Ancient Greece: Birthplace of Democracy

Overview

The next time you visit a theater to see a play or take part in a vote, you can thank the ancient Greeks. They invented both! The ancient Greeks also invented political speeches, fables, and more. Learn how the strength of Athens, along with open minded rulers, helped Greek ideas live on to modern times.

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Overview

The next time you visit a theater to see a play or take part in a vote, you can thank the ancient Greeks. They invented both! The ancient Greeks also invented political speeches, fables, and more. Learn how the strength of Athens, along with open minded rulers, helped Greek ideas live on to modern times.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Judy DaPolito
This brief history of ancient Greece begins with quick descriptions of the foot and chariot races of the Olympic Games that were held every four years beginning in 776 BC. The second chapter describes the first peoples to settle Greece: the Minoans, who lived on the island of Crete from 2200 BC, and the Mycenaeans, who began building their cities on the mainland around 1600 BC and conquered the Minoans around 1450 BC. Around 1220 BC they conquered the city of Troy, but by 1200 BC their own cities had mostly disappeared, and from 1100-800 BC records of Greek civilization disappear. The third chapter picks up in 700 BC, with the development of hundreds of independent city-states. The two most important of these city-states were Athens and Sparta. Athens's location near the Aegean Sea allowed it to become a naval and trade authority. The Athenians built a democratic government in which all free male citizens could vote, though women and slaves could not. Sparta, on the other hand, was in a mountainous region protected from outsiders, with a government ruled by two kings and a council of elders. All adult males were full-time soldiers. East of Greece was Persia, whose King, Darius I, attacked Marathon, a village near Athens, in 490 BC. The Athenians defeated him, in spite of having only 10,000 soldiers to Darius's 60,000. Later, Darius's son Xerxes attacked Greece with 200,000 soldiers, but Athens and Sparta united to defeat him. From 461 to 429 BC, Pericles led the Athenian democracy and helped make it great in the arts, science, and government. Once the Athenians became so powerful, however, Sparta became their enemy, declaring war in 431 BC in a conflict called the Peloponnesian War that lasted for 27 years. By 359 BC, Philip II of Macedonia attacked the Greeks and defeated them in 338 BC. Later, his son Alexander (the Great) conquered Persia and Egypt, spreading Greek traditions and learning throughout a broad region. At his death, however, his generals divided his empire and lessened the power of Greece. The fifth chapter discusses ancient Greece's lasting contributions in government, architecture, science, medicine, drama, literature, and philosophy. The text is well illustrated and includes boxes with definitions and additional facts. Following the text are a two-page timeline, a ten-item glossary, three references for further reading, a FactHound link to appropriate Internet sites, and an index. The book is part of the "Fact Finders: Great Civilizations" series. Reviewer: Judy DaPolito
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429672375
  • Publisher: Capstone Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2011
  • Series: Great Civilizations
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 8 - 11 Years
  • Lexile: 750L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.10 (d)

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