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Terrell DG, The Greek Dark Age

Terrell DG, The Greek Dark Age

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Published by David G Terrell
A short piece discussing the Greek Dark Age between 1200 and 800 BC.
A short piece discussing the Greek Dark Age between 1200 and 800 BC.

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: David G Terrell on Nov 02, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial No-derivs

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04/17/2014

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1 David G Terrell: The Greek Dark Age The Greek Dark Age David G Terrell May, 2009 I doubt that the Mycenaean social and political divisions remained unchanged after the collapse and during the generations that followed. The principle dynamics that allowed the birth of the
 polis
 form of government were:
 
The isolation associated with the depopulation associated with the “catastrophe” of 1200 BC.
With the Hittites and Minoans essentially gone, Macedon still in semi-savagery, the Egyptians on the decline and the Phoenicians showing no interest in hegemony, the peoples of Attica, Argo, Corinth and Sparta were free to follow their own path
 — 
 beginning as a smattering of small, unfortified villages. Map 1
 
The geography tended to discourage the dispersal and consequent fragmentation of what people there was. Creating central citadels on high points (acropolis) for defense made a logical center for government and community activity.
 
2 David G Terrell: The Greek Dark Age Map 2
 
By 1000 BC, the Greeks were completely sedentary, and were beginning to turn from stock- breeding to grain-growing for their main means of livelihood. This concentrated of a small, static  population of farming families (including the leading families) in permanent residential centers
 
The mild climate allowed the large assemblies year round and allowed small areas to be self-sustaining. Being self-sufficient, there was little reason to reach out to other communities.
 
There was a desire to live in small communities, but I don’t know why. Might this have been a
response to some earlier threat? Perhaps smaller settlements were spared of the catastrophic destruction.
 
The existence of a fraternal bond… a sense of communal, even filial loyalty to each other. I
suspect that each group was made up of families (kinship and alliance groups?) linked by a common interest or location and following its own leader. Was the <i>polis</i> a fraternal society? Was the responsibility of one to the whole and of the whole to the one reinforced by initiatory rites and mutual obligations? Regardless, the early Greek community emerging from the Dark Ages was likely a web of family and relations in which kinship, in all its degrees, and non-kin amity, in all its degrees, were all considered similarly
 — 
this setting the stage for the

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