Ancient Greece Vocabulary

  1. Western Civilization – Greek ideas that spread to Europe and America and remain a part of our culture.
  2. Aegean Sea –  sea that surrounds mainland Greece
  3. Mediterranean Sea – large sea that the Aegean Sea opens into.
  4. Socrates – a famous Greek philosopher who questioned all of the accepted values in Greece.  He created a form of teaching that involved asking question after question
    (the Socratic Method).
  5. Black Sea – east of Greece and united Greece with the eastern world.
  6. Tyrants – ambitious men who came to power through rebellions.  They supported the wants/needs of the common people rather than the nobles.
  7. Aristocracy – a government run by a small group of noble/wealthy families.
  8. Cleisthenes – he enacted a series of laws that made Athens a full democracy.  He created the Council of 500 and allowed citizens to serve on the Council. He also increased the power of the Athenian assembly.
  9. Sparta – Greek city-state that focused solely on its military and military domination.
  10. Peloponnesus – the southern part of Greece where Sparta was located.
  11. Pericles – ruled Athens for many years.  Pericles increased the number of public officials in Athens, strengthened democracy in Athens by increasing the number of paid officials, and he gained wealth for Athens through the Delian League.
  12. Council of 500 – this group was made up of Athenian citizens and was supposed to propose laws and advise the assembly on what actions to take.
  13. Delian League – this was an alliance of 140 city-states and was headed by Athens.  Their purpose was to ward off further attacks by the Persians by uniting all of Greece.
  14. Ephor – these were the rulers of Sparta. They had unlimited power and they used it harshly.  The forbade any citizens from leaving Sparta and they did not allow outsiders to visit Sparta.
  15. Archon – these were the early rulers of Athens.
  16. Democracy – this is a form of government in which all citizens take part.
  17. Comedy – this is a play that made fun of people, politics and ideas of the time.
  18. Tragedy – this is a play that had men and women of strong character.  Eventually their strength led to their downfall.
  19. Alexander the Great – this man created the largest empire of the time that was headed by Greece and created a blended culture called Hellenism.
  20. Orators – public speakers.
  21. Plato – he was a student of Socrates and he believed that society should be ruled by the greatest philosophers, not democracy.  He believed that average citizens were not educated enough to govern wisely.
  22. Aristotle – he believed that all truths followed logically from other truths.  In other words, people should use general logic to make decisions.  Here is an example:
    1. all people are mortal.
    2. Socrates was a person.
    3. Therefore, Socrates was mortal.
      • Everything followed logic.
  23. Homer – this man was famous for his epics.
  24. Herodotus – he was the first true historian.
  25. Philosophers – these people questioned the most basic and widely accepted ideas of the time in the search for truth.
  26. Drama – written plays to be performed on stage.  Created by the Greeks.
  27. Agora – a marketplace where Greek people gathered.
  28. Polis – the Greek word for city-state.
  29. city-state – a city surrounded by a wall and all of the land surrounding that city.
  30. Chora – the land outside of the city walls as part of a city-state.
  31. Acropolis – a fortified hilltop.

From a Georgia Virtual Learning pdf