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Ch 9: Contributions & History of Ancient Greece

About This Chapter

Let us help you review facts about the history and achievements of the civilization of ancient Greece. Our video lessons and quizzes offer information on the political structure, the role of women and religion.

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
  • City-states
  • Women in ancient Greece
  • Phalanx warfare
  • Sparta
  • Herodotus and the birth of history
  • Slavery

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.

16 Lessons in Chapter 9: Contributions & History of Ancient Greece
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
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.

History of the Alphabet: From Cuneiform to Greek Writing

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.

The Iliad: Greek Epic

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.

The Odyssey: Greek Epic

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.

Bronze Age Greece: Schliemann's Quest for Troy

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.

From Mycenae's Collapse to Greek Colonization

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.

Greek Myth and Religion

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.

Greek City-States and Governments

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.

Women of Greece

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.

Ancient Greek Art, Pottery and Sculpture

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.

Ancient Greek Architecture: Dorian, Ionic & Corinthian

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.

The Birth of Philosophy: The Presocratics

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.

Phalanx Warfare in Ancient Greece

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.

History of Sparta

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.

Birth of History: Herodotus' Persian War

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.

Slavery in Ancient Greece

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.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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