Text of VERY ANCIENT GREECE MINOAN Civilization-Crete & other islands MYCENEAN Civilization – mainland...
VERY ANCIENT GREECE MINOAN Civilization-Crete & other islands MYCENEAN Civilization mainland Greece
Consists of the mainland (southern part of the Balkan Peninsula) which extends into the Mediterranean Sea. Also includes thousands of islands, largest of which is Crete.
The Aegean Sea lies to the east, and the Ionian Sea lies to the west. The southern part, called the Peloponnesus, is almost cut off by the Gulf of Corinth. Asia Minor lies to the East.
GREECE-GEOGRAPHY Land-thin, rocky soil No major rivers Jagged coastline; all parts close to the sea. Because of this many early people of Greece became fishermen, sailors or traders Covered with mountains that separated communities from each other.
Geography made it hard for early Greeks to develop a sense of unity: Covered with rugged mountains that made land travel difficult, and therefore separated communities from each other Rivers were short and shallow, so they were not useful for navigation & travel between communities.
MINOAN CIVILIZATION- The earliest civilization in what is now Greece was on the island of Crete, and arose about 3000BC, flourished until about 1400BC This civilization is called Minoan Civilization Named for Minos, the legendary king of Crete in the story of Theseus Excavated by Sir Arthur Evans
Legends have bits of truth: of Theseus has bits of truth! Minoan Crete may be the origin of the legend of Atlantis. Minoan Crete was the setting for the famous story of Theseus Crete ruled by king Minos On Crete, there was a maze-like building called the labyrinth, where a monster-the Minotaur- half man/half bull lived
Athens was required to send 7 youth & 7 maidens to be eaten by the Minotaur Theseus, son of Aegeus, king of Athens, volunteered to go. His father told him to change the black sail to white on the way home, if he survived.
King Minoss daughter Ariadne gave him a knife and a ball of string Theseus tied the string to the door & hid the knife He killed the Minotaur & used the string to find his way back
Theseus, Ariadne & the other Athenians sailed away Theseus left Ariadne on an island Theseus forgot to change the sail to white, and his father jumped in the Aegean Sea.
Bits of truth Great civilization on Crete Great maze-like building, may correspond to the Palace of Knossos Bulls had great importance
Arose about 3000BC This civilization entered around several palace centers, the largest being the Palace of Knossos. These palace centers were not just the residence of the ruler, but the hub of the society. Rooms for storage of trade goods, rooms where craftsmen worked, and religious shrines. These palace center had advanced plumbing, including running water & sewage drains http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4XJd88 cTRsU&feature=related
Artists rendition of the Palace of Knossos
Palace of Knossos (over 1500 rooms) rooms for the storage of goods to be traded rooms where craftsmen worked rooms that appear to be religious shrines Beautiful open staircases & beautiful frescoes (paintings made on wet plaster) Advanced plumbing, including running water & sewage drains
WRITING Minoan Civilization had writing, called Linear A, but it has not been deciphered The language is unknown
Sailing and trade were the basis of the wealth of Minoan civilization. Crete set up trading posts on other Aegean islands & was a hub of Mediterranean trade
Relatively peaceful no fortification walls around the palaces, and no large stashes of weapons. Art does not show scenes of war. However, Crete had a strong navy to protect trade.
Religion: bulls and a mother goddess played an important role. We know this from statues & images of bulls and bull horn, as well as statues of what seems to be a mother goddess.
Art Shows a joyful culture, appreciation of nature, much time spent outside. Famous frescoes ( paintings on wet plaster) include: bull jumping, elegant ladies; leaping dolphins
Women apparently had high status, because they are represented in art more often than men and appear to be moving freely in society.
What happened to Minoan Civilization About 1628BC-powerful volcanic eruption on the nearby island of Thera (70 miles away) caused damage on Crete. Minoan civilization was weakened and the fleet probably destroyed. Minoan civilization declined but did not collapsethe palaces were repaired.
Fall of Minoan Civilization About 1450BC- Crete was invaded and conquered by mainland Greeks - Mycenaean Greeks. We know this because in 1450 they abruptly changed writing system and language; stopped using Linear A, started using Linear B. Linear A undeciphered writing system, unknown language, native to Minoan Crete. Linear B writing system deciphered in 1953 by Michael Ventris; the language is an early form of Greek, native to mainland Greece. About 1400BC the palaces and cities were abandoned. The civilization came to an end. Maybe the Minoans rebelled against the Greeks and there was a conflict that destroyed the civilization. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jz3d5x-MUT4
MYCENAEAN CIVILIZATION-on mainland Greece About 2000BC, another Greek civilization arose on the mainland of Greece. They reached their height around 1600BC It is called Mycenaean civilization. The largest city was Mycenae The Mycenaeans were the early Greeks who lived on and controlled the mainland of Greece, from about 2000BC-1200BC.
Mycenaeans/Minoans The Myceneans were more warlike than the Minoans. About 1450BC, the Mycenaeas invaded and took control of Crete This led to the downfall and disappearance of Minoan civilization in about 1400BC.
Archeological Excavations Both the city of Troy and the city of Mycenae were excavated by Heinrich Schliemann The island of Crete with its beautiful palace of Knossos was excavated by Sir Arthur Evans
Mycenaeans - warlike The Mycenaeans were apparently very war-like, much more so than the Minoans. We can tell this from the fact that their cities were surrounded by thick walls, and many weapons have been found in them. Also, the most famous story about them, the story of the Trojan War, is about warfare. They lived by trading and by raiding other people around the Mediterranean
Mycenae Lion Gate
They were a wealthy culture, with large amounts of gold in their tombs. Homer repeatedly called the city of Mycenae, Mycenae rich in gold.
Social/Polical organization * Mycenaean society had family groups, clans and tribes. At the basis of society was the family group. Several family groups made up a clan (several related families), which was led by a warrior. Several clans made up a tribe. Each tribe (several clans) was led by a War Chief or Warrior King.
The King of Mycenae was called the High King, who had authority over the lower kings who led each tribe.
The Mycenaeans did have a writing system. It is called Linear B. It was translated in the 1950s by Michael Ventris. Michael Ventris found that Linear B was an earlier form of written Greek, with basically the same language (although an older version) but entirely different written symbols from the ones later used by the Greeks. Remember, Linear A was the Minoan written language, and it has not been decifered.
What we know about the Mycenaeans In about 1450BC, the Mycenaeans invaded & conquered Crete and the Minoan Civilization. This led to the downfall and disappearance of Minoan civilization in about 1400BC. As you already know, the Minoan civilization disappeared about 1400BC, about 50 years after the Mycenaeans conquered it.
About 1250BC, the Mycenaeans launched an attack & destroyed the city of Troy, on the coast of Asia Minor. This was the great Trojan War.
The Trojan War was almost certainly a real war. However, the story of the Trojan War was told orally for about 500 years, and the details greatly embellished. It was written down by Homer in about 750BC, in his great epics: The Iliad epic about the wrath of Achilles, an incident involving the Greek hero Achilles in the 9th year of the Trojan War. The Odyssey epic about