Download Environment #1-3 Geography and the Greek City

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Ancient Greece
(1750 B.C.–133 B.C.)
Geography and the Greek
Greece is
in southern
• It’s part of
the Balkan
• Mountains
divide the
•Off the Greek mainland are
hundreds of small islands.
How Geography Affected
Ancient Greece
•Mountains and water were barriers that prevented the
Greeks from creating a large, united empire.
•Instead, they built many small city-states, cut off from
one another by mountains or water.
•The seas linked the Greeks to the outside world.
•The Greeks became skilled sailors, traveling and
trading all over the Mediterranean.
Conquest and Culture
Alexander The Great
Before becoming “the Great,”
his father Philip of Macedonia
conquered Greece from the
Philip was assassinated before
he could fulfill his dream of
conquering the Persian empire.
Philip’s son, Alexander,
succeeded him to the throne.
Alexander set out to fulfill his
father’s dream for himself.
He conquered Asia Minor,
Palestine, Egypt, and Babylon.
• Alexander crossed the
Hindu Kush into northern
•There his troops faced
soldiers mounted on war
•They were forced to retreat.
•While planning his next
battle campaign, Alexander
died of a sudden fever.
•Three generals divided up
the empire.
The Legacy of
“The Great”
• Although Alexander’s empire did not last, he
unleashed changes that would ripple across the
Mediterranean & Southwest Asia for centuries.
• Alexander’s most lasting achievement was the
spread of Hellenistic (Greek) ideas, language,
religion, art, architecture, food, and clothing.
• Across the empire, Alexander’s conquering led
to diffusion of Greek culture.
• In turn, Greek settlers adopted customs brought
back by Alexander’s soldiers from far away.
Greek Rivals: Athens and Sparta
Society grew into a limited
democracy, or government
by the people.
Rulers were two kings and a
council of elders.
Male citizens over age 30
were members of the
Conquered people were turned
into slaves, called helots.
Rulers encouraged trade with
other city-states.
Male, native-born Spartans over
age 30 were citizens.
Women were considered
All boys received military
Boys received education in
many areas, not just military
Rulers formed a military society.
Rulers forbade trade and travel.
Girls were raised to produce
healthy sons for the army.
Women had the right to inherit
Unity in Ancient Greece?
Local ties, independent spirit, and economic
rivalries led to fighting among the Greek city-states.
Despite these divisions, the Greeks shared a
common culture:
1. They honored the same ancient heroes.
2. They participated in common festivals, including
the Olympic Games.
3. They were polytheistic and prayed to the same
4. They shared the Greek language.
5. They felt superior to non-Greeks, whom they
called “barbaroi,” people who did not speak Greek.
Forms of Government
Governing the City-States
Between 750 B.C. and 500 B.C.,
the Greeks evolved different
forms of government.
1. At first, the ruler was a king.
2. Slowly, power shifted to a class
of noble landowners.
3. At first, the nobles defended
the king, but in time, they won
power for themselves.
4. As trade expanded, a new class of
wealthy merchants, farmers, and artisans
came to dominate some city-states.
5. A government in which power is in the
hands of a small, powerful elite, usually from
the business class, is called an • oligarchy.
The Age of Pericles
1. After a series of wars with
other city states and faraway
Persia, Athens became the
center of Greece.
2. Athens enjoyed a “golden age”
time period with Pericles as a
3. Periclean Athens was a direct
democracy, where large
numbers of citizens take part in
the day-to-day affairs of
4. This meant that Athenian men
participated in the assembly and
served on juries.
5. Pericles hired architects and
sculptors to rebuild the
Acropolis, which the Persians
had destroyed.
6. Pericles turned Athens into
the cultural center of Greece.
7. He did this with the help of an
educated, foreign-born woman
named Aspasia.
The Acropolis
The Parthenon
Pericles’ Funeral
Oration (Speech)
• Pericles gave a speech at the funeral of
Athenians slain in battle.
•This speech is considered one of the earliest and
greatest expressions of democratic ideals.
“Our constitution is called a democracy because power is
in the hands not of a minority but of the whole people.”
“We alone regard a man who takes no interest in public
affairs, not as a harmless but as a useless character.”