Geographical , Cultural, and Political Potential of Ancient Greece and Roman Empire

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A1. Ancient Greece had many different geographic factors, such as; mountains, valleys, islands, poor soil, but the most important geographic factor was the Mediterranean Sea. The Mediterranean Sea brought new channels for trading. Greece was never reliant on staple crops because they had very poor rocky soil. But they flourished from the trading on the sea, which showed their dominance in what became the most contested waterway. Some of the things that were traded in the Mediterranean Sea are; food, raw materials, gold, copper, ivory manufactured goods like wine, olives, and pottery. (Acrobatiq, 2018)

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Ancient Rome had many geographic factors, such as; agriculture and fertile soil, but the most important geographic factor was the Tiber River which granted access to the Mediterranean Sea. The Tiber River was a great location for their villages because they had seven hills that worked as a natural barrier and flatland on the other side of the river that they used for farming, the soil was good, so their crops were grown easily. The Tiber River had fresh water for drinking and bathing, a long with a waterway for trade, and food for them to eat. (Donn, 2007)

B1. One unique cultural characteristic in Ancient Greece is their theatre, which is very important to the Greek society. The Theatre began in the sixth century BCE in Athens when they would perform tragedy plays at religious festivals, they eventually turned into comedy plays. As plays seemed like dialogue it was always a part of literature. In addition to written forms of literature and theater, oral traditions were important, particularly in early Greek history. (Khan Academy, 2018)

Another unique cultural characteristic in Ancient Greece is their art. Sculptures and architecture was very influential on the societies. Sculptures from 800 to 300 BCE was inspired from Egyptian art and evolved into the Greek art form. Greek sculptors focused mainly on proportions, poise, and the idea of the perfect human body, they would sculpt these figures in stone and bronze. The statues were formed and dedicated to the Greek gods and goddesses. The Greek architects designed some of the finest and most distinctive buildings in the Ancient World such as; temples, theaters, government buildings, gymnasiums, libraries, and stadia’s. (Acrobatiq, 2018)

A unique cultural characteristic in Ancient Rome is their education. Their homes were usually their learning centers and children were taught the Roman law, customs, and physical training to help the boys to prepare to grow as Roman citizens and to recruit into the army. the girls were usually taught from their mothers and would learn the art of spinning, weaving, and sewing. Education in Rome began at the age of six, and in the next six to seven years, the boys and girls were expected to learn the essentials of reading, writing and counting. At the age of twelve, they would learn Latin, Greek, grammar, and literature and would usually be trained in public speaking. (Cartwright, 2016)

Another unique cultural characteristic in Ancient Rome is their sports or entertainment. Rome had a place called the Campus Martius was a drill ground for Roman soldiers. It later became Rome’s track and field playground. The youth would assemble to play and exercise with things such as; jumping, wrestling, boxing, and racing. Some of their favorite physical activities were things like riding, throwing, and swimming. Some of their bored games that would help pass the time would include things like Dice, Roman Chess, Roman Checkers, and Tic-tac-toe. (Fife, 2012)

C1. There were many great leaders of Greece, two of the major leaders were Alexander the Great and Solon. Alexander was a leader with a big realm of cultural influence that had extended well beyond the Greek peninsula. Alexander was confirmed as the king of Greece and Macedonia after the passing of his father. At age twenty, he would enjoy the splendor of a new court awash in the gold of foreign wars. The spring of 334 BCE, with an army of 37,000, Alexander the Great landed in Anatolia and conquered the local Persian governor in the Battle of Granicus. The King of Persia, Darius III, heard the news of the invasion and it was too late. Alexander, encouraged by his victory, was determined to fight King Darius III and his army. The Persian army was eventually defeated which led Alexander the Great to keep marching to Egypt and crown himself the pharaoh. Darius III tried to avoid further conflict with Alexander and to seek a peaceful solution by offering all his territory west of the Euphrates River as well as his oldest daughters’ hand in marriage, but Alexander refused. The most important thing that Alexander the Great did was conquer the Persian army. (Acrobatiq, 2018)

Solon was the leader of Athens authorized as an aristocrat, who crafted policies designed to ease the suffering of the poor as well as preserving the status of the aristocrats. Athenians had given him powers that were allegedly autocratic; but they felt as though only one political man could prevent potential disaster. In the end there was a set of laws that encouraged equality of all classes of citizens. This gave poor people the right to vote in assembly and the judicial court was formed from all citizens. Solons laws had a series of measures designed to bring an economic reform, as well as one that would urge fathers to get jobs for their sons so that they could become economically secure and able to take care of their parents when they became too old. Even though these reforms made the middle class and poor citizens happy, Solons greatest achievement in their eyes was the economic power of the aristocracy when they would cancel the land mortgage contracts and would outlaw the practice of using a debtor’s son for collateral loan. He ordered the release of the Athenians who had been made into slaves because of their family’s debts. (Acrobatiq, 2018)

C2. The main methods that were used by the Greeks to increase their power was trade and conquest. The earliest settlements in Greece were the Minoan civilization, they appeared around 7000 BCE. More complex cities began to rise around 2100 BCE. They built stockrooms that they would put food in just in case of a natural disaster. They invested their agriculture and began to see the importance of growing their food and that helping the farmers flourish so that their civilization would have food to grow and trade. They began seeing signs of a writing system that was very hard to learn, new signs and sounds were slowly added to make their writing system easier to learn and easier to teach. Their writing systems and agricultural trade helped the Minoan civilization grow until they were eventually conquered by the Mycenaeans. The Myceneans were a society that was built by and for conquest, they seized a strategic point in the Mediterranean and became the forerunners of the Classical Greek culture. (Acrobatiq, 2018)

C3. 2100 BCE, the earliest settlements in Ancient Greece had a monarchy support by the bureaucracy political system. They had kings that lived in a palace. The Greeks developed a palace-complex which was where all political, economic and religious activities would take place. 1420 BCE, the Mycenaeans conquered the Minoans, Greece’s political system turned into a monarchy with city states which are urban, tightly populated areas that are surrounded by big walls and ruled by kings. After the fall of the Mycenaeans we have a time in Greek history that is called the Dark Ages. This time the political system turned into a council of local chiefs. They had a supreme chief who was equal to a king. In 594 BCE, leaders gave powers to Solon, an aristocrat. The Political system turned into a set of laws that encouraged better equality in all classes of citizens. He began a path that would eventually lead to democracy, a government system that allows citizens to hold political power directly or through a body of elected representatives. (Acrobatiq, 2018)

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