Unit 3: Ancient Greece

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agora

the marketplace of a Greek city state, center of civic life, a central area in Greek cities used both as a marketplace and as a meeting place

myth

a traditional story accepted as history

epic

a long narrative poem telling of a hero's deeds

arete

The highest virtue in Homeric society; courage and excellence that equipped a hero to acquire and defend honor

polis

City-state

phalanx

formation of infantry carrying overlapping shields and long spears; group of men packed together (for attack or defense)

helot

In the society of ancient Sparta, a peasant bound to the land

democracy

Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representative

tragedy

dramatic play dealing with the downfall of a heroic or noble character

comedy

a humorous form of drama that often includes slapstick and satire

socratic method

way of teaching developed by Socrates that used a question-and-answer format to force students to use their reason to see things for themselves

hellenism

Blending of Egyptian, Persian and Greek culture; emphasis on philosophy and sciences.

minoans

A Neolithic people that started around 3000BCE, supposedly the earliest people on the island of Crete. They were excellent sailors & traded w/ Egypt & the Fertile Crescent and were conquered by mainland Greece around 1400 BCE.

Homer

ancient Greek epic poet who is believed to have written the Iliad and the Odyssey (circa 850 BCE)

Herodotus

Greek historian whose writings, chiefly concerning the Persian Wars, are the earliest known examples of narrative history.

Thermopylae

a narrow pass in east-central Greece where an unsuccessful attempt by the Spartans led to their defeat by Xerxes and the Persians in 480 B.C. during the Persian Wars

Persian Wars

A series of wars between Greek city-states and the Persian Empire (5th century B.C.).

The Republic

The best-known writings of Plato, in which Socrates is shown outlining an ideal state, ruled by philosopher-kings.

Olympics

Greek athletic competitions to celebrate the Gods and feed city-state rivalries beginning in 776BCE, eventually revived in 1896.

Phillip II

King of Macedon; gained control of Greece; believed his destiny to unify Greek city-states and spread Greek culture; left throne to son Alexander the Great

The Academy

School founded by Plato in Athens to train statesmen and citizens, focus on philosophy

Mycenaean

an Indo-European person who settled on the Greek mainland around 2000 B.C.

Dorian

A member of an ancient Hellenic race that completed the overthrow of Mycenaean civilization and settled esp. in the Peloponnisos and Crete

Trojan War

Mycenaeans (Greeks) vs. Troy. Trojan Prince kidnapped Helen, wife of the Mycenaen's king. Greeks won when they tricked the Trojans with the Trojan Horse. The Iliad gives information about the Trojan War.

tyrant

person who takes power by force and rules with total authority

oligarchy

a system of government in which a small group holds power

aristocracy

a government in which power is in the hands of a hereditary ruling class or nobility

monarchy

A government ruled by a king or queen

direct democracy

system of government in which citizens gather at mass meetings to decide on government matters

philosopher

lover of, or searcher for, wisdom or knowledge

philosophy

love of wisdom

Socrates

philosopher who believed in an absolute right or wrong; asked students pointed questions to make them use their reason

Plato

Student of Socrates, started the Academy, wrote The Republic about the perfectly governed society, taught Aristotle

Aristotle

philosophy student of Plato, tutor of Alexander the Great

Pericles

Athenian leader noted for advancing democracy in Athens during its Golden Age and for ordering the construction of the Parthenon.

Solon

Ruler who outlawed slavery and made government reforms

Iliad

a Greek epic poem (attributed to Homer) that tells the story of the final years of the Trojan War

Odyssey

a Greek epic poem (attributed to Homer) describing the journey of Odysseus after the fall of Troy

Black-figure pottery

black figures painted on terra-cotta, associated with the Golden Age of Greece

Red-figure pottery

the background is glazed black so that figures stand out in terra-cotta

hubris

excessive pride or arrogance that results in the downfall of the hero/character

kleos

Greek word for glory or fame after death, like Achilles

Alexander the Great

successor of Philip of Macedon; 1st global empire stretching from Greece to India, spread of Hellenistic culture is greatest achievement

Xerxes

Persian King that fought Greeks in Persian Wars, especially in the battle of Thermopylae

Leonidas

king of Sparta and hero of the battle of Thermopylae where he was killed by the Persians (died in 480 BCE)

Achilles

son of Peleus and Thetis, Greek warrior in the Trojan War and hero of Homer's Iliad

acropolis

a hilltop where citizens met for government activities and religious observances

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