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Ch 43: Classical Civilizations

About This Chapter

The ancient world lives again in the Classical Civilizations chapter of this study guide. Revisit the conflicts between Athens and Sparta and the glory days of Rome while you brush up on your knowledge of the period by watching these video lessons.

Classical Civilizations - Chapter Summary

In these short lessons, you will renew your acquaintance with some of the most brilliant personalities history has to offer. Review the conquests of Pompey, Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great and more. See how the classical civilizations of Greece and Rome began, grew and finally fell and examine the writings of Herodotus, an early historian. The lessons will address the following material and more:

  • Minoan society and the fall of Mycenae
  • Athenian democracy and Spartan military rule
  • Use of the phalanx in Greek warfare
  • Herodotus' historical account of the Persian War
  • The Golden Age of Athens, birth of Hellenism and Alexander the Great
  • Early Rome and the rise and fall of the Roman Republic
  • Augustus Caesar, the transformation from republic to empire and Rome's fall

Charming animation, lively writing and skillful presentation make these video lessons a delight to watch. Brief, yet entertaining and interesting, they provide comprehensive information in an easy-to-digest manner. Each lesson is accompanied by a fully transcribed version with key terminology set off in bold print, and a short quiz to test your retention of what you've studied. The test at the end of each chapter enables you to measure your overall mastery of the material.

15 Lessons in Chapter 43: Classical Civilizations
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.

From Mycenae's Collapse to Greek Colonization

2. 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 City-States and Governments

3. 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.

Phalanx Warfare in Ancient Greece

4. 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.

Birth of History: Herodotus' Persian War

5. 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.

History of Sparta

6. 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.

Athenian Democracy: Solon and Cleisthenes

7. 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.

Pericles, the Delian League, and the Athenian Golden Age

8. 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.

Alexander the Great and the Birth of Hellenism

9. 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.

The Founding of Ancient Rome & Rome's Early History

10. The Founding of Ancient Rome & Rome's Early History

This lesson covers the foundation of Rome. We look at the geography of Italy. We examine some of its most important inhabitants before the Romans. Finally, we look at both the historical facts and the Roman myths regarding the foundation of Rome.

The Seven Kings of Rome: History & Summary

11. The Seven Kings of Rome: History & Summary

This lesson covers the legendary kings of Rome. The historical reality of these kings is challenged, and the central myths of their reign are explored.

Rise of the Roman Republic: Summary of Events

12. Rise of the Roman Republic: Summary of Events

This lesson explains the rise of the Roman Republic after the expulsion of the Etruscan kings. It cites location, military strategy, and a well-formed political structure as reasons for the Republic's rise.

The Death of the Republic: Julius Caesar & Pompey

13. The Death of the Republic: Julius Caesar & Pompey

This lesson explores the factors that led to the death of the Roman Republic. We start with class warfare. We then move onto the exploits of Pompey. Finally, we see how Julius Caesar delivered the death stroke to the Roman Republic.

The Early Roman Empire and the Reign of Augustus Caesar

14. The Early Roman Empire and the Reign of Augustus Caesar

This lesson is about Augustus, the first emperor of Rome. In this lesson we follow Augustus's meteoric rise to power, the collapse of the Roman Republic, and the rise of the Roman Empire.

The Fall of Rome

15. The Fall of Rome

This lesson explains the gradual fall of Rome. In doing so, it highlights corruption, division, and outside invasion as the main reasons for the fall of the Eternal City.

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