Chapter 5: Classical Greece, 2000 bc-300 bc cultures of the Mountains and the Sea

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Chapter 5: Classical Greece, 2000 BC-300 BC

  1. Cultures of the Mountains and the Sea

  1. Geography

  1. Mediterranean Sea, Aegean Sea, Ionian Sea

    1. important transportation routes-trade and travel

    2. skilled sailors

  1. mountainous

  1. created independent communities

  2. few roads existed because of terrain

  3. only small areas were arable so there was little farming

  1. Climate-moderate temperatures meant outdoor life for Greek citizens was possible

  1. Mycenaean Civilization Develops

  1. originally Indo-Europeans and named after their leading city-Mycenae

  2. Mycenae was fortified to protect against attacks

  3. dominated Greece 1600-1100 BC

  4. had contact with Minoans

    1. began seaborne trade around Mediterranean

    2. adapted the Minoan writing system to the Greek language

  1. Trojan War-1200s BC

  1. Mycenaeans fought 10 year war against Troy

  2. Legend says a Greek army attacked and destroyed Troy b/c a Trojan prince had kidnapped Helen who was the wife of a Greek king

  1. Greek Culture Declines Under the Dorians

  1. Dorians moved into war-torn areas and took over

  2. Far less advanced than the Mycenaeans

  3. Greeks lost their writing during the Dorian Age-no written records exist

  4. Epics of Homer-oral tradition

    1. Homer-greatest storyteller, was blind, composed epics

    2. Composed two great epics-Iliad and the Odyssey

  1. Myths-created by Greeks about their gods to explain life

  1. Warring City-States

  1. Rule and Order of City-States

1. by 750 BC-city-state or polis was the political unit in ancient Greece and citizens gathered to discuss the city government at the acropolis

2. City-States have different political structures-(See chart page 128)

a. monarchy

b. aristocracy

c. oligarchy

d. tyrants-these nobles or wealthy citizens were not like the tyrants today, they were leaders acting in the interests of the ordinary people

  1. Athens Builds a Limited Democracy

1. Building Democracy

a. ~621 BC-democracy (rule by the people) develops in Athens

b. nobleman, Draco, develops legal code based on equality of citizens

c. Ruler Solon abolishes debt slavery; Cleisthenes has citizens make laws

d. only native-born, property-owning males are citizens

2. Athenian Education

a. schooling only for sons of wealthy families

b. girls learn from mothers and other female members of household

3. Sparta Builds a Military State

a. unique city state-isolated from much of Greece, builds a military state

b. Sparta dominates Messenians

1. around 725 BC-Sparta conquers Messenia

2. Messenians become helots-peasants forced to farm the land

3. harsh rule leads to Messenian revolt; Spartans build stronger


c. Government and Society

1. government has 4 branches; citizens elect officials

2. 3 social classes: citizens, free noncitizens, helots-slaves

d. Spartan Daily Life

1. values-duty, strength, individuality, discipline over freedom

2. Sparta has most powerful army in Greece

3. males move into barracks at age 7, train until 30, serve until 60

4. girls receive some military training and live hardy lives

5. girls taught to value service to Sparta above all else

C. The Persian Wars

1. A New Kind of Army Emerges

a. cheaper iron replaces bronze, making arms and armor cheaper

b. leads to new kind of army; includes soldiers from all classes

c. phalanx-feared by all, formation of soldiers with spears, shields

2. Battle at Marathon

a. Persian Wars-between Greece and Persian Empire—began in Ionia

b. Persian army attacks Athens, is defeated at Marathon in 490 BC

c. Pheidippides Brings News-he races 26 miles from Marathon to Athens to announce Greek victory (how a marathon got its name—26.2 miles)

3. Thermopylae and Salamis

a. In 480 BC, Persians launch new invasion of Greece

b. Greeks are divided; many stay neutral or side with Persians

c. Greek forces hold Thermopylae for 3 days before retreating

d. Athenians defeat Persians at sea near island of Salamis

e. victories at Salamis and Plataea force Persian retreat

f. many city-states for Delian League and continue to fight Persians

4. Consequences of Persian Wars

a. new self-confidence due to Greek victory

b. Athens emerges as leader of Delian League

c. Athens controls the league by force against its opponents

d. League members essentially become provinces of Athenian empire

e. stage is set for dazzling burst of creativity in Athens

  1. Democracy and Greece’s Golden Age

  1. Pericles’ Plan for Athens

1. Pericles as Leader

a. skillful politician, inspiring speaker, respected general

b. dominates life in Athens from 461-429 BC

2. Stronger Democracy

a. Pericles hires more public officials; creates direct democracy

b. Direct democracy-citizens rule directly, not through representatives

3. Athenian Empire

a. takes over Delian League; use money to strengthen Athenian fleet

b. Sparta and other cities resent Athenian power

4. Glorifying Athens-Pericles buys gold, ivory, marble and hires artisans to beautify Athens

B. Architecture and Sculpture

a. Pericles builds the Parthenon—a large temple to honor goddess Athena and sculptor Phidias crafts 30 ft. statue of Athena

b. Sculptors create graceful, strong, perfectly formed figures

c. Classical art-values harmony, order, balance, proportion, beauty

C. Drama and History

a. Greeks invent drama as an art form; includes chorus, dance, poetry

b. two forms of drama-comedy and tragedy

c. Greek dramatists include Aeschylus, Euripides and Aristophanes

d. History-historians Herodotus and Thucydides record and study past events

D. Athenians and Spartans Go to War-Peloponnesian War (431 BC begins)

1. Sparta has better army, Athens has better navy

2. Plague strikes Athens in 430 BC killing many, including Pericles

3. Sparta and Athens sign truce in 421 BC

4. Sparta Gains victory

a. 415 BC-Athens renews war, attacks Syracuse; is defeated in 413 BC

b. Athens and allies surrender to Sparta in 404 BC

E. Philosophers Search for Truth

1. Rise of Great Philosophers

a. after war, rise of philosophers—thinkers, “lovers of wisdom”

b. believe universe is subject of absolute and unchanging laws

c. people could understand laws through logic, reason

d. Sophist philosopher Protagoras questions the existence of Greek gods

2. Socrates

a. believes in questioning, self-examination of values, actions

b. convicted of corrupting young people; sentenced to death 399 BC

3. Plato-student of Socrates; writes The Republic—an ideal society

a. 387 BC-establishes Athens school, the Academy; lasts 900 years

b. his writings dominate European philosophy for 1500 years

4. Aristotle-student of Plato; uses rules of logic for argument

a. his work provides the basis for scientific method, still used today

b. tutors 13 year old prince who becomes Alexander the Great

  1. Alexander’s Empire

A. Philip Builds Macedonian Empire

1. Macedonia

a. kingdom of mountain villages north of Greece

b. King Phillip II-ruler, brilliant general; dreams of controlling Greece

c. Macedonians call themselves Greek; rest of Greece does not

2. Philips Army-Philip creates well-trained professional army; plans to invade Greece

B. Conquest of Greece

1. 338 BC-Macedonians defeat Greece

2. 336 BC-King Philip II murdered, his son named king of Macedonia—becomes Alexander the Great

C. Alexander’s Early Life

1. tutored by Aristotle; inspired by the Iliad; has military training

2. becomes king at 20 years old; destroys Thebes to curb rebellion

D. Invasion of Persia

1. 334 BC-Alexander invades Persia; quick victory at Granicus River

2. Darius III-king of Persia, assembles army of 50,000-75,000 men

3. Alexander defeats Persians again and forces King of Persia to flee

E. Conquering the Persian Empire

1. Alexander marches into Egypt, crowned pharaoh in 332 BC

2. At Gaugamela in Mesopotamia, Alexander defeats Persians again

3. Alexander captures cities of Babylon, Susa, and Persepolis (Persian capital and

is burned to the ground which symbolized the total destruction of the Persian


F. Alexander’s Other Conquests-India

1. fights his way across deserts in Central Asia to India and conquers Indus Valley area in 326 BC

2. reluctantly returns to Babylon, dies in 323 BC

G. Alexander’s Legacy

1. melds Greek and Persian cultures; wife is Persian

2. Empire becomes three kingdoms:

a. Macedonia, Greek city-states

b. Egypt

c. old Persia, also known as Seleucid kingdom

  1. The Spread of Hellenistic Culture

  1. Hellenistic Culture in Alexandria

1. Cultural Blending-as a result of Alexander’s policies-Hellenistic Culture was a blending of Greek with Egyptian, Persian and Indian

2. Trade and Cultural Diversity-Alexandria—Egyptian city becomes center of Hellenistic civilization

3. Alexandria’s Attractions

a. lighthouse called the Pharos-stands over 350 ft. tall

b. museum contains art galleries, a zoo, botanical gardens, dining hall

c. library holds masterpieces of ancient literature; supports scholars

B. Science and Technology (lists of famous is not conclusive, refer to your chart!)

1. Alexandria’s scholars-they preserve Greek and Egyptian learning in the sciences

2. Astronomy

a. Aristarchus-proves sun is larger than Earth and proposes planets revolve around sun; not accepted for 14 centuries

b. Eratosthenes-uses geometry to calculate Earth’s circumference

3. Mathematics and Physics

a. Euclid-mathematician; Elements the basis for courses in geometry

b. Archimedes-scientist; ideas help build force pump and steam engine

C. Philosophy and Art

1. Stoicism and Epicureanism

a. Zeno-founds Stoic school; promoted virtuous, simple lives

b. Epicurus believes people should focus on what senses perceive

2. Realism in Sculpture

a. Colossus of Rhodes—Hellenistic bronze sculpture over 100 ft. tall

b. sculptors move to non-classical, natural forms; real people

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