Showing posts with label civilization. Show all posts
Showing posts with label civilization. Show all posts

Dating Ancient Greek Civilization

Greek civilization is said to have started around 2800BC by many western scholars , eventhough we have no information about the Greek before 770BC. Let us analyse the facts.

Let us see the The Aegean Civilizations and how is Greek they are.
Before 2000BC we do not have any information

The first people on aegean were the Minoans from Crete. Their civilization lasted from about 2000-1400 BC. Their capital, Knossos, was the cultural center of the Aegean. What caused the Minoan civilization to decline? An older historical opinion said that the volcano on Thira (Santorini) erupted in 1450 BC and caused massive tidal waves, etc., that washed the Minoan civilization away. The new historical data dates the volcano eruption to the 17th century BC -- much too early to have been the cause of the Minoan decline. Now, scholars are debating what really happened. No one really knows.

The next civilization to rise in the Aegean was the Mycenaean Civilization which lasted from 1400-1200 BC. (In Homer, the Mycenaeans are called "Acheans.") These people were still not the "Greeks" who later ruled the region.

One theory states that the Mycenaeans really were the Greeks who came down from the north. What is known, however, is that the Greek speaking people came to the mainland around 1450 BC. Around 1400 BC, the Minoan civilization was destroyed. The culture of the Aegean shifted from the islands to the mainlands.

During the time of the Mycenaeans, the Hittites controlled much of Asia Minor. Their dates, 1450-1200 BC, coincide with the dates of the Mycenaeans. It is logical to say that the two cultures had to have communicated with one another although there is little scholarly evidence. This, too, is a point in Greek history that is often debated.

According to Greek tradition, the Trojan War happened around 1200 BC, near the end of the Mycenaean civilization. The old scholarly view was that the Mycenaeans were invaded by a Dorian tribe from the north who destroyed them. Currently, scholars believe the Mycenaeans declined because of fighting amongst themselves. This view is the most archeologically correct.

Greek Dark Ages
After the Mycenaean decline, the Greek Dark Ages occur (1100-750 BC). (Depending on when Homer is dated, he could have lived during this time period.) This period also has an old view/new view perspective. Older theories state that all Greek civilization came to a complete halt during the Dark Ages. Greeks later had to begin their civilization anew. The current historical opinion is that the Greeks still had some level of civilization -- they didn't revert to barbarianism -- but they lived simpler lives.

Despite being called the "dark ages," this period of Greek history led to many fantastic developments.
  • Greek speaking people migrated to the islands of the Aegean and the coast of Asia Minor in an exodus known as the Ionian Movement
  • The notion of the Polis or City-State was developed
  • The Greek alphabet was developed from Phoenician
Greek New Age
These three major developments led to the Greek New Age (750-500 BC). Other names for this period are: the Age of Colonization, the Lyric Age, the Archaic Age, and the Greek Renaissance. This period saw extensive colonization by the Greeks and their rivals, the Phoenicians. Art and literature increased, as well.

Classical Age
From 500-323 BC, Greece experienced the Classical Age. This is the period that most people think of when they hear "Greek civilization." There were two major wars during the Classical Age: the Persian Wars (499-449 BC) and the Great Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC).

The Classical Age continued for about another 100 years, but the Greek city-states were not able to withstand the invasion of Phillip of Macedonia and the expansions made by his son, Alexander the Great. In fact, the Classical Age's end is marked by the death of Alexander the Great.

As we can see the date markers like Homer, Trojan war, date of Ionian and Mycenaean decline is not known and there are about 400 years where there is no information about the greek. Western scholars have putting a very classical picture ,but as evidence we have nothing. The greek civilization developed due to proximity to Egypt, Syria, Palestine, the lands of Asia Minor, and the Mesopotamia valley. And western scholars have developed theories to somehow prove that Greek is independent and developed on its own not from adjoining civilizations.

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