Portal:Ancient Greece

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Greek influence in the mid 6th century BC.

The term ancient Greece refers to the periods of Greek history in Classical Antiquity, lasting ca. 750 BC (the archaic period) to 146 BC (the Roman conquest). It is generally considered to be the seminal culture which provided the foundation of Western Civilization. Greek culture had a powerful influence on the Roman Empire, which carried a version of it to many parts of Europe. The civilization of the ancient Greeks has been immensely influential on the language, politics, educational systems, philosophy, science, and arts, giving rise to the Renaissance in Western Europe and again resurgent during various neo-Classical revivals in 18th and 19th century Europe and the Americas.There are no fixed or universally agreed upon dates for the beginning or the end of the ancient Greek period. In common usage it refers to all Greek history before the Roman Empire, but historians use the term more precisely. Some writers include the periods of the Greek-speaking Mycenaean civilization that collapsed about 1150 BC, though most would argue that the influential Minoan was so different from later Greek cultures that it should be classed separately.

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Hoplites in combat

The Corinthian War was an ancient Greek conflict lasting from 395 BC until 387 BC, pitting Sparta against a coalition of four allied states; Thebes, Athens, Corinth, and Argos; which were initially backed by Persia. The immediate cause of the war was a local conflict in northwest Greece in which both Thebes and Sparta intervened. The deeper cause was hostility towards Sparta provoked by that city's "expansionism in Asia Minor, central and northern Greece and even the west".The war was fought on two fronts, on land near Corinth and Thebes and at sea in the Aegean. On land, the Spartans achieved several early successes in major battles, but were unable to capitalize on their advantage, and the fighting soon became stalemated. At sea, the Spartan fleet was decisively defeated by a Persian fleet early in the war, an event that effectively ended Sparta's attempts to become a naval power. Taking advantage of this fact, Athens launched several naval campaigns in the later years of the war, recapturing a number of islands that had been part of the original Athenian Empire during the 5th century BC.

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Thermopylae ancient coastline large.jpg

Thermopylae /θərˈmɒpəli/ (Ancient and Katharevousa Greek Θερμοπύλαι, Demotic Θερμοπύλες: "hot gateway") is a location in Greece where a narrow coastal passage existed in antiquity.It derives its name from several natural hot water springs. It is primarily known for the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC in which an outnumbered Greek force of roughly 7,000 men temporarily held off advancing Persians under Xerxes, numbering in the hundreds of thousands, and the term since has been used to reference heroic resistance against a more powerful enemy

Did you know...

  • BattleofIssus333BC-mosaic-detail1.jpg
    ... that by the time of his death, Alexander the Great had conquered most of the world known to the ancient Greeks?
  • ... that there was a man called Herakles, and he was part god because he was the son of Zeus and had super strength and had 12 hard labours and still completed all of them!

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Delphi Composite.jpg

Photo credit: Leonidtsvetkov

Delphi is an archaeological site and a modern town in Greece on the south-western spur of Mount Parnassus in the valley of Phocis.


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Epaminondas

Epaminondas (Greek: Ἐπαμεινώνδας) (ca. 418 BC362 BC) was a Theban general and statesman of the 4th century BC who transformed the Ancient Greek city-state of Thebes, leading it out of Spartan subjugation into a preeminent position in Greek politics. In the process he broke Spartan military power with his victory at Leuctra and liberated the Messenian helots, a group of Peloponnesian Greeks who had been enslaved under Spartan rule for some 200 years. Epaminondas reshaped the political map of Greece, fragmented old alliances, created new ones, and supervised the construction of entire cities. He was militarily influential as well, inventing and implementing several major battlefield tactics.The Roman orator Cicero called him "the first man of Greece", but Epaminondas has fallen into relative obscurity in modern times. The changes Epaminondas wrought on the Greek political order did not long outlive him, as the cycle of shifting hegemonies and alliances continued unabated.

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Places: Aegean Sea · Hellespont · Macedonia · Sparta · Athens · Corinth · Thebes · Thermopylae · Antioch · Alexandria · Pergamon · Miletus · Delphi · Olympia · Troy · Rhodes

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