Look at the word cloud your teacher shows you and guess what the topic of the next few lessons will be. See if you are right and look up three words of your own choice. Then get into pairs and explain the meaning of your words to your partner. When you have finished, switch partners at least twice.
Ancient Greece was a civilisation that inhabited a large area in the northeast of the Mediterranean Sea, where people spoke the Greek language. It was much bigger than the nation of Greece we know today. It was the civilization of Greece, from the archaic period of the 8th/6th centuries BC to 700 BCE. The period ended with the Roman conquest of Greece in the Battle of Corinth.
For most of this time, the Greeks did not have a single government or ruler. There were a number of city states, each with its own constitution. Athen, Sparta and Corinth are examples of city-states. Some had kings, and some, like Athens, had a form of democracy. As time went on, the most-powerful cities collected other cities into groups known as "leagues". This applied to many of the Greek colonies in Asia Minor, most of which had close ties to one or another of the large three cities. In the middle of this period, there was Classical Greece, which flourished during the 5th to 4th centuries BC. Athenian leadership successfully repelled the threat of Persian invasion in the Greco-Persian Wars. The Athenian golden age ends with the defeat of Athens at the hands of Sparta in the Peloponnesian War in 345Bc.
The ancient Hellenistic period was made up of city-states with different cultural and linguistic ties. Greece was not unified until the Byzanzine Empire. At that time, Greek culture had a powerful influence on the Roman Empire, which carried a version of it to many parts of the Mediterranean region and Europe. In this way, classical Greece was part of the foundation of Western civilization. Greek was also the language, and partly the culture, of the Byzantine Empir.
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