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dpappas87

Active member
When I visit Greece, I love to learn about the history. I want to Greece for a bit this past summer and loved learning about the Minoans. Were they the earliest or was there a civilization before them?

Prior to this trip, I had thought the Minoans were contained to Crete, but I went to Santorini and Aegina, as well, and they also talked about the Minoan influence. Fascinating stuff. I want to learn about the Mycenaeans, too. Were they kind of at the same time as the Minoans?
 
The Mycenaean civilization overlapped the Minoans and I am not sure, but I thought I read somewhere that there is speculation that the Minoans might have been invaded by then. Other speculations is that the volcanic eruption ended the Minoan civilization. Maybe it was a combination. All I know is the Minoans were in more places than Crete for sure - I've bumped into it elsewhere, as well, like on Santorini I think?
 

Athens and the creation of democracy

I've been thinking about Athens and how it's the birth of democracy. I wondered if other societies had experimented with the concepts or if Athens was unique? Does anyone know? I know that there's been some evidence that other societies experimented with community leadership, but none had a true democracy like what Athens developed.

It was unique in developing a system where a significant portion of its inhabitants could participate directly in decision-making processes. This early form of democracy was largely initiated under the leadership of Cleisthenes in 508/507 BC. His reforms reorganized the population into ten tribes based on their residence rather than lineage, promoting a broader and more inclusive political engagement.

In this Athenian democracy, citizens had the right to attend the Assembly (Ekklesia), where they could speak and vote on legislation and executive decisions. The Council of Five Hundred (Boule), selected by lot for each of the ten tribes, proposed legislation and handled daily affairs. This lottery system for public office sought to prevent power monopolies and encourage civic participation.

I know that this work truly influenced other democratic governments through the world!

Feel free to chime in with your thoughts- I find this stuff interesting.

What did the Ancient Greeks eat?

I am fascinated by the Ancient Greeks. I have a feeling that some of our modern Greek recipes are similar to the ancient ones. Like spoon sweets. It think that seems like something that was developed a long time ago as a way to preserve the fruit harvest.

So, I have been researching this. What did the Ancient Greeks eat? I wanted to share this video because I thought it was interesting.

For Ancient Greeks, Our Modern Democracy is an Oligarchy.

My Top Favorite Greek Philosophers

There are too many philosophers to count, but these are the ones I am studying at the moment. It's fascinating to me how influential the Greek philosophers are. Here's some things I am learning:

#1 Socrates

If philosophy had a poster boy, Socrates might very well be it. The father of Western philosophy, Socrates was a gadfly to Athenian society, questioning everything and Master to Plato. Known for the Socratic Method and his unflinching commitment to truth, Socrates' influence is immeasurable despite never having written a word.

#2 Plato

Rightly succeeding his mentor on this list, Plato's Academy saw him birth the first "university" of its kind. His unabashed idealism, immortal Forms, allegories like the Cave, and the pursuit of 'The Good' in moral philosophy set the stage for much intellectual discourse.

#3 Aristotle

Aristotle, another of Plato's students, had a more grounded approach to philosophy than his predecessor. With establishing principles of logic and reason, and contributions to virtually every field of academia, from poetry to physics, Aristotle's body of work remains foundational.

#4 Heraclitus

Heraclitus, famed for the idea that "change is the only constant," viewed the cosmos through a lens of process, flux, and an everlasting Logos that governs the world. Although little of his work survives, his influence on ancient and modern thinkers is profound.

#5 Epicurus

Known for his eponymous philosophy, Epicurus taught that the greatest good is to seek modest pleasures in order to attain a state of tranquility, freedom from fear (ataraxia), and absence of bodily pain (aponia). Often misunderstood, Epicureanism is starkly different from the modern use of 'epicurean' - it's much less about a luxury lifestyle and more about ethical considerations regarding personal fulfillment.

Interesting Greek History Topics I Like

The Persian Wars: The wars fought between Greece and the Persian empire in the 5th century BC were some of the most consequential conflicts of ancient times. Learn about the key events, such as the Battle of Marathon and the Battle of Thermopylae, and the strategies that allowed the Greeks to repel the Persian invaders.

The Rise of Athens: Arguably the most influential city-state in ancient Greece, Athens was the birthplace of democracy, philosophy, and the arts. Follow the rise of Athens from a humble village to a powerhouse of trade and culture.

The Peloponnesian War: The decades-long conflict between Athens and Sparta was a turning point in Greek history, leading to the decline of Athens and the rise of Macedon under Philip II and his son Alexander.

The Life of Alexander the Great: The young conqueror who led his armies across the known world, Alexander the Great is one of the most famous and admired figures of ancient history. Learn about his upbringing, his conquests, and his legacy.

The Olympic Games: A tradition that continues to this day, the ancient Olympics were a celebration of sports, culture, and political power. Explore the origins of the games and the events that took place.
Share and discuss Greek history!

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