Ancient Greece

By: Leah Whiting

Introduction

I decided to do Ancient Greece because I wanted to learn new things 'bout it. I choose 3 topics, and they there; The Beginning of Ancient Greece, Various Types of Government, and Slavery in Ancient Greece.

The Beginning of Ancient Greece

The story of ancient Greece began between 1900 and 1600 bc. They came from the grasslands east of the Caspian Sea, driving their flocks and herds before them. At that time the Greeks—or Hellenes, as they called themselves—were simple nomadic herdsmen. The first invaders were the fair-haired Achaeans of whom Homer wrote. Other tribes, the Aeolians and the Ionians, found homes chiefly on the islands in the Aegean Sea and on the coast ofAsia Minor. They used gold and bronze and made pottery and paintings. The land that these tribes invaded—the Aegean Basin—was the site of a well-developed civilization. Gradually, as they settled and intermarried with the people they conquered, they absorbed some of the Aegean culture.

Various Types of Government

During the 8th and 7th centuries bc the kings disappeared. It was the tyrants who taught the people their rights and power. By the beginning of the 5th century bc, Athens had gone through these stages and emerged as the first democracy in the history of the world. Between two and three centuries before this, the Athenian kings had made way for officials called “archons,” elected by the nobles. A revolution was averted only by the wise reforms of Solon, about a generation later. Pisistratus ruled for more than 30 years, fostering commerce, agriculture, and the arts and laying the foundation for much of Athens’ future greatness. His sons Hippias and Hipparchus attempted to continue their father’s power. The scanty forces of the Greeks succeeded in driving out the invaders (seePersian Wars).

Slavery in Ancient Greece

Slave labor produced much of the wealth that gave the citizens of Athens time and money to pursue art and learning and to serve the state. Slavery in Greece was a peculiar institution. Two-fifths (some authorities say four-fifths) of the population were slaves. An Athenian slave often had a chance to obtain his freedom, for quite frequently he was paid for his work, and this gave him a chance to save money. Many of the slaves, however, had a miserable lot. When a city was conquered, its inhabitants were often sold as slaves.

Conclusion

"ancient Greece." Britannica School. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2014. Web. 17 Feb. 2014.