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Transcript of Ancient Greece
Essential Question: What factors shaped government in Greece
The Geography of Greece
How did mountains affect life in Greece?
Geography Shapes Ancient Greek Life
of Greece sticks out into the Mediterranean Sea. It is a
-a body of land that is nearly surrounded by water. Also includes thousands of islands.
A gulf of water nearly divides the Greek peninsula in two. Southern tip forms a second peninsula called the Peloponnesus (PEHL-uh-puh-NEE-suhs).
A narrow strip of land called an
links the Peloponnesus to the rest of Greece.
Mountains cover most of Greece and divide the land into many regions.
Has no large rivers.
Uneven landscape and lack of large rivers made transportation difficult.
landscape made it difficult for Greeks to unite under a single government.
Has mild, rainy winters and hot, dry summers. In much of Greece, temperatures range from about 50 degrees in winter to 80 degrees in summer.
Warm climate encouraged outdoor activities. For example, outdoor athletic competitions such as races were an important part of Greek culture.
Land was rocky. Only a small part of the region was good for farming.
More than half of all Greeks were farmers or herders.
Most farming took place in the valleys located between mountains.
Landowners were part of the upper class.
In general, only men owned property.
A person who owned land could support himself. He had enough wealth for equipment such as helmets, shields, and swords.
Allowed him to serve in army and defend homeland.
Landowners had a higher place in society than merchants or poor people.
In order to get more farmland, Greeks founded colonies in other regions. Western end of Anatolia had broad plains and rivers. Founded many colonies there.
Greece lacked natural resources such has precious metals.
Had to find those resources in other places.
They did have 2 important resources:
Plentiful stone for building
Coastline with many good sites for harbors
70-80% was covered by mountains.
20-30% was good for farming.
Grew grain on the few open plains. Olive trees grew on the edges of those plains.
Planted grapevines on the lower slopes of hills.
Sheep and goats grazed on land that was too rocky or to infertile to grow crops.
Trade Helps Greece Prosper
Key Question: How did the sea affect the economy of Greece?
A Seafaring People
Several seas played a major role in the life of ancient Greece.
Largest was Mediterranean to the south.
The Ionian and Aegean seas were branches of the Mediterranean.
These "highways of water" linked most parts of Greece to each other.
Use seas as transportation routes. Became skilled sailors and shipbuilders.
Built rowing ships for fighting and sailing ships for trading.
Ionian and Aegean seas not very large. Small ships could sail around them.
Once they learned the routes, they were able to sail to other regions.
Sea was source of fish-important part of their diet.
Dried some fish so they could be transported over great distances.
Trade and Commerce
Greece did not produce much grain, but some regions produced surplus olive oil, wine, wool, and fine pottery.
Greek city-states bought and sold surplus goods from each other.
They also traded these items to other regions around the Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea-including Egypt and Italy.
Main items they bought were grain, timber for building, animal hides, and slaves.
Also traded for nuts, figs, cheese, and flax-used to make linen.
The Earliest Greeks
Key Question: How did trade influence Greek Culture?
First civilization was built on the Peloponnesus. Named after its most important city, Mycenae. Was located among hills and surrounded by a protective wall. Could withstand almost any attack. King ruled each city as well as the surrounding villages and farms.
The nobles lived in luxury. Great feasts in huge dining halls. Drank from gold cups.
Wielded bronze weapons. Most common people made tools from less expensive materials such as stone and wood.
They were traders.
Culture featured writing, gold jewelry, bronze weapons, and fine pottery.
Civilization collapsed about 1200 B.C., perhaps because of invaders.
After the fall, Greek culture declined. People no longer kept written records. Without these, historians know little about the period from 1200 to 750 B.C.
New Advances in Greek Culture
Began to flourish again. One reason-they learned from other people, such as Phoenicians.
They were important trading people living on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean.
The Phoenicians needed a way of recording trade transactions quickly and clearly.
They developed a system that used 22 symbols to stand for sounds-called an alphabet.
By trading with others, they spread their system of writing.
Greeks picked this up between 900 and 800 B.C. They changed some letters to suit their language.
Greek alphabet later evolved into our own alphabet of 26 letters.
Greeks also learned about coins from trading with other peoples.
Coins were invented about 650 B.C. in Anatolia. Most parts of Greece were making their own coins by 500 B.C.
Eventually, Greeks developed new forms of literature and government.
The City-State and Democracy
The Rise of City-States
Key Question: How was Greece organized politically?
Because geography divided Greece into small regions, the basic form of government in in Greece was the city-state.
A city-state is formed by a city and its surrounding lands.
It generally included numerous villages
Colonies founded by Greeks around the Mediterranean were also city-states.
City-states became common in Greece about 700 B.C.
In Greek, the word for city-state was polis. Most city-states were small.
Geographic features, such as mountains, limited their size.
Athens and Sparta were the largest Greek city-states.
Most Greek city-states controlled from 50-500 square miles of territory and had
fewer than 20,000 residents.
Because the typical city-state was
fairly small, the people who lived there formed a close community.
Layout of the City
Center of city life was the Agora
an open space where people came for business and public gatherings.
Male citizens met there to discuss politics.
Festivals and athletic contests were held there.
Statues, temples, and other public buildings were found in and around the Agora. (See picture on p.202-203)
Many cities had a fortified hilltop called an acropolis. The word means "high city."
At first, people used the acropolis mainly for military purposes; high places are easier to defend.
Later the Greeks built temples and palaces on the flat tops of these hills.
Ordinary houses were built along the hill's base.
Forms of Government
Each city-state was independent. People figured out what kind of government worked for them.
Monarchs and Aristocrats
Earliest form was monarchy.
Monarch is a king or queen who has supreme power.
King or queen rules.
Most started this way, but changed over time.
Aristocracy ruled by upper class or nobility. Nobles were people who were descended from high-born ancestors. Some claimed their ancestors were mythical heroes.
By 700 B.C. most governments changed from monarchies to aristocracies.
Oligarchy means "rule by the few."
Similar to aristocracy because in both cases a
minority group controls the government.
The main difference: the basis for the power of the ruling class.
Aristocrats rule because of their inherited social class.
Oligarchy rule because of wealth or land ownership.
Sometimes a wealthy person who wanted to seize power would ask poor people to support him in becoming a leader.
A tyrant was someone who took power in an illegal way.
Today the term tyrant means cruel leader.
To the Greeks, it was simply someone who achieved the power of a king without royal birth.
Some helped create jobs. Others made laws canceling debts that poor people owed to the wealthy.
Tyrants played an important role in the development of rule by the people.
Helped overthrow oligarchies. Also showed if common people united behind a leader, they could gain the power to make changes.
Athens Builds a Limited Democracy
A major legacy of ancient Greece is the idea of citizenship-which the Greeks introduced.
Today, a citizen is a person who is loyal to a country and who is entitled to protection by the government of that country.
Only adult males could be citizens. Other restrictions varied in different city-states.
Some limited to land owners, others required having parents who were free citizens.
In much of Greece, people of both upper and lower classes were citizens, but only upper-class citizens held power.
By demanding political power, the lower-class citizens were asking for a major change to their society.
Changes did not happen quickly.
During the 500s B.C., two leaders in Athens made gradual reforms that gave people more power. (Read about Solon and Cleisthenes(KLYS-thuh-NEEZ) on
Council of 500 was made up of 500 men, 50 men from each of the 10 tribes.
Any citizen over the age of 30 was qualified to be a member.
Each tribe chose the men by lot, or at random, to serve one year.
Members could be reelected only once
The yearly turnover allowed for a greater number Athenian citizens to participate in their government at a high level.
Cleisthenes' plan allowed members of the
Council of Five Hundred to suggest laws to the assembly for debate and possible passage.
The Council advised the assembly.
Laws were passed by a majority vote in the assembly.
These changes moved Athens toward an early form of democracy.
Democracy is a government in which the citizens make political decisions either directly or through elected representatives.
The Athenian style is called direct democracy.
All citizens meet to decide on the laws.
Our democracy today is called indirect democracy, because we elect representatives to make laws.
Limited Democracy and Ostracism
Benefits of direct democracy were limited.
Government did not include all of the people who lived in the city-state.
Only free adult males who were citizens could take part in the government.
Women, enslaved people, and foreigners could not take part.
Non-citizens in Athens were not allowed to become citizens.
Athenian democracy included a system called ostracism.
In this system, any member of the assembly who thought someone was a danger to the city-state could submit the name of the person for a vote by the assembly.
If that person received a large number of votes to ostracize, then he or she would be sent away for 10 years.
Athenian citizens had many responsibilities:
They had to serve in the army whenever they were needed.
Each of the 10 tribes was required to provide citizens for military duty.
Citizens were trained for warfare and were called upon to take up arms in times of actual war.
Served on juries. To be eligible you had to be 30 years old.
All citizens were equal in the courts.
No lawyers or judges.
Citizens argued their cases directly before the jury.
Jurors then voted to decide whether or not the person was guilty.
Read Chapter 7 Section 4: Sparta and Athens
Compare and Contrast the following:
Government and Society
Pros and cons of our government today?
Read Chapter 8 Section 1
Pericles Leads Athens p.209-210
Pericles Strengthens Democracy
Paid Public Officials
Comparing Cultures Diagram-Athenian and U.S. Democracy
War Rages/Consequences (skim)
Google: ancient Greece Aesop Fables for kids hare and tortoise
Show if time-won't finish
Brief history of Sparta
Intro to Greece