Ancient Europe

Where it all started

Really Ancient

The original civilization in this area was the Minoans.They were based on the southern edge of what is now Greece; they were on the northern edge of the Aegean Sea. It was named after their king, King Minos. They were a pretty peaceful group of people who enjoyed natural beauty. We aren't sure how they ended, but some think it was a natural disaster or that they were taken over by another group.

The next big civilization of this region were the Phoenicians. They weren't really a connected nation, they just several city-states. They were around the northern edge of Africa. They are best known for their creation of the alphabet. They were some of the first to introduce trade. They were taken over by the Assyrians, Babylonians, and the Persian Empire.

Trojan War & The Dorians

The Trojan War was fought between the Mycenaeans and Troy. The Mycenaeans were very influenced by the Minoans, especially with trade by sea, art, religion, and language. The Trojan War was a 10 year war. At first people believed it was a fictional story, but found out that it is based on true events, when in the 1870s Heinrich Schliemann found some evidence of it.

The Dorians were a very weak civilization that was around from 1150-750 B.C. Homer, a storyteller, was around at this time and he told epics and myths. At this time, there was a lot of the Greek Mythology being created. Homer is famous for his story the Iliad and the Odyssey. Both very long, dangerous journeys.

Important Contributors

What more could there be?... A LOT

Importants of the Persian Wars

The Persian Wars were wars fought between Persia and Athens. One of the most important battles was the Battle of Marathon. Athens completely destroyed Persia in this battle killing over 6,000 Persians, while they only lost about 200.

At the end of the war a group of Greek city-states banded together creating the Delian League. They pushed the Persians out of the remaining land that the Persians occupied.

Greece's Golden Age

The leader of Greece during the so called Golden Age was Pericles. Pericles strived to strengthen Greece's democracy, while he also gained more and more territory. He really encouraged the arts and wanted Athens to portray their art with ideal beauty, values of harmony, order, balance, and proportion. The first theaters were also developed during his reign.

At the end of the Golden Age the Peloponnesian War began. It was between Athens and Sparta. They had two very different strategies. Sparta wanted to fight on land while Athens wanted to fight by water. Athens was hit by a plague and Sparta technically won, but they signed a truce.

First Philosophers

A Little Bit More

Socrates: Socrates believed absolute standards did exist for truth and justice. He taught the young and was eventually sentenced to death for "corrupting the youth."

Plato: Plato thought and wrote about a perfect government in his book The Republic.

Aristotle: He invented a way of arguing based on rules and logic. He was very influential.

Alexander's Empire

Alexander's Father

King Phillip II was Alexander the Great's father. He was the king of Macedonia during the so called "Golden Age." He built up a big, strong, well trained army. He used the phalanx style of militia. King Phillip II invaded Greece, and because Greece's city-states refused to band together the Macedonians won. King Phillip II was eventually killed at his daughter's wedding by a former body guard which left the kingdom to Alexander.

Alexander Takes Over

Alexander did inherit quite a bit of his father's leadership techniques. He already had very good military training and knew how to lead his army for such a young kid. His first conquest was Persia. The first big victory for Alexander and his men was Issus. They gained victory by sending their strongest troops to the weakest point of the opposition, which totally threw their opposition off guard.

Alexander's next move was to liberate Egypt. By doing this he gained their trust and loyalty along with their numbers. Afterwards, he waited a little bit then stormed the Persian capital and burnt it to the ground. That was how he conquered the Persian Empire.

Alexander wanted to conquer India, but his men were too tired so they decided to turn around and go home. Alexander died around 32 years old from a fever. His empire was separated into 3 parts.

Hellenistic Culture, Say What?!

What is Hellenistic Culture?

Hellenistic culture was a mix of Egyptian, Persian, and Indian influences. Hellena's capital was Alexandria. Alexandria was full of attractions like: statues, palaces, tombs, a lighthouse, libraries, museums, art, science, a zoo, and beautiful botanical gardens.

Hellenes were known for their art. They made statues to portray feelings and events. They made a 100 ft. statue made of bronze called the Colossus of Rhodes. This shows us they had really advanced technology to be-able to create something this big and out of bronze.

There were many contributors to the sciences and maths. Archimedes is probably the best known today. He accurately estimated the value of pi. He also found the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter.