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Ancient Greece

From 2000 to 30 B.C Ancient Greece established the foundations of Western Civilization. Unlike other ancient civilizations, early Greece was to unify into a single political group. The mountainous terrain and lack of rivers and the Mediterranean basin, limited its ability to grow in to a powerful single nation. Instead, Greece grew powerful through through the development of over 300 city states.


The city states of Athens, Thebes, Sparta, and Corinth established in costal Greece, colonies between the Black Mediterranean Seas, in Southern Italy, and Sicily.


By 800 B.C. Greece began to unify it's power through the use of Greek as a common language and alphabet;and common worship of the gods of an Olympian Pantheon. During the Hellenist period Greece developed an alphabet to record their language. Now, all Greeks shared a common language and worshipped the same Pantheon of Olympic gods.


The Greek belief in the value of the individual is essential to the development of democracy. This belief in the individual contributes to the Classical Greek civilization.


The Classical Greek period lasted from 500 to 323 B.C. Individual talents florished particularly in Athenian politics, literature, art, philosophy, science, and architecture. Names of Pericles, Aeschylus, Herodotus, Phidias, Socrates, Hippocrates, and Aristotle symbolize the highest Greek ideals of reason,moderation, order, and beauty.


In 356 B.C. Athenean influence over Greece shifted to the northern region of Macedonia. The leadership of  king Phillip II and later his son, Alexander the Great the known ancient world was changed forever. By his death in 332 B.C. Alexander controlled much of the known world. This included Greece, the Persian Empire, all of Asia Minor, the Middle East, and parts of India. Alexander died in 332 B.C. before establishing a strong central government for his vast empire.


With Alexander's conquests Greek culture was spread to other parts of the known world. Greek culture was spread throughout the known world.  Now a common language and the Greek Pantheon unified this new world.


Alexander's general and regional governors divided the empire into three parts. Ptolomy the governor of Egypt and Palestine founded the Ptolomaic Empire. Seleucus the governor of Babylon gained control of much of the former Persian empire founded the Selucid Empire. Antigonus, controlled Macedonia and Greece.  These three parts of Alexander's former empire became the know as the Hellenistic Age.


From 323 to 30 B.C. great strides were made in knowledge, mathematics, applied mechanics,philosophy, and art.The Greek influence dominated the Mediterranea basin, Adratic Sea, the Italian peninsula, and the city of Rome


With Cleopatra's defeat of the last Ptolomaic ruler ruler in 30 B.C. the power of the ancient world an Western Civilization passed from Greece to Rome and the Mediterranean basin.