Final Greek Vocabulary

Created by NantucketViking Teacher

Peloponnesian Wars

Athens vs. Sparta; 5th Century BC

Athens

Most advanced city-state; fought Sparta in Peloponnesian Wars

Sparta

Most militaristic city-state; fought Athens in the Peloponnesian Wars

Epic

Long poem about heroes and/or gods

Fable

Short tale which teaches a lesson

Persian Wars

Persian Empire invades Greece;
490 and 480 BC

Hellenes

Name of the ancient Greeks for themselves

Lyceum

School founded by Aristotle;
modern: intermediate school

Academy

School founded by Plato;
modern: advanced (private) school

Gymnasium

School for students intermediate between elementary school and college

Parthenon

Athens' temple to Athena on the Acropolis in Athens

Marathon

26-mile race named for Greek victory over the Persians during the 1st Persian War in 490 BC (legend is that Pheidippides ran to Athens to announce victory, and dropped dead)

Thermopylae

480 BC; 2nd Persian War battle site; 300 Spartans held off gigantic Persian army, and died bravely and famously

Draconian

Harsh; named after Athenian lawmaker whose code of laws prescribed death for almost every offense

Myth

Traditional story about gods, ancestors, or heroes, told to explain the natural world or the customs and beliefs of a society.

Salamis

480 BC; Naval battle; 2nd Persian War; Greeks win despite great odds

Platea

479 BC; 2nd Persian War land battle; outnumbered Greeks win!

Tragedy

A serious form of drama dealing with the downfall of a heroic or noble character to make a point or teach a lesson

Comedy

In ancient Greece, play that mocked people or social customs to make a point or teach a lesson

Persia

Empire in southern Asia created by Cyrus the Great in the 6th century BC and destroyed by Alexander the Great in the 4th century BC

Peloponnesus

Southern peninsula of Greece; dominated by Sparta

Temple

Religious building; home of a god

Acropolis

"The" hill in the center of Athens

Democracy

Political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can vote or elect people to represent them

Peninsula

Body of land jutting into a lake or ocean, surrounded on three sides by water

Marble

Type of stone;
extensively used for statues and public buildings

Sculpture

Statue or work of art;
usually made from marble

Alphabet

Set of symbols (letters) that represent the sounds of a language
(Greeks added vowels to create world's first complete one)

City-state

City and its surrounding lands functioning as an independent political unit

Golden Age

A time period when a civilization is at its best;
a time of prosperity and cultural growth

Majority

More than half of the votes

Barbarian

Anyone who is not a member of your civilization
(OR, a wild and uncivilized person)

Agora

Central area in Greek cities;
used as a marketplace and as a meeting place

Polis

Greek term for a city-state

Export

Send trade goods out of a country

Import

Bring trade goods into a country

Olympics

Greek athletic competitions held every 4 years to celebrate the Gods

Citizen

Person who lives in a place and has voting rights

acropolis

large hill in a city; used as a fortress and/or religious site

Polytheism

belief in many gods

Aristocrat

upper class person; noble ("hoity toity")

Legislate

make laws

Monarchy

form of government with an all-powerful hereditary ruler (e.g., king, emperor)

Monarch

leader in a monarchy

Hereditary

passing from generation to generation, parent to child

odyssey

long, eventful, adventurous journey (derived from Homer's story of the voyage home of Odysseus after the Trojan War)

Oligarchy

system of government in which a small group of people holds power

Trade

exchange of goods; the buying and selling of goods and products

Trireme

ancient Greek warship having three tiers of oars on each side

Odyssey

Homer's epic tale of the return voyage of Odysseus from the Trojan War

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