Columns• Arts – Sculpture (ideal form)
The Greek World
The City-State as a Political Unit• Greece formed into many city-states - polis• Each polis deeply united – Public religion – Political participation – Cultural events, e.g. theatre • Social hierarchy – Aristocrats (wealthy land-owners) at the top – Captures slaves at the bottom
The Rise of Democracy in Athens• Solon & Pericles - Athenian statesmen• Popular assembly – Oversight of most of the government• Offices filled by lot• Who was excluded? – Women – Slaves – Foreigners and their children
Greek Unity• Colonization – Spread of Greek culture (Hellenism) throughout Mediterranean – Expansion of trade• Religious games – Truces – war against Persia (Delian League) – Olympics – Oracle at Delphi
Fragmentation• Conflict between cities – Athens versus Sparta (military oligarchy) Political contrasts Competing alliances Peloponnesian War, 431-404 B.C.E. • Athenian surrender, 404 B.C.E.
Macedonian Conquest• Macedon (north) compared to southern Greece – Monarchy v. city-state – Plains v. mountains – Linguistic differences• Philip II of Macedon (359-336 B.C.E. ) – By 338 B.C.E., Greece conquered
Alexander the Great• Conquests, 334-331 B.C.E. – Into India, Egypt – Founded: Alexandria – ancient city New and important trade routes, libraries• Death, 323 B.C.E.• Division of successor states by generals – Egypt: Ptolemies – Persia: Seleucids
Alexander’s Empire and theHellenistic World, c. 323 B.C.E.
Creativity in Greek and Hellenistic Culture• Religion, Philosophy, and Science – Religion Pantheon of gods with human traits – Philosophy Socrates - Skepticism Plato – Stoics - Moral fortitude
Creativity in Greek and Hellenistic Culture• Religion, Philosophy, and Science – Science Pythagoras Euclid Archimedes• Drama – Public, religious, typified by conflict – Sophocles - Tragedy – Aristophanes - Comedy
Literature and the Visual Arts• Drama – Oral epic Homer – History Herodotus – mix of myth and history Thucydides – first true historian • Human achievement important • Temples
Patterns of Greek and Hellenistic Society• Men, Women, and Social Divisions – Patriarchal – Women – legal/cultural disadvantages – Athens – very patriarchal – Sparta – more rights for women