Ancient Greeks invented historiography – the habit of keeping a written record of events that took place in the past. Also, their own history is very important for the whole western world.
Some 2,500 years ago, the Greeks had a huge influence on the world around them. The ancient Greeks believed in many gods and goddesses who lived on Mount Olympus.
Like most other powerful nations, they were great warriors and architects.
The Greeks were brilliant
The Romans invented the name Greece and Greek; the Greeks referred to themselves as Hellenes – and they still do.
Throughout their rich history, they lived in a territory bigger than today’s Greece, and it included continental Greece, as well as various islands in the Ionian, Aegean sea and Mediterranean sea.
There were Greek colonies in Sicily, Italy, North Africa, Turkey, and even France.
There were a number of small city-states, such as Sparta, Athens, Olympia, Thebes, and Corinth. Each city-state had its own territory, government, a set of laws, and an army.
There was always a rivalry between different Greek city-states, and they often fought each other.
For example, the powerful city of Athens and the ancient Greek city Sparta were frequently at war.
However, the Greeks knew how to put their differences aside and fight a bigger enemy.
A joint Pan-Hellenic army managed to fight off the Persian Empire.
All Greece was in control of a single ruler only once in the whole ancient history – and that ruler was Alexander the Great of Macedon.
Alexander’s empire eventually included countries as distant as India and Afghanistan.
The period after the Mycenaean age is called the Dark Age, because there are no written or material objects preserved from that period, and we know almost nothing about it.
The so-called golden age of Greece began around 480BC, and it lasted for 200 years.
During that time, the people of Greek city-states built monumental temples, wrote plays and poems, established a number of sciences, and invented democracy.
Because of all those achievements, this period is called Classical Greece.
Why is ancient Greek history so important?
Ancient Greeks laid the foundation for the whole western culture; they invented the alphabet, established sciences and literary genres, and lived in a democracy.
When did the Trojan War take place?
The Trojan War happened during the Mycenaean period.
Did the Roman invasion change the life and culture of ancient Greece?
No, it was the other way round – the Romans admired the Greek civilization and they adopted many of its values and customs.
Which ruler made a unified Greek empire?
It was Alexander the Great.
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