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Social Studies Chapter 4 7th grade

Terms in this set (21)

Another great thinker of ancient Greece was Aristotle (AR • uh • stah • tuhl). He wrote more than 200 works on topics such as government, astronomy, and political science. In 335 b.c. , Aristotle started a school called the Lyceum. At this school, he taught his students the "golden mean." The mean is the middle position between two extremes. The idea of the golden mean is that people should live moderately. For example, individuals should not eat too little or too much. Instead, they should eat just enough to stay well.

Aristotle had many interests, including science. He studied the stars, plants, and animals and carefully recorded what he observed. Aristotle classified living things according to their similarities and differences. Aristotle's methods were an important step in the development of modern science.

Like Plato, Aristotle also wrote about government. He studied and compared the governments of different city-states and hoped to find the best political system. In his book Politics, Aristotle divided governments into three types.
The first was monarchy, or rule by one person. The second was oligarchy (OHL • uh • gahr • kee), which is rule by a few people. The third type was democracy, or rule by many.

Aristotle believed the best government had features of all three. A chief executive would serve as head of state. A council or legislature would assist this leader and be supported by the people.

Aristotle's ideas influenced the way Europeans and Americans thought about government. The authors of the United States Constitution, like Aristotle, believed that no one person or group should have too much power.
Alexander was only 20 when he became ruler of Macedonia and Greece, but Philip had carefully prepared his son for the job. By age 16, Alexander was serving as a commander in the Macedonian army. He quickly won the respect of his soldiers.

They admired him for his bravery and military skill. After Philip's death, Alexander was ready to fulfill his father's dream. He prepared to invade the Persian Empire.

War with Persia

In the spring of 334 b.c., Alexander led about 40,000 Macedonian and Greek soldiers into Asia Minor. Their goal was to defeat one of the strongest armies in the world—the Persians. Alexander's cavalry (KAV • uhl • ree), or soldiers on horseback, proved to be a stronger force. They fought a battle at Granicus, in what is today northwestern Turkey. In that battle, Alexander's cavalry crushed the Persian forces. Alexander's forces continued to march across Asia Minor. They freed Greek city-states that had been under Persian rule.

A year and a half later, in November 333 b.c., Alexander fought the next major battle against the Persians at Issus (IH • suhs), in Syria. Once again, Alexander's military skills resulted in a victory. The Persian king Darius III was forced to flee from Issus.

Alexander and his troops did not pursue Darius, though. Instead, they moved south along the Mediterranean coast. In early 331 b.c., they conquered Egypt. Alexander built a new city in Egypt and named it Alexandria (a • lihg • ZAN • dree • uh) after himself. As a center of business and trade, Alexandria became one of the most important cities of the ancient world. It remains a vital city in the Mediterranean region today.

In late 331 b.c., Alexander's army headed back north. He turned eastward and invaded Mesopotamia, now ruled by the Persians. Alexander's army smashed Darius's forces at Gaugamela (gaw • guh • MEE • luh), near the Tigris River. After this victory, Alexander's army took over the rest of the Persian Empire.

After he conquered Persia, Alexander did not stop. In 327 b.c., he marched his army into northwestern India. There he fought a number of bloody battles. His soldiers were tired of constant fighting and refused to go farther. Alexander agreed to lead them home.

In 323 b.c., Alexander returned to Babylon, one of the Persian cities now under his control. The hardships of the journey had wrecked his health. Suffering from wounds and worn out by fever, Alexander died. He was only 32 years old.

Alexander was a great general who feared nothing. He rode into battle ahead of his soldiers and marched into unknown lands. The key to Alexander's courage may have been his early education. As a boy, Alexander read the Greek epics. His role model was Homer's warrior-hero Achilles. Today, Alexander is called Alexander the Great.

Alexander's armies extended Greek rule over a vast region. They spread Greek language, ideas, art, and architecture throughout Southwest Asia and Egypt. Alexander's successes marked the beginning of the Hellenistic Era (heh • luh • NIHS • tihk EHR • uh). Hellenistic means "like the Greeks." The Hellenistic Era refers to when Greek culture spread to the non-Greek peoples that Alexander had conquered.