The ancient Greek civilization began to develop about 4,000 years ago. Their culture still impacts our culture today.
We talk about "gifts from the Greeks". They truly did give the world some fabulous inventions. It was the Greeks who fine-tuned trial by jury. They created the most wonderful stories - the ancient Greek myths. They invented tragedy and comedy and produced plays in their open-air theatres. Thousands of Greeks would attend each performance. They loved art, and the theatre, and literature, and music. They experimented with a new form of government - democracy. Their architects created the famous Greek column design, still used in many buildings being constructed today. Perhaps their most famous gift was the ancient Greek Olympics. The Olympics have changed quite a bit over the years, but we still hold the Olympic games today.
There was no central government in ancient Greece. The ancient Greeks lived in city-states. City-states were complete political and social units. Each city-state had its own form of government and its own way of doing things. Sometimes different city-states did not get along. Sometimes they even went to war with each other. But city-states also banded together to fight a common enemy.
The ancient Greeks spoke the same language. They believed in the same gods. They thought of themselves as Greeks. But if you asked them where they were from, they would give you the name of their city-state. People in ancient Greece were very proud of their city-state. They were also proud of being Greek.
Welcome to ancient Greece!