Ancient Greek History
Why should one study the Ancient Greeks? There exist almost countless contributions that Greek culture has made to western society in the areas of art, literature, philosophy, drama, architecture and politics. Lasting visions of thought and inspiring intellect helped shaped today's western culture with notions of democracy and personal freedoms. Greek scientists made revolutionary discoveries in medicine, mathematics, physics, and astronomy. It was the Greeks who, through philosophy, instilled thoughtful exploration of the mind and consciousness. The beauty of their artwork and the precision of their statues reflected human development and expression of individuality. The most important reason to study the Greeks is for the opportunity to take small glimpses of history related to them, and try to better understand our humanity.
The early history of Greece is not very detailed. Because of this it is often called the Dark Age of Ancient Greece. The first people to inhabit Greece built settlements along the shores of Greece. They relied on the Aegean Sea for trade and supplies. Travel by sea introduced the Greeks to other cultures, and they were exposed to western benefits of agriculture and various techniques of metalwork. Different communities began to develop in Greece: the Aegeans, Achaeans, the and Pelasgians. Crete became the center of the Aegean civilization, also called the Minoans, and their culture dominated the region about 2500 BC. The Achaeans built their capital at Mycenae. A volcanic eruption in 1400 BC caused the destruction of the Minoan Thera, an island east of Crete. The destruction crushed the Minoan functionality and their culture was absorbed by the Mycenaean Greeks. Around 1200 BC, a conflict arose at the city of Troy, where a ten year battle took place. Armed invaders hid themselves inside a large wooden horse. As the horse was brought into the city, the soldiers attacked and seized control. This was the...
Cited: Archibald, Zofia. Discovering the World of Ancient Greeks. Quarto Publishing. London, 1991. pp. 6- 37
Alexandria, Virginia. Lost Civilizations- Greece: Temples, Tombs, & Treasures. Ed. by Time-Life Books, 1994
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