The Development of Greek Culture
Notice that Greek settlements are widely scattered
throughout the Mediterranean region by 550 BCE.
What did these colonies develop?
Myths and stories were
written in the Greek
developed from the
Why is a written
These early Greek writings became the
foundation of Greek culture. Two main
Homer was a blind
storyteller from the
Greek civilization of
Mycenae. His stories
date back to 700 BCE
and reveal legendary
heroes of the Greeks’
war with the city of
Statue of Homer, Munich
were later written
as epic poems,
The Iliad and The
What does “epic”
“…A literary work about a hero,
amazing adventures or an
otherwise intense or amazing story.
Often, an epic tale involves a hero
on an adventurous quest to rescue
another main character, to save the
world in some manner, or to defend
his community against a rival or
enemy. -Education, Seattle Pi
What do you
Talk to your
The Trojan War is believed
to have occurred around
The Greeks fought Troy for ten years.
Historians believe that the war was over
control of the Aegean Sea.
But that is not the story you are
familiar with. Homer’s Iliad
recounts the story:
Helen, beautiful wife of the king
of Sparta, falls in love with Paris,
the prince of Troy.
Helen is kidnapped by Paris and
taken to Troy.
This sparks a war between the
Greeks and the Trojans as the
Greeks attempted to invade Troy.
“Beware of Greeks
Talk to your neighbor,
what does this mean?
Why are Homer’s stories important?
Because they reveal so much about
Greek culture, civilization and their
values of honor, heroism and courage.
Both stories also reveal much about Greek
Mythology. What do you already know about Greek
Is it polytheistic or monotheistic?
How did Greek mythology affect culture, politics
•Festivals were held to honor the gods
•Each city state had a patron god or
goddess that the Greeks believed
•Politically, governments consulted
the Gods and goddesses through the
Oracle of Delphi
•The gods and goddesses were the
subject of classical art
Replica of Athena sculpture that stood at the Parthenon
How did it help explain the natural world
and human behavior?
It helped explain geographic features and natural
phenomenon as well as emotions such as jealousy
It was believed that the Greek gods and
goddesses lived on Mt. Olympus
The Oracle at Delphi, a mystical priestess
was believed to be able to speak to the
gods and goddesses.
Greek temple at Delphi
Who were the most
important Greek gods and
Homeric Quotes about Greek Mythology
“It was built
will of the
So it did not last
Park Row building in New York
“You will certainly
not be able to take
the lead in all
things yourself, for
to one man a god
has given deeds
of war, and to
dance, to another
lyre and song, and
to another wide
puts a good
National Archives Building, Washington DC
“Thus, have the gods spun the thread from
wretched mortals that live in grief while
they themselves are without cares; for two
jars stand on the floor of Zeus of the gifts
which he gives, one of evils and another of
U.S. Dept. of Justice
“The gods, likening
To all kinds of
strangers, go in
From city to city,
wrongdoing and the
Manhattan Bridge, NYC
Ancient and Classical Greece Timeline
2000 BCE 1500 BCE
The Iliad and The Odyssey
Alexander begins to build
Empire by conquering Persian
The Development of Greek Culture
What is culture?
Was Greek mythology monotheistic
Two sources of Greek culture were:
How did mythology help explain the
natural world and human behavior?
What did Homer write?
What were these epic poems about?
Name the six most important Greek
Gods and goddesses below.
Where would we find pictures or
sculptures of gods and goddesses in
the modern world?
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