It's edutainment time, folks. Everything u know and don't know about ancient greece is about to be inserted into your brain via this quiz game. Good luck.
Dive head first into the game if you want! Each card describes a historical event or era, which you should try to date as precisely as possible by clicking on the timeline below it. If you'd like a head start, you may spend a few minutes on the crash course below.
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December 10, 2016 11:22 AM
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Crash Course Ancient Greece
Bronze Age c. 3200–1200 BC
A civilization comparable to the early Bronze Age civilization of Mesopotamia evolved on the island of Crete south of Greece. This Minoan civilization built ‘palaces’ for storage and administration and used script systems, which have not been deciphered.
The Mycenaeans on mainland Greece lagged behind but eventually they took over Crete and adapted the Minoan script system to their own language – an early form of Greek.
The Mycenaean civilization and its script system disappeared during the events that upset the eastern Mediterranean world around 1200 BC collectively known as The Bronze Age Collapse.
Dark Age c. 1100–800 BC
Population in Greece was much decreased during the collapse and recovered only slowly. Due to the fragmented, hilly geography of Greece, small and numerous communities (poleis, singular polis) evolved rather than larger kingdoms. The term city-state may be used for a large polis.
Archaic Age c. 800–500 BC
Writing returned as the Phoenician alphabet was adapted to fit the Greek language.
The, by now, large population encouraged colonization as the hilly landscape was not well suited for grain farming. Greeks settled as far west as Spain and as far east as the eastern Black Sea.
Political systems based on the involvement of the whole community/polis evolved (note that the very word ‘politics’ is derived from ‘polis’).
Classical Period c. 500–338 BC
The Persian Empire had expanded all the way to the Aegean Sea and threatened the Greek way of life in general and the newly established democracy of Athens in particular. In a series of very famous battles, a Greek alliance – led by the dominant city-states Athens and Sparta – fought off the Persians.
In the aftermath Athens became the leading power in the Aegean Sea and prospered. Their abuse of power, however, caused smaller city-states to team-up with Sparta and enter a long war against Athens. Sparta was victorious in the end but history repeated itself when Sparta’s imperial ambitions were crushed by another team-up of city-states.
The war-weakened city-states were conquered by Macedonia, a Greek-speaking kingdom on the northern fringe of Greek culture.
Hellenistic Period c. 323–100 BC
Macedonia became a champion of Greek culture when Alexander III fulfilled his father’s ambition to finally put an end to Persian presence at the Aegean Sea. He entered Asia with the world’s best army and did not stop until he reached India 10 years later. The enormous Persian Empire, including Egypt, had fallen and became ruled by Macedonian generals. Alexandria, in Egypt, replaced Athens as the cultural center.