Ancient Greece comprises Greek history spanning from 1200 BC which corresponds to the decline of Mycenaean civilization until the Battle of Corinth in 146 BC by which Rome conquered Greece. Greek civilization with the Roman Empire as a transmitter has been the cradle of Western civilization as we know it today.
The history of Ancient Greece is classified as follows:
- 'Dark period' 'between 1200 B.C. and 776 B.C. It has very little information about this era. The decline compared to the Mycenaean civilization is such that virtually no written documents.
- 'Archaic' 'between 776 B.C. and 510 B.C. There is evidence that Greek society was articulated around the Polis.
- 'Classic Period' 'between 510 B.C. and 323 B.C.
- 'Hellenistic' 'between 323 B.C. and 146 B.C.
Ancient Greece together with the Roman Empire constitute what has been called the classical civilizations, history of Western civilization. Greece can not be understood without the Polis and Rome is not understood without Greek culture. Greece was based on less fertile land so he sought his fortune in the colonies and commerce.
The Greek Polis
- The Greek society was organized around the Aegean Sea creating Polis, city-states that were independent of each other, and that although shared culture, religion and language, had disparate internal organizations and often competed economically and militarily. The cops were a set of related tribes that occupied, controlled and dominated a small territory. The tribesmen allegedly descended from a common ancestor.
- The main steering system were oligarchies in principle, that is, control of the cops had a few large landowners, which in turn were the best and almost only men trained and armed for war. The weight of the war fell on all citizens of the Polis, they should go to defend their Polis in the case of conflict, but few had the capacity to have adequate weapons.
- About the sixth century B.C. the organization of the Archaic Polis went into decline, the result of social tensions between rich and poor, landowners and poor peasants and slaves. The oligarchies were replaced by tyrannies and sometimes as in Athens one of the great Greek inventions: democracy, where all citizens had a say in the Assembly passed laws, handing out justice, declared war and signed the peace. (They not considered as citizens or women or slaves or foreigners).
- Perhaps the major Greek cities were Athens and Sparta, famously rivals, but do not forget to Delphi, Olympia, Pylos, Corinth, Ephesus, Miletus, Knossos etc.
- The Greek language consisted of several very similar dialects together. The main ones were the Ionian and Dorian, but there was another, the Attic, spoken in Athens, the vast majority of us are preserved writings that have arrived.
Greek Colonies = =
The Greeks naturally were a sailor and immigrant people who traded for the Mediterranean and established numerous colonies along the coast. Each Metropolis Polis mother or established their own colonies in places suitable for growing and well connected to trade.
The Polis of southern Greece tended to colonize sailing west while the rest opted for the Black Sea and Africa.
Especially the southern Italian peninsula and Sicily were heavily colonization, with colonies like Naples and Syracuse.
The Persian Wars (490 B.C. -. 448 A.C.)
During the sixth century B.C. the Persian Empire tried to gain control of the Persian Wars triggering Greece. The Greeks, led by Athens and Sparta managed to contain the Persian Empire. The Delian League was created, in which the polis collaborated economically or militarily to keep the war against Persia
The Peloponnesian War (431 B.C. -. 404 A.C.)
Pericles, Athens magistrate for many years in the period between the Persian Wars and the Peloponnesian led to the polis to its height and its decline at the same time. During his rule major works on the Acropolis of Athens, like the Parthenon or the Odeon.
Were undertaken After completing the Persian Wars Athens seized the treasure of the Delian League and started charging other cops tribute to their advantage. Many delas cops, led by Sparta and Corinth eventually revealed and dragged across Greece to a terrible war between Greeks who caused the ruin of the peasants because they could not work on their land. Many migrated to cities where work was lacking and it was common misery. This situation favored the hegemony of Macedonia back to Alexander the Great to the head.
= = Hellenistic States
Alexander the Great King of Macedonia Greek Polis managed to unify under his power and between 334a.C. and 327 B.C. conquered the great empires of the time: The Persian Empire and Egypt. He died in Babylon in 323 B.C. At his death the generals of Alexander the Great fought one another for control of the conquered territories eventually creating three states.
These states were ruled by Greek kings who enjoyed absolute power. They favored the creation of new settlements and the emigration of Greek population to new territories. Trade experienced a boom with routes from Macedonia to Egypt and from Syria to India through Mesopotamia.
Main philosophers of ancient Greece. Rational thinking
In Greece rational thought first appears. Observation and the use of reason to explain nature is a Greek invention and its thinkers and philosophers.
Literature in Ancient Greece
Greece has bequeathed great works of literature on the works and seating Western thought. To learn more: Primary writers of Greek literature
The Greek Arts
The Greek artistic legacy is immense both in architecture and sculpture. To learn more: Art sculpture architecture and painting in ancient Greece
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