Section 1: The Rise of City-States Picture depicts life in some of the Greek city-states. Image taken from: bbc.co.uk.
Geography of the Greek World • Greece occupies a large peninsula. Most people settled on mainland Greece, which is an open area that is part of a continent. The mainland of Greece is divided by mountain ranges. Between these ranges lie narrow valleys and small plains. The landscape made it difficult to farm, but it was ideal for raising sheep. • The sea was seen as being a positive for the Greeks, because it allowed them to become skillful merchants and sailors. It also allowed them to become exposed to religions and cultures that were much older and established than they were.
Geography of the Greek World continued…. • The Mediterranean climate’s negative attributes were that it was an area that lacked rain and thus it was difficult to grow shallow-rooted crops such as grains. The positive attributes were that the climate was ideal for growing olive and grape vines, which became the staple of their trading goods and brought wealth to Greece.
Minoans • The Minoan civilization was highly advanced. The Minoans developed a writing system and built huge stone palaces. There culture developed on Crete and eventually spread across the Aegean islands. Picture depicts a Minoan city. Image taken from: gizzisgoodies.wikispaces.com
Mycenaeans • The Mycenaeans developed around 1600 B.C. and it was governed by a monarchy. • They lived in stone fortresses on hilltops. They made fine bronze, weapons, and pottery. • They traded these items for gold, copper, ivory, and other luxury goods. Due to the fact that they traded such mediocre items for luxury items, they often raided other people for gold and other goods.
Dark Ages • The Dark Ages were a time in which the Greek culture declined. • The Greek people lost their ability to read and write. • As a result of this horrible time, the Greeks migrated across the Aegean Sea and settled the islands along the west coast of Asia Minor.
The Trojan War’s Ending and Homer’s Literary Works • The Greeks gave a large wooden horse (filled with Greek soldiers) to the Trojans in hopes that they would accept it as a good gesture gift. • The Trojans fell for the trick and when they went to sleep that night, the Greek soldiers crept out and opened the city gates. The Greek army entered and burned Troy to the ground. • Homer’s Odyssey and The Iliad taught the Greek people ideals of bravery, strength, and honor. The Greek people wanted to live up to these stories, thus they did everything with strength, honor, and bravery.
Emergence of City-States • The polis was considered to be the most important feature of Greek culture, because it was a community with its own government. The people of the government, known as citizens would meet and make decisions about laws that would affect their polis. Due to their small population, every citizen had a say in the decision making process regarding laws. • A polis consisted of two parts. The first part was an acropolis that stood on a high hill. The acropolis held public buildings and marble temples. On the lower ground, below the hill, lay people’s homes, shops, and farms. • Each polis had their own government, thus some had monarchies and some had governments that were ruled by the citizens.
Section 2: Greek Society and Economy Picture depicts Greek society. Image taken from: vector-clip-art.com
Women in Ancient Greece • Athenian women were very restricted on what they could do. They were expected to stay indoors and tend to the house. Most Athenian women who were wealthy, stayed at home, raised their children, and took care of the household bills. They only went out of the house for religious functions. • Spartan women were much more freer than Athenian women. They could sell property and receive an education. They were also trained in sports, as this was needed for them to have strong sons.
Greek Society • People who were part of the aristocracy claimed that they should hold power, because they were descendants from God or a king. They had large plots of land and slaves to work the land. This gave the people of the aristocracy plenty of time to do other things. • The citizens of Greece consisted of only one group, and that was the adult male who owned land. There was a large amount of rich male adult citizens, but they were considered to be the minority. The majority of citizens consisted of the men who owned smaller farms. Women, children, aliens, and slaves were not considered to be citizens. They had very little to no rights.
Greek Society Continued…. • Slavery was very common and acceptable practice in Greece. By the 500s Greece’s population consisted of more than a third of slaves. Slaves often were prisoners of war, but sometimes they were bought from slave traders. Finally, their own family could have placed slaves in slavery, because they could not care for them. Slaves greatly contributed to the economy of Greece, as they did household work, tutored, cooked, and took care of the children. They also worked on farms, ships, and in mines.
Greek Economic Expansion • The Greeks did not have good farmland to farm the basic resources they needed, so they decided to find the resources they needed. • Most Greek city-states resorted to conquering neighboring city-states that had farming abilities. • Sparta managed to conquer the city-state of Messenia and turned their people into captive workers. The captive workers in Messenia farmed the land and provided ample crops to maintain Sparta’s people. Once the Spartans were able to acquire food without their people working for it, their men were able to concentrate on building an army, which became the most lethal army of the time.
Greek Economic Expansion Continued… • The ideal city for Greek colonization had to have a port for docking boats and trading purposes. The city-state should also have good farmland, as ancient economies depended on agriculture. Finally, the city-state needed to be by resources such as timber or materials that could be exported. • The usage of coins in the Greek economy was seen as an economic revolution, because at the time, there were few countries using coins as means of payment for goods.
Economic Expansion continued… • Athens grew rich from trading. Their workers produced pottery, jewelry, and other trade goods to pay for the resources they needed to maintain their growing city-state. • Expansion to other city-states and countries allowed Greece to share cultural ideals. This allowed the Greek culture as a whole to grow. This also allowed the Greek city-states to become wealthy from trading. Finally, the expansion allowed the Greek people to have an opportunity to colonize lands away from their mother country while keeping their traditional culture.
Section 3: Democracy in Athens Image is a cartoon depicting Greek ideals of democracy. Image taken from: greece.mrdonn.org
BEFORE DEMOCRACY • Before there was a democracy, the Greek cities had an oligarchy government. • An oligarchy is a government in which a small group of people held power. • A council that consisted of people from the aristocracy usually led the oligarchy. • One of their members Draco created a law code that specified harsh punishments for all offenses, from serious to minor crimes.
The Phalanx • The characteristics of the phalanx that allowed them to become successful, as a unit was their ability to move together in unison. They also were able to shield the soldiers next to them; because of the way their shield was held. • They were not only successful on the battlefield, but also in politics. The phalanx soldiers became powerful in the political arena, because the aristocrats no longer played the role of the most important soldiers.
Tyrants • Tyrants in Greece often promised their people more land and other benefits. These false promises often made them popular with the people, but eventually the people saw through them. • Other forms of government eventually replaced tyrannies, as the tyrant’s power was short lived.
Solon and Cleisthenes • Solon reformed the courts and ended the practice of selling into slavery poor people who could not pay their debts. • Cleisthenes reduced power to the rich and increased the number of citizens who could vote. • During the time of Cleisthenes, Athens created a citizen jury, which put legal decisions in the hands of the people.
Pericles • Pericles wanted to enhance the democratic system of Athens. • He wanted the people of Athens to be proud of the country they lived in. He therefore decided to pay the people for participating in jury services and other civic duties. • These payments helped poor people take part in the government. • The reforms created by Pericles created the world’s first democracy.
Citizenship and Education in Democracy • The idea of citizenship, which is membership in a community, gave the people both rights and responsibilities. This also allowed people to have ownership for their country. • Educating the people was very important to ensure the longevity of democracy. By the 420s B.C. higher education was available to the Greek students to enhance their learning.
Democracy at Work • The Athenian government met 40 times a year to discuss governmental matters. • A part of the government was the council, which consisted of 500 members. • The council members were randomly picked from all male citizens. • This was a fair procedure and it ensured that every male citizen had a chance to serve on the council.
Athenian Courts • The Athenian court system was the third key component of the government. • Athens had many different courts to judge different cases. • The juries that served on these cases were made up of Athenian citizens. • The Athenian juries varied in number, but could be as large as several thousands. • The Athenian court system became very powerful and as a result of this power, older governmental bodies lost their power.
Direct vs. Representative Democracy • Athens had a direct democracy, because of its size and its citizen’s dedication to the theory of having a democracy. • A representative democracy would not be beneficial for Athens, because Athens had a small population and did not have the need to elect people to represent them. • A representative democracy is beneficial when the country is larger, such as the United States.
Section 4: Oligarchy in Sparta Modern day Sparta. Image taken from: crystalinks.com
Sparta’s Government • Sparta’s government consisted of two kings, a council of 28 men over the age of 60, an assembly made up of some free adult males, and five elected ephors. At least one king always marched with the soldiers in wartime. The assembly made laws, but they lacked power, because the council would have to approve the laws they made. Finally, the ephors were responsible for the day-to-day operation. They seemed to have the most power, because they could remove kings and councilmen if they felt that they were acting inappropriately.
Conquered People • The people who the Spartans conquered became helots or captive workers. The helots worked the farms and were enslaved by the Spartan people. They were treated very badly and often inhumanly. Their hard labor allowed Spartan men to focus on their military duties.
Helot Revolt • After the revolt, Sparta declared their state a military state with the sole purpose of waging war. • Every year the Spartans would declare war on the helots and the Spartan people could kill any helot that they pleased without ramifications.
Spartan Soldier Training • Boys were removed from their homes at the age of seven, because the Spartan military believed that they should start their training as early as possible to become efficient soldiers. • They could marry at age 30 and officially left the military at age 60.
Spartan Citizen • Only men could become Spartan citizens. • In order for them to become a citizen, they had to gain entry into a men’s club of soldiers. Upon gaining entry into this club, they became known as “equals”. • At the age of 60 years old, all “equals” were qualified to become a member of the council of elders.
Spartan Women • Spartan women were known for their strength and tenacity. • They kept themselves strong through exercising and playing sports. • They had a tremendous amount of independence, as their husbands were rarely home. • They understood that their main job was to raise strong Spartan men to contribute to the army.
Sparta vs. Athens • The main differences between Athens and Sparta was their governmental system, their way of life, their beliefs in the military system, roles of women, and court systems. • They both had assemblies and governments that included smaller councils.