* 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 disappeared. Boisterous character of era came across in Homers works. Portray a society riven with conflict and recount innumerable episodes of aggression, violence, etc, along with heroic bravery and courage.
The World of Polis
The Polis-In absence of centralized state or empire , local institutes took lead in restore political order in Greece. Most important was city-state or polis. Polis originally referred to a citadel or fortified site that offered refuge for local communities during times of war or other emergencies. Attract pop. Commercial centers occurred. They levied taxes on hinterlands and appropriated portion of the agriculture surplus to support the urban pop. Others arose from different rates f economic development, while others independently and elaborated traditions with little outside influence. Polis soon became principal centers of Greek Society. Many fell under than hands of generals or ambitious politicians called “tyrants” by Greeks- gain power irregular means. Most tyrants popular, tyrant refers to routs to power. Important Poleis: Sparta and Athens, constitutions helped to illustrate variety of poltical styles in Greece. Sparta- Sparta fertile region of Peloponnesus. As pop increase, Sparta extend control over Peloponnesus. Neighbor ppl. to status of helots- servants of Spartan sate. Could not leave land. Role to provide agricultural labor and keep Sparta supplied with food. Sparta Society-Spartan citizens equal in status. To not have distinctions, rules established. Ppl. did not wear jewelry or accumulate large wealth. Spartan refers to a lifestyle characterized by simplicity. Distinctions by power, discipline, and talents. All boys left at age 7 to live in military barracks, physical training. Age 20, began military service until retirement. Spartans prescribed vigorous physical exercise to for girls in hopes that they would bear strong children. At 18 to twenty, young women married and had occasional sexual relations, but did not live with husbands. At age 30, men left barracks to set up family with wives and children. Soon, Aristocratic families had accumulated great wealth, Spartans great taste for luxury.
Athens- Population growth and economic development caused political/ social strain. Athenians relieved tension by establishing government based democratic principles where as Sparta tried by Military rule. Athens sought to negotiate order by considering the interests of polis’s various constituencies. Citizenship was not open to all residents : only free adult males from Athens played role in public affairs, foreigners-slaves-women have no direct voice in the government. Athenians opened government offices to all citizens and broadened the base of political participation classical Greece. Athenian Society-Increasing volume of maritime trade brought prosperity to Attica, region around Athens. Principal beneficiaries of this prosperity were aristocratic landowners- who controlled the Athenian government. An aristocrat named Solon served as a mediator between classes, and he devised a solution to class conflict in Attica. Solon and Athenian Democracy-Solon forged a compromise between classes. He allowed aristocrats to keep their lands-rather than confiscate them and redistribute them to landless individuals. He cancelled debts, forbade debt slavery and liberated those already enslaved for debt. He cancelled debts, forbade debt slavery, and liberated those already enslaved for debt. Commoners to participate in government, and paid salaries to office holders. Pericles-High tide came under leadership of Pericles. Though he was of Aristocratic birth, Pericles was the most popular Athenian leader. Wielded enormous personal influence in a government with hundreds of officeholders from common class, and he supported building programs that provided employment for thousands of construction workers and laborers. Under Pericles, Athens became the most sophisticated of the poleis. Pericles boasted that Athens was “the education of Greece.” GREECE AND THE LARGER WORLD
Greeks est. colonies along shores of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, and traded throughout the region. Conflict with Persian empire. Conquest created vast zone of trade and communication that encouraged commercial and cultural exchange. Greek Colonization:
Poleis were emerging as centers of political organization in Greece. Pop. Strained the resources available in the rocky and mountainous Greek peninsula. To relieve population pressures, Greeks began to establish colonies in other parts of the Mediterranean basin. They founded four hundred colonies along the shoes of Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea. The Greeks established their first colonies in the central Mediterranean. The most popular sites were Sicily and southern Italy, particularly in the region around modern Naples, originally Greek colony called Neapolis “new polis”. These colonies provided fertile fields copper zinc tin etc of central Italy. Important colony of Massalia (modern Marseilles) in what is now southern France. Greek Colonies-Greek colonies arose in eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea. Hundreds of islands in Aegean Sea beckoned to maritime people such the Greeks. Colonists also settled in Anatolia, where their Greek cousins had est. communities during the centuries of political turmoil. Greeks went into Black Sea and established colonies. Settlements offered merchants access to rich supplies of grain, fish, furs, timbers, slaves, etc. captured in southern Russia and transported to markets in the Mediterranean. Effects of Greek colonization: sponsored more communication, interaction, and exchange than ever before among Mediterranean lands and peoples.
Early development of Greek society
A. Minoan and Mycenaean Societies
1. Minoan society arose on the island of Crete, late 3 third millennium B.C.E. a. Between 2200 and 1450 B.C.E., was the center of Mediterranean commerce b. Received early influences from Phoenicia and Egypt c. Untranslated form of writing, Linear A, was used d. By 1100 B.C.E., Crete fell under foreign domination 2. Mycenaean society: named after important city, Mycenae e. Indo-European immigrants settled in Greece, 2000 B.C.E. f. Adapted Minoan Linear A into their script, Linear B g. Stone fortresses in the Peloponnesus (southern Greece) protected agricultural settlements h. Overpowered Minoan society and expanded to Anatolia, Sicily, and Italy 3. Chaos in the eastern Mediterranean after Trojan War (1200 B.C.E.) B. The world of the polis gradually emerged in Greece
4. Sparta began to extend control during eighth and seventh centuries B.C.E. i. Reduced the neighboring peoples to the status of helots, or semi-free servants j. Maintained domination by a powerful military machine 5. Spartan society
k. Discouraged social distinction, observed austere lifestyle l. Distinction was drawn by prowess, discipline, and military talent 6. Athens gradually broadened base of political participation m. Solon sought to negotiate order by democratic principles n. Citizenship was open to free adult males, not to foreigners, slaves, and women 7. Athenian society
o. Maritime trade brought about prosperity to Attica, the region of Athens p. Aristocratic landowners were primary beneficiaries q. Class tension became intensified in the sixth century B.C.E. 8. Pericles (ca. 443-429 B.C.E.), most popular democratic leader of Athens Greece and the larger world
A. Greek colonization
1. Greeks founded more than four hundred colonies
a. Facilitated trade among Mediterranean lands and people b. Spread of Greek language and cultural traditions c. Stimulated development of surrounding areas
B. Conflict with Persia and its results
2. The Persian War (500-479 B.C.E.)
d. Greek cities on Ionian coast revolted against Persia, 500 B.C.E. e. Battle of Marathon, 490 B.C.E., is decisive victory for Athens f. Xerxes tried again to seize Athens; his navy lost battle of Salamis (480 B.C.E.) g. Persian army retreated back to Anatolia (479 B.C.E.) 3. The Delian League
h. Military and financial alliance among Greek poleis against Persian threat i. When Persian threat subsided, poleis, other than Athens, no longer wanted to make contributions 4. The Peloponnesian War (431-404 B.C.E.)
j. Tensions led to two armed camps, under leadership of Athens and Sparta k. Unconditional surrender of Athens, 404 B.C.E.