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Ancient Greece, c. 800-300 BC/BCE


Students analyze the geographic, political, economic, social, and religious structures of the civilizations of Ancient Greece.

Map of Ancient Greece
Map of Ancient Greece

Map of Greece. It reads, Peloponnesus hodie Morea Regnum : distincte divisum in omnes suas provincias, hodiernas atque veteres, cui et adiuguntur insula; Cefalonia, Zante, Cerigo et St. Maura / actore F. de Wit. It was taken in 1688. Relief shown pictorially. Originally printed on 3 sheets. Annotated in ink on verso: 22. Includes ill. of lion with enslaved human figures shown in embellished title cartouche.

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Map of Ancient Greece
Map of Ancient Greece

Map of Ancient Greece, Graecia Vetus (Macedonia, Thessaly, Epirus, Achaia, Peloponnesus). Robert de Vaugondy, Didier, 1723-1786; Robert de Vaugondy, Gilles, 1688-1766; Sanson, Nicolas, 1600-1667

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Map of Ancient Greece
Map of Ancient Greece

Map of Greece. It reads, Peloponnesus hodie Morea Regnum : distincte divisum in omnes suas provincias, hodiernas atque veteres, cui et adiuguntur insula; Cefalonia, Zante, Cerigo et St. Maura / actore F. de Wit. It was taken in 1688. Relief shown pictorially. Originally printed on 3 sheets. Annotated in ink on verso: 22. Includes ill. of lion with enslaved human figures shown in embellished title cartouche.

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  • Where in Europe is Greece located?

  • How did geography affect its development?

  • What events led to the rise of the Greek empire?

  • What was the importance of a system of democracy in the daily life of the Greeks?

  • What features does ancient Greek democracy share with modern-day democracy?

  • What role did mythology play in the lives of ancient Greek people?

  • What do Greek myths reveal?

  • What did the Ancient Greeks believe/value?

  • How did the Persians cause Greece to change over time?

  • How did Athenian culture contrast Spartan culture?

  • How did Alexander the Great influence the spread of Greek culture into Asia?

  • What is the impact of Greek achievements on art, philosophy, and culture on modern day life in America?



‘Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.’


~Epicurus, Greek philosopher, [341- 270 B.C.]


“Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.”  ~Plato, Ancient Greek Philosopher [428/7 - 348/7 B.C.]


  • Western Civilization

  • monarchy

  • polis

  • acropolis

  • aristocracy

  • oligarchy

  • tyrants

  • democracy

  • alliance

  • tribute

  • legislature

  • jury

  • assassination

  • frescoes

  • assimilation












  • Ancient Greece was the cradle of the development of various political systems.

  • Each form of government has advantages and disadvantages.

  • A "golden age" --a time of peace and prosperity--allows a civilization focus or devote attention to developing art, architecture, drama, and philosophy.

  • Fresco style painting was popularized during the Minoan period, and was present throughout Ancient Greece's history.

  • Compare and contrast different city-states (Sparta vs. Athens).




Geography of Ancient Greece

Stratfor discusses the difficulty Greece faces in defending its core territory and in accumulating capital due to its geography.

6.45 On a historical map of the ancient Mediterranean area, locate Greece and trace the boundaries of its influence to 300 BC/BCE. On a contemporary map trace the current boundaries of Greece. Compare and contrast the sphere of influence of Greece in those two different eras.


The Acropolis of Ancient Greece


The Acropolis is one of the most imposing historical structures in Athens. The word 'Acropolis' is derived from the Greek words 'akron' meaning edge and 'polis' meaning city.  For more information about Acropolis of Athens, go to:

Ancient Greeks: The Revolution of Democracy (History Channel Documentary)

As Athenian democracy progressed, it became embroiled in the clash of new ideas with old beliefs; Athens started to tear itself apart. The story culminates in one of history's greatest paradoxes: the trial of Socrates, who was democratically judged to be executed for speaking his mind.

6.47 Trace the transition from tyranny and oligarchy to early democratic forms of government and back to dictatorship in ancient Greece, including the significance of the development of the idea of citizenship.


ESSENTIAL QUESTION:  How did democracy develop in Ancient Greece?


Political Ideas in Ancient Greece

A video that briefly explains the importance and development of democracy in Ancient Greece and how it effects today,

6.48 Explain how the development of democratic political concepts in ancient Greece lead to the origins of direct Democracy and representative Democracy , including:  the “polis” or city-state civic participation and voting rights legislative bodies constitution writing rule of law




The Persian Wars...
6.51 Analyze the causes, course, and consequences of the Persian Wars.


Peloponnesian War and Thucydides...

An overview of the Peloponnesian War, including the Archidamian War, the Athenian attack on Syracuse, and the Decelean War.

6.52 Analyze the causes, course, and consequences of the Peloponnesian Wars between Athens and Sparta. 


Alexander the Great...

Alexander was the son of Macedonian King Phillip II. Since his childhood Homer's heroic poems were favourite books of the heir of throne. And Alexander considered Achilles, the hero of the Trojan War, and mythical athlete Hercules as his idols.
The huge power, which he created, appeared to be unstable and was divided by his military leaders. But the Greek culture distributed in Mesopotamia, Iran, Syria, Judea and Egypt. Alexander the Great from Macedonia brought together the civilizations of Greece and Middle East and started the period known as the Hellenic Age.

6.53 Explain the rise of Alexander the Great and the spread of Greek culture.


ESSENTIAL QUESTION: How did Alexander build his empire?



The Creation of the World - Greek Mythology...

6.56 Compare and contrast the Titans with the Olympian gods and explain the surrounding Greek mythology. 

Birth of the Olympics...
6.57 Explain why the city-states of Greece instituted a tradition of athletic competitions and describe the sports they featured.
Accomplishments of the Ancient Greeks...

The Western world is built on the wisdom and traditions of the ancient Greeks, who uncovered the fundamental principles that established the basics of modern technology. Explore their contributions to geometry, astronomy, and physics and take a close-up look at how they applied their knowledge: Thales predicted an eclipse, Pythagoras discovered mathematical correlation between a musical instrument's string length and its tone, Archimedes developed laws of mechanics, and a group of 90 priests made well-informed educated guesses about many things.

What Aristotle and Joshua Bell can Teach Us about Persuasion...

Imagine you are one of the world's greatest violin players, and you decide to conduct an experiment: play inside a subway station and see if anyone stops to appreciate when you are stripped of a concert hall and name recognition. Joshua Bell did this, and Conor Neill channels Aristotle to understand why the context mattered.  Lesson Idea...

6.58 Describe the purposes and functions of the lyceum, the gymnasium, and the Library of Alexandria, and identify the major accomplishments of the ancient Greeks.
ESSENTIAL QUESTION:  How did ancient Greece contribute to the modern world?


Music and Creativity in Ancient Greece...

You think you love music? You have nothing on the Ancient Greek obsession. Every aspect of Greek life was punctuated by song: history, poetry, theater, sports and even astronomy. In fact, music was so important to Greek philosopher Plato that he claimed the music we listen to directly affects our ethics. Tim Hansen wonders what Plato might have to say about the music we listen to today.  Lesson ideas...

Ancient Greek Music - Akousate Argos...
6.54 Analyze the causes and effects of the Hellenistic culture of Greece. 
ESSENTIAL QUESTION:  What were the major cultural achievements of Athens?
Primary Documents and Supporting Texts to Read: excerpts from Homer’s Iliad and the Odyssey; excerpts from Pericles’ Funeral Oration; excerpts from Alexander by Plutarch; excerpts from Aesop’s Fables (or the Aesopica); excerpts from Aristotle’s The Athenian Constitution; excerpts from The Battle of Marathon; excerpts from Everyday Life in Ancient Greece (4th Century BC)
Athens vs. Sparta

Ελληνικοί υπότιτλοι ancient civilization ATHENS and Sparta were both Greek cities and their people spoke a common language. In every other respect they were different. Athens rose high from the plain. It was a city exposed to the fresh breezes from the sea, willing to look at the world with the eyes of a happy child. Sparta, on the other hand, was built at the bottom of a deep valley, and used the surrounding mountains as a barrier against foreign thought. Athens was a city of busy trade. Sparta was an armed camp where people were soldiers for the sake of being soldiers. The people of Athens loved to sit in the sun and discuss poetry or listen to the wise words of a philosopher. The Spartans, on the other hand, never wrote a single line that was considered literature, but they knew how to fight, they liked to fight, and they sacrificed all human emotions to their ideal of military preparedness.

6.49 Compare and contrast life in Athens and Sparta.


ESSENTIAL QUESTION:  What were the major differences between Athens and Sparta?



Status of Slaves in Ancient Greece
Status of Women in Ancient Greece
6.50 Compare and contrast the status of women and slaves between Athens and Sparta.









Lesson Overview: To teach (or review) the history and geography of ancient Greece. NOTE: This game is multilevel so it can be played by players of diverse ages, abilities and knowledge levels!






Students will use the lyrics of this song to perform in any style they like in costume.  



Travel back in time to Ancient Greece and see what you can learn!




Welcome to the British Museum's web site on ancient Greece. These 'Staff Room' pages have been developed to help teachers get the most out of the web site for themselves and for their class. It is predominantly aimed at schoolchildren aged 9 - 11 and their teachers but we hope that other groups may find it useful too.



Take the tour with Hermes the messenger god, through a magical place filled with awesome gods, daring heroes and fabulous monsters.



Our aim is to build a portal for people interested, students and teachers to visit and discuss relevant issues concerning Ancient Greek Art and Artifacts.

Religion of Ancient Greece...



6.55 Describe the myths and stories of classical Greece; give examples of Greek gods, goddesses, and heroes (Zeus, Hermes, Aphrodite, Athena, Poseidon, Artemis, Hades, Athena), and events, and where and how we see their names used today.
The Greek Gods...
Crash Course:  Homer's The Oddysey...

In which John Green teaches you about Homer's Odyssey. If it was Homer's If Homer was even real. Anyway, that stuff doesn't really matter. John teaches you the classic, by which I mean classical, epic poem, the Odyssey.

Greek Language - Origin, Stages and Development/Mocomi Kids...

A video on one of the oldest languages in the world. Greek is still spoken by nearly 13 million people across the world.

What really happened to the Library of Alexandria? - Elizabeth Cox...

2,300 years ago, the rulers of Alexandria set out to fulfill a very audacious goal: to collect all the knowledge in the world under one roof. In its prime, the Library of Alexandria housed an unprecedented number of scrolls and attracted some of the Greek world’s greatest minds. But by the end of the 5th century CE, it had vanished. Elizabeth Cox details the rise and fall of this great building.

The Benefits of Hellenization...The Legacy of the Ancient Greeks

Despite these limitations, the ancient world still amassed enough knowledge to produce many wonders that baffle us even today: temples, palaces, aqueducts, theaters and baths, systems of irrigation, even medicine that did not kill patients (at least in some places). 

Alexandria played a role in all of these fields, dutifully recording the progress of the western world. Yet perhaps the greatest legacies of Alexandria were its philosophers. These philosophers made amazing advances in the fields of mathematics and science. They measured the earth, they came up with models of the universe, and they established many of the rules of mathematics we still use today. All of this progress would have been impossible without reference to centuries of data, collected from points all over the world. That is the wonder of the Library of Alexandria; it collected information from across the known world for hundreds of years. The result was a pool of data to be analyzed and explained by generation after generation of philosophers, mathematicians and astronomers.

Ancient Greek/Fashion


Horrible Histories Historical Greek Thinkers Song

Find out more about the clothing styles in vogue in Ancient Greece HERE!

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