ch06 - Chapter 6 Classical Greece and the Hellenistic World...

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Chapter 6 Classical Greece and the Hellenistic World CHAPTER SUMMARY Classical Greece built on the legacy of earlier regional civilizations in the Middle East, Egypt, Crete, and Mycenae. Indo-European Greek-speaking invaders were assimilated. Internal warfare and new Indo- European invasions destroyed the early civilization, but Greek-speakers spread around the Aegean Sea. By 800 B.C.E. a new classical civilization began to emerge. Greek politics and culture flourished until 400 B.C.E. Then Alexander the Great formed a military empire and introduced the Hellenistic period, a time when Greek culture spread widely in the Middle East, North Africa, and southern Europe. The Greeks demonstrated new political and cultural capacities in philosophy and politics, and in scientific and mathematical advances. The Greek legacy influenced many later societies. The Persian Empire: Parallel Power in the Middle East. The Persians developed different political and cultural values than the Greeks. They influenced many world historical currents and today's nation of Iran. About 550 B.C.E. Cyrus the Great established a Persian empire as successor to the Mesopotamian states of the past. The empire tolerated traditional cultures and Persians advanced iron technology. Religious leader Zoroaster revised Sumerian beliefs to produce a religion emphasizing the importance of choosing between the divine forces of good and evil; a last judgment decided the eternal fate of each person. Later Persian rulers expanded the empire and provided much of the Middle East with a long period of peace and prosperity. Although ultimately conquered by Alexander, Persian language and culture remained influential. The Political Character of Classical Greece. Greek civilization emerged in small communities incorporating the heritage of Crete and Mycenae. Invading Indo-Europeans contributed a polytheistic religion carried through oral traditions embodying societal cultural values. Another stimulation to Greek civilization came from a general revival of trade in the eastern Mediterranean spurred by the introduction of coined money. Increased wealth spurred population growth and social change in Greece that encouraged new political forms. The Emergence of Greek Forms. The Greeks adapted the Phoenician alphabet to write their own language. The spread of literacy enhanced commercial exchanges and cultural life. The Iliad and the Odyssey were written down and provided a mythic foundation for Hellenic culture. In architecture the Greeks developed distinctive forms based upon an oblong building framed by pillars. Sculpture moved to a more realistic portrayal of the human body, while decorated pottery depicted scenes of human activity. The City-State as a Political Unit.
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ch06 - Chapter 6 Classical Greece and the Hellenistic World...

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