Portal:Ancient Greece

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The Ancient Greece Portal

Location greek ancient.png
Greek influence in the mid 6th century BC.

Ancient Greece was a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 13th–9th centuries BC to the end of antiquity (c. AD 600). Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Roughly three centuries after the Late Bronze Age collapse of Mycenaean Greece, Greek urban poleis began to form in the 8th century BC, ushering in the period of Archaic Greece and colonization of the Mediterranean Basin. This was followed by the period of Classical Greece, an era that began with the Greco-Persian Wars, lasting from the 5th to 4th centuries BC. Due to the conquests by Alexander the Great of Macedonia, Hellenistic civilization flourished from Central Asia to the western end of the Mediterranean Sea. The Hellenistic period came to an end with the conquests and annexations of the eastern Mediterranean world by the Roman Republic, which established the Roman province of Macedonia in Roman Greece, and later the province of Achaea during the Roman Empire.

Classical Greek culture, especially philosophy, had a powerful influence on ancient Rome, which carried a version of it to many parts of the Mediterranean Basin and Europe. For this reason, Classical Greece is generally considered to be the seminal culture which provided the foundation of modern Western culture and is considered the cradle of Western civilization.

Classical Greek culture gave a lot of importance to knowledge. Science and religion were not separate and getting closer to the truth meant getting closer to the gods. In this context, they understood the importance of mathematics as an instrument for obtaining more reliable ("divine") knowledge. Greek culture, in a few centuries and with a limited population, managed to explore and make progress in many fields of science, mathematics, philosophy and knowledge in general.

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The Olympic Games (Ancient Greek: τὰ Ολύμπια - ta Olympia; Modern Greek: Ὀλυμπιακοὶ Ἀγῶνες (Katharevousa), Ολυμπιακοί Αγώνες (Dimotiki) - Olympiakoi Agones) were a series of athletic competitions held for representatives of various city-states of Ancient Greece. Records indicate that they began in 776BC in Olympia, Greece. They were celebrated until 393 AD. when an earthquake destroyed Olympia.The Games were usually held every four years, or olympiad, as the unit of time came to be known. During a celebration of the Games, an Olympic Truce was enacted to enable athletes to travel from their countries to Olympia in safety. The prizes for the victors were olive wreaths, palm branches, sometimes even food for life. The ancient Olympics were rather different from the modern Games. There were fewer events, and only free men who spoke Greek could compete (even though a woman is also mentioned as a winner). Athletes from any country or city (famous athletes from as far as Rome and Armenia are mentioned) were allowed to participate. The Games were always held at Olympia, as with the Cotswold Olimpick Games, instead of moving around to different places for each separate Olympic festival as is the case in the Olympic Games

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Acropolis from south-west.jpg

Athens (Greek: Αθήνα/Athina, Katharevousa: Αθήναι/Athinai), the capital and largest city in Greece, dominates the Attica periphery: as one of the world's oldest cities, its recorded history spans at least 3,000 years.In ancient Greek, the name of Athens was αἱ Ἀθῆναι Greek pronunciation: [hai̯ atʰɛ̂ːnaj], related tο ἡ Ἀθηνᾶ [hɛː atʰɛːnâː] and its dialectal variant ἡ Ἀθήνη [hɛː atʰɛ̌ːnɛː], the Attic and Ionic names respectively of the goddess Athena, the goddess of disciplined war and wisdom.

Did you know...

  • ... that the Greeks did not have a term for "religion"?

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Epidaurus Theater.jpg

Photo credit: Morn

The theater at Epidaurus.The prosperity brought by the Asklepieion enabled Epidauros to construct civic monuments too: the huge theater that delighted Pausanias for its symmetry and beauty, which is used once again for dramatic performances, the ceremonial Hestiatoreion (banqueting hall), baths and a palaestra.

Selected biography

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

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