The Greek Renaissance

About 800 B.C.E. things began to change in Dorian Greece. Groups of people began to hunker down on the tops of hills in order to protect themselves. There they began to build fortifications. This type of hilltop fortification became known as the Acropolis. The acropolis is the beginning of a new type of community for the Greeks.

By 750 B.C.E., the Greeks are again taking to the sea. It is necessary. Greece lacks the resources needed to improve life. Slowly, the Greeks begin to establish trade with the people around the eastern Mediterranean Sea. While trade brings the Greeks needed goods, it also brings them important ideas.

The Greeks relearn the skill of reading and writing from the Phoenicians. They take the idea of the Phoenician alphabet. But they did it one better. The Greeks added extra letters for the sounds of the vowels. Now one can look at the word and sound it out. However, what the Greeks do not have is punctuation. No commas and no periods, no question marks.

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This is what the Greek alphabet looks like. The Greeks took the original way the Phoenicians wrote letters, and made each letter simpler to write. This approach to doing things is typically Greek. The Greeks are great at taking ideas from others, studying them, and then coming up with ways to improve upon them. That done, the Greeks would then adopt their improved idea.

If you want to learn the Greek letters, here is the Greek alphabet song.

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Contact and trade with Egypt allows the Greeks to adopt many ideas from there. The Greeks begin making statues much the way the Egyptians did. But they soon begin to "improve upon them" by making the statues look more alive.

The Greeks also took the idea of columns as a way to support a roof in a large building. Again, the Greeks "Improve upon" the Egyptian columns. They make them slimmer at some places so that they look more "stylish". They also learn to change the shape of the columns so they gave the illusion of being straight.

Greek culture was beginning to advance once again.

The Greeks now have trade, learning, and the acropolis in place, They are ready for the next step. What is that next step? It is the creation of the polis, the Greek city state. The polis is the key to the Greek come back.

Created By
Robert Brady

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