Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Post #1 - 25 Greek Fun Facts

List of information I recently found out about the Greek Civilization:

1. Minoan artists carved their figures from bronze, gold, ivory, and silver, and painted frescoes, which were wet plaster paintings, on palace walls.
2. The Minoan civilization was named after the legendary king of Crete, King Minos.
3. The center of the Greek identity was represented by the polis, which is the Greek word for city-state.
4.  In most city-states, the original fort was built on an acropolis, or hill.
5. The Greeks placed much importantce in the political independance of the different polis, and each city-state formed it's own kind of government or law.
6. The oracles were places in which it was believed that the God's spoke through mortals.
7. The Olympic Games were originally held to honor the Greek God's.
8. Aristocracy means to rule by the best.
9. Heavy infantry who carried long spears were called hoplites.
10. Myths were traditional stories about Gods, Goddesses, and heros.
11. While Athens was known for it's law and government, Sparta was known for it's physical strength and discipline of the people.
12. People the Spartans conquered were forced to work for them and were called helots.
13. Draco is believed to have created Athen's first written law code around 621 B.C.
14. Cleisthenes broke up the power of the aristocrats and created the Council of Five Hundred.
15. The tyrant Peisistratus improved Athen's economy and divided nobles' estates among poor farmers.
16. Agriculture was not the mainstay of Athen's economy.
17. Athenian women were citizens, but could not vote, nor could they own or inherit property.
18. The main purpose of marriage was the have children.
19. Once boys reached the age of seven, they came under the care of a male slave, called their hoplite.
20. Athenians would not place the value of military practice over literature and education.
21. The Delian League is an alliance of Greek city-states.
22. Thucydides is a historian who commented on the tyranny of Athens.
23. The Peloponnesian War was a war between the Greeks and Spartans.
24. The greatest Greek statesmen of all time was Pericles.
25. Themistocles was the Athenian leader who tricked Xerxes and took out nearly all of the Persian fleet.

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