Ancient World History
Chapter 5
Ancient Greece
1750 – 133 B.C.
Section 1
Early people of the Aegean
Ancient Greece
Minoan Civilization
Europa, Phoenician princess, married the
king of Crete, then spread her name to a
new continent – Europe
Crete, near the Aegean Sea was home to
a brilliant early civilization
Named after Minos, a legendary king of
Success was based on trade
Acquired ideas and technology through trade
contact with Egypt and Mesopotamia
Minoan Civilization (Con’t)
The Palace of Knossos
Housed the rulers of Crete
included religious shrines dedicated to the honor of
gods and goddesses
Walls covered with colorful frescoes
worshipped bulls and a mother goddess
A Civilization Disappears
By about 1400 B.C. civilization disappeared
Likely invaded by Mycenaeans, first Greekspeaking people of whom we have a written
Rulers of Mycenae
Mycenaean civilization was an IndoEuropean people
Successful Sea Traders
Mycenaean civilization dominated the Aegean
world for about 200 years
Absorbed Egyptian and Mesopotamian influences,
which were passed on to the Greeks
Built separate city-states
The Trojan Wars
Took place around 1250 B.C.
An economic rivalry between Mycenae and Troy
Troy controlled the vital straits, or narrow water
passages, connecting Mediterranean and Black Seas
Considered initially by many as legend, however
proven fact with the last 100 years
The Age of Homer
Fall of the Mycenaean civilization led to
the rise of the Dorians from the north
Also a Greek-speaking peoples
Epic Poems, Iliad and Odyssey, which
described the life the Greek people from
1100 – 800 B.C.
Tradition say Homer wrote told these stories
through oral history
Later written down after Homer died
The Age of Homer (Con’t)
Iliad is the chief source of information
about the Trojan War
Achilles, mightiest Greek warrior, stubbornly
avoids joining the war until friend killed
Struggles of Greek hero Odysseus return
home to his faithful wife, Penelope, after fall
of Troy
These writings reveal Greek beliefs
Heroes display honor, courage, and
Looking Ahead
Dorians, though not major sea
traders initially, evolve into one of
the most influential civilizations
Section 2
The Rise of Greek City-States
Geography of the Greek Homeland
Mountains and Valleys
– Greece is part of the Balkan peninsula,
into the Mediterranean Sea
– Built many small city-states, cut off
from one another
Fiercely defended their independence from
each other
Geography of the Greek Homeland
The Seas
– Seas were a vital link to the outside
contains many safe harbors for ships
– Became skilled sailors, carrying
materials and ideas
Expanded the Phoenician alphabet, creating
base for all western languages
– Greeks traveled all over the
Mediterranean Sea
Governing the City-States
City-States (called polis) were designed
with a hilltop acropolis and walled main
city below
Many cities were small, allowing people to be
involved in community triumphs and ills
Early Governments
Initially ruled by monarchies
Eventually moved to an aristocracy
rule by a landholding elite
However as trade expanded, and middle
class arose, an oligarchy style government
power by a small, powerful elite people
Governing the City-States (con’t)
Change in Warfare
Creation of iron weapons, allowed ordinary
people to become involved in warfare
Evolution of warfare to Phalanx
massive formation of heavily armed foot soldiers
Led to the creation of two opposite cities
Stressed military virtues and stern discipline
Athens glorified the individual and extended political
rights to more citizens
Sparta: A Nation of Soldiers
Dorians who conquered Laconia, or
Southern part of Greece
Turned the conquered people in helots
State-owned slaves that worked the land
Spartan government included two kings
and a council of elders who advised the
Citizens were male, native-born Spartans
over the age of 30
The Rigors of Citizenship
Age of seven, boys began training for a
lifetime in the military
age 20, man could marry, but continued to live in
the barracks for another 10 years
Sparta: A Nation of Soldiers (Con’t)
– Expected to produce healthy soldier
– Given the opportunity to inherit
Sparta and its neighbors
– Looked down on trade, travel, new ideas
and wealth
Athens: A Limited Democracy
Worked its way from a monarchy
style government to an aristocracy
Demands for Change
– While an aristocracy, there was a great
deal of discontent over the power of
the nobles
– Slowly began moving towards a
government by the people
Athens: A Limited Democracy
Solons Reforms
– Appointed archon (chief official, in 594
– He outlawed debt slavery and freed
those who had already been sold into
slavery for debt
basically expanded rights to more people
– Encouraged more trade of wine and olive oil
– Led to the rise of tyrants
people who gained power by force
Athens: A Limited Democracy
Later Reforms
– Athenian tyrant Pisistratus gave land
and loans to farmers
– Reformer Cleisthenes broadened
citizen roles in government
created a genuine legislature
– law making body
debated laws before deciding to approve
or reject them
Athens: A Limited Democracy
Limited Rights
– Compared to other civilizations during
this time period, Athenians were very
active in the political process
– Though by today’s standards, there
were no many rights for individuals
Athens: A Limited Democracy
Lacked status under the Athenian culture
They did “womanly things” and were
relatively secluded
Education for Democracy
Boys attended school if their families could
afford it
Girls were not able to attend school
Studied to become skilled speakers, military
training, and athletics
Forces for Unity
Despite divisions, Greeks spoke same
language, honored the same ancient
heroes, participated in common festivals
and prayed to the same gods
Religious Beliefs
Believed that gods lived on Mount Olympus
Most powerful Olympian was Zeus
Aphrodite goddess of love
Ares god of war
Athena, goddess of wisdom (mother of Athens)
built temples and festivals
consulted oracles, priests or priestesses
Forces for Unity (Con’t)
View of Non-Greeks
– Greeks held high regard for
themselves compared to other
called them barbaroi, which is the root for
– Including Phoenicians and Egyptians
Section 3
Victory and Defeat in the Greek
The Persian Wars
King Darius of Persia demanded the
Athenians and Spartans to
surrender to Persia
– Both Greek city-states threw the
messengers into a well
Athens was the wealthiest Greek
– However Persia was a very powerful
empire as well
The Persian Wars (Con’t)
Victory at Marathon
– Darius wanted to punish Athens for interfering
with Ionian Greek city-states (who were under
the rule of the Persians)
Darius sent a fleet of fighters to punish Athens
They met at the city of Marathon
– Athenians, though greatly outnumbered, drove
the Persians back to their ships
Began the Persian Wars
The Persian Wars (Con’t)
Renewed Attacks
Darius’ son Xerxes, sent a bigger army back
to Greece in 480 B.C.
The Greek states were more united this time
Battle of Thermopylae
Spartan King Leonidas, held out against the Persian
However, ultimately losing the battle
Battle of Themistocles
Athenians filled their fleet of ships, and ultimately
took down the naval fleet of the Persians
The Persian Wars (Con’t)
Greek victories against the Persians,
renewed the own uniqueness
Athens emerged as the most powerful citystate of Greece
Athens organized the Delian League, an
alliance with the order to protect Greece
from Persia
Alliance is a formal agreement between two or
more nations or powers to cooperate and come to
one another’s defense
Ultimately Athens used the Delian League to
rebuild Athens and force control over other Greek
Athens in the Age of Pericles
Years after Persian Wars led to the
golden age for Athens with Pericles
as the head statesman
Political Life
– Direct Democracy
a large number of citizens take direct part
in the day-to-day affairs of government
Athens in the Age of Pericles
Political Life (Con’t)
– Periclean Democracy
All male citizens should take part in
pay stipend for members who participated
– fixed salary
Serve on juries
– A panel of citizen who have the authority to make
the final judgment in a trial
– Also received stipends
Athenians would ostracize citizens who
posed a threat to the democracy
– Send away
Athens in the Age of Pericles
The Funeral Oration
Pericles gave a speech praising democracy
still considered by many as the earliest and
greatest expressions of democratic ideals
The Economic Cultural Life
During Pericles reign, they rebuilt the
new temples and colossal statues were built
The Peloponnesian War
Resentment toward Athenians pride,
created a rival to the Delian League
Sparta started the Peloponnesian League,
which supported an oligarchy style
government, as opposed to democracy
Greek against Greek
Sparta had a geographical advantage against
Athens in the war
Sparta was inland, able to avoid the powerful
Athenian navy fleet
Ultimately Sparta allied with Persia and
defeated the Athenian army
The Peloponnesian War (Con’t)
The Aftermath of War
– Athenian economy was revived,
however corruption and selfishness
ruined many of the ideas of service
from government
– Greek city-states continued to battle
between each other, until a leader
from Macedonia rose and took control
Section 4
The Glory that was Greece
Greek Philosophers
Philosophers challenged the idea that
Gods were in control of the universe
“Lovers of Wisdom”
They used a great deal of Logic
Rational Thinking
Ethical Issues
Greatly questioned ethics versus morality
developed skills in rhetoric
the art of skillful speaking
Greek Philosophers (Con’t)
An Athenian stonemason and philosopher
Most of what we know about Socrates comes from
his student Plato
Used the Socratic Method,
pose a series of questions to his students and
challenge them to examine the implications of their
help students to seek truth and self-knowledge
Ultimately was tried and received the death
penalty for a crime of “corrupting the youth”
Greek Philosophers (Con’t)
– Death of Socrates led Plato to dislike
– Setup a school called the “Academy”
emphasized the importance of reason
– Wrote the book The Republic
describing his vision of an ideal state
argued that the state should regulate
every aspect of its citizens’ lives in order
to provide for their best interests
Greek Philosophers (Con’t)
Plato’s most famous student
Analyzed all governments and decided that a
single strong and virtuous leader was the
Reason should be the guiding force for
Set up a school for the study of all branches
of knowledge
same pattern used 1,500 years later for the
development of colleges
Architecture and Art
Greek architects sought to convey a sense of
perfect balance to reflect the harmony and
order of the universe
Parthenon was a temple dedicated to the goddess
Sculpture and Painting
By 450 B.C. Greek sculptors had developed a
new style to emphasized natural poses
trying to show individuals in their ideal/perfect
Poetry and Drama
Greek literature began with the
epics of Homer
Beginnings of Greek Drama
– Literature was from the field of drama,
that evolved out of religious festivals
performed outside with little to no scenery
Great deal of use of masks to show
Poetry and Drama (Con’t)
Plays that told stories of human suffering
that usually ended in disaster
purpose was to stir emotions of pity and fear
Ultimately the playwrights stressed that
people, not gods, were the cause of human
Sophocles explored what happens when an
individual’s moral duty conflicts with the laws of the
Humorous plays that mocked people or
Generally sharply criticized society, much as
political cartoonists do today
The Writing of History
Herodotus was called the “father of
history” in the western world
Live through and wrote about the
Persian Wars and the
Peloponnesian War
– He stressed the importance of
research and to avoid bias
Section 5
Alexander and the Hellenistic Age
Alexander the Great
To the Greeks, Macedonia was a
backwards area
Phillip’s Dream
Phillip of Macedonia hired Aristotle to teach
his son Alexander
Phillip used threats, bribery, and diplomacy to gain
power and influence
In 338 B.C. he brought all of Greece under
his control
He dreamed of taking over the Persian
empire, however he was assassinated
murder of a public figure, usually for a political
Then Alexander ascended to the throne
Alexander the Great (Con’t)
Conquest of Persia
At the age of 20, Alexander amassed an
army to take on the famed Persian Empire
Alexander won his first victory against the
Persians at the Granicus River
Led to more and more victories across the Persian
Empire, until all of the Persian Empire was under
Alexander’s control
Onward to India
Crossed the Hindu Kush into northern India
though they did not lose a battle, Alexander’s
soldiers forced him to retreat back to Babylon
Alexander the Great (Con’t)
Sudden Death
– While planning another conquest,
Alexander died of a sudden illness
– Leaving no one to take over his empire
– For 300 years, their descendants
competed for power over the lands
Alexander had conquered
The Legacy of Alexander
His most lasting achievement was the
spread of Greek culture
A Blending of Cultures
Created many new cities, many of them
named after himself
Built Greek Statues and temples from
Greece, Egypt to India
Local people assimilated Greek Ideas, and
spread the eastern ideas back to Greece
The Hellenistic Culture emerged following
Alexander’s death
Blending of Greek, Persian, Egyptian, and Indian
The Legacy of Alexander (Con’t)
– The heart of Hellenistic Civilization was
the city of Alexandria in Egypt
– Home of great diversity of goods and
Also home to the Pharos or “Lighthouse of
– They built a museum which contained
laboratories, lecture halls, and a zoo
Also had a library that housed many of the
scrolls from the ancient world
– However it burned in a fire
The Legacy of Alexander (Con’t)
Opportunities for Women
– Women were no longer restricted to
their homes during the Hellenistic
Even Cleopatra came to power in Egypt
Hellenistic Civilization
New Schools of Thought
– Political turmoil allowed the rise of
Stoicism philosophy
accept calmly whatever life brought to you
preached high moral standards and rights
of fellow humans
Hellenistic Civilization (Con’t)
Advances in Learning
– Pythagoras developed the Pythagorean
– Euclid wrote The Elements, base for most
geometry books
– Aristarchus argued that the earth rotated on
its axis and orbited the sun
heliocentric theory
– sun centered solar system
– Archimedes
applied physics to make practical inventions
Hellenistic Civilization (Con’t)
– Hippocrates studied the causes of
illnesses and looked for cures
Hippocratic oath set ethical standards for
doctors today
Swore to “Help the sick according to my
ability and judgment but never with a view
to injury and wrong”
Looking Ahead
During the Hellenistic Period, Rome
rose to prominence
Though the end of the Greek
Civilization came, Greek culture
greatly influence the rising Roman

Ancient World History - Ash Grove R-IV