Ancient Greece Geo

Ancient Greece
• Greece, a country in southeastern Europe
whose peninsula extends from the
Balkans into the Mediterranean Sea, is
mountainous, with many gulfs and bays.
• Forests fill some areas of Greece.
• Much of Greece is stony and suitable only
for pasturage, but other areas are suitable
for growing wheat, barley , citrus, dates ,
and olives.
3 Major Periods of Ancient Greece
1. Early Civilizations: Minoans (Crete) and
Mycenae (mi se ne)
2. Classical Greece (flourishing of arts,
literature, philosophy; domination by
Sparta and Athens)
3. Hellenistic Age: Macedonia Empire and
Alexander the Great
It is convenient to divide ancient Greece into 3
geographical regions (plus islands and colonies):
• 1) Northern Greece,
(2) Central Greece and
(3) The Peloponnese
I. Northern Greece
• Northern Greece consists of Epirus and
Thessaly, separated by the Pindus
mountain range.
• The chief town in Epirus is Dodona where
the Greeks thought Zeus provided oracles.
I. Northern Greece
• Thessaly is the largest plains area in
• It is almost surrounded by mountains.
• On the north, the Cambunian range has as
its highest mountain the home of the gods,
Mt. Olympus, and nearby, Mt Ossa.
• Between these two mountains is a valley
called the Vale of Tempe through which
runs the Peneius River.
II. Central Greece
• Central Greece has more mountains than
northern Greece.
• It contains the countries of Aetolia (famed
for the Calydonian boar hunt), Locris
(divided into 2 sections by Doris and
Phocis), Acarnania (west of Aetolia,
bordered by the Achelous River, and north
of the gulf of Calydon), Doris, Phocis,
Boeotia, Attica, and Megaris.
II. Central Greece
• Boeotia and Attica are separated by Mt.
• In northeast Attica is Mt. Pentelicus home
of the famous marble. South of Pentelicus
is the Hymettus mountain range, which is
famous for its honey. Attica had a poor
soil, but a long coastline favoring trade.
• Megaris lies in the Isthmus of Corinth,
which separates central Greece from the
II. Central Greece
• The Megarans raised sheep and made
woolen products and pottery.
III. Peloponnesus
• South of the Isthmus of Corinth is the
Peloponnese (21,549 sq. km), whose
central region is Arcadia, which is a
plateau over mountain ranges.
III. Peloponnesus
• On the northern slope is Achaea, with Elis
and Corinth on either side.
• On the east of the Peloponnese is the
mountainous Argolis area.
• Laconia was the country in the basin of the
Eurotas River, which ran between the
Taygetus and Parnon mountain regions.
Messenia lies to the west of Mt. Taygetus,
the highest point in the Peloponnese.
What are the characteristics of
Ancient Greece’s geography?
Geographic Features
1.Sea: heavy influence on physical environment of
Greece (Aegean Sea, Ionian Sea)
2.Mountains (with narrow valleys): cover more than ¾ of
Greece’s surface area and islands: more than 2000
islands (Crete being the largest)
3.No major rivers on Greek mainland but fertile soil
4.Climate: winter= mild climate; summer= hot climate with
rainfall from October to March = long growing season
Resources and Crops
• grain
• fine cheese made of goat’s milk
• timber
• wild game
• wool of sheep = cloth
• olives = oil
• grapes = wine
• grain
• clay = pottery
Effects of Geography
• Seafaring tradition: reliance on navy and fleets
for power and protection
• Sea provided link to trade and cultural exchange
with Mediterranean communities
• Isolationism: protection but lack of effective
• Greece was organized into polis (independent
city states) separated by seas and rugged
• Emergence of dominant city states (Athens,
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