Classical Greece
2000 B.C.E. - 300 B.C.E.
Section 1:
Cultures of the
Mountains and Sea
Geography Shapes Greek Life
 Greek
life influenced by:
 1) Sea
 2) Land
 3) Climate
Mycenaean Civilization Develops
Strong culture led by wealthy warriorkings
 Invade Crete, spread aspects of
Minoan culture
 Mycenaean kings defeat Troy &
become the dominant power in
Aegean region
Greek Culture Declines
Under the Dorians
Dorians replace Mycenaeans
 No written language & less advanced
than Mycenaeans
 Homer composes The Iliad & The
 Myths help Greeks understand nature
& human behavior
Individual Activity
In your notebook, answer questions 1-2 on
page 124. You do not have to write the
Where was the center of the Mycenaean
Civilization located?
Based on the map, how did Mycenaean
traders conduct most of their trade?
Group Activity: 1-2 People
Option 1: Comparing Cultures
Option 2: Remembering the Trojan War-2 pages
Create a chart comparing the Mycenaeans, Minoans,
and Dorians
Write a journal entry as a survivor of the Trojan War.
Discuss what you remember about the war, why it
was fought, and how it ended (p. 125)
Option 3: Greek Epics and Myths-2 pages
Write an essay explaining why the Greek epics and
myths are so well known and studied in today’s
society (page 125-126)
Section 2:
Warring City-States
Rule & Order in Greek City-States
Polis (city-state): basic political unit; run
by males
Acropolis: hilltop where men gathered to
conduct business
Each polis ruled by a monarchy,
aristocracy, or oligarchy
 A new idea--army made of citizen-soldiers
Used the phalanx formation (spear & shield)
Sparta Builds a Military State
Conquers Messenians & forces them to stay on
the land to work it (helots)
Governed by an assembly, Council of Elders, &
5 elected officials that carried out the laws
passed by the assembly
Spartan education=military training for boys
Boys & girls learned to put Sparta before anything
Valued duty, strength, & discipline
Athens Builds a Limited Democracy
Avoids civil war by developing democratic
rule; only free men can be citizens
(women expected to be unheard, unseen)
 Solon given power in 594 B.C.E.;
reformed legal system, assembly, & trade
 Cleisthenes weakens the nobility & gives
citizens more power
 Valued individuality, beauty, & freedom
The Persian Wars
Defeats Darius on land; 10 years later
defeat Xerxes by land & sea
 Victory gives Athenians renewed selfconfidence & sets the stage for a golden
Section 3:
Democracy & Greece’s
Golden Age
Pericles’ 3 Goals for Athens
1) Direct Democracy: increased # of paid
public officials, citizens rule directly
2) Strengthens Navy: used $ from Delian
League’s treasury; 200 ships
3) Beautifies Athens: bought gold, marble,
built Parthenon
Greek Styles in Art
Artists & sculptors create an idealized
human form
Classical Art=standards of order, balance,
& proportion
Individual Activity
Look at pages 140-141 on Greek Art and
Read the section and answer the following
questions in your notebook:
How does the Parthenon display the Greek
preference for symmetry and balance?
On what does our culture today base its
standards of beauty? Give examples to
support your answer.
Greek Drama
Dramatic tragedies & comedies serve as
(More about this in your group activity
Spartans & Athenians Go to War
Sparta & Athens begin the Peloponnesian
War willingly (so much for the unification
they had at Thermopylae)
After 27 years, Athens surrenders to
Athens loses its empire, power & wealth;
confidence in democratic rule declines due
to bad leaders
Reasons for the Peloponnesian
How could the goal of strengthening
democracy have helped lead Athens to
How could war be used to strengthen
Athens’ trade empire?
How might war increase Athens’ prestige?
Philosophers Search for Truth
Believe universe & its laws can be studied
& understood
Socrates: ?’s traditional Greek values;
condemned to death
Plato: wrote The Republic & says ideal
society is an oligarchy
Aristotle: develops rules of logic; leads to
scientific method
Partner Activity: Exploring Themes
in Greek Drama
Step 1: Read the passage on Greek drama on
page 136.
Step 2: Create a list of the different themes
treated in Greek theater.
Step 3: Match as many themes as possible with
some of the TV shows or movies you have
Ex: the movies in the Star Wars series deal with war
Extra Credit: Identify any shows or movies in
which a leading character has a tragic flaw that
causes his/her downfall.
Philip Build’s Macedonia’s Power
Builds a powerful professional army &
defeats his enemies
Conquers Greece, but murdered before he
gets to Persia
Alexander continues father’s empire
Alexander Defeats Persia
1st establishes control over Greece, then
invades Persia
Defeat of Persians in Anatolia shows
military genius
Darius tries to negotiate, but Alexander
conquers Egypt & Persia
Alexander’s Other Conquests
Extends empire into Central Asia; wants to
reach continent’s end
Conquests end at Indus Valley
Dies planning another expansion
Strong generals divide and take over his
Conquests result in blending of Greek &
Persian cultures
Activity: Pop-Up Map
In groups of no more than 3, develop a map of
Alexander’s Empire
On your map, you must outline the empire and
label important geographical features
Use pages 142-146 to research the places
Alexander took his empire.
Create at least 7 “pop-ups” that provide
information about what happened in that region
This assignment is worth 20 points. It is graded
on completeness and effort.
Section 5:
The Spread of
Hellenistic Culture
Hellenistic Culture in Alexandria
A blend of Greek,
Egyptian, Persian, &
Indian influences
Alexandria in Africa
becomes greatest
Hellenistic city
City thrives as major
center of scholarship
with its museums & library
Science & Technology
Astronomers develop theories that shape
European thought for centuries
Euclid develops geometry
Archimedes’ laws serve as the basis for
many mechanical inventions
Individual Activity
Refer to the picture on page 147 of your
For what aspects of astronomy were the
Greeks relatively correct?
For what aspects of astronomy were the
Greeks incorrect?
What was Ptolemy’s view of the universe?
Philosophy & Art
Stoics seek to control desire & live in
harmony w/ natural & divine laws
Epicureans seek to harmonize in mind &
Sculptors reject classical ideas & create
more realistic works
Colossus of Rhodes
Group Activity: Hellenistic
For this activity, you will be dividing into 6 groups:
Trade and Cultural Diversity
Alexandria’s Attractions
Mathematics and Physics
Stoicism and Epicureanism
Realism in Sculpture
In your group, read your section then create a poster to
explain your section.
Remember the purpose of posters: to inform briefly from
a distance
Your poster must have written and visual information
You may not go to the library to print pictures
Review Questions
Why was sea travel important to early Greece?
Why did the Greeks develop myths?
What were the two most powerful city-states in early
What were the consequences of the Persian Wars?
What were Pericles’ three goals for Athens?
Who were the three renowned philosophers of the golden
Why was Greece so easily conquered by Macedonia?
What was the full extent of Alexander’s empire before his
What four influences blended to form Hellenistic culture?
What were some of the scientific achievements of the
Hellenistic period?