About This Chapter
Who's it for?
This unit of our Middle School World History Homeschool Curriculum course will benefit any student who is trying to learn about ancient Greek civilization. There is no faster or easier way to learn about the ancient Greeks. Among those who would benefit are:
- Students who require an efficient, self-paced course of study to learn about ancient Greek democracy, history, literature and philosophy.
- Homeschool parents looking to spend less time preparing lessons and more time teaching.
- Homeschool parents who need a history curriculum that appeals to multiple learning types (visual or auditory).
- Gifted students and students with learning differences.
How it works:
- Students watch a short, fun video lesson that covers a specific unit topic.
- Students and parents can refer to the video transcripts to reinforce learning.
- Short quizzes and an Ancient Greek Civilization unit exam confirm understanding or identify any topics that require review.
Ancient Greek Civilization Unit Objectives:
- Study the history of the alphabet.
- Understand the influence of ancient Greek literature on contemporary writings.
- Identify the different forms of ancient Greek government.
- Summarize the events that led up to the Peloponnesian and Persian Wars.
- Compare daily life in Athens with everyday life in Sparta.
- Become familiar with the Aristotelian logic, Platonic idealism and Socratic philosophy.
- Learn about Alexander the Great and the origins of Hellenism, including Hellenistic philosophy.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. Athenian Democracy: Solon and Cleisthenes
Although Athens is remembered for creating the first democracy, it took many years and multiple leaders to develop the system we think of today. Learn about who took control, what reforms they made and how the people revolted against the old system.
10. Pericles, the Delian League, and the Athenian Golden Age
This lecture covers the formation of the Delian League, its development into the Athenian Empire and the peculiar place of Pericles in the midst of it all, turning the city of Athens into the seat of an empire.
11. Peloponnesian War and Thucydides
This lecture covers the Peloponnesian War. First we enumerate the causes of the war. Then we examine Pericles' plan to win it. We see how Pericles' plan eventually fell apart and how the Athenians struggled without leadership until their eventual destruction at the hands of the Spartans.
12. Socrates: Life, Death and Philosophy
This lecture is a whirlwind tour through the life of Socrates. It begins with an explanation of the Socratic problem, followed by an examination of his philosophy. The lecture ends with a summary of Socrates' legacy.
13. Platonic Idealism: Plato and His Influence
This lecture examines the philosophy and legacy of Plato. It covers the Allegory of the Cave, the Realm of Forms and Plato's views on politics and the soul. Finally, it shows Plato's enduring legacy in modern science.
14. Aristotelian Logic: Aristotle's Central Concepts and Influence
This lesson will explore the life of the famous philosopher Aristotle. It will highlight his life in Northern Greece and Athens, as well as his interactions with Alexander the Great. It will also explain the main tenants of Aristotelian logic.
15. Alexander the Great and the Birth of Hellenism
This lesson describes Alexander the Great's mighty empire. Beginning with a brief account of his father Philip, the lecture then turns to an enumeration of Alexander's conquests. Next, Alexander's methods are explored. Finally, we will discuss Alexander's legacy of Hellenization.
16. The Library of Alexandria & The Benefits of Hellenization
This lecture begins by examining the spread of the Greek language and alphabet during the Hellenistic period and noting the implications of a universal language. Next we look at four factors that combined to make Alexandria the heart of Hellenistic scholarship: common language, a convenient alphabet, papyrus and climate.
17. Euclid, Archimedes & Ptolemy: Alexandrian Hellenistic Philosophers
This lecture recounts the achievements of the many great minds that called Alexandria home. We will look at Euclid, Ptolemy, Archimedes, Aristarchus, Herophilos, Erasistratus and Eratosthenes.
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Other chapters within the Middle School World History: Homeschool Curriculum course
- Paleolithic Era to the Agricultural Revolution: Homeschool Curriculum
- Civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt & Kush: Homeschool Curriculum
- The Ancient Hebrews: Homeschool Curriculum
- Early Civilization in India: Homeschool Curriculum
- The Roman Republic: Homeschool Curriculum
- The Roman Empire and Cultural Legacies: Homeschool Curriculum
- Islamic Civilizations in the Middle Ages: Homeschool Curriculum
- China in the Middle Ages: Homeschool Curriculum
- Medieval Japan: Homeschool Curriculum
- Medieval Europe: Homeschool Curriculum
- Renaissance Europe: Homeschool Curriculum
- The Reformation in Europe: Homeschool Curriculum
- The Scientific Revolution: Homeschool Curriculum
- The Enlightenment - Middle School World History: Homeschool Curriculum
- Europe and the Age of Exploration: Homeschool Curriculum