Overview of Ancient Greece

Authors Avatar by xxgopi94xx (student)

Overview of Ancient Greece

Athens, Sparta, Alexander, the Parthenon and other ancient ruins are vivid reminders of Greece’s almost hallowed past. Greece is a mountainous land surrounded by over 1000 islands and almost completely circled by the Mediterranean Sea. The first farmers settled there in around about 7000 BC due to the ideal weather of hot dry summers and rain only in winter and soon developed into small independent communities cut off from each other by the mountains and often competing for the best land, because the fertile soil was in short supply. These small communities later developed into the city-states and each had a strong individual identity, although very little is known about these early settlers.                          

The Bronze Age is considered the first historical period, and it was within this period that the early writing systems were developed. During the Bronze Age there were two great civilisations- the Minoans and Mycenaeans.  The Bronze Age witnessed major social, economic, and technological advances that made Greece the main centre of activity in the Mediterranean; it was characterized by its rapid growth of population and development of trade. It was in the Bronze Age that metals were first used.


The Minoan civilization was the first great civilisation of the Aegean world; it emerged around 3200 BC on the island of Crete.  The rich Cretan soil produced oil, grain and wine in abundance. The Minoan’s were not Greek and may have originally come from western Asia as early as 6000 BC. The civilization grew wealthy through trade with countries such as Egypt, Asia Minor and the Levant. The Minoans were skilled artists and craftsmen, creating beautiful objects, their architecture reaching near perfection. The Minoans also ruled the other Aegean Islands and various cities on the mainland. New buildings constantly replaced the cave dwellings of the previous age. The great Minoan fleet ruled the Mediterranean, providing wealth to the island from trade and commerce as well as providing protection from any invaders. They were peaceful people with a love of life and equality between men and women. A major earthquake hit Crete around 1450 BC, causing large-scale destruction of the palaces; but the palaces were rebuilt soon afterwards and the Minoan civilization continued to flourish. Not everyone was as lucky as others to live in the palaces but whoever didn’t, then lived in small farmhouses. A new disaster hit Crete around 1450 BC, causing large-scale destruction to the palaces and settlements and resulting in the eventual demise of the great civilization.

Join now!


This is a preview of the whole essay