Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Milestones in the History of Ancient Greece

1. The Rise and Fall of the Minoans (3000-1500BC) – Minoans were the forerunners of the Greeks.
2. The Mycenean Hiatus – This is the Period when the Trojan War took place. The stuff that legends are made up of.
3. Invasion by the Doric Greeks – Although they would set up the foundations for Classical Greeks the Dorians were originally viewed as barbarians. Talk about improving your image.
4. Colonization of Asia Minor – The Greeks colonized modern Turkey. The Turks would make up for this by colonizing the Greek Peninsula almost two millennia later.
5. The Birth of Western Philosophy – nobody can accuse the Greeks of apathy toward knowledge even if some of their theories were way off the mark.
6. The Emergence of the City States – Dawning of the Classical Period – This is the Greece most of us are aware of. Romanticized but palatable.
7. The Persian Wars – The Greeks had to slug it out with the powerful Persian Empire before they could be deemed masters of the Mediterranean.
8. The Age of the Playwright – Some say that Shakespeare, Shaw and O’Neill would be nothing with out Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and Aristpphanes. The Greeks turned the play into an art form.
9. The Golden Age of Pericles – The Golden Age of Greece when the Philosopher king Pericles ran Athens.
10. The Peloponnesian Wars – Athens v Sparta or the Geeks vs the Jocks. No happy ending here as the Jocks win.
11. Macedonian Emergence – A new type of barbarian takes control. No surprise in that it too comes from the North.
12. The Conquests of Alexander the Great – The most Brilliant military commander of the time. Alexander makes short work of his opponents especially the Persians.
13. The Hellenic Period – Greek culture spreads in the post-Alexander era. After the Empire is divided amongst the Macedonian ruler’s generals.
14. Fall to Rome – Greeks are toppled by an old enemy: Rome. Legendary descendants of the Trojans
15. Christianization of the Greeks – Its goodbye to the Olympian pantheon as the Greeks embrace Christianity.

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