αρχαία Ελλάδα (Ancient Greece)

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1 αρχαία Ελλάδα (Ancient Greece) The Birthplace of Western Civilization Marshall High School Mr. Cline Western Civilization I: Ancient Foundations Unit Three AA

2 Neolithic Europe Europe s earliest farming communities developed in Greece and the Balkans around 6500 B.C. Their staple crops of emmer wheat and barley were of near eastern origin, indicating that farming was introduced by settlers from Anatolia Farming spread most rapidly through Mediterranean Europe. Society was mostly composed of small, loose knit, extended family units or clans They marked their territory through the construction of megalithic tombs and astronomical markers

3 Stonehenge in England

4 Hanobukten, Sweden

5 Neolithic Europe Society was mostly composed of small, loose knit, extended family units or clans These were usually built over several seasons on a part time basis, and required little organization However, larger monuments such as Stonehenge are evidence of larger, more complex societies requiring the civic organization of a territorial chiefdom that could command labor and resources over a wide area. Yet, even these relatively complex societies had no towns or cities, and were not literate

6 Ancient Aegean Civilization Minos and the Minotaur. Helen of Troy. Odysseus and his Odyssey. These names, still famous today, bring to mind the glories of the Bronze Age Aegean. But what was the truth behind these legends? The Wine Dark Sea In Greek Epic, the sea was always described as wine dark, a common appellation used by many Indo European peoples and languages. It is even speculated that the color blue was not known at this time. Not because they could not see it, but because their society just had no word for it! The Aegean Sea is the body of water which lays to the east of Greece, west of Turkey, and north of the island of Crete. In the ancient world, during the Bronze Age and the Classical Period, it was one of the most important bodies of water of the Western world.

7 Ancient Aegean Civilization The Wine Dark Sea The Minoans This small sea is what linked the cities and palaces of the region to one another and allowed for the trade of goods and ideas between far-flung peoples. In many ways, it was to the Ancient World what the modern freeway system is to the United States. This sea gave rise to a series of great civilizations, the first of the Ancient World in Europe; the Minoans of Crete and the Mycenaean of Greece, as well as lesser powers such as Illium on the western coast of Anatolia (modern day Turkey) which was the basis for the Troy of literature. The term Minoan is used to refer to the powerful civilization that arose on the island of Crete during the Bronze Age.

8 Ancient Aegean Civilization The Minoans The name Minoan comes from the mythological king Minos who was said to have built the Labyrinth to hide the monstrous Minotaur. Archeologists who discovered the remains of the civilization in the 19th century named the ancient people Minoans after this king, because they did not know what the people had called themselves. The Minoans began to emerge as a civilization during the third millennium BC. Although the Minoans had their own language, we are unable to read it. This is because they developed their own form of hieroglyphic writing, called Linear A, but we have never been able to translate it. We have uncovered their writings in the ruins of vast Palaces which once dotted the landscape of Crete.

9 Ancient Aegean Civilization The Minoans The palaces were centers of Minoan government. Each palace would have been the home of a King, who ruled the local lands, and would have been fortified so that the kings could defend their land. They also would have contained shrines for worship, workshops, and even granaries to store food. The most spectacular palace was at Knossos and it is thought that the king of this palace would have been one of the most powerful in the region. Each King would have fielded an army to defend his land as well as numerous court officials to help administer the kingdom. The Minoans were people involved deeply in trade, and this made them very wealthy.

10 Ancient Aegean Civilization The Minoans Minoan traders would have reached such far off lands as Egypt, Anatolia, and even the land of Canaan. They were also a religious people, but, unlike in the lands of many of their neighbors, their religion was focused mainly on the worship of a number of goddesses. They also seemed to hold the Bull in reverence, and murals in the palaces depict festivals where men jumped over the animal. They were also masterful builders and engineers; Minoan cities show evidence of stone paved roads and even working sewer systems. At their height, the Minoans had a major influence upon their neighbors; especially the Mycenaean Greeks to the north.

11 Ancient Aegean Civilization The Mycenaean The Mycenaean Greeks were a civilization that existed on the Greek mainland during the Bronze Age from roughly 1600 through 1100 BC. This civilization is important because it eventually gave rise to that of Classical Greece and also because events that occurred during this era were inspirations for many of the stories of Greek myth, especially the epic poems of Homer, such as the Iliad. Much like the Minoans, the term Mycenaean was one given to the society by later archeologists to differentiate it from later Classic Greece, and the name was chosen based on the discovery of the palace at Mycenae, which was one of the most powerful of the era. The Mycenaean had many words to describe their people, but one of the most popular appears to have been 'Achaean'. This term was later used by Homer to describe the Greeks who fought at Troy.

12 Ancient Aegean Civilization The Mycenaean The Mycenaean Greeks were heavily influenced by the Minoans to the South; in fact, after the Minoan civilization declined after a devastating volcanic eruption, the Mycenaean were able to take control of Crete. Much like their southern neighbors, they too had a society that was built upon great palaces, and they heavily engaged with trade throughout the Aegean and the eastern Mediterranean. No one king was powerful enough to rule all of Greece, and so the Mycenaean were a collection of small states, each ruled by kings who occasionally came together in alliances. The Mycenaean were a warrior society and their most prestigious soldiers fought in Chariots; great, horse-drawn carts that were quick and maneuverable. After they took control of Crete, they also began to move in and settle the islands and shores of western Anatolia.

13 Ancient Aegean Civilization The Mycenaean There are some who believe it was then that the Greeks came into conflict with the city of Ilium, or Troy, and this gave birth to the stories of the Trojan War. The Minoans also inspired the creation of the Linear B a Greek form of writing that was heavily based on the earlier Minoan form. From this writing form, we know that the Mycenae spoke a very early form of the Greek language and that they also worshiped many of the same Gods, such as Zeus, that the later Greeks would worship during the Classical Era.

14 Greek Geography Few places show how geography impacts culture and development like ancient Greece. From its roots as a seafaring culture to the massive trading system built by its merchants, the landforms of Greece have long kept its people challenged by the mountainous terrain and focused on the sea. If you were to land in the middle of Greece, the first topographic feature you'd notice is that it's one hilly country. Major landforms range from sloping hills in the east, suitable for growing grapes for wine and olives for oil, all the way to rocky outreaches in the north and west, such as Mount Olympus itself, the mythological home of the Greek gods. At just over 9,500 feet, Mount Olympus is almost as tall as Mount Hood in Oregon. On the western coast of Greece, we also find the Pindus Mountains.

15 Mount Olympus

16 Greek Geography While mountains dominate the northern and western reaches of Greece, the majority of ancient Greek settlements were located in the eastern and southern parts of the country. As you might expect, Greek's mountainous terrain has had a huge impact on the country's development and history. Overview of Ancient Greek Geography Located at the southern tip of the Balkan peninsula, Greece itself is surrounded by the sea. It is entirely composed of islands and peninsulas and surrounded by the Ionian, Adriatic and Aegean Seas. A peninsula is an area of land bounded on three sides by water. In ancient times, the peninsula of Attica extended like a pointed finger from the mainland, with its famous city of Athens at its tip.

17 Overview of Ancient Greek Geography Halfway down Attica, the Isthmus of Corinth connects the rest of Greece with its largest peninsula, the Peloponnese, originally home to ancient cities like Olympia and Sparta. An isthmus is a slim strip bordered on two sides by water that connects two areas of land. Off the coast of mainland Greece are a number of islands. Among the largest are Crete and Rhodes, but dozens of smaller islands can also be found in the Aegean Sea. With water separating many settlements, and mountains blocking most land routes, it comes as no surprise that the ancient Greek nation was very decentralized and developed into a number of city-states, rather than a single political entity.

18 Topographical Map of Ancient Greece

19 Agricultural Patterns In other parts of the ancient world, civilizations had wide-ranging plains upon which to plant their crops. No such plains presented themselves in Greece. In the eastern part of Greece, sloping hills created ideal growing conditions for the grapes and olives used in oil and for wine. In Western Greece, the terrain was too mountainous to permit much in the way of agriculture. Needless to say, grapes and olives goods found their way into Greek cuisine as well as folklore - olive trees in particular played a major role in the founding of Athens. However, terrestrial concerns were secondary to the Greeks, as many of them earned their living from the sea, with fish and seafood making significant contributions to ancient Greek cuisine.

20 An olive orchard in Greece

21 Importance of the Mediterranean Sea Proximity to so much water provided more than food and local transportation for the ancient Greeks; the country was also closely situated to the center of many Mediterranean trading routes. For example, ancient Greece was only a short sail from the Ionian cities of Western Anatolia, many of which originated as Greek colonies established to provide increased trading opportunities. Ancient Greece was also a relatively short sail to the great trading centers of Phoenicia, which stood between its colonies in Africa and southern France. In short, ancient Greece was located at the center of the known world and cultivated its trade links in order to take advantage of its position.

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