Ancient Greece Geography and Religion

Ancient Greece
Geography and Religion
 Where is Greece?
Peninsula in
Mediterranean region
of Eastern Europe
Consists of Mainland
Greece and 1400
islands in Aegean and
Ionian Seas
The Landscape of Greece
 Mountains cover ¾ of Greece.
 Divides land into regions; plays strong role in
development of Greek political life.
 Mountainous terrain helped and hurt the
development of city-states.
What is a city-state?
 City-states are small communities formed instead of
one united Greece.
How Did They Survive?
Only 20% of land was arable.
What does arable mean? Arable = land that can be or is
 Lack irrigation; Greece couldn’t support large
 Forced Greeks to trade w/ neighbors and
search for colonization opportunities.
 Leads to spread of Hellenic culture across
Let’s Get Us Some Land!
B/C of invasion, Greeks
forced across the seas.
 Set up colonies
throughout region.
What is a colony?
Colony = any people or territory
separated from but subject to a
ruling power.
Some Greek colonies
Crete, Cyprus,
Macedonia, Libya, Italy
 Climate
Affected development of Greek culture
 Climate ranges from 48- 80 degrees.
 Climate supported various outdoor activities
that formed Ancient Greek society:
Public forums, Greek dramas, Olympics
Religion and Mythology
 Greeks created myths about gods
and goddesses to explain creation,
where they came from, etc.
 To honor gods and goddesses,
many temples were built during
Golden Age of Greece.
 EX: Parthenon – built for Athena.
The Parthenon
Religion and Mythology
 Priests and priestesses
served as oracles.
What is an oracle?
-any person or thing serving as
an agency of divine
The most famous oracle
was oracle at Delphi.
More Fun Stuff
 The Olympics
1. Began as way of honoring Gods/Goddesses.
2. Games held every 4 years in honor of Zeus in Olympia.
3. Events included hippodrome, javelin, discuss,
wrestling, boxing, pentathlon
 Theatre
1. Greek theatre developed from religious festivals to
honor Dionysus.
2. Grew from one man plays to very complex tragedies.