In the history of the ancient world, the Battle of Thermopylae stands out as one of the most important engagements for the fledgling Greek city-states. Fought over three days in 480 BC between an alliance of Greeks led by the Spartan King Leonidas and the Achaemenid Empire led by King Xerxes, Thermopylae is best remembered for the last stand of the 300 Spartan warriors, who held off the Persian army to give their comrades time to withdraw from the field. Here’s a look at the details of the battle:
Sophocles, who was born around 496 B.C., is one of the most famous dramatists of Ancient Greece. It is believed that he lived to be around ninety years old, and during this time, he penned some famous tragedies. Many of these, such as Antigone and Oedipus Rex, are still being performed today. Besides being a playwright, he was also a politician. Here’s more information about him:
In Ancient Greece, people often expressed loyalty to and took pride in their local communities. In some cases, city states vied with one another to extend their influence across the region. One of the most famous rivalries arose between the cities of Athens and Sparta. Historians believe this competition contributed to the divisive Peloponnesian Wars that occurred between 431 B.C. and 405 B.C.
Olive oil is used in food, health, and beauty products around the world, but no country is more closely intertwined with its history than Greece. Described as “liquid gold” by the legendary poet Homer, olive oil has had an enormous influence on Greek culture. The olive oil that we encounter on a daily basis nowadays has a long history that dates back to Ancient Greece. Here’s more information:
Greece had some turbulence in the years following the conclusion of the Greek War for Independence. After the first governor was assassinated, the strongest nations in the world at the time, France, England, and Russia, decided that Greece needed a king. They brought in Prince Otto from Bavaria, who became the first King of Greece. After he was deposed, King George I was the second king of Greece. Here’s more information about King George I:
After Greece won its independence from the Ottoman Empire, what ensued was an extremely turbulent time period. The country had some trouble establishing a form of government after occupation was over. After a few false attempts, a king was brought in from another kingdom. King Otto I was originally a Bavarian prince, but he ended up becoming the first King of Greece. Here’s more information about him:
The Ancient Greeks were visionaries in the areas of science, mathematics, astronomy, medicine, and geography. They introduced many ideas and inventions that are still used to this day. Modern versions of these items are used in many areas of society. Some of the top inventions introduced by the Ancient Greeks were the water mill, the odometer, the anchor, the alarm clock, and the crane.
Archimedes is an Ancient Greek who was a prototype of the scholar-scientist upon whose work contemporary culture provides so many conveniences. He was born around 287 B.C. at Syracuse, Sicily, which at the time was an Ancient Greek colony. He spent his early years studying in Alexandria, Egypt, which was also a part of Ancient Greece. After returning to Syracuse, he spent his days researching and making scientific experiences. During this time, he made impressive advances in disciplines such as mathematics and engineering. Here’s more information about him:
It’s true that the Athenian navy was known in the ancient world as being one of the best. However, the navy was developed fairly late in the ancient history of the city-state. The city-state developed the navy after the First Persian Invasion in response to the fear of civilians that the Persians would return. They were correct, and the navy was ready to eventually defeat the Persian Empire in the legendary Battle of Salamis. Here’s more information:
Cleisthenes, a noble born Athenian politician, is largely credited with helping the Athenians embrace a new system of government known as democracy. Prior to this political system, the city-state was governed by a system where the noble-born minority ruled the majority. The people of Athens protested and dethroned the old ways.
Now referred to as the Father of Athenian Democracy, Cleisthenes, a nobleman himself, watched the revolution with interest. He would eventually help the Athenian citizens embrace a new form of government. Here’s more information about this Ancient Greek politician: