Ancient Greece (Greek: Ἑλλάς, romanized: Hellás) was a northeastern Mediterranean civilization, existing from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of classical antiquity (c. AD 600), that comprised a loose collection of culturally and linguistically related city-states and other territories—unified only once, for 13 years, under Alexander the Great's empire (336-323 BC).
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The history of Greece went through these stages: 1. Mycenaean culture (c.1600–c.1100 BC) was an early Greek culture during the Bronze Age, on the Greek mainland and on Crete. 2. The bronze age collapse or Greek dark ages(c.1100–c.750 BC). 3. The archaic period (c.750–c.500 BC). Artists made larger free-standing sculptures in stiff poses, with the dreamlike 'archaic smile'. The archaic period ends with the overthrow of the last tyrant of Athensin 510 BC. 4. The classical period (c.500–323 BC) had a style which was considered by later observers to be an outstanding example (i.e. 'classical')—for instance the Parthenon. Politically, the classical period was dominated by Athens and the Delian League during the 5th century. They were displaced by Spartan hegemony during the early 4th century BC. Finally there was the League of Corinth, which was led by Macedon. 1. The Hellenistic period (323–146 BC) is when Greek culture (Hellenistic art) and power expanded into the near and Middle East....
In the 8th century B.C., the Greeks learned how to read and write a second time. They had lost literacy at the end of the Mycenaean culture, as the Mediterranean world fell into the Dark Ages. The Greek Dark Ages (~1100 BC–750 BC), or Bronze Age collapse, is a period in the history of Ancient Greece and Anatoliafrom which there are no written records, and few archaeological remains. The Greeks learned about the alphabet from another ancient people, the Phoenicians. They made some adjustments...
Ancient Greece had one language and culture, but was not unified until 337 BC, when Macedonia defeated Athens and Thebes. That marked the end of the Classic period, and the start of the Hellenistic period. Even then, the conquered cities were merely joined to Philip II of Macedon's Corinthian League; they were not occupied, and ruled themselves.
In 499 BC, the Greek cities in Anatolia rebelled. They did not want Persia to rule them anymore. Athens sent 20 ships to fight the Persians on the sea. The Greeks in Anatolia were defeated. The Persian King, Dariusdecided to punish Athens. He sent soldiers and ships to fight Athens. Athens asked for help from Sparta. Sparta wanted to help but could not; they had a religious festival at that time. Athens sent her soldiers against the Persian soldiers: at the Battle of Marathon(490 BC) they defeated the Persians. Then the help from Sparta came. At the Battle of Thermopylae The Spartans were led by Leonidas, and resisted the huge Persian army. After a couple of days, a traitor called Ephialtes led the Persians around the pass behind the Greek army. Realising that defeat was inevitable, Leonidas released many of his men. Those who stayed knew it would be a fight to the death. Leonides kept elite hoplites (foot soldiers) who had living sons at home.There were also allied Thespians and Th...
After the Persians were defeated at Platea, the Spartans did very little. However, Persia was still dangerous. Athens asked the Greek cities on the islands in the Aegean and in Anatolia to join her. The cities agreed because they were afraid of Persia. These cities formed the Delian League and Athens was their leader. Many of the cities of the Delian League had to pay Athens tribute money. Athens used the money to build many ships and the Parthenon. Sparta was still strong on land, but Athens was stronger on the sea. Several times there was war between Athens and Sparta. Then Athens decided to send many ships to Sicily to fight against the city Syracuse. Sparta sent help to Syracuse, and Athens was defeated. None of the Athenian ships came back. Now Sparta wanted to build ships to fight Athens. It took a long time for Sparta to defeat Athens, but then at the Battle of Aegospotami the Spartans destroyed most of Athens's ships. The Athenians used an advanced type of ship called trirem...
Men, when not working, fighting or discussing politics, could (at festive times) go to Ancient Greek theatre to watch dramas, comedies or tragedies. These often involved politics and the gods of Greek mythology. Women were not allowed to perform in the theatre; male actors played female roles. Women did domestic work, such as spinning, weaving, cleaning and cooking. They were not involved in public life or politics. Women from rich families however, had slaves to carry out domestic work for them.
The famous Olympic games were held at Olympia every four years. They were for men only, and women were not allowed to attend, even as spectators. The sports included running, javelin throwing, discus throwing and wrestling. The Games were unusual, because the athletes could come from any Greek city. Another competition, the Heraean Games, was held for women. It was also held at Olympus at a different time from the men's event. The rules for girls in Spartawere different from other cities. They were trained in the same events as boys, because Spartans believed that strong women would produce strong babies who would become future warriors. Their girl athletes were unmarried and competed nude or wearing short dresses. Boys were allowed to watch the athletes, in the hopes of creating marriages and offspring. Later, in the Classical period, girls could compete in the same festivals as males.
The architecture of ancient Greece was produced by the ancient Greeks (Hellenes), whose culture flourished on the Greek mainland, the Aegean Islands and their colonies, for a period from about 900 BC until the 1st century AD, with the earliest remaining architectural works dating from around 600 BC.
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Archaic Greece 785 Pithecusae (Ischia) is settled by Euboean Greeks from Eretria and Chalcis 777 Cumae is founded by Chalcis 776 Traditional date for the first historic Olympic games. 757 The First Messenian War starts. (Date disputed by Jerome, Pausanias and Diodorus; this estimate is based on a... ...
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Fossils of the earliest pre-human (Ouranopithecus macedoniensis, 9.6–8.7 million years ago), and of the oldest direct ancestor of all humans (Graecopithecus, 7.2 million years ago) were found in Greece. In addition, 5.7 million year old footprints were found on the Greek island of Crete, which may suggest hominin evolution outside of Africa, contrary to current hypotheses.
The Palaeolithic period is generally understudied in Greece, because research has traditionally focused on the later parts of prehistory (Neolithic, Bronze Age) and the Classical times. Nevertheless, significant advances have been achieved during the last years and the record has been enriched with new material, collected mostly in the framework of regional surveys but also through systematic or rescue excavations. Not only new caves and rockshelters, but also recently discovered and importan...
The Mesolithic period in Greece started after Upper Paleolithic and it is part of Middle Stone Age in Greece before Neolithic emerging. Mesolithic sites in Greece were limited and the majority are located near the coast. Franchthi cave and Theopetra are among the most important Mesolithic sites in Greece and South Eastern Europe It is worth mentioning the Franchthi cave and the Theopetra Cavewere inhabited almost continuously throughout the Palaeolithic and the Mesolithic Period.
Ancient Greece refers to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Dark Ages to the end of antiquity (c. AD 600). In common usage, it refers to all Greek history before the Roman Empire, but historians use the term more precisely. Some writers include the periods of the Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations, while others argue that these civilizations were so different from later Greek cultures that they should be classed separately. Traditionally, the Ancient Greek period was taken to begin with the date of the first Olympic Gamesin 776 BC, but most historians now extend the term back to about 1000 BC. The traditional date for the end of the Classical Greek period is the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC. The period that follows is classed as Hellenistic. Not everyone treats the Classical Greek and Hellenic periods as distinct; however, and some writers treat the Ancient Greek civilization as a continuum running until the advent of Christianityin the 3rd century AD. Ancient...
Militarily, Greece itself declined to the point that the Romans conquered the land (168 BC onwards), though Greek culture would in turn conquer Roman life. Although the period of Roman rule in Greece is conventionally dated as starting from the sacking of Corinth by the Roman Lucius Mummius in 146 BC, Macedonia had already come under Roman control with the defeat of its king, Perseus, by the Roman Aemilius Paullus at Pydnain 168 BC. The Romans divided the region into four smaller republics, and in 146 BC Macedonia officially became a province, with its capital at Thessalonica. The rest of the Greek city-states gradually and eventually paid homage to Rome ending their de jure autonomy as well. The Romans left local administration to the Greeks without making any attempt to abolish traditional political patterns. The agorain Athens continued to be the center of civic and political life. Caracalla's decree in AD 212, the Constitutio Antoniniana, extended citizenship outside Italyto all...
The division of the empire into East and West and the subsequent collapse of the Western Roman Empire were developments that constantly accentuated the position of the Greeks in the empire and eventually allowed them to become identified with it altogether. The leading role of Constantinople began when Constantine the Great turned Byzantiuminto the new capital of the Roman Empire, from then on to be known as Constantinople, placing the city at the center of Hellenism, a beacon for the Greeks...
When the Byzantine Empire was rescued from a period of crisis by the resolute leadership of the three Komnenoi emperors Alexios, John and Manuelin the 12th century, Greece prospered. Recent research has revealed that this period was a time of significant growth in the rural economy, with rising population levels and extensive tracts of new agricultural land being brought into production. The widespread construction of new rural churches is a strong indication that prosperity was being generat...
A kind of "Renaissance" of the Byzantine artbegan in the 10th century. Many of the most important Byzantine churches in and around Athens, for example, were built during these two centuries, and this reflects the growth of urbanization in Greece during this period. There was also a revival in mosaic art with artists showing great interest in depicting natural landscapes with wild animals and scenes from the hunt. Mosaics became more realistic and vivid, with an increased emphasis on depicting...
The Greeks held out in the Peloponnese until 1460, and the Venetians and Genoese clung to some of the islands, but by the early 16th century all of mainland Greece and most of the Aegean islands were in Ottoman hands, excluding several port cities still held by the Venetians (Nafplio, Monemvasia, Parga and Methone the most important of them). The Cyclades islands, in the middle of the Aegean, were officially annexed by the Ottomans in 1579, although they were under vassal status since the 1530s. Cyprus fell in 1571, and the Venetians retained Crete until 1669. The Ionian Islands were never ruled by the Ottomans, with the exception of Kefalonia (from 1479 to 1481 and from 1485 to 1500), and remained under the rule of the Republic of Venice. It was in the Ionian Islands where modern Greek statehood was born, with the creation of the Republic of the Seven Islandsin 1800. Ottoman Greece was a multiethnic society. However, the modern Western notion of multiculturalism, although at first...
In the early months of 1821, the Greeks declared their independence, but did not achieve it until 1829. The Great Powers first shared the same view concerning the necessity of preserving the status quo of the Ottoman Empire, but soon changed their stance. Scores of non-Greeks philhellenes volunteered to fight for the cause, including Lord Byron. On October 20, 1827, a combined British, French and Russian naval force destroyed the Ottoman and Egyptian armada. The Russian minister of foreign affairs, Ioannis Kapodistrias, himself a Greek, returned home as President of the new Republic and with his diplomatic handling, managed to secure the Greek independence and the military dominination in Central Greece. The first capital of the independent Greece was temporarily Aigina (1828–1829) and later officially Nafplion (1828–1834). After his assassination, the European powers turned Greece into a monarchy; the first King, Otto, came from Bavaria and the second, George I, from Denmark. In 18...
1. Boletsi, M. "The futurity of things past: Thinking Greece beyond crisis." Inaugural Speech as Marilena Laskaridis Chair of Modern Greek Studies, Amsterdam, Netherlands 21 (2018) online. 2. Tziovas, Dimitris. "The study of modern Greece in a changing world: fading allure or potential for reinvention?." Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies 40.1 (2016): 114–125. online
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Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods: Mycenaean Greek, Dark Ages, the Archaic period, and the Classical period. Ancient Greek was the language of Homer and of fifth-century Athenian historians, playwrights, and philosophers. It has contributed many words to English vocabulary and has been a standard subject of study in educational institutions of th
Ancient Greek was a pluricentric language, divided into many dialects. The main dialect groups are Attic and Ionic, Aeolic, Arcadocypriot, and Doric, many of them with several subdivisions. Some dialects are found in standardized literary forms used in literature, while others are attested only in inscriptions. There are also several historical forms. Homeric Greek is a literary form of Archaic Greek used in the epic poems, the Iliad and the Odyssey, and in later poems by other authors. Homeric
Ancient Greek differs from Proto-Indo-European and other Indo-European languages in certain ways. In phonotactics, ancient Greek words could end only in a vowel or /n s r/; final stops were lost, as in γάλα "milk", compared with γάλακτος "of milk". Ancient Greek ...
Greek, like all of the older Indo-European languages, is highly inflected. It is highly archaic in its preservation of Proto-Indo-European forms. In ancient Greek, nouns have five cases, three genders, and three numbers. Verbs have four moods and three voices, as well as three persons and various other forms. Verbs are conjugated through seven combinations of tenses and aspect: the present, future, and imperfect are imperfective in aspect; the aorist, present perfect, pluperfect and future perfe
The beginning of Homer's Iliad exemplifies the Archaic period of ancient Greek: Μῆνιν ἄειδε, θεά, Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί' Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε' ἔθηκε, πολλὰς δ' ἰφθίμους ψυχὰς Ἄϊδι προΐαψεν ἡρώων, αὐτοὺς δὲ ἑλώρια τεῦχε κύνεσσιν οἰωνοῖσί τε πᾶσι· Διὸς δ' ἐτελείετο βουλή· ἐξ οὗ δὴ τὰ πρῶτα ...