Greece 800 BC


Greece 800 B.C. Essay, Research Paper

In Greece around 800 B.C. was the start of a new age, the Iron-Age. This agestarted after the fall of the Bronze-Age, which ended after the Dorians invasions stopped. During the beginning of this time period a lot of city-states started to form in Greece. TheDorians settled in certain areas of Greece known as Crete, Megara, and Aegina. Survivors from the fall of the Mycenaean civilization also settled in Greece. Greece wasvery diverse after the fall of the Mycenaean civilization because they didn t have acontrolled government at the time. They had to fend for themselves to make money andget food to eat. The 800 B.C. time period was a time of bad poverty. This is mostly all because ofthe fall of the Mycenaean civilization. This is because the Mycenaean architects, artisans,and scribes all worked for the monarchy, and the trade was mainly for luxuries not food.And when the monarchy fell so did all it s craftsmen. After the fall of the monarchy themain source of wealth was in agriculture, and they had plenty of unused land. Duringthe time of invasion and settlement the land had took it s damage but there was anotheradvantage in this time period-iron. Still the basis of the economy was agriculture becausealmost everyone had their own plot of land to tend to and also a flock to herd. The peoplewith more money of the time had bigger plots of land which were virtually free of labor.There were also specialty craftsmen such as – blacksmiths, bronzesmiths, goldsmiths,carpenters, shipwrights, potters, and poets. Usually weaving and spinning were done athome by the women and were often used as payment for services. Trade in this time was very little. There is very little evidence of goods from othercivilizations being traded in large amounts. Maybe the trips by the Phoenician andSidonian merchants whose occasional visits were mentioned by Homer in his works. An economy of this kind has the weakness that if population grows it may not haveenough food to supply it. Also shortage of land was an issue after the Dorians invadedcausing people to emigrate overseas. It was the main cause of colonization in the 8thcentury. The religious beliefs of the Greeks were composed of many gods and goddess . There were the gods and rituals that the Greeks had brought with them to Greece and theones they had adopted later. The Principal god was Zeus father of the gods , whoseattribute was his mighty thunderbolt. His wife, Hera, was goddess of marriage andoccupations of women. Athena is known as the goddess of wisdom, handiwork, and alsobattle. Apollo, the god of light, studied medicine and took over healing, he was also thegod of purification and poetry. His sister, Artemis, was goddess of the moon and ahuntress. Poseidon was the brother of Zeus and god of the sea, earthquakes, and horses.Hermes was the guardian of flocks and herds, of travelers and of thieves, and also, alongwith Iris, a messenger of Zeus. There are many are many more gods that are unmentionedand were all very important to the Greek people. There are hundreds of myths that wererecorded by the Greeks and passed down many generations. The myths often tell how thesun gets in the sky everyday, what happens after death, how earthquakes started, howdifferent animals came about, why seasons change, and so on. The Greeks believed thatall the gods lived on top of Mt. Olympus with some exceptions, such as Hades the god ofthe Underworld and Poseidon god of the sea. They also believed that their gods wereanthropomorphic, which means, made in mans image. The myth that explains how Zeus became King of the gods is a very popular one. It starts when Cronos, Zeus s father, hear a prophecy that one of his children willoverthrow him as King of the gods one day. Being frightened of this prediction heswallows each of his children as they were born. After several children were swallowed

Cronos wife was sick of giving her kids away to be eaten and wanted to have a child. When her next child was about to be born she hid and gave birth secretly. Then she tookthe child to a little cottage with the boy and said, If you take care of this child until Icome to get him back, all of your cattle will be healthy and fertile forever. The youngfarm lady excepted her offer and took in the child. When she went back to Mt. Olympusshe wrapped a rock in cloth and gave it to Cronos to swallow to trick him. He swallowedit with ease and that was that. Year s had passed and Zeus s mother came back to thefarm to get him. Zeus was now a handsome, strong, young man. When his motherexplained he was a god they went out to drink nectar and discuss it more and she told himthe story of Cronos eating all his brothers and sisters. So they came up with a plan to mixnectar with a substance to make Cronos vomit. They went to the temple and Zeus smother said to Cronos, Look at this young man who did a good deed for me, I told him Iwould reward him with a drink. Cronos with no idea that this was his son said, Sure! They began to drink and then Cronos shouted and threw up, out came all of Zeus schildren. A war started between the titans and 100 eyed and 100 handed monsters. Cronoswas a titan and led them to battle. in the end Zeus came out victorious and was declaredking of the gods. When the Greek s prayed to their gods they stood with arms raised and handsturned upward. When they prayed to gods under the earth they pointed down or touchedthe ground. The Greeks avoided kneeling though feeling as if it were a sign of submission. They believed that they should honor their gods but not be their slaves. A sacrifice wasoften made on special occasions in a sanctuary, and when the animal was offered to thegods a careful ritual took place. The animal was chosen and brought down the aisle to thealtar, then after certain aspects of the ritual have taken place such as the gatherers beingsprinkled with holy water and the animal is prepared, an attendant stunned it and cut it sthroat. The god was offered the thigh bones , meat and savour, the priest the skin, and theworshippers ate most of the meat. The beginning of the Iron-Age they adopted the way of surrounding states andmaintained independence. The inherited king was the commander in wars, head religiousfunctionary, and the leader of civil affairs. A council was formed from the high society. The towns people met in an assembly to either approve or not approve the kings ideas. The slaves that they had from war had no say in the government. The rulers of this agedid not live in such big castles often they lived in unguarded places. So unlikely tobecome too powerful, the people voted on a leader annually. There was a social structureof Greek communities, old and new, was fairly unchanging. The nobles were known as genos . The Dorian people were known as phyle . But no matter what the tribe they allmerged together for the city-state military unit. The Greeks building style was one all their own. They used a method known as Post & Lintel building. What this is, is a super strong structure made with columns anda roof or pediment. They built all major public buildings using the system. There werethree types of columns used in the construction, the only difference was their style. Thefirst, the Doric column, was named after the Dorian civilization that lived in Greece. Itwas the most basic of the columns with no special decoration. The second column, theIonic, was more elaborate in it s design. It had a circular design at the top of the column. The third was called the Corinthian column. It had a leaf design at the top and wasadopted and widely used by the Romans. So this paper explains many cultural aspects of Greece in 800 B.C. The peopleare all free there just as we are today in our country. I personally liked the Ancient Greekscivilization and thought it was probably the best of their time . They had a more organizedgovernment, an effective military, they had all they needed for a great civilization.

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