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Early Greece

Early Greece

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Early Greece

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  1. Early Greece

  2. Minoan Civilization • Sir Arthur Evans discovered ancient ruins on the island of Crete in 1878. • He named the civilization after the legendary tale of King Minos and the Minotaur. • The Minoans were advanced in many ways, one included the use of indoor plumbing.

  3. Minoans Cont. • On the island of Crete the palace of Knossos, there is a palace with frescos depicting: • Sailing • Fishing • Trade • Bull Jumping • Women Priests

  4. Minoan Language • Linear A was the language the Minoans used; however, scholars cannot translate it. • This is the reason why the Minoan Civilization still remains to be a great mystery to historians and archeologists. • Michael Ventris deciphered Linear B, and it is the earliest form of Greek. • Linear B is associated with the Mycenaean Civilization.

  5. A Mysterious Disappearance • After 1628 BC, much of the Minoan Civilization is reduced to ruins. • On the island of Thera/Santorini, a volcano erupted causing world wide upheaval. According to scientists, the volcano ranked at a VEI-6 or 7. • The destruction at Akrotiri may be the origins of Atlantis. • There also may be a connection to the Biblical Exodus in Egypt. • The civilization lingered until about 1400-1250 BC, until the Mycenaeans conquered what was left of the Minoan civilization.

  6. Mycenaeans Civilization • “Historians consider the Mycenaeans the first Greeks, because they spoke a form of the Greek language.” • While the Mycenaeans copied many aspects of the Minoans they were sharply different. • They were more war-like • Trojan War in Homer’s Iliad (Trojan Horse) • Powerful Kings dominated city-states • Built monuments like the Lion’s Gate

  7. Downfall to Dark Ages • Many theories exist on why the Mycenaeans failed, but some include: • Drought and Famine • Invasion by the “Sea Peoples” • Collapse of Trade • The Greek Dark Ages (1200 – 800 BC) • Decrease in population • Towns and cities were abandoned • Writing and Trade ceased

  8. The Emergence of Greek City-States

  9. Geography of Greece • Greece is mountainous! • Greek communities often times developed independently because of the mountains, thus they were diverse • As a result, they had their own government, laws, and customs.

  10. Greek Polis • Around 800 BC, Greece stabilized! • Polis-City State • Each polis was unique, and developed separately. • Acropolis- a walled “high area” containing fortifications and temples and located in the center of a polis • Agora- an open area that served as a meeting place & market in early Greek city-states • Agoraphobia- fear of open spaces. • The two major city-states were Athens and Sparta.

  11. Athens was the first democracy. • Democracy: type of government where people vote. • Athens was a direct democracy where people vote on everything. However, only citizens could vote • Breakdown of Athenian Social Structure

  12. Sparta • Sparta was an oligarchy: rule by the few! • Sparta was ruled by two kings • Helots outnumbered Spartans 7 to 1! This was the main reason for the strict war-like society… • Breakdown of Spartan Social Structure

  13. Sparta • Sparta was an isolated city-state that was culturally and politically different from Athens. • Great military, army feared by other nations. • Fighting Machines! • During the Peloponnesian War Sparta sacked Athens.

  14. Greek Military • This is a hoplite, a Greek infantry soldier. • Hoplites were middle class freemen who had to pay for their own weapon and shield.

  15. Greek Military: Phalanx • Soldiers get in a tight box. They each have a large shield and a 9 foot long spear. • Was used in the Battle of Marathon in 490 BC. The Athenians defeated the Persians with this tactic.

  16. Greeks were Polytheistic!