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THE GRAECO – ROMAN

MEDITERRANEAN
Second Week

Introduction
 Like geography, cultural landscapes of
Mediterranean Basin are complex,
ancient and diverse.
 Like its name, it was the cultural center
of world civilizations.
 From the eighth millennium BC onwards,
it was the place of different cultures
with different origins, ethnicity and
social backgrounds.
 But the Mediterranean Sea was always
unifying core for people and cultures.
Major Periods in the
Mediterranean History
 Greece from 8th centuy BC

 Hellenization (323 – 146 BC) the annexation of the

Greece by the Roman Republic

 Romanization

 Arab Conquests
Prejudice
The author of this book accepts Arab
conquests as the major discontinuity
in the history of the Mediterranean in
the late seventh century AD by
Umayyad Dynasty.
On the other hand, he accepts

Hellenization and Romanization as


two important cultural developments
in the Mediterranean history.

Ancient Greece
 The civilization of the ancient Greeks emerged
around the Aegean Sea and spread through
the Greek mainland.
 At its best times, it extended to Sicily and Italy
on the west, and through Asia Minor and the
Mediterranean Sea to the east and south.
 The Greek world (called Hellas by the Greeks)
was united culturally. It shared a common
language, culture, and religion.
 But it was divided politically. The Greek world
was divided into city-states.
 It was not brought under a single government
until it became part of the Roman Empire in
the second century B.C.

How do we know Ancient
Greece?
 There were a few historians in the
time of Ancient Greece.
 They recorded their time of Ancient
Greek history.
 Herodotus, (the 5th century BC )
known as the 'Father of History' who
travelled to many ancient historic
sites at the time,
 Thucydides (the 5th century BC )
 Xenophon (the 4the Century BC)

The Emergence of the Greek
Polis (Poleis)
 At the beginning of the 8th century BC, a
new form of social and spatial organization
emerged in the islands and peninsulas of
the Aegean Sea.
 This new socio-political structure was called
as polis, means city-state.
 Their total number was about 200 by 600 BC,
 Over 340 by 400 BC.
 The most important and famous city-states
were Athens and Sparta.
 The population of Athens, for example was
about 300,000 in 5th century BC.
 -

Gree
k
City-
State
s
Characteristics of city-states
 These city-states had an urban
central-place, but only Sparta was
not centered on a city but on a
group of villages.
 They had an urban civilized life.
 Most of them were fortified.
 All had a market, called agora, a place
of assembly and a seat of
government.
Agora
 The agora was the central
marketplace in most Greek city-
states.
 Typically the agora was located in the
center of town.
 Governmental buildings, such as the
council building and courts,
surrounded the agora in Athens.

Thessaloniki (Greece) - The Ancient Agorà, at the north end of

Dikastirion Square.
Ruins_Ancient_Agora_Thessaloniki
***
 Polis was a community of citizens and
non-citizens (slaves and foreigners).
 It had an established constitution.
 Citizens acquired their rights by virtue of
birth.
 The main criterion of poverty was
whether or not one had to work for a
living or the basis of life.
 Land ownership was the most socially
prestigious form of wealth.
Why and how the poleis
developed?
 The origin of the poleis is obscure.
 But we know that it became an
extremely efficient vehicle for the
transmission of Hellenistic culture.
 But before Hellenization, Greek world
was opened to the rest of the world by
the way of colonization.
 Formal Greek colonization reached its
peak between 750 – 550 BC.
Greek Colonization
 The establishment of a colony was a
formal affair for Greek city-states.
 In the period from the 8th to the 6th
century B.C. a great number of new
city-states were founded along the
coasts of the Mediterranean and the
Black Seas.
 These new cities were part of a
colonization movement sponsored
by city-states in Greece and
Phoenicia.
Reasons for the colonization
 The lack of natural resources in
Greece, especially the lack of metals
(tin, copper), timber (kereste) and
food.
 While searching such materials, Greek
states gathered information about
favorable places for agriculture and
settlement around the
Mediterranean.
 In the long run, there were
demographic pressures in the cities
Urbanism and Society in the
later Greek World (500 – 29 BC)
 There was a great competition between
the Greek cities themselves and
between the Greeks and others like
Phoenicians and Etruscans for the
control of the best sites.
 For example, the Peloponnesian War
between Athens and Sparta in 431 to
404 B.C.
 Also, there were relatively short-lived
city alliances to establish their own
independence or to be protected from
The Peloponnesian
War

The Peloponnesian War


reshaped the Ancient


Greek world.
On the level of

international relations,
Athens, the strongest city-
state in Greece prior to the
war's beginning, was
reduced to a state of near-
complete subjection,
while Sparta became

established as the leading


power of Greece.
Urban Life
 Some of the Geek city-states were
organized according to the plan of
Hippadamos of Miletus.
 Hippadamos was an ancient Greek
Urban Planner, and is considered to be
the “father” of urban planning.
 The two great Classical orders, the Doric
and Ionic (A style of architectural
decoration), continued to be used but
less formal fashion than before.
***
 Temples proliferated.
 Greek cities remained as the centers
of consumption rather than
production.
 Land ownership was the essential
parameter of elite status.
Social Life: Gymnasium
 The most innovative development
was the appearance of
gymnasium.
 It was used for both physical
recreation and artistic purposes.
 It was also a place for socializing and
engaging in intellectual recreations.

The gymnasium, Ancient Messini,
Greece
Social Life: Theater
 The theatre of ancient Greece,
flourished in ancient Greece
between c. 550 and c. 220 BC.
 The city-state of Athens, which
became a significant cultural,
political and military power during
this period, was its centre, where it
was institutionalised as part of a
festival.
Panoramic view of the Hellenic theatre
at Epidaurus.
A blueprint of an Ancient Theatre. Terms are
in Greek language and Latin letters.
Houses in ancient
Athens

*

New age began...
 Macedonian Kingdom in 338 gained the
control of many city-states.
 Under the rule of Alexander (336 – 323),
the Aegean resources were mobilized
in a campaign against the Persians.
 With the conquests of Alexander,
Macedonian authority and Greek
culture reached to Afghanistan and
many parts of Asia and Egypt.
 With the death of Alexander, his Empire
was fragmented.