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GREEK

GREEK

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Published by: api-19918528 on Dec 02, 2009
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03/18/2014

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G R E E K
A R C H I T E C T U R E
B A C K G R O U N D
A N D
I N F L U E N C E S

The ancient Greek
civilization thrived around
the Mediterranean Sea from
the 3rd millennium to the
1st century BC, known for
advances in philosophy,
architecture, drama,
government, and science.
The term \u201cancient Greece\u201d
refers to both where Greeks
lived and how they lived
long ago. Geographically, it
indicates the heartland of
Greek communities on the
north coast and nearby
islands of the Mediterranean
Sea.

The most famous period of ancient Greek civilization is called the Classical Age, which
lasted from about 480 to 323 BC. During this period, ancient Greeks reached their
highest prosperity and produced amazing cultural accomplishments. Unlike most other
peoples of the time, Greeks of the Classical Age usually were not ruled by kings. Greek
communities treasured the freedom to govern themselves, although they argued about the
best way to do that and often warred against each other. What Greek communities shared
were their traditions of language, religion, customs, and international festivals, such as
the ancient Olympic Games.
The city-states of ancient Greece fell to Roman conquerors in 146 BC. When Rome split
in the 4th century AD, Greece became part of its eastern half, the Byzantine Empire. The
Byzantine Empire fell to the Ottomans in 1453. Long after ancient Greece lost its
political and military power, its cultural accomplishments deeply influenced thinkers,
writers, and artists, especially those in ancient Rome, medieval Arabia, and Renaissance
Europe. People worldwide still enjoy ancient Greek plays, study the ideas of ancient
Greek philosophers, and incorporate elements of ancient Greek architecture into the
designs of new buildings. Modern democratic nations owe their fundamental political
principles to ancient Greece, where democracy originated. Because of the enduring
influence of its ideas, ancient Greece is known as the cradle of Western civilization. In
fact, Greeks invented the idea of the West as a distinct region; it was where they lived,
west of the powerful civilizations of Egypt, Babylonia, and Phoenicia.

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