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Introduction_to_Greek_Civilization - peoples We think more...

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GREEK CIVILIZATION Greek Terms : HELLAS – the Greek word for Greece HELLENES – what the Greeks called themselves HELLENIC – refers to the culture of Greece itself, especially Athens in the 4 th and 5 th centuries B.C.E. HELLENISTIC – means “Greek-like” and pertains to the empire of Alexander the Great in the 2 nd century B.C.E. The Hellespont – [lit. “Greek Bridge”] the narrow, 2-mile-wide strait of water dividing Europe from Asia across which Xerxes of Persia built two pontoon bridges in 480 B.C.E. What is the significance of the Greeks and why do we study them ? 1. THEY WERE THE FIRST TRULY WESTERN CIVILIZATION. Greeks had different attitudes and ideas than other Eastern
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Unformatted text preview: peoples. We think more in the way the Greeks did than in the way other early civilizations did. The English poet Shelley wrote, “ We are all Greeks ,” meaning that our culture is more indebted to the Greeks than any other. 2. THEY WERE THE FIRST TRULY HUMANISTIC CIVILIZATION. Greeks placed man , rather than the gods or nature, at the center of their culture. 3. THEY INFLUENCED ALL OTHER WESTERN CIVILIZATIONS. Though they may have borrowed much from Mesopotamia and Africa, the Greeks established many of the forms and ideas that are the basis of Western culture....
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