Life in the ancient Greco-Roman
(A) Introduction to the ancient Greco-Roman civilisation
The ancient Greco-Roman civilisation was the first civilisation to appear in Europe and was called the Cradle of Western Civilisation.
It developed from the civilisation of the Aegean region around 3000 BC. The ancient Romans conquered Greece in 146 BC, and learned many of the ways of the ancient Greek civilisation, then developed their own civilisation in 753 BC.
(B) The ancient Greek civilisation (Elected topic)
(1) Origins of the ancient Greek civilisation
(a) The Minoan civilisation (around 3000-1450 BC)
(i) The Minoans lived on the island of Crete in the Mediterranean Sea from about 3000 BC.
(ii) We call them Minoans after their king, Minos.
(iii) They traded with the ancient Egyptians and the people living in the Fertile Crescent; they knew how to write, make pottery and jewellery, and build palaces. They developed their own civilisation which we call the Minoan civilisation.
(iv) The Minoan civilisation ended when the Mycenaeans, from Greece, conquered Crete in about 1450 BC.
(b) The Mycenaean civilisation (around 1450-1100 BC)
(i) Mycenae was located in southern Greece.
(ii) We call the people who lived there, the Mycenaeans, after the city they lived in.
(iii) Through trade with the Minoans, the Mycenaeans learnt the Minoans' writing and ways of life; the Mycenaeans also they knew how to use metal and make pottery. Their civilisation is called the Mycenaean civilisation.
(iv) The Mycenaeans were a warlike people and had a strong army, but Mycenaean civilisation ended when the Dorians conquered Mycenae in about the 11th century.
Additional information: The Trojan War (1194-1184 BC)
(1) Why the war started
(a) A prince of Troy (a city in Asia Minor) called Paris met a very beautiful woman named Helen in the Greek city of Mycenae.
(b) Helen fell in love with Paris and Paris took Helen back to Troy. (c) This made King Agamemnon of Mycenae very angry because Helen was his brother's wife.
(d) Agamemnon led an army to attack Troy and bring back Helen in 1194 BC. (e)
This started the Trojan War.
(2) How King Agamemnon took Troy
For ten years, the Greek soldiers could not defeat the Trojans.
(b) They decided to trick the Trojans.
(c) They built a big wooden horse and some of their best soldiers hid inside this horse.
(d) They left the horse outside Troy and pretended to go away. (e) The Trojans thought they had won the war, so they pulled the wooden horse into the city.
While the Trojans were celebrating their victory, the Greek soldiers secretly climbed down from the horse and opened the city gates.
(g) The Greek soldiers waiting outside defeated the unarmed Trojans easily and took the city.
(h) Troy came under Greek rule.
(3) Is the Trojan War a historical event or a myth?
Many people think that the Trojan War was a myth, and not a historical event.
(b) Myths are stories handed down from the past.
Yet some evidence has been found to prove the truth of this event. (i)
Firstly, a Greek poet named Homer (
) wrote two poems about 500 years
after the war.
These two poems — the Iliad (
) and the Odyssey (
described why and how the Trojan War took place between the Mycenaeans and the Trojans.
(iii) Secondly, a German archaeologist unearthed the city of Troy in Turkey in 1868.
(iv) This discovery at least proves that Troy really existed some 3200 years ago. (v)
Thirdly, the Turkish people have built a huge wooden horse in the place where they believe the war was once fought.
(vi) If you go there, you can still see this huge wooden horse.
(2) The rise and development of Greek city-states
(a) Rise of city-states
(i) A city-state was formed by a city and its surrounding lands, and had an independent government and army.
(ii) City-states arose because
❖ the Greek...
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