Chapter 4 Ancient Greece 1 ppt

The Ancient GreeksSection 1
The Early Greeks
• Mainland Greece is a
peninsula- A body of
land with water on
three sides.
• The geography of
Greece (mountains,
seas, etc.) resulted in
many independent
Greek communities.
• The island of Crete lies southeast of the Greek
• The Minoans were not Greeks, but they were the first
civilization to inhabit what would later be known as
• The Minoans created an extravagant palace in
Knossos and made their wealth by trading.
• By 2000 B.C. they controlled the eastern
Mediterranean Sea.
• About 1450 B.C. the Minoan civilization collapsed.
Some historians believed they fell due to natural
causes. Others believe a group from the mainland,
the Mycenaeans invaded Crete.
• Originally from central Asia, Mycenaeans
invaded Greeks mainland in the 1800’s B.C.
and Mycenaean leaders became the first
Greek kings.
• The palace of the ruler stood in the middle of
the kingdom. Nobles, farmers and slaves
lived beyond the palace walls.
• Mycenaeans learned much from the
Minoans- how to work bronze, build ships, use
the sun and stars to find their way at sea,
religion- before conquering them.
• Myceneans were successful in trade but
took pride in their deeds in battle. Their most
famous victory is the Trojan War, led by King
• By 1100 B.C., Mycenaean civilization had collapsed due to
earthquakes & fighting within kingdoms.
• 1100 B.C. and 750 B.C. – The Dark Age
 Farmers grew food only for their families
 Education ceased
 Many Greeks left the mainland, expanding the reach
of Greek culture
• The Dorians moved in and settled on the Peloponnesus
peninsula. They brought advanced weapons and farm
• Gradually people began to farm and educate again. They
adopted the idea of an alphabet from the Phoenicians.
As the Greek population grew,
cities began sending people
outside Greece to start colonies.
Colony – a settlement in a new
territory that keeps close ties to its
homeland. Colonization led to the
growth of trade and industry.
The Polis
• At the end of the Dark Age, many nobles had overthrown
the Greek kings and created city-states, known as a polis
• Acropolis – a fortified area at the top of a hill used as a
gathering place in the polis
 Sometimes a religious center
• Agora – an open area below the acropolis that served as
both a market and a meeting/debating place
• Greeks were the first people to develop the idea of
• Citizens – members of a political community who treat each
other as equals and who have rights and responsibilities.
(Only free native-born men who owned land)
• In exchange for their rights (elect officials, pass laws, hold
office, own property), citizens must serve in government and
fight as citizen soldiers.
Section 2- Sparta and Athens
• Rule by the nobles began to decline by 650 B.C.
 Small farmers demanded changes in the
power structure and merchants and artisans
wanted to be a part of government.
• The growing frustration led to the rise of tyrants.
Tyrant – someone who takes power by force and
rules with total authority.
Tyrants overthrew the nobles during the 600’s. However, most Greeks
wanted rule by law with all citizens participating in government.
By 500 B.C., most city-states had become either oligarchies or
Oligarchy – a form of government in which only
a few hold power
Democracy – a form of government in which all
citizens share in running the government
Sparta (oligarchy) and Athens (democracy) became two of the
most powerful governments of early Greece.
• Sparta was founded by the Dorians who
enslaved their neighbors, the Helots, to be
• Fearing the Helots might someday rebel,
government firmly controlled the people and
trained the men for war
• Spartan soldiers were trained until age 30, but
remained in the army until age 60
• Spartan girls were trained in sports – running &
• Spartan government included two kings. They headed a
council of elders who presented laws to an assembly.
• The assembly voted on the laws and chose 5 ephors
 Ephor – a person who enforced the laws and
managed tax collection
• By focusing on military training, the Spartans fell behind in
trade, technology and science, but played a key role in
defending Greece
• Athenians focused on providing boys a good education, sports, and
• At age 18, boys finished school and became citizens and girls were
taught at home by their mothers
• During the 600’s B.C., Athens was an oligarchy ruled by landowning
• During the early 500’s B.C., the government was in much turmoil due
to rebellion by the farmers
• Cleisthenes, their most important leader, made the Athenian
government a democracy
Section 3- The Persian Empire
• Persians lived in what is today southwestern
• Cyrus the Great (559 B.C. to 530 B.C.) united
the Persians into a powerful kingdom, larger
than any in the world
• In 539 B.C., Cyrus’ armies captured Babylon,
northern Mesopotamia, Asia Minor, Syria,
Canaan, and the Phoenician cities
• King Darius (521 B.C.) reorganized the government,
dividing the empire into 20 states called satrapies
• The Persian government paid people to be full-time
soldiers, unlike the Greek city-states (citizen soldiers)
• The Greeks often clashed with the Persians while setting
up colonies in the Mediterranean region
The Greeks and the Persians fought in several key
 Battle of Marathon –Athenians successfully
defeated the Persians as they attempted to
attack Athens
 King Xerxes, Darius’ son, vowed revenge
against the Athenians
 Battle of Thermopylae –Greek soldiers survived
but Sparta’s King Leonidas and several
hundred others fought to the death, losing this
 Strait of Salamis – naval battle the Greeks won
decidedly with smaller, faster, and easier to
steer ships
• Battle of Plataea (479 B.C.) – the Greek army crushed
the Persian army at Plataea, northwest of Athens
 This battle convinced the Persians to retreat to
Asia Minor
The Fall of the Persian Empire
• A weakened army, high taxes which led to rebellions,
and fighting within the royal family made Persia
vulnerable to attack
• Persian Empire was conquered by Alexander the
Great in 334 B.C.
Section 4- The Age of Pericles
Population of Athens, 400s B.C.
• Persians remained a threat to Greece
• Delian League – group of city-states, including Athens, but
not Sparta who united in 478 B.C. to defend themselves
against the Persians
• Democracy in Athens
 Direct democracy- People gather at mass meetings to
decide government matters and every citizen can
vote on laws and policies
 Representative democracy (U.S.) – citizens choose a
smaller group of representatives to make laws and
governmental decisions on their behalf
Delian Leagues Direct Democracy
• Usually fewer than 6,000 men attended the assembly
meetings, which were held every 10 days
The assembly passed all laws, elected officials, and
made decisions on war and foreign affairs
Ten officials known as generals carried out the assembly’s
laws and policies
One of the leading figures in Athenian politics
• Guided Athens for more than 30 years
• Helped Athens dominate/control the Delian league
• Strived to make Athens more democratic
• The Age of Pericles was a period of cultural
prosperity – tremendous creativity and learning
The Peloponnesian War (431 – 404 B.C.)
• Sparta vs. Athens for control of Greece
• Did not understand or trust each other and clashed
over political ideology and perceived aggression
• The Spartans made a deal with the Persian Empire
 They exchanged Greek territory in Asia Minor for
enough money to build a navy
• Sparta’s new navy destroyed the Athenian fleet
 Effects of the war
 Weakened all of the major Greek city-states
 Many people died, farms were destroyed, people
lost jobs
 Made it impossible for the Greeks to unite and work
together again
 30 years later, war broke out again, further
weakening the kingdom

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