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HIST Lecture #3 8-30

HIST Lecture #3 8-30 - Lecture#3 The Rise of Classical...

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Lecture #3 8/30/11 The Rise of Classical Greek Civilization: Historical Context, Politics, Society, and Wars A notion of human freedom, individualism, political democracy, and the primacy of rational/secular thought were a large part of Greek history. Rational thought used reason to solve problems and established virtues without a religion. However, at many times they went against these principles. For example, the democrats killed Socrates for being free thinking. The Peloponnesian War is their civil war and Sparta wins, not the free thinking individuals. Greek civilization collapses. Today’s government stems more from Rome and the medieval German states than the Greeks. During the Renaissance, Italians began to think of themselves as direct descendents of the Greeks. The rest of the West started thinking this way as well, especially in the 19 th century. This came out of a desire to create a linear narrative back to their origins. The U.S. Constitution is based more on the Spartan democracy than Athenian. Between 1900-1450 BCE, the Minoan civilization flourished on the island of Crete. They are famous for the mythical king, King Minos (the minotaur in the labyrinth). However, they did not speak a Greek language. The Mycenaean civilization attacked Troy. Very militaristic, and may have conquered the Minoans. Understood as the first real Greek civilization, because they spoke Linear B, the first Greek alphabet. They worshipped anthropomorphic gods. Historians speculate that Troy was a trading war, not over Helen. Troy was discovered by German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann. He popularized and fantasized the Greeks in Western world in 19 th century. Their warrior ethos led to their decline and collapse in 1200 BCE.
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