Chapter 4: The Greek Experience (ca. 3500-146 B.C.E.)

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Parker 9th grade

acropolis

An elevated point within a city on which stood temples, altars, public monuments, and various dedications to the gods of the polis.

aristocracy

A type of Greek government in which only the top members of society exercise authority. The word translates as "power in the hands of the best."

Delian League

A grand naval alliance, created by the Athenians and led by Aristides, aimed at liberating Ionia from Persian rule .

deme

A local unit that served as the basic of Cleisthenes' political system.

democracy

A type of Greek government in which all citizens, without regard to birth or wealth, administered the workings of government. It is translated as "the power of the people."

Epicureanism

A Greek system of philosophy, founded on the teachings of Epicurus, which emphasized that a life of contentment, free from fear and suffering, was the greatest good.

Great Silk Road

The name of the major route for the silk trade.

heliocentric theory

The belief that the earth revolves around the sun.

hoplite

A heavily armed foot soldier that served as the backbone of the Greek army.

koine

A common dialect of the Greek language that influenced the speech of peninsular Greece.

monarchy

Derived from the Greek for "the rule of one man," it was a type of Greek government in which a king represented the community.

mystery religions

Any of several religious systems in the Greco-Roman world characterized by secret doctrines and rituals of initiation.

natural law

The belief that the laws governing ethical behavior are written into nature itself, and therefore possesses universal validity

oligarchy

"The rule of a few," a type of Greek government in which a small group of wealthy citizens, not necessarily of aristocratic birth, ruled.

polis

Generally translated as "city-state," it is the basic political and institutional unit of Greece.

sovereign

An independent, autonomous state run by its citizens, free of any outside power or restraint.

Stoicism

The most popular of Hellenistic philosophies; it considers nature an expression of divine will, and holds that people can be happy only when living in accordance with nature.

Tyche

The Greek goddess of luck, eventually identified with the Roman goddess Fortuna.

tyranny

Rule by a tyrant, a man who used his wealth to gain a political following that could take over the existing government.

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