History – Ancient Greece

This is a world of myths and legends:

Greek influence on the
US Constitution

When the 13 independent colonies came together to write a constitution for their new United States of America. They looked at how the Greek city states ran their democracy, they wanted independence, while having the security of being part of a greater body.  So, they studied the ancient Greek phil…… ………

Daedalus – Who was he?

Daedalus, a famous character from Greek mythology, that tells us was a figure of wisdom, knowledge and power.

Greek mythology gets a little bit weird, as it says he is the father of both Icarus and Lapyx, as well as the uncle of Perdix.

Lapyx – in both Greek and Roman mythology, was a ……….

How do you escape the labyrinth?

Greek mythology tells the story of Monster in the Maze, a creature, half man and half animal who lived in an elaborate maze, under the palace of King Minos of Crete. Every year seven boys and seven girls were to be sent to Crete to be put into the maze underneath King Minos’ palace to feed his Minotaur. 

Theseus, the King of Athens’ son, decided …..

What do you know of Pericles?

He was a prominent  Athenian statesman.  Between 500BC and 400 BC he was the driving force as the Greek democracy was evolving.  Democracy produced a lot of problems. For example, it was decided that to be properly democratic every citizen of Athens was a member of the council.  There was a problem, which ……

Is the Trojan Horse
a True Story?

There appear to be two sources for the story.

One, the Aeneid, a Latin epic poem, written by Virgil between 29 and 19 BC, that tells of the sacking of Troy and after ten years of the Greek siege that ended of the Trojan War.

Then  how the Trojans were tricked to accept into their city walls a wooden horse ……

The Origin of the Ancient Olympic Games

The Olympics date back to an Ancient Greek festival, which was part of a five day festival held every four years in honour of Zeus, the King of the Gods.

It is believed there were similar festivals as far back as the 13th century BC, yes, that long ago!

However, the first ……………

Who was Theseus

We know him as the Greek who slayed the Minotaur of the Cretan king Minos.  What did he do before that?  He was the son of Aegeus, King of Athens.

 Aegeus had a problem, he needed a son.  Remember this is Greek Mythology, which meant that he went and asked the Oracle of Delphi, what he had to do to get a son. 

To this the oracle’s response was …………….

The Female only Olympics
in Ancient Greece?

Adult women not allowed to attend the Ancient Olympics as it was a sacred area dedicated to Zeus and was sacred for men.

Therefore, women had their own festival, also held once every four years called the Heraia in honour of Zeus’ wife, Hera.  The Heraean Games were held in the Olympic stadium, as the first ………

The Olympic Truce.

When they held the Ancient Olympics, there was an Olympic Truce for the period of the games and, amazingly, it was adhered to!

Therefore, if anybody asks you, has there ever been a time when all wars stopped! You can say yes, at the time of the Ancient Olympics, all wars stopped!

In the ancient world cit…

About Greek Legends

Greek legends came from very early Greek history and quickly become part of Greek culture, becoming the narrative and eventually the themes for many works of art, sculptures and ceramics.

The legend is typical of early Greek culture, as it touched on recurrent themes, such as heroes on legendary quests, conquests and wars.

Such as ORPHEUS who ……..

Athenian Democracy
an early verion of democracy

Democracy started in 510 BC when the Athenians overthrew their tyrant, King Hippias, with the help of Cleomenes I, King of Sparta. Naturally, he tried to put his own man on the throne.  That was not popular, so Sparta attempted an invasion. 

Eventually Cleisthenes, an Athenian lawyer, came back to Ath….…

Do you know why the
Modern Olympics started?

In 1889 one man, Pierre de Coubertin wanted to revive the Olympic Games.  He spent the next five years persuading athletes and sports enthusiasts to support him. Then, in June 1894 he finally got them together in Paris. There tthey unanimously decided that the inaugural modern Games should be in Athens, basically, ………..

The story of the
Monster in the Maze

The Greek myth of the Minotaur inspires the story of Monster in the Maze. Theseus goes into a Maze to kill the Minotaur and finds his way out, but how?

He did because on landing at Crete …..

Can you work out how big the world is?

Your children can actually work out how big the world is?

 You see 2,000 years ago Eratosthenes actually worked it out.  It would be a superb exercise to see if he was correct, which, of course, he was.

Well, nearly!

He was a clever guy who lived in Egypt around 240BC. He worked out …………..

Athens – where our
democracy started

 Winston Churchill famously said “Democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others that have been tried”.  While Abraham Lincoln described it as “Of the people, by the people, for the people”, a lovely dream.  However, both men’s quotes led me to asking how and why did democracy ever get started?  On investigation I learnt ……….

Did the Greek Gods
start the Trojan War?

We don’t know, but, Greek mythology says “Yes, they certainly did”.    You see the Greeks felt the gods controlled the mortal world using their magical powers to protect or punish the humans, depending on those who were in their favour at the time.

For this reason the History Portal has ……..

Philippides feat,
the first marathon!

Could you run 140 miles, then go back again over the same route, then after all that, just do a short run of 26 miles, and live?  That is what the Athenian generals asked a professional runner, Philippides, to do!  The last bit, the 26 miles, is the basis for today’s Olympic Marathon, fortunately ……….

Who was the first
woman doctor?

She was called Agnodice, she lived in Athens in Ancient Greece, at a time when women were forbidden to practice medicine. How did she get away with it? She studied medicine in Alexandria.  Then returned to Athens, practiced as a physician and midwife in Athens, disguised as a man.

Yes, she dressed up as a man and then …….