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Ancient Greece was a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages to 5th century BC to the end of antiquity (c. 600 AD).
Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era.
Included in ancient Greece is the period of Classical Greece, which flourished during the 5th to 4th centuries BC. Classical Greece began with the era of the Persian Wars. Because of conquests by Alexander the Great of Macedonia, Hellenistic civilization flourished from Central Asia to the western end of the Mediterranean Sea. Classical Greek culture, especially philosophy, had a powerful influence on the Roman Empire, 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 Antiquity in Greece is preceded by the Greek Dark Ages (c. 1200 – c. 800 BC), archaeologically characterised by the protogeometric and geometric styles of designs on pottery. This period is succeeded, around the 8th century BC, by the Orientalizing Period during which a strong influence of Syro-Hittite, Jewish, Assyrian, Phoenician and Egyptian cultures becomes apparent. Top left: Black Youth Greece 300 B.C.E. Top left: A Minoan Coin 100 B.C.E.
Traditionally, the Archaic period of ancient Greece is considered to begin with Orientalizing influence, which among other things brought the alphabetic script to Greece, marking the beginning of Greek literature (Homer, Hesiod). The end of the Dark Ages is also frequently dated to 776 BC, the year of the first Olympic Games. The Archaic period gives way to the Classical period around 500 BC, in turn succeeded by the Hellenistic period at the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC.
By 1200 B.C, the invaders had destroyed many of the Mycenaean strongholds. And the end of Mycenaean civilization came at about 1100 B.C. Soon the presence of these newcomers had caused enough upheaval in the Mediterranean Islands and Southern Europe, so as to cause the original African inhabitants to band together and leave. Though the precise circumstances are unknown, it can be surmised that as more and more of these newcomers moved into the area, their need for more land and resources grew.
The natural result of this competition for land and resources would be conflicts and wars. As a consequence of these wars, there was a general collapse of the indigenous economies, and their trade. This general collapse prompted some members, of seemingly all of the countries, to band together and head East and South, perhaps to re-populate their former homelands.
This confederation of the people of the Mediterranean countries became known as "The Sea People". Among this group called "The Sea People" were the following.
The Peleset and Tjeker (Minoans) of Crete, they would later be known as the "Philistines" after they had settled in Southern Canaan. Over time, this area became known by a form of their name "Palestine".
The Lukka who may have come from the Lycian region of Anatolia, The Ekwesh and Denen seem to be identified with the original (Black) Greeks, The Shardana (Sherden) who may be associated with Sardinia, The Teresh (Tursha or Tyrshenoi), the Tyrrhenians - the Greek name for the Etruscans, and The Shekelesh (Sicilians?).
The fate of those that stayed behind, would of course be absorption. Unfortunately for the Sea People, their first choice for a new homeland was Egypt. Pharaoh Rameses III easily defeated them, but allowed the Cretans to settle in Canaan. Left: Apollo's depiction on a coin.
About 1100 B.C, the Mycenaean Greeks, refugees from their homeland, settled in Cyprus. They introduced their skills and produced many luxury articles in a mixed Mycenaean-Cypriot style.
Cyprus initially escaped the invasions that finally destroyed Mycenaean and Minoan culture, but its own culture did not last much longer. By about 1050 B.C, the White invaders reached Cyprus too, and its culture ceased to exist.
On Melos island, the most south westerly of the major islands of the Cyclades Islands. The great city of Phylakopi was destroyed in about 1100 B.C, by Dorian invaders. With the exit of the "Sea People", the Eurasian invaders are now in a quandary. They have taken it, but they don't know how to use it, or how to maintain it. After all, they are still illiterate nomads.
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There follows a period known as the Greek "Dark Ages" - the conventional time-frame for this period is from 1,200 to 900 B.C. The Eurasians seemed to have used this three hundred years well. By the end of this period, they seem to have figured things out, and have continued their expansion.
It is said that the Greek Dark Ages were a time of Ionian settlement; and a consolidation into an alliance called the Ionian League. It is also said that the Archaic Period of Greece began with a sudden and brilliant flash of art and philosophy on the coast of Anatolia.
And that the first Greek science was devised by the Milesian School of philosophy: (Miletus was an ancient city on the western coast of Anatolia that after being sacked by the Anatolian Carians, was later resettled extensively by the Ionian Greeks - about 1000 B.C.). If that is true, then much of the science and knowledge of the original Black Greek civilization, must have been destroyed by the wars of the White invasion, and was subsequently learned by Whites in Anatolia, from the Blacks there - who had a similarly advanced Black civilization - and then re-introduced into Greece by the White Greeks from Anatolia.
In this period, there was huge economic development in Greece, and also in its overseas colonies which experienced a growth in commerce and manufacturing. There was a great improvement in the living standards of the population. Some studies estimate that the average size of the Greek household, in the period from 800 BC to 300 BC, increased five times, which indicates citation needed a large increase in the average income of the population.
In the second half of the 6th century BC, Athens fell under the tyranny of Peisistratos and then of his sons Hippias and Hipparchos. However, in 510 BC, at the instigation of the Athenian aristocrat Cleisthenes, the Spartan king Cleomenes I helped the Athenians overthrow the tyranny.
Afterwards, Sparta and Athens promptly turned on each other, at which point Cleomenes I installed Isagoras as a pro-Spartan archon. Eager to prevent Athens from becoming a Spartan puppet, Cleisthenes responded by proposing to his fellow citizens that Athens undergo a revolution: that all citizens share in political power, regardless of status: that Athens become a "democracy". So enthusiastically did the Athenians take to this idea that, having overthrown Isagoras and implemented Cleisthenes's reforms, they were easily able to repel a Spartan-led three-pronged invasion aimed at restoring Isagoras. The advent of the democracy cured many of the ills of Athens and led to a 'golden age' for the Athenians.
Athens and Sparta would soon have to become allies in the face of the largest external threat ancient Greece would see until the Roman conquest. After suppressing the Ionian Revolt, a rebellion of the Greek cities of Ionia, Darius I of Persia, King of Kings of the Achaemenid Empire, decided to subjugate Greece. The Persian general Megabyzus re-subjugated Thrace and conquered Macedon in the early stages of the war, but the war eventually ended up with a Greek victory in 490 BC by the Athenian victory at the Battle of Marathon under Miltiades the Younger.
Xerxes I of Persia, son and successor of Darius I, attempted his own invasion 10 years later. Even though, at a crucial point in the war, the Persians briefly overran northern and central Greece, the Greek city-states managed to turn this war into a victory too. The notable battles of the Greco-Persian Wars include Marathon, Thermopylae, Salamis, and Plataea. The Greco-Persian Wars continued until 449 BC, led by the Athenians and their Delian League, during which time Macedon, Thrace, the Aegean Islands and Ionia were all liberated from Persian influence.
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The dominant position of the maritime Athenian 'Empire' threatened Sparta and the Peloponnesian League of mainland Greek cities.
Inevitably, this led to conflict, resulting in the Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC). Though effectively a stalemate for much of the war, Athens suffered a number of setbacks.
The Plague of Athens in 430 BC followed by a disastrous military campaign known as the Sicilian Expedition severely weakened Athens.
Around thirty per cent of the population died in a typhoid epidemic in 430–426 BC.
Sparta was able to foment rebellion among Athens's allies, further reducing the Athenian ability to wage war.
The decisive moment came in 405 BC when Sparta cut off the grain supply to Athens from the Hellespont.
Forced to attack, the crippled Athenian fleet was decisively defeated by the Spartans under the command of Lysander at Aegospotami.
In 404 BC Athens sued for peace, and Sparta dictated a predictably stern settlement: Athens lost her city walls (including the Long Walls), her fleet, and all of her overseas possessions.
Aesop Aesopus Lochmam 620 - 560 B.C.E
Fables existed before the printed word as folktales that were recounted orally.
Hundreds of fables have been attributed to the Greek slave? Aesop, who lived between 620 and 560 B.C.E.
Two hundred of his tales were gathered in about 320 B.C.E. to make up the earliest known collection.
During the medieval period, Latin translations of Aesop's fables were used as textbooks in schools.
"The Crow and the Pitcher," "The Lion and the Mouse," "The Hare and the Tortoise," and "The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse," are some of Aesop's fables.
Other ancient fable collections include The Panchatantra and The Jatakas, both from India.