About This Chapter
Contributions & History of Ancient Greece - Chapter Summary
This chapter's lessons examine the history of the ancient Greek people, including a look at the Minoans, Troy and the collapse of Mycenae. They discuss Greek literature, architecture and art, and explore Greek mythology.
You'll learn about the government and social structure, and see how philosophy and the recording of history developed. When you've finished all these videos, you should have an understanding of topics including:
- History of the alphabet
- Schliemann's search for ancient Troy
- Women in ancient Greece
- Phalanx warfare
- Herodotus and the birth of history
You can watch these lessons on your own time, using a computer, tablet or smartphone. Following each lesson is a self-assessment quiz that lets you assess your learning and see where you need extra review. Video tags let you quickly return to key points in the lesson to check your understanding.
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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Other chapters within the AEPA History: Practice & Study Guide course
- Historical Concepts & Research
- Understanding Historical Resources
- Events & Contributions of Early Civilizations
- Ancient Near East Civilizations
- The Bronze Age in the Near East
- Ancient Africa & the Americas
- Dynasties & Confucianism in Ancient China
- Culture & Beliefs of Ancient India
- Hellenism & Athens
- The Roman Republic Rises
- History of the Fall of Rome
- History of Early Christianity
- The Byzantine Empire & Culture
- The Origins of Islam
- Contributions of Medieval European Politics
- The Crusades & Church Reform in Medieval Europe
- The Hundred Years' War
- Asia in the Middle & Late Middle Ages
- Africa & the Americas in the Middle & Late Middle Ages
- History of the Renaissance
- The Protestant Reformation in Europe & Worldwide
- The Age of European Exploration & Discovery
- History of the Elizabethan Era
- Colonialism in Europe, Africa & the New World
- Major Figures & Events of the Scientific Revolution
- The Enlightenment
- Asia & Africa in the 15th-18th Centuries
- Political & Technological World Developments (1750-1914)
- European & Japanese Imperialism
- Battles & Consequences of World War I
- Causes & Events of World War II
- Civilizations of the Americas Before & After Colonization
- Colonial Settlements & Battles in North America (1497-1732)
- Events Leading to the American Revolution (1700-1774)
- Events & Leaders of the American Revolution
- The Birth of the United States (1776-1800)
- The Virginia Dynasty
- Jacksonian Democracy
- Everyday Life in Antebellum America
- Manifest Destiny & American Expansion
- Sectional Crisis & the Start of the Civil War (1850-1861)
- Battles & Effects of the American Civil War (1861-1865)
- American Reconstruction & the Gilded Age (1865-1877)
- American Industrialization & Urbanization (1870-1900)
- Figures & Events of the Progressive Era (1900-1917)
- American Imperialism & World War I
- American Life & Culture During the Roaring 20s (1920-1929)
- The Great Depression in the U.S. (1929-1940)
- American Involvement in World War ll (1941-1945)
- World Events & Politics After World War II (1946-1959)
- Events & Presidents During the Cold War (1950-1973)
- American Civil Disobedience, Protests & Activism (1954-1973)
- America in the 1970s
- America in the 1980s
- Politics & Major Figures of Contemporary America (1992-2013)