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Ch 29: Praxis Middle School Social Studies: Ancient Greece

About This Chapter

Review the history of ancient Greece in these video lessons outlining its famous stories and accomplishments. The material contained in these lessons will help you get ready for the Praxis Middle School Social Studies exam.

Praxis Middle School Social Studies: Ancient Greece - Chapter Summary

Much of the ideologies of western civilization can be traced to the ancient Greeks. Philosophy, democracy, art, architecture, poetry and much more had its origin or developed in this extraordinary culture. By viewing these video lessons, you will be prepared to answer questions on the Praxis Middle School Social Studies exam regarding the following material:

  • Art and writings of the Minoans
  • Epic Greek poetry and mythology
  • Schliemann's search for Troy and the fall of Mycenae
  • Spartan history and phalanx warfare
  • Early Greek historians and Herodotus' account of the Persian War
  • Greek geography and political organization
  • Development of the Greek alphabet, art, architecture and philosophy

This study guide offers comprehensive, detailed information in cleverly written and delightfully illustrated video lessons that never last longer than ten minutes. Designed to catch and hold your interest, they provide you with all of the tools you need to build a well-thought-out and functional study strategy. Short lessons and a timeline feature that can take you from place to place instantly make effective use of your time, while links between the quizzes and the videos enable you to refer back and forth with ease and fluidity.

15 Lessons in Chapter 29: Praxis Middle School Social Studies: 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.

The Iliad: Greek Epic

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.

The Odyssey: Greek Epic

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.

Bronze Age Greece: Schliemann's Quest for Troy

4. 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

5. 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

6. 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.

Phalanx Warfare in Ancient Greece

7. 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

8. 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

9. 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.

Geography of Ancient Greece

10. Geography of Ancient Greece

Few places show how geography impacts culture and development like ancient Greece. From its roots as a seafaring culture to the massive trading system built by its merchants, the landforms of Greece have long kept its people challenged by the mountainous terrain and focused on the sea.

Greek City-States and Governments

11. 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.

History of the Alphabet: From Cuneiform to Greek Writing

12. 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.

Ancient Greek Art, Pottery and Sculpture

13. 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

14. 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

15. 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.

Chapter Practice Exam
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