Ancient Greece – 7a Greek Life
About 2,500 years ago, Greece was one of the most important places in the ancient world. The Greeks were great thinkers, warriors, writers, actors, athletes, artists, architects and politicians.
The Greeks called themselves ‘Hellenes’ and their land was ‘Hellas’. The name ‘Greeks’ was given to the people of Greece later by the Romans. They lived in mainland Greece and the Greek islands, but also in colonies scattered around the Mediterranean Sea. There were Greeks in Italy, Sicily, Turkey, North Africa and as far west as France.
They sailed the sea to trade and find new lands. The Greeks took their ideas with them and they started a way of life that’s similar to the one we have today.
How was Ancient Greece ruled?
There was never one country called ‘ancient Greece’. Instead, Greece was divided up into small ‘city-states’, like Athens, Sparta, Corinth and Olympia. Each city-state ruled itself. They had their own governments, laws and army. So, ancient Greeks living in Sparta considered themselves Spartan first, and Greek second. Famously, the city-states didn’t get on very well and often fought each another. However, sometimes they joined together to fight against a bigger enemy, like the Persian Empire. Only a very powerful ruler could control all Greece. One man did in the 300s BC. He was Alexander the Great, from Macedonia. Alexander led his army to conquer an empire that stretched as far as Afghanistan and India.
The ancient origins of the Olympics.
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