Unit 3: The Greek Culture

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1. In just ten years (334-324 BC) he conquered the Persian Empire and formed a huge empire that extended from the Aegean Sea to the Indian border.

2. Political history

2.1. The Bronze Age

2.1.1. There were two main civilizations:

2.1.1.1. Minoans

2.1.1.1.1. Lived on the Greek islands

2.1.1.1.2. Built huge palaces on the island of Crete

2.1.1.2. Myceneans

2.1.1.2.1. Lived mostly on mainland Greece

2.1.1.2.2. Were the first people to speak the Greek language

2.2. The Archaic Ages

2.2.1. There happened two historical phenomena:

2.2.1.1. The Poleis

2.2.1.1.1. Independient city-states

2.2.1.1.2. Surroundings of agricultural land, forests and pastures

2.2.1.2. Greek Colonization

2.2.1.2.1. Large-scale colonization

2.2.1.2.2. They established settlements or colonies

2.3. The Classical Ages

2.3.1. They were several wars of some poleis over the others:

2.3.1.1. They were the conflicts that took place between Greeks and Persians. Herodotus is our main source for this conflict.

2.3.1.2. Greco-Persian war (490-479)

2.3.1.2.1. Battle of Marathon (490 BC)

2.3.1.2.2. Battle of Salamis (480 BC)

2.3.1.2.3. Athens became the most powerful polis in Greece

2.3.1.3. The Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC):

2.3.1.3.1. Athenians and allies agaist Spartans and ther own allies

2.3.1.3.2. Thucydides is our best source concerning these wars.

2.3.1.3.3. The causes of the conflict were two.

2.3.1.4. Alexander The Great (334-323 BC):

2.3.1.4.1. He defeated the Persians at the battles of Granicus, Issos and Gaugamela.

2.3.1.4.2. The kingdom of Macedonia took advantage of the situation and began a territorial expansion towards the Greek poleis

2.4. The Hellenistic Age

2.4.1. When Alexander died in 323 BC, his generals divided up the empire and created the Hellenistic Monarchies. The most important ones were:

2.4.1.1. Macedonia:

2.4.1.1.1. Antigonids ruled there

2.4.1.1.2. Ancient kingdom of Macedonia and many Greek poleis

2.4.1.1.3. Romans conquered it in the II Century BC (168 BC)

2.4.1.1.4. Philip V was one of its main rulers.

2.4.1.2. Syria:

2.4.1.2.1. The Seleucids ruled there.

2.4.1.2.2. Covered most of the ancient Persian Empire

2.4.1.2.3. The Romans conquered it in the middle of the I Century BC (63 BC).

2.4.1.2.4. Antiochus III was one of its main rulers.

2.4.1.3. Egypt:

2.4.1.3.1. The Ptolemaics ruled there.

2.4.1.3.2. Covered most of the ancient Egyptian Empire.

2.4.1.3.3. Romans conquered it at the ending of the I Century BC (31 BC).

2.4.1.3.4. Cleopatra VII was one of its main rulers.

3. The Greek politics

3.1. Democracy

3.1.1. Athens

3.1.1.1. Was the prototype of the Greek democracies

3.1.1.2. Power was held by the Assembly of citizens

3.1.1.2.1. Eklesia

3.1.1.3. Athenian magistrates were choosen by lot, because they think that were democratic

3.1.1.4. Only males with father and mother spartans can be a citizen.

3.1.1.4.1. Women, foreigners and slaves cant participated in politics

3.1.2. Some Greek poleis, instead, adopted democracy

3.1.2.1. Not everybody was a citizen

3.1.2.1.1. Only if your both parents were citizens

3.1.2.2. Citizens can participate in politics

3.1.2.2.1. Power is exercised by the citizens,

3.2. Oligarchy

3.2.1. Most of the Greek poleis adopted oligarchy

3.2.1.1. Power is exercised by a small group of individuals,

3.2.1.1.1. the owners of large areas of Geography and History agricultural land.

3.2.2. Sparta

3.2.2.1. Was the prototype of the Greek oligarchies.

3.2.2.2. Was ruled by two kings with honorific and military responsibilities.

3.2.2.3. Ruled along with a council made up of 28 aristocrats aged over 60 years old

4. Literature

4.1. Epic literature

4.1.1. Described the glorious deeds of great Greek heroes.

4.1.2. The Iliad and The Odyssey

4.2. Historical literature

4.2.1. Writings about the past in order to understand what led to war and how people change because of it.

4.2.2. Thucydides.

4.2.2.1. Peloponisian wars writings

4.2.3. Herodotus

4.2.3.1. Greco-Persian wars writings

4.3. Theatre

4.3.1. It embodied the general values of the Athenian society, and it was a religious, political and civil occasion

4.3.2. . The performances were free and open to the public.

4.3.3. Tragic

4.3.3.1. Euripides, Sophocles and Aeschylus

4.3.4. Comedy

4.3.4.1. Aristophanes

4.4. Philosophy and science:

4.4.1. Try to explain the world around them using reason rather than religion

4.4.2. Philosophy and Sciences

4.4.2.1. Socrates, Plato and Aristotle

4.4.3. Mathematics

4.4.3.1. Pythagoras

4.4.4. Physics

4.4.4.1. Archimedes

4.4.5. Astronomy and Geography

4.4.5.1. Eratosthenes

4.4.6. Medicine.

4.4.6.1. Hippocrates