About This Chapter
Below is a sample breakdown of the Ancient Greek Civilization 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||Ancient Greek arts and letters|| The history of hieroglyphics; |
the Gods of Greek mythology;
the main themes of The Iliad and The Odyssey;
the influences of ancient Greek literature
|Tuesday||Ancient Greek life and philosophy|| Ancient Greek democracies and dictatorship; |
Mediterranean trade patterns;
women of Greek theater and philosophy
|Wednesday||History of Sparta, life in Athens, the birth of history and Athenian democracy|| Spartan society; |
the contrasts between the Greek city-states;
Herodotus' recordings of the Persian War;
the reforms of Solon and Cleisthenes
|Thursday||The Delian League, the Peloponnesian War, Socrates and Plato|| The conquests of the Delian League; |
the reasons for the Pelopennesian War;
the life of Socrates;
the works of Plato
|Friday||Aristotelian logic, Alexander the Great, Archimedes and Alexandrian hellenistic philosophers|| the life of Aristotle; |
the inventions of Archimedes;
the development of a universal language
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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