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GREEK CIVILIZATION

Greece was a much harder place to live than Egypt, because the soil was not as good and there was not always enough water to grow plants for food. Greek history is usually divided into a Stone Age, a Bronze Age, and an Iron Age

Greece was a much harder place to live than Egypt, because the soil was not as good and there was not always enough water to grow plants for food. So people did not move there until a lot later. Our first evidence of real settlement in Greece comes from about 55,000 BC (57,000 years ago). Even then, there were not very many people until around 3000 BC. Greek history is usually divided into a Stone Age, a Bronze Age, and an Iron Age. Each of these periods can be divided into smaller periods as well.

Architecture

What is Acropolis?

Acropolis is a Greek word meaning “high city”. The Acropolis, a fortified citadel built atop a massive limestone hill, dominates the city of Athens, Greece. The Acropolis contains some of the world’s most famous structures built in the classical architectural style. These buildings include the Parthenon Doric temple built for Athena, the Acropolis at Athens goddess of wisdom, the Propylaea, and the Erechtheum. They were constructed during the Golden Age of Athens (5th century BC) under the rule of the famous Athenian statesman Pericles. The Athenian Acropolis rises from the plain of Attica to 500 feet above sea level. In times of attack, the Acropolis became the last fort of defense. The Acropolis hill, called the “Sacred Rock” of Athens, is the most important site of the city. During Pericles’ Golden Age, ancient Greek civilization was represented in an ideal way on the hill and some of the architectural masterpieces of the period were erected on its ground.

The Acropolis, a fortified citadel built atop a massive limestone hill, dominates the city of Athens, Greece
The Acropolis, a fortified citadel built atop a massive limestone hill, dominates the city of Athens, Greece

What is Parthenon?

The Parthenon is the largest building on top of the Acropolis. It was dedicated to Athena Parthenos. It was completely made out of pentelic marble and surrounded by free-standing columns. It was designed by Ictinus and Callcrates, with the sculptures made by Phidias. The smaller room was dedicated to Parthenon. Eventually, the whole building was named after her.

The Parthenon is the largest building on top of the Acropolis
The Parthenon is the largest building on top of the Acropolis

Describe Briefly the Characteristics and History of the Temple of Athena Nikae

The Temple of Athena Nikae was constructed in ca. 420 B.C. by the architect Kallikrates. It is built in the Ionic order, and it is amphiprostyle with a row of four columns in front of each of its narrow sides. The relief frieze on the upper section of the walls depicts the conference of goods on the east side, and scenes from battles on the other tree. A marble parapet decorated with the relief representation of Nikae (Victories), protected the edge of the Bastion on which the temple was erected.

The Temple of Athena Nikae
The Temple of Athena Nikae

God and Famous People

Who Was Zeus?

Greeks considered Zeus the king of the gods. They believed him to be a sky god, who lived on top of Mount Olympus and when he was angry, he threw lightning bolts out of the sky at people. In the Middle Bzone Age, when the Indo-European Greeks arrived there, they started to worship Zeus.

Greeks considered Zeus the king of the gods
Greeks considered Zeus the king of the gods

Who Was Aristophanes?

At the time of Euripides, Aristophanes lived Athens about 450-388 B.C. Aristophanes wrote comedies instead of tragedies. Most of Aristophanes’ plays are political satires. They make fun of the politicians of Athens, sometimes in general, and sometimes mocking one specific politician. Lysistrata, one of his plays, poked fun at the generals who would not the end the Peloponnesian War, and said that women could do a better job making peace.

Aristophanes  was a comic playwright of ancient Athens
Aristophanes was a comic playwright of ancient Athens

Describe Briefly the Development of Science During the Greek Civilization

The Greeks were very interested in science. From about 600 B.C., a lot of Greek men spent time observing the planets and the sun and trying to figure out how astronomy worked. Pythagoras, a Greek scientist in about 400’s B.C., was interested in finding the patterns and rules in mathematics and music, and invented the idea of a mathematical proof. Socrates, developed logical methods for deciding whether something was true or not. In the 300’s B.C., Aristotle and other philosophers at the lyceum and the Academy in Athens worked on observing plants and animals, and organizing the different kinds of plants and animals into types. After Aristotle, using his ideas and also ideas from Egypt and the Persians and Indians, Hippocrates and other Greek doctors wrote important medical texts that were used for hundred of years.

Pythagoras who  was interested in finding the patterns and rules in mathematics and music
Pythagoras who was interested in finding the patterns and rules in mathematics and music

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