Mediterian Society

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Chapter 10: Mediterranean Society: The Greek Phase
* Homer a man who never existed: composed 2 great epics: Iliad and the Odyssey. Bards recited it. Believe scribes committed them to writing. Others believe that a man named Homer helped to write it with other people. Iliad offered Greek perspective on campaign waged by Greek Warriors against city of Troy in Anatolia. Odyssey: Experience of Greek Hero Odysseus as he sailed home after the Trojan War. Works described difficulties faced by Greek warriors. Both works portray Greeks as expert/ fearless seamen- water called “wine-dark se” by Homer. Odysseus construct a ship when a lone on an island with goddess. * Phoenician merchants est. links between land/people are far ends Mediterranean Sea. Classical Era-Mediterranean basin became integrated as Greeks/ Romans organized commercial exchange and sponsored interaction. Mediterranean served as highway linking Anatolia Egypt, Greece, etc. (by routs through Black Sea.) * Greece differed from classical societies. Greeks lived in independent autonomous city states. Later , play prominent role, centralized empire est. by neighbors north in Macedon. Generated body of thought and moral and philosophical reflection. Traditions of Greeks profoundly influenced long term cultural development of Medi. Basin, Europe, SW asia. Early Development of Greek Society

* Human inhabited Balkan region and Greek peninsula from early date. Human met and mingled with people, led to Greek early inhabitants built societies under influence of Mesopotamia, and other active in the region. Greeks organized a series of City-states-served as political context fpr the development of classical society.

Minoan and Mycenaean Societies
Knossos- Sophisticated society arose in Crete island. Scholars call it Minoan society, after Minos, a king of ancient Crete. Inhabitants of Crete built lavish palaces throughout the island-esp. the notably complex of Knossos decorated with vivid frescoes depicting Minoans at work and play. Palace nerve center of Minoan society: residence of rulers, served as storehouse for taxes. Officials devised script known as Linear A, symbols stood for syllables rather than words, ideas, etc. Not able to decipher it, its clear that Cretan admin. used the script to keep record of economic / commercial records. Crete was principal center of Medi. Commerce. Location in east central Medi. Crete received early influences from Phoenicia and Egypt. Cretans soon travel on Phoenician design ship. Minoan ships sailed to Greece, etc to exchange Cretan whine, olive oil and wool for grains textiles and manufactured goods. Cretans est. colonies on Cyprus to mine local copper ores and gain access to markets where tin was available.

Decline of Minoan Society-Minoan society experience earthquakes, volcanoes. Most destructive was volcanic eruption on island of Thera (Santorini) north of Crete. Cretans embarked new palace with indoor plumbing and drainage system and even flush toilets. Wealth attract invaders. Crete fell under foreign.

Mycenaean Society-Migratory Indo-Europeans ppl filtered Balkans and into Greek peninsula. Trade with Minoan merchants and visit Crete, leaned about writing and large scale constructions. Adapted Minoan Linear A, devised syllabic script Linear B. Built palaces in southern- Peloponnesus. Soon attracted agri. Communities. Society known as Mycenaean after Mycenae, of their most important settlements. They overpowered Minoan society, took over Cretan palaces, set. Craft workshops. Clay tablets found. Myce…est. settlements in Anatolia, Sicily, etc.

Chaos in the Eastern Mediterranean-Mycenaean’s engage in conflict with city of Troy in Anatolia. Chaos reigned throughout eastern Medi. Region. Invasions and civil disturbance made it impossible to maintain stable gov. or even productive agri. Societies. Mycenaean palaces fell into ruins, pop. Declined, people abandoned settlements. Linear A/ B...
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