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Ancient Greece

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Parthenon was built in 447-432 BCE on the initiative of Pericles by Iktinos and Callicrates. A classic work of Attic architecture, combining Doric order with Ionic elements.

The beginnings of Greek civilization date from the turn of the 2nd and 3rd millennium BCE. They are related to the creation of the oldest culture in this area – the Minoan culture – from the legendary Minos. In the third thousand, Crete is populated by newcomers from Asia Minor. They also settled on the islands of the Aegean Sea and on the territory of mainland Greece. In the second half of the third millennium, the family and tribal communities, which until now constituted the backbone of society, were split between Crete, and a state was created in Crete with the capital in Knossos. The peak of the development of Crete is the first half of the second millennium. At that time, Crete maintained extensive commercial and cultural relations with Egypt, Palestine and Syria. There is trade with the Aegean islands and Greece proper. The culture of Crete then had a great influence on Greek culture. Ok. 1700-1600 BCE Crete experienced earthquakes that destroyed the main palaces of the island. In the 15th century, there were signs of weakness. Greece has grown into a formidable enemy and competitor of Crete. The fight between the Mycenae and Knossos ended in the defeat of the Cretans. The palaces of Knossos and other cities were looted. The cities were inhabited by immigrants, probably Mycenaean Greeks, the natives were pushed to the worst areas. The second, next to Crete, the centre of Greek culture in the Aegean Sea was Greece.

The oldest population of Greece was related to the inhabitants of Crete. These people achieved a high level of culture and had a longer period of development behind them. Numerous urban settlements emerged – Argos, Athens, Corinth – away from the sea for fear of privateers. Ok. In 2000, Indo-European immigrants appeared and absorbed the local population. They were first the Ionians, and in 1700 the Achaeans. Perhaps they arrived at the same time, and the split only took place after settling in Greece. Mycenae has taken the lead in cities, which is why the culture of this period is called the Mycenaean culture. The newcomers in the second millennium used the achievements of the Minoan culture, the language of the Cretans, learned the craft and the art of sailing. Later they joined the competition, in the 15th century it was won by newcomers. Agriculture, trade and crafts developed. The range of trade was large, ranging from Sicily to Egypt and Syria. A king stood at the head of the Mycenaean state. The central and field administrative apparatus was expanded. The state was of a martial nature. The mighty castles-fortresses built by them and the placing of weapons in the graves prove the war attitude of the rulers. The Mycenaean Greeks used horse chariots – which gave them an advantage in battle. The proof of the power of Mycenaean Greece was its expansion, which began around 1450. First, the Achaeans invaded Crete, breaking its power. Then they spread their conquests to the islands of the Aegean Sea and the shores of Asia Minor, the island of Rhodes and Pamphylia. They also took Cyprus, winning the rivalry with the Phoenicians. The turn of the thirteenth and twelfth centuries is the collapse of the Mycenaean civilization. This was most likely caused by the displacement of peoples who came from the depths of the Balkans to the Middle East. The Doras dealt the final blow. The Dorian invasion was not a one-time process. They probably settled in Greece during a longer migration, coexisting with the Mykene. However, they were at a lower level of development and brought about the collapse of culture. This process ended around 1050. It did not mean a complete break with the past, cultural continuity was preserved.

The most important historical lands of ancient Greece.
Author: Getoryk | Under the Creative Commons Attribution license - On the same terms 3.0.

Time after the fall of the Mycenaean culture from about 1200 to 750 BCE it belongs to the least known periods in Greek history and is known as the “dark period”. Then the entire palace system collapsed, great states disappeared, and the economy collapsed. from the 8th century BCE The history of Greece is divided into three periods: from the 8th century – 480 BCE – the archaic period from 480 – 323 BCE – classical period 323- II century BCE – Hellenistic period. The origins of the city In Greece, only 25 to 30% of the land was agricultural land. The Greeks made an attempt to expand the area of ​​arable land by clearing forests. However, the effect was counterproductive. The waters washed away a thin layer of earth and it lost its root strengthening. This caused economic difficulties and escalated social and political conflicts. With the changes taking place in the agricultural economy, the importance of cities located in the eastern part of Greece, especially Athens, Megara and Sparta, increased. As a result of these changes, Greece was re-zoned.

There was a division into the western part, inhabited by numerous tribes, and the eastern part, in which the cell of Greek life – the city – polis began to form. The origins of the city date back to archaic Greece. They were first developed in Asia Minor, where other factors played a role in their formation than in Greece proper. An important role here was played by the desire to protect oneself against hostile people from the hinterland. In Greece, the cities were initially agricultural. In the 8th century, cities became centres of political life, and it was easier to manage the entire country from one centre. In order to create a strong urban centre, a part of the population was often relocated from the countryside to the cities. The Greek polis is a sovereign community of citizens who ruled themselves without creating state structures separate from society and acting on behalf of that society. The basic decisions were made by the Congregation of all the men of the community. The community appointed and dismissed officials for a fixed period and then replaced them. The most important institution of the policies was the Citizens’ Assembly. The Council, consisting of a limited number of members, played an important role. Its purpose was to formulate motions or opinions to the Citizens’ Assembly. The lack of authority structures separate from the society fostered the formation of a strong sense of responsibility for what was happening in the community. The community was a closed group, people entered it only by birth, admitting people from outside was very rare. Foreigners were allowed to live in the city but were not citizens. Women did not take part in the life of the policies. The community of citizens was also a community from a religious point of view. As a whole, she worshipped certain gods and organized holidays.

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