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A brief presentation (erasmus+circe) the ancient greeks

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A brief presentation (erasmus+circe) the ancient greeks

  1. 1. The Ancient Greeks Athens The pinnacle of Greek civilization
  2. 2. Greek civilization goes far back in time, as early as the Stone Age. At that time in Greece, some of the first agricultural settlements in the European continent flourished, while brave mariners dared to travel in primitive boats around the Aegean sea.
  3. 3. The Bronze Age, a period that lasted roughly three thousand years (3000-1000 B.C.), saw major social, economic, and technological advances that made Greece a pioneer in European continent and a hub of activity in the Mediterranean.
  4. 4. The Cycladic civilization developed around the Cyclades islands in the Aegean and became worldwide known when the enigmatic marble figurines were discovered.
  5. 5. The Minoans lived peacefully in the large island of Crete and are considered the most advanced prehistoric civilization in Europe. Their arts, their palaces and their cults are remarkable.
  6. 6. Mycenaean is called the civilization in the Greek mainland from 1600 to 1100 B.C., also called “Age of Heroes” because it is the source of mythological heroes, like Theseus, Hercules and the Argonauts, and also epics, like the Iliad and the Odyssey.
  7. 7. Mycenae fortified citadel in Peloponnese, was described by Homer as the capital of mythical king’s Agamemnon kingdom. Much of classical Greece’s religion and culture has its roots in Mycenaean and Minoan Greece.
  8. 8. During the next period (1100- 700 BC) the old settlements were abandoned (except Athens), the population was reduced and massive numbers of people moved across the Aegean and colonized Asia Minor, establishing great cities.
  9. 9. It was during this period that the Greek alphabet was created and formed the base of the alphabet used by European nations today. Notable events from this period include the first Olympics in 776 BC, and the writing of the Homeric epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey.
  10. 10. The next period is called Archaic (700 – 480 BC). The Greek people were organized politically in independent city-states (Polis) comprised of citizens in the basis of an advanced legal structure. This was a required precursor for the Democratic principles that were developed in Athens at the end of this era.
  11. 11. Greek city-states of the Archaic epoch spread throughout the Mediterranean through colonization, namely in Anatolia (Asia Minor), Libya, Southern Italy, Sicily and Sardinia, even as far as southern France, Spain and the Black Sea.
  12. 12. Hundreds of states, settlements and trading posts became part of an extensive commercial network that involved all the advanced civilizations of the time. Several very strong city-states began emerging as dominant cultural centers, most notably Athens, Sparta, Corinth, Thebes, Syracuse, Taranto, Miletus, Halicarnassus, Marseille, Tanais among other.
  13. 13. Athens and Sparta led the Greeks to a series of legendary victories in Marathon, Salamis and Plataea against the invading Persian armies (490- 479 B.C.) thus securing the freedom of Greece and the rest of Europe.
  14. 14. The flurry of development and expansion of the Archaic Era was followed by the period of maturity we came to know as Classical Greece. Between 480 and until 323 B.C. Athens and Sparta dominated the Hellenic world with their cultural and military achievements that became a common legacy for Europe.
  15. 15. The political and cultural disposition of the two city- states occupied the opposite ends of the spectrum. Sparta was a closed oligarchic society. Athens, grew to an adventurous, open society, governed in Democracy that thrived through commerce.
  16. 16. The period of Perikles’ leadership in Athens is described as the “Golden Age”. It was during this period (5th c. B.C.) that a massive artistic project coordinated by Phidias, was undertaken as a celebration of the Athenian democracy and culture.
  17. 17. Athens and Sparta eventually resolved their rivalry in a long war that resulted in both of them losing their power. Then came the Macedonians who under the leadership of king Philip II emerged as the major military authority of Greece in 338 B.C. His ambition was to lead a military expedition of a united Greece against the Persian Empire. This ambition was fulfilled by his son Alexander the Great.
  18. 18. With a copy of the Iliad in his hand, Alexander the Great continued the centuries-old conflict between East and West by leading a Greek army into Asia in 334 B.C. and crushing the Persian Empire. His fine leadership and his success on the battlefield became legendary and changed the course of Ancient history.
  19. 19. The Classical Period produced remarkable cultural and scientific achievements and the city that emerged as the protagonist was Athens. The city of goddess Athena introduced to the world Democracy, a political system that, today, has spread everywhere in the world.
  20. 20. The rational approach to explaining the world as reflected in Art, Philosophy, Rhetoric and Literature became the foundation in which western civilization is still based today. Some of the most influential men of all time lived in Athens in the 5th – 4th c. B.C.
  21. 21. The teachings of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle have been used as reference point of countless western thinkers. Hippocrates became the “father of modern medicine” and Thucydides the “father of scientific history”. The dramas of Sophocles, Aeschylus, Euripides, and the comedies of Aristophanes are considered among the masterpieces of western culture.
  22. 22. The art of Classical Greece began the trend towards a naturalistic rendering of the world, while at the same time depicted the Ideal man. People became the “measure of all things” through Democratic politics. Logic was the driving force behind this cultural revolution. The monuments of the Acropolis of Athens are the trademark of the era.
  23. 23. The Hellenistic Age (323 – 30 BC) marks the transformation of Greek society from the localized city- states to an open and cosmopolitan culture that spanned to the entire Mediterranean and Middle East through Alexander’s conquests. Greek thinking and way of life dominated the public affairs of the known world.
  24. 24. All aspects of culture evolved, with the Greek language being established as an international language in all known world. Art and literature were transformed accordingly. Instead of the previous preoccupation with the Ideal, Hellenistic art focused on reality and emphasized human passion and drama.
  25. 25. The autonomy of individual cities of the Classical era gave way to the will of the large Greek kingdoms like Egypt under Ptolemy dynasty. Several kingdoms were established. Notably, the Attalid kingdom was formed around Pergamum in Asia Minor and the kingdom of Bactria (Afghanistan) was created in Central Asia.
  26. 26. City-states of classical Greece like Athens, Corinth, Rhodes, Miletus, and Syracuse continued to flourish, while others emerged as major centers. Pergamum, Ephesus, Antioch, Damascus, and Trapezus are few of the cities whose reputation have survived to our day.
  27. 27. None was more influential than Alexandria in Egypt. Founded by Alexander the Great in 331 B.C. it became the center of commerce and culture of the Hellenistic world. The city hosted one of the 7 Wonders of the World, the “Lighthouse of Alexandria”, and the famed Library that aspired to host the entire knowledge of the known world.
  28. 28. Many famous thinkers and artists of the Hellenistic era created works that remained influential for centuries. Schools of thought like the Stoics and the Epicurians continued the philosophical tradition of Greece, while art, literature, and poetry reached new heights of innovation.
  29. 29. Hellenistic Greece became a time of maturity of the sciences. In geometry, Euclid’s elements became the standard all the way up to the 20th c., while the work of Archimedes from Syracuse on mathematics was proven influential. Eratosthenes calculated the circumference of the earth and Aristarchus presented the first known heliocentric model.
  30. 30. During Hellenistic Era, Rome had risen to a formidable power and by 200 B.C. occupied the Greek cities of Italy, starting thus a series of wars with the Greeks that led to the eventual annexation of Greece and most of the Hellenistic kingdoms by the mighty Romans.
  31. 31. In 31 B.C. Octavian defeated the rulers of Egypt, the Roman Marc Anthony and the Greek queen Cleopatra, in the naval battle of Actium, and completed the demise of the Hellenistic world. After the battle of Actium, the entire Hellenic world became subject to Rome.
  32. 32. Since then, ancient Greek civilization has made its mark in various circumstances through the ages. Combined with Roman culture, both of them became the foundation of European culture (Greco-Roman culture).
  33. 33. Through the Middle Ages, ancient Greek and Roman culture combined with Christianity formed the unique Byzantine Empire which heavily influenced the Arabs and the Europeans of the East (Slavs) and West.
  34. 34. This legacy enhanced not only the Renaissance movement in Italy, but also the European arts and way of life and thinking until today.
  35. 35. Are you ready to walk… in the footsteps of the ancient Greeks?

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