Portal:Ancient Greece

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Location greek ancient.png
Greek influence in the mid 6th century BC.

Ancient Greece (Greek: Ελλάς, translit. Ellas) was a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of antiquity (c. AD 600). Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Roughly three centuries after the Late Bronze Age collapse of Mycenaean Greece, Greek urban poleis began to form in the 8th century BC, ushering in the Archaic period and colonization of the Mediterranean Basin. This was followed by the period of Classical Greece, an era that began with the Greco-Persian Wars, lasting from the 5th to 4th centuries BC. Due to the conquests by Alexander the Great of Macedonia, Hellenistic civilization flourished from Central Asia to the western end of the Mediterranean Sea. The Hellenistic period came to an end with the conquests and annexations of the eastern Mediterranean world by the Roman Republic, which established the Roman province of Macedonia in Roman Greece, and later the province of Achaea during the Roman Empire.

Classical Greek culture, especially philosophy, had a powerful influence on ancient Rome, which carried a version of it to many parts of the Mediterranean Basin and Europe. For this reason, Classical Greece is generally considered to be the seminal culture which provided the foundation of modern Western culture and is considered the cradle of Western civilization.

Classical Greek culture gave a lot of importance to knowledge. Science and religion were not separate and getting closer to the truth meant getting closer to the gods. In this context, they understood the importance of mathematics as an instrument for obtaining more reliable ("divine") knowledge. Greek culture, in a few centuries and with a limited population, managed to explore and make progress in many fields of science, mathematics, philosophy and knowledge in general.

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Since the time of Homer, the Greeks have called themselves Hellenes (Έλληνες), though they have been known by a number of different names throughout history. The soldiers that fell at Thermopylae did so as the last protectors of Hellas. Homer, Herodotus and the later Greek authors locate the first usages of the word "Hellenes" as an ethnic name-umbrella under which the Achaians and the rest of the Greek allies sailed for the city state of Troy under Agamemnon's leadership, although up to that point "Hellas" (Greek: Eλλάς) and "Hellenes" was the name of the tribe (also called "Myrmidones") settled in Thessalic Phthia having Achilles as their leader.Alexander the Great is the first leader who officially uses the terms Hellas and Panhellenic League (league of all Greek tribes except for the Lacedaemonians) when he began his military campaign against the Persian rulers of the Greek city-states of Asia Minor (Ionia) to revenge their ancestors.

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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...

  • Knossos Bull-Leaping Fresco.jpg
    ...that Crete, although now Greek, had its own civilization well before Ancient Greece in the Minoan culture?

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Calyx-krater Louvre CA929.jpg

Photo credit: Jastrow

A krater (from the Greek verb κεράννυμι, meaning "I mix") was a vase used to mix wine and water. At a Greek symposium, kraters were placed in the center of the room. They were quite large, so they were not easily portable when filled.

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Alcibiades

Alcibiades Cleiniou Scambonides (/ˌælsɪˈbədz/; Greek: Ἀλκιβιάδης Κλεινίου Σκαμβωνίδης, (pronunciation) transliterated Alkibiádēs Kleiníou Skambōnidēs) meaning Alcibiades, son of Cleinias, from the deme of Skambonidai; c. 450–404 BC), was a prominent Athenian statesman, orator, and general. He was the last famous member of his mother's aristocratic family, the Alcmaeonidae, which fell from prominence after the Peloponnesian War. He played a major role in the second half of that conflict as a strategic advisor, military commander, and politician.During the course of the Peloponnesian War, Alcibiades changed his allegiance on several occasions. In his native Athens in the early 410s BC, he advocated an aggressive foreign policy, and was a prominent proponent of the Sicilian Expedition, but fled to Sparta after his political enemies brought charges of sacrilege against him.


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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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