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Ancient Greece

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Frank McCormick

on 28 June 2016

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Transcript of Ancient Greece

The Battle of Marathon
Phalanx Formation
Iron Age weapons: stronger, cheaper
A new army: the
“civilian army”
(merchants, artisans, small landowners, etc.)
, 25,000 Persians cross the Aegean sea and land at Marathon
10,000 Athenians waited (Phalanx)
They charged!
The Persians were lightly armored and insufficiently trained- they lost 6,000 men. The Greeks lost 200.
The Persian Wars
Acropolis- where citizens gathered to discuss city government
Early Greek City-States fell into a few categories: monarchies, noble aristocracies, oligarchies
Often powerful individuals came to power called Tyrants
Rule and Order
Greek city-states formed the
Delian League
drove the Persians from Greece
, thus ending the threat of future attacks
Athens emerged as a leader
of some 200 city-states
League headquarters moved to Athens
Athens used military force to control city-states that challenged them
Thus these other city-states became little more than provinces of an Athenian Empire
Consequences of the Persian Wars
A sharp contrast with Athens
Sparta conquered the Messenians of southern Greece and kept them as
Each year they demanded half of the helots crops
part of a young Spartan’s education.
Young Spartan men who completed their training would be able to partake in krypteia. They would be
sent out into the countryside with only a knife to survive
. They could kill any helot they encountered at night and take their food to survive.
The Spartan Military State
- a term for the population of an ancient greek state
- a suffix, to govern or rule
- a nobleman who
developed a legal code based on the idea that all Athenians were equal under the law
Citizens could submit laws
Council of lawmakers
Concept of citizenship- not a birthright.
Free adult male property owners
Athens: Limited Democracy
The growth of city-states in Greece led to the development of several political systems, including
Greek City-States
In Homeric Greek referred to a man who was fighting on either side during the Trojan War
Eventually came to mean
a dead man who lived a life of fame, amazing feats, etc.
, legendary founder of Mycenae, slew Medusa and rescued Andromeda from a sea monster.
, demigod, son of Zeus, and his 12 labors!
Heroes often possessed hubris (extreme pride or arrogance)
They often fell to their own hubris or through some other great weakness
Greek Heroes
The Mycenaean Civilization
480 B.C- Darius’ son and successor
Xerxes assembles an enormous invasion force
Division among the city-states: some said ‘Fight!’, others thought that Xerxes would destroy Athens and return home, some Greeks even fought with Xerxes
Xerxes army meets little resistance
Came to a narrow pass at
with 7,000 Greeks and
300 Spartans
defending it
They stopped the invading force for 3 days until a traitor revealed a secret path around the Spartans
The Spartan sacrifice impressed the Greeks
Athens was evacuated, and Xerxes set fire to it- yet the
Greeks took the battle to the sea and sunk 1/3 of Xerxes fleet
Persian Wars Part II
Helot revolt of 650 B.C.
The Spartans were outnumbered 8 to 1, barely survived the revolt
Historians speculate that the Spartans, shocked by the revolt, dedicated to making themselves a strong city-state
Why did Sparta become a military state?
Greek Myths
traditional stories about the gods
Explained the mysteries of nature and the power of human emotions
Human qualities: love, hate, jealousy, etc.
Active involvement in human affairs
Athena- guardian of cities (Athens)
After the Trojan War the
Mycenaean civilization collapses
(sea raiders)
The Dorians move into the war-torn countryside
Economic collapse
Lost the art of writing?
No written records exists
from 1150 to 750 B.C.
Oral tradition transmits history
The Dark Ages of Greece
Around 1500 B.C. the Mycenaeans encountered the Minoans
Learned the value of sea-based trade from the Minoans
Adapted the Minoan writing system to Greek
Minoan-influenced culture of Mycenae formed the core of Greek religion, art, politics, and literature
Meet the Minoans
Part I: The Mycenaeans, Minoans, and Dorians
Mycenaeans- settled Greek mainland around 2000 B.C.
The Mycenaeans were warrior-herdsman looking for new pastures for their herds.
Mycenae had natural protective barriers- steep and rocky ridge
Well fortified wall allowed them to withstand almost any attack
Strong rulers (Kings) controlled the city-states and surrounding villages and farms
Foolish Hercules...
Achilles heel
Perseus and Medusa!
Stories of Greek heroes teach us about the strengths and weaknesses of men... Lessons on what make men great, and what can lead us to fall...
Lessons learned...
The valiant stand of the Spartans may have saved early Western civilization from the Persian Empire... Now they are immortalized in books, movies, video games and even plays!
"Socrates is guilty of crime in refusing to recognize the gods acknowledged by the state, and importing strange divinities of his own; he is further guilty of corrupting the young."
Take a wild guess who was not happy about getting orders from Athens...
Using the money of the Delian League to make Athens’ navy the strongest in the Mediterranean
Why would a strong navy be more beneficial to Greece than a strong land army?
Did Athens have the interests of other city-states at hand or were they bullies?
How did Pericles Strengthen the Athenian Empire?
The Golden Age of Greece
Believed that absolute standards did exist for truth and justice
Encouraged Greeks to question everything
“The unexamined life is not worth living”
Case Study: Socrates
Philosophers- “lovers of wisdom”
Greek philosophers based their philosophy on two assumptions:

1. The universe is put together in an orderly way, and subject to absolute and unchanging laws.
2. People can understand those laws through logic and reason. (rationalism)
Legacy of the Greeks:
The Philosophers
Well, he used money from the Delian League to beautify Athens…
This probably was not what members of the Delian League had in mind when they joined and handed over their money… (re-creation of Athenian statue in the Pantheon)
How did Pericles Glorify Athens?
How to Lose a War (by Pericles)
Pick a fight with Sparta
Plan to use naval superiority against a city-state that was inland
Wait for an “opportunity to strike” while the Spartans are marching to your front door
The Peloponnesian War: Athens vs. Sparta
Led Athens during most if its Golden Age
Somehow Athens kept fighting, eventually both sides tired- signed a truce
Sparta really was the victor- battle fought on Athenian soil, and Athens was badly weakened.
Long term consequences? Athens and Sparta were weakened and didn't stand a chance against the Macedonians!
The Plague
Three Goals:
1. To strengthen Athenian Democracy
2. To hold and strengthen the empire
3. To glorify Athens
Paid public servants!
No longer would public office be a position reserved for the wealthy...
Poor could serve, if elected.
Direct Democracy
- Citizens rule directly
Representative Democracy
- Rule through representatives
How to Win a War (by Sparta)
March your superior army into the countryside
Burn their food
Hope for a plague
Macedon- Northern city-state in ancient Greece
Philip the II invades Greece
Alexander, his son, conquers Persia, Egypt, parts of India
Alexander sought to meld Greek culture with cultures
Established cities to be outposts of Greek administration and culture
Hellenistic Culture- blended Greek, Egyptian, Persian and Indian
Common language of the empire
Alexandria- center of science, commerce, philosophy and civilization in the Hellenistic world
The Macedonian Invasion
Rest in Peace, Pericles.
1/3 of the Athenian population dead...
Allegory of the Cave
Reading Questions Review
The relevance of classical philosophy?
Timeless Questions
Geography of Greece
Greece was not a country, it was a region with a common language. Each
operated as its own sovereign 'nation'.
A Seafaring People
With the exception of several landlocked city-states, the majority of Greeks relied heavily on sailing as a means of travel, trade, and defense.
An Ancient Greek Merchant Ship
An Ancient Greek
a powerful warship with three banks of oars

that gave the Greeks a distinct naval advantage.
3/4 of Greece is rugged, mountainous terrain
1/4 of Greek land is suitable for farming (small, fertile valleys)
Small streams made large-scale irrigation impossible
Due to these environmental constraints, the population of all of Greece never exceeded a few million.

Climate and Agriculture
Mediterranean Climate
warm, wet winters and hot, dry summers
Diet based on cereals (90% barley)
Limited animal husbandry- primarily sheep and goats; also oxen and mules
80% of Greeks involved in agriculture
Main Idea:
The roots of Greek culture are based on interaction of the Mycenaean, Minoan, and Dorian cultures.
Ancient Greece
The Trojan War
Part II: Warring City-States
Greek Olives

Cured to remove the natural bitterness or pressed to create olive oil.
Olive Oil was a healthy source of dietary fat, used in grooming, as fuel for lamps, and to annoint kings and athletes.
The Death Mask of Mycenaean King Agamemnon
He likely existed, although this mask predates him and the stories of him are based more in mythology than history.
Mycenaean Bronze Age Armor
with Boar Tusk Helmet
The Myth of the Minotaur
A historical explanation of the myth refers to the time when Crete was the main political and cultural potency in the Aegean Sea. As the fledgling Athens (and probably other continental Greek cities) was under tribute to Crete, it can be assumed that such tribute included young men and women for sacrifice.
This ceremony was performed by a priest disguised with a bull head or mask, thus explaining the imagery of the Minotaur
Trojan War: 1200 B.C.
An Independent Trading City Located in Present-day Turkey.
There is a wedding on Mount Pelion between Peleus and Thetis
All the Gods and Goddesses are invited...
... Except
, the disagreeable
Goddess of Discord
So, being a petty goddess, she decides to sew discord and crafts a golden apple inscribed for the 'fairest goddess'.
She throws the apple amongst the gods
, and
immediately begin fighting over the apple.
has an idea!
He appoints
, a
Trojan prince
, and the 'handsomest' of all mortal men to decide who gets the apple.
The godesses try to bribe him for the apple
Hera offers dominion over the entire world
Athena offers victory in every battle
Aphrodite, goddess of love, offers the most beautiful woman in the world:
I'll take Helen!
Paris is like...
Just One Problem
Helen is married...
To the Greek King of Sparta

Helen of Troy was said to be so beautiful that over two-dozen Greek princes tried to win her hand in marriage, and they swore an oath that they would respect her choice and punish anyone that try to steal her away from her husband.
So Menelaus
Calls his brother
(mythical king of
Agamemnon reminds his former rivals of their oath of allegiance and is able to assemble a Greek force of more than 1,000 ships from over two dozen Greek kingdoms.
The Greeks don't assault Troy directly, because it's walls were said to be impregnable.
For nine years they ransack and loot the surrounding towns and countryside.
They also killed many champions of Troy
The Greek hero
vs. Hector
Yet Troy still would not fall: it's walls were built by
Odysseus has an idea...
Build a wooden horse dedicated to Athena, and leave it for the Trojans to discover...
The Trojans discover it, and believe it will bring them luck...
The Greeks raze Troy and massacre its inhabitants...
The gods are angered that the Greeks slaughter the Trojans and destroy temples devoted to the gods
So on their voyage home the gods create a storm and destroy nearly every Greek ship
The Greek hero
vs. Boagrius
A Story
Greek Mythology
Full transcript