The Trojan WarThe Trojan War took place in approximately the 13th century. Theancient Greeks defeated the City of Troy. The Trojan War started after anincident at the wedding feast of Peleus, the king of Thessaly, and Thetis, a seagoddess. All the gods and goddesses of Mt. Olympus had been invited except Eris,the goddess of discord. Eris was offended and tried to stir up trouble amongthe guests at the feast. She sent a golden apple inscribed “For the mostbeautiful.” Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite each claimed the apple as their own.
Paris judged the quarrel and awarded the apple to Aphrodite because she hadpromised him Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world. Helen was alreadymarried to Kin Menelaus of Sparta but when visited by Paris, she fled with Paristo Troy. Menelaus organized Greek war against Troy to get Helen back. TheGreeks battled for ten years but could not defeat Troy. The fall of Troyoccurred when the Greeks built a large hollow horse and placed it outside thewalls of Troy.
The Trojans took the horse inside and thought the had won thewar and the horse was a gift from the Greeks. Later that night, the Greeksstormed from the horse and opened the gates to allow their fellow warriors inand the Greeks conquered the City of Troy.
Ancient Greece was the birthplace of Western civilization about 2500years ago. Greek civilization consisted mainly of small city-states. A city-state consisted of a city or town and the surrounding villages and farmland.
The Greek city-states were independent and quarreled often with one-another.
These city states established the world’s first democratic government. TheGreeks believed that certain gods and goddesses watched over them and directedtheir daily lives. Families would try to please these gods by offeringsacrifices, gifts, and ceremonies. Greeks flocked to oracles to consult priestsand priestesses to answer questions and fore-tell the future. Greek men enjoyeddrinking, talking, and dancing at parties. They also like sports and religiousfestivals Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle are the most important Greekphilosophers. Socrates taught by carefully questioning his listeners to exposethe weaknesses of their ideas and arguments. Plato explored such subjects asbeauty, justice, and good government. Aristotle summed up the achievements ofGreek philosophy and science. His authority on many topics remainedunquestioned for more than 100 years Most Ancient Greeks were suspicious ofphilosophers and their theories. They continued to believe in superstitions andin myths. In 399 BC, an Athens jury sentenced Socrates to death for showingdisrespect to the gods. Greek architects, sculptors, and painters made greatcontributions to the arts. They were trying to create ideal beauty based onequal proportions. Greek sculptors portrayed figures of gods, goddesses, andhuman beings. The most famous Greek sculptors were Phidais, Praxiteles,Lysippus, and Myron. Music often was played with Greek plays. Melody wascommon and harmony was not. The government of Athens was headed by Pericles formost of the Golden Age. An assembly of all male citizens would pass the laws,at the height of its power, Athens had the most advanced democracy in Greece.
The Parthenon in Athens is a Greek Temple. Athena was the goddess of wisdom andwarfare. Apollo the god of the sun and of poetry represented the ideal youngman.
The ancient Greeks built Athens upon a great plateau upon a great hill.
The flat hill covers about ten acres. Athens became known as the Acropolis.
The Greek words akro and polis mean high city. The Athenians built temples andpublic buildings on the Acropolis. By 1200 BC the Athenians had built a wallaround most of the city. The Athenians built a temple to Athena on the hill.
Pericles also began the Propylaea in addition tot he Parthenon. The Propylaeawas never completed. All citizens except those of the city’s poorest class wereeligible for the council and for all other offices. Women were not citizens andcould not vote or hold office. All public officials were chosen annually bydrawing lots. Generals were elected. Unpopular government officials could bebanished for ten years by vote of the people.
The Coliseum is one of the chief landmarks of Rome. Romans watchedgladiators fight each other or animals. Forums were the center of public lifein he city. Public meetings were held here and many important buildings andstatues stood there.
The Parthenon is an ancient Greek temple in the city of Athens. Itstands on a hill called the Acropolis overlooking the city of Athens. TheParthenon is dedicated to the goddess Athena. The best Greek sculptors anddesigners erected the Parthenon between 447 and 432 BC When the Turkish peopleowned the Parthenon, they filled it with gunpowder which exploded and destroyedthe central part of the building. The Parthenon was built entirely of Pentelicmarble. One room in the Parthenon contained a huge gold and ivory statue ofAthena. Around the top of the outer wall above the columns of the Parthenon wasa set of small sculptured panels called metopes.
Athens was a city known to protect people from the Athenians. TheGreeks living in Athens were people with a passion for perfection. Artistsexcelled in beautiful works of love, beauty, and passion. Pericles was leaderof the Athenians and built Acropolis to honor Athena. 39 foot high statue ofAthena sits in the town. Many people and small countries looked to Athens forprotection. Athens was completed in 50 years. Sculptors such as the greatFidius designed statues to display in Athens. We as Americans took so much fromthe Greeks. Politics, Rhetoric, biology, geology, first to calculate atom,position of heavenly bodies, all were first done by the Greeks. GreatPhilosophers included Socrates, Plato, Hypocrates, Pythagorean, Pindler, Escelus.
Athens had the worlds first democracy. The citizens participated males only inthe government. We took the Greek form of Government and applied it to AmericanGovernment. Our founding fathers knew Latin and Greek and realized theimportance of the language. The Greeks erected many statues to honor their godsand one was found in 1928 by divers. The found statue, one dedicated toPoseidon, god of the sea was probably stolen by the Romans but the ship sunk andthe statue was under water for hundreds of years. Sea at Sunneam was the nameof a temple built in honor for Poseidon. Zeus, the father and leader of theGods liven on Mt. Olympus. Delphi was an important Greek Temple for Apollo.
The Greek people were highly educated and built stadiums and offeredsacrifices to uphold their high religion. The oracle of Delphi, was a wellknown oracle. The theater originated as a place for religious festivals.
Amphitheater was for plays about woman. The Olympics were every four years.
The competitors competed naked and their were cheering sections along the sideof the competition area. 770 BC was the first Olympic Games played. PhysicalBeauty was a great thing for Greeks. Sculptors tried to capture great eye-pleasing physiques for their statues. Homosexual activity was accepted betweenmen and boys. A plague in Athens wiped out Pericles and many Greek people.
The Greek people inspired cultures and countries for years to come andwe are all in debt to the Greek people for the knowledge and wisdom they showedto invent new theories, laws, ideas, and ways of life. The Greek people werevery advanced for their time and without them we would not know many of thethings we know now. Pythagorean helped us to develop math skills and Socratesas well as other philosophers taught us theories of science and evolution.
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