The Problem of Historical Perspective (Unit 5)

Greek Culture

?Eruption of Thera

1650 bce - 1550 bce

"Akrotiri’s prosperity came to a sudden end with the massive and cataclysmic eruption of the island’s volcano. Preceded by earthquakes of a magnitude of 7 on the Richter scale which destroyed the town and created 9m high tidal waves, the eruption itself probably occurred a few days later and released an estimated 15 billion tons of magma into the atmosphere, making it the largest volcanic eruption of the last 10,000 years. The entire island was buried in a thick layer of ash, Trianda on Rhodes was destroyed, 7cm of ash covered sites in northern Crete, Anatolia suffered from the ash fall-out and even ice-cores in Greenland demonstrate the far-reaching effects of the eruption. The precise date of the event is much debated amongst scholars with wildly different estimates vigorously defended in order to support various hypotheses for other events such as the destruction of Minoan palaces or Mycenaean imperialistic ambitions in the Aegean. The most agreed upon date ranges somewhere between 1650 and 1550 BCE (with ice-core and carbon-dating studies suggesting the earlier date)."
Cartwright, Mark. "Thera." Ancient History Encyclopedia. Ancient History Encyclopedia Limited, 7 July 2012. Web. 03 Mar. 2014.

The Heroic Age

1600 bce - 1100 bce

Linked to the heroic tales of Oedipus, Hercules, and the voyage of the Argonauts.

Late Bronze Age weaponry

Destruction of the Palace of Knossos

1450 bce


850 bce - 750 bce

Writing of epics:
Iliad & Odyssey attributed 2 Homer
may have been collections of many writers

historians continue to debate the proper date for Homer's writings.

Rise of the Greek City-States

800 bce - 500 bce

Independent city-states grow & thrive

First Olympic Games

776 bce

Greek coins created

600 bce

Classical Age of Greece

500 bce - 334 bce

Herodotus lives

484 bce - 413 bce

date of death may be 425 bce

"Father of History" or the "Father of Lies" ?
"He was called The Father of History’ by the Roman writer and orator Cicero for his famous work The Histories but has also been called “The Father of Lies” by critics who claim thesehistories’ are little more than tall tales. Criticism of Herodotus’ work seems to have originated among Athenians who took exception to his account of the Battle of Marathon (490 BCE) and, specifically, which families were due the most honor for the victory over the Persians. More serious criticism of his work has to do with the credibility of the accounts of his travels."
Mark, Joshua J. "Herodotus" Ancient History Encyclopedia. 02 September 2009. <>

Herodotus publishes *The Histories*

415 bce

Each of the 9 chapters dedicated 2 a Muse

Hellenistic Era

334 bce - 146 bce

Greek Politics

Minoan Civilization

2000 bce - 1500 bce

on Crete
w/Nile Valley & Mesopotamia & Cyprus

tin + copper = bronze

Minoans traded *Tin & *Saffron (from crocus flower)

Archeological Remains:
Palace @ Knossos
banquet halls
artisan work stations
relig. shrines (polytheistic--> mother goddess & bull)
frescoes (dolphins, gardens, bulls... men+women in public)

Mysterious Disappearance
?tidal wave
definitely invaders!... = Mycenaeans (greek speaking ppl)

Mycenaean Civilization

1400 bce - 1200 bce

conquer Crete & mainland

$ in sea TRADE
w/Sicily, Italy, Egypt, Mesopotamia

warrior kings

Trojan War

1250 bce

Troy vs. Mycenae

?economic rivalry or romance?

Homeric Age

1200 bce - 800 bce

Age of decline
Greece = villages
no writing

Dorian invaders from north

Phalanx + w/Iron Weapons

650 bce

Iron= cheaper than bronze
more citizens had weapons, helmets, shields, swords

phalanx= armed foot soldiers
protected city-states

Solon = archon of Athens

594 bce

archon = chief official

outlaws debt slavery
opened high office positions to citizens
grant citizenship 2 foreigners
Athenian assembly given more power
export wine + olive oil (helps farmers)

Council of 500 in Athens

507 bce

created by Cleisthenes
legislative body
all male citizens over 30 yrs old = member

Persian Wars

490 bce - 479 bce

Key Battles:
Darius v Athens @ Marathon
Xerxes v Sparta (Leonidas) @ Thermopylae
Burning of Athens
Athens v Persian fleet @ strait of Salamis

Battle @ Marathon

490 bce

Themistocles= Athenian leader -> triumphant

Battle @ Thermopylae

480 bce

Xerxes (Darius' son) v. Leonidas (warrior king 4Spartans)

"Here they defended themselves to the last, such as still had swords using them, and the others resisting with their hands and teeth; till the barbarians who… now encircled them upon every side, overwhelmed and buried the remnant that was left beneath showers of missile weapons." -Herodotus The Persian Wars

Slave Rebellion in Sparta

464 bce

Peloponnesian War

461 bce - 404 bce

Age of Pericles (Athen's Golden Age)

460 bce - 429 bce


456 bce

Athenian tyrant
seizes noble land 4 poor

Plato writes The Republic

360 bce

Phillip II is king of Macedon

359 bce

Alexander is King of Macedon & Greece

336 bce

Alexander conquers Egypt

331 bce

Alexander dies in Babylon

323 bce

Roman Politics

City of Rome founded

753 bce

Roman Republic

509 bce - 27 bce

12 Tables

450 bce

posted laws
+power of plebian class
to view some of the laws found on these tablets, visit

Gauls invade Rome

390 bce

Gauls conquer city of Rome
Romans -> GOLD to Gauls (leave w/gold in hand)
Gauls = ppl from 2day's France

Punic Wars

264 bce - 146 bce

War with Carthage (North Africa)

Legendary Moment: Hannibal’s troops cross the Pyrenees and the Alps on elephants.

African forest elephants are generally about 8 feet high @the shoulder… so they are quite a bit shorter than the Indian elephants our boy Alexander encountered. Still, it is a surprise to see elephants on the battlefield.

Hannibal invades Rome!

218 bce

as he is there, the Romans head to Hannibal’s city of
Carthage in N. Africa.

H. rushes there 2 protect his city
doesn't end well 4 him :(

Julius Caesar

100 bce - 44 bce

~100 bce Caesar is born

59 bce – 50 bce= Caesar in Gaul being awesome & conquering

50 bce Senate, infl by Pompey, orders C. to disband his army and C. refuses [Crosses the Rubicon]

48- 44 bce Dictator
enacts reforms in Rome
public works +
+ citizenship
Julian calendar invented :D

44 bce assassinated by Brutus et al

Spartacus - slave uprising

73 bce - 71 bce

Triumverate rules the Roman Republic

44 bce - 31 bce

Marc Antony + Lepidus + Octavian(aka Caesar Augustus)

Octavian defeats Marc Antony & Cleopatra

31 bce

Octavian = Caesar Augustus

27 bce

First Roman Emperor (officially)

Roman Empire

27 bce - 476 ce

Visigoths sack Rome


Vandals sack Rome


Roman Culture

Appian Way built

312 bce

First of many roads

BENEFITS of roads like Appian Way
troops + supplies move quickly
communication easy
trade easier

blt by military in peace time
skilled engineers plan (roads still exist today!)

$ from provinces the roads serviced

Mount Vesuvius eruption

79 ce

Pompeii destroyed

Colosseum (Flavian Ampitheatre)

80 ce

50,000 people
4 stories
Gladiator battles

paid for by wealthy families, politicians running 4 office, emperors, public officials [to win public support]

Constantine converts to Christianity


becomes the 1st Christian Emperor of Rome

Phoenician Culture and Politics

Phoenician alphabet

1100 bce

The Greeks will borrow this alphabet from the Phoenicians

Establish Trading Colonies in Med.

1000 bce - 600 bce

Alexander the Great conquers key cities

334 bce - 332 bce

Ptolemaic Rule

301 bce - 195 bce

Ptolemaic rule over Phoenician cities and colonies.