Unit 3 Vocab definitions

Unit 3 Vocabulary Pre-Assessment
Listed below are the essential vocabulary terms for unit three. Take five (5) minutes and define each
term using prior knowledge. You may also find it helpful to include examples with each definition.
Classical Civilization- authoritative, traditional; relating to the art, literature, architecture, or ideals of
ancient Rome and/or Greece
Democracy- “the rule of many,” government by the people, either directly or through elected
Aristocracy – An upper class whose wealth is based on land and whose power is passed on from one
generation to another
Oligarchy- “the rule of a few,” a form of government in which a select group of people exercises control
Absolute Ruler- a ruler, often times a monarch or dictator, that holds complete and total power
Tyrant – a ruler who seized power by force from the aristocrats, gained support from people and
maintained power by using hired soldiers and fighting tactics
Tyranny – the rule of a tyrant
Noble- a person of high birth or exalted rank, often a member of the aristocracy
Epic- a long poem that tells the deeds of a great hero, such as the Iliad and the Odyssey of Homer
Architecture-the art or science of building; specifically : the art or practice of designing and building
structures and especially habitable ones
Philosophy- an organized system of thought, from the Greek word for “love of wisdom.” A study of
logic through examining nature
Unit 3 Vocabulary Pre-Assessment
City-State (Polis) – a state with political and economic control over the surrounding countryside