Ancient Metaphysics, "The Foundations of Philosophy"
 

Ancient
Greece

Parmenides Welcome to Ancient Greek Metaphysics

Ancient GreeceAncient Greece is the term used to describe the Greek-speaking world in ancient times. It refers not only to the geographical peninsula of modern Greece, but also to areas of Hellenic culture that were settled in ancient times by Greeks: Cyprus, the Aegean coast of Turkey (then known as Ionia), Sicily and southern Italy (known as Magna Graecia), and the scattered Greek settlements on the coasts of what are now Albania, Bulgaria, Egypt, Libya, southern France, southern Spain, Catalonia, Georgia, Romania, and Ukraine.

There are no fixed or universally agreed upon dates for the beginning or the end of the Ancient Greek period. In common usage it refers to all Greek history before the Roman Empire, but historians use the term more precisely. Some writers include the periods of the Greek-speaking Mycenaean civilization that collapsed about 1100 BC, though most would argue that the influential Minoan was so different from later Greek culture that it should be classed separately.

In the modern Greek school-books, "ancient times" is a period of about 1000 years (from the catastrophe of Mycenae until the conquest of the country by the Romans) that is divided in four periods, based on styles of art as much as culture and politics. The historical line starts with:

  • The Greek Dark Ages (1100–800 BC). In this period artists used geometrical schemes such as squares, circles, lines to decorate amphora and other pottery.
  • The Archaic Period (800–500 BC) represents those years when the artists made larger free-standing sculptures in stiff, hieratic poses with the dreamlike "archaic smile."
  • In the Classical Years (500–323 BC) artists perfected the style that since has been taken as exemplary: "classical", such as the (Parthenon).
  • In the Hellenistic years that followed the conquests of Alexander (323–146 BC), also known as Alexandrian, aspects of Hellenic civilization expanded to Egypt and Bactria.

Traditionally, the Ancient Greek period was taken to begin with the date of the first Olympic Games in 776 BC, but many historians now extend the term back to about 1000 BC. The traditional date for the end of the Ancient Greek period is the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC (The following period is classed Hellenistic) or the integration of Greece into the Roman Republic in 146 BC.

These dates are historians' conventions and some writers treat the Ancient Greek civilization as a continuum running until the advent of Christianity in the third century AD.

Ancient Greece is considered by most historians to be the foundational culture of Western Civilization. Greek culture was a powerful influence in the Roman Empire, which carried a version of it to many parts of Europe.

Ancient Greek civilization has been immensely influential on the language, politics, educational systems, philosophy, art and architecture of the modern world, particularly during the Renaissance in Western Europe and again during various neo-Classical revivals in 18th and 19th century Europe and The Americas.

 

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-- Aristotle
 
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