I. Ancient Civilizations
a. People living in river valleys depended on the
rivers flooding for fertile land.
a. Did not depend on flooding.
b. Had no rivers.
c. Had mountainous land and deep valleys with
rugged highlands (hills).
d. Mountains divided the people.
e. Greece is located in Southeastern Europe.
III. Seas Surrounding Greece
a. Aegean Sea is to the East of Greece.
b. Ionian Sea to the West of Greece in
btw. Greece and Italy.
c. Mediterranean Sea to the South of
d. These seas made Greece a
crossroads for trade.
e. Greece had long coastlines with many
bays which were good for trading.
a. Most people lived along the coast.
b. Soil was rich and there was a mild
climate which was good for farming
and raising animals.
c. The Greeks sold their crops to other
lands located across the seas.
d. Trade spread Greek ideas and Greeks
got the alphabet and coins from other
civilizations. (CULTURAL DIFFUSION)
Greek Alphabet-Extra Info
Used to write the Greek
language since about the
9th century BC
First to use separate
symbols for each vowel
Modification of the
Gave rise to Latin
V. Greece’s Geography
a. Mountains divided Greece into different
i. 75% of Greece is covered in mountains.
a. Lowlands-fertile land.
b. Hills-good for animals.
Greece is located on
the Balkan peninsula
about the size of
Louisiana in the
Located on the
continent of Europe,
it’s very close to
Egypt, the Persian
includes Turkey) and
The Greek World-Extra Info
Asia Minor (Ionia)
No city-state could rule all
Each very independent
Common Hellenic Culture
VI. People in Greece
a. All people spoke the same language and had the
b. Because the mountains separated the people,
they rarely traveled to the other regions in
c. People created small, independent communities
each with their own way of doing things called
i. City-states were individual communities that shared
the same religion and language but had their own
a. Rain fell during winter months.
b. Summers were hot and dry which allowed
Greeks to spend most of their time
outdoors at agoras (marketplaces).
• Women got water from fountains
• Men shopped
• Statues of gods and heroes
c. Greeks enjoyed outdoor events such as:
• religious and political events
• sports and athletic competitions
Climate of Ancient Greece-Extra Info
Greece has a Mediterranean climate
• Winters are mild and wet
– allows for limited farming
– grapes and olives
• Summers are warm and dry
– leads to drought
– grapes and olives are one of the few plants that can survive
the summer droughts
– Greece receives 2.2 inches of precipitation
• Average temperature is a balmy 64 degrees
– Minnesota receives 1.29 inches of precipitation
• Average temperature is a chilly 29 degrees
How is this different from New York?
VII. Minoan Civilization
a. Settled on the island of Crete
b. Named after King Minos
c. The Minoans developed a written language.
d. They learned cloth weaving, pottery and jewelry
e. Wealth came from trade.
i. They controlled trade with all islands in the
Aegean Sea and cities on Ionian Sea, Syria
ii. Traded food , pottery , and artisan crafts.
f. Ships patrolled the seas and protected the kingdom
g. When the Minoan civilization grew weak, groups of
people migrated to the Greek mainland.
a. City-state on the Greek mainland that
developed after the Minoan civilization
b. Replaced Crete as the center of
civilization in eastern Mediterranean.
c. Became very powerful and were
successful defenders against
d. Ships captured ships of other cities and
took plunder (valuables taken during
Ancient Mycenaean Language Modern Day Greek Alphabet
Lesson 2 Outline:
I. Myths and Legends
a. Greeks created many myths to help explain the
mysteries of nature and life.
II. Trojan War
a. Troy was a real place, but the story of the
war is a mixture of myths and legends.
b. The war was fought between the Greeks
and the people of Troy.
c. Gods and goddesses help heroes on both
sides of the battle.
d. Sparta (Greeks) won by hiding in the
Trojan Horse and making a surprise attack.
e. Poet, Homer ,wrote two poems about the
war: The Iliad and The Odyssey.
Trojan War Additional Info.
After tricking the Trojans to open their
main doors, using the Trojan horse, the
Achaeans destroyed and mercilessly
slaughtered the Trojans.
Earliest picture of the Trojan
Horse, on a vase ca. 670 BC.
III. Mount Olympus
a. Greeks believed that the gods and goddesses
b. In Ancient Greece daily life focused on keeping
their many gods and goddesses happy.
a. Held every four years to honor Zeus, king
of all the gods. Held in Olympia.
Long jumping chariot racing
Olympics Additional Info:
“Olympic Truce”—all battles and wars were halted
so that everyone could come and watch the games.
V. Forms of government
a. Monarchy-is when a king rules.
b. Aristocracy-is when members of a wealthy
c. Democracy-is when the people rule.
VI. Athens Government
a. Athens had the first democracy.
b. Ruled by an Assembly(500 people)- made
up of any citizen that was over the age of 18.
c. Slaves, Women, and Men born outside of
Athens were NOT citizens. They could not:
i. Own property
iii. Testify in court
Athens Government cont.
d. In return for their rights, citizens of Athens
were expected to:
i. Defend their city in times of conflict
ii. Take part in government by serving on juries
iii. Participate in political debates
e. Athens was a center for culture.
a. Was the opposite of Athens; Sparta was a
strict military state.
b. Spartans were raised to be warriors.
c. Spartans were constantly fighting
neighboring city-states and turning non-
Spartans into helots (slaves).
d. Boys went to military camps to be
trained for lifetime in the army at the
age of seven.
i. Endured brutal training with
little food or clothing.
VIII. Women in Sparta
a. Women were expected to be strong and
i. Women had more rights than women in any
other Greek city-state.
ii. Owned property
iii. Express opinions
iv. Manage estates
v. Could NOT participate in
“Return home with your shield
or on it.”
I. The Greeks Clash with the Persians
a. At the time Athens was growing more
powerful, Persia was the strongest
military power in the world.
b.Persians invaded Greece at a plain
northeast of Athens called Marathon.
c. After that, Athens and Sparta put aside
their differences and worked together
to destroy the Persian army.
d. Battle at Salamis: Sea battle in
which Athenian ships trapped and
destroyed the Persian fleet of ships
II. The Golden Age
a. Athens was the city-state with the
b. Built magnificent new temples.
c. Philosophers: Socrates, Plato, and
Aristotle expanded human knowledge.
i. Tried to find natural laws that explained
actions in the world, instead of thinking
they were just the result of the
ii. Developed a respect for the power of
reason (logical thinking).
iii. First to study the medical causes of
Philosophers –Extra Info
Provide give rational explanations for physical phenomena
Idea to look for deeper causes was the true beginning of
philosophy and science
Leader in revolution in thinking
Spent life questioning assumptions
Rejected conventional wisdom
Examine all issues rationally through dialogue
Search for universal truths
Use reason and logic to study people
Group of youthful followers – Plato, Xenophon
Plato (427–347 BC)
Writer of philosophical dialogues - Socrates' point of view
Founder of the Academy in Athens
Lectured on politics, ethics, metaphysics, & epistemology
Themes in dialogues:
– best possible form of government
– role of heredity & the environment on human intelligence &
– distinction between knowledge and true belief
Aristotle (384 BC –322 BC)
Student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great
Wrote books on physics, poetry, zoology, logic,
rhetoric, politics, government and biology
One of the few figures in history who studied
almost every subject possible at the time
III.The Greeks Fight Against Each Other
a. During its Golden Age, Athens became the
most powerful city-state and began to act
b. Delian League
i. Alliance between leaders of Athens that
forced other city-states to join.
ii. Athenians used funds from league to
put up public buildings in Athens.
iii. Athenian generals interfered with
issues in other city-states
this angered other city-states.
c. Peloponnesian War
i. Athens’ strength was at sea,
Sparta’s strength was on land.
ii. This made it hard to gain
the advantage at war.
iii. Sparta and other city-states
rebelled against Athens by joining
together and fighting.
iv. A plague broke out in Athens and
killed many, causing their
government to fall and making
IV. Decline of the Greek City-States
a. War caused all of Greece to
b. Macedonia (in the
north) was growing in power and
became a threat
Lesson 4 Outline:
I. Alexander the Great’s Conquests
a. King of Macedonia who was a strong
b. Defeated Persia, Syria, Phoenicia, and
Alexander the Great- Spartan Warrior
II. A Great Empire
a. Alexander was a very good leader and was
fearless on the battlefield.
b. Through war and conquest he expanded the
empire from Macedonia to Persia.
c. As Alexander was marching his victorious
army back to Greece, he fell ill and died at
the age of 33.
III. Hellenistic Age-
A time in which new cities with Greek culture
were founded, causing trade to grow
between Hellenistic cities and other parts of
a. A blend of Greek and Asian cultures.
b. After Alexander’s death, three generals
broke apart the empire and continued to
spread Hellenistic ideas and Greek culture.
c. Greek cities were founded in all parts of
the empire which became the center for
Greek culture in that region.
d. Greek culture was spread throughout his vast empire
in Europe, Africa and Asia.
e. Trade between Hellenistic cities and other areas
i. India- spices and perfumes
ii. China- silks
iii. Africa- ivory and gold
f. Alexandria- city in Egypt became the center of
trade and learning
i. High population
ii. Busiest harbor in the ancient world
iii. Library was considered one of the greatest
in the world
IV. Discovery and Inventions
a. During the Hellenistic Age Greek science
and mathematics reached their peak.
i. Discoveries about how the human body works
ii. Hippocrates was known as ‘the father of
medicine’ because he discovered the natural
causes of disease.
iii. Archimedes- most famous inventor and
1. Improved pulleys for moving heavy loads, and
made discoveries about floating objects and
created important theories about numbers
and music, and started a school that led
to the development of geometry
Pythagorean Theorem lever