Ancient Greek / The Greek Civilization term paper 9493

Ancient Greek / The Greek Civilization term paper 9493





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 Ancient World History: Lesson Plans & Resources

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It can be so exciting and educational to study Ancient Greece with students. This lesson gives you some ideas for essay topics that will help your students consolidate their learning.

Ancient Greece

If you are studying Ancient Greece with your students, you probably already understand the richness of the curriculum. Learning about Ancient Greece gives you the opportunity to explore the history of government and politics, religion and spirituality, philosophy, and economics, among other major topics. Because a study of Ancient Greece has the potential to become truly interdisciplinary in nature, or incorporating knowledge from a variety of different disciplines, you will want to give your students plenty of chances to consolidate their understanding and synthesize what they have learned.

Essay Topics

A strong essay topic can offer this opportunity. Essays may require students to do additional research on topics of interest. They will also ask students to synthesize information and ideas from a variety of sources and perspectives in order to develop a coherent thesis and writing structure. The essay topics in this lesson can be modified to meet the needs of particular age levels and students’ interests, but they offer starting points for students working with Ancient Greece.

The Roots of Democracy

Many scholars consider Ancient Greece to be the birthplace of democracy. Determine whether you agree or disagree with this statement and why. Explain what democracy was in ancient Greece and how it was similar to or different from visions of democracy commonly held today.

Power and Responsibility

Describe the political system of Ancient Greece with a particular focus on who held what kind of power and why, and who held what sorts of responsibilities and why. Take a stand on this structure, explaining its utility, advantages and disadvantages.

Sparta and Athens

Compare the structure, culture and ethos of Sparta and Athens as different city-states. Explain what each city-state deemed valuable and how each of them maintained a particular identity. Make sure to include an explanation of what a city-state is and why they mattered so much in Ancient Greece.

The Significance of Story

Describe the significance of mythology to life in Ancient Greece. Why did the Greeks develop so many myths, and what role did these myths play in their society?

Zero in on a Myth

Choose one myth from the Greek canon that is especially meaningful to you. Describe the myth in detail and explain what lesson the myth attempts to teach or what phenomenon it accounts for. Determine whether or not you agree with the themes or lessons in the myth, and be specific about why or why not.

Tragic Flaws

Discuss the theme of tragic flaws in Greek mythologies. What did the Greeks consider to be a tragic flaw, and how did they make this known? Do you agree that these are tragic personality characteristics?

Formative Philosophers

Ancient Greece was known for its formative philosophies; the works of Plato and Aristotle are still cited often today, and many people draw from the philosophies of Sophocles, Diogenes and others. Choose one Greek philosopher to focus on. Research and describe this person’s life and thought. Choose a few major ideas or themes to elaborate on, and explain the ways these philosophies have informed subsequent works across the disciplines.

Lives of Women

What was life like for women in Ancient Greece? What artifacts and documents can we use to learn about the lives of women? Describe your vision of what it was like to be female in this time, and how the lives of girls and women differed from those of boys and men.

Education

Describe the way education worked in Ancient Greece, focusing on the Socratic method and researching the lives of children as well as adults. What is your opinion on the Ancient Greek approach to educating people? How is this approach similar to and different from contemporary visions of education that you are more familiar with?

Other Ancient Civilizations

Compare and contrast Ancient Greece with at least one other ancient civilization that you know about. Describe similarities and differences in government, lifestyle, religion, and philosophy. Try to understand why these similarities and differences might have existed and how they impacted the lifespan of the civilizations.

Mathematics or Science

The Greeks made many important mathematical and scientific discoveries. Choose 3-5 of these discoveries to research and write about in detail. Describe how the Greeks were able to learn what they did, and how these explorations informed later scientific work.


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Ancient World History: Lesson Plans & Resources

11 chapters |
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Ch 1. Historical Concepts Games & Lesson…

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Ch 2. Prehistory & Early Civilizations…

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Ch 3. Mesopotamia Lesson Plans &…

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Ch 4. Ancient Forms of Writing & Art…

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Ch 5. Early Civilizations of the Americas…

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Ch 6. Ancient Chinese History Lesson…

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Ch 8. Teaching Ancient Greek History

  • Ancient Greece Lesson Plan

  • Legacy of Ancient Greece: Art, Government, Science & Sports

    6:53

  • Origins of Democracy Lesson Plan

  • Greek Democracy Lesson Plan

  • The Development of Democracy in Greece

  • Ancient Greece Essay Topics

  • Next Lesson

    Ancient Greece Project Ideas

  • Ancient Greece Activities & Games

  • Peloponnesian War Lesson Plan

  • Peloponnesian War and Thucydides

    12:49

  • Pericles Lesson Plan

  • Pericles of Athens: Facts, Achievements & Death

    5:49

  • Pericles, the Delian League, and the Athenian Golden Age

    7:43

  • Sparta Lesson Plan

  • History of Sparta

    8:35

  • Alexander the Great Activities for Kids

  • Phoenicians Lesson Plan

  • The Phoenicians: History, Religion & Civilization

    6:48

  • Ancient Greek Economy Lesson Plan

  • Trade & Commerce in Greek City-States & the Mediterranean Region

    6:39

  • Persian War Activities

  • Battle of Marathon Lesson Plan

  • Greek Polis Lesson Plan

  • Greek City-States Lesson Plan

  • Persian War Lesson Plan

  • Life in Athens vs. Sparta Lesson Plan

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    Teaching Ancient Greek History

Ch 9. Teaching Ancient Greek Philosophy,…

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    Teaching Ancient Greek Philosophy, Art & Science

Ch 10. Ancient Rome Lesson Plans &…

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Ch 11. Ancient Egypt Lesson Plans &…

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The Ancient Greek Architecture History Essay

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The civilization of Ancient Greece was one that spanned many years, and in this time, many the Greeks excelled various fields, such as art, entertainment, music, government, economy, leadership, science, mathematics, astronomy, and more.  One particular application of science and mathematics is the ancient Greeks’ stunning and advanced architecture and engineering.  The ancient Greeks developed and innovated for hundreds of years; from the 8th century BCE until around 600 CE, this empire flourished in so many aspects has influenced a significant portion of our culture today.  Everywhere in one’s life can he see Greek influence on modern day, especially in architecture.

          The ancient Greeks were known for their many styles of architecture, from three different orders, ranging in complexity. Their most famous innovation was the column, as they did not invent it, but used it the most efficiently for their time.  Doric order was the first style of the three, and the simplest, with no extra design except for the grooves, called fluting, and the arrises, which are the sharp edges at which fluting meets.  Early Doric columns do not have bases, but at the top, there is a circular ring, the echinus, that leads to the abacus, the square top piece.  Often times, the echinus will have three horizontal grooves, called the hypotrachelion.  Ionic order was the next style, and possibly the more used of the three in modern day architecture.  Similar to Doric columns from bottom to middle, the only difference until the top of the Ionic column is the fillets, which are flatter arrises.  At the top, the echinus has carved designs, and there are scrolls, with spiral volutes.  Government buildings, such as the White House, and upscale banks, including the National Bank of Oamaru, in New Zealand, feature Ionic columns.  The last, and fanciest of the three orders, is the Corinthian order, with small scroll-shaped tendrils and carefully carved acanthus leaves; acantho- is a Latin prefix which means thorny. 

          Structural design was not the only goal of ancient Greek structures, as friezes, located on pediments, are purely decorative.  Pediments are flat, triangular spaces at the top of a building, supported by columns; it is situated between the roof and top of the square or rectangular shaped wall.  The friezes are designs, many of them, sculptures, which are found within the pediment.  Ancient Greek frieze schemes often depict mythology, including animals, gods, goddesses, and events.  Stoae are long, paved walkways in ancient Greece to promote a safe environment.  They are supported by columns, mainly those of Doric order, and reflect symmetry in their aligning.        

          The purpose of ancient Greek structures reflected their culture, which were heavily influenced by their religion and entertainment.  The most commonly found building is the temple, as ancient Greeks were polytheistic and prayed to a plethora of gods and goddesses.  The Parthenon in Athens in the most famous temple in Greece, and it displays the perfect example of classic Greek architectural elements, including geometry, columns, friezes, and pediments.  The architects Ictinos and Callicrates began their work on it in 447 BCE.  Construction for the Parthenon was finished in 438 BCE, and it was dedicated to the goddess of "wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, just warfare, mathematics, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill," Athena.  It features perfect symmetry, with a rectangular base with evenly spaced columns for support.  The east pediment describes the birth of Athena, where, according to Greek Mythology, her father, Zeus, had an awful headache, and he ordered another god to strike his head.  Zeus’s head split open, and Athena appeared, dressed in full armor; this is where the term "splitting headache" came from.  The west pediment shows Athena and Poseidon in their rivalry to becoming the city’s patron (obviously, Athena won, and the city was named after her). 

          Most temples were smaller, ranging from thirty to one-hundred feet long, and rectangular in shape.  One design, called tholos, was round, but other examples, including anta, prostyle, and pseudodipteral, were quadrilaterals.  The Parthenon is an exception, although polygonal, it is 235 feet long by 109 feet wide, which is longer than the average Greek temple.  The base of the structure rests upon the top step of a stylobate (similar to a short staircase or stoop).  The inside of the temple consisted of two rooms:  a windowless, small area that contained a statue of the god or goddess to whom it was dedicated, and the other was sunlit.

          Especially in ancient Athens, entertainment and the arts played a significant role in daily life.  Therefore, buildings were constructed to satisfy these needs.  One popular type of structure was the open-air theater, which are huge, outdoor amphitheaters with a stage in the middle of the circle.  The stage was of significant size to fit the many performers, and the theaters could seat up to fourteen thousand viewers.  Athens was known for its satyrs, tragedies, and comedies. 

          The ancient Greeks developed a governmental system known as a direct democracy, where the people vote on all matters.  It started off as an experiment in Athens in 550 BCE, and grew to make Athens one of the most powerful and stable societies of the time.  In modern-day America, we have a form of direct democracy, but it is not direct, as we vote for the leaders who vote on bills.  Because we adapted our government model from that of the Greeks, many of our administrative buildings are of Greek styled architecture.  Our own city hall in New Rochelle is supported by large ionic columns and the roof is held up by a pediment.  The capital city of Washington DC contains buildings that are of many styles, ancient and modern alike, and some ancient styles include those from the Egyptians, Romans, and of course, Greeks.  From 2006 to 2007, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) conducted a study to list the 150 favorite buildings in America.  Of the top ten, four were of Neoclassical or Greek Revival styles, and they were located in the District of Columbia.  Neoclassical refers to a style influenced by ancient Greek and Roman architecture.  Number two on the list is the White House, which has a porch supported by the Roman adaptation of Ionic columns and a pediment.  It is relatively simple in design, rectangular and perfectly symmetric.  The fourth favorite on the list is the Jefferson Memorial, which is more Roman than Greek, but Roman architecture had a significant influence by the Greeks.  This memorial is circular, and has a dome for a roof, which is not Greek, but the columns, pediment, and frieze are.  Numbers six and seven are the Capitol Building and Lincoln Memorial, respectively, and the Lincoln Memorial in particular is a Greek Revival styled building, looking similar to a Greek temple of Doric order. 

          The Romans based their architecture off that of the ancient Greeks because when the Greek Empire fell, many immigrated to Rome, and diffused their culture into Rome.  Roman columns are similar to the Greeks’ in structure; they added bases to Doric columns but mainly used the fancier Corinthian columns.  Temples were different in structure, but the Romans used pediments and adopted the Greek word "basilica," meaning royal; Roman theaters were also modified Greek theaters.  While the Greeks are most famous for their column, the Romans are known for their use of the arch.

          Ancient Greek civilization was one of the most advanced societies in history.  They flourished in countless areas, including art, music, government, economics, and architecture.  Today, so much of our architecture is modeled after the Greeks, from government buildings to houses.  Their use of the column is one of the greatest structural achievements of the ancient world, and it is still very widely used.  Pediments, friezes, geometry, symmetry, and columns are some of the elements commonly found in Greek architecture, and examples of buildings would be temples and stoae.  Religion had a significant influence on the development and purpose of the architecture; the most famous Greek building being the Parthenon, an ancient temple.  The ancient Greeks’ architecture contains some of the most useful and aesthetically pleasing elements, and many are still used today.          


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