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Department
Classics
Course Code
CLA230H1
Professor
Dimitri Nakassis

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The Dark Age: The Dark Age, occurring during the years 1200 800 BC, is a term used
to describe the years of destruction and social reformatting in the Iron Age. The beginning
of the Dark Age was marked with the movements of people all over the ancient world, the
fall of states such as Mycenae and the Hittites, the burnings of great cities such as Knossos,
and death of thousands, and pure economic chaos, although the causes remain unclear. By
1000 BC, the population of Greece was reduced to a third of what it had once been 300 years
prior. By 900 BC, however, Greece was beginning to rebuild its towns and re-establish
foreign trade. The Dark Age is significant because it completely restructured Greek society.
Agriculture declined, architecture disappeared, and Greeks lost the ability to read and
write. The use of Iron was developed extensively during this period, which would affect
military styles and agricultural practices for the centuries to come. Basileus emerged as
the leaders of society during the Dark Age.
The Archaic Age: The Archaic Age, occurring during the years 800 480 BC, is a term
used to describe the years following the Dark Age and prior to the great wars of the 5th
century BC. The Archaic Age was marked by a rise of living standards, equal male
citizenship as the principle of social organization, systematized beliefs, reintroduction of
literacy, and an intellectual revolution. It was during the Archaic Age that ordinary
citizens began to challenge the rights of any man, and the basileis and oligarchies
eventually declined as Greek democracy emerged. The Archaic Age is historically
significant because it was during this time that the Greeks first began to organize their
poleis into democracies, setting them apart from their neighbours. Aristocrats lost their
power over common citizens. It was also during this Age that hoplite warfare emerged,
which would play a major role in the outcomes of both the Persian Wars and the
Peloponnesian Wars.
--Hoplite: Hoplites were heavy infantry man, emerging in the Archaic Age of Greece. The
hoplite wore 50-70 lbs of bronze armour and carried a spear that was up to 8 ft. long. The
hoplite was distinguished by his unique shield, which was rounded, very heavy, and covered
only his left side. Hoplites therefore had to stand in phalanxes, arranging themselves
shoulder to shoulder so that each hoplite shielded the man to his right, and was shielded by
the man to his left. As long as the hoplite phalanx maintained formation, it presented the
enemy with an unbroken wall of bronze shields many ranks deep and a forest of deadly
spear tips. Hoplite warfare is historically significant because it played a vital role in the
Persian Wars. The Persians did not use hoplite warfare and were often overwhelmed by
such strategy. It is also significant because it reflects the rising standards of living for
Greek citizens, because they had to pay for their own armour and shields, which was very
expensive.
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--The Ionian Enlightenment: The Ionian Enlightenment is a term used to describe the
philosophical developments occurring during the 6th century BC in Greece. During this
time, there were major advances in scientific thought, a movement towards natural instead
of divine explanations, and the application of rational, scientific criticism to different
aspects of life Thinkers of Miletus, including Thales, Anaximander, and Anaximenes,
provided explanations for the world without using gods and goddesses as causes, they
questioned why things worked instead of how they worked, and they systematized
knowledge. Pythagoras developed his theory of the kosmos, and applied his scientific
knowledge to the world. In addition to philosophy, Herodotus and the study of history
emerged as well as the lyric form of poetry.
Herodotus: Herodotus, a Greek thinker from Halicarnassus, lived in the 5th century BC
and wrote an account of the Persian invasions of Greece. This account was the first
systematic attempt to explain human events in human terms. He wished to preserve the
memory of mens great deeds. However, Herodotus admittedly made up certain speeches
and descriptions and covered events which he could not have possibly witnessed, such as the
Trojan War. Nevertheless, Herodotus is historically significant because he was the first to
investigate systematically the human causes of human events.
Helots: Helots were state-owned serfs in Sparta who worked the land while citizens
followed a life-long program of military training in centralized institutions. They were
Messenians that were conquered during the Messenian War of the 8th century.
--Lycurgus: Lycurgus was a Spartan law maker of the 8th century BC who created the law
code for Sparta. He made all Spartan men equal, regulated their lives, and forged the
ultimate fighting machine. He redistributed the land to make all Spartan citizens equal, he
implemented the use of iron currency, he instituted the common mess system, and he
developed the military-oriented education system for young Spariates. Lycurgus is
historically significant because it was his education system and common mess system that
influenced the Spartan way of life. Because of his reforms, Spartan society centralized
around military activity, and they earned the reputation as the fiercest warriors throughout
Greece.
Peloponnesian League: The Peloponnesian League, developed in the 6th century BC, was
a Spartan alliance between Sparta and other poleis. Sparta would offer them military
support against popular uprisings, would-be tyrants within their own ranks, and rivals in
other poleis. In return, the allies had to swear to have the same friends and enemies, and
follow the Spartans wherever they lead. Unlike the Delian League, the Spartan allies did
not have to pay tribute and could not be forced to go to war. The Peloponnesian League is
important because
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Solon: Solon, an Athenian archon in the early 6th century BC, instituted a number of
reforms which would dramatically affect Athenian society for generations to come. He
produced a new law code for Athens, reorganized the existing economy and society by
redefining property rights, redefined slaves, redistributed land, clarified weights and
measures, and established incentives for craftsmen to come to Athens. He also overhauled
the political system in Athens by dividing citizens into four census classes based on wealth.
He also instituted the Council of 400. Solon is historically significant because his reforms
shaped Athens for years to come. Prohibiting Athenians enslaving other Athenians led to
the importation of foreign slaves, which would eventually become a pillar of Athenian
society.
Pisistratus: Pisistratus, a powerful Athenian aristocrat in the middle 6th century, made
many attempts at establishing a tyranny in Athens. His reign would be known as a golden
age of peace and security. During his time in power, Athenian houses were better built,
public facilities had improved, and its industry and mining were vigorous. Athenians goods
were also widely distributed. There was also population growth. He elevated poor citizens,
listened to the Assembly, and followed the laws. He instituted new taxes, and used the
revenue to provide loans to the farmers to develop their land. He also overhauled the legal
system. He is significant because Athens prospered under his rule. He worked to reduce
aristocratic power, which eventually strengthened the institutions of a centralized state.
--Cleisthenes: Cleisthenes, a mid to late 6th century Athenian politician, made a number
of reforms which would drastically change Athens political system. He broke up the four
old kinship tribes that had been sources of aristocratic power into thirty groups. He then
formed ten new tribes with three trittyes in each, one from the coastal area, one from the
inland area, and one from the urban area. He replaced the Council of 400 with the Council
of 500, composed of fifty men selected by lot each year from the 10 new tribes. Cleisthenes
is significant because his reforms led to Athenian democracy. He ceded power to ordinary
Athenians, who all had a role to play in Athenian politics. All citizens were free to come to
the Assembly, discuss the issues, vote, and put decisions into action.
--Darius: Darius was the King of the Persian empire in the late 6th century. He was king
during the Ionian Revolt, where he defeated the Ionian cities and Athenians. Outraged by
Athens actions against Persia, Darius launched an invasion of the Greek city-states, which
would culminate in a Persian defeat at the Battle of Marathon.
--Ionian Revolt: The Ionian Revolt, in the first few years of the 5th century, was a revolt of
the Ionian cities under Persian rule. Aristagoras helped inspire the Ionian cities to
overthrow their Persian tyrants, even though they had flourished under Persian rule.
Sparta declined to help, but Athens agreed to send ships. However, when King Darius
ordered his troops against Miletus, the heart of the rebellion, the rebellion fell. The Ionian
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Description
The Dark Age: The Dark Age, occurring during the years 1200 800 BC, is a term used to describe the years of destruction and social reformatting in the Iron Age. The beginning of the Dark Age was marked with the movements of people all over the ancient world, the fall of states such as Mycenae and the Hittites, the burnings of great cities such as Knossos, and death of thousands, and pure economic chaos, although the causes remain unclear. By 1000 BC, the population of Greece was reduced to a third of what it had once been 300 years prior. By 900 BC, however, Greece was beginning to rebuild its towns and re-establish foreign trade. The Dark Age is significant because it completely restructured Greek society. Agriculture declined, architecture disappeared, and Greeks lost the ability to read and write. The use of Iron was developed extensively during this period, which would affect military styles and agricultural practices for the centuries to come. Basileus emerged as the leaders of society during the Dark Age. The Archaic Age: The Archaic Age, occurring during the years 800 480 BC, is a term used to describe the years following the Dark Age and prior to the great wars of the 5 th century BC. The Archaic Age was marked by a rise of living standards, equal male citizenship as the principle of social organization, systematized beliefs, reintroduction of literacy, and an intellectual revolution. It was during the Archaic Age that ordinary citizens began to challenge the rights of any man, and the basileis and oligarchies eventually declined as Greek democracy emerged. The Archaic Age is historically significant because it was during this time that the Greeks first began to organize their poleis into democracies, setting them apart from their neighbours. Aristocrats lost their power over common citizens. It was also during this Age that hoplite warfare emerged, which would play a major role in the outcomes of both the Persian Wars and the Peloponnesian Wars. --Hoplite: Hoplites were heavy infantry man, emerging in the Archaic Age of Greece. The hoplite wore 50-70 lbs of bronze armour and carried a spear that was up to 8 ft. long. The hoplite was distinguished by his unique shield, which was rounded, very heavy, and covered only his left side. Hoplites therefore had to stand in phalanxes, arranging themselves shoulder to shoulder so that each hoplite shielded the man to his right, and was shielded by the man to his left. As long as the hoplite phalanx maintained formation, it presented the enemy with an unbroken wall of bronze shields many ranks deep and a forest of deadly spear tips. Hoplite warfare is historically significant because it played a vital role in the Persian Wars. The Persians did not use hoplite warfare and were often overwhelmed by such strategy. It is also significant because it reflects the rising standards of living for Greek citizens, because they had to pay for their own armour and shields, which was very expensive. www.notesolution.com
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