Lesson 1.02 - The Birth of Democracy

To get a better understanding of the world that is you must unearth the knowledge of the past. Picture yourself on the edge of a rocky cliff overlooking the Aegean Sea. The time is around 1200 BC. And you have traveled in time to ancient Greece. An ancient text of Greek history, written by Herodotus is in your hand. And you read. . . .

Greek civilization had its roots not only on the mainland of Greece but also on the many islands of the Mediterranean and Aegean seas.

The Greeks were never able to become a unified nation. In addition to the numerous islands, the geography of Greece, with its crisscrossing mountain rages and numerous valleys, cut one settlement off from the other. As a result the Greeks developed independent city-states. There were more than a hundred city-states that made up ancient Greece. Each one of them developed their own form of government, lifestyle and traditions and fiercely guarded their independence. At times this caused wars between various Greek city-states. At other times the Greeks could bind themselves together if threatened by an outside force or for the Olympics.

An actual map of the known world that was drawn by the Greek historian Herodotus around 1200 BC
Several things linked all the Greek city-states together. The first common link was religion. You are probably familiar with Greek mythology and some of the stories. Much of the Greek religion is found in two epic poems written around 1200BC by a blind poet by the name of Homer. The Iliad and the Odyssey contained descriptions of the Trojan War fought between the Kingdom of Troy and the Greek city-states. Another thing that linked the city-states together was their language. Even taking into account different dialects, most Greeks could understand each other.
Assignment 1.02 - The Birth of Democracy
It was in the Greek city-state of Athens that democracy was given birth. In this adventure you will travel back in time to ancient Greece to explore life in ancient Greece.
For this assignment you will use this wonderful site provided by the BBC (British Broadcasting System)

Click on the link to take you to ancient Greece:


Use the tool bar on the left side of the screen to navigate through the site using various tabs

For the city of Athens answer the following questions:

1. Who built the Parthenon and in what year was it built?

2. Democracy means? How many men served on the ruling council of Athens? (This was known as the assembly) What United States government institution is this similar to?

3. What very important Constitutional right did the Athenians give us (hint: click on the Resources tab and then Writing.)?

4. What rights did Athenian women have? Use the Resources Tab-Writing and describe how Athenian women ran their households.

5. Was it possible for an Athenian slave to purchase their freedom?

For the city of Corinth answer the questions on the Website:

6. How were the designs on Greek pots were made?

7. Why would you want to drag your ship over the land?

8. What types of government were there in ancient Greece, and which would you prefer to be ruled by?

Use the Olympia tab to find information about the ancient Olympics. Use the Classics Tab-Visit the Ancient Olympics. Complete the questions which leads you to the final question:

9. What was the “Final Word” that was found between the laurel wreaths?

10. Use the Classics Tab –“Athens Thinks Twice.” Briefly summarize the story.

Use Resources- The writings of the historian Thucydides – for a primary source.

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