- Slides: 66
Geography of Greece • 80% of Greece is mountainous peninsula (surrounded by water on three sides) • Pindus Mountains divide the country – Mount Olympus is the highest point • About the size of Louisiana • Seas – Aegean, Ionian, and Mediterranean Sea • 8, 500 miles of coastline – allows Greeks to be seafarers (sailors) • No where on Greece mainland is more than 60 miles from water
Minoans • On the island of Crete – Minoans weren’t Greek but they did have great influence on the Greeks • Trade economy – pottery, gold and silver jewelry - took what others did and made improvements to their goods • Elaborate buildings (some with drains) • Decline of Minoan – either a tidal wave from volcano or attacks from the Mycenaeans
Geography of Greece
Mycenae – The first Greek State Flourished between 1600 b. c. and 1100 b. c. On the Greek mainland Part of the Indo-European group of people Powerful monarchies Warrior people – prided self on heroic deeds in battle – conquered other groups • Extensive commercial network • • •
Homer • Greek poet – Homer depicts historical accounts of Greek legend (some doubt Homers accounts) • According to Homer – Mycenaean Greeks, led by King Agamemnon, sacked the city of Troy
Decline of Mycenae • • • Serious trouble by late 13 th Century Fighting among Mycenaen states Major earthquake caused widespread damage Invaders from the north Mycenaean civilization collapsed by 1100 b. c.
Greeks in the Dark Ages • After the collapse of the Mycenaean civilization, Greece entered a difficult period in which the population declined and food production dropped. • This “Dark Age” was from 1100 b. c. to 750 b. c. • Why Dark Age: – 1) period of decline – 2) Not a lot of records kept during this time so very little is known about it
Changes of the Dark Ages • Many Greeks left the mainland for the islands. • Others went to Asia Minor (Turkey) • Aeolian Greeks established settlements in north and central Greece • Dorians established settlements in southwestern Greece and some of the islands • As agriculture began to return, trade and economic activity also returned. • The move from bronze to iron helped speed up farm production • 8 th century b. c. , the Greeks adopt the Phoenician alphabet – giving them a new system of writing – The system only had 24 letters and vowels and made reading and writing simpler
HOMER and the Iliad and the Odyssey • Epic poems – long poems that tell the deeds of a great hero • Both the Iliad and the Odyssey were stories passed from generation to generation • These poems, both hundreds of pages long, use the Trojan War as the background
Greek Architecture • Greek life was dominated by religion and they honored their gods with beautiful temples. • These temples also had a political purpose as they were often built to celebrate civic power and pride, or offer thanksgiving to the patron deity (god or goddess) of a city for success in war.
Greek Architecture Orders • There were three schools of design, or orders, in Greek architecture: Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian
Doric Order The Doric style is rather sturdy and its top (the capital), is plain. This style was used in mainland Greece and the colonies in southern Italy and Sicily.
Ionic Order The Ionic style is thinner and more elegant. Its capital is decorated with a scroll-like design (a volute). This style was found in eastern Greece and the islands.
Corinthian Order The Corinthian style is seldom used in the Greek world, but often seen on Roman temples. Its capital is very elaborate and decorated with acanthus leaves.
Greek Art • The arts of ancient Greece have exercised an enormous influence on the culture of many countries all over the world, particularly in the areas of sculpture.
Examples • Bronze Sculpture, thought to be either Poseidon or Zeus, c. 460 BC, National Archaeological Museum, Athens. This masterpiece of classical sculpture was found by fishermen in their nets off the coast of Cape Artemisium in 1928. The figure is more than 2 m in height. 
• Black-figure olpe (wine vessel) by the Amasis Painter, depicting Herakles and Athena, c. 540 BC, Louvre.
Laocoon and his sons
Pottery depicting the Olympic Games
Greek Philosophy • Philosophy refers to the organized system of thought • Comes from the Greek word that means “love of wisdom” • Early philosophers focused on the development of critical or rational thought
Pythagoras • Sixth century b. c. – taught that the essence of the universe could be found in music and numbers. • Pythagoras is best known for his geometric theorem (a 2 + b 2 = c 2)
The Sophists: • Traveling teachers in ancient Greece • Believed it was beyond the reach of the human mind to understand the universe • It was more important to individuals to improve themselves • Sold their “teaching” to the young men of Athens, stressing the importance of rhetoric (the art of persuasive speaking in winning debates and swaying an audience) • This was especially beneficial in Athens where the public served in office (democracy)
Sophists Philosophy • There was no right or wrong answer. What might be correct for one might be wrong for another. • You needed to be able to argue from both sides of a point • True wisdom consisted of being able to perceive and pursue one’s own good • Sophist were viewed as dangerous for society and corrupting the values of the young
Socrates • A critic of the Sophists, Socrates was a sculptor who’s true love was philosophy • He left no writings – therefore we only know about him through his students • The goal of education was to improve the individual • Taught his students how to live by a code of ethics • People could be happy by living moral lives and by behaving morally
Socratic Method • Socrates teaching method – uses question and answer format to lead students to see things for themselves by using reason • Socrates believed all real knowledge is already present in each person and only critical examination is needed to recall it • “The unexamined life is not worth living”
Socrates downfall • Socrates questioned authority and this angered the leaders • Socrates was accused and convicted of corrupting the youth of Athens by teaching them to question and think for themselves. • Socrates was sentenced to death by drinking the poison hemlock
Plato • One of Socrates' students was Plato • Considered by many as the greatest philosopher of Western civilization • Unlike Socrates, Plato wrote down his thoughts. • Fascinated with the question of reality – how do we know what is real?
Plato and government • Wrote The Republic – he explained how he distrusted democracy • Individuals needed a just and rational state to achieve a good life • An Ideal state – according to Plato – Upper class of philosopher-kings (driven by wisdom) – Warriors – Everyone else (driven by desire)
Aristotle • A student of Plato, Aristotle studied for 20 years at Plato’s school in Athens • Disagreed with Plato on some of his beliefs • Believed happiness came from a life of virtue (living in the middle of two extremes) • Based his philosophy on observation and investigation (scientific method) • His most famous student was Alexander the Great, who spread Aristotle’s teachings across his vast empire
Macedonians and the Greeks • Macedonia – powerful kingdom that rivaled Greece • Led by Philip II, the Macedonians defeated the Greeks in 338 b. c. • By unifying Macedonia and Greece, Philip II would be able to invade Persia and Asia • Before this happened, Philip II was assassinated and his 20 year old son took over
Alexander the Great • Philip II son • Student of Aristotle • Philip II was preparing his son to be king by teaching his military leadership • Alexander the Great quickly continued his father’s dream of conquering Persia and wanted to avenge the Perisan burning of Athens
Alexander’s Conquest • Alexander led his army to defeat: – The Perisians – Syria – Palestine – Egypt – Many others It wasn’t until Alexander reached India that his men refused to go on and they turned to go back home – Alexander died from wounds, fever, and drinking too much at the age of 32
Alexander’s Legacy • His education is what led to his success – military leadership and knowledge • His willingness to fight with his soldiers inspired them to fight for Alexander • He wanted to imitate the great Greek warrior Achilles • His conquest of land brought great wealth to the Greek and Macedonian region • His political legacy is to introduce monarchies • Cultural legacy – introduced Greek language, literature, architecture, art and religious diversity throughout