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  1. Stone Age
  2. Lion gate

    Lion's gate, Micanae

    Neolithic revolution, i.e. “the transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture and settlement”.
  3. Bronze Age (1600-1100 B.C.). The siege of Troy (fought with bronze swords). Odyssey. The civilization of Micanae. 
  4. Kouros

    "Sacred Gate kouros". Marble, ca. 600-590 BC. Found in 2002

    Early Iron Age: Homer, Hesiod. Great social strife, as the organization of civil society is superseded by the state. First Olympic games: 776 B.C.
  5. Classical ancient Greece: historian

    460 b.c.

    Bronze Sculpture, c. 460 B.C. This masterpiece of classical sculpture was found by fishermen in their nets off the coast of Cape Artemisium in 1928

    Herodotus and wars between Greeks and Persians, historian Thucydides and a war between Athens and Sparta, Socrates and Plato, Aristotle. Alexander the Great.

  6. Hellenistic period: from death of Alexander to Greece becoming a province of the Roman Empire in 146 B.C. The library of Alexandria – 700,000 volumes. Euclid and geometry.

    Loacoon

    Late Hellenistic period. "Laocoön and His Sons"

  7. Greece as a part of the Roman Empire: 146 B.C. to 330 A.D. Greeks are the teachers of Romans. E.g. Plutarch, “Parallel Lives”. The Roman Empire splits into two, and Greece goes with the Eastern half, with the capital in Constantinople.

Greek fire

Greek fire used by Byzantine navy.

Greece as part of the Byzantine empire. Wikipedia: “Byzantium remained a major cultural and military power for the next 1,123 years, until the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. On the eve of the Ottoman conquest, much of the Greek intelligentsia migrated to Italy and other parts of Europe not under Ottoman rule, playing a significant role in the Renaissance through the transmission of ancient Greek works to Western Europe”.

Lord Byron in Albanian dress

Lord Byron in Albanian dress, 1813

Greece under Turks, the Ottoman Empire – from XV century to beginning of XIX century. Wars of independence from Turks: 1821-29, and continue in XIX century, with the goal of making Constantinople Greek. Lord Byron participated in the Greek wars of independence. 

In XIX century, Greece is split as a sphere of influence between Britain, on the one side, and German monarchs, on the other. Thus: “At the insistence of the Powers, the 1832 Treaty of London made Greece a monarchy. Otto of Wittelsbach, Prince of Bavaria was chosen as its first King. Otto arrived at the provisional capital, Nafplion, in 1833 aboard a British warship”. Otto left after 30 years, also aboard a British warship. This split of influence in Greece was a result of a compromise between the Great Powers of Europe (U.K., Russia and France). Russian tsars had close ties to the German monarchs.

1853-56: “During the Crimean War the British occupied Piraeus to prevent Greece declaring war on the Ottomans as a Russian ally”. This shows who the real master was, and is.

Economy in XIX century was mostly agricultural, at subsistence levels, “the only important export commodities were currants, raisins and tobacco. Some Greeks grew rich as merchants and shipowners, and Piraeus became a major port, but little of this wealth found its way to the Greek peasantry. Greece remained hopelessly in debt to London finance houses” (Wikipedia). So, the British had the political, military and economic sway over the Greeks.

1890’s: “Greece was virtually bankrupt, and public insolvency was declared in 1893. Poverty was rife in the rural areas and the islands, and was eased only by large-scale emigration to the United States. There was little education in the rural areas”. The problems sound like what we see in the beginning of XXI century. 1) Public insolvency, 2) general poverty and lack of development, 3) educational system in tatters.

Throughout the XIX and XX century, Greece was plagued by “the language question”. Which language to use: ancient Greek (known by the educated elite) vs. modern Greek (Demotic, i.e. people’s language). The later is spoken by the majority of population, which are peasants. Hence, this is a manifestation of class struggle in the sphere of language.

 

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