Refers to areas of Hellenic culture that
were settled by ancient Greeks; Greek
peninsula, Cyprus, Aegean coast of Turkey
(Ionia), Sicily and southern Italy (Magna
Started in 1000 BC and ended in 323 BC
(the death of Alexander the Great).
Succeeded by Hellenistic Greece / culture /
period – the integration of ancient Greek
into Roman empire.
Ancient Greek culture and civilization –
influenced the later Roman civilization and
was the foundation of Western civilization
(language, politics, philosophy, art and
The ancient Greeks- an Indo-European
Migrated southward from the region of
lower Danube River after 2000 BC to
Greek peninsula, which was called
The settled Greek people called
cent. BC – the emergence of self-
governing communities or city states.
Later, the expansion of Greek colonies;
Aegean coast of Asia Minor, Cyprus,
Balkans, Sicily, Southern Italy, south coast
of France, northeastern Spain, Egypt and
Greek civilization flourished from 600 –
The city (polis) – the basic unit of Greek
“Acropolis” from “akros” (top) and “polis”
(city) means a big city.
cent BC – dominant Greek cities;
Athens, Sparta, Corinth and Thebes.
The most famous, Acropolis of Athens.
Each had a control over the surrounding
rural areas and smaller towns.
Athens and Corinth – major maritime and
Athens – naval power.
Athens – practiced political democracy.
The dominance of Athens after the Persian
Wars (late 5th
By mid 5th
cent BC – the establishment of
an Athenian Empire.
Athenian culture flourished, esp. during the
Golden Age of Athens under the rule of
Pericles. The “Age of Pericles” (460-430
Following the reform of laws (by Solon,
Cleisthenes) – the establishment of an
assembly of adult male citizens; vote of
Adopted by many other Greek cities.
The “Laws of Athens” – spelled out state
laws and rights of citizens.
Athens versus Sparta.
Sparta - military power; the best army in
ancient Greece. Militarist regime under a
The rise of Sparta after the Peloponnesian
War – Athens versus Sparta and its allies.
Ended the Athenian Empire - Sparta
became the new dominant Greek power.
Sparta was ruled by two hereditary kings –
checked each other’s influence.
The duties of the kings – religious, judicial
Later, the dominance of Thebes.
Followed by the invasion of Greek cities
by Macedonia; King Philip II and his son,
Driven by the desire to free Greek cities
from Persian influence.
Alexander’s empire – Persia, Egypt, Syria,
Mesopotamia, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The establishment of Greek-speaking
kingdoms in Egypt, Syria and Persia –
practiced Hellenistic culture.
Striking feature in ancient Greek society :
Only free men could be citizens of a city-
state and entitled to full protection of the
In Athens, the free men were divided into
four social classes based on wealth.
Could change classes if made more money.
In Sparta – given the title of “equal” if they
finished their education.
Slaves had no power or status. Had no right
to have a family, own property, and did not
have legal and political rights.
Many slaves from non-Greek people.
By the 5th
cent. BC – slaves made up 1/3 of
the total population in some city-states.
Described as “living tools”; as household
servants and laborers.
Also city-states’ slaves or public slaves –
greater independence than household
slaves and performed specialized tasks.
Temple slaves – as servants of the temple.
Slaves in Sparta called “Helots” – war
captives owned by state and assigned to
families. Mainly farmers – to provide food.
Received harsh treatment, controlled
through the secret police or “Krypteia” –
led to revolts by helots.
“Peroikoi” - Spartan subjugated people –
as traders and craftsmen.
Ordinary Spartans were soldiers, trained to
become soldiers from their early life.
Emphasis on military fitness and training.
Prohibited by law from trade, commerce or
Legendary stories of Greek gods by Greek
poets; e.g. Homer and Hesiod.
Gods and goddesses and ancient religious
festivals. E.g. Panathenaea and Olympic
Zeus (father of the gods), Hera (Argos),
Poseidon (sea and Corinth), Hades (under-
world), Athena (Athens), Aphrodite
(Corinth and Cythera, beauty and love),
Apollo (sun , poetry, music, art and manly
grace), Artemis (moon, wild nature, athletic
girlhood), Ares (war), Hermes (messenger
of the gods and patron of athletes).
Gods’ intervention into human affairs; wars
and conflicts seen as punishments by gods
for evil doings of the people (divine
Opposed by Greek moralists and
Insisted that there was a “higher power of
justice” (moral order).
32. “SCHOOL OF HELLAS”
Athens as the centre of learning, art,
architecture, Greek literature and
Famous philosophers; Socrates, Plato,
Historians Herodotus, Thucydides, etc.
Athens as the “School of Hellas”.
Greek words philo (love) and sophia
(wisdom). Philosophy means ‘love of
The Greeks were the first people who
asked “Why is the world the way it is?”
As a response to Greek mythology –
rejected popular nature myths – natural
calamities as results of gods’ actions.
Took analytical and rational view – e.g. on
the composition of the physical universe.
Early philosophers, e.g. Thales,
Democritus, Hippocrates, Parmenides and
The Sophists, e.g. Protagoras and
The idea of “relative truth” – the truth is
different for each individual.
There is no absolute truth about nature or
morals. Also equated morality with success
Opposed the Sophists’ view.
Believed in the existence of a higher truth
and that humans possessed virtues
(philosophical and intellectual virtues).
Using a technique of careful questioning to
obtain the truth – the “Socratic or
Dialectical Method” of inquiry.
The “Father of Moral Philosophy”.
Emphasized on morality, good and justice.
Virtues as the most valuable possessions –
the ideal life was spent in search of the
The best way to live is to focus on self-
development rather than the pursuit of
material wealth, concentrate on friendships
and a sense of true community.
Sentenced to death – for denouncing the
popular Greek belief that the defeat of
Athens in the Peloponnesian War was a
punishment onto the city by goddess
The pupil of Socrates and founder of the
Academy (Athens) – the most important
intellectual center in the ancient world.
Shared Socrates’ ideas of human virtues.
Unlike Socrates, he wrote many books
using “Socratic dialogues”.
Famous works e.g. “Doctrine of Ideas” and
In “Doctrine of Ideas” – physical world as
superficial and spirit world as real. Also
about the idea of justice, goodness.
In “Republic” – the ideal state or
government, democracy, aristocracy,
monarchy, organized society, equality for
women, state control over education and
art (social and political thoughts).
Plato’s idea of “philosopher-kings” – to
achieve social justice and order.
Plato’s social class system:
Rulers of the state (philosophers)
Producers (workers – common citizens)
The role of heredity and environment on
human intelligence and personality (the
modern theory of nature versus nurture).
Dichotomy between knowledge and
opinion (the modern distinction between
objective and subjective).
Wrote the story of the lost Atlantis in his
“Timaeus” and “Critias”.
A student of Plato and teacher of Alexander
The founder of Lyceum (Athens).
Wrote many works on various subjects;
physics, metaphysics, anatomy, astronomy,
geology, psychology, politics, zoology,
geography, logic, biology, poetry,
economics, meteorology, economics ,
rhetoric, literature and poetry.
“Nicomachean Ethics” – a person should
continually behave virtuously.
“Aristonian Logic” – logic is the important
key to truth and happiness. Developed
systematic rules for logical thinking.
Described as an encyclopedia of Greek
50. LANGUAGE AND WRITING
Latin language and Latin alphabet – the
root of Roman language and alphabet.
Invented five vowels (a,e,i,o,u).
Herodotus, the “Father of History”.
His work “Historia” (Investigation) –
based on his extensive travel.
Discussed the life, customs, history and
politics of the Middle Eastern and Aegean
Separated facts from legends and wrote
based on direct observation and evidence.
Thucydides – wrote on the Peloponnesian
War using primary sources.
Emphasized on the complexity of human
Hippocrates established the first school of
Diseases and sickness were not due
supernatural or magical reason.
Recorded on classified symptoms and
detail observation of ill patients.
The Greeks loved stories and tales.
Poet Homer, wrote famous Greek epics,
“Illiad” and “Odyssey”.
Poet Hesiod – wrote about Greek gods and
Epic poetry and lyric poetry.
Drama and theater; tragedy and comedy.
Temples and shrines, e.g. “The Parthenon”.
Architectural designs (Ionic, Corinthian
Statues – images of gods and men.
Adopted by later Roman and Western