Classical Greece

Impact of Geography on Development/Growth

  • Greece is located in southeastern Europe

  • Located along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea

  • Geography of Greece helped to shape government and culture

  • Geographical formations including mountains, seas, and islands formed natural barriers between the Greek city-states

  • Influenced Greeks to settle along the coast

  • Climate: hot summers and mild winters

  • Aegean Sea

    • Greek city-states formed along the Aegean coastline and on the many islands in the Aegean Sea

    • Used for transportation and food

  • Islands

    • The Aegean Sea has over 1000 islands

    • Greeks settled on many islands including Crete, Rhodes, Chios, and Delos

  • Mountains

    • Around 80% of the Greek mainland is mountainous.

    • Made it difficult to make long journeys by land

    • Formed natural barriers between the major city-states

    • Tallest mountain in Greece is Mount Olympus (in Ancient Greek mythology, the gods lived at the top of Mount Olympus)

  • Regions of Greece

    • The mountains and seas of Ancient Greece formed several natural regions:

    • Peloponnese - large peninsula located at the southern tip of the Greek mainland; includes Sparta, Corinth, and Argos

    • Central Greece - north of the Peloponnese; includes Attica and Athens.

    • Northern Greece - broken up into three major regions including Thessaly, Epirus, and Macedonia; includes Mount Olympus

    • Islands - Cyclades Islands, the Dodecanese, and the Northern Aegean Islands


  • Titans: first or elder gods (12 of them, including the parents of Zeus, Cronus and Rhea), overthrown by their children, led by Zeus

  • The Olympians (12 gods on Mt. Olympus):

  • Zeus - Leader of the Olympians and god of the sky and lightning

  • Hera - Queen of the gods and married to Zeus, goddess of marriage and family

  • Poseidon - God of the ocean, earthquakes, and horses, symbol is the trident

  • Dionysus - Lord of wine and celebrations, god of the theatre and art, symbol is the grapevine

  • Apollo - Greek god of archery, music, light, and prophecy. His symbols include the sun, the bow and arrow, and the lyre

  • Artemis - Goddess of the hunt, archery, and animals. Her symbols include the moon, the bow and arrow, and the deer

  • Hermes - God of commerce and thieves., messenger of the gods

  • Athena - Greek goddess of wisdom, defense, and war, symbols are the owl and the olive branch

  • Ares - God of war, symbols are the spear and shield

  • Aphrodite - Goddess of love and beauty, symbols include the dove, swan, and rose

  • Hephaestus - God of fire, blacksmith and craftsman for the gods

  • Demeter - Goddess of agriculture and the seasons

  • Hades - God of the Underworld

Read more about them online here!


  • The Greek city-state of Athens first introduced the world to the idea of a true democracy

  • Citizens were allowed to vote for their leaders and on new laws

  • This idea is prevalent in our world today and has spread around the world

  • Most of the world's governments today have some sort of democracy where the people get to vote and participate in the government

The Parthenon in Athens

Contributions of Classical Greece


  • Some of history's greatest philosophers were Ancient Greeks including Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates

  • Philosophy students still study the writings and teachings of Greek philosophers

  • Much of western philosophy is based on Ancient Greek philosophy


  • The Greeks invented the western drama where written work is performed by actors

  • Introduced comedy and the tragedy


  • Greek architecture has been imitated throughout history

  • Romans copied many of the Greek ideas into their buildings

  • Renaissance architects tried to imitate the Greek style of architecture

  • Today, many government buildings are built in the Greek classical style -- the U.S. Capitol Building and the U.S. Supreme Court Building

Science and Technology

  • Excelled in the field of mathematics and we still use many of their theories and ideas today (Pythagorean theorem, mathematical proofs)

  • Advanced technology in medicine (the Hippocratic Oath), astronomy (planetary models), urban planning, and plumbing


  • They loved athletics and sports

  • The modern-day Olympic Games which began with the Ancient Greeks in 776 B.C.


  • Greek art heavily influenced western art

  • Known for their realistic sculpture (sculptors were concerned with proportion, poise, and the idealized perfection of the human body)

  • The Renaissance later revived the Greek style


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Quiz Answers:


2.A, B, D