Ancient Greece reminds us of those who have always been the mightier than the mightiest. It reminds us of Achilles, the Trojan War, the legends of Greek Gods and Goddesses, Greek art, architecture, literature and what not. The history of ancient Greece speaks of those undaunted riches of an enlightened archaic civilization.
The Origin Of Ancient Greece
In Greek history, ancient Greece is a period whose existence has been for one thousand years and it ended with the advent of Christianity. Conventionally the year 776 BC is marked as the beginning of the Greek civilization and the period ends with the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC. Ancient Greek civilization had a tremendous impact on language, politics, education, philosophy, science and arts of the Western world.
No doubt, the role of Greece has really been significant in kindling the flame of Renaissance in Western Europe. However, the Greek Dark Age (1100-800 BC), the archaic period (800-500 BC), the classical period (500-323 BC) and Alexandrian Period (323-146 BC) are the four essential periods of Greek civilization.
In the history of Mycenaean Greece the period from 1600 BC to 1100 BC is known for the reign of King Agamemnon and the historical struggle for superiority in the war of Troy. These we come to know from the epics of Homer. Authenticity of the sources of ancient Greek civilization is primarily based upon the texts of Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon, Demosthenes, Plato and Aristotle, which were mostly either Athenian or pro-Athenian. However, these writers have emphasized on political, military and diplomatic history and have completely disregarded the economic and social sphere of the Greek Civilization.
Society Or Social Life Of Ancient Greece
The people of ancient Greek society were divided as free and slaves. Societal categorization was also done on the basis of status distinction based on birth (son of a king is a king and that of a slave is definitely a slave) and the significance of religion. A great distinction also persisted between the male and female sections of the society.
People who were free could be citizens of the Greek society. The slaves however were not allowed to enjoy the right of citizenship. In this society, social reputation was not the pass or permission to enjoy special civil rights. In Athens, however society was divided on the basis of wealth. The amount of affluence a person possessed could help him gain a higher social status in Athens. In Sparta, equality was the basis of Greek male Society, but it could only be acquired after the completion of education.
Way Of Life In Ancient Greece
In Greece, city dwellers generally lived in single-family homes or low apartment buildings. This however, depended on the amount of wealth they possessed. Most of the public buildings, temples and residences were located at the center of the city-state or agora (assembly place). The commoners of Greece also preferred to stay in small villages and farmhouses, which were situated across the state’s countryside.
People of ancient Greek society principally ate barley porridge fantastically flavored with cheese, vegetables, olive oil and onions. A negligible portion pf the population preferred consumption of meat, as animal sacrifice was a part of the state festival.
Greek Gods and Goddesses
Ancient Greek inhabitants were Pantheists (worshippers of multiple gods and goddesses). In fact, temples in Greek society were the centers of art, architecture and culture. Some notable Greek gods and goddesses are:
- Zeus – King of Gods
- Poseidon – God of the Sea
- Goddesses Athena – Protectress of the city of Athens
- Hedes – God of Inferno
- Apollo – Greek God of War
- Dionysus – Greek God of Fertility
Greek religion speaks of several semi Gods and Goddesses and Greek legends are strewn with numerous nymphs and magical entities.
Architecture And Literature Of Ancient Greece
Greek architecture can still amaze masses with their magnificence. The Coliseum, the Parthenon and numerous other Greek edifices would mesmerize you by driving your imagination to an age of artistic spectacle. The epics Iliad and Odyssey encompass the joys and thorns of human life and they are in fact the two most brilliant Greek literary creations widely appreciated down the ages. Greek literature also boasts of great tragedies and comedies, which can pride themselves in their relevance, still today.
Ancient Greece has been an epitome of cultural, religious and societal splendor. Ancient Greece is an ocean of antiquity, for the more you delve into the depths of this ancientness, the more treasures you ought to discover.