Ancient Greece


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Lecture on early Ancient Greece

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Ancient Greece

  1. 1. Ancient Greeks
  2. 2. Greece: the basis of the West Some important places - Athens Sparta Corinth Thebes Olympia Troy Ephesus
  3. 3. The Greeks didn’t stay put in Greece or the Aegean, though. They colonized all over the Mediterranean
  4. 4. <ul><li>As your book notes, geography helped shaped Greek civilization </li></ul><ul><li>Rugged rocky terrain meant that the interaction, communication, and ability to travel that’s necessary for empire was difficult </li></ul><ul><li>The cities developed as city-states and were fiercely independent. They each also developed their own government and sub-culture while remaining Greek. </li></ul><ul><li>The Greeks were pretty proud of themselves. The ability to speak Greek marked one as civilized. Those who couldn’t (or whose first language wasn’t Greek) were barbarians. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In fact, ‘barbarian’ comes from the Greek word barbaros. That’s because it sounded to the Greeks like non-Greeks were just going “Bar bar bar bar.” </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Mycenaeans </li></ul><ul><li>Early Greek civilization lasting from about 1600-1100 BC </li></ul><ul><li>They extended through southern Greece and even onto Crete </li></ul><ul><li>On Crete, they defeated the Minoans and adopted their system of writing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Minoans used a syllabic script we call Linear A which the Mycenaeans adapted to early Greek and is called Linear B </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>While Linear B was deciphered in the 1950’s, Linear A is still a mystery </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Linear A Linear B
  7. 7. <ul><li>The Mycenaean civilization suddenly collapsed around 1100 BC. It entered a dark age from which we have no written records </li></ul><ul><li>One theory is that the Dorians invaded and conquered the Mycenaeans, but this is disputed. We do know Mycenae and the other cities suffered damage. </li></ul><ul><li>The Dark Ages </li></ul><ul><li>Greece had its own. No written records from the time are extant. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Mask of Agamemnon </li></ul><ul><li>Uncovered by Schliemann in Mycenae </li></ul><ul><li>Funeral mask </li></ul><ul><li>Not really Agamemnon’s </li></ul>
  9. 9. Lion’s Gate Entrance to citadel at Mycenae
  10. 10. Entrance to the tholos tomb in Mycenae. That doorway is 18 feet high. Note the relieving arch. The inner lentil weighs 100 tons. How’d they do that?!
  11. 11. <ul><li>Homer </li></ul><ul><li>THE Greek poet </li></ul><ul><li>In writings, the Greeks would often refer to him simply as ‘the poet.’ Everybody knew Homer. </li></ul><ul><li>Wrote the Iliad about the Trojan war and the Odyssey about Odysseus's journey home </li></ul><ul><li>Good stuff and it informs about Greek character </li></ul><ul><ul><li>And the Odyssey has cyclops, sirens, monsters, witches, revenge. How can you go wrong with that? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Debate whether he actually existed. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>There are linguistic and style differences between the two epics </li></ul></ul><ul><li>At any rate, it’s the writing down of oral tales </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Professional storytellers would tells the tales and poems. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>They’d have the entire thing memorized. They were the entertainers of the day. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Great opening passages </li></ul>