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The History of
Ancient Greece
The First Cultures of
 The Minoans (3000 - 1100 BC): Lived
on the island of Crete; palace
dwellers who loved luxury,
comfort, and Beauty. By 1600 BC,
they were influencing all of greece
through trade and colonization.
 The Myceneans (1600 - 1200 BC):
Palace dwellers who Lived on the
greek mainland; defeated Troy in
1250 BC but by 1100 BC, their
culture had disappeared completely.
The First cultures of
 The dark age (1100 - 750 BC): No written
history of this time but the dorians
invaded greece during this era.
 After the dark age (8th century):
Greeks established major colonies in
Sicily and southern italy; through
trade, the greeks come in contact with
the phoenicians (who lived in what is
now Lebanon and Syria). The greeks
adopted the phoenician alphabet and
used it as the basis of their own; The
polis, or city-state developed.
The Greco - Persian War
 In the 5th century BC, Athens and Sparta
were the most powerful city-states.
Together they resisted and defeated the
Persians between 490 - 479 BC. The
Athenians won the battle of Marathon and
the naval battle of Salamis which helped
them to defeat the persians.
Pericles and the Golden Age
 encouraged Citizen
participation in
 Built new public
architecture and art
 Added to the growth
of the empire of
 Caused resentment
among other citystates, especially with
sparta, because of his
power and ability
The Peloponnesian War
 Tension increased and Greece became
polarized between athens and sparta.
 The two city - states fight the
Peloponnesian war between 431 - 404 BC
 Sparta wins.
Alexander the Great
 356 - 323 BC
 Son of King Phillip
of Macedonia
 Called “the Great”
due to his military
skills and strength
 Spread greek
language and
culture throughout
the territory now
called Egypt, Turkey,
Iraq, Iran, and part
of India.
Greek religion and gods
 Worshipped many
 Each god represented a
unique quality or power
 Gods/goddesses had
human - like qualities
and faults
 Greeks kept a personal
relationship with their
god/goddess and
honored them with
religious festivals
 Olympic games first
held in 776 BC were in
honor of zeus, the king
of the gods
Greek Literature
 The Epic: Oral
poetry; Homer is
the most famous
Greek poet of
epics; conveys
values of physical
bravery, skill,
honor, reverence
for gods, and
 Lyric Poetry:
meant “sung to the
Lyre”; musical in
quality; sappho is a
famous greek
 Philosophy:
Socrates =
uncovered the
truth by asking
plato = believed in
unchanging forms
in an imperfect
Aristotle =
developed logic,
psychology, and
many other arts
and sciences
Greek Drama
 Chronicled the
downfall of a noble
 Raised questions
within the
audience’s minds
 Focused on justice,
evil, and the
reasons for human
 Aroused emotions
of pity for the
tragic hero
 Was more emotional
than philosophical