Greek geography and beginnings


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  • 1. Sea is most consistent influence on physical environment of Greece = creating a seafaring tradition and was the link to trade and cultural exchange 2. Mountains (with narrow valleys) cover more than ¾ of Greece’s surface area= creating an isolationist effect and preventing effective communication 3. Greece includes more than 2000 islands ; Crete being the largest 4. Greece was organized into polis (independent city states) 5. No major rivers on Greek mainland Greek soil was fertile but rocky Winter= mild climate; summer= hot climate with rainfall from October to March = long growing season
  • Minoans were the earliest Greeks Lived on island of Crete Great navigators and farmers Developed writing called Linear A Palace led political, social and economic organization at Knossos Artistic expressions and grand construction Advanced metal working skills (bronze) created new tools and weapons Built sanctuaries (temples or altars to honour the gods) Arthur Evans excavated at Knossos which predated the Myceneans called Minoans.
  • Finest rooms were decorated with colourful wall frescoes depicting processions of gift bearers, scenes of nature or charging bulls
  • Ended the Dark Ages (which lasted 350 years) Significant events 1) national literature in Homer’s work (described glorious past, common view of gods) 2) resurgence of trade beyond the Aegean Sea (increased shipbuilding, metal working ideas, knowledge of geography and navigation, shared artistic and religious ideas and alphabet of Romans 3) colonization in Italy, Sicily and along Mediterranean coasts establishing new city states 4) Olympic Games in 776 BCE in honour of god Zeus that consisted of “all Greece” competitors and continued until 393 BCE when Roman Emperor Theodosius I banned all pagan festivals
  • Greek geography and beginnings

    1. 1. Ancient Greece Geography and Beginnings
    2. 2. Describe the characteristics of Ancient Greece’s geography:
    3. 3. Geographic Features <ul><li>Sea: Aegean, Ionian – trade, cultural exchange </li></ul><ul><li>Mountains more than ¾ of Greece’s surface area – isolating effect, prevents communication </li></ul><ul><li>Islands: more than 2000 islands - Crete largest – led to isolation and trade </li></ul><ul><li>Climate: mild wet winters, hot dry summers = long growing season </li></ul><ul><li>The POLIS emerges – independent city states, Athens and Sparta most powerful </li></ul>
    4. 4. <ul><li>RESOURCES </li></ul><ul><li>grain </li></ul><ul><li>fine cheese made of goat’s milk </li></ul><ul><li>timber </li></ul><ul><li>wild game </li></ul><ul><li>wool of sheep = cloth </li></ul><ul><li>MOST IMPORTANT CROPS </li></ul><ul><li>olives = oil </li></ul><ul><li>grapes = wine </li></ul><ul><li>grain </li></ul><ul><li>clay = pottery </li></ul>
    5. 5. 3 Major Periods of Ancient Greek Civilization <ul><li>Early Civilizations (7000 – 800 BCE) Minoans (Crete) and Mycenae (mi se ne) </li></ul><ul><li>Classical Greece (800 – 338 BCE) </li></ul><ul><li>Flourishing of arts, literature, philosophy; domination by Sparta and Athens </li></ul><ul><li>3. Hellenistic Age (338 – 31 BCE) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Macedonian Empire and Alexander the Great Greek culture spreads far and wide </li></ul></ul>
    6. 6. Early Greeks: The Minoans c. 3200 -1100 BCE <ul><li>Island of Crete </li></ul><ul><li>Developed Linear A script </li></ul><ul><li>Palace of Knossos </li></ul><ul><li>Artistic expressions and grand construction </li></ul><ul><li>Advancements in bronze </li></ul>
    7. 7. <ul><li>Palace of Minos at Knossos (K-NOSS-oss) </li></ul><ul><li>Knossos-most powerful monarch for Minoans </li></ul><ul><li>Palaces controlled all agricultural goods and products by storing in large storerooms </li></ul><ul><li>Palaces became the centres of exchange for Minoan economy </li></ul><ul><li>Palaces had dozens of interconnecting rectangular rooms on two or more storeys which were grouped around a large open courtyard (administrative and religious) </li></ul>
    8. 8. Frescoes of bull leaping – Myth of the Minotaur?
    9. 9. THEORIES FOR DECLINE OF MINOANS <ul><li>1750 BCE- earthquake destroys Minoan palaces </li></ul><ul><li>1628 BCE- volcano erupts at Thera </li></ul><ul><li>1400 BCE- War between Minoans and Myceaneans led to decline of power </li></ul>
    10. 10. Enter the Mycenaeans c. 1700 – 600 BCE <ul><li>Mycenaeans took control of Crete at Knossos by 1500 BCE </li></ul><ul><li>Controlled mainland Greece = political centre Mycenae </li></ul><ul><li>More interested in war </li></ul><ul><ul><li>pottery and grave sites reflect hunting, weapons, armour and war </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>fortified palace walls </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Developed Linear B </li></ul><ul><li>Slowly Minoan culture and traditions disappeared </li></ul>
    11. 11. Trojan War <ul><li>Approximately 1194-1184 BCE </li></ul><ul><li>The Mycaenean king, Agamemnon united city states to conquer Troy </li></ul><ul><li>The Illiad and the Odyssey tell parts of the story </li></ul>
    12. 12. THEORIES FOR DECLINE OF MYCEANEANS <ul><li>Shift in climate leading to drought forcing Myceanans to migrate to more fertile lands </li></ul><ul><li>Tribe of nomadic warriors from north of Greece (Dorians) destroyed them </li></ul>
    13. 13. Dark Ages – 1100-750 BCE <ul><li>No written records exist for 350 years </li></ul><ul><li>Minstrels would retell heroic tales of Jason Achilles, Hector, and Herakles </li></ul><ul><li>Eventually evolved into the poems of Homer which mark the end of the Dark Ages of Greece </li></ul>
    14. 14. Archaic Period - 750 – 500 BCE <ul><li>National literature Homer </li></ul><ul><li>Resurgence of trade </li></ul><ul><li>Olympic Games -776 BCE </li></ul><ul><li>Large stone sculptures of human figures </li></ul><ul><li>Greek script produced </li></ul>Discobolus competition British Museum Girl competing in the Heraia foot race at Olympia
    15. 15. Colonization in the Archaic Period <ul><li>Read primary source: </li></ul><ul><li>Agreement of the Founders p. 112 text </li></ul>Why were Greeks willing to settle far from their original homeland?