Portal:Ancient Greece

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The Ancient Greece Portal

Location greek ancient.png
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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Dardanelles map2.png

Hellespont (Greek Ἑλλήσποντοs; i.e. "Sea of Helle", variously named in classical literature Hellesponium Pelagus, Rectum Hellesponticum, and Fretum Hellesponticum) was the ancient name of a narrow strait, now known by the modern European term 'the Dardanelles'. It was so called from Helle, the daughter of Athamas, who was drowned here in the mythology of the Golden Fleece.

Did you know...

  • BattleofIssus333BC-mosaic-detail1.jpg
    ... that by the time of his death, Alexander the Great had conquered most of the world known to the ancient Greeks?
  • ... that there was a man called Herakles, and he was part god because he was the son of Zeus and had super strength and had 12 hard labours and still completed all of them!

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Porch of Maidens.jpg

Photo credit: Thermos

A caryatid (Greek: Καρυάτις, plural: Καρυάτιδες) is a sculpted female figure serving as an architectural support taking the place of a column or a pillar supporting an entablature on her head. The Greek term karyatides literally means "maidens of Karyae", an ancient town of Peloponnese.

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Archimedes Thoughtful by Fetti (1620)

Archimedes of Syracuse (Ancient Greek: Ἀρχιμήδης) (c. 287 BC – c. 212 BC) was a Greek mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor, and astronomer. Although few details of his life are known, he is regarded as one of the leading scientists in classical antiquity. Among his advances in physics are the foundations of hydrostatics and the explanation of the principle of the lever. He is credited with designing innovative machines, including siege engines and the screw pump that bears his name. Modern experiments have tested claims that Archimedes designed machines capable of lifting attacking ships out of the water, and setting ships on fire using an array of mirrors.Archimedes is considered to be one of the greatest mathematicians of all time.Archimedes died during the Siege of Syracuse when he was killed by a Roman soldier despite orders that he should not be harmed. Cicero describes visiting the tomb of Archimedes, which was surmounted by a sphere inscribed within a cylinder.

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