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What is a Greek hoplite? War in ancient Greece

By | 2017-07-19T05:57:32+00:00 July 19th, 2017|Greeks, War|

Greek hoplite soldiers (Chigi Vase, ca. 650 BC) About 650 BC, Greek generals in various different city-states came up with a new way of fighting battles that gave Greek soldiers of the Archaic period a big advantage over the soldiers of other countries like Egypt or the Lydians. A Spartan hoplite shield, with the lamba of Lacedaimonians on it [...]

Ancient Greek sewage

By | 2017-07-18T22:03:37+00:00 July 18th, 2017|Economy, Greeks|

Child's high chair/potty seat (Athens, ca. 580 BC) Most Greek towns had no sewage system, and just latrines for bathrooms. According to Aristophanes, a lot of men just went in the street, wherever they happened to be. Women and girls usually went inside, using a chamber pot, and then they emptied that into the street. [...]

Ancient Greek warships

By | 2017-10-14T14:02:51+00:00 July 18th, 2017|Greeks, War|

A pentekontor People called the earliest Greek warships pentekontors. They were probably designed to compete with similar Phoenician ships being built about the same time. Pentekontors were long, narrow ships, designed to go fast so they could overtake other ships and attack them. They had 25 rowers, or oarsmen, on each side. By the 500s BC, [...]

Battle of Salamis – Second Persian War

By | 2017-09-23T14:57:55+00:00 July 18th, 2017|Greeks, War|

Phoenician ship In 480 BC, the Persian king Xerxes was attacking Greece. Things looked very bad for the Greeks, when the Greek navy, under the command of the Athenian general Themistocles, wrecked the Persian fleet at Salamis and kept the Persians from taking over Greece. Both the Persians and the Greeks used triremes to fight this naval battle. The Persians had a [...]

Cargo ships in ancient Greece

By | 2017-10-14T14:02:09+00:00 July 18th, 2017|Economy, Greeks|

Reconstruction of the Antikythera trading ship Many Greek men were traders, who sold things from one place to people who lived some place else. Greek traders sailed all around the Mediterranean Sea, from Spain to Phoenicia and from Carthage to  Egypt and Italy, and to Greece of course. These traders travelled in cargo ships. Cargo ships could [...]

Ancient Greek boats and ships

By | 2017-07-18T17:52:58+00:00 July 18th, 2017|Economy, Greeks|

Sailing ship with rowers at the oars Because Greece was so mountainous, and every place in Greece was so close to the sea, a lot of people in Greece used boats to get from one place to another, even starting as early as the Stone Age, when people sailed to the islands to get obsidian, and also [...]

Ancient Greek medicine – Asclepius to Hippocrates

By | 2017-07-18T15:41:15+00:00 July 18th, 2017|Greeks, Science|

Sacrificing a sheep to Asclepius Disease was a very serious problem for the Greeks, as for all other people in the ancient and medieval worlds. One out of three babies died before they were a year old. Half of all children died before they were ten. And even most people who grew up died in [...]

Who was Thales of Miletus? Greek Astronomy

By | 2017-07-29T10:00:40+00:00 July 18th, 2017|Greeks, Science|

Theater of Miletus Thales was born in what's now Turkey, in the city of Miletus, about 630 BC, during the Archaic period. At that time, Miletus was a city where people spoke Greek, though it may have paid taxes or tribute to the Lydians. Thales (THAY-lees) travelled all over when he was a young man, and he may [...]

Who was Pythagoras? Greek Mathematics

By | 2017-07-18T15:30:55+00:00 July 18th, 2017|Greeks, Math|

Doric temple at Paestum, Italy Pythagoras lived in the 500s BC. He was one of the first Greek mathematical thinkers that we know about, after Thales. He spent most of his life in the Greek colonies in Sicily and southern Italy. Pythagoras had a group of followers (like Taoists followed Lao Tzu, or Buddhists followed the Buddha). His followers learned from him and [...]

How did ancient Greek people write numbers?

By | 2017-10-14T16:39:42+00:00 July 18th, 2017|Greeks, How, Math|

How the alphabet evolved People in ancient Greece had a variety of different ways of writing down numbers, but none of them was very efficient. (And of course different Greek city-states used somewhat different systems, too). Some Greeks used a system based on writing the first letter of the word for that number. Like in Greek [...]