Ancient Greece

Ancient Greece it is the term that is used in order to it describes the Greek-speaking world in the ancient years. It is reported not only in the ground of present Greek state, but also in those regions that installed in the ancient years Greeks, as Cyprus, westwards her beach Turkey (then known as Jwnj'a), her Sicily and the southerner Italy (known as Big Greece), and the propagated Greek arrangements in the coasts that are now Albania, Bulgaria, Egypt, France, Libya, Spain, and Ukraine.

Table of content

The origin of arhajoellinjkoy' culture

Κυκλαδικό ειδώλιο, 3000 π.Χ.
Kykladjko' figurine, 3000 p.H.

According to prevailing until now theories, the Greeks metana'steysan southernly in the Greek peninsula in enough apojkjstjka' waves already from third millennium p.H., in order to anamjhcoy'n with local proellinjkoy's -pelasgjkoy's- populations and they finally shape what we today know as arhajoellinjko' culture. In,what concerns in continental Greece, the period from 1600 until 1100 p.H. it is described as Mykinaj!ki' Period. The period from 1100 p.H. until 8th aj. it is described as Dark centuries or Gewmetrjki' Season, for that we allocate henceforth the proportional archaeological testimonies, but also interesting theories of important historiographers of our season, that occasionally antjkrooy'oyn our classic knowledge for the flow of Greek growth From 8th until the fourth century Arhaj!ki's of Season becomes the growth of classic world until his death M. Alexandros, (323 p.H.) and the consequent growth of hellenistic world.

The documentation of historical makes that accompanies the growth of Greek culture, pe'ran the fjlologjkw'n testimonies of historians as Iro'dotos, Coykydj'dis, Xenophon, or speakers as Demosthenes and Jsokra'tis or philosophers as Backs and Aristotle it is feasible and via the interpretation of archaeological discoveries. Also,even if in general lines the ancient historiography is focused mainly in her growth Athens, modern researchers have published heap of studies on the other cities of continental Greece, providing for us henceforth a overall picture of arhajoellinjkoy' culture.

The rise of Greece and the period of colonizations

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At 8th century p.H. appearring from Gewmetrjki' Period Greece alters culture her from oral in written. The use a adapted by the fojnjki' writing alphabet for us provides the first written testimonies of essential change for the Greek culture, while her growth monumental sculpture and her ceramics him it founds in a technological and artistic base. Of course, the unified opinion that we today have for the Greek culture involves also the proportional unit in social and political level those years. Exajtj'as her geographic particularity Greece the arhaj!ki's and classic period follows little her regionalism mykinaj!ki's season, divided in small independent communities that are characterized with the general term city-state.

The economic and demographic growth of hellenic space but also the intra-EC political conflicts led a department the continental and islander population to a current of colonizations, that had as result the creation of Big Greece. From 750 p.H. until 500 p.H. the Greeks created colonies to all the directions. To the east apoj'kjsan initially the coasts of Aegean in Asia Minor, then Cyprus and her coasts Thrace, Bosporus and her southern coasts Black Sea, as current Ukraine. To the west Greek apoj'kjsan the Jllyrj'a (current Albania), Sicily and the Southerner Italy, Corsica and the northern Mediterranean coasts that covers modern France and Spain, as the Ira'klejes Columns. Greek colonies are answered, also, in Egypt and Libya. Cities as the Syracuses, the Naples the Marseille or Istamboul resulted actually from her Greek colonies Syracuse, Nea'polis, or the Byzantium, colony of Megare'wn.

Until the 6th p. H. aj. Greece became the cultural and linguistic centre of geographic region of much bigger her natural limits. Even if the colonies were not checked politically from mitropo'lejs their - opposite would say no one - the maintenance of commercial, religious and cultural beams it helped in the creation of live web of interaction that little justifies the term Big Greece. The classic period is characterized intensely by the growth of city-state, that became henceforth the basic unit social, political and cultural growth of Greeks.

Persjkoj' wars

Θεμιστοκλής, ο εγκέφαλος της αμυντικής τακτικής στη ναυμαχία της Σαλαμίνας
Themistoklis, the brain of defensive tactic in the naval battle of Salamine

The persjkoj' wars are the result of wish of persjki's empire to extend itself pe'ran the Aegean in the Balkan peninsula. In the Jwnj'a Greek cities-state, as Mj'litos or Aljkarnasso's, undermined from their internal political conflicts they did not achieve they maintain his their independence on vasj'lej'as Ky'roy and were subjugated in the adjutant of A'rpago, where kyrj'eyse cities a- one, or contracted alliances in the means of 6th m.H. aj. Those who did not wish the persjko' balance, as the Fwkaej's and her residents Te'w they left founding colonies in the Corsica first in A'vdira her Thrace second. 499 P.H. the Greeks exege'rcikan in called Jwnjki' Revolution, during that it helped Athens and other Greek cities.

Repressing him 494 p.H. the Jwnjki' revolution with the pyrpo'lisi of Mjli'toy of pe'rsis king Darej'os A it attempted the summertime of the 490 p.H. punish the Greeks for their attendance in the revolt sending fleet with head the Mi'do Da'tj and the Artafe'rni, son of satrap of Sa'rdewn. The direct objective was the subjugation of Ere'trjas and Athens and his return Jppj'a in the governing of Athens - a sample of most excellent exterior policy of Persw'n that exploited exceedingly the internal political disagreements of their opponents. The Pe'rses subjugated Ere'trja and led from the ge'ronta Jppj'a they were turned to Athens. Ready the Athenians for the epe'vasi developed their forces stin plain of Vrana' ston Maracw'na, opposite from the camp of Persw'n. In the battle that followed it is calculated that fought roughly 10.000 Athenians and 30.000 Pe'rses. The Greeks for first time in the battle of Maracw'na overcame midjke's forces under the orders of general Mjltja'di, anapterw'nontas the fallen from the repeated defeats moral of Greeks.

Ten years later, in the perj'do 481-480 p.H. the successor of Darej'oy Xe'rxis A prepared itself ekstratey'sej with enormous for the data of season army. His preachers crossed Greece from utmost in utmost, seeking cities willing symmahi'soyn, buying off their safety. Under these conditions, the cities that believed in the possibility of resistance in the befalling invasion sat in the Corinthus 481 p.H. and decided they face - assigning his general administration and the naval forces in the Sparta - the persjko' army in narrow - then - Cermopylw'n, the key passage of central Greece. Xe'rxis A head of his army 480 p.H. it entered aneno'hlitos in the Thessaly and it took part with all cities they had midj'sej. Ape'nantj' his in narrow they were paraded according to Iro'doto 300 Lakedajmo'njoj, 1.000 Tegea'tes kaj Mantjnej's, 120 from the Orhomeno' of Arkadia and other 1.000 Arcadians, 400 Corinthians, 200 from the Fljoy'nta and 80 from Mycenaes. In them were added 700 Cespjej's and four hundred Civaj'oj. Again according to the Iro'doto the army of Persw'n exceeded the 5.000.000 men, while their fleet the 1.207 boats. These numbers it is certain excessive and they aimed at as their ypertonj'soyn the Greek victory. Under favourable conditions the Pe'rses ekstra'teysan at Greece with 200.000 roughly combative and 700 roughly boats. According to his drawing Themistoklis - general henceforth in Athens and real brain of Greek defensive tactic - the naval forces of Greeks were paraded in Artemj'sjo, in the open sea of northern Evia, in order to they face the persjko' fleet.

The Greeks lost the battle in the Cermopy'les and the skirmishes in the Artemj'sjo, even if the persjko's fleet scattered from a storm. The Xe'rxis advanced to Viotia with final objective Athens. The Athenians via resolution of Themistoklis abandoned Athens and the Greek objective naylw'hise in the gulf of Salamine, in order to it covers the reprocess of Athenians and was prepared it faces the persjko' fleet. The Xe'rxis occupied and pyrpo'lise Athens and en takes place nayma'hise with the Greeks in Naval battle of Salamine. Panwlecrj'a the persjkoy' fleet it had as result the escape of persjkoy' fleet and Xe'rxi in Asia. It left behind his general Mardo'njo with orders to contract peace with the Athenians and to strike Sparta. The Athenians denied the alliance and thus the Pe'rses and the Greeks met itself for one more time in Plataje's Viotia and and Myka'li. The second defeat of Persw'n and the death of Mardo'njoy forced the Arta'vazo to lead the remnants of persjkoy' army behind to Asia.

The importance that had for the Greeks this their victory on the Persw'n was vital. It no only removed the danger of complete subjugation, but it caused and a line of social changes on the dimokratjko'teron and gave moreover occasion in the Athenians, afterwards poljarkj'a the Sistoy' in the Elli'sponto and the retirement of Spartjatw'n, elect itself as leading force in the hellenic space, establishing him Alliance of Delos.

The Athenian hegemony

Περικλής, προτομή από το Βρετανικό Μουσείο
Pericles, protomi' from the British Museum

Afterwards their Persjkoy's wars her city Athens became the adjafjlonj'kitos leader in the sea and the trade, even if her serious competitor remained Corinthus with the agricultural production and her been famous keramejka' laboratories. Leading physiognomy of golden century as it is called for the Athenian growth and her sovereignty in the other cities existed Pericles, for that information we collect from Coykydj'di and Ploy'tarho. He is the one that uses the money of his allies, so that it builds Parcenw'na other brilliant monuments of classic Athens. As the means, guided from the greed of Athens alliance of Delos it was changed substantially in Athenian empire, make that was ratified by the transport of allied treasure from the Delos in the Parcenw'na 454 p.H.

As it is natural the wealth of Athens attracted charismatic persons from all Greece, paro'li the severity of arrangement metics. Himself the Athenian state promoted the knowledge and the arts. Became the centre of arhajoellinjki's literature, her philosophy and the arts (cf. theatre and sculpture). Certain from the bigger names of arts and letters e'zisan in Athens of this period: ana'mesa' their dramatic poets as Ajshy'los, Sophocles, Eyrjpj'dis and the comedy writer Arjstofa'nis, philosophers as Aristotle, Backs and Swkra'tis, historiographers as Iro'dotos, Coykydj'dis and Xenophon, poets as Sjmwnj'dis and sculptors as Fejdj'as. The city became - according to the reasons of himself Pericles - "the school of Greece", (cf. also Education in ancient Greece).

Other Greek cities-state they initially accepted the Athenian hegemony in the permanent war at the Persw'n, but progressively Athens developed in imperialistic force. Afterwards the absolute victory of Greeks on the Persw'n, however, certain states dysanashe'tisan and epehej'risan aposhjscoy'n from the alliance, with result the complete and wmi' demonstration of martial force from part of Athens, as at least him deposits the Coykydj'dis in the eminent dialogue of Apple trees, mesoy'ntos the Peloponnisjakoy' of war. The dialogue, thus as it is deposited by the background, it is demonstration of political realism, in,what concerns in the martial force. Are imposed the right more powerful and the opinion of Apple trees that the delivery is action of cowardice, it is contemptuously faced by the Athenians (Coykydj'dis 5.100). If the Mi'ljoj demonstrate prudence - classic virtue in the society of 5th p.H. century - then they will recognize that it is not fight from equal perj' bravery and that the punishment is not the ajshy'ni (Coykydj'dis 5.101). The subject is the survival and here the moral barriers does not have no meaning. According to the language of Athenian of background, it is difficult rivals no one the natural reality - in the case in question the martial force of Athens. This is the nodal point with which open and close the Athenians their dialogue with their Milj'oys. Contrary to the Athenians of Iro'dotoy, that never are not delivered in Xe'rxi and deny they betray the Greeks, the Athenians of Coykydj'di value chill their martial force and naturally follow the logic of this assessment with the proportional results of civilian anguish.

Peloponnisjako's war


What is today known as Peloponnisjako's war was actually the second war between her coalitions Athens and her Sparta. The conflict between Athens and the Sparta has her roots in the persjkoy's wars of 5th p.H. century. After the persjki' expedition of Xe'rxi adversely in Greece and his consequent apw'cisi' 479, the Athenians undertook the leadership of war adversely in Persia in her Greek coasts Small Asia. alliance of Delos, that took shape the 478, it took the form of empire, kacw's the Athenians began to use the wmi' force, in order to they deter anyone from their "allies" it is withdrawn from the alliance. This had as result the vigilance of Sparta and en takes place military epe'vasi' her adversely in the ambitions of Athenians for Pan-Hellenic sovereignty.

The Peloponnisjako's war is divided traditionally in three phases: the Arhjda'mejo war (431-421 p.H.), his Peace Njkj'a and the Sjkeljki' expedition (420-413 p.H.) and the Jwnjko' war (412-404). The first ten years of war took the name of spartja'ti king Arhj'damoy B, that began the war adversely in Athens and which the careful policy of dominated in the spartjatjki' strategy of first martial enterprises.

The spartjatjki' strategy according to Arhj'damo it was the concentration of troops of alliance in the Isthmus and the invasion in Attica ground. The strategy of Athenians, on the contrary, product of his intelligence Pericles it was the withdrawl of residents of countryside inside the walls and the extensive aggressive presence of Athenian fleet in the coasts of Peloponnese (Naypactos). Even if this strategy attributed fruits the plague that burst out in Athens ruined roughly the 1/4 of citizens, included the Pericles and his sons.

Afterwards the death of Pericles the Athenians abandoned at prompt of demagogue Kle'wna, their pro'teri conservative and defensive tactic bringing the war near in the Sparta and her allies and building fortresses in important for the war regions. One of most important was found near in Py'lo, in her islet Sfaktirj'as. There the Athenians not only accepted the aposta'tes helots of spartjatjki's alliance, but exwcoy'san the helots in revolt. The decisive battles, that gained the Athenians and inexperienced martially Kle'wn, they were given in the Py'lo and the Sfaktirj'a. The Spartja'tes under his guidance Vrasj'da they were turned in her Athenian colony Amfj'polis, who checked the resources of adjacent mine of silver, resources with which was financed Athenian army. In the battle of Amfj'polis so much the Kle'wn what the Vrasj'das were killed. The opponents exchanged captives and signed truce.

The peace of Njkj'a kept six roughly hro'nja, without nor a moment cease the skirmishes and the regular manoeuvres ana'mesa in the two rival camps, as the internal intensities in the Athenian and spartjatjki' alliance. At being time the Spartja'tes abstained from the military action, certain from their allies they began to speak for revolt. Supporter their was Slow, powerful state in Peloponnese. The Argej'oj, allies of Athenians, they achieved they shape a powerful alliance at the Spartjatw'n. In her battle Mantj'nejas 418 p.H., The Lakedajmo'njoj with their neighbours Tegea'tes, they faced the linked army Slow, Athens, her Mantj'nejas and Arkadia.The alliance had also become with the diplomatic movements of Alcibiades, but the result was opposite ap'o'tj expected.The Sparta was strengthened,stabilised the situation in Peloponnese and no one in the Peloponnisjaki' Alliance did not dispute her primacy up to the end of war.

The ambition of Alcibiades was not limited afterwards the battle of Mantj'nejas.On the contrary in deed it grew, if we judge from his megalepj'volo drawing for mixture of Athens in the West and concretely in Sicily where the city of Ege'stas asked the help of Athens at the Syracuses.

Spartjatjki' and civaj!ki' sovereignty

The rise of Macedonian kingdom


Hellenistic world

Proposed bibliography

[ 1 ] Botsford & Robinson, Ancient Greek History, MJET, (Athens 1996). -- [ 2 ] donald Kagan, The Fall of the Athenian Empire, Cornell University Press, (Ithaca 1987).

Network places

Thomas martin "The Peloponnesian War and Athenian Life" at Perseus

Peloponnisjako's war in the I.M.E.]


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