Archaic Period

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Publisher  Pennsylvania State Univ Pr (Txt)
Publication Date   March 1, 1977
ISBN  0271012145
Pages  620

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This volume covers the period from the fall of the Mycenaean palaces in 1100 B.C. to the end of the Persian wars in 479 B.C. and deals with the consolidation of the Hellenic world during the critical stages of the Geometric and Archaic periods. It is the story of the six centuries that shaped the destiny of Greece and laid the foundations of Western civilization. It was during this period, around 800 B.C., that the institution of the city-state, that unique political structure in history, appeared and expanded. As an autonomous sovereign state consisting of a single town and the land around it. The polis witnessed the development of forms of government ranging from monarchy and aristocracy to the purest form of democracy.At the same time, an explosive expansion of the Greeks from the Caucasus in the East to Gibraltar in the West led, around 770 B.C., to the colonization of Ionia in Asia Minor and, somewhat later, of Southern Italy and Sicily. It was then that the Homeric epics were first recited and that life in flourishing city-states stimulated the intellectual and artistic achievements that were to follow. Science, art, and philosophy and, later, history and geography had entered upon a magnificent flowering of genius which was to exert thereafter a deep and lasting impression upon the mind of Western man.It was almost inevitable that sooner or later the Greeks should meet in conflict the mighty and rapidly expanding Empire of the Persians in the East. The Persian conquest of the Greek cities of Ionia and the rebellion against the conqueror in 499 B.C. marked the beginning of a struggle between East and West which was to culminate in great victories at Marathon, Salamis, and Plataiai and the triumph of Greek democracy.1975

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