Why the Civilization of Ancient Greece Is Important in Western Civilization History? Greeks united around a common language and culture Viewed themselves as separate & unique Experimented with democracy and participatory government Social mobility not solely dependent on birth Humanities and intellectual investigation art, drama, literature scientific investigation philosophy separated from religion
Bronze Age Greece Minoans & Mycenaeans Age of Heroes Important and well-integrated part of the Mediterranean World Minoan Thalassocracy A sea empire Sir Arthur Evans’s discovery of palace of Knossos on Crete Close contact between Funeral Mask of Agamemnon Minoans on Crete & Mycenaeans on mainland Greece Linear B
Political and CommercialFoundations of Mycenaean Greece A powerful palace headed by a powerful king who was also a military leader A warrior aristocracy Local bureaucracy State-regulated land-holdings Redistributive economy (plunder and patronage) Large territorial Kingdoms
What Caused the Demise of the Minoan and Mycenaean Civilizations? Leading hypotheses Sea Peoples: documentary evidence in Egypt, Ugarit Environmental Catastrophe: physical evidence on Santorini Thera Volcanic Ash & Craters on Santorini today
Dark Age of Greece 1150-800 B.C.E. Depopulation of up to 90% of Greek mainland except at Athens after 1200 B.C.E. Settlements shrank in size and moved inland away from the sea. Little economic contact with other Greek cities much less the wider world. Economic equalization: headmen had little more than anybody else. Gave rise to presumptions of political and economic self- sufficiency of individual households Greatly influenced Greek political attitudes during the classic period
Heroic Tradition Trade resumed around 1000B.C.E. Emergence of small group of wealthy citizens Believed that their elite status was a reflection of their own superior qualities as “best men” Aristocracy = rule by the best Wealth not only factor Singer of songs, doer of deeds, winner of battles Success in life = Favor by the gods (a prosperity gospel in today’s terms)
HomerBust of Homer dating to theHellenistic Period (400 B.C.E.)From the British Museum Date of Birth is unknown. Herodotus suggests Homer lived Around 850 B.C.E. Modern Researchers suggest either 8th or 7th century B.C.E. Homer’s works greatly influenced Greek culture: especially the Heroic Tradition.
The Iliad The story of the Trojan War from the Greek perspective. What is the Heroic Code? How does Homer portray heroes? Are heroes always just? Are heroes merciful? Are heroes only men? What is the role of women in the heroic code? What do all heroes have in common? Are the gods heroes? Can the gods be counted upon to help a hero or anybody else?
Archaic Greece (800-480 B.C.E.) Colonization: between 800 and 700 B.C.E. the Greeks founded several hundred new colonies from the Black Sea to the western Mediterranean Western shores of Anatolia Southern Italy and Sicily (called Magna Graecia by the Romans) Intensified contacts with Egypt and Phoenicia Greek awareness of their own common identity and perspectives as Hellens or Hellenism Hellenism did not encourage greater political cooperation among the individual city-states
The Rise of the Polis As the Greek dark ages ended, contact with the Phoenicians led to renewed seafaring activity: Greeks adopted the Phoenician alphabet and improved upon it by converting some consonants into vowels, Dramatic population growth as result of increased prosperity, Geography: mountainous limited land suitable for agriculture Growth of local communities and traditions Village growth and repopulation economic contact with other towns increased Conflict with other towns over trade and competition increased Political system for cooperation in a local area Rise of city-states and more developed ideas of government than existed in Sumer
Polis/Poleis Literally translated –city Polis is more than the geographic space. Includes the body of citizens Identifies the rights of citizenship Greeks did not refer to the place “Sparta” as the polis but to the Spartans or the Athenians as the polis Asty is the Greek word which describes the urban buildings and spaces of a polis
Acropolis at AthensContained both civil& religious buildingsSet on limestone hillTo protect it frominvaders
Ekklesia Ekklesia- the assembly of adult male citizens of a polis for deliberation and voting. Did not include immigrants, women, children or slaves Even among free men, there were levels of authority Each city-state was organized differently and held different views of “democracy” and “voting”.
Rock cut platform calledThe bema where theEkklesia of the polis inAthens met to discussIssues raised by the townCouncil during the 4thCentury B.C.E.
Citizenship Rights Adult males born legitimately of citizen parents Citizens with full legal rights but no political rights Women & children whose rights to property were held in trust by husbands or nearest male relative Transdwellers were citizens in their own polis but not in the polis in which they chose to live no voting rights, could not be elected to office had no right to serve in the military except in their own polis Slaves: had no privileges but what their owner granted or revoked at will, considered property of their owners
City-states and hoplite forces Competition for resources and trade led to conflict among city-states. Every city needed a military Farmers who could afford the armor could join the local hoplite force. Hoplites named for their shield. Hoplites became a political and social force demanding greater political rights and limits to aristocratic power.
Hoplites Foot soliders Armed with short swords Protected by a large round shield called a hoplon Also protected by breastplate, helmet, wrist and leg guards Phalanx: Soldiers stood shoulder to shoulder several rows across and several rows deep Carried shields on left arm to protect the right arm (sword- bearing arm) of the man standing next to him Each soldier leaned with his shield on the man in front of him. If the man in front fell, the man behind took his place
Hoplite ArmorHoplon: wood covered withBronze outside; insidecovered with leather.Weight: 17.65 lbs.Decoration: Gorgon heads.Gorgons were women whosehair is made of snakes andwho turns to stone any manwho looks in her eyes.
Hoplite HelmetsIron helmet found in tomb of Phillip II Bronze helmet from 5th Century
Hoplite BreastplateBreastplate from Tomb ofPhillip II (Iron and gold)
Aristocrats Political office Symposium: gathering of elite men Wine Women Poetry Dancing competitions Homosexuality: older men mentored younger men in return for sexual favors. Did not preclude marriage. Symposia became more restrictive over time.
Tyrants Tyrannos: someone who seizes power outside the traditional political framework; Tyrants: often seized power from the aristocratic elite with the help of the hoplite class; Tyrants extended rights of the hoplites in return for political support; Tyrants: held power until a new tyrant rose up with assistance of new generations of hoplites
Athens Archaic Period: Athens had distinctly agricultural economy; Aristocratic dominance rested on elected magistrates (judges) Council of State composed of former magistrates Archons: held executive power Served 1 year term Served for life on Areopagus Council Areopagus Council = high court of justice
Debt Slavery & Drakon Individuals secured loans by pledging one’s person as collateral If default occurred, debtor became indentured to creditor until the loan was re-paid Indentured servitude was not much better than slavery Drakon: Archon charged with setting written laws Made debt slavery even more harsh Imposed the death penalty for even minor crimes By 594 B.C.E. Athens on brink of civil war Our word “drakonian”
Solon (638 B.C.E. -558 B.C.E.) Made archon in 594 B.C.E. by agreement between aristocrats and hoplites A merchant not beholden to any one interest; Forbade debt slavery; Establish fund to buy back Athenians in foreign debt slavery; Encouraged olive and grape growing to establish a commercial cash crop; Encouraged ship-building Broadened political participation Eligibility for political office based on property ownership not birth Established court of appeals with broad range of citizens as jurors Ekklesia had right to elect archons
Spartan Polis 4 villages combined Dual monarchy: two royal families and two lines of succession Conquest of Messenia (C. 720 B.C.E.) Messenians worked the land Spartans owned the land Messenians had no political rights Helots Often revolted but were unsuccessful All citizens of Sparta were warrior-champions.
Militaristic Culture Sparta: oriented toward maintaining Hoplite Army Every citizen (Spartiate) member of the phalanx Every child examined at birth: left to die raised to be a soldier Children trained in Spartan educational system at age 7 Boys and girls trained together until 12; Girls trained to be literate; Girls married at 18; Boys went to military barracks at 18 Fought to gain membership in gymnasium (communal mess tent) Failure meant expulsion and denial of Spartan citizenship Acceptance meant soldier’s life until age 30 when permitted to marry Low birthrate in Sparta Men: active duty until 60
Spartan Citizenship Rights All males age 30+ were members of citizen assembly (apella) Could vote “yes” or “no” without debate on matters proposed by council of 28 elders (gerousia) Elders were 60+ 5 ephors managed the educational system and guarded Spartan traditions Power to depose even the king Supervised a secret state security service who spied primarily on the Helots but also on citizens
Helots Outnumbered the Spartans by 10 to 1 Spartans ritually declared war on Helots every year Spartans reluctant to send their army abroad for fear the Helots would revolt at home
Miletus Ionian Peninsula Center of Greek speculative thinking and philosophy Sought physical explanations for locations of the stars Formulated rational theories to explain the physical universe Marginalized the gods or ignored them altogether Xenophanes concluded than men made gods in their own image Rejected by the majority of Greek population
Persian Wars Herodotus (father of history) main source for Persian War history Persian War caused by a political conflict in Miletus; 501 B.C.E. Aristagoras believed that he was falling out of favor with Darius the Great of Persia; Roused the Milesians to revolt and sought support from the mainland Athens and Eretria sent army and burned the Persian administrative center at Sardis and went home; Milesians were defeated by Persians in 494 B.C.E. Darius: punitive invasion to teach Athens and Eretria a lesson In 490 Darius invaded and burned Eretria and moved onto the plain of Marathon to attack Athens; Athenians requested aid from Sparta who declined because they were in the middle of a religious festival;
Battle of Marathon (490 B.C.E.) Athenian commander: Persians were watering horses leaving the Persian infantry vulnerable Athenians attacked though vastly outnumbered: Casualties according to Herodotus: 6,400 Persians killed 192 Athenians killed Athenians recognized as a military power Athenians still vulnerable to larger Persian army Used proceeds from a silver mine to build and equip a fleet of naval ships in anticipation of Persian attack
Xerxes Defeat at Thermopylae Darius’s son Xerxes: grand invasion of Greece with 150,000 men Led the campaign himself Many Greek cities capitulated Athens, Sparta, Corinth and 30 other city-states refused Formed the Hellenic League Under military leadership of Sparta, outnumbered Greeks held off Persian invasion for 3 days while Athenian navy fought Persians at Artemisium Spartans died but Athenians inflicted heavy losses on Persian fleet; Xerxes burned Athens but Athenians defeated and destroyed Persian fleet at Battle of Salamis
Athenian Rising Athens: premier naval power in the Eastern Mediterranean; rivaled Sparta for military might on land Athens: leader of Delian League—a group of the poleis determined to continue the Persian War Controlled resources and funds; Athenians increased influence abroad; Athenian culture and democracy flourished; Levied high taxes to support military on other Delian League members.
Pericles & Direct Democracy By 460 B.C.E. Thetes (naval rowers) demanded political power Pericles (though not a military man) was elected strategos on a platform of expanded citizenship rights for everyone Every Athenian citizen: right to propose and amend legislation; Poor citizens: participate in the Ekklesia by paying a day’s wage; All citizens could participate in the appeals courts;
Golden Age of Athens Athenian democracy and the golden age were fueled by Athenian empire Delian League members not permitted to withdraw; any attempt to do so was brutally put down by Athens
Literature and Drama Epic and lyric Greek poetry well established art forms Drama: developed in Athens when poetic odes were chanted by choruses to the god Dionysius Aeschylus: introduced a second and third character into the ode making it possible to present human conversation and conflict on the stage Themes of Greek Tragedy Justice Law Conflicting demands of piety and obligation that drove heroic men and women to destruction
Comedy and Current Events Comedic Themes Life on the farm The good ole days Sex Nightmare of politics Strange manners of the town Aristophanes: greatest Greek comedic playwright repeatedly dragged into court to defend himself against politicians he had attacked;
Women’s Life: Who really invented the burka? Short Answer: The Greeks Public space reserved exclusively for men Women of good character (i.e. not slaves or prostitutes) were NEVER or RARELY seen in public and were always veiled (except their eyes) Girls married at 14 Dowry Primary job: bearing children, weaving Women married much older men often as the second or third wife Women usually died around 35 as result of hardships of childbirth
Peloponnesian War (431-404 B.C.E.) Other Delian League members angered by Athenian taxes and dominance; Corinthians: threatened by Athenian naval control of Aegean Sea allied with Sparta; By 431 B.C.E. Athens and Sparta fighting a stalemate Athens could not defeat Sparta by land Sparta could not defeat Athens by sea
Plague of Athens 429 B.C.E. Killed over 1/3 of population of Athens Killed Pericles 1999 Conference at University of Maryland concluded the Plague of Athens was caused by “Epidemic Typhus Fever”
Disaster at Syracuse (415 B.C.E.) Athenian Expedition to attack Syracuse killed thousands; Sparta was aided by Persians; Athens abandoned democracy; voting in an oligarchy of 400 citizens Lysander of Sparta destroyed the Athenian fleet in 404 B.C.E. and besieged Athens Permitted surrender and imposed Spartan style oligarchy of 40 citizens on Athens Cost of war impoverished most city-states Greece entered a new phase of disunity and was conquered by Philip of Macedonia by 346 B.C.E.