(800 BC- 146 BC) by Lance Wilson and Michael Holland

"A sympathetic friend can be quite as dear as a brother." - Homer (

The Greek civilization, one of the greatest in ancient history and the basis for modern Western Civilization, was centered around the southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula and the Aegean Sea. Ancient Greece stood out among others, because of its architecture and forms of government. Democracy originated here, as well as some of the strongest militaries. Greece was seperated into many different polises, or city states. Many of the city states did not get along, and it started many conflicts. Although they fought each other, they teamed up to fight against their common enemy, Persia. If Greece hadn't have won, many people believe that the world today would be completely different. Persia's culture would've been what spread out through the world.

A Spartan soldier carrying a shield and spear.

The ruins of the Parthenon, a temple built on the acropolis in Athens.
Sparta's military was one of the toughest and well trained militaries there was. From birth they were taught with virtues of Courage, Strength and Endurance. It was the toughest of warriors that became part of government. Citizenship was granted at age 30, and their military career ended at 60. The type of armor they wore was a chest piece, helmet andleg greaves. These together weren't what made them so strong, but a large 3 foot shield that protected everything from their knees to eyes. The Spartans use a battle formation, known as a phalanx. This formation set up all the hoplites (Spartan Warriors) in a box shape, and together they were invulnerable. Paired with Athens, Greece was able to defeat Persia.

Athens, originating in 508 BC on the Attica Peninsula, took the form of the world's first democratic government. Cleisthenes started the foundation of Athen's democracy, which was a direct democracy, where each individual could take part in voting. To gain Athenian citizenship, you would've had to have been 18, had 2 years of military training, and said an oath that said you would defend the city. Education was important to Athens, as well as grammar, music, public speaking, history, religion and philosophy, where Spartan's main focus was war. Athens believed in a patron God, known as Athena (Statue shown in the Important Leaders section down below.) Athena and Poseidon offered gifts to win the contest for the naming of the city of Athens. Athena offered an olivetree, which to Athenians was more important than Poseidon's mythical water horse. Athens was then named after Athena.

The Discobolos

A statue of Athena, the patron goddess of Athens.

View Greece and over 3,000,000 other topics on Qwiki.


This video, from PBS's NOVA series, describes how the ancient Greeks built the Parthenon.

Watch Secrets of the Parthenon on PBS. See more from NOVA.

Important Leaders:

Homer, the Poet who wrote the Iliad and the Odyssey.

1. Minos - He was a legendary King of Crete, and was known to put people in a maze called the Labyrinth, which contained a minotaur.
2. Homer - Homer was a blind Greek poet whose Epic Poems (The Iliad and the Odyssey) taught ideals of Courage and Honor.
3. Cleisthenes - He was an Athen leader that started the foundations of Democracy in 508 BC. Democracies today are the most common form of government.
4. Draco - The first king that in 621 BC made the first code of laws in Athens that was written and recorded besides just verbal laws.
5. Solon - Known as the "Law Giver", this aristocrat rose to power and abolished debtors slavery to solve all the problems at the time.


A loosely compacted yellowish-gray deposit of windblown sediment of which extensive deposits occur. This soil is found in areas all over Europe and Asia.
Aristocracy is the upper class who's power is passed on through the family. Aristocracy is a term widely used in ancient civilizations to describe those with power.
Ostracism was a large poll that once a person received 6,000 or more votes they could be exiled from Athens for 10 years or more.
The Ephors were 5 senior officials elected by the people in the Spartan government that oversaw the daily rulings of Sparta.
Graeci is the Latin term for Greece given by the Romans. The Greek people were also known to themselves as Hellenes.



For More Information:

Everything Ancient Greece
This site shows all about art, geography, mythology, olympics, people, wars, cultural society and the time periods.
The British Museum
Once again, the British Museum gives you info on everything! More about the acropolis, athens, daily Life, festivals & games, geography, gods and goddesses, Sparta, time, war and more on their knowledge and learning is all here.
Ancient Greece Architecture
This site gives you a quick look into Ancient Greece's main architectural structures like the theater, temple, palaces and stadiums.
Greek Gods
The best site for a summary of Greek Gods and what they stood for. The gods include Zues, Poseidon, Hades, Hestia, Hera, Ares, Athena, Apollo, Aphrodite, Hermes, Artemis and Hephaestus.
The Persian Wars
Every important battle in the Persian War with an in-depth summary are all here.

Important Events

  • 2000 - 1450 B.C. Minoan Civilization is started on the Island of Crete with Minos their ruler.
  • 1600 - 1100 B.C. Mycenaean Civilization is started under King Agamemnon.
  • 1250 B.C. The Trojan war between the Mycenaeans and Troy is started.
  • 508 B.C. Athens, the world's first democratic nation is created.
  • 492 - 479 B.C. The Persian Wars are started in which Cyrus II the Persian King conquered the Greek city-states.
  • 490 B.C. The Battle of Marathon starts, where Darius invaded Greece and Athens wins, although Athens was outnumbered by 20,000 soldiers.
  • 480 B.C. Darius's son Xeres sends a huge force of 100,000 to 200,00 to Greece to fight Athens and Sparta.
  • 447 B.C. The Parthenon is built on Acropolis to honor Athena.
  • 431 - 404 B.C. The Peloponnesian War begins where Athens holds of their walls from Sparta.
  • 776 B.C. The first Olympic Games are held to honor Zeus.