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Chapter 5

History Notes Chapter 5!

Course Code
Carol Chin

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The Greeks and the Wider World 1200-30 BCE
Marginal in terms of political and military power
Became a center of cultural and tech. innovation
Government, human rationality, literature, visual art, etc.
The Development of Ancient Greek culture 1200-500 BCE
Kingdoms with centralized authority and distinctions between rulers and
Aegean world bold trajectory
Experiments in politics culture, soc. Organization
A Dark Age in Aegean Life And Culture 1200-800BCE
Greek Geography:
o Mountains (overland travel difficult)
o Dry climate
o River valleys and plains allowed limited agriculture
o Irrigation was impossible
o But sea had small islands
o Maintained contacts among the Greek mainland, the Aegean islands,
west coast of Anatolia
o These factors made Aegean’s look outward
o Trade and migration
The Aegean Dark Age
o Mycenaean culture disappeared in the twelfth century BCE
o Written expression disappeared and artistic production slowed (this
period was the dark age 1200-800BCE)
o People deserted large settlements
o Continued to produce pottery
o Had geometric patterns covering entire surface
o People throughout Aegean islands used this style of pottery
o Still sustained interconnections despite Dark Age
o Participated in shared culture
Greek Colonization of the Mediterranean 800-500BCE
o Aegean people abandoned rural life around 800 BCE
o Archaic Period
o Arch. Evidence shows settlement population increased drastically
o Desire to live in large settlements instead of moving
o Established colonies all around the Mediterranean
Colonization and Trade
o Migrants fanned out in all directions
o Greeks competed with the Phoenicians who had already colonized
large parts of Mediterranean
o Colonization strengthened the connections between Greeks and the
larger world
o Greeks produced wine and olive oil

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o But pottery was more in demand
o Ceramics with scenes from epics
o Had distinct style
o Shipped large quantities of pottery
o Everyone liked them super fancy
o Greatest Greek exports was their creative culture
Greek Alphabet
o Presence of Greeks abroad and visits by Phoenician traders in the
Aegean world led to exchange of ideas, practices and people
o Greek adopted the Phoenician alphabet
o Semetic
o Wrote down vowels which weren’t expressed in Semetic writing
o This innovation was essential
o Greek writing went from left to right (opposite of Semitic)
o Economic growth required written accounts
o In 8th to 6th centuries increased prosperity from manufacturing and
trade enable the Greeks to buy art from Phoenicia and Syria
o Inspired Greek potters, painters, and others
o Included eastern scenes and styles
o Sculptors = humans from Egypt
o West to east Greeks provided manpower
o Empires valued skilled Greek warriors
Growth of City State in Archaic Greece 800-500BCE
o Changes in political organization
o City-states: political unit of Greece
o Polis
Self governing community
Officials were themselves citizens
Part of a larger political unit
Sparta or Athens
Shared power rather than depended n a king
Most citizens not considered (women, the landless, slaves, and
foreigners) all excluded from Greek government
Competed with one another (the city-states)
Duties of the citizen = army
Soldiers formed phalanxes (soldiers who overlap their shields
and swords to protect one another)
o Hoplite:
Greek soldier
Responsible for own gear
Relied on obligation = stronger sense of community amongst
Characterized the ideal of the polis
Mirrored the political connections that bound them to one
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