Portal:Ancient Greece

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The Ancient Greece Portal

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

Hellas

Ἑλλάς
12th/9th century BC–c. 600 AD
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The Parthenon, a temple dedicated to Athena, located on the Acropolis in Athens, is one of the most representative symbols of the culture and sophistication of the ancient Greeks.
Political geography of ancient Greece in the Archaic and Classical periods.
Political geography of ancient Greece in the Archaic and Classical periods.
Religion
Ancient Greek religion
Hegemon, Strategos Autokrator of Hellenic League 
• 338 BC/337 BC
Philip II
• 336 BC
Alexander III, the Great
Historical eraGreek Dark Ages - Classical antiquity
• Established
12th/9th century BC
• Disestablished
c. 600 AD
CurrencySee ancient Greek coinage
ISO 3166 codeGR
Part of a series on the
History of Greece
This map of the island Crete before the coast of Greece was published after 1681 by Nicolaes Visscher II (1649-1702). Visscher based this map on a map by the Danish cartographer Johann Lauremberg (1590-1658)
Flag of Greece.svg Greece portal

Ancient Greece (Greek: Ἑλλάς, translit. Hellás) 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 great 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.

Selected article

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.

Selected location

Sparta territory.jpg

The city of Sparta lay at the southern end of the central Laconian plain, on the right bank of the Eurotas River. It was a strategic site, guarded on three sides by mountains and controlling the routes by which invading armies could penetrate Laconia and the southern Peloponnesus via the Langhda Pass over Mt Taygetus. At the same time, its distance from the sea—Sparta was 27 miles from its seaport, Gythium—made it difficult to blockade.

Did you know...

  • ...that Thebes, Greece played an important role in the fabric of Greek myth, being the site of the stories of Cadmus, Oedipus, Dionysus, and others?
  • ...that the art of ancient Greece has exercised an enormous influence on the culture of many countries from ancient times until the present, particularly in the areas of sculpture and architecture?

Selected image

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.


Selected biography

Marble herm in the Vatican Museums inscribed with Aspasia's name at the base. Discovered in 1777, this marble herm is a Roman copy of a 5th-century BC original and may represent Aspasia's funerary stele.

Aspasia (ca. 470 BC–ca. 400 BC, Greek: Ἀσπασία) was a Milesian woman who was famous for her involvement with the Athenian statesman Pericles. Very little is known about the details of her life. She spent most of her adult life in Athens, and she may have influenced Pericles and Athenian politics. She is mentioned in the writings of Plato, Aristophanes, Xenophon, and other authors of the day (mostly known). Aspasia was born in the Ionian Greek city of Miletus (in the modern province of Aydın, Turkey). Little is known about her family except that her father's name was Axiochus, although it is evident that she must have belonged to a wealthy family, for only the well-to-do could have afforded the excellent education that she received. Some ancient sources claim that she was a Carian prisoner-of-war turned slave; these statements are generally regarded as false.It is not known under what circumstances she first traveled to Athens.

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Topics

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

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