Ancient Greece Vocabulary

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Pine Valley Middle School
Ancient Greece
Vocabulary: Key Terms
Word
Meaning
acropolis
A walled fort built on a hill
agora
An open air market and gathering place in many ancient Greek citystates
alliance
An agreement to cooperate
aristocracy
A wealthy ruling class
assembly
A lawmaking group
cultural borrowing
Adapting customs from one culture for use in another
demagogue
A bad leader
democracy
Rule by the people
epic
A long story-poem
harbor
Sheltered place with deep water close to shore
hellenistic
Greek-like
helot
In ancient Sparta, a slave owned by the state
isthmus
A small strip of land, with water on both sides, that connects two larger
areas of land
league
A group of allies
majority rule
A system in which the ideas and decisions supported by the most
people are followed
multicultural
Relating to many cultures
myth
A story passed from generation to generation that usually tells about
an ancient god or hero
oligarchy
A system in which a small group controls the government
plague
A deadly sickness
polis
In ancient Greece, a city-state consisting of a city and the farms, towns,
and villages around it
tragedy
A serious play with an unhappy ending
trireme
A large fighting ship, used by the ancient Greeks and others beginning
in the late sixth century B.C.
tyrant
In ancient Greece, someone who illegally took control of a government
and ruled alone; a cruel ruler
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