Cocktail Conversation: Ancient Greece (800-338 BCE)

The Parthenon, Acropolis, Athens, Greece

[Ever been stuck at a cocktail party and some historical period comes up that you know you should have some knowledge of but it has escaped you? This section should pull you out of the abyss about Ancient Greece!]

Ancient Greece is responsible for a large part of how our society functions today. They are responsible for inventing drama and the theater, establishing medicine as a scientific study, geometry, the Olympic games and democracy.

Just The Facts:

590-607 BCE Athenian Democracy “rule of the people” flourishes- The citizens of Athens elected public officials and were able to vote on all important issues including how to spend government money, whether to declare war and were even able to vote to exile someone. This model of democracy has influenced countless governments, yet no one have given their citizens as much power as the Athenians.What was a citizen in Athens? Well there were a very small number of people that actually made the qualifications. A citizen needed to be born in Athens, with Athenian parents, a free person over 20 and male.

776 First Olympic Games- The warring across Greece was postponed for the Olympics which people from all over Greece participated in every four years.

750 The Greek alphabet is in use and Homer writes the Iliad and the Odyssey- The Greek alphabet was unique in its simplicity. With only 20 characters, it was easy to learn to read and write.

441-404 Peloponnesian War ends in Sparta’s victory over Athens- Spartan boys left home at the age of 7 to be trained to fight by the state. They were allowed to marry at the age of 20 but could not live with their wives until 30.

432 The Parthenon is completed and dedicated to Athena, after being destroyed once by the Persians. The cost totaled 469 silver talents. To give some perspective, one talent built a warship or fed a crew for a year.

430 Herodotus writes the first known history

399 Socrates, convicted of corrupting the youth, drinks hemlock.

343 Aristotle tutors Alexander the Great

338 Greece becomes subject to Macedon in the battle of Chaeronea

Published in: on July 10, 2009 at 11:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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