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amygdalE

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Learning about the Olympic Games

It's an Olympics year so I thought I would chat a bit about the Olympic Games!

The original Olympic Games, held in Olympia, Greece, were primarily a festival celebrating Zeus, the king of the Greek gods. These games began around 776 BC and featured a range of athletic competitions, from foot races to combat sports like wrestling and boxing. Interestingly, the games were so significant that wars were put on hold, and conflicts paused to allow athletes and spectators to travel safely to Olympia. This ancient tradition of the Olympic Truce or "Ekecheiria" is a testament to the power of sport in fostering peace and unity, a principle that remains at the heart of the Olympics today.

I find it absolutely intriguing how these ancient games laid the groundwork for the modern Olympics, introducing concepts of sportsmanship, excellence, and the idea of bringing people together through the universal language of sport.

Has anyone visited ancient Olympia? Do you guys enjoy watching the Olympic Games?

How did the Mycenaean civilization fall?

I'm curious about the decline of the Mycenaean civilization. I know they were a dominant force in ancient Greece during the Late Bronze Age, but I'm not clear on how their civilization came to an end. What were the main factors that contributed to their fall? Were there specific events, invasions, or internal issues that led to their decline? Additionally, how did this collapse affect the broader Greek world at the time? Any insights or recommended readings on this topic would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

History of the Greek flag?

I never really stopped to think about the history of the Greek flag and I want to share that knowledge with my kids. I need to figure out what it is first. I have this feeling the history is rich because I've seen different, older versions of the flag.

Could anyone shed some light on the following aspects:
  • Origins: When was the Greek flag officially adopted, and were there any significant events that led to its creation?
  • Symbolism: What do the colors and the cross represent? Are there any historical or cultural significance behind these elements?
  • Evolution: Has the flag undergone any changes throughout the years? If so, what prompted these changes?
  • Legends/Myths: Are there any interesting legends or anecdotes surrounding the inception or adoption of the flag?
Thanks!

Greek Independence Day History

Greek Independence Day is coming up! I thought I would share a bit that I know about the history. Please chime in with corrections or anything to add!
  1. The Spark of Revolution: Greek Independence Day marks the day in 1821 when the Greeks began their revolt against the Ottoman Empire, a state that had controlled Greece for nearly 400 years. This revolt was influenced by the surge of nationalism throughout Europe and inspired by the Enlightenment ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity.
  2. A Poet’s Declaration: The revolution officially began after Bishop Germanos of Patras raised the Greek flag at the Monastery of Agia Lavra in Peloponnese, symbolizing the call to arms. However, it was rumored that the war of independence was actually declared a few days earlier by Alexandros Ypsilantis, a Greek national hero, in the Danubian Principalities.
  3. International Support: The Greek fight for independence was not just a local effort; it garnered substantial international support from prominent figures such as Lord Byron from Britain, who notably spent his own money and later died in Greece, contributing to the Greek cause. This international backing was crucial for the morale of the Greek fighters and helped in diplomatic efforts later on.
  4. The Battle of Navarino: A pivotal point in the Greek War of Independence was the Battle of Navarino in 1827, where the combined fleets of Britain, France, and Russia defeated the Ottoman and Egyptian fleets. This naval battle marked a significant turning point that led to the eventual independence of Greece.
  5. Recognition and Autonomy: Greek Independence was formally recognized in 1830 by the Treaty of London. However, full sovereignty and the delineation of the Greek borders were not achieved until later. It allowed the foundation of the modern Greek state, under the governance of King Otto from Bavaria.

Rise and Fall of Ancient Athens?

My knowledge of Athenian history is a series of disjointed, out of order events. I am trying to get a feel for Athenian history before going to Greece, because I will be seeing some of the historical sites.

I’ve recently taken an interest in Ancient Greek history, particularly the fascinating journey of Athens from its rise to its fall. I’m looking to understand more about the key factors that contributed to both its ascension as a powerful city-state and its eventual decline.

Here are a few specific areas I'm curious about:
  1. Political Evolution: How did the political structures and reforms, such as democracy under leaders like Cleisthenes and later Pericles, contribute to Athens' rise?
  2. Military Strength: What role did the Athenian navy and military innovations play in establishing and maintaining their dominance, especially during the Persian Wars?
  3. Cultural Influence: How did Athens' cultural achievements in philosophy, arts, and sciences support its growth? Were there any specific cultural milestones that marked its golden age?
  4. Economic Factors: What were the economic foundations of Athens' power? How did trade and resources influence its prosperity?
  5. Internal Struggles: What internal issues, such as political conflicts, social divides, or economic problems, began to undermine Athens' stability?
  6. External Pressures: How did external conflicts, such as the Peloponnesian War with Sparta, contribute to Athens' decline? Were there other external factors that played a significant role?
  7. Leadership and Decisions: How did the decisions of key leaders impact both the rise and fall of Athens?
Share and discuss Greek history!

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