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Cultures of the
Mountain and sea
Chapter 5 section 1
Geography Shapes Greek Life
The geography of Greece greatly
affected the way the Greeks lived.
Just like ancient civilizations
focused their lives around rivers so
did Greece, but around a sea.
At any time Greeks were only 85 miles
away from a coastline.
The waterway would become a
crucial part of Greece’s lifestyle,
because their habitat lacked certain
resources such as timber, metals,
and farmland.
Geography Cont’d
Rugged mountains also divided Greece into 4 separate regions.
This made political control difficult and instead resulted in different regions with
different governments.
This terrain made for very little farmland and that contributed to the small population
size of Ancient Greece.
Greece faced mild climates ranging from 40-80 Fahrenheit.
This allowed men to spend their leisure time outside sharing ideas and taking a part
in civic life.
Mycenaean Civilization Develops
Located in the southern part of Greece, the Mycenae dominated Greece from 16001100bc.
The Mycenaean would eventually encounter the sea trading Minoans
This interaction would cause them to see the fruits of sea trade and to start their
own trading.
The Minoans would have a huge affect on the Mycenaean civilization including:
The Trojan War
The Mycenaean’s were involved in a 10 year war with another civilization called Troy,
of Anatolia.
The started because a Trojan prince has kidnapped Helen, the wife of a Greek king.
Story of the Wooden Horse:
Greek Culture Declines Under the
After the Trojan war the Mycenaean civilization collapsed.
They had been attacked by sea traders which destroyed their cities and
Dorians moved into the area, They were:
Less advanced
Terrible at trade
Little is known about this time period, because there are not any written records.
Greek Story Tellers
Homer was known as one of the best story tellers of all time. He is responsible for
much of what we know during that time period.
Author of the Iliad
You also have stories of Greek Gods and Goddesses.
These gods had human qualities, but they lived forever.
Warring City States
Chapter 5 Section 2
Rule and Order in Greek City States
City-states, or a polis, were the fundamental political unit in ancient Greece.
Polis: was made up of a city and its surrounding country side.
These people would gather at an acropolis to discuss city government.
These city states would have varying types of government:
Monarchy: single person, called a king ruled.
Aristocracy: ruled by a small group of noble, landowning families.
Oligarchy: ruled by a few powerful people, merchants, nobles, landowners
Eventually a person would become powerful and would and would take control of the
government and become a tyrant.
This was not always a negative type of government.
In this case these tyrants would created public work programs to help the average
people get jobs and housing.
Athens Builds a Limited Democracy
In Athens representative government would take place. Citizens would meet and have a
voice for the reform taking place.
Democracy: rule by the people.
Draco, an Athenian man, developed a legal code based on the idea that all people were
equal under the law.
This code dealt harshly with criminals, making death the punishment for almost every crime.
Solon would come along later and organize the Athenian people into 4 social classes, and
only the top 3 could hold political office, and bring charges against wrongdoers.
Cleisthenes would be the third person to have a part in creating a democracy.
He would group people into 10 classes and allow anyone to pass law or bring charges against
wrong doers.
Athenian boys were able to take part in education. They were able to take classes in:
They also focused on logic and public speaking so boys would be able to debate in
They also focused on the health of the body and boy would take “PE” everyday.
Women were educated at home by their mothers.
Some were able to learn to read and write
Sparta Builds a Military State
Sparta was located in the southern part of Greece
Instead of democracy Sparta built a military state
Spartans defeated the helots and forced them into slavery, demanding half of their
crops every year.
This helots revolted against he harsh rule and barely lost.
Sparta’s Government and Society
Sparta Government had several
The Council of Elders
5 Elected officials
2 Kings
Social order held many groups:
1. Citizens descended from the original
2. Non Citizens
3. The Helots
4. Slaves
Spartan Daily Life
Military suppressed expression
There was very little:
Men were expected to serve in the
military until they were 60 years old.
What kind of conditions did these boys
live in?
Received Some Military Training
Had considerable freedom in
running the family or household.
They knew the importance of a
strong city-state.
How was this different from other
city-states in Greece?
Persian Wars
Bronze was commonly used for military weapons and armor.
Only the rich could afford it.
Iron weapons made military protections much more achievable.
This transition made it possible to have a more diverse military.
Persian War
What are some of the highlights of the Persian War?