Complete History Of Greece

Complete History Of Greece, the flag of Greece is represented by a cross symbolising their greek orthadox faith, the blue for the ocean and the white represents waves on the ocean
Complete History Of Greece, the flag of Greece is represented by a cross symbolising their greek orthadox faith, the blue for the ocean and the white represents waves on the ocean

Complete History Of Greece - Introduction

Complete History Of Greece - Introduction:

Greece has variously been referred to as the “cradle of western civilisation” or “the flame of modern society” We’ve all heard of people such as Socrates, Plato, Achilles or the dreaded Pythagoras, and eaten foods like Souvlaki, fetta cheese and Kalamata olives. But who are the people we now know as the Greeks?

Complete History Of Greece, a dolphin fresco - a classic Minoan design
Complete History Of Greece, a dolphin fresco - a classic Minoan design

Complete History Of Greece - Minoans & Mycenaeans

Complete History Of Greece - Minoans & Mycenaeans

This period forms the genesis of Greek history, even though its history dates to 6000BC

The Minoans were a maritime people who depended heavily on the sea for food and as a means to trade with others in the region, connection with the sea still strong in Greece

The Mycenaean civilisation flourished around 1400BC, the time of the Acropolis (meaning city on the hill)

They were also seafaring people, but tended to war with neighbours for territory

Trojan War happened around 1184BC with the wooden horse surprise!

The War began as a result of the kidnap of Helen, the wife of the King Priam of Sparta, by Paris, the son of the King of Troy; instead of a fist fight, they started a war that lasted 10 years until the Greeks sent in the wooden horse filled with soldiers who were able to attack and take Troy

Achilles fought and died in the Trojan War, speared in his heel, the only part not dipped in the River Styx for protection by his mother i.e. his weak spot

Homer, the great Greek writer, documented the Trojan War in The Iliad (Ilium was the Greek name for Troy), he also wrote The Odyssey in which Odysseus sailed to unknown territories, encountered strange sea monsters and resisted the songs of the sirens

The Dorians invaded Greece from Phoenicia and spread out across Greece

Things then quietened down in Greece for many years

Greek gods are well known and were a part of everyday life for all Hellenes, as were heroes for ancient religions, hence the many stories/myths

Complete History Of Greece - Pythagoras
Complete History Of Greece - Pythagoras

Complete History Of Greece - Polis or City-States

Complete History Of Greece - Polis or City-States

Magna Graecia (Greater Greece) had spread across Europe and the Mediterranean and there was a unity through the Hellenic language

However the city-states or polis began to emerge in each region

Two of the most powerful were Athens and Sparta

Hellenism or Greek ideals grew and this was the time of great thinkers, philosophers and mathematicians such as Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and Pythagoras (who can recite the theorem?)

Classical Greece was a time when people explored new ways of thinking e.g. Socrates, and buildings were erected in styles that have since been copied the world over, or at the very least been admired by many, eg the Parthenon, home of the Gods on Acropolis

Democracy was also set up, “rule by the people” in the polis

Complete History Of Greece - Peloponnesian Wars

Complete History Of Greece - Peloponnesian Wars

Sparta and Greece were vying for control of Greece

However when Persia attacked in 490BC, the Athenians fought them and won

To bring news of the victory, a messenger ran 50km from the battle field at Marathon to Athens, delivered the good news and dropped dead

He did not stop during the journey and thus the first Marathon had been run, this feat is commemorated in the Modern Olympics

The Olympics actually started in 776BC as a celebration of Hellenistic life and culture, the gods and religion

First held on Mt Olympia, hence the name “Olympics”

After the attack from the Persians (around 490 - 47BC), Sparta and Athens resumed their struggle for control of Greece

Although they briefly united against the Persians at Thermopylae in 480BC

The Peloponnesian Wars were over a period of time around 431 - 404BC

Eventually, Athens surrendered as the war was depleting resources on both sides and putting Greece into political disarray

Complete History Of Greece - Alexander the Great
Complete History Of Greece - Alexander the Great
Complete History Of Greece - Alexander the Great
Complete History Of Greece - Alexander the Great

Complete History Of Greece - Alexander the Great

Complete History Of Greece - Alexander the Great

While Athens and Sparta squabbled, Macedonia was gaining strength under King Philip II

His son Alexander rose to power and took control of Greece in 336BC

Alexander was later named “The Great” for his feats, bravery and all-round ability to conquer just about anything

He was tutored by Aristotle as a young boy and later carried a copy of Homer’s The Iliad with him into battle as he believed he was a direct descendant of Greek hero Achilles

Alexander was a passionate Hellene who defeated every opposition in his battles to create a massive empire

The Greek empire under Alexander stretched from the Adriatic and Egypt and over to Afghanistan and India

Alexander was successful in spreading Greek of Hellene culture as he looked after the people whose rulers he disposed of and meshed the two cultures together

Many cities that he conquered in each area were named after him, hence so many Alexandrias around the lands in his former Empire, eg burial place in Egypt

Alexandria died in 323BC, some say of syphilis, some of alcohol, other of battle wounds

As he left no heir, his empire began to flail and the Romans took over Greece

Romans ruled form approximately 200BC until the Byzantine empire took over at the decline of the Roman Empire, hence Greek classical style is mixed with lavish Byzantine

Complete History Of Greece - A Greek Orthadox Church on the Island of Santorini
Complete History Of Greece - A Greek Orthadox Church on the Island of Santorini
Complete History Of Greece - Greek Easter
Complete History Of Greece - Greek Easter

Complete History Of Greece - Orthodoxy

Complete History Of Greece - Orthodoxy

St Paul travelled from Troy to Kavala and made Greece the first country to be Christianised by him on his journey

Greek Orthodox Church was founded after breaking from the Roman papacy in 1054

Spiritual and theological issues are open to discussion between the priest and congregation far more than in Catholic belief, but some monks spend time in isolation as hermits during their study for the priesthood

Saints and icons exist but statues of them are not shown in the church

The Julian calendar is still observed, thus celebrations and festivals (e.g. Easter) are thirteen days behind the Roman calendar

War of Independence

Began in 1821 mainly against the Ottoman rule, but also briefly against the Venetians

Eventually in 1830, Greece received independence and borders were drawn up

This war against Turkey has never been forgotten and memories of the conflict continue to cause issues and disputes

Greek Easter is also connected to the War of Independence and is cause for great celebrations with fireworks, costumes and feasts as well as lollies and presents

Complete History Of Greece - Modern Greece

Complete History Of Greece - Modern Greece

During WWI Greece remained fairly neutral

WWII was occupied by Germany, however there was a strong Greek resistance and the Allies attempted to use Greece as a way to ambush the German troops

There has been an ongoing dispute with Turkey over the ownership of Cyprus, with UN troops recently (1998) deployed on the island)

The Macedonian independence question still looms, dating back to the years BC

Alexander Papandreou came to office in 1970s, but caused a political scandal in late 80s

Greece joined the EU in 1981, but still disputes any involvement by Turkey, a throw-back to the Independence War from Turkey

Still trying to stabilise economically, but Tourism is helping with finances

Relaxed lifestyle and unhurried non-stressful outlook can be very appealing

Many parts of Greece, especially the north, still operate by old ways, content with themselves and offering an uncomplicated view of life

The islands promise and deliver stunning views and relaxing days

My name is Robee Kann, for four years I was a tour guide throughout Europe. I loved my job and I would love to hear from you. You are most welcome to message me to say hello or request a hub about a European subject. Please look at my other hubs and leave a comment for me.

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Comments On The Complete History Of Greece 1 comment

Malcul profile image

Malcul 3 years ago

I enjoyed this page, as I have an interest in Greece, but in particular Crete. I would be fascinated to hear of the differences, if any, in Cretan and Greek history.

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