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33 Ancient Greece Facts That Reveal The Strange Side Of The Founders Of Western Civilization
Highly disciplined and trained to be warriors from a young age, Spartans were one of the most feared military forces in the Greek world. Which is saying a lot, considering the human propensity for violence. Here are a few things you might not have known about these legendary warriors. The iconic Spartan army was the brainchild of a legendary lawgiver named Lycurgus, who organized their culture and brought them to prominence. The Spartans had a ruthless reputation around the ancient world. And it says a lot that their absolute efficiency in warfare is still so widely remembered today.
Ancient Greece is often remembered by the modern collective consciousness as a civilization driven by enlightenment. To many, the Greeks' world was a progressive, democratic, and peaceful world, populated by philosopher-kings, teachers, athletes, artists, and priests.
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You may have heard that ancient Greece invented democracy , but democracy was only one type of government employed by the Greeks, and when it first evolved, many Greeks thought it a bad idea. In the pre-Classical period, ancient Greece was composed of small geographic units ruled by a local king. Over time, groups of the leading aristocrats replaced the kings. Greek aristocrats were powerful, hereditary noblemen and wealthy landowners whose interests were at odds with the majority of the populace. In ancient times, the area that we call Greece was many independent, self-governing city-states. The technical, much-used term for these city-states is poleis the plural of polis. We're familiar with the governments of the 2 leading poleis , Athens and Sparta.
So just how did this advanced civilization come into existence post-Bronze Age and enjoy such stunning splendor? Learning about ancient Greece can be fascinating but intimidating —why do people call it antiquity, or the Classical period, or Hellenistic? When we talk about ancient Greece, we generally mean the period between the 12th—9th centuries BC to the 1st century AD. This period in Greek history had a great influence on the equally fascinating society of ancient Rome. So many innovations and ideas that originated in ancient Greece still play a part in our lives today.