Showing posts from April, 2017

Greece: Engineering an Empire

On the History Channel's Engineering an Empire: Greece, some major engineering and building achievements are described. Students are responsible for finding the answers to the following questions:

Important people:
Themistocles (c. 525 – 460 BCE)Trireme shipsAgamemnon (c. 1200 BCE)The Iliad and the OdysseyPericles (c. 495 – 429 BCE)The Parthenon Mycenaean Civilization
1. What group of people dominates large portions of mainland Greece in 1300 BCE? Who led these people in their capital city (see map at 11:13)?

2. What was the Iliad, and who supposedly wrote it? How was it really meant to be shared?

3. What was the Lion’s Gate, and what did it symbolize about Mycenae? What architectural building technique did this structure introduce?

*What was a “tholos” tomb? Feel free to draw a sketch of one:

War with Persia
4. In September 480 BCE, what civilization tried to add Greece to their empire?

5. Briefly describe who Themistocles was.

6. How did Themistocles win the battle at Salamis?

7. …

The Iliad and the Odyssey

The two most important texts of the ancient Greeks were the Iliad, the story of the Trojan War, and the Odyssey, the story of Odysseus's journey home and the adventures he has along the way.

Originally, these stories developed as oral tradition and were meant to be shared among a group of people by a storyteller, usually after a large meal.

Around 800 BC, when the Dark Ages were ending and the Phoenician alphabet was adopted by the Greeks, the stories of the Iliad and the Odyssey began to be written down.

Many people, even in ancient times, considered the author of these two epics to be a man named Homer, a blind storyteller who lived around 800 BC. The truth is that the word Homer come from the Greek word meaning storyteller. There wasn't one single Homer, but generations of storytellers from the late Bronze Age of Greece that told the same epics, but with many different variations.

The Iliad

In the Iliad, the Greeks and Trojans are fighting at the city of Troy. The prince of…

Sanctuaries, Oracles, and Theaters

In ancient Greece, people honored the gods in several ways. Throughout Greece there were special places called sanctuaries where people could offer sacrifices, perform rituals, and pray to different gods.

At Olympia, the god Zeus was honored with athletic games and competitions that took place every four years. These events were so important that all of the city-states of Greece would send their top athletes. Wars would be put on hold, and the winners would receive prizes like free food for life. The games were so important, in fact, that the ancient Greeks numbered their years according to which Olympiad had recently taken place. The first Olympic Games were in 776 BC.

Also at Olympia, The massive temple complex of Zeus, and specifically the monumental gold and ivory statue of the god, was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Rituals were performed, and animal sacrifices were made on the altar just outside and in front of the temple.

At the sites of oracles, ancient Greeks…

Ancient Greek Religious Beliefs

The ancient Greeks were polytheistic. They had many gods and goddesses that represented the forces of nature (like the sky, the sea, and death), and to represent human nature (like love, war, and wisdom). The Greeks also told many myths about their gods, their heroes, and their wars. During the Dark Ages (1100 BC - 800 BC), oral tradition kept these stories alive and helped to pass Greek culture down from earlier generations.

Greek Mythology Mythology is based on oral tradition. Myths are meant to be spoken aloud by a storyteller. Each storyteller adds his own emphasis and keeps the audience engaged.
Mythology has several purposes: Entertainment, Religion, Cultural Norms, Heroic Ideal
Greek mythology is the foundation of Western Literature.
Even though Greek city-states were separated by geography, it is their stories and language that made them all united as Greeks.
The two most important works of Greek mythology are the Iliad and the Odyssey. These epics were often memorized by average …