History of Ancient Greece Outline | Student Handouts
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The Glory That Was Greece
Free Printable Outline with Recap Questions for World History - Scroll Down to Print - Ancient Greece

     I.            The early Greeks

a.       Hellenes – Indo-European nomads – Dorian, Aeolian, and Ionian tribes

b.      Circa 1400-1000 BCE – migration from Black Sea and Danube regions to modern-day Greece and Turkey

c.       Conquered Cretans and other natives

d.      Circa 1000 BCE – controlled Greece, some of Asia Minor, and Aegean islands

    Ancient Greece History Outline - Free to print (PDF file). II.            The age of Homer

a.       Circa 1000-750 BCE

b.      Greece’s “Dark Ages” – little information known

c.       Iliad and Odyssey

d.      Troy discovered by Heinrich Schliemann

e.      People – farmers, traders, and warriors

f.        Crops and livestock – cattle, grapes, olives, sheep, wheat

  III.            Geography of Greece

a.       Mountains

                                                               i.      Hindered communication and unification

                                                             ii.      Caused growth of independent city-states

b.      Seas and seaports

                                                               i.      Peninsula with irregular coastline

                                                             ii.      Seaports encouraged development of trade

c.       Poor farmland

                                                               i.      Few crops could be grown

                                                             ii.      Forced to trade

                                                            iii.      Became leading traders of Aegean and eastern Mediterranean

  IV.            Greece’s colonies

a.       Circa 800-600 BCE

b.      Colonized areas around the Mediterranean

                                                               i.      Italy’s west coast (Naples)

                                                             ii.      Sicily (Syracuse)

                                                            iii.      Southern France (Marseilles)

                                                           iv.      Egypt

                                                             v.      Byzantium (Constantinople/Istanbul)

c.       Spread Greek culture, language, religion

     V.            Forces uniting the Greeks

a.       Ancestry

                                                               i.      Believed in a common ancestor – Hellen

b.      Language

                                                               i.      Spoke different Greek dialects but could understand one another

                                                             ii.      Used Phoenician alphabet and added vowels

c.       Literature

                                                               i.      Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey

                                                             ii.      Mythological tales

d.      Religion

                                                               i.      Greek pantheon of gods and goddesses living on Mount Olympus

                                                             ii.      Zeus, Athena, Hades, etc.

e.      Olympic games

                                                               i.      Every four years

1.       This four-year period was called the Olympiad

                                                             ii.      Began in 776 BCE

                                                            iii.      Physical games – boxing, broad jumps, chariot racing, dashes, discus throwing, distance running, javelin throwing

                                                           iv.       Intellectual games – art, drama, music, poetry

  VI.            Forces disuniting the Greeks

a.       First loyalty was to city-state

                                                               i.      Often fought one another

                                                             ii.      This disunity eventually allowed the Macedonians to conquer Greece

b.      Geography

                                                               i.      Mountains divided city-states and hindered communication

c.       Different types of government

                                                               i.      Athens – democracy

                                                             ii.      Sparta – authoritarian and militaristic nature

                                                            iii.      Also aristocracies, oligarchies, and tyrannies

VII.            Greek alphabet

a.       Egyptian hieroglyphics ↘

                                                               i.      Egyptian hieratic (script or cursive) ↘

1.       Phoenician ↘

a.       Greek ↘

                                                                                                                                       i.      Latin (used to write modern English)

VIII.            Sparta

a.       Spartans conquered Peloponnesians

                                                               i.      Peloponnesians became slaves, or helots

1.       Helots outnumbered Spartans 20 to 1

2.       Spartans feared that helots would revolt

3.       Spartans became heavily militaristic in response

   IX.            Life of a Spartan

a.       Birth

                                                               i.      Newborns brought to ephors (elders) for examination

                                                             ii.      Sickly babies left to die of exposure

                                                            iii.      Healthy babies

1.       Boys lived with their parents until age 7

2.       Girls stayed with their parents until marriage, and learned weaving, cooking, and cleaning

b.      Age 7

                                                               i.      Boys sent to military school for strict physical training

                                                             ii.      Weapons and endurance training

                                                            iii.      Frequent beatings

                                                           iv.      Taught basic reading and to be laconic (use brief speech)

c.       Age 20

                                                               i.      Young men became soldiers

                                                             ii.      Allowed to get married

                                                            iii.      But lived in the barracks until age 30

d.      Age 30

                                                               i.      These soldiers became citizens

                                                             ii.      Could vote and could live in their own homes

                                                            iii.      Remained in the military until age 60

     X.            Review questions

a.       The early Greeks came from where?

b.      What archaeologist discovered the remains of Troy?

c.       Describe the geography of mainland Greece.

d.      What forces united the Greeks?

e.      Explain the evolution of the Greek alphabet.

f.        Compare the life of a Spartan male with the life of an American male today.

   XI.             Athens and Athenian democracy

a.       Democracy

                                                               i.      Demos (“people”) + kratein (“to rule”)

b.      Democracy developed through various reforms over 200 years (circa 620s BCE-420 BCE)

                                                               i.      Draco

                                                             ii.      Solon

                                                            iii.      Clisthenes

                                                           iv.      Pericles

XII.            Draco

a.       Athenian noble

b.      621 BCE – credited with putting down first written laws of Athens

                                                               i.      Severe (modern English term draconian meaning “severe” or “harsh”)

                                                             ii.      Written “in blood, not ink”

                                                            iii.      Written laws meant that judges could not show favoritism or make up laws

XIII.            Solon

a.       594 BCE – rewrote Draco’s laws

b.      Helped the poor

                                                               i.      All citizens could participate in the legislature

                                                             ii.      Ended debt enslavement

                                                            iii.      Canceled land mortgages

                                                           iv.      Limited amount of land a person could own

XIV.            Clisthenes

a.       508 BCE

b.      Enlarged Athenian assembly and increased its powers

c.       Created Council of 500 to represent the different classes

                                                               i.      Created and administered laws after they were approved by Assembly

d.      Officials were elected

e.      Executive power

                                                               i.      Ten generals called strategi (singular strategus)

                                                             ii.      Elected for one year

f.        Citizenship granted to some freedmen (former slaves) and to some immigrants

g.       Ostracism

                                                               i.      Names written on ostrakon (piece of broken potsherd) once a year

                                                             ii.      Most votes = ten years of exile

XV.            Pericles

a.       “Golden Age of Pericles” – 461-429 BCE

b.      Repeatedly elected as a strategus

c.       All citizens could hold public office

d.      People were paid for government service

e.      “Golden Age of Pericles” also saw developments in art and architecture

XVI.            Athenian democracy – its flaws

a.       Athens’ adult population: circa 300,000

                                                               i.      150,000 foreigners and slaves (not citizens)

                                                             ii.      100,000 women and others

                                                            iii.      50,000 male citizens with voting rights

b.      Direct democracy – the citizen had to be there to vote (typically 5,000-6,000 voted at a time)

c.       Women had few rights and opportunities

d.      Slavery played a major role in the economy

e.      Orators often used forceful and coercive language, rather than logic, to sway voters

XVII.            Persian Wars – 500-479 BCE

a.       Greeks lived in Asia Minor since at least 1000 BCE

b.      Persian empire expanded in the 5th century BCE to include Asia Minor

c.       500 BCE – Greeks in Miletus led a revolt

d.      Athens and other city-states came to the aid of Miletus

e.      Persians won and King Darius swore revenge against Athens for interfering

XVIII.            First Persian War (490 BCE)

a.       King Darius sent fleet to attack Athens

                                                               i.      Set anchor 26 miles northeast of Marathon

b.      Battle of Marathon

                                                               i.      Spartans could not help because of a religious festival

                                                             ii.      Athenians were outnumbered but still defeated the Persians

XIX.            Second Persian War (480 BCE)

a.       Xerxes (son of Darius) led an army of 500,000 while Persian fleet sent along Greek coast

                                                               i.      Xerxes attacked by land from the north

                                                             ii.      300 Spartans led by Leonidas

1.       Attempted to block Pass of Thermopylae

2.       Traitor betrayed them and showed Persians another route

3.       All 300 Spartans killed after inflicting heavy casualties

                                                            iii.      Athens destroyed

1.       But Athenians had spent 10 years building up their navy

2.       Athenians defeated Persian fleet in the Strait of Salamis

b.      479 BCE – Spartans led defeat of Persians at Plataea

c.       Persian fleet destroyed at Mycale

 XX.            Significance of the Persian Wars

a.       Persian empire declined

b.      Greek civilization and culture flourished

c.       Wealth from increased trade

d.      Started the Greek onslaught against the Persian empire

                                                               i.      Completed by Alexander the Great of Macedonia in 331 BCE

XXI.            Athens leads Greece

a.       Great leadership

                                                               i.      Aristides and the Delian League (a.k.a. Confederacy of Delos) to protect against possible future Persian invasions

1.       Alliance became the basis for the Athenian empire

2.       Members paid protection money to Athens

                                                             ii.      Cimon – expelled Persians from Black Sea shore

                                                            iii.      Pericles and his “Golden Age”

b.      Increased trade brought wealth

XXII.            Athenian-Spartan rivalry

a.       Spartans created Peloponnesian League to rival Delian League

b.      Sparta

                                                               i.      Peloponnesian League dominated land

                                                             ii.      Oligarchic rule

c.       Athens

                                                               i.      Delian League dominated sea

                                                             ii.      Democratic rule

d.      Corinth

                                                               i.      Joined Peloponnesian League

                                                             ii.      Threatened Athenian sea supremacy

e.      461 BCE – war between Athens and Sparta

                                                               i.      445 BCE – signed a truce

XXIII.            Peloponnesian Wars

a.       431 BCE – war began again

b.      Circa 430 BCE – plague struck Athens

                                                               i.      1/3 of population died, including Pericles

c.       Athens attacked Syracuse (ally of Sparta), located in southern Italy, at sea

                                                               i.      Athens lost

d.      Battle of Aegospotami (404 BCE)

                                                               i.      Spartans allied with Persians and defeated Athenians

                                                             ii.      Spartans conquered Athens and destroyed its defensive walls

XXIV.            Sparta leads Greece

a.       Sparta dominant

                                                               i.      404-371 BCE

                                                             ii.      But Sparta’s support of oligarchic rule upset the lower classes in other Greek city-states

b.      Battle of Leuctra (371 BCE)

                                                               i.      Thebes was first to revolt

                                                             ii.      General Epaminondas led Thebans to defeat Spartans

c.       Battle of Mantinea (362 BCE)

                                                               i.      Thebes defeated by Sparta and Athens

d.      Battle of Chaeronea (338 BCE)

                                                               i.      Philip II of Macedon defeated Athenians and Thebans

e.      League of Corinth (337 BCE)

                                                               i.      Philip II of Macedon had Greek city-states pledge to stop warring with one another

XXV.            Review questions

a.       What ancient Greek city-state first developed democracy?

b.      How did Draco, Solon, Clisthenes, and Pericles advance democracy?

c.       What features of Athenian society were undemocratic?

d.      Describe the Greek wars with the Persians.

e.      What were the causes and outcomes of the Peloponnesian Wars?

f.        Who got the Greek city-states to pledge to stop warring against one another with the League of Corinth?

XXVI.            Hellenic culture

a.       Hellenic refers to Greek culture among those who considered themselves to be Greek during the centuries before Alexander the Great

b.      Much of what is considered typically “Greek” and which greatly influenced the course of Western civilization was created and developed during this time

XXVII.            Greek architecture and art

a.       Architecture of the Acropolis

                                                               i.      Parthenon designed by Ictinus

1.       Gold and ivory statue of Athena designed by Phidias

                                                             ii.      Optical illusions and engineering used to avoid building appearing curved from a distance

b.      Sculpture

                                                               i.      Lifelike and proportionate

                                                             ii.      Attention to detail

                                                            iii.      Emphasis on the beauty of the human form

XXVIII.            Leaders in Greek science

a.       Thales (circa 624-546 BCE)

                                                               i.      Called the “father of natural science”

                                                             ii.      Believed the basic substance in the world is water, which changes its form (ice, liquid, steam) but not its composition

b.      Pythagoras (circa 580-490 BCE)

                                                               i.      Called the “father of numbers”

                                                             ii.      Mathematician who believed everything could be numbered

                                                            iii.      Pythagorean theorem: “The square of the hypotenuse of a right angle is equal to the sum of the squares on the other two sides”

c.       Democritus (circa 460-370 BCE)

                                                               i.      Everything made of atoms so small they cannot be divided

d.      Hippocrates (circa 460-370 BCE)

                                                               i.      Called the “father of medicine”

                                                             ii.      Believed that diseases have natural rather than supernatural causes

                                                            iii.      Hippocratic Oath – still taken by medical personnel today

XXIX.            Greek drama

a.       Purpose

                                                               i.      Educative – taught history and morality

b.      Presentation

                                                               i.      Open-air amphitheaters

                                                             ii.      Little scenery

                                                            iii.      Originally sung by a chorus, but later chorus members developed into actors

c.       Themes

                                                               i.      Gods, divine laws, and fate dominate human destiny

XXX.            Greek dramatists

a.       Aeschylus (525-456 BCE)

                                                               i.      Called the “father of Greek drama”

                                                             ii.      Prometheus Bound

                                                            iii.      Agamemnon

b.      Sophocles (496-406 BCE)

                                                               i.      Oedipus Rex

                                                             ii.      Antigone

c.       Euripides (480-406 BCE)

                                                               i.      Medea

                                                             ii.      The Bacchae

d.      Aristophanes (448-380 BCE)

                                                               i.      The Frogs

                                                             ii.      The Clouds

XXXI.            Greek philosophy – “love of knowledge” – search for answers to life’s big questions

a.       Early Sophists (5th century BCE)

                                                               i.      “Men of wisdom”

                                                             ii.      Measured everything by its usefulness

                                                            iii.      Criticized gods, government, and conventional morality

                                                           iv.      There is no absolute truth

b.      Socrates (469-399 BCE)

                                                               i.      There is absolute truth

                                                             ii.      “Know thyself”

                                                            iii.      Socratic dialogue

                                                           iv.      Convicted of corrupting the youth – forced to drink hemlock

c.       Plato (427-347 BCE)

                                                               i.      Dialogues a written record of Socrates’ dialogues

                                                             ii.      The Republic – ideal state administered by philosophers

                                                            iii.      Founded the Academy which lasted 800 years

d.      Aristotle (384-322 BCE)

                                                               i.      Macedonian student of Plato

                                                             ii.      Tutor to Alexander the Great

                                                            iii.      Opened the Lyceum in Athens

                                                           iv.      Created the basis for scientific inquiry

XXXII.            The Greeks and history

a.       History of historical thought

                                                               i.      Knowledge of the past had consisted of myths and legends

                                                             ii.      First true historians attempted to base their writings on facts

b.      Herodotus (484-425 BCE)

                                                               i.      Called the “father of history”

                                                             ii.      The Inquiries or The Histories

                                                            iii.      Traveled to learn and write about the Persian Wars

                                                           iv.      Much information about foreign customs, etc.

                                                             v.      Gave the gods a role in historical events

c.       Thucydides (471-400 BCE)

                                                               i.      Called the “first scientific historian”

                                                             ii.      History of the Peloponnesian Wars

                                                            iii.      Discussed cause and effect

                                                           iv.      Gave the people involved the main role in historical events

XXXIII.            Greek literature

a.       Hesiod (late 8th century BCE)

                                                               i.      Theogony – poem about Greek gods

                                                             ii.      Work and Days – poem about the life of a farmer

b.      Sappho (circa 620-570 BCE)

                                                               i.      Lyric poetry (sung accompanied by a lyre)

                                                             ii.      Hymn to Aphrodite

c.       Pindar (522-443 BCE)

                                                               i.      Paeans

                                                             ii.      Greeks considered him their greatest lyric poet

XXXIV.            Greek oratory

a.       Art of oratory (public speaking) introduced by the Sophists

b.      Demosthenes (384-322 BCE)

                                                               i.      Warned Greeks about Philip of Macedon’s plans

                                                             ii.      English word philippic means “tirade against someone”

XXXV.            Greek education

a.       “A perfect mind in a perfect body”

b.      Education largely informal

c.       Formal education

                                                               i.      Not for girls (they learned domestic arts at home)

                                                             ii.      Boys sent to private schools at age seven

                                                            iii.      Slave – pedagogue – watched over him and taught him how to behave

                                                           iv.      Grammar, reading, writing, math, music, oratory

                                                             v.      Age 12 – began gymnastics

d.      Only for upper classes

e.      Development of citizens who could participate in government and public affairs

XXXVI.            Review questions

a.       What does the term Hellenic mean?

b.      Describe Greek architecture and art.

c.       What did Pythagoras and Hippocrates contribute to the sciences?

d.      What questions and criticisms were raised by ancient Greek philosophers?

e.      In what ways were Herodotus and Thucydides true historians?

f.        Compare education in ancient Greece to education in the United States today.

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