The Trojan War
The Trojan War took place in approximately the 13th century. The
ancient Greeks defeated the City of Troy. The Trojan War started after an
incident at the wedding feast of Peleus, the king of Thessaly, and Thetis, a sea
goddess. All the gods and goddesses of Mt. Olympus had been invited except Eris,
the goddess of discord. Eris was offended and tried to stir up trouble among
the guests at the feast. She sent a golden apple inscribed “For the most
beautiful.” Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite each claimed the apple as their own.
Paris judged the quarrel and awarded the apple to Aphrodite because she had
promised him Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world. Helen was already
married to Kin Menelaus of Sparta but when visited by Paris, she fled with Paris
to Troy. Menelaus organized Greek war against Troy to get Helen back. The
Greeks battled for ten years but could not defeat Troy. The fall of Troy
occurred when the Greeks built a large hollow horse and placed it outside the
walls of Troy. The Trojans took the horse inside and thought the had won the
war and the horse was a gift from the Greeks. Later that night, the Greeks
stormed from the horse and opened the gates to allow their fellow warriors in
and the Greeks conquered the City of Troy.
Ancient Greece was the birthplace of Western civilization about 2500
years ago. Greek civilization consisted mainly of small city-states. A city-
state consisted of a city or town and the surrounding villages and farmland.
The Greek city-states were independent and quarreled often with one-another.
These city states established the world’s first democratic government. The
Greeks believed that certain gods and goddesses watched over them and directed
their daily lives. Families would try to please these gods by offering
sacrifices, gifts, and ceremonies. Greeks flocked to oracles to consult priests
and priestesses to answer questions and fore-tell the future. Greek men enjoyed
drinking, talking, and dancing at parties. They also like sports and religious
festivals Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle are the most important Greek
philosophers. Socrates taught by carefully questioning his listeners to expose
the weaknesses of their ideas and arguments. Plato explored such subjects as
beauty, justice, and good government. Aristotle summed up the achievements of
Greek philosophy and science. His authority on many topics remained
unquestioned for more than 100 years Most Ancient Greeks were suspicious of
philosophers and their theories. They continued to believe in superstitions and
in myths. In 399 BC, an Athens jury sentenced Socrates to death for showing
disrespect to the gods. Greek architects, sculptors, and painters made great
contributions to the arts. They were trying to create ideal beauty based on
equal proportions. Greek sculptors portrayed figures of gods, goddesses, and
human beings. The most famous Greek sculptors were Phidais, Praxiteles,
Lysippus, and Myron. Music often was played with Greek plays. Melody was
common and harmony was not. The government of Athens was headed by Pericles for
most of the Golden Age. An assembly of all male citizens would pass the laws,
at the height of its power, Athens had the most advanced democracy in Greece.
The Parthenon in Athens is a Greek Temple. Athena was the goddess of wisdom and
warfare. Apollo the god of the sun and of poetry represented the ideal young
The ancient Greeks built Athens upon a great plateau upon a great hill.
The flat hill covers about ten acres. Athens became known as the Acropolis.
The Greek words akro and polis mean high city. The Athenians built temples and
public buildings on the Acropolis. By 1200 BC the Athenians had built a wall
around most of the city. The Athenians built a temple to Athena on the hill.
Pericles also began the Propylaea in addition tot he Parthenon. The Propylaea
was never completed. All citizens except those of the city’s poorest class were
eligible for the council and for all other offices. Women were not citizens and
could not vote or hold office. All public officials were chosen annually by
drawing lots. Generals were elected. Unpopular government officials could be
banished for ten years by vote of the people.
The Coliseum is one of the chief landmarks of Rome. Romans watched
gladiators fight each other or animals. Forums were the center of public life
in he city. Public meetings were held here and many important buildings and
statues stood there.
The Parthenon is an ancient Greek temple in the city of Athens. It
stands on a hill called the Acropolis overlooking the city of Athens. The
Parthenon is dedicated to the goddess Athena. The best Greek sculptors and
designers erected the Parthenon between 447 and 432 BC When the Turkish people
owned the Parthenon, they filled it with gunpowder which exploded and destroyed
the central part of the building. The Parthenon was built entirely of Pentelic
marble. One room in the Parthenon contained a huge gold and ivory statue of
Athena. Around the top of the outer wall above the columns of the Parthenon was
a set of small sculptured panels called metopes.
Athens was a city known to protect people from the Athenians. The
Greeks living in Athens were people with a passion for perfection. Artists
excelled in beautiful works of love, beauty, and passion. Pericles was leader
of the Athenians and built Acropolis to honor Athena. 39 foot high statue of
Athena sits in the town. Many people and small countries looked to Athens for
protection. Athens was completed in 50 years. Sculptors such as the great
Fidius designed statues to display in Athens. We as Americans took so much from
the Greeks. Politics, Rhetoric, biology, geology, first to calculate atom,
position of heavenly bodies, all were first done by the Greeks. Great
Philosophers included Socrates, Plato, Hypocrates, Pythagorean, Pindler, Escelus.
Athens had the worlds first democracy. The citizens participated males only in
the government. We took the Greek form of Government and applied it to American
Government. Our founding fathers knew Latin and Greek and realized the
importance of the language. The Greeks erected many statues to honor their gods
and one was found in 1928 by divers. The found statue, one dedicated to
Poseidon, god of the sea was probably stolen by the Romans but the ship sunk and
the statue was under water for hundreds of years. Sea at Sunneam was the name
of a temple built in honor for Poseidon. Zeus, the father and leader of the
Gods liven on Mt. Olympus. Delphi was an important Greek Temple for Apollo.
The Greek people were highly educated and built stadiums and offered
sacrifices to uphold their high religion. The oracle of Delphi, was a well
known oracle. The theater originated as a place for religious festivals.
Amphitheater was for plays about woman. The Olympics were every four years.
The competitors competed naked and their were cheering sections along the side
of the competition area. 770 BC was the first Olympic Games played. Physical
Beauty was a great thing for Greeks. Sculptors tried to capture great eye-
pleasing physiques for their statues. Homosexual activity was accepted between
men and boys. A plague in Athens wiped out Pericles and many Greek people.
The Greek people inspired cultures and countries for years to come and
we are all in debt to the Greek people for the knowledge and wisdom they showed
to invent new theories, laws, ideas, and ways of life. The Greek people were
very advanced for their time and without them we would not know many of the
things we know now. Pythagorean helped us to develop math skills and Socrates
as well as other philosophers taught us theories of science and evolution.