Portal:Ancient Greece

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Greek influence in the mid 6th century BC.

The phrase Ancient Greece refers to the periods of Greek history in Classical Antiquity, lasting from about 750 BC (the archaic period) to 146 BC (the Roman conquest). It is generally considered to be the seminal culture which provided the foundation of Western Civilization. Greek culture had a powerful influence on the Roman Empire, which carried a version of it to many parts of Europe. The civilization of the ancient Greeks has been immensely influential on the language, politics, educational systems, philosophy, science, and arts, giving rise to the Renaissance in Western Europe and again resurgent during various neo-Classical revivals in 18th and 19th centuries Europe and the Americas. There are no fixed or universally agreed upon dates for the beginning or the end of the ancient Greek period. In common usage it refers to all Greek history before the Roman Empire, but historians use the term more precisely. Some writers include the periods of the Greek-speaking Mycenaean civilization that collapsed about 1150 BC, though most would argue that the influential Minoan was so different from later Greek cultures that it should be classed separately.

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The bust of Zeus found at Otricoli (Sala Rotonda, Museo Pio-Clementino, Vatican)

Greek mythology is the body of stories belonging to the Ancient Greeks concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. Modern scholars refer to the myths and study them in an attempt to throw light on the religious and political institutions of Ancient Greece and on the Ancient Greek civilization, and to gain understanding of the nature of myth-making itself.Greek mythology is embodied explicitly in a large collection of narratives and implicitly in representational arts, such as vase-paintings and votive gifts. Greek myth explains the origins of the world and details the lives and adventures of a wide variety of gods, goddesses, heroes, heroines, and other mythological creatures. These accounts were initially disseminated in an oral-poetic tradition; the Greek myths are known today primarily from Greek literature. The oldest known literary sources, the epic poems Iliad and Odyssey, focus on events surrounding the Trojan War.

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Macedonian Kingdom.jpg

Macedon or Macedonia (Greek Μακεδονία Makedonía) was the name of an ancient kingdom in the northern-most part of ancient Greece, bordered by the kingdom of Epirus to the west and the region of Thrace to the east. For a brief period it became the most powerful state in the ancient Near East after Alexander the Great conquered most of the known world, inaugurating the Hellenistic period of Greek history.

Did you know...

  • Aesopnurembergchronicle.jpg
    ... that the place of Aesop's birth was and still is disputed?
  • Sparta territory.jpg
    ... that Spartan women enjoyed a status, power and respect that was unknown in the rest of the classical world?

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Photo credit: Marsyas

One of the Pitsa panels, the only surviving panel paintings from Archaic Greece. The most respected form of art, according to authors like Pliny or Pausanias, were individual, mobile paintings on wooden boards, technically described as panel paintings.

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Thrasybulus receiving an olive crown for his successful campaign against the Thirty Tyrants.

Thrasybulus (Ancient Greek: Θρασύβουλος, brave-willed, Eng. /θræsɪ'bju:ləs/; d. 388 BC) was an Athenian general and democratic leader. In 411 BC, in the wake of an oligarchic coup at Athens, the pro-democracy sailors at Samos elected him as a general, making him a primary leader of the successful democratic resistance to that coup. As general, he was responsible for recalling the controversial nobleman Alcibiades from exile, and the two worked together extensively over the next several years. In 411 and 410, Thrasybulus commanded along with Alcibiades and others at several critical Athenian naval victories.After Athens' defeat in the Peloponnesian War, Thrasybulus led the democratic resistance to the new oligarchic government, known as the Thirty Tyrants, that the victorious Spartans imposed on Athens. In 404 BC, he commanded a small force of exiles that invaded Attica and, in successive battles, defeated first a Spartan garrison and then the forces of the oligarchy.

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Places: Aegean Sea · Hellespont · Macedonia · Sparta · Athens · Corinth · Thebes · Thermopylae · Antioch · Alexandria · Pergamon · Miletus · Delphi · Olympia · Troy · Rhodes

Life: Agriculture · Art · Cuisine · Democracy · Economy · Language · Law · Medicine · Paideia · Pederasty · Pottery · Prostitution · Slavery · Technology · Olympic Games

Philosophers: Pythagoras · Heraclitus · Parmenides  · Protagoras · Empedocles · Democritus · Socrates · Plato · Aristotle · Zeno · Epicurus

Authors: Homer · Hesiod · Pindar · Sappho · Aeschylus · Sophocles · Euripides · Aristophanes · Menander · Herodotus · Thucydides · Xenophon · Plutarch · Lucian · Polybius · Aesop

Buildings: Parthenon · Temple of Artemis · Acropolis · Ancient Agora · Arch of Hadrian · Temple of Zeus at Olympia · Colossus of Rhodes · Temple of Hephaestus · Samothrace temple complex

Chronology: Aegean civilization · Minoan Civilization · Mycenaean civilization · Greek dark ages · Classical Greece · Hellenistic Greece · Roman Greece

People of Note: Alexander The Great · Lycurgus · Pericles · Alcibiades · Demosthenes · Themistocles · Archimedes · Hippocrates

Art and Sculpture: Kouroi · Korai · Kritios Boy · Doryphoros · Statue of Zeus · Discobolos · Aphrodite of Knidos · Laocoön · Phidias · Euphronios · Polykleitos · Myron · Parthenon Frieze · Praxiteles

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Archaeology Classical civilisation Egyptology Hellenismos
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