Geography of Greece
- Many islands and peninsulas
- Rocky, mountainous terrain
- Mediterranean climate (mild winters, hot summers)
- Only 1/5 of the land in good for growing crops
- Surrounded by seas --> good for trade, seafood, defense
- Near Egypt (major trading partner)
- Thrace - silver mines
1b. What effect do you think the geography of Greece had on the kinds of communities that developed there?
People are spread out and isolated from one another by the seas and mountains, therefore many independent city-states develop and are isolated from one another (not one single kingdom like Egypt).
2a. Describe two important Greek civilizations.
Located on Crete
Earliest Greek civilization
Named for King Minos (of the Minotaur myth)
Palace of Knossos
Developed a new system of writing
Located on Peloponnesus
Fought with Troy
Mythical home of King Agamemnon (from the Trojan War story)
Copied much of the Minoan culture
Became a great trading power in the Mediterranean
2b. Why were poems and myths important to the ancient Greeks?
Oral Tradition: poems, myths, stories, songs, etc. that pass knowledge down from generation to generation.
- How the Greeks learned about their gods and heroes
- Taught their values, culture, and history from one generation to the next
3a. Governments of Greece
- The earliest form of government that developed in Greece was a monarchy--each city-state had its own king.
- As kings demanded money from wealthy nobles, the nobles demanded that the king share some of his power. The city-states were then ruled by small groups of wealthy men. This type of government is called an oligarchy.
- Later, people became fed up with the corruption of the wealthy men who ruled the city-state. The people helped a tyrant seize power by force and take control of the city-state.
- Finally, after a series of cruel and corrupt tyrants, the citizens of Athens decided to make decisions themselves by voting. This form of government is called a democracy, or rule by the people.