Ancient Greece Essay

1282 WordsJan 4, 20136 Pages
GEOGRAPHY Greece is a country in southeastern Europe whose peninsula extends from the Balkans into the Mediterranean Sea. It is mountainous, with many gulfs and bays. Forests fill some areas of Greece and much of Greece is stony and suitable only for pasturage. Ancient Greece has three geographical regions: (1) Northern Greece, (2) Central Greece, and (3) The Peloponnese. On the north, the Cambunian range has its highest mountain, the home of the gods, Mt. Olympus. GOVERNMENT The Greeks had a lot of different kinds of governments, because there were many different city-states in ancient Greece, and they each had their own government. There were three main forms of government in ancient Greece: Monarchy: In the Late Bronze Age (the Mycenean period), all Greek city-states seem to have been monarchies, ruled by kings. Oligarchy: Most city-states in the archaic period were ruled by oligarchies, which is a group of aristocrats (rich men) who tell everyone else what to do. Tyrannies: In the 600s and 500s BC a lot of city-states were taken over by tyrants. Tyrants were usually one of the aristocrats who got power over the others by getting the support of the poor people. They ruled kind of like kings, but without any legal right to rule. Democracy: In 510 BC, the city-state of Athens created the first democratic government, and soon other Greek city-states imitated them. This gave poor people more power at this time. But Athenian democracy did not really give power to everyone. Most of the people in Athens couldn't vote - no women, no slaves, no foreigners (even Greeks from other city-states), and no children. RELIGION The Ancient Greeks believed in many different gods and goddesses. The Greeks believed that these gods and goddesses controlled everything in their lives and the environment. It was important to please the gods; happy gods helped you, but unhappy

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