False, it was a collection of seperate lands where Greek-speaking people lived.
True of False: Greece was a united country in ancient times.
This was a group of people that lived on the large Greek island of Crete by 3000 B.C. They created an elegant civilization that had great power in the Mediterranean world.
People migrated and settled in mainland Greec
What was happening at the same time when the people of Crete, the Minoans, were thriving on their civilization?
It consisted of mainly a mountainous peninsula that jutted out into the Meditterranean Sea. It included about 2,000 Islands in the Aegean and Ionian Seas. Lands on the eastern edge of the Aegean were also a part of Ancient Greece.
The Aegean and Ionian Seas
The two bodies of water which included the 2,000 islands of Greece. These also were important transportation routes for the Greek people.
Greece's Physical Geography
This feature is what directly shaped Greek traditions and customs.
The Seas of Greece
This shaped Greek civilizations just as the rivers of shaped the ancient civilizations of Egypt, the Fertile Crescent, India, and China. The Greeks did not live ON a land but AROUND the sea.
Distance Greeks had to travel to reach the coastline.
At most 85 miles.
Linked most parts of Greece allowing Greece to connect with other societies.
This was very important in Greek society since Greece lacked natural resources, such as timber, precious metals, and usable farmland.
Physical feature that covered three-fourths of Greece. It ran from the northwest to the southeast along the Balkan peninsula.
Divides the land into a number of different regions, which caused a significant impact on Greek political life. Instead of a single-government, the Greeks developed small, independent communities within each little valley and it's surrounding mountains. Greeks then gave loyalty to these small communities (caused by what)?
This made transportation land difficult causing the roads that existed only to be little dirt paths. It often therefore took travelers several days to complete a journey that takes a few hours today.
Suitable for farming. (This type of land was rarely found in Greece where the land was mostly stony).
Tiny Fertile Valleys
Covered the remaining one-fourth of Greece.
Greece had very little amounts of fertile farmland and fresh water for irrigation which are essential to support a population.
Why was Greece not able to support a large population?
No more than a few million people at any given time.
Amount of people to have lived in Greece estimated by Historians.
Factors that motivated the Greeks to seek new sights for colonies:
A desire for more living space, grassland for raising livestock, and adequate farmland.
The third environmental influence on Greek civilization. This varied, with up to cool temperatures in the winter and only warm in the summer. This supported and promoted outdoor life for many Greek Citizens.
Average temperature in the Winter in ancient Greece.
Average temperature in the summer in ancient Greece.
Outdoor Public Events
Where men spent much of their leisure time and often met to discuss public issues, exchange news, and take part in an active civic life.
Migrated from the Eurasian steppes to Europe, India, and Southwest Asia.
The Indo-Europeans that settled on the Greek mainland around 2000 B.C. After 1500 B.C., through trade or war they came into contact with the Mineoan civilization.
The leading kingdom of the Mycenaeans located in southern Greece on a steep, rocky rigde protected by a 20 foot thick wall. This fortified city could almost withstand any attack.
Especially in Mycenae, the ______ ruled the surrounding villages and farms. Strong rulers controlled other areas Mycenaean cities such as Tiryns and Athens, dominating Greece from about 1600 to 1100 B.C.
What the Mycenaean saw as a value after their contact with the Minoans.
Sailed across much of the eastern Meditterranean, making stops at the Aegean islands, coastal towns in Anatolia, and ports in Syria, Egypt, Italy, and Crete.
The Mycenaeans also adapted their writing systemto the Greek language and decorated vases with Minoan designs. This produced the core of Greek religious practice, art, politics, and literature.
Has its roots from the Minoan and Mycenean (early Meditterranean) civilizations.
An independent trading city located in Anatolia.
The Mycenaeans against Troy
Who fought against who in the Trojan War during the 1200s B.C. for 10 years?
The Reason (Legend) of the Trojan War
A Greek army besieged and destrowed Troy because a Trojan prince had (possibly) kidnapped Helen, the beautiful wife of a Greek king. (You wrote about this in the DBQ).
The 10-year war fought against the Troy by the Mycenaeans and believed to have been fictional, however, excavations conducted in Northwestern Turkey in the 1870s suggests that the stories of this war might have been based on real cities, peoples, and events. The nature of this war yet remains unclear and is believed to have been the last Mycenaean battle campaigns.
A German Archaeologist that led excavations in northwestern Turkey during the 1870s in which evidence was found suggesting the legend of the Trojan War possibly true.
The Mycenaean civilization collapsed.
This happened not long after the Trojan War when Sea Raiders attacked and burned many of the civilization's cities.
A new group of people which moved to the war-torn countryside left after the collapse of the Mycenaeans. This group of people spoke a dialect of Greek and may have been distant relatives of the Bronze Age Greeks. They were far less advanced than the Mycenaeans and their economy collapsed and trade ended soon after their arrival.
According to historians, the time period where Greeks appear to have temporarily lost the art of writing. No written record exists during this 400 year period between 1150 and 750 B.C. As a result, little is known about this period of Greek history.
A blind man who became the greatest storyteller during the Dorian Age about history when the Greeks lacked writing. He also composed epics between 750 and 700 B.C.
Narrative poems celebrating heroic deeds.
One of Homer's great epics, holds the backdrop of the Trojan War.
Achilles and Hector
The two heroic warriors from thee Iliad, courageous and noble.
The Greek heroic ideal meaning virtue and excellence. This ideal could be displayed by a Greek on the battlefield in combat or in athletic contests on the playing field.
Traditions and Stories, (about the Greek gods).
Another epic, written by Hesiod is the source of much of Greek mythology. Greeks tried to understand mysteries of nature and the power of human passions.
The Greek author of the epic, Theogony.
Attributed Qualities of the Greek Gods
Love, hate, jealousy....The gods quarreled and competed constantly. They lived forever.
Ruler of the gods living on the Mount Olympus with his wife Hera.
Jealous of her husband Zeus.
Goddess of wisdom, Zeus' daughter, and his favorite child. Also thought by the Greeks as the guardian of cities, especially of Athens, named after her.
The Dorian Age
During what age did Greek civilization experience a decline?
Two things that changed life in Greece
(1) Dorians and Mycenaeans alike began to identify less with the culture of their ancestors and more with the local area where they lived.
(2) By the end of the period, the method of governing areas had changed from tribal to clan control to more formal governments - the city-states.
A city-state that was the fundamental political unit in ancient Greece by 750 B.C. It was made up of a city and its surrounding countryside, which included numerous villages. Most city-states controlled between 50 to 500 square miles in territory. They were often home to fewer than 10,000 residents.
The agora or marketplace on a fortified hilltop where citizens gathered to discuss city governments.
They had many different kinds: Monarchy, Aristocracy, and Oligarchy.
When a single person, called a king, ruled the government.
A government ruled by a small group of noble, landowning families. These very rich families often gained political power after serving in a king's military cavalry. Later, as trade expanded, a new class of wealthy merchants and artisans emerged in some cities.
A type of government usually formed when groups became dissatisfied with aristocratic rule where the government is ruled by a few powerful people.
Clashes between the rulers and common people.
What occurred often in city-states?
Usually nobles or other wealthy citizens which sometimes seized control of the government by appealing to the common people for support.
The powerful individuals mention before, not considered harsh and cruel but rather looked upon as leaders who would work for the interest of the ordinary people. Once in power, they often set up building programs to provide jobs and housing for their supporters.
A city-state in which the idea of representative government began to take place and went through power struggles between rich and poor. They, however, avoided major political upheavals by making timely reforms. The reformers therefore turned towards democracy.
Rule by the people. In Athens, citizens participated directly in political decision making.
A nobleman in which the first step towards democracy came when in 621 B.C. took power and developed a legal code based on the idea that all Athenians, rich and poor, were equal under the law. Draco's code dealt very harshly with criminals, making death the punishment for practically every crime. It also upheld debt slavery.
Where debtors worked as slaves to repay their debts.
Came into power in 594 B.C. and created far more democratic reforms by first stating that no citizen should own another citizen, and therefore outlawed slavery. He organized all Athenian citizens into four different social classes based on wealth in which the top three classes could hold political office. All citizens, regardless of class, could participate in the Athenian assembly. Also the concept that a citizen can bring charges against another was introduced.
Another Athenian ruler from about 500 B.C. introduced further reforms by breaking up the power of the nobility by organizing citizens into ten group based on where they lived rather than their wealth. He also increased the the power of assembly by allowing all citizens to submit laws for debate and passage. He also created thee Council of Five Hundred.
Council of Five Hundred
The body that proposed laws and counciled the assembly. Members were chosen by lot, or by random.
Free Adult Male Poverty Owners Born in Athens
The people considered citizens (in Athens).
Woman, Slaves, and Foreigners
The people excluded from citizenship and had few rights.
Received only by the sons of the wealthy families, Schooling began around age seven and largely prepared boys to be good citizens. They studied reading, grammar, poetry, history, mathematics, and music. They also received training in logic and public speaking since they were expected to debate issues in the assembly. They thought it was important to train the body so part of each day was spent with athletic activities.
Where Athenian boys would go after they became older to help them prepare for another important duty of citizenship, defending Athens.
They did not attend school but were educated at home by their mothers and other female members of the household. They had very little to do with Athenian life.
What Athenian Girls Learned
They learned about child-rearing, weaving cloth, preparing meals, managing the household, and other skills that helped them become good mothers and wives. (Some were even able to learn to read and write but this was very rare).
The southern part of Greece of where Sparta was located.
This city in peloponnesus was nearly cut off by the rest of Greece by the Gulf of Corinth. This city greatly contrasted sharply with other city-states such as Athens. Instead of a democracy, this city built a military state.
The region that the Spartans conquered and took over the land in 725 B.C., which later caused them to become helots. After Spartan's harsh rule, they revolted in 650 B.C.
Peasants forced to stay on the land they worked. Each year, Spartans demanded half their crop.
Because they were outnumbered by the Messenians 8 to 1 and barely put down the revolt.
Why did Sparta dedicate itself to become a strong city-state?
Composed of several branches.
Composed of all Spartan citizens, elected officials and voted on major issues.
The Council of Elders
Made up of 30 older citizens, proposed laws on which the assembly voted.
Five Elected Officials
They carried out the laws passed by the Spartan assembly. They also controlled education and prosecuted court cases.
Ruled over Sparta's military forces.
The Spartan Social Order
Consisted of several groups. The first descended from the original inhabitants of the region. This group included the ruling families who owned the land. A second group, non-citizens who were free, worked in industry and commerce. The helots, at the bottom of Spartan society were a little better than slaves. They worked in the fields or as house servants.
600 to 371 B.C.
Time period in which Sparta had the most powerful army in Greece.
In order to have this, Spartans had to pay a high price. All forms of individual expressions were discouraged. As a result, Spartans did not value the arts, literature, or other artistic and intellectual pursuits.
What Spartans Valued
Duty, Strength, and Discipline over freedom, individuality, beauty, and learning.
Men Serving in the Spartan Military
They were expected to serve until the age of 60 and their daily life was centered on the military. Boys left home at 7 and moved to army barracks until they were 30. They spent days marching, exercising, and fighting. This was done in all weather and conditions. They slept with no blankets on hard benches. The daily diet consisted of black porridge or were encouraged to steal food.
Led hardy lives receiving some military training. They ran, wrestled, and played sports. Taught to put service for Sparta above everything, including love of family. They had much freedom and were able to run their estates when men were in the military. This surprised men in other Greek city-states.
Danger of a helot revolt.
What led Sparta to become a military state?
Struggles between the rich and the poor.
What led Athens to become a democracy?
Bronze spears, shields, breastplates, and chariots.
This could only be afforded by the rich during the Dorian age. The rich also were the only to serve in armies.
This later replace bronze in the manufacture of weapons as it was harder, cheaper, and more common. This therefore allowed ordinary citizens to defend themeselves. The army therefore could be composed by merchants, artisans, and small landowners.
The foot soldiers of the army which stood side by side each holding a spear in one hand and a shield in the other.
The fearsome formation of the hoplites which became a powerful fighting force in the ancient world.
The Persian War
A war fought between Greece and the Persian empire beginning in Ionia on the coast of Anatolia. Greeks had long been settled there but around 546 B.C., the Persians conquered the area. When Ionian Greeks revolted, Athens sent ships and soldiers to their aid.
Darius the Great
The Persian king that defeated the rebels and vowed to destroy Athens in revenge.
He was a runner chosen by the Athenians (because the stood defenseless) to run back to Athens bringing news of the Persian defeat so the Athenians wouldn't give up their city without a fight. He dashed 26 miles from Marathon to Athens and delivered the message, "Rejoice, we conquer," before collapsing. The Greek army was therefore able to return to Athens and defend the city when the Persians sailed into the harbor causing them to retreat.
The son of Darius the Great, ten years later in 480 B.C., who assembled an enormous invasion force to crush Athens. The Greeks at the time were divided, some said "Ay, lets protect Athens and fight," while the other half thought wiser, "just let the Persians destroy Athens." As a consequence, Xerxes' army found no resistance.
The narrow mountain pass where Xerxes was blocked by 7,000 Greeks including 300 Spartans. Xerxes underestimated and his army was stopped after three days. A traitor, however, let the Persians know of a shortcut elsewhere...
The Spartans' Valiant Sacrifice
All were killed when they stayed to fight the remaining Persians at Thermopylae when the Greeks retreated to stop the Persians passing through the "shortcut" mentioned earlier.
An Athenian leader of whom convince the debating Athenians to evacuate the city and fight at sea.
The island having a narrow channel where the Athenians positioned their fleet, a few miles southwest of Athens. The channel was so narrow the Persian ships had trouble turning while the Greek ships attacked and punctured holed at the enemy. After burning the city of Athens, Xerxed later watched in horror as more than 1/3 of his fleet sank.
The Battle of Plataea
The battle where the Greeks routed (defeated) the Persians in 479 B.C. causing the Persians afterwards to always be on the defensive side.
The Delian League
An alliance formed by several Greek city-states a year after the Battle of Plataea. League members continued to press the war against the Persians for several more years. This ended the threat of future attacks.
The Persian War Aftermath
The Greek city-states feel a new sense of confidence and freedom. During the 470s B.C., Athens emerged the leader of the Delian League, which had grown to 200 city-states. Military force was used to members that challenged the authority. This prestige of victory is what caused Athens to enter the Golden Age.
The Golden Age of Athens
A time of about 50 years from 477 to 431 B.C. when Athens experienced a growth in intellectual and artistic learning. During this age, drama, sculpture, poetry, philosohy, architecture, and science al reached new heights. The artistic and literary legacies of the time continued to inspire and instruct people acround the world.
A wise and able statesman that led Athens during much of its golden age. He was honest and fair, holding onto popular support for 32 years. He was a skillful politician, an inspiring speaker, and a respected general. He dominated the life of Athens from 461 to 429 B.C.
The Age of Pericles
The time between 461 to 429 B.C. in which Pericle dominated the life of Athens during the Golden Age.
The Three Goals of Pericles
(1) To strengthen Athenian democracy.
(2) To hold and strengthen the empire.
(3) To glorify Athens.
He increased the number of officials with paid salaries as earlier in Athens, most positions in public office were unpaid and therefore only wealthier Athenian citizens could afford to hold public office.
What did Pericles do to strengthen democracy?
Branches of the Athenian Democracy
Result of Pericles Strengthening Democracy
Now even the poorest citizen could serve if elected or chosen by lot. Athens therefore had more citizens engaged in self-government than any other city-state in Greece. This reform made Athens one of the most democratic governments in history. This introduced direct democracy.
A form of government in which citizens rule directly and not through representatives. This became an important legacy of Periclean Athens. Few other city-states practiced this tyle of government. In Athens, male citizens who served in the assembly established all the important government policies that affected the polis.
Delian League and Pericles
Athens, as mentioned earlier, took over leadership of the league and dominated the city-states in it. Pericles used the money from the league's treasury to make the Athenian navy the strongest in the Mediterranean.
A Strong Navy
This was very important because it helped Athens strengthen the safety of its empire.
This depended on gaining access to the surrounding waterways. Athens needed overseas trade to obtain supplies of grain and other raw materials.
This may have allowed Pericles to treat other members of the Delian League as part of the empire. Some cities in Peloponnesus, however, resisted Athens and formed their own alliances. Sparta in particular was at odds with Athens.
Another Reason Pericles Used Money From the Delian League
Money was used as well to beautify the city of Athens. Pericles persuaded the Athenian assembly to vote huge sums of the league's money to buy gold, ivory, and marble. Even more money went to pay the artists, architects, and workers who used those materials.
To have the greatest Greek artists and architects create magnificent sculptures and buildings to glorify Athens.
One of architecture's noblest work, the center of Pericles' goal plan. This was a masterpiece of architectural design and craftsmanship but not unique in style. Greek architects constructed the 23,000 square-foot building in the traditional style that had been used to create Greek temples for 200 years. It was built to honor Athena and contained examples of Greek art that set standards for future generations of artists around the world.
A sculptor of whom Pericles entrusted much of the work on the Parthenon on. He crafted a giant statue of Athena that not only contained such precious materials as gold and ivory but stood 30 feet tall. He and other sculptors during the Golden Age aimed to make sculptures that were graceful, strong, and perfectly formed.
They were graceful, strong, and perfectly formed. Their faces showed neither joy nor anger, only serenity. Greek sculptors also tried to capture the grace of the idealized human body in motion. They wanted to portray ideal beauty, not realism.
The proportional values of harmony, order, balance, and proportion found in this type of art.
The Greeks invented drama as an art form and built the first theaters in the west. Theatrical productions in Athens were both an expression of civic pride and a tribute to the gods. As a part of their civic duties, wealthy citizens bore the cost of producing plays.
They were about leadership, justice, and the duties served to the gods. They often included a chorus that danced, sang, and recited poetry. Actors used colorful costumes, masks, and sets to dramatize stories.
The Two Kinds of Drama Greeks Wrote
Tragedy and Comedy.
A serious drama about common themes such as love, hate, war, or betrayal. These dramas often featured a main character, or tragic hero. The hero usually was an important person and often gifted with extraordinary abilities. A tragic fall usually caused the hero's downfall. Often this flaw was hubris.
Excessive Pride, often the flaw of the hero in a tragedy.
Three Notable Greek Dramatists
Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides.
Wrote more than 80 plays, his most famous being Oresteia.
A three-play tragedy series based on the family of Agamnon, the Mycenaean king who commanded the Greeks at Troy. The play examines the idea of justice.
Wrote more than 100 plays including Oedipus the King and Antigone.
The author of the play Medea, often featuring strong woman in his works.
A contrast to a Greek tragedy which contained scenes filled with slapstick situations and crude humor. These playwrights often made fun of politics and respected people and ideas of the time.
He wrote one of the first great comedies for the stage including The Birds and Lysistrata.
Portrayed the woman of Athens forcing their husbands to end the Peloponnesian War. The fact that Athenians could show criticism of themselves showed the freedom and openness of public discussion. that existed in democratic Athens.
True or False: There was no written record in the Dorian period.
The Epic Poems of Homer
They recount stories, but are not accurate recordings of what took place.
A Greek who lived in Athens for a time pioneering the accurate reportings of events.
Herodotus' book on the Persian war.
What is considered the first work of history?
An Athenian considered the greatest historian of the classical age as he believed that certain types of events and political situations recur over time. Studying those events and situations, he felt, would aid in understanding the present. This approach is still used by historians today.
Effects of Athens' Rise
As Athens grew in wealth an power, other city-states began to view it with hostility. Ill will was especially strong between Sparta and Athens. Many people thought a war between the two was inevitable. Instead of trying to avoid conflict, leaders in Athens and Sparta pressed for war to begin, as both groups of leaders believed their own city had an advantage. Eventually, Sparta declared war on Athens in 431 B.C.
The Peloponnesian War
The war fought between Athens and Sparta beginning in 431 B.C. When the war began, Athens had the stronger navy, but Sparta had the stronger army and an inland location making it hard for it to be attacked by sea.
Pericles' War Strategy
To avoid land battles with the Spartan army and wait for an opportunity to strike Sparta and its allies from sea.
They marched into Athenian territory and swept over the countryside, burning Athenian food supply. Pericles responded by bringing residents from the surrounding region inside city walls. The city was safe from hunger as long as ships could sail into port with supply from Athenian colonies and foreign states.
The 2nd Year of the Peloponnesian War
Disaster struck Athens. A frightful plague swept through the cty, killing about one-third of the population, including Pericles. Although weakened, Athens continued to fight for several years. Then in 421 B.C., the two sides, worn down by the war, signed a truce.
The "Afterwar" Truce Failure
It did not last long as in 415 B.C, the Athenians sent a huge fleet carrying more than 20,000 soldiers to the island of Sicily. Their plan was to destroy the city-state of Syracuse, one of Sparta's wealthiest allies. The expedition ended with a crushing defeat in 413 B.C. Thucydides recalled how Athenians were totally destroyed. Athens, however, was able to defend Sparta somehow, being so weak, for another nine years.
Athenians finally surrender including their allies. Athens had lost its empire, power, and wealth.
Appearance of the Great Thinkers
After the war, many Athenians lost confidence in democratic government and began to question their values. At this time of uncertainty, philosophers appeared.
Called by the Greeks meaning "lovers of wisdom."
What Philosophers based their Philosophy on:
(1) The universe (land, sky, and sea) is put together in an orderly way, and subject to absolute and unchanging laws.
(2) People can understand these laws through logic and reason.
A group of philosophers that questioned people's unexamined beliefs and ideas about justice and other traditional values. One of the most famous Sophists was Protagoras.
A Sophist who questioned the existence of the traditional Greek gods. He argued that there was no universal standard of truth, saying, "Man [the individual] is the measure of all things." These were radical and dangerous ideas to many Athenians.
One critic of the the Sophists that unlike them, he believed that absolute standards did exist for truth and justice. However, he encouraged Greeks to go farther and question themselves and their moral character. He was admired by many that understood his ideas, however, others were puzzled.
In 399 B.C., when Socrates was 70 years old, he was brought to trial for corrupting the youth of Athens and neglecting the city's gods. Socrates said his teachings were good for Athens because they forced people to think about their values and actions in his own defense.
What Socrates was forced to drink, a poison, after the jury disagreed and condemned him to death.
A student of Socrates was in his late 20s when his teacher died. He later wrote his conversations with Socrates down.
Plato's most famous work written in the 370s B.C. where he set forth his vision of a perfectly governed society. It was not a democracy but his ideal society where all citizens would fall naturally into three groups: farmers and artisans, warriors, and the ruling class. The person with the greatest insight and intellect from the ruling class would be chosen philosopher-king.
Dominated philosophic thought in Europe for nearly 1,500 years. His only rivals in importance were his teacher, Socrates, and his own pupil, Aristotle.
The philosopher that questioned the nature of the world and of human belief, thought, and knowledge up to his time. He invented a method for arguing according to rules of logic. He later applied hiis method to problems in the fields of psychology, physics, and biology. His work provides the basis of the scientific method used today.
One of Aristotle's most famous pupils and son of King Philip II of Macedonia. Around 343 B.C., Aristotle accepted the king's invitation to tutor the 13-year-old prince. His status as a student abruptly ended three years later, when his father called him back to Macedonia.
Results of the Peloponnesian War
It severely weakened several Greek city-states. This caused a rapid decline in their military and economic power.
He became king of Macedonia in 359 B.C. He took note of that rapid decline of power in Greece. He dreamed of taking control of Greece and then moving against Persia to seize its vast wealth. He hoped to avenge the Persian invasion of Greece in 480 B.C. When only 23, he proved to be a brilliant general and ruthless politician. He transformed the rugged peasants to a well-trained professional army.
The kingdom located just to the north of Greece which had a rough terrain and cold climate.
Hardy people that lived in mountain villages rather than city-states. Most nobles thought of themselves as Greeks. The Greeks, however, looked down on them as uncivilized foreigners who had no great philosophers, sculptors, or writers. They did however have their shrewd and fearless kings.
Phillip's Army Tactics
He organized his troops into phalanxes of 16 men across and 16 deep, each armed with an 18-foot pike. Then he used his fast moving cavalry to crush his disorganized opponents. After he employed these tactics successfully against northern opponents, Philip began to prepare for an invasion with Greece.
The Athenian orator that tried to warn the Greeks of the threat Philip and his army posed. He urged them to unite against Philip. However, the Greek city-states could not agree on a single policy.
A city-state in central Greece that joined forces with Athens to fight Philip in 338 B.C. By then, it was to late.
Battle of Chaeronea
The battle where the Macedonians soundly defeated the Greeks, which marks the end to their independence. The city-states retained self-government in local affairs, however, Greece itself remained firmly under control of a succession o foreign powers.
He never got the chance to invade Persia. At his daughter's wedding in 33 B.C., he was stabbed to death by a former guardsman. Philip's son Alexander immediately proclaimed himself king of Macedonia.
Alexander the Great
He earned this name due to his accomplishments over 13 years. He was only 20 years-old when he became king but prepared to lead. He had learned science, geography, and literature. He especially enjoyed Homer's description of the heroic deeds performed by Achilles during the Trojan war. To inspire himself, he kept a copy of the Iliad. He learned how to ride a horse, use weapons, and command troops as a young boy. Once he became king, he promptly demonstrated that his military training had not been wasted.
Destruction of Thebes
When the people of Thebes rebelled, Alexander destroyed the city and about 6,000 Thebans were killed. The survivors were sold into slavery. This caused the other Greek cities to be afraid to rebel.
Invasion of Persia
When Greece was secure, Alexander wanted to follow his father's idea to invade Persia. He led 35,000 soldiers across Hellespont into Anatolia. Persian messengers raced along the Royal Road to spread the news of invasion. About 40,000 men went to defend Persia. The two forces met at the Granicus River. Instead of waiting for the Persians to make the first move, Alexander urged his cavalry to attack. Leading troops into battle, Alexander smashed the Persian defenses.
The Persian king who became alarmed of Alexander's victory at Granicus. He vowed to crush the invaders and raised an army between 50,000 to 75,000 men to face the Macedonians near Issus.
The Battle at Issus
Realizing that he was outnumbered, Alexander surprised his enemies. He ordered his finest troops to break through a weak point in the Persian lines. The army then charged straight at Darius. To avoid capture, the frightened Darius III fled, following his panicked army. This victory gave control over Anatolia.
Darius Negotiation Attempt
Darius tried to negotiate a peace settlement by offering all of his lands west of the Euphrates River. Alexander's advisers urged him to accept. However, the rapid collapse of Persian resistance fired Alexander's ambition. He rejected Darius's offer and confidently announced his plan to conquer the entire Persian empire.
Alexander marched into Egypt, a Persian territory, in 332 B.C. The Egyptians welcomed Alexander as a liberator. They crowned him pharaoh, the god-king.
Alexander and Egypt
During his time as pharoah, Alexander founded the city of Alexandria at the mouth of the Nile. After leaving Egypt, Alexander moved east into Mesopotamia to confront Darius.
A small village near the ruins of ancient Nenevah where the desperate Persian king with 250,000 men meet with Alexander's cavalry. Here, Alexander launched a massive phalanx attack followed by a cavalry charge. As Persian lines crumbled, Darius panicked and fled. Alexander's victory at Gaugamela ended Persia's power.
Babylon, Susa, and Persepolis
The cities Alexander's army occupied after he defeated the Persian Empire at the Battle of Gaugamela. These cities yielded a huge treasure, which Alexander distributed among his army.
Persia's royal capital that was burned to the ground by Alexander's army. It is said Alexander left thee cities in ashes as a signal that he had destroyed the Persian empire.
The Greek historian who wrote 500 years after Alexander's time suggesting that fire was set in revenge for the Persian burning of Athens. However, the cause of the fire remains a mystery.
Alexander's Other Conquests
He had now reigned much of southwest Asia, but he looked forward to expanding his empire rather than governing it. He left Persepolis to pursue Darius and conquer Persia's remote Asian provinces. Darius' trail led Alexander to a deserted spot south of the Caspian Sea. There he found Darius already dead, murdered by one of his provincial governors. Rather than return to Babylon, Alexander continued east. During the next three years his army fought across the desert wastes and mountains of Central Asia. He pushed on, hoping to reach the farthest edge of the continent.
Alexander in India
In 326 B.C., Alexander and his army reached the Indus Valley after fighting for 11 years crossing 11,000 miles.
The location where a powerful India army blocked Alexander and his army's path. Alexander won the battle and marched some 200 miles farther, but their morale was low. They had endured scorching deserts and drenching monsoon rains. The exhausted soldiers yearned to turn home. Alexander decided to do so bitterly disappointed.
Alexander returned home in the spring of 323 B.C in Babylon. Restless as always, he announced plans to organize and unify his empire. He would construct new cities, roads, and harbors, and conquer Arabia. However, Alexander never carried out his plans because he became seriously ill with a fever and died a few days later at just 32 years old.
The Three New Macedonian Leaders
The Macedonian generals harshly fought for who would hold control after Alexander's death. Three ambitious leaders won out:
He became king of Macedonia and took control of the Greek city-states.
He seized Egypt, took the title of pharaoh, and establish a dynasty.
He took most of the old Persian Empire, which became known as the Seleucid kingdom.
The Three Leader's Ways of Governing
Ignoring the democratic traditions of the Greek polis, these rulers and their descendants governed with complete power over their subjects.
Effects from Alexander
Alexander's conquests had an interesting cultural impact. Alexander himself adopted Persian dress and customs and married a Persian woman. He included Persians and people from other lands in his army. As time passed, Greek settlers throughout the empire also adopted new ways. A vibrant new culture emerged from the blend of Greek and Eastern customs.
Cultural, Military, and Political
What were Alexander's ambitions?
Summary of Alexander
During the wars of conquest, he actively sought to meld the conquered culture with that of the Greeks. He started new cities as administrative centers and outposts for Greek culture. These cities, from Egyptian Alexandria in the south to the Asian Alexandrias in the east, adopted many Egyptian patterns and customs. After Alexander's death, trade, a shared Greek culture, and a common language continued to link cities together. But each region had its own traditional ways of life, religion, and government that no ruler could afford to overlook.
A common shared Greek culture.
Another word for Greek.
The Hellenistic Culture
Greek culture blended with Egyptian, Persian, and Indian influences.
The popular spoken language used in Hellenistic cities and was the direct result of cultural blending. The word came from the Greek word for "common." The language was a dialect of Greek. This language enabled educated people and traders from diverse backgrounds to communicate in cities throughout the Hellenistic world.
Among the many cities of the Hellenistic world, this Egyptian city became the foremost center of commerce and Hellenistic civilization. It occupied a strategic site on the western edge of the Nile. Trade ships from all around the Mediterranean docked in its spacious harbor. It's thriving on commerce enabled it to grow and prosper. By the third century B.C., it had become an international community, with a rich mixture of customs and traditions from Egypt and from the Aegean. Its diverse population exceeded half a million people.
Both residents and visitors admired it's great beauty. Broad avenues lined with statues of the Greek gods divided the city into blocks. Ruler built magnificent royal palaces overlooking the harbor. A much visited tomb contained Alexander's elaborate glass coffin.
A 350 foot enormous glass lighthouse which soared over Alexandria's harbor. It contained a polished bronze mirror that, at night, reflected the light from the blazing fire.
Alexandria's most famous attraction. It was a temple dedicated to the Muses. It contained art galleries, a zoo, botanical gardens, and even a dining hall. It was an institute of advance study. It also contained a small observatory in which astronomers could study the planets and stars.
The Greek goddesses of art and sciences.
The Alexandrian Library
It had a collection of half a million papyrus scrolls including many of the masterpieces of ancient literature. As the first true research library in the world, it helped promote the work of a gifted group of scholars.
The greatly respected the earlier works of classic literature and learning. They produced commentaries that explained these works (similar to what we do in Mr. Bradley's class). They preserved Greek and Egyptian learning in the sciences providing much of the scientific knowledge available to the West until the 16th and 17th centuries.
An astronomer of Samos that reached two significant scientific conclusions.
He estimated the Sun was at least 300 times larger than the Earth. Although he greatly underestimated the size he disproved the belief that the Sun was smaller than Greece. He also proposed that the Earth and other planets revolve around the Sun but other astronomers refused to support his theory.
A renowned astronomer who incorrectly place the Earth in the center of the solar system in second century B.C., and the idea was believed for the next 14 centuries.
The director of the Alexandrian Library that tried to calculate Earth's true size. Using geometry, he computed Earth's circumference at between 28,000 and 29,000 miles. (It is actually 24,860 miles. As well as a highly regarded astronomer and mathematician, Eratosthenes also was a poet and historian. (He and Aristarchus used a geometry text compiled by Euclid).
He was a highly regarded mathematician who taught in Alexandria. His best known book is Elements and his work is still the basis for courses in geometry.
Euclid's best known book that contained 465 carefully presented geometry propositions and proofs.
Another Hellenistic scientist of Syracuse that studied at Alexandria. He accurately estimated the value of pi - the ratio of circumference of a circle to its diameter. He also explained the law of the lever. Gifted in both geometry and physics, he also put his genius to practical use. He invented the Archimedes screw, a device that raised water from the ground, and the compound pulley to lift heavy objects. Using his ideas, Hellenistic scientists later built a force pump, pneumatic machines, and even a steam engine.
A writer that described how Archimedes demonstrated to an audience of curious onlookers how something heavy can be moved by a small force.
Philosophy and Art
The teachings of Plato and Aristotle continued to be very influential in Hellenistic philosophy. In the third century B.C., however, philosophers became concerned with how people should live their lives. Two major philosophies developed out of this concern.
A Greek philosopher (335 - 263 B.C.) that founded the school of philosophy called Stoicism.
Stoics proposed that people should live virtuous lives in harmony with the will of God or the natural laws that God established to run the universe. They also preached that human desires, power, and wealth were dangerous distractions that should be checked. It promoted social unity and encouraged its followers to focus on what they could control.
Founded the school of thought called Epicureanism. He taught that gods who had no interest in humans ruled the universe. He believed that the only real objects were those that the five senses perceived. He taught that the greatest good and the highest pleasure came from virtuous conduct and the absence of pain.
The proposed that the main goal of humans was to achieve harmony of the body and mind. Today, the word means a person devoted to pursuing human pleasures, especially the enjoyment of good food. They, however, during their lifetime, advocated moderations in all things.
They flourished during thee Hellenistic age like science. Rulers, wealthy merchants, and cities all purchased statues to honor gods, commemorate heroes, and portray ordinary people in everyday situations.
Colossus of Rhodes
The largest known Hellenistic statue created on the island of Rhodes. It was a bronze statue standing over 100 feet high. This became one of the seven wonders of the world but toppled in an earthquake in about 225 B.C. Later, the bronze was sold for scrap.
The Winged Victory of Samothrace which was another magnificent Hellenistic statue on the island of Rhodes. It was created in 203 B.C. to commemorate a Greek naval victory.
They made the statues move away from the harmonic balance and idealized forms of the classical age. Instead of the serene face and perfect body of an idealized man or woman, they created more natural works. They felt free to explore new subjects, carving ordinary people such as an old, wrinkled peasant woman.
While the Hellenistic world was in decline in 150 B.C., this new city was gaining strength. Through this city, Greek-style drama, architecture, sculpture, and philosophy were preserved and eventually became the core of the western world.