About This Chapter
Below is a sample breakdown of the Ancient Greece chapter into a 5-day school week. Based on the pace of your course, you may need to adapt the lesson plan to fit your needs.
|Day||Topics||Key Terms and Concepts Covered|
|Monday||Bronze Age civilization||Minoan civilization and its mysterious end, Mycenaean culture and evolution of the Greek colonies|
|Tuesday||Greek epics, myths and religion||Greek gods and goddesses; Homer's The Iliad and The Odyssey|
|Wednesday||Greek city-states and society||Common characteristics of Greek communities, unique features of Sparta and the role of slaves and women in Greek society|
|Thursday||Greek alphabet, architecture and art||Corinthian, Doric and Ionic columns; Greek sculpture and pottery; and the history of the alphabet|
|Friday||The birth of history and philosophy||Herodotus' account of the Persian War, phalanx warfare and pre-Socratic philosophy|
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.
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.
3. The Iliad: Greek Epic
This lecture traces the history of Greek epics. It then examines the central themes of 'The Iliad': Xenia, Achilles' wrath, and his quest for immortality. The plot of 'The Iliad' is summarized and attention is drawn to themes from the Sumerian tradition.
4. The Odyssey: Greek Epic
This lecture provides a rough outline of the exploits of Odysseus in Homer's epic poem ''The Odyssey''. You'll learn plot details about this epic poem, in addition to hearing about how this important tale relates to Greek culture and literary works throughout history.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. Phalanx Warfare in Ancient Greece
This lecture compares phalanx warfare to its hit-and-run predecessors, drawing distinctions between hit-and-run skirmishing and decisive warfare. It examines the cultural, political, and geographical features of Greece that made phalanx warfare possible and necessary, and it describes the hoplite gear and mentality.
14. 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.
15. 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.
16. 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.
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