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Ancient Greece I

Study Guide

geography & effect on Greek settlement and life Mountainous land made travel difficult and led to isolated, independent city-states. Not enough farm land to feed growing population. Easy access to sea for trade/travel.
colonization reasons and process Greeks needed to establish colonies to get things they needed (ex. food and timber.) They would consult an oracle, gather food and supplies, travel by sea and then choose a good location for a colony with a good harbor and weak natives.
Helots Spartan slaves; given more rights in Sparta compared to most Greek city-states
Agora open market place in center of the city-states
Acropolis high fortified area of an ancient Greek city of Athens
Monarchy Government ruled by one person; ease of transition of power from father to son. Lawful claim to be king. Advantages-stability; decisions made quickly. Disadvantages- only one family rules; rash decisions made.
Tyranny One ruler who gains power by force, unlawful claim to be in charge. Advantages - stability, quick decisions. Disadvantages - one decision maker; control people by fear
Oligarchy Rule by a few (from wealthy ruling class or aristocrats) Advantages - checks and balances and stability. Disadvantages - the rich get richer while poor get poorer because of the decisions of the Oligarchs.
Aristocrat Rich social class in Greek city states that advised and provided supplies to the king (monarch). May overthrow him and take power to form Oligarchy
Democracy Form of government where the majority rules. Advantages - accountability; social responsibility. Disadvantages - possibly wrong choices made; slow process for decision making.
Assembly The law making group within a Greek city-state made up of all male citizens
Phalanx military strategy/battle formation used by ancient Greeks characterized by overlapping shields and long spears
The Trojan War A ten year seige of Troy by united Greek city-states. Homer wrote about this war in the Iliad and said it was caused by the capture of Helen of Sparta.
The Trojan War Many believe the real cause was control of trading port of Troy on the Hellespont-- the only connection between the Black and Aegean Seas.
Hellespont The waterway/strait that connected the Black Sea to the Aegean (major trade route). Also the site of the siege of Troy during the Trojan War. Also where Xerxes crossed using a bridge of boats during the Persian Wars.
Homer Ancient Greek writer of epic poems the Iliad and the Odyssey were first stories written after the Greek Dark Ages.
Persian Wars Reason for conflict: Ionian colonists rebelled against Persian taxation and were assisted by Athens. Persian King Darius wanted revenge. Three battles followed: Marathon, Thermopylae and Salamis.
Battle of Marathon Persian King Darius wanted to punish the Athenians for helping the Ionians during their rebellion. Greeks, led by Miltiades, used two mountains & Persians were drawn into the Greek's purposely weakened center allowing Greek forces to surround them.
Darius Persian King and leader of the Persians at the Battle of Marathon. Held the largest Persian empire in history.
Miltiades Greek leader--During the Battle of Marathon used "natural geography of the land" to create the strategy that defeated the Persians despite the Greeks being outnumbered 3-1.
Battle of Thermopylae Persians won BUT many Greeks considered it a victory. Led by Leonidas, used the "natural geography"- a narrow pass, against the Persians. Leonidas and his Spartans held off the Persians so other Greek soldiers could return home to unite.
Xerxes Son of King Darius, led Persians at Thermopylae and Salamis.
Leonidas Spartan king led Greek forces against Xerxes at Thermopylae where Greeks were outnumbered 50-1.
Battle of Salamis - Greek victory - Greek naval leader, Themistocles, used "natural geography " to force the larger Persian fleet, led by Xerxes, to advance a fewer number of their ships into battle with the smaller Greek fleet.
Themistocles - an Athenian politician and general - Greek Naval leader during the Battle of Salamis