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Heroic values formed the core of aristocratic virtue
The Greek City-States (750 -500 B.C.E.)
a small, autonomous political unit in which political, social, and religious activities were carried out in one central location
Acropolis and Agora
Citizens, non-citizens: rights + responsibilities
A New Military System: The Hoplites
heavily armed infantrymen formed a phalanx, 8 deep
Political and military repercussions
Colonization and the Growth of Trade
Gulf between rich and poor, overpopulation, and trade
Migration, established colonies – independent polis
Spread of Greek culture
Trade and industry increased creating a ‘new rich’ craving power
Tyranny in the Greek Polis
A tyrant is a ruler who came to power in unconstitutional ways
‘ New Rich’ and poor peasants supported the tyrants who opposed the ‘old aristocracy’
Extinguished by end of 6 th century B.C.E., but:
Ended the rule of aristocratic oligarchies
Opened the door to open participation by the citizens - democracy
The Hoplite Forces
Conquered neighboring Laconia and Messenia
The New Sparta
Reforms by Lycurgus:
Spartan life was rigidly organized and controlled
Government was an oligarchy
Kings, ephors, council of elders
Banned foreign travel or study of philosophy, literature of arts to preserve Spartan ideal of “The Art of War”
Polis e stablished by 700 B.C.E .
Political turmoil because of farmers sold into slavery for not paying land debts
Canceled all debts, outlawed new loans based on human collateral, freed debt-slaves
Carried out land redistribution
Pisistratus seized power and pursued policies to aid trade
Cleisthenes took power in 508 B.C.E.
Created the foundation of Athenian democracy
“ Council of 500” supervised foreign affairs and treasury
Free and open debates were allowed before laws were passed by Athenian assembly
Challenge of Persia
Darius (522-486 B.C.E.)
Unsuccessful revolt of Ionian cities
Revenge attack on the mainland Greeks
Battle of Marathon, 490 B.C.E.
Xerxes (486-465 B.C.E.)
Invasion of Greece, 480-479 B.C.E.
Spartan league and Athenian navy
Battle of Thermopylae, 480 B.C.E.
Battle of Salamis, 480 B.C.E.
Battle of Plataea, 479 B.C.E.
The Growth of an Athenian Empire in the Age of Pericles
Delian League formed 478-77 B.C.E.
Defensive alliance formed and pursued the Persians
All Greek city-states freed
Athenians came to control the League creating an empire in Athens
Expanded democracy at home and its empire abroad
“School of Greece” - Art, architecture, and philosophy flourished
The Great Peloponnesian War and the Decline of the Greek States
Sparta and allies vs. Athenian maritime empire
Athens afraid of open battle, the strength of Spartan, hid behind its walls
Plague within the city walls kills 1/3 of population
Battle of Aegospotami, 405 B.C.E.
Surrender of Athens, 404 B.C.E .
Petty wars for 70 years: Sparta, Athens, Thebes
Classical Greece 1. The Greek peninsula is predominantly a land of mountains ranging from 8000 to 10,000 feet that cover two-thirds of the region. Though there are no lofty peaks, the rugged ridges, cliffs, and gorges form natural barriers to intercourse. On the Peloponnesus , which would ultimately be dominated by Sparta , the mountain ranges shut off the east from the west and the northern coast from the southern. The rugged landscape means that plains are few, amounting to less than twenty percent of the land. Most of the plains are found in the river valleys where streams in the winter are usually raging, unnavigable torrents which remove valuable arable land that silts up the mouth making river harbors impossible. In the summer, the rivers usually dry up, transforming the beds into highways for travelers and commerce. The consequence of these geographic factors for the Greeks was a feeling of isolation. This, in turn, contributed to a sense of liberty and independence in the Greek communities. Rivalries, however, led to wars. 2. The compensation for the lack of navigable rivers is a coastline of deep gulfs and natural harbors. Maritime activity was natural since every point in the country has proximity to the sea (in most instances less than fifty miles). The numerous islands of the Aegean Sea permitted sailing to Asia Minor while always staying within sight of land. This enhanced the attraction of the Greeks to the sea. Thus, the Minoans of Crete and the mainland Mycenaeans could navigate the Aegean carrying with them both trade and culture. 3. The bare, rocky land of Greece lent itself to scrub trees and scant vegetation. Mostly stony and arid, the soil required intense labor and was better suited for crops of barley and millet than wheat. Imported grain, therefore, was a necessity. This condition did much to shape politics, particularly in Athens . The lack of sufficient food resources also contributed to the establishment of colonies. 4. In contrast to the Spartan territories of Messenia and Laconia that contained some of the best lands in Greece, the lands of Attica were poor and thin. Nevertheless, Athens was protected from invaders by a semicircle of mountains around Attica through which there were only three passes. The city, with its 300,000 people, sat on a broad, flat plain measuring nine by thirteen miles and was peppered with small farms. The high-quality clay found here served to create a pottery industry, providing Athens with one of its primary exports. In southern Attica were found deposits of lead, copper, and silver. 5. The zenith of the Minoan civilization on Crete was between 2000 and 1450 B.C.E. and featured an elaborate palace complex at Knossus that centered on a courtyard surrounded by private living rooms for the royal family as well as workshops and storerooms. About 1450 B.C.E. the Minoan civilization collapsed, perhaps due to a volcanic eruption on the island of Thera or an invasion of the Mycenaeans . The war-like Mycenaean society consisted of complexes at Mycenae , Pylos , Thebes , and Orchomenos . It was the Mycenaean king Agamemnon who attacked Troy about 1250 B.C.E. Questions: 1. What impact did geography have on developing Greek values? 2. What effect did geography have upon the development of Athens? 3. How does geography contribute to the structure of Sparta?
Culture of Classical Greece
The Writing of History
First Historians: Herodotus and Thucydides
Playwrights: Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides
The Arts: The Classical Ideal
Artistic standards: clarity, calmness, without details
Parthenon, 447 and 432 B.C.E.
Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian columns
Ideal beauty: male nudes in proportion and lifelike
Doric, Ionic, Corinthian Orders
The Greek Love of Wisdom
Philosophy means “love of wisdom”
Socrates (469-399 B.C.E .)
Goal of education was to improve the individual
Plato (c. 429-347 B.C.E.)
Aristotle (384-322 B.C.E.)
Analyzed and classified ideas based on research and investigation
Philosophical and political ideas major influence on Western thought
A civic cult necessary for the state’s well-being
12 chief gods on Mount Olympus
No body of doctrine or focus on morality
Festivals to honor gods/goddesses
Oracle of Apollo at Delphi
Daily Life in Classical Athens
150,000 citizens, 43,000 of which were adult males who exercised political power
Economy based on agriculture and trade
Family the central institution
Women held traditional role
Male homosexuality a prominent feature
Rise of Macedonia and the Conquests of Alexander
Philip II (359-336 B.C.E.)
Battle of Chaeronea
Alexander the Great (336-323 B.C.E.)
Invasion of the Persian Empire
Invasion of Asia, 334 B.C.E.
Battle of Issus, 333 B.C.E.
Controlled Palestine, Syria, Egypt, 332 B.C.E.
Conquered Babylon and Persian capitals, 330 B.C.E.
Entered Pakistan and India, 327 B.C.E.
Death of Alexander, 323 B.C.E.
Conquests of Alexander the Great
Legacy of Alexander
Hellenistic Age, “to imitate Greeks”
Dispersion of Greek engineers, intellectuals, merchants, administrators, and soldiers
Diffusion of Greek art, architecture, language, literature
Fusion of different cultures
A example of a “empire” for the Romans
The Hellenistic Kingdoms
Four Hellenistic kingdoms emerged
Macedonia under the Antigonid dynasty
Syria and the east under the Seleucids
Attalid kingdom of Pergamum in western Asia Minor
Egypt under the Ptolemies
Greeks and Macedonians formed the new ruling class
Encouraged colonizing the Middle East by providing army recruits and civilian administrators and workers
World of the Hellenistic Kingdoms The World of the Hellenistic Monarchs 1. Unlike the other Hellenistic kings, the Ptolemies in Egypt were not city builders and made little effort to spread Greek culture. In the second century B.C. the Greeks and Egyptians began to intermarry with each adopting the language and customs of the other thereby creating a Greco-Egyptian culture. 2. In order to attract Greeks, the far ranging Selucid Empire established many cities and military colonies in Mesopotamia. Although the Selucids had no apparent plan for Hellenizing the population, the arrival of so many Greeks must have had an impact. Especially important in the Hellenizing process had to be the military colonies located near native villages. 3. The great wealth Alexander found in the Persian capitals was used to finance the creation of new cities, building roads, and modernizing harbors. 4. Contact with India by sea was established by the Ptolemies who learned to utilize the monsoon winds. This route further stimulated the exchange of ideas and goods. The commerce came by sea into the Persian Gulf , up the Tigris to Seleucia . From Seleucia , the trade would move by caravan to Antioch and Ephesus on the west coast of Asia Minor. By land, the trip from the Indus to Seleucia took forty days and from Seleucia to the Mediterranean another fifteen. The longer alternate southern route wound its way by sea along the coast from India , around Arabia , and up the Red Sea . Goods would be transferred by caravan to the Nile and floated down to Alexandria and the Mediterranean . 5. The Hellenistic Age marked a shift in the center of eastern Mediterranean trade from Athens to Corinth and the new cities of Egypt and Asia. The Black Sea's commercial importance was reduced due to the Gallic and Scythian invasions. 6. The despotism of Hellenistic kingdoms was countered by a city-state federalism established by the Aetolian League (stretching across central Greece and parts of the Peloponnesus) and the Aechean League (including much of the Peloponnesus). These confederations were national unions in the modern sense. Questions: 1. After the breakup of Alexander's empire, how did the new kingdoms approach their political organization? How was it different from the polis? 2. How did trade contribute to the development of the Hellenistic Age?
Culture in the Hellenistic World
Spread of Greek culture in new cosmopolitan world provided sense of unity
Golden Age of Science
Separation of science and philosophy
Archimedes (287-212 B.C.E.)
Athens still the center of philosophy
Epicurus (341-270 B.C.E.)
Zeno (335-263 B.C.E.)
How did the geography of Greece affect Greek history, and why was Homer used as the basis for Greek education?
What did the Greeks mean by democracy, and in what ways was the Athenian political system a democracy?
How was Alexander the Great able to amass his empire, and what was his legacy?