NOTES ON THE GREEK HERITAGE

  1. Hellas was 2/3 stone and surrounded by water (See map)
  2. Hellenes united by common language, culture, victory over Persians, not by common government or ruler
  3. Minoan Civilization (2000 1450 BC)
    1. Centered in Crete, magnificent palace at Knossos
    2. Used Linear A (not deciphered)
  4. Mycenaean Age (14th 13th centuries BC)
    1. Achaeans
    2. Centered at polis of Mycenae
    3. Used Linear B
    4. Fought Trojan War described by Homer in Iliad
    5. Civilization collapsed c. 1180 BC (Dorians or civil war?)
  5. Dark Ages (12th 9th centuries BC)
    1. Writing disappeared
    2. Described in Homeric epics Iliad and Odyssey

                                                               i.      Ruler tribal leaders, warrior society

                                                             ii.      Gods and goddesses possessed human characteristics and lived on Mount Olympus

                                                            iii.      Worship consisted of sacrifices

  1. Archaic or Lyric Age (8th 6th centuries BC)
    1. Sought relief from overpopulation and oppression

                                                               i.      Colonization of Mediterranean

                                                             ii.      Expansion of trade and industry

    1. Shift in power from tribal monarchies to aristocratic oligarchies

                                                               i.      Aristoi superior people; aristocracy government by best

                                                             ii.      Oligarchy government by a few

    1. Conceded reforms and law codes when challenged by commoners (demos)
    2. Overthrown by tyrants who appealed to demos

 

 

EXAMPLE OF ATHENS

  1. 750 BC monarchy replaced by aristocratic oligarchy (archons) who governed with council of tribal leaders
  2. 546 BC oligarchy was overthrown by Pisistratus
  3. 510 BC tyranny overthrown with help of Spartan army; led to reform of government by CLEISTHENES, father of Athenian democracy
    1. Athens divided into 150 demes (each with demarch); demes organized into 10 tribes (15 per tribe)
    2. LEGISLATURE

                                                               i.      COUNCIL OF 500 or BOULE made up of 50 citizens chosen by lot from each tribe; counselors were 30+

                                                             ii.      ASSEMBLY or ECCLESIA, composed of all citizen males 20+ met once a month

    1. EXECUTIVE: 10 archons chosen by lot from tribes; terms of one year
    2. JUDICIARY: 6,000 jurymen chosen by lot from tribes
    3. MILITARY: 10 generals, one from each tribe
    4. HOW DEMOCRATIC?

                                                               i.      40,000 citizen males (13% of total population)

                                                             ii.      60,000 Metics or resident aliens

                                                            iii.      120,000 slaves

                                                           iv.      80,000 free women and children