Chapter 6 Notes: Ancient Greece Geography and Trojan War: Beginnings of Greece



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Chapter 6 Notes: Ancient Greece


  1. Geography and Trojan War: Beginnings of Greece

  • Greece is a peninsula, mts. make up most of the islands

  • Not good for growing crops (only 1/5 of land)

  • Became good traders and sailors by using the Med. Sea

  • Mts. cut off small communities from each other, so ancient Greek communites thought of themselves as different countries or city-states (a lot of fighting among themselves)

- Trojan War-Greeks trace beginnings back to stories and myths, famous stories or epics about the Trojan War (Iliad and the Odyssey) - see handout
Dark Ages:

  • Greek civilization collapsed, poverty was everywhere, writing disappeared and so did the civilization


Greek Government:

  • early gov’t was ruled by aristocracy (rich and powerful families)

  • next came tyrants- ruler seizes power by force, support of working class

  • lastly democracy- citizens govern themselves (Athens)




  1. Arts, Philosophy and Literature

  • Golden Age- amazing achievements in arts, literature, philosophy

  • architecture (built Parthenon- temple to Goddess Athena)

  • philosophers (explained things through reason, not nature) Socrates, Plato, Aristotle

  • Greeks were first people to write dramas or plays known as tragedies, and performed comedies as well

  • City-states may have fought, but all part of Greek culture, one example is they began Olympic Games (wrestling, javelin, discus, running)




  1. Greek Religion, Mythology

- polytheistic religion, honor their gods and try to please their gods

  • Greek religion explained nature (similar to Egyptian religion)

  • See mythology in our world today (literature, art, advertising)

  • see handout, chart on Gods, Goddesses, description, and symbols




  1. Daily Life of Ancient Greeks (Athens)

  • Acropolis (center of Athens' religious life), Agora (center of public life), the public market, shops with food, wool, tools, books, cloth, etc.

  • Life at home- homes centered around a courtyard, had bathrooms, food consisted of cheese, olives, breads, fruit, fish, cakes

  • Women spent days in the home (could not take part in politics, or own property), in charge of weaving, children, cooking

  • Slaves-almost no rights, did all the work men should do, allowed men to be in gov’t and arts




  1. Athens and Sparta

  • Athens- citizens free and open

  • Sparta- life was harsh and cruel, life was in the hands of the gov't, focused on military, Always put needs of city before your own

  • Boys training began at age 7, official soldier by age 20

  • Girls allowed to train and fight (to have healthy children), women much greater role (own land, business)

  • Spartans no interest in arts, wealth or trade, not allowed to travel

  • Persians invade Greece, (landed at Marathon 25 miles north of Athens) Athens defeated Persians by rushing at them over the 25 miles

  • Athens became powerful, acted unfairly towards other city-states,

  • Sparta went to war with Athens (lasted 27 years- Peloponnesian War), Athens struck by a plague, lost to Sparta




  1. Spread of Greek Culture

  • King Philip conquers and unites all city-states of Greece, Alexander the Great takes over at 20

  • Expanded the empire, genius conqueror

  • Wanted new lands to mix with Greek culture (Hellenistic)

  • Alexandria new capital of Egypt, math and science flourished

  • Learned about pulleys and levers (mathmetician named Archimedes)



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