Geography and Cities
Greece had many different land forms that greatly effected the way of life. The cities of Sparta and Athens were part of the Greek peninsula, but some of the cities were part of the archipelago, Delos and Crete for example. Some parts of Greece were also part of the mountains. Mount Olympus, a very important place to the Greek religion, was part of this mountain range. Delphi was a major city that was located near the mountains, as well as Thebes and Marathon. Where the city-state was founded greatly impacted the way that the city-state progressed. The cities on the peninsula could have many trade partners, if people could fish, and it was easier to expand property on flat land, instead of mountains. In the mountains, you would have to adapt to live with less oxygen, and there would not be much you could trade. The downside to living on the peninsula is that here were many cities on the peninsula, and there were many wars, Sparta, and Athens were a prime example, two strong cities, that wanted power got into a fight easily, where in the mountains, or on as island, this could not have happened as easily.
The class divisions in Ancient Greece were different than any of the other classes that we have studied this year. In Ancient Greece, since there were so many different city-states, each with a different government, the class division as a whole was simple. Men who were born in Greece were citizens, men from other places were not. Women could be considered, but they did not have any of the rights that came with the title. Citizens in Ancient Greece had the right to own land, in fact, most citizens had to own land to be considered citizens, the citizens that were solders would fight harder for their city, and if their government system was a democracy, they also had the right to vote. This was a very important move in civilization, because no other civilization had ever thought of citizenship, this is what made the Greek class different from previous ancient countries. There were advantages and disadvantages to being a citizen in Ancient Greece. Some of the disadvantages include; if you were a citizen, there was a lot of pressure on your part, especially in places like Sparta or Athens, where a select group of citizens could make decisions and had some power for a year. These people had pressure beyond measure on their shoulders, and if they made the wrong decisions, they could be hated by the country. Some advantages include; they could vote for their leaders, if there was a democracy. They could also own land, and fight for their country.
There were many different types of Greek art. Some of theses types are; sculptures, vases, buildings, coins, and columns. Art could also include, fables, drama, and other forms of writing.
Greek columns that could have once been part of a temple
This is a Greek coin depicting the goddess Athena's face
This is a Greek vase depicting Athena's sacred animal, the owl
Art greatly impacted daily life in Greece. Art gave people jobs, like craftsmen, artisans, and actors for example. Also, art was a way in which to honor the gods, and that was a huge part of life in Ancient Greece.
Greek ideas and art were spread to many different places during a time called the Hellenistic Era. During this era, the Greek rule spread from Greece, to India, and the Greek ideas spread from Eastern Mediterranean to Asia.
Greek art greatly impacted art in civilizations today. Greek columns can be seen in many different places, and Greek vases were greatly influential to art today, and you can see how the art on vases, and other things resemble Greek vases. Greek fables and writing have impacted us in many different ways, they bring new ideas for writing today, and many people have written about the heroes in Homer's books. Our coins today have faces of our presidents on them, and Greek coins had the faces of their gods and goddesses, so Greek coins have also greatly impacted our art, as well as our lives.
The Greek religion greatly influenced the daily life in Greece. The patron god of each city was chosen with care, and their temples were built with skill. They honor their gods with sacrifices at meals, and at other times throughout the day.
The Ancient Greeks believed inn many different gods and goddesses. Some of the gods and goddesses were foretold to have a throne on Mount Olympus. These were called The Olympians. The remaining gods and goddesses were called minor gods. They were similar to dwarf planets, they were still considered planets, but they are not as important. Some of the gods and goddesses were the patron god or goddess of a city-state in Greece, for example, Athena was the patron goddess of Athens, where Ares was the patron god of Sparta. Athena and Ares were both war gods (or goddess) so since they wanted to overcome each other, that might have been a religious background to why the two city-states could not get along.
Poseidon was the Greek god of the sea. He is known as the brother of Zeus and Hades. His weapon is his trident, and he protects all aquatic creatures. With his trident, he could stir up hurricanes and earthquakes whenever he pleased. Poseidon had to protect the seas, and so he built a palace underwater, and spent most of his time there, instead of Mount Olympus.
Athena was the Greek goddess of wisdom and warfare. She was the daughter of Zeus. She protected her city in battle, but did not fight unless she had to. She was the patron goddess of Athens, and the city was named after her. She became patron goddess when she offered the gift of an olive tree, and the people chose her gift over Poseidon's, which was a horse. She is almost never seen without an owl, Athene Noctua her sacred animal. She was very important to the people of Athens, and she is said to have helped many heroes on their journeys through, including Heracles.
A direct democracy is a form of government where everyone has a say, and every single person's voice directly impacts the end decision. This form of government has many disadvantages as well as advantages. Some advantages of this form of government are; everyone has a voice, as well as the power to vote, most ideas are shared, every idea that was shared had potential, and there is equality between citizens. Some disadvantages include; majority rules so some people could be unhappy about the end decision, there is the most arguing, and it takes more time to hear opinions. Some examples of this form of government include Ancient Athens, and Switzerland.
A representative democracy is a form of government where everyone has a say, but only one person makes the end decision. This form of government has many disadvantages as well as advantages. Some advantages include; one person can choose, but everyone votes, everyone has a voice, and a right to vote, most of the ideas are shared, and there is equality. Some disadvantages include; majority rules and many people could be unhappy about the end decision, which could lead to violence, there is the most arguing, and it takes more time to hear opinions. Some examples of this form of government include the United States, and the United Kingdom.
An oligarchy is a form of government where only a small group of people hold power. The select group of people had to cooperate with the others, but could make the direct decision alone, as the group. This form of government has many disadvantages as well as advantages. Some advantages of this form of government are; when a small group of people rule, there is more opinions, so it is less likely for conflict, there are more ideas flowing around, there is more input to make a decision, there is an opportunity to discuss options with others, which could lead to less arguments within the government. Some disadvantages include; there could be rebellions, the group of rulers might not agree, people could be unhappy with the decisions that the rulers made, and the rulers could be unwise. An example of an oligarchy could be Ancient Sparta, and China.
Tyranny is a form of government where only one person has the power to make decisions. This form of government has many disadvantages as well as advantages. Some advantages of this form of government are; one person can choose for the group, so there is less conflict between the governments, the citizens have to follow the rules of that ruler, so everyone is doing the same thing, there is limited arguing, and it is a very easy decision for the ruler. Some disadvantages include; there could be more conflict, if the people do not like the decision that the king or ruler chose, there are fewer ideas, and opinions are not easily swayed, not everyone is involved, and there could be many rebellions. An example of tyranny could be Ancient Egypt, and Germany when Hitler ruled.
The Greek writing system was entirely its own. There was no title for it like hieroglyphs, or cuneiform, just the Greek alphabet. The alphabet consists of 24 letters, but when they are put together, the way the word is written is changed. The letters in the Greek alphabet are; Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, Zeta, Eta, Theta, Iota, Kappa, Lambda, Mu, Nu, Xi, Omicron, Pi, Rho, Sigma, Tau, Upsilon, Phi, Chi, Psi, and Omega.
The Greek writing system did not have as much of an effect on others, like cuneiform and hieroglyphics did. This is because cuneiform was the first type of writing, and hieroglyphics soon followed. But by the time the Greeks had constructed their form of writing, it was not as big of a deal. People had already created their writing, it is just another type of writing to decipher.