Greek Civilization

700 B.C. to 212 B.C.

Persephone, goddess of the underworld and spring growth

Persephone is the daughter of Demeter, goddess of the harvest. One day she was looking at her newest flowers when the ground suddenly split and the god of the underworld, Hades, kidnapped her. Her mother was so devastated when Persephone was missing all of her harvest withered and died. Meanwhile in the underworld Persephone was named queen. Demeter demanded Zues, god of all gods, find and rescue her. They found Persephone and took her home. She would stay with her mother for six months and then six months as the queen of the underworld.

The Greek Mind

The Greeks believed the human mind was capable of great understanding. During the Golden Age of Greece, from approximately 500 b.c. to 350 b.c., art, architecture, and literature all flourished. This was also a very fertile time for the life of the mind. Most of the thinkers discussed in this chapter were part of that exciting time. They were pondering deep questions about truth and also developing the study of science and mathematics. Greek thinkers produced some of the most remarkable ideas the world has ever knownOne type of thinker was involved in creating a new body of knowledge. These thinkers were known as philosophers. The body of knowledge they created is called philosophy. Philosophy is a Greek word that means "love of wisdom." Through philosophy, Greek philosophers helped develop the study of many subjects, including history, political science, biology, and logic, or the study of reasoning.

Alexander's Empire

Macedonia wasn't a very strong kingdom for most of history. But when King Philip II became king, Macedonia became a "superpower." Philip trained an army like the Greeks.

Greek city-states were divided and weak from the Peloponnesian War and couldn't defend themselves from Philip's army. Philip took over the city states. In 338 B.C. the Greeks and Macedonians fought in the Battle of Chaeronea where the Greeks lost. Before Philip could lead the Greeks and Macedonians into war, he was killed. Philip's son, Alexander, became king after his death. To follow Philip's plans, Alexander prepared to invade the Persian Empire. In 334 B.C. Alexander led 40,000 soldiers into Asia Minor. Alexander's army won the fight against Persian forces and went on to free Greek city-states that were under Persian rule.

Hellenistic Culture

The Hellenistic Era was a great time of learning. People such as philosophers, scientists, poets, and writers rushed to Alexandria, Greek's capital, to learn and research great wonders. Arts flourished during the Hellenistic Era. The most important of these arts were architecture, sculpting, paintings, ceramics, and minor arts. Hellenistic rulers supported architecture and writing. Very little writing from this era has survived today. Some authors we do know about is Appolonius and Theocritus.