Classical Greece (Agrarian)

Classical Greece
Alexii Lardis, Said Mallouky, Kiersten
Paul, Rachel Stone, Kathryn Vance,
Brittlyn Warren, Alexa Waters
Who were the Greeks of this
time period?
Few Quick Facts…
• Classical Greece is considered to be the
civilization that was around between the
4th and 5th centuries BC
• Arguably provided the structure for all
Western Civilization
(Democracy, Art, Architecture, Philosophy)
• Athens—center of it all!
Type of Society:
• Agrarian and Maritime
• early Greek world settlements date to ~3000 BC
• Greek colonies throughout Mediterranean & Black Seas
• evidence of
Greek culture far
beyond Greek
The Greek World, ~500 BC
Economics & Technology
The Economy
• Coinage
– spreading
• No aggregate market system,
– individual markets for various items
Economics - Markets
• Individual markets
– Mainly agricultural products,
small-stock animals
– sheep, goats, pigs
• Avoided a surplus
– Transactions costs
Olive tree grove
Economics- Imports and Exports
• Imports
– land and soil wasn’t suitable
– establishment of colonies
• Southern Italy - “Magna Graecia” or “Great Greece.”
• Exports
– Olives and grapes for
olive oil and wine
• Pottery
• Rapid Advancements
– Math and the sciences
• Basic mechanics and
preliminary physics
• “screw” – pump - Archimedes
• The Aeolipile of Heron - a
precursor of steam engine
• Astrolabe of Ptolemaios (2nd
century AC) Claudius Ptolemaios
• Model of automatic gates of a
temple - Heron
• Population thriving during this period,
because it was an end to Persian Rule and the
Athenian people established a government
where they were fairly represented
• Athens:
 About 315,500 Citizens in 431BC
 TODAY: 655,780
• Sparta:
About 36,000 Citizens in 431BC
• Similar to the modern system
• Progressing
Home training
Elementary education
Physical education
Secondary school
Post-secondary school
Education – Basics
• Up to age 7 – home training
– morals
– Some hired a master, a pedagogue
• After age 7 – elementary education
– reading and writing.
– available to almost all families
– Upper class families - formal education
• Tutor or public school
Education –Basics (continued)
• The Arts
– History
– Dance and music
• Singing, harp, flute and lyre
• Physical Education
– just after age 7
– Teacher = paidotribe
Education- Higher Education
• Secondary school
– Wealthy families
– Hire a traveling tutor or send to public schools
– geometry, astronomy and meteorology
• Poor families
– Specific craft or skill
– Father was the teacher
• Post Secondary Schooling- Ephebic training
– Age 18
– Military training and service
– Petition
What did they believe?
• Passed down orally, also in literature
• Talked about how gods affected life on
• Two main subjects:
– Heroes and God/Goddesses
• Both very strong and powerful; gods
differentiated by their supernatural power
• Faced challenges and obstacles
• Sacred Text:
– Iliad and Odyssey: by Homer
• Two epic poems
– Theogony: by Hesoid
• Long poem that collected many of the myths
passed down orally
Statue of goddess Athena
Both written before Classical Greece, but
characters were still important
• Belief in many gods
• Olympic Pantheon most famous
– Distinctive characters (12) lived on Mt. Olympus
– Power over nature or abstract concepts; or
association with cities
• Gods/goddesses required worship from heroes
and regular men in order to provide protection,
– Immortal, but still had to obey fate
– Acted like humans and had human vices
• Afterlife
– Underworld
– Funerals significant
• Ceremonies
Community events
Performed at alters, dedicated to specific god
Votive offerings (food, wine)
Sacrificed animals
• Cults
– Some, but not many, for people that didn’t follow
main religion
• Greek Philosophers challenged some
ideologies during the Classical period
– Plato: believed in one supreme god (Form of the
good, emanation of perfection in the universe)
– Aristotle: believed evidence did not exist for
polytheism; believed in Prime Mover (started
creation, but was then not connected/interested
in universe)
What were the roles of Women?
What was Kinship?
• Marriage provided a means for establishing a
network in the community
• Marriages meant one thing for women: child
• Children were the most important factor of
any marriage
• Greeks are prideful of their work and wanted
children simple to pass on their legacy
Women and Marriage
• For most Athenians, marriage was basically living together
• Marriage was arranged at an early age if the daughter came from a
wealthy family
• Girls got married in their teens, often to a man in his 30’s
• After a woman got married, she and her husband would give offerings to
the god's and share a cake with her husband
• Didn’t require her consent, she was simply passed from her father to her
• Virginity was important to the Classical Greeks
• In the case of a divorce, the children were left with the father
• The ancient Greek girl did not know or meet her husband until the dowry
had been agreed upon
• The dowry could not be spent by the husband
• If the marriage failed, the dowry was returned to her father
Polygyny in Marriage
• Accepted in ancient Greece until the Roman
Empire and Roman Catholic Church
• Then, having one wife but multiple lovers was
the common thing
• Not a public issue, moderate polygyny was
Women’s Rights
• Classical Athens women lacked all rights of
• Only described as the wife of an Athenian citizen
• Wealthy Greek women hardly ever left the house
• When they were allowed out, it was for
weddings, funerals, or religious ceremonies
• Less significant women left to retrieve water and
sometimes work in the fields or markets
Kinship: Fun Fact!
• Homosexuality was actually an embraced concept in
this early time period (for men, not for women)
• Older males would initiate relationships with younger
males, and shower them with gifts and affection
• These relationships were seen as the highest form of
love because since men were seen as the most
intellectual of the two sexes, it meant that the two
men were highly invested emotionally
• However, marriage was still required. Younger males in
these relationships would get married to women, and
then after marriage initiate another relationship to a
younger male (role reversal)
For this particular society just
Men > Women
(Speaking of which…)
Social Stratification
Social classes were a large part of Classical Greek Society
Based on wealth with 4 distinct classes
Upper Class: small class; slave-owners, free from economic tasks (i.e., trade) but
were wealthy; participated in government, war, literature, & philosophy
– Upper class = leisure class
Middle class: often small famers who owned land; later gained the right to vote
It was composed of metics (foreign, free non-citizens) who were professional men
(i.e., craftsmen, artists, merchants, tradesmen, etc); controlled the ceramic
Lower Class: urban craftsmen & freedmen (previous slaves); usually didn’t own
Slaves: the lowest class; legal practice but they had no legal rights or power;
servants & laborers; very important to society;
– Varied from domestic servants a factory worker to a ship crew member
– Depending on what type of slave you were, you were treated better or worse
– Female slaves were seen as the lowest part of society
Social Stratification Cont…
• Social classes only applied to men and women took the
same status as their husband however could not participate
in society
• Elites: were the upper crust of society, aristocrats; held
many advantages in society; Ruled in the government;
owned land; could vote; went to war in armor on horses
• Non-elites: Some owned land; mostly worked in businesses
and craft industries;
• People could change classes if they made more money
• Upper class had more access to medicine and doctors;
however health care had not evolved yet
• Poverty and inequality were very prevalent in ancient
Greek society
What about everyday life?
What did they do?
• Men
-Trained for the military
-Discussed politics
-Went to the Theatre for entertainment (tragedies
and comedies)
• Women
-Domestic work
-Weaving and other domestic duties.
-Not involved in public life or in politics.
• Children in ancient Greece usually occupied their time
playing with toys and games.
Polity & Conflict
Polity: The Greek Polis
• Classical Greek world composed of individual poleis,
or city-states
– central urban area surrounded by countryside
– prominent poleis:
Athens & Sparta
• mostly governed by
citizen councils
• poleis struggled for
dominance and
formed alliances to
protect themselves
against enemies
Polity: Athens & Democracy
• Athenian Classical politics: direct democracy (~500 BC)
• Athenian population divided
into demes, trittyes, and
⇒ representatives elected to
Athenian Council of 500
⇒ participation in government
extended to all male citizens
• new emphasis:
– persuasive speech and
direct representation replaced former corrupt elite
and family ties
• Classical Greek society: both agrarian and maritime
– poleis built strong armies and navies for protection and conquest over
land and sea
• conflict groups = poleis and their allies
• frequent and prolonged warfare on an unprecedented scale
– Persian Wars (499–449 BC): Persian Empire vs. Greek (Athenian) forces
– Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC): Athens vs. Sparta,
power struggle for Greek rule
• conquest and the formation of empires
– unity of political and military power
– Delian League
Conflict: Technology & Victory
• military technology and strategy, not man power,
as deciding factors in battles
• power and wealth amassed through conquest
• significant investment
in military equipment
– e.g., Athenian navy of
200 triremes
Spartan hoplite soldier
• metallurgy:
− bronze shields,
ship rams,
Phalanx battle formation
Athenian trireme battleship
Which of the following terms refers to
the basic unit of political and military
organization in Classical Greek society?
A. hoplite
B. Athens
C. polis
D. phalanx
Which of the following is true of Greek
kinship during the Classical period?
A. Women could choose their own husbands
B. Marriages were rarely arranged
C. Marriage was optional
D. Having children was considered imperative
Which one of the following is NOT a
reason Classical Greece Women were
allowed out of the house?
Religious Ceremonies
Greek religion followed the belief in
multiple deities. This is known as:
a) Atheism
b) Monotheism
c) Polytheism
d) Pantheism
Was education an equal opportunity
for all in Classical Greek society?
A) No, it was based on family lineage and social
B) No, it was given to those who could afford it
C) Yes, if the student could score well enough to
D) Yes, all students could attend