Ancient greece webquest



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ANCIENT GREECE WEBQUEST


ABOVE: Portraits of Famous Greeks

BELOW: Athens circa 500 B.C.

Page 1 of 1

THE GREEKS

As citizens of the United States of America, we
owe everything to ancient Greece. Many of the
ideals we so highly cherish aren't American; they're
Greek. It was in ancient Athens that the citizens
stood up and declared that they would no longer be
ruled by kings. The people should rule. Americans
didn't invent democracy; Greeks did.


The art of storytelling was perfected in ancient
Greece. The colorful myths and legends of the land
gave the poet Homer plenty to work with. For the
first time the plot took a back seat to
characterization, language, and presentation.
Literature was born in ancient Greece. Theater got
its start there, too. The Greeks were the first to
stage complex plays that commented on current


. events. Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides
pushed the boundaries of drama and showed the
world that the pen can be mightier than the
sword.


As for the Greek philosophers, Socrates,
Plato, and Aristotle redefined the way that human
beings thought about the universe. Hippocrates
founded a school dedicated to the scientific study of
the body. Mathematicians such as Pythagoras
developed new theories. Herodotus developed a
factual approach for recording past events called
history. Meanwhile, Aesop wrote his moral-driven
fables, and the politician Pericles demonstrated
how one man can shape a city.


While all these breakthroughs were
happening in Athens, the Greeks in Sparta were
working on another development: the art of war.
Discipline, strategy, honor were all taken to the
extreme in the militaristic environment of Sparta.
While the Athenians showed Greece how to think,
Sparta showed Greece how to fight.


All of these ideas and insights got their start
in the golden age of ancient Greece roughly
2,500
years ago. As you keep this information in mind,
follow the links below. They will give you an idea
what ancient Greek life was like in the year
500 B.C.

THE GREEK CITY-STATES

THE SPARTANS

A BOY'S LIFE IN GREECE

A GIRL'S LIFE IN GREECE

SLAVERY IN GREECE

THE GREEK THEATER

GREEK WARFARE

GREEK RELIGION

BACK TO MYTHOLOGY TEACHER.COM


http://www.mythologyteacher.comlGreekIntro.html
11/812015




ABOVE: The Parthenon in Athens

BELOW: The Road to Athens

Page 1 of 1

CITY-STATES

During the golden age of Greece the
term "Greece" was not yet in use. The
area called Greece today was dotted with
various
city-states who had no desire to be
united into a larger country. As their
name implies, city-states were large areas
of land whose inhabitants fell under the
rule of the city in the midst. Powerful
lords built their castle-like keeps on the
highest point of the city and surrounded
them with high walls. In times of war,
those who farmed the surrounding
countryside would flee into the city for
safety. Because of this, Athens and the
Greek cities were more than just a city;
they were the law and protection of the
surrounding plains.


The heart of every Greek city was the
agora, the marketplace. It was the
economic, political, and religious lifeblood
of the city. Almost every agora was dotted
with statues, temples, public buildings,
and trees. In Athens, the agora is where
the Assembly of the People met to vote on
city issues.


There were frequent, city-wide
festivals to honor various gods. Music,
drama, and poetry were often exhibited
during these, and a multitude of sacrifices
made at the temples.


LIFE OF A GREEK BOY

LIFE OF A GREEK GIRL

READ ABOUT GREEK RELIGION

READ ABOUT GREEK DEMOCRACY

BACK TO MAIN PAGE


http://www.mythologyteacher.comlGreekCityStates.html
11/812015

Greek Boys


ABOVE: A Young Greek Boy

BELOW: A Boy and His Grammarian, "Teacher of
Letters"



http://www.mythologyteacher.com/GreekBoys.html
Page 1 of 1

GREEK BOYS

The first decision of any father was
whether or not to keep his child. In Greece
(and later in Rome) keeping a child was a
conscious choice. In most cases if the child
were a boy, he was kept. Girls were not so
lucky. Girls were a disappointment, a worry
to their fathers. There was an old Greek
saying, "If you have a boy, keep it. If you
have a girl, expose it." It was perfectly
legal for a father to leave his child in some
public place (usually a temple) or even in
the wilderness outside the city to die. If a
child were to be kept, it would be paraded
around the family hearth, the center of the
home, and after feasting and sacrificing,
named and officially declared a member of
the family.


Boys and girls were educated by their
mothers until they were seven or eight
years old, and then their lives diverged.
Girls prepared for a life of domesticity, while
boys started to attend the schools. Boys
were put under the care of a pedagogue, a
male slave or servant who accompanied the
boy to and from his classes and beat him if
his behavior was less than satisfactory.


At the schools, which were all private
in nature, boys were first taught letters:
reading, writing, basic arithmetic, and
recitation. Homer's works, the
Iliad and
Odyssey, were the typical tools for
instruction. A cultured young man would be
expected to quote at length from these epic
poems. The
Iliad was called the "bible of
the Greeks" for the importance they placed
on knowledge of the poem.


Around the age of thirteen, boys
branched out into musical and athletic
training. A music teacher would instruct
them in the art of playing the lyre (a six-
stringed harp) and singing. Here again,
Homer was used, as the boys were expected
to put Homeric passages to music. The boys
received a separate teacher at the
gymnasium, one who developed the boy's
bodies and health through exercise.

CONTINUE A BOY'S LIFE

LEARN ABOUT THE GYMNASIUM

READ MORE ABOUT HOMER

LEARN ABOUT A GIRL'S LIFE

BACK TO MAIN PAGE

1118/2015

Greek Adolescents


ABOVE: Alexander the Great Being Tutored by the
Philosopher Aristotle


BELOW: A Cultured Young Man Plays the Lyre

Page 1 of 1

GREEK ADOLESCENTS

Education ended for most boys in their
mid-teens. Only the very wealthy continued
their education; their fathers would send
them to study with one of the so-called
"sophists," who would teach them
philosophy and rhetoric. Sophist means "a
lover of wisdom," but this group of teachers
was heavily criticized by
Socrates, a famous
Athenian philosopher. Sophists taught
young men to argue any point, whether or
not they truly believed in it.
Rhetoric, they
said, could be used to make any argument
"true"; therefore, there was no ultimate
truth in the universe. Socrates vehemently
disagreed and declared he would accept no
money for his wisdom, as the hated sophists
did.


Around the middle teen years, a boy's
hair, which had always grown long, was
ceremoniously cut and dedicated to one of
the gods. Now he was officially a man
.

Around the age of eighteen, young
men left for two years of military duty. The
first half was spent learning archery,
javelin-throwing, and the uses of heavy
armor and weapons. The second half would
be spent serving in garrison duty. After
this, he was free to return to civilian life, but
was subject to "the draft" in times of
emergency until he reached the age of sixty.


When he returned home from his tour
of duty, the young man (around the age of
twenty now) was free to live a free life
among his fellow citizens.


GIRLHOOD

GREEK WARFARE

BACK TO MAIN GREEK PAGE


http://www.mythologyteacher.comiGreekAdoiescents.htmi
1118/2015




Discobolus or "The Discus Thrower"
Page 1 of 1

GYMNASIUM

The Greeks placed such a high
importance on physical training that no
Greek city was without a
gymnasium. This
word comes from the Greek word
gymnos
("unclothed") since all exercise at this
facility was done in the nude. Because of
this, women were prevented from
attending the gymnasium.


Certain areas of the gymnasium
were reserved for particular sports:
running, jumping, wrestling. There were
special rooms for dressing and bathing.
(The gymnasium was the forerunner of the
modern workout facility.) Every Greek
man was expected to keep in shape in case
he was called up to the military. (War in
Greece was almost constant.) Over the
years, gymnasiums became more
advanced, adding more equipment,
sculptures, walkways, and secluded spots
where discussion could take place.


Athlete, the Greek term for one who
participates in physical contests, is still in
use today. The
pentathlon was a set of
five sports that every athlete set out to
master. Running, the oldest sport of all,
was the first. The second was leaping
(high jump, long jump, and jumping
downward). Sometimes long-jumpers held
round pieces of iron (comparable to
modern dumbbells), which they would
sling with the momentum of their body to
increase their distance. The third and
favorite sport was wrestling. Finger-
twisting, pushing, and choking were all
allowed. Before all gymnastic exercises
the body was rubbed with oil to make the
limbs supple, but before wrestling it was
sprinkled with dust, partly to allow a firm
hold and partly to prevent excessive
sweat. The fourth sport was the throwing
of the discus, an event that has changed
very little over time. The fifth and final
sport was the throwing of the javelin. The
dangerous sport of boxing, which was not
included in the big five, was also popular.
The four fingers of the combatants were
bound together with cloth straps. Many
times the athletes would fit the strips with
bits of hardened leather, nails, or leaden
knobs
. All blows were aimed at the upper
part of the body, head, and face.


THE GREEK OLYMPICS

GREEK WARFARE

BACK TO MAIN PAGE


http://www.mythologyteacher.com/GreekGymnasium.html
11/812015





TOP: Aerial View of Olympia

BOTTOM: Chariot Racing at the Olympia
Hippodrome

Page 1 of 1

THE OLYMPICS

The first recorded Olympic games
occurred in 776 B.C. Every four years, Greeks
from all walks of life made their way to
Olympia for the Olympic Games in honor of
Zeus, the master of Olympus. Spectators and
tourists from far and wide packed the large
guesthouse there. A huge contest field,
complete with a hippodrome for chariot-
racing, was built solely for the purpose of
hosting the games.


Training for the Olympic games was
extensive and required a great deal of money.
Most athletes had a professional trainer and
traveled from one set of games to another.
(The Olympic games were the most popular,
but definitely not the only set of games in
ancient Greece.) In order to participate
athletes had to swear before the gods that
they had been in training for at least ten
months. They then trained an additional
thirty days at the training facilities at
Olympia. Athletes could win honors in
individual competitions, but their main goal
was to win the pentathlon. This was a
contest for best all-around athlete and was
comprised of five events: running, jumping,
wrestling, javelin-throwing, and discus-
throwing.


Women, although excluded from
participating or even viewing the Olympics,
had their own contest in Olympia. It was a
series of footraces called the
Heraia (in honor
of Hera, Zeus
' wife).

READ ABOUT THE GREEK GYMNASIUM

READ ABOUT THE LIVES OF GREEK BOYS

READ ABOUT THE LIVES OF GREEK GIRLS


http://www.mythologyteacher.comlGreekOlympics.html
11/8/2015




ABOVE: An Orator Addresses the Assembly
of the People Before They Vote on a Matter

Page 1 of Z

DEMOCRACY

Ancient Athens provided the first working
model of democracy. In Greek
demos means "the
people." Every Athenian citizen (a group which
excluded women, slaves, and free foreigners)
could vote on city issues at the assembly of the
people. If you were an Athenian male at least
eighteen years of age it was your sacred duty to
participate in the Assembly. This was a direct
democracy, not a representative, because
citizens voted in person. Often the voting was
·
done by each citizen placing a certain color of
rock into a pot to vote "yes" and another color to
vote "no." Afterward the rocks were counted. As
Athens was the cultural trendsetter for much of
Greece, most of the other city
-states soon
adopted the Athenian model of democracy
.

READ ABOUT THE ILIAD

READ ABOUT HOMER THE POET

READ ABOUT GREEK CITY-STATES

READ ABOUT GREEK RELIGION

BACK TO MAIN PAGE


http://www.mythologyteacher.comlGreekDemocracy .html
1118/2015




ABOVE: The Parthenon in Athens

BELOW: The Road to Athens

Page 1 of 1

CITY-STATES

During the golden age of Greece the
term "Greece" was not yet in use. The
area called Greece today was dotted with
various
city-states who had no desire to be
united into a larger country. As their


name implies, city-states were large areas
of land whose inhabitants fell under the
rule of the city in the midst. Powerful
lords built their castle-like keeps on the
highest point of the city and surrounded
them with high walls. In times of war,
those who farmed the surrounding
countryside would flee into the city for
safety. Because of this, Athens and the
Greek cities were more than just a city;
they were the law and protection of the
surrounding plains.


The heart of every Greek city was the
agora, the marketplace. It was the
economic, political, and religious lifeblood
of the city. Almost every agora was dotted
with statues, temples, public buildings,
and trees. In Athens, the agora is where
the Assembly of the People met to vote on
city issues.


There were frequent, city-wide
festivals to honor various gods. Music,
drama, and poetry were often exhibited
during these, and a multitude of sacrifices
made at the temples.


LIFE OF A GREEK BOY

LIFE OF A GREEK GIRL

READ ABOUT GREEK RELIGION

READ ABOUT GREEK DEMOCRACY

BACK TO MAIN PAGE


http://www.mythologyteacher.comlGreekCityStates.html
111812015




The Women and Children of an
Ancient Greek Household


Page 1 of 1

GIRLHOOD & MARRIAGE

Girls were a liability and a worry to their
fathers. A Greek father's constant concern was his
daughter's virginity. Athenian homes were
designed with separate quarters for the males and
females of the household. With the female portion
of the dwelling being either on a second floor or at
the rear of a house, the father could maintain an
excellent watch on his wife and daughter.


An Athenian woman's life was one of
seclusion. Only during certain religious festivals
could women go forth from the household and mix
freely in the city. Even at these times, a chaperon
was necessary. Even at mealtimes in the
household, the women were not allowed to dine
with the men. A wife's duty was to maintain the
household, and her education was limited to
domestic training so that she might "see as little,
hear as little, and ask as few questions as


possible." Women were viewed as physically,
intellectually, and morally inferior to men, requiring
constant guidance from their husbands and fathers.
Fathers arranged their daughter's marriages when
the girls were around the age of fourteen, setting
up a
dowry for her husband-to-be, who would easily
be twice her age. Because of this, love rarely
figured into marriage.


If a wife dared to start an affair with another
man (which would be extremely hard to achieve in
the first place), she was taking an awful risk. A
husband who caught his wife and her lover red-
handed could legally put the lover to death--no
questions asked. In other parts of the Greek world,
it was even legal for the husband to take an axe to
both the lover and his wife. Needless to say,
adultery was frowned upon. Rapists, on the other
hand, only received a monetary fine.


The goal of every wife was to produce a male
heir for her husband. Women could not own
property, and if a family failed to produce a male
heir, all their wealth would pass to the nearest male
relation upon the death of the father.


READ ABOUT THE LIFE OF GREEK BOYS

READ ABOUT GREEK DEMOCRACY

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http://www.mythologyteacher.cOlnlGreekGirls.html
11/8/2015




ABOVE: Alexander the Great Waits To
Speak with the Oracle


BELOW: A Messenger Delivers the Message
of the Oracle to His King



http://www.mythologyteacher.comiGreekOracle.htrnl
Page 1 of 1

THE DELPHIC ORACLE

Pythia, also referred to as the Oracle of
Delphi, was the most famous prophetess in
the ancient Greek world. She was said to
receive her prophecies directly from
Apollo,
the God of Truth. Near Delphi, a city-state
built into the slopes of Mount Parnassus,
stood her temple. Written in letters of gold
over the threshold were many wise sayings,
including the two most famous: "Nothing in
Excess" and "Know Thyself."


Deep within the temple was the Oracle's
sanctuary where she perched on a high,
gilded, three-legged stool over a crack in the
ground. Strange fumes came up from this
crack, and as the Oracle breathed these
fumes, she uttered her prophecies. Some
visitors to the Oracle claimed that she spoke
in Greek, while others said she babbled
incoherently and another priestess
translated.


The Delphic Oracle was one of the most
influential forces in the ancient Greek world.
Kings consulted her before they began a war,
and young men consulted her before they
sought their fortunes. The last prophecy
uttered by the Delphic Oracle was in 393 A.D.
when the newly Christianized Roman Empire
declared all activity in pagan temples to
cease.


READ MORE ABOUT GREEK RELIGION

READ MORE ABOUT GREEK WOMEN

11/8/2015


ABOVE: The Statue of Zeus Within His
Temple at Olympia
·

BELOW: A Maenad, a Female Follower of
Dionysus the God of Wine
Page 1 of2

GREEK RELIGION

Most of ancient Greece worshiped the
same
pantheon of gods, but particular city-
states selected their favorite god or
goddess to honor above all others. In
Athens the Goddess of Wisdom, Athena,
was the goddess most honored. The
Parthenon "The Temple of the Virgin" was
built for her.


Greek religion was a buffet-style of
worship. An ancient Greek was not
expected to worship to every
deity. (With
dozens of gods, worshiping them all would
be too much.) As long as a Greek
recognized some higher power, it did not
matter which god or goddess he chose.
Gods and goddesses had certain
demographic groups: unmarried women
worshiped
Artemis, wives worshiped Hera,
sailors favored Poseidon, athletes praised
Apollo, etc.

Temples were considered to be the
dwelling places of the gods they honored.
Typically they included a statue or image
of the god or goddess worshiped. Cattle,
goats, sheep, and swine were sacrificed by
the temple priests. After killing the


beasts, the priests would examine its
organs. If the organs were still
undamaged and healthy, it was considered
a good omen. If the organs were
corrupted and rotten, it was an unlucky
sign. This was one means the Greeks had
of determining the future. After the blood
had been offered as a sacrifice, the priests
took the animal's meat and cooked it.
Many sacrifices were followed by a feast,
where the cooked meat was served. In
Greece the word
sacrifice was synonymous
with feast.

The Greeks also believed in augury,
the technique of telling the future by
watching the flight patterns of birds.
Sighting certain birds was
fortuitous, while
seeing others was a bad sign. (Spotting


an owl in daylight indicated death.)

Two things above all others were
sacred to the Greeks: proper burial and
hospitality. Anyone who murdered or
dishonored a guest in Greece was guilty of
a capital offense, as well as anyone who
failed to properly bury a dead body.


READ ABOUT THE GREEK GODS

READ ABOUT THE ORACLE OF DELPHI

READ ABOUT THE ANCIENT OLYMPICS


http://www.mythologyteacher.comlGreekReligion.html
11/812015




http://www.mythologyteacher.comiGreekReligion.html
READ ABOUT DEATH AND BURIAL
BACK TO MAIN PAGE

Page 2 of2

11/8/2015


ABOVE: The Agora of Sparta

BELOW: Spartan Warriors Battling


Page 1 of 1

SPARTA

The city-state of Sparta was a completely
militaristic society. Strength was the goal of
every Spartan. After birth children were
examined, and sickly or deformed babies were
tossed into a nearby
chasm. Around the age of
six boys were taken away from their mothers and
trained to be warriors. In special schools older
boy instructors taught them running, leaping,
wrestling, spear and discus throwing, as well as
the Pyrrhic war dance. Reading and writing were
two skills left up to private tutors. A Spartan
only needed to understand enough language for
day-to-day living. Their discipline was designed
to strengthen and harden the body. "What
doesn't kill you, makes you stronger" was more
than just a philosophy in Sparta.


The boys-in-training went barefooted and
bareheaded wearing only light clothing in all
kinds of weather. They slept in a large room with
no roof and a hard floor with only straw for
bedding. Their food supply was extremely
limited. Their instructors wanted their hunger to
force them into stealing from the agora, which
would teach them stealth. Of course, if they were
caught stealing, they were beaten.


One of the most famous stories of Spartan
discipline was about a boy who found a fox cub,
which he planned to eat. When he saw his
instructor approaching, the boy hid the fox inside
his garment to avoid being caught. As the
instructor questioned the boy, the fox began to
claw and bite within the folds of the boy's tunic,
yet the boy did not cry out. According to the
legend, it was only when the boy fell dead to the
ground with his stomach bitten through that the
instructor realized what had happened.


Even if they abided by the rules, boys went
through a yearly
flogging conducted at the altar
of
Artemis to test their ability to endure bodily
pain. Any boy who showed any sign of suffering
during the flogging was considered a disgrace.


As teenagers the boys were apprenticed to
an older Spartan, who "showed them the ropes."
The two were expected to form an intense bond,
making them both willing to die for the other. At
the age of twenty, young men formally entered
the military. They were not released from the
active reserve until the age of sixty.


Sparta remains one of the few ancient
societies that produced no art.


READ ABOUT SPARTAN WOMEN

READ ABOUT FAMOUS GREEKS

READ ABOUT GREEK CITY-STATES

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A Young Spartan Girl
Page 1 of 1

SPARTAN WOMEN

As opposed to the secluded women of
Athens, Spartan women enjoyed enormous
freedom. They were trained in gymnastics and
music, just as the men were. Women could own
property and did not forfeit the rights to their
property to their husbands after marriage.
Spartan women did not wear the concealing
clothes that women wore in every other part of
Greece. They went about in short, revealing
dresses wherever they wished, whenever they
wished. Their husbands were their equals, not
their masters.


At the age of thirty Spartan men were
required to take a wife. On their wedding night,
servants would shave the bride's head and dress
her in men
's clothing. The groom would then
sneak into the house where she lay and
consummate the marriage. Even after the
honeymoon
, Spartan men were only allowed to
visit their wives under the cover of darkness
.
This separation was designed to increase
procreation.

READ ABOUT WOMEN IN ATHENS

READ ABOUT FAMOUS GREEKS

READ ABOUT GREEK CITY-STATES

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Bust of Hippocrates
Page 1 of 1

HIPPOCRATES (460 B.C. - 370 B.C.)

Disease was an enormous problem in the
ancient world. Half of all children died before
they were the age of ten. (Perhaps this is why
ancient cultures were so unsentimental toward
children.) Hippocrates (called the "Father of
Medicine") was the first to apply the Greek
systematic approach to the body. He rejected
the common idea that a sickness was caused by
supernatural forces. Instead he relied on
observation and experimentation to understand
exactly how the human body worked. He
founded a hospital dedicated to this type of study
on the Greek island of Cos
o Although his ideas
were primitive (bloodletting and
leeching being
two of them), his
Hippocratic Oath has become
the creed of modern physicians everywhere.


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ABOVE: The Death of Socrates

BELOW: A Philosopher is Questioned by the City Guards


http://www.mythologyteacher.comlGreekSocrates.html
Page 1 of 1

SOCRATES & PLATO

Born into the golden age of ancient Greece,
Socrates (469 B.C.-399 B.C.) abandoned the
trade handed down to him by his father and
instead decided to pursue loftier goals--mainly
philosophy. In Greek philosophy means "the
love of wisdom," and philosophers, a group that
got its start in ancient Athens, dedicated their
lives to the pursuit of wisdom. Soon Socrates
had gained a following of students, but unlike
the sophists (another group of teachers in
Athens) Socrates did not accept money for his
services. Also, while the sophists trained
students to argue either side of an argument
convincingly, Socrates wanted his students to
pursue only the Truth.


One of Socrates' brightest students was the
philosopher Plato (428 B.C.
- 348 B.C.), who
wrote down many of his mentor's dialogues.
Plato captured Socrates' style of teaching, the
Socratic Method. Rather than handing out
answers, Socrates asked questions
--question
after question after question. Under his constant
questioning, Socrates' students were forced to
examine their own ideas and form new ones
based on their own understanding. Socrates
wasn't after brainless disciples. He was trying to
create a new breed of thinkers, ones who
explored the world with their minds. (In many
ways, ancient ph
ilosophers are the forerunners
of modern scientists.)


Socrates' students were such good pupils
that they mastered his technique and began to
use it on their own. They began questioning
everyone, even the government. At this time the
Athenian government was fighting a lOSing war
with Sparta and did not have time for these
ungrateful teenagers questioning the way things
had always been. To them philosophy sounded
more like rebellion
. A group of powerful
politicians brought charges against Socrates,
accusing him of corrupt
ing the youth of Athens
with his bizarre ideas. If convicted, Socrates
would ~e forced to drink hemlock, a deadly
poison.


Their charge was more of a scare tactic
than anything. They expected Socrates to back
down, but being a man of principle he did not.
Surrounded by his closest friends, Socrates
declared that he was willing to die in the name of
wisdom and drank the fatal draught
.

After the death of Socrates, Plato founded
his own school and kept the philosophical ideals
of his master alive. In time he went on to
formulate many of his own ideas and write
extensively on various subjects. Plato's most
famous work is
The Republic, a dialogue
discussing the perfect society. Plato's school
met in a grove sacred to the Greek hero
Academus. They called his school "The
Academy".


BACK TO FAMOUS GREEKS

1118/2015


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