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Lecture 5

HIST-UA 157 Lecture 5: EARLY PEOPLE OF THE AEGEAN


Department
History
Course Code
HIST-UA 157
Professor
pf
Lecture
5

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EARLY PEOPLE OF THE AEGEAN
Minoans named after Minos, a legendary king of Crete.
Success of civilization had been based on trade
Knossos: Palaces in which rulers of this huge trading empire lived.
Shrine: area dedicated to the honor of gods and goddesses.
Frescoes: Watercolor paintings done on wet plaster.
Women had more rights than they did in most other religions
Minoans worshipped bull and a mother goddess
Minoans mysteriously disappeared and Mycenaean’s (1st Greek speaking people) came in
Mycenaean’s: Indo-European people who took over mainland Greece before taking over Crete.
Lived in separate city-states and had been sea traders.
Best remembered for Trojan War (due to economic rivalry between Mycenae and Troy)
Straits: narrow water passages that connect Mediterranean and Black seas
Mycenaean civilization fell to sea raiders
Dorian’s invaded from the north
As Mycenaean power faded people forgot many skills such as art and writing
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Homer: Blind poet who went from city to city singing of heroic deeds
When the civilizations traded, they had to travel to other lands which allowed them to learn about ideas
and technology which they then adapted to their own culture
THE RISE OF GREEK CITY-STATES
Greeks did not create empires like Egypt, instead they built city-states. They fiercely defended the
independence of their city-states which led to endless rivalry and frequent wars.
Greeks were skilled sailors
Polis: Unique version of city-states which consisted of acropolis on top and main city at the bottom.
Acropolis: Great marble temples dedicated to gods and goddesses
The government was first a monarchy: government in which king or queen controls everything
Developed into an aristocracy: rule by landholding elites
Then it changed into an oligarchy: power is in the hands of a small, powerful elite, usually from the
business class.
Phalanx: Massive formation of heavily armed foot soldiers
Sparta: Stressed military virtues and strong discipline
Athens: glorified the individual and extended political rights to more citizens
Helots: conquered people turned into state owned slaves
Democracy: a government run by the people
Tyrant: people who gained power by force
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