The Ancient Greece Portal

The Parthenon, a temple dedicated to Athena, located on the Acropolis in Athens, Greece
The Parthenon, a temple dedicated to Athena, located on the Acropolis in Athens, Greece

Ancient Greece (Greek: Ἑλλάς, romanizedHellás) was a northeastern Mediterranean civilization, existing from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of classical antiquity (c. AD 600), that comprised a loose collection of culturally and linguistically related city-states and other territories. Most of these regions were officially unified only once, for 13 years, under Alexander the Great's empire from 336 to 323 BC (though this excludes a number of Greek city-states free from Alexander's jurisdiction in the Western Mediterranean, around the Black Sea, Cyprus, and Cyrenaica). In Western history, the era of classical antiquity was immediately followed by the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine period.

Roughly three centuries after the Late Bronze Age collapse of Mycenaean Greece, Greek urban poleis began to form in the 8th century BC, ushering in the Archaic period and colonization of the Mediterranean Basin. This was followed by the age of Classical Greece, from the Greco-Persian Wars to the 5th to 4th centuries BC. The conquests of Alexander the Great of Macedon spread Hellenistic civilization from the western Mediterranean to Central Asia. The Hellenistic period ended with the conquest of the eastern Mediterranean world by the Roman Republic, and the annexation of the Roman province of Macedonia in Roman Greece, and later the province of Achaea during the Roman Empire.

Classical Greek culture, especially philosophy, had a powerful influence on ancient Rome, which carried a version of it throughout the Mediterranean and much of Europe. For this reason, Classical Greece is generally considered the cradle of Western civilization, the seminal culture from which the modern West derives many of its founding archetypes and ideas in politics, philosophy, science, and art. (Full article...)

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The modern Olympic Games or Olympics (French: Jeux olympiques) are the leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes from around the world participate in a variety of competitions. The Olympic Games are considered the world's foremost sports competition with more than 200 nations participating. The Olympic Games are normally held every four years, and since 1994, have alternated between the Summer and Winter Olympics every two years during the four-year period.

Their creation was inspired by the ancient Olympic Games (Ancient Greek: Ὀλυμπιακοί Ἀγῶνες), held in Olympia, Greece from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD. Baron Pierre de Coubertin founded the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 1894, leading to the first modern Games in Athens in 1896. The IOC is the governing body of the Olympic Movement (which encompasses all entities and individuals involved in the Olympic Games) with the Olympic Charter defining its structure and authority. (Full article...)
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Athens montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the browser to load the appropriate article.

Athens (/ˈæθɛnz/ ATH-enz; Greek: Αθήνα, romanizedAthína [aˈθina] (listen); Ancient Greek: Ἀθῆναι, romanizedAthênai (pl.) [atʰɛ̂ːnai̯]) is the capital city of Greece. With a population close to four million, it is the largest city in Greece and the seventh largest city in the European Union. Athens dominates and is the capital of the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning over 3,400 years and its earliest human presence beginning somewhere between the 11th and 7th millennia BC.

Classical Athens was a powerful city-state. It was a centre for the arts, learning and philosophy, and the home of Plato's Academy and Aristotle's Lyceum. It is widely referred to as the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy, largely because of its cultural and political impact on the European continent—particularly Ancient Rome. In modern times, Athens is a large cosmopolitan metropolis and central to economic, financial, industrial, maritime, political and cultural life in Greece. In 2021, Athens' urban area hosted more than three and a half million people, which is around 35% of the entire population of Greece. It is also a tourist spot, with many people coming every year. (Full article...)

Did you know...

  • Aesopnurembergchronicle.jpg
    ... that the place of Aesop's birth was and still is disputed?
  • Sparta territory.jpg
    ... that Spartan women enjoyed a status, power and respect that was unknown in the rest of the classical world?

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Plaster cast of a Hellenistic statue thought to depict Aesop; original in the Art Collection of the Villa Albani, Rome.
Plaster cast of a Hellenistic statue thought to depict Aesop; original in the Art Collection of the Villa Albani, Rome.

Aesop (/ˈsɒp/ EE-sop or /ˈsɒp/ AY-sop; Greek: Αἴσωπος, Aísōpos; c. 620–564 BCE) was a Greek fabulist and storyteller credited with a number of fables now collectively known as Aesop's Fables. Although his existence remains unclear and no writings by him survive, numerous tales credited to him were gathered across the centuries and in many languages in a storytelling tradition that continues to this day. Many of the tales associated with him are characterized by anthropomorphic animal characters.

Scattered details of Aesop's life can be found in ancient sources, including Aristotle, Herodotus, and Plutarch. An ancient literary work called The Aesop Romance tells an episodic, probably highly fictional version of his life, including the traditional description of him as a strikingly ugly slave (δοῦλος) who by his cleverness acquires freedom and becomes an adviser to kings and city-states. Older spellings of his name have included Esop(e) and Isope. Depictions of Aesop in popular culture over the last 2,500 years have included many works of art and his appearance as a character in numerous books, films, plays, and television programs. (Full article...)

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Delphi Composite.jpg

Photo credit: Leonidtsvetkov

Delphi is an archaeological site and a modern town in Greece on the south-western spur of Mount Parnassus in the valley of Phocis.


Topics

Places: Aegean Sea · Hellespont · Macedonia · Sparta · Athens · Corinth · Thebes · Thermopylae · Antioch · Alexandria · Pergamon · Miletus · Delphi · Olympia · Troy · Rhodes

Life: Agriculture · Art · Cuisine · Democracy · Economy · Language · Law · Medicine · Paideia · Pederasty · Pottery · Prostitution · Slavery · Technology · Olympic Games

Philosophers: Pythagoras · Heraclitus · Parmenides  · Protagoras · Empedocles · Democritus · Socrates · Plato · Aristotle · Zeno · Epicurus

Authors: Homer · Hesiod · Pindar · Sappho · Aeschylus · Sophocles · Euripides · Aristophanes · Menander · Herodotus · Thucydides · Xenophon · Plutarch · Lucian · Polybius · Aesop

Buildings: Parthenon · Temple of Artemis · Acropolis · Ancient Agora · Arch of Hadrian · Temple of Zeus at Olympia · Colossus of Rhodes · Temple of Hephaestus · Samothrace temple complex

Chronology: Aegean civilization · Minoan Civilization · Mycenaean civilization · Greek dark ages · Classical Greece · Hellenistic Greece · Roman Greece

People of Note: Alexander The Great · Lycurgus · Pericles · Alcibiades · Demosthenes · Themistocles · Archimedes · Hippocrates

Art and Sculpture: Kouroi · Korai · Kritios Boy · Doryphoros · Statue of Zeus · Discobolos · Aphrodite of Knidos · Laocoön · Phidias · Euphronios · Polykleitos · Myron · Parthenon Frieze · Praxiteles


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