Ancient Greece

By: Taylor-Rae Lint

Intro

I chose Ancient Greece because I knew some facts about it. I love Greek Mythology so I wanted to learn more about the Greeks. I chose the three topics that I thought were the most interesting. I chose The Beginning of Ancient Greece as my first topic, Athens’ Rise To Power as my second topic, and The Heritage Of The Ancient Greeks as my third. The Greeks had a different way of life than we do now so I wanted to learn more about their culture and daily life.

The Beginning of Ancient Greece

The age of The Greeks started sometime between 1900 bc and 1600 bc. They were simple Nomadic Herdsmen at the time. They were classified as a branch of the Indo-European speaking folk. They arrived from some grasslands east of the Caspian Sea. The Greeks entered the peninsula from the north, one group at a time. The first invaders of this region were the fair-haired Achaeans, and three or four centuries later the Dorians came and subjugated their Achaean kinsmen. The land they invaded was the sight of a well developed civilization known as the Aegean Basin. The people there were rich, in fact they were so rich some had palaces and even cities of their own. They would use gold and only the best bronze, they made fancy pottery and beautiful paintings, but the Greek invaders, at this time, were still in their barbarian stage. They plundered the Aegean cities and destroyed them, but they eventually settled and absorbed the Aegean culture.

Athens' Rise To Power

From this momentous conflict Athens emerged a blackened ruin yet the richest and most powerful city-state in Greece. It owed this position chiefly to the shrewd policies of the statesman Themistocles, who had seen that naval strength, not land strength, would in the future be the key to power. He persuaded his fellow Athenians to build a strong fleet—larger than the combined fleets of all the rest of Greece—and to fortify the harbor at Piraeus. The Athenian fleet became the instrument by which the Persians were finally defeated, at the battle of Salamis in 480 bc. The fleet also enabled Athens to dominate the Aegean area. Within three years after Salamis, Athens had united the Greek cities of the Asian coast and of the Aegean islands into a confederacy for defense against Persia.

It was called the Delian League because the treasury was at first on the island of Delos. In another generation this confederacy became an Athenian empire. Almost at a stride Athens was transformed from a provincial city into an imperial capital. Wealth beyond the dreams of any other Greek state flowed into its coffers—tribute from subject and allied states, customs duties on the flood of commerce that poured through Piraeus, and revenues from the Attic silver mines. The population increased fourfold or more, as foreigners streamed in to share in the prosperity.

The Heritage Of The Ancient Greeks

The glorious culture of the Greeks had its beginnings before the rise of the city-states to wealth and power and survived long after the Greeks had lost their independence. The men of genius who left their stamp on the golden age of Greece seemed to live a life apart from the tumultuous politics and wars of their era. They sprang up everywhere, in scattered colonies as well as on the Greek peninsula. When the great creative age had passed its peak, Greek artists and philosophers were sought as teachers in other lands, where they spread the wisdom of their masters. What were these ideas for which the world reached out so eagerly? First was the determination to be guided by reason, to follow the truth wherever it led. In their sculpture and architecture, in their literature and philosophy, the Greeks were above all else reasonable. “Nothing to excess” (meden agan) was their central doctrine, a doctrine that the Roman poet Horace later interpreted as “the golden mean."

Conclusion

The Greek colony was established a long time ago. They entered the land from the north. Athens is the richest city-state. It is also the most powerful city-state.

Reference

"Ancient Greece." Britannica School. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2014. Web. 13 Feb. 2014.