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Ancient Greece

Ancient Greece Study Guide

TermDefinition
Peninsula a piece of land nearly surrounded by water
Bard someone who writes or performs epic poems or stories about heroes and their deeds
Colony a group of people living in a new territory with close ties to their homeland; the new territory itself
Polis a Greek city-state
Agora a gathering place or marketplace in ancient Greece
Phalanx a group of armed foot soldiers in ancient Greece arranged close together in rows
Tyrant an absolute ruler unrestrained by law
Oligarchy a government in which a small group has control
Democracy a government by the people
Helots enslaved people in ancient Sparta
Ephor a high-ranking government official in Sparta who was elected by the council of elders
Satrapy a province in ancient Persia
Satrap the governor of a province in ancient Persia
Zoroastrianism a Persian religion based on the belief in one god and founded by the religious teacher Zoroaster
Direct democracy a form of democracy in which all citizens can participate firsthand in the decision-making process
Representative democracy a form of democracy in which citizens elect officials to govern on their behalf
Philosopher a person who searches for wisdom or enlightenment
Physical Geography of Greece located on Balkan Peninsula; stretched into Mediterranean Sea; mountainous terrain
How did the geography of Greece prevent a unified country of Greece? due to the mountainous terrain; transportation and communication was extremely hard in this terrain; thus, Greece was a region made up of numerous city-states
Minoans earliest civilization in vicinity of Greece; lived on Island of Crete; palace at Knossos is major architectural ruins; culture suddenly died out
Mycenaeans lived on the mainland of Greece; constructed fortress city of Mycenae ; thought to be Greeks that fought at Troy; culture ended with Dark Age
The Dark Ages in Greek history period where all advancement stopped; Dorians invaded; famine due to food shortages; political centralization vanished
City –state the city and all the land around it that was controlled by that city; comes from word polis; early ones were built on hill tops called acropolis
Barbarians term used by Greeks to refer to all people who were not Greeks
Greco-Persian War series of conflicts due to Persia wanting to defeat and control the Greeks
Battle of Salamis naval battle between Athenian Navy and Persian Navy; Persians defeated; caused Xerxes to return to Persia leaving 1/3 of his army to fight the Greeks; the Persians were defeated
Monarchy rule by one; chosen king because your father was king
Aristocracy rule by the best; group of aristocrats believed themselves to be the best suited for ruling
Oligarchy rule by a few rather than one or many; king was removed by this group and a committee was formed to rule
Tyranny bad form of one man rule; imposed by one man that rose to power by the discontent of the the lower classes; rules for his best interest alone; promises to help the lower classes and then forgets about them after he seizes power
Direct Democracy when each citizen is allowed to participate directly in the process of governing
Athens city-state that introduced the concept of Democracy; very open society; one of the most powerful city-states
Pericles ruler of Athens that introduced Democracy at its fullest extent during his time
Sparta city-state that did not progress beyond Oligarchy; felt like an armed military camp; strangers were not welcomed in Sparta; military presence so strong because they feared a revolt by the Helots
Socrates questioned what was right or what was wrong; looked for answers through logical analysis; developed a method of asking questions to lead to students to find answers to their questions inside of themselves
Plato student of Socrates; believed people could be split between three classes - workers who would produce the necessities of life, the warriors to guard the state from its enemies, and philosophers who would rule in the best interest of the people
Aristotle student of Plato; first great Greek scientist; believed analysis of data would furnish answers to all questions
Greek Alphabet alphabet adopted from Phoenicians who created an alphabet but did not include vowel; Greeks took alphabet and added vowels
Homer a blind bard that wrote epic poems that used the gods and gave the qualities of a hero
Iliad epic poem that told of the Trojan War
Odyssey epic poem that told of the return of Odysseus or Ulysses(the hero) home after the war
What was the purpose of myths? to explain things that man had not explanation for
Zeus head of the Greek gods
Poseidon brother of Zeus; god of the oceans and seas
Macedonia kingdom north of Greece; Macedonians considered themselves to be Greeks but the Greeks would not accept them
Philip II King of Macedonia; conquered a portion of Greece; did not punish the Greeks as he wanted them to be loyal to him; poisoned so his son could become king
Alexander the Great never lost a battle; conquered the known world around the Mediterranean; spread Greek culture; tried to invade India but soldiers wanted to return home; he returned to his capital of Babylon and died
How did Alexander spread the Greek culture? Greek became the language of the world; spread Greek architecture by founding 16 cities named Alexandra; most famous one in Egypt; spread Greek philosophy and alphabet
What happened to Alexander's empire after his death? it was divided between his top four generals
Hellenistic Age 200 year period after the death of Alexander; ended with the domination of Rome