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Spartan soldierHistory and GeographyAncient Greeceand RomeReaderAmphoraAlexander the GreatJulius CaesarCaesar Augustus

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Ancient Greeceand RomeReader

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Ancient Greeceand RomeTable of ContentsChapter 1The Ancient Greek City-States. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2Chapter 2Athens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8Chapter 3Sparta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16Chapter 4The Olympic Games . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24Chapter 5The Persian Wars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30Chapter 6The Golden Age of Athens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36Chapter 7The Peloponnesian War . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48Chapter 8Greek Philosophy and Socrates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54Chapter 9Plato and Aristotle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64Chapter 10 Alexander and the Hellenistic Period . . . . . . . 72Chapter 11 The Roman Republic . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82Chapter 12 The Punic Wars . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90Chapter 13 Julius Caesar: A Great Roman . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98Chapter 14 The Age of Augustus . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108Chapter 15 Rome and Christianity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118Chapter 16 The Fall of the Roman Empire . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126Chapter 17 The Heritage of Greece and Rome . . . . . . . . . . . 136Glossary. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142

Ancient Greece and RomeReaderCore Knowledge History and Geography

Chapter 1The Ancient GreekCity-StatesA Great Civilization Many people believethat the greatest of all the civilizations ofthe ancient world was the civilization ofGreece. However, it is a little misleadingto speak about ancient Greece as thoughit were a single civilization.The Big QuestionWhat different formsof government wereadopted by variouscity-states?Ancient Greece was not a unified country. It was a collection of independentcity-states. The ancient Greek word for city-state was polis (/poh* lihs/). A typicalVocabularycity-state, n. acity that is anindependent politicalstate with its ownruling governmentAsia Minor, n. apeninsula insouthwestern Asia;today most of thisarea is the countryof Turkey2polis would have included a town or a small city andthe farmlands surrounding it. Most Greek city-stateshad a population of no more than twenty thousand andcovered an area of only a hundred or so square miles.By 500 BCE, dozens of these city-states existed, mainlyalong the shores of the Aegean Sea. Most werelocated in the area of present-day Greece, but otherswere scattered along the coast of Asia Minor, onthe shores of the Black Sea, in southern Italy, and innorthern Africa.

This ancient Greek fresco, known as The Toreador, was found on the Greek island of Crete.The ancient Greeks produced beautiful art and architecture.3

The Greek city-states had a number of things in common. First, the peopleof the city-states all spoke Greek, though dialects varied from city-state tocity-state. (A dialect is a regional variety of a language.) The Greeks referredto non-Greek speakers as “barbarians.” The word comes from another Greekword —bárbaros—meaning to babble. When these people spoke, the Greekscould hear only meaningless syllables that sounded to them like bar, bar, bar.The Greek city-states were also unified by religion. The citizens of the variouscity-states worshiped the same set of Greek gods. Zeus (/zooss/) was the chiefgod, but he shared power with other gods, including his wife Hera (/hihr*uh/),the sun god Apollo (/uh*pahl*oh/), the sea god Poseidon (/poh*sye*dun/), andthe love goddess Aphrodite (/af*ruh*dye*tee/). The Greeks believed that thesegods lived on Mount Olympus but came down from time to time to influenceThis ancient sculpted wall decoration, called a frieze, can be found on the Parthenon inAthens, Greece. The frieze depicts some of the Assembly of the Gods. From left to rightyou can see Poseidon, Apollo, and Artemis, the goddess of the hunt.4

human affairs. They told marvelous stories, ormyths, about the adventures and misadventures oftheir gods. They built temples to honor their gods.Greek city-states also came together for athleticcompetitions like the Olympic Games, which you willread about in Chapter 4. But each Greek city-statewas also unique. Each had its own traditions, legends,and local heroes. Almost all city-states worshiped ahandful of local gods along with the central gods.Different GovernmentsEach city-state also had its own distinctive form ofgovernment. In fact, the Greeks were so innovative,or groundbreaking, when it came to government andpolitics that many of the words we use to talk aboutthese subjects today can be traced back to ancientGreek words. Our words politics and police officer areboth derived from the word polis. Politics is the artof governing a polis, or state, and a police officer is aperson who helps preserve order in the state.In the beginning, most Greek city-states were ruledby kings. However, by 500 BCE, most city-states hadadopted other forms of government, includingtyranny, aristocracy, oligarchy (/ahl*ih*gahr*kee/),and democracy.Tyranny was a system in which one man was thedictator—someone who held all the power. ForGreeks, tyranny was different from monarchy:tyrants seized power illegally, whereas kingsVocabularytyranny, n. a typeof government inwhich one personillegally seizes allpower, usually rulingin a harsh and brutalway; a dictatorshiparistocracy, n. theupper or noble classwhose members’status is usuallyinheritedoligarchy, n.a governmentcontrolled by asmall group ofpeople made upof aristocraticand wealthy nonaristocratic familiesdemocracy, n. inancient Greece, aform of governmentin which the malecitizens held rulingpower and madedecisions; in moderntimes, a form ofgovernment inwhich citizenschoose the leadersby votemonarchy, n. agovernment led by aking or a queeninherited the throne legally. Some tyrants were5

6100 elosaSecity-stateGreek colonyGreek landsAbdera0BarcaCyreneAFRICACalchedonBlack Sea400 milesNaukratisAl-MinaCyprusAbydosMytileneASIA anean SeaSpartaAthensPeleponMt. OlympusIonian hedosiaThe Greeks established colonies throughout the Mediterranean. This map shows the extent of ancient Greece around 500 cisThebesSNMassaliaSpinaan SeElisDelphiWEmporiumAgatheMap of Ancient Greece, 500 BCEAege

popular because they opposed the rich and helped the poor. However, fewGreeks wanted to live under tyrants all the time.Aristocracy was a system in which a few noble,or upper-class, families held power. The wordaristocracy actually means rule of the best.Sometimes these “best” families shared power withan assembly made up of citizens, but not always.Vocabularyassembly, n. agroup of people;in ancient Greece,the Assemblymade laws.An oligarchy was similar to aristocracy. Again, the power was held by only afew people. In fact, oligarchy means rule of the few. But in this case, the fewwere not only noble families but also wealthy men. (Often oligarchies werecomprised of aristocratic and wealthy nonaristocratic families.)Finally, there was democracy. In a democracy, power was shared by a large numberof male citizens. Citizens took part in debates, decided government policy, andelected officials. The Greeks seem to have been the first people to experiment withthis kind of government. The experiment eventually caught on, and democracybecame the pattern of government in a number of Greek city-states.Lack of UnityThe Greeks were proud of the independence and individuality of theircity-states. They thought it was better to live under local government thanunder the power of a king who lived far away. However, there were alsodisadvantages to the city-state model. The Greek city-states were frequentlygetting into disagreements and wars. This lack of unity made it easier forforeign countries to invade Greece. In times of crisis, the city-states might jointogether to fight a common enemy, but this was the exception, not the rule.In general, the alliances among city-states tended to be short-lived, while therivalries among them tended to be long-lasting.One of the greatest rivalries was between Athens and Sparta, two of thelargest and most powerful city-states. In the next two chapters, you will readabout these two city-states and the differences between them.7

Chapter 2AthensAthenian Democracy Athens was oneof the largest of the Greek city-statesand also one of the most democratic.Today, we remember it as the birthplaceof democracy.The Big QuestionIn what ways wasAthenian democracylimited?Athenian democracy developed gradually. Over many decades, monarchy gaveway to aristocracy, aristocracy to oligarchy, and then oligarchy to democracy. TheAthenians also had to get rid of a few tyrants. Over the years, more and morepeople won the right to participate in government. By 500 BCE, a recognizablydemocratic system was firmly established.At the center of Athenian democracy was the Assembly. The Assembly passedlaws, imposed taxes, and voted on issues of war and peace. All Athenian maleVocabularycitizen, n. a personwho is legallyrecognized as amember or subjectof a country or state8citizens were allowed to participate in the Assembly.Before deciding an issue, the members of theAssembly would debate the proposal. Then theywould vote by holding up their hands. If a majorityof those present supported the proposal, it wouldbe accepted.

In Athens, the Assembly debated and voted on issues.9

This ostrakon had the name “Themistocles” scratched on it.The Assembly also had the power to ostracize,or banish, citizens who might pose a danger tothe polis. Again, this was done by voting. Duringostracism votes, each citizen was allowed toscratch another citizen’s name on a piece ofpottery called an ostrakon. If enough peoplescratched the same name, the ostracized citizenVocabularyostracize, v. inancient Athens, tosend a person awayfrom the city; today,ostracize meansto shun or ignorea personhad to leave the city-state and stay away for tenyears. However, he was allowed to keep his property, and at the end of tenyears, he was allowed to return.The Assembly was assisted by a smaller council, called the Boule (/boo*lee/),which was made up of five hundred members chosen by lot. Each memberserved a year-long term, and no citizen could serve more than two terms. TheBoule decided which issues needed to be brought before the Assembly andwhich ones could be handled by other officials.The Legal SystemThe legal system was also quite democratic. Athenian law was divided into twosections. There were public laws, which had to do with the city-state, and private10

laws through which people could work out theirdisagreements. If someone broke a public law, hewould have to pay a fine or face the penalty that hadbeen decided upon by the Assembly or by the Boule.If someone had a disagreement with a neighbor,he cou