Portal:Ancient Greece

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The Ancient Greece Portal

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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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Pergamon or Pergamum (Greek: Πέργαμος, modern day Bergama in Turkey, 39°7′N 27°11′E / 39.117°N 27.183°E / 39.117; 27.183) was an ancient Greek city, in Mysia, north-western Anatolia, 16 miles from the Aegean Sea, located on a promontory on the north side of the river Caicus (modern day Bakırçay), that became an important kingdom during the Hellenistic period, under the Attalid dynasty, 281133 BC.

Did you know...

  • ...that the historical origins of the Ancient Olympic Games are unknown, but several legends and myths survive?
  • NAMA Loutrophoros Polystratos.jpg
    ...that the Ancient Greeks had many words to describe slaves ?
  • Colossus of Rhodes.jpg
    ...that the Colossus of Rhodes was a huge statue of the Greek god Helios, erected on the Greek island of Rhodes?

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Ruins of the Ancient Olympic Games training grounds at Olympia.The historical origins of the Ancient Olympic Games are unknown, but several legends and myths have survived. One of these involved Pelops, king of Olympia and eponymous hero of the Peloponnesus, to whom offerings were made during the games.

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Marble herm in the Vatican Museums inscribed with Aspasia's name at the base. Discovered in 1777, this marble herm is a Roman copy of a 5th-century BC original and may represent Aspasia's funerary stele.

Aspasia (ca. 470 BC–ca. 400 BC, Greek: Ἀσπασία) was a Milesian woman who was famous for her involvement with the Athenian statesman Pericles. Very little is known about the details of her life. She spent most of her adult life in Athens, and she may have influenced Pericles and Athenian politics. She is mentioned in the writings of Plato, Aristophanes, Xenophon, and other authors of the day (mostly known). Aspasia was born in the Ionian Greek city of Miletus (in the modern province of Aydın, Turkey). Little is known about her family except that her father's name was Axiochus, although it is evident that she must have belonged to a wealthy family, for only the well-to-do could have afforded the excellent education that she received. Some ancient sources claim that she was a Carian prisoner-of-war turned slave; these statements are generally regarded as false.It is not known under what circumstances she first traveled to Athens.

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