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EUROPEAN CIVILIZATION -

ANCIENT GREECE

(Southern Europe, Spain, Italy,


Turkey, Northern Africa)
Introduction
 Creation myth- God sieved strained soil- stones Sea) &
rocks (Greece)

 Ancient Greece (Land of the Hellenes) consisted all the


land touching Aegean sea
 Mainland (Greece Today)

 Western coast of Asia Minor

 Island between to the south of Crete

 Natural geography: Greece mainland and island


was marked by:
 Only ¼ of land could be cultivated

 Made difficult to unite, transport and


communication
 City cut off form each other hence developed as
Early Economic Activities
 Early agriculture supported a meager lifestyle
with most the land located in North (Thessaly &
Boetia)
 Crops grown: corn, grapes & olives in Valleys

 Domesticated goats & sheep

 Traded

 Produced timber for ship building

 Deposits of clay an limestone

 This products enabled Greece to build a self-


supporting civilization
ORIGIN OF CIVILIZATION
 Island of Crete (Knossos) -Minoan culture- 2200
– 1500 BC
 Early contacts associated with Minoan- Egyptian
trade
 Linear A & Linear B writings- 3000BC
 Characteristics of Minoan culture:
 Access to sea, good water supply and fertile

farmland
 Skilled artisans: weaving, dyeing,
shoemaking, pottery making and metal work
 Great palaces

 Skillful arts
 Minoan culture destroyed:
 Volcanic eruption and earthquakes

 Mycenaean (mainland) invaded island of


Crete (1500BC)
 Mycenaean culture:
 Declined due to internal wrangles between
dynastic rivalries leading to chaotic wars
Early invasions
 1200-1100 BC Dorians (North Europe)
invaded Greece from Southern Greece
peninsula of Peloponnesus
 Dorians became the ancestors of the
militaristic Spartans
 The invasion marked -“Dark Age” in
Greece
 No writing was developed until 750 BC-
Homer
 Their invasion marked by decline in
civilization (1300BC)
 Depopulation of cities & declined to
Early invasions
 The society was divided into classes:
 The nobility, the commoners, Peasants,
Landless laborers and slaves
 Between the nobility and commoners wealth

determined status
 Landless laborers had to struggle for survival

 Free laborers hired themselves to work in

agricultural land belonging to aristocrats


 Slaves were maintained theoretically

 By 600 BC there was more emphasize on


the military
 Resulted to change of role of commoners in
the army due to the use of infantry
 By 750-550 BC- Greece colonies:
 Ionian coasts of Asia Minor, Black sea,
Aegean Sea Islands, Libya, France, Southern
City pf Italy, Sicily & Coast of Spain

 Colonies established ties with mother


colonies and maintained the tradition
 All Greeks spoke dialects similar languages
 Worshipped same gods & goddesses

 Gathered for athletic competitions in honor

of their gods (Olympic Games)


 With time a middle class of merchants

emerged in the colonies & cities


Evolution of Greek City-states
 Greece- Confederation of various city-states
/Acropolis-
 Fortress where the Mycenaean king lived under
protection of goddesses
 After the destruction of by Dorians,- center for
religious life
 City-state/Polis- refuge for farmers in case of an
attack, hence begun as agricultural villages –
 Farmland, market place (Agora), villages & seat
of government
 Government:
 Aristocratic republic- noble as decision makers &
magistrates
 Economy changes with time as city-states
became powerful
 Agriculture to commerce-
 Olive oil, wine, vases, clothes, metal artifacts &
perfumes
SPARTA
 Started as an ordinary Polis in Laconia,
southeastern Peloponnesus,
 Founded by a descendants of mixed Aegean -

a branch of Dorians settled in 11th C BC


 Land was fertile& participated in Greek polis

colonization
 Engaged in the Messianic wars in the West

 Also population pressure cause conflict with

neighbors over land of Messenia in the west


 Messenians were turned into serfs- Helots

 650BC – Helots slaves outnumber Sparta by

10:1
 Resulted to a rebellion leading to the
SPARTA: Life
 Male child- belonged to state – from age 7
 Deformed children case determined by state
 Military camp
 Physical endurance, poor feeding,

 Married at 30 put remained in camp until 60

 Discourage from having money & luxuries

 Women:
 Gym- health babies
 Replenish male children

 Non-citizens
Sparta Government
 Had five overseers who acted as guardians of
the state
 Had unlimited power
 Enforced laws & watched over youths,
citizens, perioeci & Helots
 Council of elders (28 men over 60yrs)
 Proposed laws, tried criminal cases, conducted
foreign affairs
 Assembly of all citizens
 Approved the law proposed by councils
 Sparta came center for admiration and envy
coz of the commitment to discipline and
subordination o individual interests
 Unable to contribute intellectually or artistically
Athens
 Developed in the Attica north of Peloponnesus
 Attica was poor, villages and towns begun to
emerge by 7th C
 Govt- hierarchical
 Aristocrats (well born), commoners (laborers
whose livelihood sharecropping)
 Contract between landlord & laborer- farm & give
percentage to landlord
 Failure to submit- slave
 700 BC- drought & poor harvest- increase in the
number of slaves
 Athens- democracy- demo (rabble/mob/poor) &
kratos (power)
 Other challenges facing Athens:
 Overuse of agricultural land in planting wheat
without rotation or use of fertilizers reduced the yield
per unit
 Poor harvests lead to indebtedness as peasants
borrowed from neighbors
 Persistent failure led debtors to mortagage self,
wives, and children for security
Greek Philosophers: Plato
 427-347 BC
 Founded the great Athenian philosophical
school, the Academy
 Disillusioned by democracy- atrocities of
Peloponnesian war
 Dictator- ideal state, god father of tyranny &
dictatorship
 All human beings had different abilities & lifestyles
should reflect calling- farmers stick to farming
 Philosopher King- dictator who interest of state at
heart
Greek Philosophers: Aristotle
 Student of Plato & later became a tutor of
Alexander the Great (384-322BC)
 Founded the Lyceum school, Athens,
 Studied 158 constitutions
 Three types of governments determined by the

number of political actors in the government


 1- Good (Monarchy), Bad (Tyranny)

 Few – Aristocracy (good), Oligarchy (Bad)

 Many – Polity (good), democracy (bad)

 Ideal state – run by polity (middle class)- with


moderate & adequate property
 Rotation of office to safeguard interests of
the state
Greek Philosophers: Socrates
 (469-399BC)
 Famous- the only thing I know is that I know

nothing
 Hated democracy- blamed it for the fall of

Athens & Peloponnesian wars


 Condemned to death for misleading the
youth- 399BC
The Failed City-States
 Result of a series of wars
 Wars fought:
 Persian wars

 The Athenian Wars (Age of Pericles)

 Peloponnesian wars

 Phillip of Macedonia and Alexander the Great


Persian wars
 In 546 –Cyrus the Great (founder of the Persian
Empire) begun expand to the coast of Asia
Minor
 Tolerant of Greek culture , traditions-resented
barbarian rule
 488-Aided by Athens and other city states
started a rebellion
 Rebellion was crushed by Emperor of Persia
( Darius II)- Believed all western part of Persia
would secure the and conquer whole of Greece
 490 BC- Darius attacked Greece city-state
(Athens) though outnumber Athens won
 Prestige of Athens rose as a result of the win
 At Thermopylae (hot Gate) traitor showed the
Persians a different route
 Athens taken and burnt
 Athens attacked again at Salami destroyed
Persian vessels
 498BC- joint army (Sparta and Athens) located
Platea northwest defeated the Persians at home
Athenian Wars (Pericles Age)
 Rejoiced in their victory Athenians feared that
the Persians would retaliate
 Developed a political system to ensure
protection
 Kings were replaced by Aristocratic council in
7th C
 Solon- Magistrate (member of the city’s chief
elected council (law giver)
 His laws freed the poor farmers from debts,,
slavery
 Open public offices for citizens of less than
aristocratic birth
 6th c- Piristratus (tyrant) destroyed the clan
 End of 6th C- Cleisthenes- introduced
participatory democracy
 Instituted council of 500 citizens chosen by lot
 Power guide foreign and domestic affairs
 Controlled the government finances
 Prepared crucial agendas & assembly meetings
 Assembly of the citizens:
 Passed all new laws
 Voted all questions of peace and war
 Indication of the simplest form of Demokratia-
rule of citizens
 Pericles- completed the democratic constitution
of Athens
 Conversion of Athens’ victory over the Persian
empire inot an Athenian Empire
 Delian League initially voluntary but under
l/ship of Pericles became compulsory
 468- The League defeated the Persiand and
liberate the Greek cities on the coast of Asia
Minor
 After win the allies refused to pay tributes to
the League as require
 The League moved capital to Athens (from
Belos-Aegean)
 Achievements:
 Athens flourished and trade boomed
 Plenty of work in the city
 Pericles dominated united Greece under
Athenian Leadership
Poleponnesian War
 Growing power of Athens alarmed many city-
states- yet only Sparta could check the
Athenian ambitions
 453 BC- Greek world was divide into camps
 Athenian empire- Greece cities in the Aegean
and coast Asia Minor (Supreme Sea)
 Mainland- under the leadership of Greece
 Sparta dominated the Peloponnesian league
making alliance with Southern Peninsular
 431 BC- Peloponnesian war broke ours and
pitted Athenian against Sparta and its allies
 Athenian government fell in the hands of lesser
men who kept the futile conflicts for years
 415- badly planned Athenian expedition against
 404- Battle between Sparta and Athens lost
completely
 Sparta- imposed notorious 30 tyrants – A
council of Athenian collaborators
Phillip of Macedonia
 Defeat of Athens upset the balance of power in
Greece
 Sparta was unable to maintain order in other
city-states
 371 BC- in a series of wars, Sparta was
defeated at Thebes- setting the stage for the
rise of Macedonia
 Macedonia was a small kingdom North of
Thessaly- subjects were half barbarian and
Greek
 Under leadership of Phillip II the areas was
unified
 Phillip built a powerful army and was involved
 Based on his admiration of Greek culture and
cities- in his ambition invaded Persia as a
punishment for invading Greece
 Assassinated in 336 BC- by his own officials
Alexander the Great
 Tutored by Aristotle-Greek Philosopher
 Interest in war, politics, poetry, science, arts
and philosophy
 1st – destroyed Thebes for rebellion
 334 BC- crossed Asia minor and defeated
Persians and captured Tyre
 From Syria- matched South to Egypt where he
proclaimed himself Pharaoh by Egyptian people
 Founded Alexandria –western delta of Nile
 Back to Asia Minor crushed Persians empire
Darius II
 327 BC crossed to the Northern India defeated
Indian forces
 Greek administrators, way of life, traders
thinkers became part of half of Asia
 Purpose of building the empire-Mix Greek and
Persian culture
 Died in 323 BC-took 13yrs to extend the Greece
to India
Contributions
 Literature: Great dramatic tragedies &
comedies
 Philosophy-Love of wisdom
 Socrates-admitted that ignorance is the first
step to dscover knowledge
 Socrates method-asking questions
 Mathematics: Pythagorean theory, geometry
and value of Pi
 Medicine: Study of diseases
 Hippocratic Oath
 History-systematic study of history