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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?
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?