World History - Dublin City Schools

World History
• Chapter 5: Classical Greece
– Section One: Cultures of the Mountains and
the Sea
– Section Two: Warring City-States
– Section Three: Democracy and Greece’s
Golden Age
– Section Four: Alexander’s Empire
– Section Five: The Spread of Hellenistic
Standard 3
• SSWH3: The student will examine the political,
philosophical, and cultural interaction of
Classical Mediterranean societies from 700 BCE
to 400 CE.
– A.) Compare the origins and structure of the Greek
polis, the Roman Republic, and the Roman Empire.
– B.) Identify the ideas and impact of important
individuals; include Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle and
describe the diffusion of Greek culture by Aristotle’s
pupil Alexander the Great and the impact of Julius
and Augustus Caesar.
– C.) Analyze the contributions of Hellenistic and
Roman culture; include law, gender, and science.
Standard 3 (Con’t)
• D.) Describe polytheism in the Greek and
Roman world and the origins and diffusion
of Christianity in the Roman world.
• E.) Analyze the factors that led to the
collapse of the Western Roman Empire.
Let’s Preview the Chapter…..
• What are some things that you already
know about Ancient Greece?
• The Olympics
• Greek fables such as the Tortoise and
• Greek Mystical Figures such as the
• Greek words such as polis and demos that
form root words for English words.
Let’s Preview the Chapter….
• Use pages 120 and 121.
• In the Greek city-state of Athens, a new
form of government developed –
democracy – in which citizens exercised
• What geographic factors might have
confined democracy largely in Athens?
• Factors may have included separation by
sea and mountainous terrain.
Let’s Preview the Chapter…..
• Alexander the Great spread Greek culture
throughout much of Asia, Greek, Egyptian,
and Asian cultures then blended to create
Hellenistic culture.
• Why might the sea have been important to
the spread of Greek culture?
• It provided a means of transportation,
communication, and trade among the citystates and with foreign lands.
Let’s Preview the Chapter…
• Athens assumed control of a defense league
and eventually built it into an empire. Later,
Alexander the Great conquered the Persian
Empire and beyond to create a vast new
empire of his own.
• What geographic features might have
strengthened the Macedonian desire to build
an empire to the south and east?
• Macedonia had rugged terrain, so a desire for
more fertile land may have driven the
Macedonians to build an empire. Also, the
lands to the south and east were vulnerable
to invasion from both land and sea.
Timeline Review
• Use the timeline at the bottom of pages
120 & 121 to answer the following
questions. This timeline covers Greek
civilization from its earliest influences to its
widespread diffusion.
• Identify two major conflicts on the timeline.
• The Trojan War in about 1200 BC
• The Persian War in 479 BC
Timeline Review
• How long after the Trojan War did it take
for Greece to become a major military
• 721 years
• How many years did Greece’s military
power last before Alexander entered the
• 145 years
What is the importance of the
geography and climate of Greece?
• The sea shaped Greek civilization. The Greeks did
not live on a land but around a sea. Greeks rarely
had to travel more than 85 miles to reach the
coastline. Sea travel connected Greece with
other societies.
• Mountains divided Greek land into a number of
different regions which significantly influenced
political life.
• Greece had a varied climate with temperatures
averaging 48 degrees in the winter and 80
degrees in the summer.
Geography of Greece
• What geographic features played
especially significant roles in the
development of Greek history?
Who are the Mycenaeans?
• People who were part of the migration
wave of the Indo-Europeans. These
people were from Mycenae which was
located in southern Greece.
• Mycenae was a fortified city with a
protective wall of 20 feet thick. This
fortified city could withstand almost any
• Describe the typical Mycenaean palace
• Ans: Typical palace centers were built on
a hill and surrounded by gigantic stone
What influence did the Minoans have
on the Mycenaeans?
• From their contact with the Minoans, the
Mycenaeans saw the value of seaborne
• Mycenaeans also adapted the Minoan
writing system to the Greek language and
decorated vases with Minoan designs.
• Mycenae religious practices, art, politics,
and literature were also influenced by
What is the Trojan War? Why might this
legendary event have been real?
• This may have been a raid that occurred
around 1180 B.C.
• Over time the raid was transformed into an
epic tale of gods and goddess, love and
betrayal, revenge and honor that still
captivates readers more than 2,700 years
after its creation by Homer.
Why might the Trojan War have been
• Excavations conducted in northwestern Turkey
during the 1870’s by German archaeologist
Heinrich Schliemann suggested that the
stories of the Trojan War might have been
based on real cities, people and events.
• The exact nature of the war remains unclear.
Who are the Dorians?
• Sea raiders who attacked and burned many
Mycenaean cities.
• These people spoke a dialect of Greek and
may have been distant relatives of the Bronze
Age Greeks.
• They were far less advanced than the
Who is Homer? Why are his epics
The greatest storyteller of Greek times.
Homer was blind.
Little is known about his personal life.
He is thought to have created Greek history
and wrote it down in his epics, which were
narrative poems that celebrated heroic deeds.
What is an epic?
• A narrative poem that celebrates heroic
• Most epics of ancient Greek times were
written by Homer between 750 and 700 BC.
What are Greek myths?
• Rich traditional stories about Greek gods.
• Homer wrote Greek myths.
• Through the myths, the Greeks sought to
understand the mysteries of nature and the
power of human passions.
• In these myths, Greeks attributed human
qualities, such as love, hate, and jealousy, to
their gods.
Greek Myths
• The gods quarreled and connected with each
other regularly.
• Unlike humans, gods lived forever.
• The gods lived on Mount Olympus which
reached far above the peninsula of Greece so
that the gods could look down on the
Athenians before passing judgement.
Greek Gods
• Some of the most note worthy Greek Gods:
• Zeus – Ruler of the gods.
• Hera – Zeus’ wife.
• Athena – goddess of wisdom. (Zeus’
• Aphrodite – goddess of love.
Greek gods
• Apollo – god of many things. Just to
name a few (knowledge, light, music,
• Ares – god of war.
• Hades – god of the underworld.
What is a city-state?
• City – state is another name for polis.
• A polis was the fundamental political unit in
ancient Greece.
• A polis was made up of a city and its
surrounding countryside, which included
numerous villages.
• Most city-states controlled between 50 and
500 square miles of territory, with fewer than
10, 000 residents.
What is a polis?
• **The polis was above all, a community of
people who shared a common identity and
common goals.
* The polis consisted of citizens with political
rights (adult males), citizens with no political
rights (women and children), and noncitizens
(including agricultural laborers, slaves and
resident aliens).
What is the difference between a citystate and an acropolis?
• An acropolis is an area that is within a citystate that sits on a fortified hilltop. This is
normally where citizens gather to discuss city
What is an acropolis & agora?
• At the top of a hill or the “polis” was a
fortified area called an acropolis.
• **The acropolis served as a place of refuge
during an attack and sometimes came to be a
religious center on which temples and public
buildings were built.
• Below the acropolis was an agora or an open
area that served as a place where people
could assemble and as a market.
What were four main forms of
government in Greek city-states? (128)
• Monarchy – single person ruler, usually called
a king.
• Aristocracy – government ruled by a small
group of nobles from land owning families.
• Oligarchy – government ruled by a few
powerful people.
• Direct Democracy – government ruled by the
• Directions: Use the chart on page 128 in your
book to summarize the four main types of
governments in the Greek city – states. Use
the example of the Tree Map or Organizer on
the board. After summarizing choose one of
the four that you would use to govern your
own kingdom or empire and tell why based on
the facts that you presented.
What is a tyrant?
• When city-states began to have repeated clashes
between rulers and common people, powerful
individuals, usually nobles or other wealthy citizens,
sometimes seized control of the government by
appealing to the common people for support.
• These rulers were called tyrants.
• Unlike today, tyrants generally were not considered
harsh and cruel, but rather looked at as leaders who
would work for the interests of the ordinary people.
Why would tyrants set up building
• Tyrants would set up building programs
to provide jobs and housing for their
• They would also set up building programs
to reward supporters and secure loyalty
of ordinary people.
What were the advantages and disadvantages
of the city-state as a form of government?
• Advantages
• Disadvantages
• City-states were
• Easy to control
• Located in a central
• City-states controlled
little territory
• Had many rivals
• Greater chance for
Explain Athenian Democracy.
• In Athens participation in the political process
was limited to adult males who were property
• The political process involved voting on issues
that concerned the entire Athens city-state.
• Athenian democracy was allowed the citizens
to govern freely, and not have representatives
to speak for large groups of citizens.
Who are Draco, Solon, and
• Draco – made the first step toward democracy when
he came into power.
• In 621 BC he developed a legal code based on the
idea that all Athenians, rich and poor, were equal
under the law.
• His code dealt harshly with criminals by making
punishment for almost every crime death.
• His democratic policy upheld debt slavery in which
debtors worked as slaves to pay off debts.
Who is Solon?
• Developed more far-reaching democratic reforms
than Draco when he came to power in 594 BC.
• He felt no citizen should be owned by another citizen
and therefore outlawed debt slavery.
• He organized Athens citizens into four social classes
according to wealth. Only members of three classes
could hold political offices.
• All citizens could participate in the Athenian
• He also introduced the legal concept that any citizen
could bring charges against wrong doers.
Who is Cleisthenes?
• He broke up power of nobility by organizing
citizens into ten groups based on where they
lived rather than their wealth.
• He increased power of the assembly by
allowing citizens to submit laws for debate
and passage.
• He created the Council of Five Hundred which
was a body that proposed laws and counseled
the assembly. Council members were chosen
Which Athenian leader’s reforms most
resemble aspects of US democracy?
• Cleisthenes’ because he
organized citizens geographically
and created a “second legislative
branch”- the Council of Five
How is Athenian democracy different
from modern American democracy?
• In Athens, participation in political
processes was limited to adult male
property owners.
• In the United States, participation is open
to all. Elected representatives, not
citizens themselves, govern.
How was Athenian education distributed
among Athenian children?
• For the most part only sons of wealthy families
received formal educations.
• Schooling began at about age seven and largely
prepared boys to be good citizens.
• They studied reading, grammar, poetry, history,
mathematics, and music.
• When boys got older, they went to military school to
prepare them to become defenders of Athens.
How was Athenian education distributed
among Athenian children?
• Athenian girls did not go to school, but were
educated at home by their mothers or other female
family members.
• They learned about child-rearing, weaving cloth,
preparing meals, managing the household, and other
skills that helped them become good wives and
• Some women did learn to read and write.
Who was considered a citizen?
• Citizenship was restricted to a relatively
small number of Athenians.
• Only free adult male property owners
born in Athens were considered citizens.
• Women, slaves and foreigners were
excluded from citizenship and had few
Daily life for Athenians
• Most residents of Athens were not citizens.
• Adult male foreigners were protected by
Athenian laws. They were also subject to
responsibilities of citizens, military service and
the funding of festivals.
• Slavery was also common in Athens.
• Family was important in ancient Athens. It
was composed of a husband, a wife and
Daily Life for Athenians…..
• Sometimes dependent relatives and even slaves
were considered a part of Athenian families.
• Athenian women could take part in religious festivals,
but otherwise were excluded from public life. If they
left the house, they had to have a male companion.
The primary duty of these women was to bare
• Women could not own property and they always had
to have a male guardian. Unmarried women by their
father, married women by their husbands, and
widows by their sons or other male relative.
Who were the Spartans? Where was
Sparta located?
• A group of people who lived in southern
Greece in an area called Peloponnesus. Sparta
was located here and nearly cut off from the
rest of Greece by the Gulf of Corinth.
Explain the branches of Sparta’s government.
• Spartan government had several branches.
• The assembly which was composed of all Spartan
citizens, elected officials who voted on major issues.
• The Council of Elders which is made up of 30 older
citizens who proposed laws on which the assembly
• Five elected officials carried out the laws passed by
the assembly. These men also controlled education
and prosecuted court cases.
Additional Spartan Notes…..
• Sparta’s Social Order consists of several groups:
• Citizens who descended from the original inhabitants
of the region. (Ruling families who owned land)
• Non-citizens who were free and worked in commerce
and industry.
• The helots who were at the bottom of Spartan
society, but a little better than slaves. They worked
in the fields or as house servants.
Daily Life for Spartans…..
• Sparta had the most powerful army in Greece.
• Spartans did not value arts, literature or other
artistic and intellectual pursuits.
• Spartans valued duty, strength, and discipline
over freedom, individuality, beauty, and
• Spartan men were expected serve in the army
until age 60, their daily life centered on
military training.
Daily Life for Spartans…..
• Spartan boys left home at age 7 and moved into
army barracks where they stayed until they reached
age 30. They learned military tactics.
• Spartan girls also led hardy lives by receiving some
military training They also ran, wrestled, and played
sports. They like the boys were taught to put service
above all else.
• Legend says that Spartan women were so tough that
they told their sons and husbands who were going to
war to “come back with their swords or on them”.
How do the ideals of Spartan and
Athenian society compare?
• Spartans valued duty, physical
and military strength, and
• Athenians valued their political
freedom, family life, and
intellectual pursuits.
What was the cause of the Persian
• Persia was expanding by conquering
small Greek city states of which Athens
was aiding to fight against the Persians.
This resulted in Persia directly attacking
What type of army was developed to
prepare for the Persian Wars?
• The army was composed of rich people,
merchants, artisans and small landowners.
• There were foot soldiers which were called
hoplites. These soldiers usually lined up side
by side holding a spear in one hand and a
shield in the other.
• This formation was called a phalanx.
Armies of Greece
Who played a major role in the
Persian War battles?
• Pheidippides was important because he
was the young runner who ran 26 miles
(from Marathon to Athens) to warn
Athenians not to give up their city but to
fight for it. After running this distance,
he collapsed and died.
What were the consequences of
the Persian Wars?
• The Persians were defeated by the Greeks.
• Athens emerged as the leader of the Delian
League; the alliance of Greek city-states which
had grown to over 200 city-states that took its
name from the island of Delos in the Aegean
Who is Pericles?
• He is a wise and able statesman who led
Athens through much of it golden age.
• He was honest, fair and held onto popular
support for 32 years.
• He was a skillful politician, and aspiring
speaker and a respected general.
• He dominated the life of Athens from 461 to
429 BC. This time period is often referred to
as the “Age of Pericles”.
Who is Pericles?
• His father had led the Athenian Assembly.
• His mother was the niece of Cleisthenes.
• Pericles had three goals during his rule of
• 1) To strengthen Athenian democracy
• 2) To hold and strengthen the empire
• 3) To glorify Athens.
How did Pericles strengthen
• He increased the number of public officials
who were paid salaries.
• Before his reign, most positions in public
office were unpaid which only allowed
wealthy Athenians to afford to hold public
• Under Pericles rule, even the poorest citizens
could serve if elected or chosen.
How did Pericles strengthen
• Athens had more citizens engaged in selfgovernment than any of the other city-states
in Greece.
• This reform made Athens one of the most
democratic governments in history.
What is direct democracy?
• A form of government in which citizens
rule directly and not through
representatives. This was an important
legacy of Periclian Athens. In Athens,
male citizens who served in the
assembly established all the important
government policies that affected the
How did Pericles strengthen
Athenian military?
• After the defeat of the Persians,
Athens took over the leadership of
the Delian League. Pericles used the
money from the Delian League
treasury to make the Athenian navy
the strongest in the Mediterranean.
How did Pericles strengthen
Athenian military?
• A strong navy was important because it
helped Athens strengthen the safety of
its empire. Prosperity depended on
gaining access to the surrounding
• Athenian military might allowed Pericles
to treat other members of the Delian
League as part of the empire.
How was the Delian League used
to build and beautify Athens?
• Pericles also used money from the Delian
League to build and beautify Athens. Without
the approval of the League, he persuaded the
Athenian assembly to vote huge sums of the
league’s money to buy gold, ivory, and marble.
Still more money went to pay the artists,
architects, and workers who used these
How was the Delian League used
to build and beautify Athens?
• His goal was to have the greatest Greek artists
and architects create magnificent sculptures
and buildings to glorify Athens. At the center
of his plan was – The Parthenon.
• The Parthenon was a 23,000 square foot
building used as a temple to Athena, the
goddess of wisdom and the protector of
What is Classical Art?
• The portraying of ideal beauty
and not realism.
• The values of harmony,
balance, order, and
proportion were the
standards of this artist style.
What were two main types of
dramas invented by the Greeks?
• Tragedy – a serious drama about common
themes such as love, hate, war, or betrayal.
• These dramas featured a main character, or
tragic hero.
• The hero was usually an important person and
often gifted with extraordinary abilities.
• A tragic flaw usually caused the hero’s
downfall and the flaw was usually hubris or
exhibited excessive pride.
What were two main types of
dramas invented by the Greeks?
• In contrast to Greek tragedies, were
• A comedy contained scenes filled with
slapstick situations and crude honor.
• Playwrights often made fun of politics and
respected people and ideas of the time.
• The fact that Athenians could make fun of
themselves showed the freedom and
openness of public discussion that existed in
democratic Athens.
Three notable dramatists
• Aeschylus – he wrote more than 80 plays. His
most famous work is the trilogy – a three play
series- Oresteia.
• Sophocles – he wrote more than 100 plays
including Oedipus the King and Antigone.
• Euripides – author of the play Medea. He
often featured strong women in his works.
Notable comedy writers
• Aristophanes – wrote first great comedies for
the stage like The Birds and Lysistrata.
Lysistrata portrayed the women of Athens
forcing their husbands to end the
Peloponnesian War.
What was the difference between
a Greek tragedy and comedy?
• Tragedies were serious dramas
about common themes such as love,
hate, war and betrayal.
• Comedies were slapstick situations
and crude humor.
Why did Athens and Sparta go to
• As Athens grew in wealth, prestige, and
power, other city-states began to view it with
hostility. Ill will was especially strong between
Sparta and Athens.
• Many people thought the war was inevitable
between the two. Instead of them trying to
avoid conflict, leaders of Athens and Sparta
pressed for a war because both believed their
own city had the advantage. Eventually Sparta
declared war on Athens in 431BC.
What was the Peloponnesian
• The war between the two city-states Athens
and Sparta.
• Athens had the stronger navy.
• Sparta had the stronger army and its inland
location made it difficult to be attacked by
• Pericles strategy was to avoid land battles and
wait for opportunities to strike Sparta at sea.
Advantages and disadvantages for Athens
• Stronger navy.
• Bought residents from
surrounding region inside
city walls to avoid people
• Used ships to supply food
when food supply was
burned by Sparta.
• In the second year, a
frightful plague swept
through the city killing
perhaps 1/3 of population,
including Pericles.
• After a truce in 421BC, the
peace did not last long, the
Athenians had a failed
attempt to destroy the citystate of Syracuse.
Advantages and disadvantages for Spartans
• Swept over Athenian
country side and burned
the Athenian food supply.
• Strong Army.
• Inland location protected
them from Athenian navy
• Defeated the Athenians in
the final attack in 413 BC.
• Navy not as strong as
What were the consequences of the war
for each city-state?
• The Athenians were defeated.
• They surrendered to the Spartans in 404 BC.
• The Athenians lost their empire, power and
What are philosophers?
• Great thinkers who began to appear after the
• They were determined to seek the truth, no
matter where the search led them.
• Philosopher means “lovers of wisdom.”
• These great thinkers based their philosophy
on two assumptions.
Two Assumptions of Philosophers
• The universe (land, sky, and sea) is put
together in an orderly way, and subject to
absolute and unchanging laws.
• People can understand these laws through
logic and reason.
• One group of philosophers called the Sophists
questioned people’s unexamined beliefs and
ideas about justice and other traditional
Famous Sophist
• Protagoras – questioned the existence of
the traditional Greek gods. He also
argued that there was no universal
standard of truth, saying “Man is the
measure of all things”.
Who are Socrates, Plato and Aristotle?
• Socrates was one of the most revered of Greek
• Unlike sophists, he believed that absolute standards
exist for truth and justice.
• He encouraged Greeks to go farther and question
themselves and their moral character.
• In 399 BC, when Socrates was 70 years old, he was
brought to trial for “corrupting the youth of Athens”
and “neglecting the city’s gods.” He was found guilty
and sentenced to death by drinking poison.
Who are Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle?
• He was a student of Socrates. He was in his
late 20’s when Socrates died.
• He was a wealthy Athenian who had careers
as a wrestler and poet.
• He founded a school called the Academy in
387 BC. The school lasted for approximately
900 years.
• He wrote the Republic, in which he set forth
his vision of a perfectly governed society.
Who is Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle?
• Philosopher who questioned the nature of the world
and of human belief, thought, and knowledge.
• He was a student who attended Plato’s Academy for
20 years until Plato’s death. He then opened his own
school in Athens called the Lyceum.
• He created a method for arguing according to rules
of logic.
• He later applied his method to problems in the fields
of psychology, physics, and biology. His work
provides the basis of the scientific method used
• One of Aristotle’s most famous pupils was
Alexander the Great, son of King Philip II of
Macedonia. He tutored the king’s 13 year old
Alexander the Great and Hellenistic Culture
• SSWH3b: Identify the ideas and impact of
important individuals; include Socrates, Plato,
and Aristotle and describe the diffusion of
Greek culture by Aristotle’s pupil Alexander
the Great and the impact of Julius and
Augustus Caesar.
Who was Philip II?
• Became king of Macedonia in 359 BC and dreamed
of taking control of Greece and later conquering
Persia and its wealth.
• He was only 23 years old when he became king and
quickly became a brilliant general and ruthless
• He transformed the peasants under his command
into a well-trained professional army.
• With heavy phalanx formations and fast moving
calvaries, he disorganized his opponents.
Who was Philip II?
What type of people were the
• These were hardy people who lived in
mountain villages rather than city-states.
• Most Macedonian nobles thought of
themselves as Greeks. However, the Greeks
looked down on them as uncivilized
• The Macedonians most important resource
was their shrewd and fearless kings.
How did a lack of unity aid Philip’s
conquest of Greece?
• When the Greeks were made aware
of Philip’s intentions to conquer, they
could not agree on anything which
made them vulnerable to outside
Who was Alexander the Great?
• Alexander was Philip’s son who became king
of Macedonia when he was only 20 years old
when his father was killed at his daughter’s
wedding in 336 BC.
• Alexander was a student of Aristotle where he
learned geography, science, and literature.
• As a young boy (8 yrs. Old) he learned to tame
a wild horse (Bucephalus), use weapons and
command troops.
Who was Alexander the Great?
How did Alexander conquer the
Persian Empire?
• In 334 BC, he led 35,000 Macedonian and
Greek soldiers into Anatolia. Messengers
rushed along the Royal Road to warn of the
• An army of 40,000 rushed to defend Persia.
• The two forces met at the Granicus River and
Alexander ordered his army to attack and
smashed the Persians.
Who is Darius III?
• King of Persia who vowed to crush Alexander and his
army after the defeat at the Granicus River.
• Darius raised and army of 50,000 to 75,000 to faced
the Macedonians.
• Alexander again defeated the Persians and forced
Darius to flee, and later negotiate a peace treaty with
Alexander and offered all of the lands west of the
Euphrates. Alexander rejected and vowed to
conquer the entire Persian Empire.
Who is Darius III?
How did Alexander conquer the
Persian Empire?
• To conquer the entire empire, Alexander
marched his army to Egypt (Persian territory)
in 332BC.
• The Egyptians welcomed him and crowned
him a god-king. Alexander founded the city of
Alexandria at the mouth of the Nile.
• Alexander moved to the Mesopotamian
region to face Darius who had assembled an
army of 250,000.
How did Alexander conquer the
Persian Empire?
• The two armies met at Gaugamela (small
village near ruins of Ninevah). Alexander
launched a massive phalanx attack.
• The Persians were again crushed and Darius
again fled ending Persia’s power.
• Within a short time Alexander had conquered
Babylon, Susa, and Persepolis.
Why did Alexander adopt Persian customs
and include Persians in his army?
• He did this to make the Persians
feel less threatened and thereby
make them easier to rule.
Why did Alexander continue his
conquests after the death of Darius?
• He believed it was his destiny to conquer
and rule men. The defeat of the Persians
only fueled his dreams of further world
What happened to Alexander’s empire
after his death?
• Alexander’s Macedonian generals fought
among themselves for control of his empire.
Eventually three ambitious generals won.
• Antigonus became king of Macedonia.
• Ptolemy seized Egypt and took the title of
• Seleucus took most of the old Persian Empire.
What was Alexander’s legacy?
• His conquests had an interesting cultural
impact. As his empire grew, he sought to
unite Macedonians and Persians. He adopted
a Persian style of dress, married a Persian
princess and presided over a mass marriage of
80 men to Persian women.
• He also brought Persian troops and people
from other lands into his army and made
young Persian nobles a part of his calvary.
How did Hellenistic culture begin?
• Alexander’s ambitions were cultural as well as
military and political. During his years of
conquest, he actively sought to meld the
conquered culture with that of the Greeks.
• He started new cities as administrative centers
of Greek culture. These cities adopted many
Greek patterns and customs.
• As a result of Alexander’s policies, a vibrant
new culture emerged.
Hellenistic Culture
• The Greeks were known as Hellenic which is a
culture blended with Egyptian, Persian and
Indian customs and traditions.
• This blending became known as Hellenistic
• Koine was the popular spoken language used
in Hellenistic cities which came as a direct
result of cultural blending. The word koine
comes from the Greek, meaning “common”.
• Named after Alexander the Great,
located at the mouth of the Nile
• It became the foremost center of
commerce and Hellenistic
Alexandria Egypt
Why did Alexandria, Egypt become the center
of Hellenistic culture and trade?
• It occupied a strategic location on the
western edge of the Nile River harbor.
• It’s location made it a thriving center of
international trade and commerce with a
rich mixture of customs and traditions.
What attracted people to Alexandria?
• Both residents and visitors admired
Alexandria’s great beauty.
• It had broad avenues (streets).
• Lined with Greek god statues that divided the
city into blocks.
• There are magnificent royal palaces.
• Alexander’s glass coffin is a tourist attraction.
• Famous museum and library.
Alexandria’s Attractions
What is the role of astronomy in Alexander’s
• Alexandrian scholars provided most of the scientific
knowledge available to the Western Hemisphere.
• Alexandria’s museum contained a small observatory
in which astronomers could study the planets and
• Aristarchus was an astronomer who estimated the
Sun to be at least 300 times larger than the Earth.
He greatly underestimated the Sun’s true size.
Alexandrian Astronomers
• He also proposed that Earth and the other
planets revolve around the Sun.
• Eratosthenes tried to calculate Earth’s true
size by using geometry. He computed Earth’s
circumference at between 28,000 to 29,000
miles. Modern calculations say it is 24,860
Who are Euclid and Archimedes?
• Euclid was a highly regarded mathematician who
composed a Geometry text book called the Elements
which contained 465 geometry propositions and
proofs that both Eratosthenes and Aristarchus used.
• Archimedes was a Hellenistic scientist who
accurately estimated the value of pi – the ratio of the
circumference of a circle to its diameter. He was
gifted in both geometry and physics.
What is Stoicism? Epicureanism?
• A Greek philosopher named Zeno founded a school
of philosophy called Stoicism.
• Stoics proposed that people should live virtuous lives
in harmony with the will of God or the natural laws
that God established to run the universe.
• They preached that human desires, power, and
wealth were dangerous distractions that should be
• This philosophy promoted social unity and
encouraged its followers to focus on what they could
• Epicurus founded the school of thought called
• He taught that gods who had no interest in humans
ruled the universe. He believed that the only real
objects were those that the five senses perceived.
• He taught that the greatest good and the highest
pleasure came from virtuous conduct and the
absence of pain.
• He proposed that the main goal for humans to
achieve was harmony of body and mind. Epicurus
promoted moderation in all things.
What is the significance of the Colossus of
• The Colossus of Rhodes is a bronze statue that
stood more than 100 feet high.
• It is one of seven ancient wonders of the
world that was toppled in an earthquake.
• Its significance was to commemorate heroes
and portray ordinary people in everyday
Colossus of Rhodes

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