Ch 2: History of Ancient Greece

About This Chapter

Watch the entertaining videos in this chapter to strengthen your knowledge of the history of Ancient Greece. Learn about the Minoans, the history of Sparta, Ancient Greek art and more.

History of Ancient Greece - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Ancient Greece has a rich and extensive history that has contributed to modern world civilization. The fun video lessons in this chapter ensure you have well-rounded knowledge of this civilization by exploring its people, myths, government and art. Lessons also examine Ancient Greece's contributions to the studies of history and philosophy. A short quiz accompanies each lesson that can assess your comprehension of Ancient Greece concepts. After reviewing this chapter, you will understand the following topics:

  • Greece's Bronze Age
  • Development of Greek colonies, city-states and governments
  • Ancient Greek myth, religion, art, pottery, architecture and sculpture
  • The birth of philosophy
  • Sparta's history

Lesson Objective
The Minoans Examine the economic prosperity and mysterious disappearance of the Minoans.
History of the Alphabet: From Cuneiform to Greek Writing Study the history of the alphabet from Phoenicians to Minoan to Mycenaean to Greek.
Bronze Age Greece: Schliemann's Quest for Troy Explore architectural and artistic features of Myceanae and Schliemann's hunt for Troy.
From Mycenae's Collapse to Greek Colonization Read about migrations through the Dark Ages, the founding of new settlements and how geography impacted the development of separate colonies.
Greek Myth and Religion Discover characters and themes from Greek mythology.
Greek City-States and Governments Find out how and why Greek city-states maintained their independence, and examine characteristics of Greek Poleis.
Women of Greece Understand the primary responsibilities, social standing, rights and freedoms and general role of women in Greek society.
Ancient Greek Art, Pottery and Sculpture Describe how pottery transitioned to figure vases and sculpture to idealism.
Ancient Greek Architecture: Dorian, Ionic & Corinthian Take a look at Ancient Greek architecture from Dorian to Ionic to Corinthian.
The Birth of Philosophy: The Presocratics Explore pre-Socratic philosophy from Anaxagoras, Anaximander, Anaximenes, Heraclitus, Parmenides, Pythagoras, Thales and Zeno.
History of Sparta Examine this unique Greek city-state, and describe its history and culture.
Birth of History: Herodotus' Persian War Learn about the historian Herodotus and the Pelopponesian war.
Slavery in Ancient Greece Study forms of slavery in Ancient Greece.

13 Lessons in Chapter 2: History of Ancient Greece
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
The Minoans

1. The Minoans

This lesson explores Minoan civilization. Beginning with Arthur Evans' discoveries at Knossos, we move on to explore the mysteries of Minoan art and writing, as well as their mysterious decline in the 15th century BCE.

History of the Alphabet: From Cuneiform to Greek Writing

2. History of the Alphabet: From Cuneiform to Greek Writing

This lecture follows the development of writing, from the pictographs of proto-cuneiform to the symbolic phonemes of cuneiform and hieroglyphics. Then from the abjads of the Phoenecians, Minoans, Hebrews and Arabs to the complete alphabets of the Greeks. It explores the limitations and strengths of each development and draws modern parallels.

Bronze Age Greece: Schliemann's Quest for Troy

3. Bronze Age Greece: Schliemann's Quest for Troy

This lecture covers the history of Bronze Age Greece, beginning with the discovery of its greatest city, Mycenae, by Heinrich Schliemann, emphasizing that the quest to find these cities was inspired by works of classical literature. It then describes the architecture of Mycenae and some of the relics found there. Finally, the lesson examines the Mycenaean achievement and its place in Western history.

From Mycenae's Collapse to Greek Colonization

4. From Mycenae's Collapse to Greek Colonization

This lesson covers the history of Greece from the collapse of Mycenae to the start of Greek Colonization. We watch its dissolution during the Dorian Invasion and take a look at Greece in the Dark Ages.

Greek Myth and Religion

5. Greek Myth and Religion

This lecture examines the troubles of generalizing Greek religion, before doing just that. It lists the major Olympian gods and their roles. It then explores the function of heroes in Greek religion. Next, the relationship between gods and men is laid out. Finally, it explores aspects of Greek myth that reemerge in Christianity.

Greek City-States and Governments

6. Greek City-States and Governments

This is a lecture about Greek city states. It begins with an examination of the influence geography had on Greek politics, by comparing Greece to Egypt and Mesopotamia. This is followed by a loose characterization of Greek poleis in general, with specific attention paid to constitutions, colonialism and competition.

Women of Greece

7. Women of Greece

The Greeks were one of the most progressive ancient civilizations, but that wasn't true in how they treated women. This lesson goes over facts about how women were treated and explains how the best place to be a woman in Greece was Sparta.

Ancient Greek Art, Pottery and Sculpture

8. Ancient Greek Art, Pottery and Sculpture

A survey of the transitions in Greek art, with special emphasis placed on the importance of materials and technique. This lecture explores Greek pottery styles from geometric to Orientalizing to black- and red-figure vases. It then turns to sculpture from Archaic styles to realism to idealism. Slides are shown throughout to get students familiar with these Greek styles.

Ancient Greek Architecture: Dorian, Ionic & Corinthian

9. Ancient Greek Architecture: Dorian, Ionic & Corinthian

This lecture discusses Greek architecture and its legacy. Enjoy our exploration of Greek columns, temples, stadiums, treasuries and theaters, and see why the Greeks might have reached the pinnacle of architectural achievement.

The Birth of Philosophy: The Presocratics

10. The Birth of Philosophy: The Presocratics

This lecture covers the advent of philosophy. It first differentiates philosophy from religion, drawing parallels to modern science. It then establishes the basic questions of Presocratic philosophy: What is matter? and What causes change? The rest of the lecture demonstrates how these questions developed as they were tackled by generations of Presocratic philosophers. Finally, it makes plain our incredible debt to the Presocratics.

History of Sparta

11. History of Sparta

In this lesson, you'll examine forces that shaped a Spartan society of elite warriors. We'll also explore the stratified caste system created by Lycurgus.

Birth of History: Herodotus' Persian War

12. Birth of History: Herodotus' Persian War

This lecture begins with Herodotus' special place in history. It then looks at the miracle at Marathon and seeks to explain how it happened by comparing phalanx warfare to Persian warfare. Following that, we'll run through a brief summary of the rest of the war, with special attention drawn to Greek triremes.

Slavery in Ancient Greece

13. Slavery in Ancient Greece

This lesson explores slavery in ancient Greece. We examine the various forms slavery took in Greece, comparing Spartan serfdom to Athenian chattel slavery. Finally, we enumerate the duties and rights of Athenian slaves.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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