1. How long did the period of Greek history last?
2. When was the period of Classical Greece?
3. What were architectural systems in ancient Greece?
4. What wars and revolts were there in ancient Greece?
5. What city is the symbol of freedom, art and democracy? Why?
6. What was the capital of the prefectureof Laconia?
7. What forms of government were there in Greece?
8. What are the major gods and goddesses?
9. Do you know any first Greek gods, Olympic gods, semi-gods, spirits, monsters and creatures?
10.Who are the famous Greek heroes?
11. When and where did the Olympic Games begin?
12. What famous Greek people do you know?
Exercise 2. Read the text “Ancient Greece. Part I” and match the headings (A-D) to the correct paragraphs (1-4). Explain the words in bold and point out all geographical names on the map.
A. Main historical periods.
B. Geography, Regions, Colonies.
D. Social Structure and Government.
1. .......... . Greece is a country in Southeast Europe. It has land borders with Albania, Macedoniaand Bulgaria to the north and Turkey to the east. The Aegean Sea lies to the east of Greece, the Ionian Sea to the west and the Mediterranean Seato the south. Greece has a large number of islands - about 1,400. Eighty percent of Greece consists of mountains. Olympus Mount is the highest, which is 2,917 m.
The territory of Greece is mountainous, and as a result, ancient Greece consisted of many small regions each with its own dialect, cultural peculiaritiesand identity. Regionalism and regional conflicts was a prominent feature of ancient Greece.
From about 750 BC the Greeks began 250 years of expansion, settlingcolonies in all directions. To the east, the Aegean coast of Minor Asia was colonized first, followed by Cyprus, the Sea of Marmaraand south coast of the Black Sea.
Eventually Greek colonization reached the present day Ukraine and Russia. To the west the coasts of Illyria, Sicilyand Southern Italy were settled, followed by Southern France, Corsica, and even Spain. Greek colonies were also founded in Egypt and Libya.
Modern Syracuse, Naples, Marseilleand Istanbulhad their beginnings as the Greek colonies. These colonies played an important role in the spread of Greek influence throughout Europe, and also aided in the establishment of long-distance trading networks between the Greek city-states, boosting the economy of ancient Greece.
2. .......... . The history of Greece during Classical Antiquity may be subdivided into the following periods:
1) The Archaic period (750-500 BC) – it was a period of ancient Greek history that followed the Greek Dark Ages. This period saw the rise of the polis and the founding of colonies, classical philosophy, theatre in the form of tragedies and written poetry. The Archaic period is often taken to end with the overthrow of the last tyrantof Athens in 510 BC.
2) The Classical period (500-323 BC) is characterized by a style which was considered by later observers to be exemplary ('classical'), for instance the Parthenon. Politically, the Classical Period was dominated by Athens during the 5th century, displaced by Spartan hegemonyduring the early 4th century BC, before power shiftedto Thebes and finally to the League of Corinth,led by Macedonia.
3)The Hellenisticperiod (323-46 BC) was a period when Greek culture and power expanded into the Near and Middle East. This period begins with the death of Alexander the Great and ends with the Roman conquest.
4) Roman Greece (146 BC-330 AD) was a period between Roman victory over the Corinthians at the Battle of Corinth in 146 BC and the establishment of Byzantium by Constantine as the capital of the Roman Empire in 330 AD.
5) the final phase of Antiquity (4-6 centuries AD-529 AD) is the period of Christianization during the later 4th to early 6th centuries, taken to be complete with the closureof the Neoplatonic Academy by Justinian Iin 529 AD.
3. .......... .Greece in the Archaic Period was made up from independent states, called Polisor city state. Greek Society was mainly broken up between Free people and Slaves. Slaves were used as servantswithout any legal rights. Although many slaves lived closely with their owners, few were skilled craftsmen. As Athenian society developed, free men were divided between Citizens and Metics. After compulsoryservice in the army they were expected to be government officials. The metic was a foreign birth man that had migrated to Athens, to either trade or practice a craft. However, they could never achieve full rights of a Citizen. The social classes applied to men only, as women took their social and legal status from their husband. Women in ancient Greece were not permittedto take part in public life.
There were three main forms of government in ancient Greece: 1.Monarchy(750 BC) is a form of a government ruled or headed by a monarch. One city-state whose government was a monarchy was the city-state of Corinth. 2.Oligarchy(800 BC) is a form of a government by a few, especially by a small faction of persons or families. One city-state whose government was an oligarchy was the city-state of Sparta.3. Democracy (500 BC) is a form of a government by the people or their elected representatives. One city-state whose government experimented for about a hundred years with democracy was the ancient city-state of Athens.
4. .......... . Ancient Greek philosophy arose in the 6th century BC and continued through the Hellenistic period. It dealt with a wide variety of subjects, including political philosophy, ethics, metaphysics, logic, biology, rhetoric, etc.
Ancient Greek philosophy is dominated by three very famous men: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Plato was Socrates’ student in around 400 BC. Socrates was killed in 399 BC and Plato began his work by writing down what Socrates had taught and then continued by writing down his own ideas. Aristotle, who was younger, came to study at Plato's school and ended up starting his own school as well.
In the years after Plato and Aristotle died, in the 200s BC, three famous kinds of philosophy appeared in the schools that Plato and Aristotle had started: the Stoics, the Skeptics and the Epicureans.
Exercise 3. Read the text “Ancient Greece. Part II” and explain the words in bold. Write down into your vocabularies the transcription of the proper names given in italics.
Literature.The Greeks wrote a great deal and a surprising amount of different kinds of books. What they wrote is still available to us today, even 2500 years later. Their writing is traditionally divided into 6 types:
1) epic: Around 700 BC : Homerwrote two connected epics, the ‘Iliad’ and the ‘Odyssey’. Epics are long poems which tell the story of a hero.
2) poems: Two early Greek examples are Hesiod's ‘Theogony’ and ‘Works and Days’, both from around 700 BC. There are also a number of short poems by Archilochus and Sappho from the 600s BC, among others. Sappho's poems are the only surviving literature by a Greek woman.
3) plays: Plays are divided into tragedies and comedies. Tragedies are generally sad, while comedies are funny. The oldest tragedies that we still have were written by Aeschylus in around 500 BC. We also have tragedies written by Sophocles (around 450 BC) and Euripides (around 425 BC). The oldest comedies that we still have are by Aristophanes and were also written in around 425 BC.
4) history: Two major histories were written by Herodotus and Thucydides. In about 450 BC Herodotus wrote a history of the Persian Wars. In about 400 BC Thucydides wrote a history of the Peloponnesian War. After the Peloponnesian War, Xenophon wrote about his adventures as a mercenary soldier for the Persians. During the Roman takeover of Greece, Polybius wrote a ‘History of Rome’ in Greek.
5) philosophical dialogues and treatises: The first written philosophy was completed by Plato in around 380 BC in the form of a play. Later Plato and his student Aristotle wrote regular philosophical books, in prose without dialogues.
6) legal and political speeches: The first speeches that have survived are from the 3rd century BC. The three most famous speechwriters were Lysias, Isocrates and Demosthenes.
Theatre.Most Greek cities had a theatre. It was in the open air and was usually a bowl-shapedarena on a hillside. Some theatres were very big, with room for more than 15,000 people in the audience.
All the actors were men or boys. Dancers and singers, called the chorus, performed on a flat area called the orchestra. Over time, solo actors also took part and a raised stage became part of the theatre. The actors changed costumes in a hut called the "skene". Painting the walls of the hut made the first scenery. The plays were comedies or tragedies.
Science. Greek people were very interested in science as a way of organizing the world and making order out of chaos. From about 600 BC, a lot of Greek men spent time observing the planets, the sun and trying to figure out how astronomy worked.
By about 400 BC, Pythagoraswas interested in finding the patternsand rules in mathematics and music. Socrates developed logical methods for deciding whether something was true or not.
In 300 BC, Aristotle and other philosophers at the Academy in Athens worked on observing plants, animals and organized them into types.
After Aristotle, using his ideas and also ideas from Egyptians, Persians and Indians, Hippocratesand other Greek doctors wrote important medical texts.
Architecture. Architecture includes houses, religious buildings like temples and tombs,public building like city walls, theaters and stadia.
There is no really sharp change in the style of architecture between the Archaic and the Classical periods. The most famous surviving classical temple is the Parthenonin Athens, which mixes the Doricand the new Ionic styles.
The Parthenon, a temple to Athenathe Pure, was built in Athens in 440 BC. It was the best temple ever built. It was made of marble, even the roof-tiles, with 8 columns across the front and with carved sculptures on the metopes.
Also in the Classical period, the Greeks began to build permanent stone theaters, like the Theater of Dionysus on the side of the Acropolis in Athens.
Sculpture.Sculpture includes small figurinesand life-size statues, but also relief sculptures which were on the sides of buildings and tombs.
a) Classical Greek Sculpture. The Severe Style didn't last very long and by about 460 BC it was replaced by the Classical style. Greek sculptors began to experiment with honoring the gods by showing the beauty and grace of the human body, especially the bodies of young, athletic men.
The sculptors also became more interested in the three-side sculpture: people being able to see it from all different sides and not just from the front.
One of the most famous sculptors of the Classical period was Phidias.His most famous work does not survive: it was a great gold and ivory statue of Zeusfor the temple of Zeus on the Olympia Mount, made in about 440 BC.
People and gods are shown calm, peaceful, in control of their emotions and their bodies. People, to Phidias and other Greeks of this time, are wonderful creations of the gods, beautiful, strong and intelligent.
b) Hellenistic Sculpture.By about 340 BC, sculptors were moving into a new style of art we call the Hellenistic. At the end of the 400s BC, Greece and especially Athens, was devastatedby the Peloponnesian War which involved nearly all the Greek city-states. The end of the war left the Greeks too poor for much sculpture, so they began to create sculpture in a new style. There is more interest in women, who are sometimes shown without clothes.
There are several famous sculptors from this period. One was Praxiteles,who worked around 340 BC. He carved a statue of Hermesand the infantDionysus in the Temple. Praxiteles also carved a statue of Aphroditewhich was so beautiful that men fell in lovewith it.
Lysippuswas another famous Hellenistic sculptor, the favorite sculptor of Alexander the Great. His most famous work is Apoxyomenos, it’s a young man scrapingthe oil from his skin with a strigil. It was carved in around 320 BC.
Exercise 4. Answer the following questions.
1. What land borders had Ancient Greece?
2. When didthe Greeks begin the expansion?
3. Where were Greek colonies founded?
4. How many historical periods were there during Classical Antiquity?
5. What was the social structure of ancient Greece?
6. What were the main forms of government?
7. What three famous kinds of philosophy appeared in the 200s BC?
8. Could you name six types of Greek writing?
9. What are the famous representatives of Greek literature?
10. What do you know about ancient Greece theatre?
11. What famous Greek scientists lived in the country?
12. What architectural styles were there in ancient Greece?
13. What sculptural styles were presented in ancient Greece?
14. What famous Greek sculptors do you know?