Glossary and Terms
History >> Ancient Greece
Acropolis - An acropolis is a fortified citadel within a larger city. It is usually located on top of a hill and at the center of the city. The most famous acropolis is the Acropolis of Athens.
Agora - The agora was the central meeting place in Ancient Greek cities. Democracy was born at the agora in Athens.
Alexander the Great - A ruler of Ancient Greece who conquered much of the civilized world from Greece to India including Egypt.
Archaic Period - The historical period of Ancient Greece from 800 BC to 480 BC. During this time the city-states of Athens and Sparta began to form. Greek philosophy and theatre began to develop as well.
Aristotle - A Greek philosopher who introduced the idea of observing and recording nature. He also tutored Alexander the Great and began his own school in Athens.
Assembly - In Athens the Assembly consisted of the group of citizens who showed up to vote.
Athens - One of the most powerful Greek city-states, Athens was the birthplace of democracy.
Chiton - A type of clothing worn by the Greeks. It was often made from a single piece of cloth with a belt at the waist.
City-state - A city-state consisted of a large city and the surrounding areas. Ancient Greece consisted of a number of independent city-states such as Athens, Thebes, and Sparta.
Classical Period - The historical period of Ancient Greece from 480 BC to 323 BC. During this time Athens was ruled by democracy. Also, Sparta and Athens fought the Peloponnesian War. It ended with the rise of Alexander the Great.
Cuirass - A piece of armor, usually made from metal, that covered the front of the torso.
Delian League - A group of Greek city-states that joined together to fight against the Persian Empire.
Democracy - A form of government where citizens have a say in how they are ruled including choosing their leaders and deciding on laws.
Ephors - The ephors were five leaders in Sparta who were chosen to oversee the Spartan kings. They were elected annually.
Helots - The helots were the serfs or slaves that worked for the Spartans. The majority of the people who Sparta ruled were helots.
Hellenistic Period - The Hellenistic Period of Ancient Greece lasted from 323 BC when Alexander the Great came to power to 146 BC when Rome conquered Greece.
Homer - A Greek epic poet who wrote the Iliad and the Odyssey.
Hoplite - The hoplites were the citizen-soldiers of the Greek city-states.
Macedonia - A region of northern Ancient Greece, Macedonia was home to the Greek kings Philip II and Alexander the Great.
Oligarchy - A type of government where the power is held by a few people.
Olympics - An athletic event held by the Ancient Greeks every four years.
Peloponnese - A large peninsula located in southern Greece. Many powerful Greek city-states were located here including Sparta, Argos, and Corinth.
Pericles - A leader of Athens during its golden age, Pericles promoted the arts and literature in the city. He also had many of the major structures built including the Parthenon.
Plato - A Greek philosopher who founded the Academy in Athens and wrote many philosophical dialogues.
Polis - The Greek name for a city-state.
Socrates - A Greek philosopher who is considered to be the founder of western philosophy.
Sparta - A power Greek city-state and rival to Athens, Sparta's culture was based around warfare and preparing for battle.
Stadion - The original Olympic event, the stadion was a running race the length of the stadium.
Strategos - The name for the general of the Athenian army.
Titans - The Titans were the first Greek gods. They were overthrown by their children, the Olympians.
Trireme - A type of boat used by the Ancient Greeks. It had three rows of oars on each side.
Tyrant - The ruler of a Greek city-state, a tyrant was like a king. Today the word tyrant is used to describe a ruler who rules unfairly or unjustly.
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History >> Ancient Greece