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Ancient Greece


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One of a class of serfs in ancient Sparta, neither a slave nor a free citizen.
Dorian Invasions
In the 12th century, the power vacuum created by the decline of Mycenaean civilization was filled by Greeks speaking the Dorian dialect, who invaded the peninsula from the north.
A statesman of ancient Greece, who tried to unite the country under the leadership of his own city, Athens. Pericles also promoted democracy within Athens. His rule is sometimes known as the Golden Age of Greece. Many magnificent buildings, including the Parthenon, were built under his administration. He led the Athenians at the beginning of the Peloponnesian War but died soon afterward.
Greek philosopher. A follower of Socrates, he presented his ideas through dramatic dialogues, in the most celebrated of which (The Republic) the interlocutors advocate a utopian society ruled by philosophers trained in Platonic metaphysics. He taught and wrote for much of his life at the Academy, which he founded near Athens in 386.
Greek philosopher. A pupil of Plato, the tutor of Alexander the Great, and the author of works on logic, metaphysics, ethics, natural sciences, politics, and poetics, he profoundly influenced Western thought. In his philosophical system, which led him to criticize what he saw as Plato's metaphysical excesses, theory follows empirical observation and logic, based on the syllogism, is the essential method of rational inquiry.
Greek philosopher whose indefatigable search for ethical knowledge challenged conventional mores and led to his trial and execution on charges of impiety and corrupting the youth. Although Socrates wrote nothing, his method of question and answer is captured in the dialogues of Plato, his greatest pupil.
Athenian lawgiver and poet. His reforms preserved a class system based on wealth but ended privilege by birth.
Athenian statesman who enacted the legal reforms of Solon, replaced the older family-based political organization with one based on locality, and is generally regarded as the founder of Athenian democracy.
1588, a method of 10-year banishment in ancient Athens, by which the citizens gathered and wrote the names of men they deemed dangerous to the state on potsherds or tiles, and a man whose name turned up often enough was sent away.
an ancient Greek city-state.
a form of government in which all power is vested in a few persons or in a dominant class or clique; government by the few.
a class of persons holding exceptional rank and privileges, esp. the hereditary nobility.
Alexander the Great
356-323 b.c., king of Macedonia 336-323: conqueror of Greek city-states and of the Persian empire from Asia Minor and Egypt to India.
9th-century b.c., Greek epic poet: reputed author of the Iliad and Odyssey.
the Acropolis, the citadel of Athens and the site of the Parthenon.
A heavily armed foot soldier of ancient Greece.
One of the nine principal magistrates of ancient Athens.
(in ancient Greece) a group of heavily armed infantry formed in ranks and files close and deep, with shields joined and long spears overlapping.
Athenian tyrant (560-527) remembered for encouraging athletic contests and literary efforts.
Delian League
confederation of Greek city-states under the leadership of Athens. The name is used to designate two distinct periods of alliance, the first 478-404 B.C., the second 378-338 B.C. The first alliance was made between Athens and a number of Ionian states (chiefly maritime) for the purpose of prosecuting the war against Persia.
Peloponnesian Wars
The Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC) was an Ancient Greek military conflict, fought by Athens and its empire against the Peloponnesian League, led by Sparta.
supreme power or sovereignty held by a single person.
a state ruled by a tyrant or absolute ruler.
An ancient Greek historian and general. Thucydides' history of the Peloponnesian War, in which he fought, is famous for its careful reporting of events and its sharp analysis of causes and effects.
Hellenistic Age
The period from the death of Alexander the Great in 323 b.c. to the middle of the first century b.c. It was marked by Greek and Macedonian emigration to areas conquered by Alexander and by the spread of Greek civilization from Greece to northern India.
An ancient Greek historian, often called the father of history. His history of the invasion of Greece by the Persian Empire was the first attempt at narrative history and the beginning of all Western historical writing.
Persain Wars
The war between ancient Greece and ancient Persia. Greece won the war
government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system.
A leading city of ancient Greece, famous for its learning, culture, and democratic institutions. The political power of Athens was sometimes quite limited, however, especially after its defeat by Sparta in the Peloponnesian War. Pericles was a noted ruler of Athens.
Of or relating to the advanced Bronze Age culture that flourished in Crete from about 3000 to 1100 B.C.
an ancient city in S Greece: the capital of Laconia and the chief city of the Peloponnesus, at one time the dominant city of Greece: famous for strict discipline and training of soldiers.
Of, relating to, or being the Aegean civilization that spread its influence from Mycenae to many parts of the Mediterranean region from about 1580 to 1120 B.C.
one of a body of magistrates in various ancient Dorian states, esp. at Sparta, where a body of five was elected annually by the people.

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