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Greek influence in the mid 6th century BC.

Ancient Greece (Greek: Ἑλλάς, romanizedHellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of antiquity (c. AD 600). Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Roughly three centuries after the Late Bronze Age collapse of Mycenaean Greece, Greek urban poleis began to form in the 8th century BC, ushering in the Archaic period and colonization of the Mediterranean Basin. This was followed by the period of Classical Greece, an era that began with the Greco-Persian Wars, lasting from the 5th to 4th centuries BC. Due to the conquests by Alexander the Great of Macedon, Hellenistic civilization flourished from Central Asia to the western end of the Mediterranean Sea. The Hellenistic period came to an end with the conquests and annexations of the eastern Mediterranean world by the Roman Republic, which established the Roman province of Macedonia in Roman Greece, and later the province of Achaea during the Roman Empire.

Classical Greek culture, especially philosophy, had a powerful influence on ancient Rome, which carried a version of it to many parts of the Mediterranean Basin and Europe. For this reason, Classical Greece is generally considered to be the seminal culture which provided the foundation of modern Western culture and is considered the cradle of Western civilization.

Classical Greek culture gave great importance to knowledge. Science and religion were not separate and getting closer to the truth meant getting closer to the gods. In this context, they understood the importance of mathematics as an instrument for obtaining more reliable ("divine") knowledge. Greek culture, in a few centuries and with a limited population, managed to explore and make progress in many fields of science, mathematics, philosophy and knowledge in general.

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The Southern Peloponessus

The War against Nabis or Laconian War of 195 BC was fought between the Greek city-state of Sparta and a coalition comprised of Rome, the Achean League, Pergamum, Rhodes, and Macedon.During the Second Macedonian War (200–196 BC), Macedon had given Sparta control over Argos, an important city on the Aegean coast of Peloponnese. Sparta's continued occupation of Argos at the end of war was used as a pretext for Rome and its allies to declare war. The anti-Spartan coalition laid siege to Argos, captured the Spartan naval base at Gythium, and soon invested and besieged Sparta itself. Eventually, negotiations led to peace on Rome's terms, under which Argos and the coastal towns of Laconia were freed from Spartan rule and the Spartans were compelled to pay a war indemnity to Rome over the next eight years. Argos joined the Achaean League, and the Laconian towns were placed under Achaean protection.As a result of the war, Sparta lost its position as a major power in Greece.

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Sparta territory.jpg

The city of Sparta lay at the southern end of the central Laconian plain, on the right bank of the Eurotas River. It was a strategic site, guarded on three sides by mountains and controlling the routes by which invading armies could penetrate Laconia and the southern Peloponnesus via the Langhda Pass over Mt Taygetus. At the same time, its distance from the sea—Sparta was 27 miles from its seaport, Gythium—made it difficult to blockade.

Did you know...

  • ...that the historical origins of the Ancient Olympic Games are unknown, but several legends and myths survive?
  • NAMA Loutrophoros Polystratos.jpg
    ...that the Ancient Greeks had many words to describe slaves ?
  • Colossus of Rhodes.jpg
    ...that the Colossus of Rhodes was a huge statue of the Greek god Helios, erected on the Greek island of Rhodes?

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Porch of Maidens.jpg

Photo credit: Thermos

A caryatid ([Καρυάτις, plural: Καρυάτιδες] error: {{lang-xx}}: text has italic markup (help)) is a sculpted female figure serving as an architectural support taking the place of a column or a pillar supporting an entablature on her head. The Greek term karyatides literally means "maidens of Karyae", an ancient town of Peloponnese.

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Alcibiades

Alcibiades Cleiniou Scambonides (/ˌælsɪˈbədz/; Greek: Ἀλκιβιάδης Κλεινίου Σκαμβωνίδης, (pronunciation) transliterated Alkibiádēs Kleiníou Skambōnidēs) meaning Alcibiades, son of Cleinias, from the deme of Skambonidai; c. 450–404 BC), was a prominent Athenian statesman, orator, and general. He was the last famous member of his mother's aristocratic family, the Alcmaeonidae, which fell from prominence after the Peloponnesian War. He played a major role in the second half of that conflict as a strategic advisor, military commander, and politician.During the course of the Peloponnesian War, Alcibiades changed his allegiance on several occasions. In his native Athens in the early 410s BC, he advocated an aggressive foreign policy, and was a prominent proponent of the Sicilian Expedition, but fled to Sparta after his political enemies brought charges of sacrilege against him.


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