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Transcript of Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is the birthplace of western civilization. Different from many other countries, they wanted to establish several towns in various areas, other than an empire.
Greek clothing was sold in the Agora, the marketplace, where only the wealthy families would be able to purchase these items. Consequently, many families made their own clothes. Their clothes were simple, wool for winter wear and linen for summer fabric. They dyed tunics and cloaks in bright colours but some were bleached to a bright white. In addition, they were decorated with geometric designs and could be specially fashioned to represent the wearer's city state. Furthermore, they also invented a hat for traveling, which had two very useful benefits. It had a chin strap so it could be hung down from the back or easily put back own if needed to protect from sunshine or rain.
Ancient Greece is located in southern Europe, close to the Mediterranean Sea. It is a peninsula, so Greece was surrounded by water with many other smaller peninsulas forming many coastlines and harbors. Along with this, Greece also had many mountains-a source of fresh water and a wall of defense. However, Greeks found it difficult to travel to distant lands with the mountains in the way so they began to travel on water
Sadly, there were only a few historians living in the time of Ancient Greece that we know about today. However, three major historians, were able to record their time in Ancient Greece. This includes Herodotus, known as the "father of history," who traveled to many ancient historical sites at that time, Thucydides and Xenophon.
Art and Architecture
The Ancient Greeks loved beauty, drama, music, literature, philosophy, politics and especially art. Their great love for art can be clearly shown through the hard work and precise handwork of their statues; the statues represented perfect bodies, noses and eyes. However, even though it may sound very impressive, it may not be the actual face of one as no living person can have a perfect face.
As said before, they were huge "art-lovers," so even their architecture had art included. The Ancient Greeks were the ones who invented the 3 beautiful columns shown on a building called the Parthenon located in Athens, the capital of Greece. One column had a simple design, one was sort of in the middle and the last was very ornate. Be it a vase, building or statue, the Greeks wanted it to be visually attractive and interesting. Though, they would never design a beautiful structure that couldn't hold stable. However, their only concern with the pillars was looking intriguing from a distance. Consequently, they would look straight from a distance, but close up, they may lean one way or the other to keep balance.
The Ancient Greeks' diet was very healthy. They grew wheat, making breads, noodles and cereals along with olives for figs and grapes. They kept goats for milk and cheese as well. As they had many waterways, they were able to catch all kinds of seafood and traded for other goods produced by inland city-states. In addition, they also made delicious deserts such as jam and jelly.
Meals were sometimes prepared in the courtyards, it was also the open-air center of every home. Though only if the weather permitted. The Ancient Greeks were very clean. Their cooking was clean. Their food preparation was clean. They did this to honor Hestia, the goddess of hearth and home.
There was no central government in Ancient Greece. Greece, back then, was not even a country. People lived in city-states with independent units in each one. Each city-state made their own laws and coinage with their own way of doing things. However, they all spoke greek, believed in the same gods and all shared common history.
As time went on, over a thousand city-states were established on the Greek peninsula, possibly more. Some were small but other like Athens, Sparta, Megara, Corinth and Argos were very huge and powerful. Be it big or small, the ancient Greeks were very loyal to their city-state, and very proud of their city-state's accomplishments.
City-states went to war with each other. They would alliance with others to fight another city-state or fight a common enemy outside of the Greek peninsula. They would negotiate together as they knew each other well. Though if you asked a Greek if he was Greek, he would identify himself from whichever city-state he was from. For example, "man of Athens."
Religion and Myths
The Greeks believed that they were ruled over 12 major gods called the Olympians. Whenever there was a conflict, the 12 would meet on Mount Olympia and discuss the matter. The Olympians all kept a home in Mount Olympia but some such as Hades preferred their palace somewhere else.
Hestia, the goddess of hearth and home, used to one of the 12 Olympians, but she grew tired of their arguing and bickering so she gave up her spot to Dionysus, the god of wine.
Hephaestus, god of fire, forge and volcanoes, was said to be one of the 12 Olympians but according to some stories he wasn't and Hades was. This also applies the other way around. So this shows that because some myths are so good, the storyteller might change it up to give it a more interesting adventure. However, the only thing that didn't change was the gods' personalities; everybody in Greece knew about them.
Zeus God of the sky and thunder and king of all gods
Hera queen of all gods and goddess of marriage
God of the sea
Demeter Goddess of harvest
Athena Goddess of wisdom
God of War
God of prophecies, healing and many more
Goddess of the hunt and the moon
God of transitions and boundaries
Aphrodite Goddess of love and beauty
Dionysus God of wine and theater
God of fire, forge and volcanoes
Greek Dark ages
The Greek Dark ages played a big role in Greek history. The dark ages symbolized the massive destruction of many Greek towns and city-states. All by one group of people named the Dorians. The Dorians were very different from other countries, instead of constructing an empire, or establishing laws and government, they attacked the Greek city-states and caused mayhem all over Greek. However, as their lives were dedicated to fighting and war, they were able to produce metal weapons, making it easy for them to overcome villages and towns as Greek only had stone weapons. Eventually, the Greeks were able to create metal weapons and revolted against the Dorians, ending the Dark Age.
Famous City States
As Greek was composed of several different city-states, Athens, Sparta, Corinth, Megara and Argos were the most powerful. Each one possessed of a special ability that made them so strong.
Corinth were similar to Athena, but they were stronger in problem solving, possibly the strongest in all of Greek. However, at one time, their city grew much faster than the job market so they began creating public work projects including aqueducts and places for people to trade. With aqueducts, they were able to produce mass amounts of fresh water, giving people a place to work and solving their fresh water situation. Another very clever invention was the coinage, a place people to trade. Argos did this as well, but Corinth expanded the idea. They made tons of profits and eventually became the trading center of all Greece. Furthermore, they considered their schools as good as Athens’, and saying that, they would have to be very confident. Though it was not as fancy, their education was marvelous enough to be as good as Athens’. Corinth worked as a leader in Greek, giving them respect from others and making their city proud.
Megara was a costal city-state with much respect from other city-states and very similar to Corinth. They had a king, their own coinage and many public programs to keep people employed. The boys went to school and the girls stayed at home. In addition, there was a great deal of freedom in Megara; you could move to another city-state and rent or buy a house. Like all Greek city-states, they were great sailors, traveling around the Mediterranean Sea, trading with other city-states and establishing many outposts. One of the many towns was named Byzantium, locating near the coast of Turkey. However, they soon changed it to Constantinople, and then Istanbul which is now a very famous city in Turkey. Furthermore, the Megarians were very famous for their textiles, richly coloured and beautifully designed fabric. Sometimes, they would simply talk their way out of trouble by trading their glorious textiles.
Argos was a vast plain land with poor soil giving them a hard time growing crops, forcing them to trade with other city-states, but also becoming trade leaders of trade. Their invention of the coinage made trades a lot easier for many people. They built huge sculptures of athletes, like many other Greek city-states, with very detailed features and “perfect bodies.” Moreover, they loved art as they wrote plays, poetry, and performed in arenas. For Argos and many other Greek city-states, they were ruled by a king. In addition, the name could also be referred to a boat called the "Argo," lead by Jason and the Argonauts (a greek myth).
Ancient Greece changed with seasons. Depending on which area you lived in such as Northern Greece, the season would differentiate.
In the spring, it would be rainy, especially in Northern Greece, causing the plants to be green and leafy. The temperature would generally be 60 degrees Fahrenheit/10-20 degrees Celsius.
In the summer, it was hot and dry as farmers would harvest wheat at the beginning of summer, in June. However, it hardly rains during this season, so crops begin to grow in the fall when it begins to rain again, especially in Southern Greece. Consequently, the temperature could go over 100 degrees Fahrenheit/over 40 degrees Celsius. On the other hand, in Northern Greece, there are sometimes thunderstorms with an average of temperature of 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit/about 30 degrees Celsius.
In the fall, during October, it would typically rain again and have storms. The temperature would drop to 70 degrees Fahrenheit/ 25-10 degrees Celsius.
Winters in Southern Greece are chilly and rainy, but not necessarily cold. It is normally unusual for it to snow as far as Sparta, though it does happen once in a while. Most of the time it would be 30 degrees Fahrenheit/about 10 degrees Celsius in the winter. Moreover, in Northern Greece, it is much colder and it would snow several times.
In most of Ancient Greece, houses were built around an open courtyard. They were built out of wood, stone and clay bricks making them sturdy and comfortable. As for larger homes, it might include several bedrooms, a kitchen, a dining room and many other rooms for various uses.
The central courtyard was a very popular place for women to relax and enjoy the fresh air. Because women were only allowed outside of their homes for only short periods and with their husband's permission, they would normally rest here.
The Olympics were first invented and run in Ancient Greece in honor of Zeus. Greek nationalities would participate, in respect to their gods.
The Isthmus games were held every two years in Corinth dedicated to Poseidon and Palaimon, a Greek hero.
The Pythian Games were held near Delphi, in respect of Apollo, as he had slain the dragon Python in this area.
Women were not allowed to participate in the games and neither were they allowed to sit and watch; they had very low status at the time.
Despite the fact that the Greek civilization only lasted for a few centuries, their efforts to make life easy and more enjoyable for individuals have been admired and imitated ever since.
The history of Greece can be traced back to the Stone Age Hunters. Following that, came early farmers and the civilizations of the Minoan and Mycenaean kings. This was followed by a period of wars and invasions known as the Dark Ages. In about 1100 BC, a group of people by the name Dorians, invaded from the north and brought havoc throughout the west coast. They managed to defend and defeat them as Greece was divided into small city-states, each consisted of a city and its countryside.
Athens was a measuring stick. All cities compared themselves to it. There is no surprise though, because Athens was the leading city-state of Greece. In addition, the Greeks believed that cities would have one or two gods looking over the city, and theirs’ was Athena/Minerva (roman form), the goddess of wisdom clearly explaining their superiority. They would consider themselves as the smartest and brightest though they still showed respect to all the others. Education was a big part of Athens as boys went to school to learn poetry and lyres, girls stayed at home, learning to cook and sew from their mothers. Sons of nobles went to high school learning science and arts along with government and politics. Each city-state in Greece had their own form of government, some were ruled by kings, others were ruled by counsels, but Athens had a direct democracy. Having this, the Athenians had many rights including the right to vote and the right to stand trial. However, not all people living in Athens were considered citizens. Originally, a child would be considered an Athenian if his’s/her’s father was an Athenian, but once Pericles ruled over Greece BCE, he changed it so that the child’s parents must both be Athenian for the child to be one too.
Sparta was the most powerful city, as in strength, in all of Greek. They were ruled by a group of retired warriors, also called an oligarchy. Normally, kids entered military school at the age of 18, but in Sparta, they entered at the age of 6. Both girls and boys learned to lie, steal and kill but as they grew up, the men would go to war while the kids were at home protected by their mothers. Consequently, this gave women in Sparta a lot of freedom; they were free to do things without the husband’s permission. Moreover, people living in Sparta had to prove their citizenship by paying and proving their loyalty to the ancestors. However, without a proper citizenship, they would be executed for no reason, similar to the Dorians. Fortunately, Sparta was part of Greek and not as aggressive as the Dorians. With their ability to fight and kill, many Greek city-states would want them on their side.