The term Classical Antiquity refers to a long period of European history extending from about the eighth century BC, with the emergence of Homer's Greek poetry, to the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the fifth century AD, more precisely in the year 476. At the heart of this epoch, which distinguishes it from earlier or later ones, are the cultural factors of its most striking civilizations, the Greece and the Pomegranate Old
Ancient Greece comprised a region called Helade and occupied the southern Balkans (mainland Greece), the Peloponnese Peninsula (peninsular Greece), the Aegean Islands (island Greece), and the colonies off the coast of Asia Minor and southern Asia. Italic Peninsula (Magna Grecia).
Division of Greek History
The history of Greece is divided by historians into four main periods:
The Pre-Homeric period corresponds to the apogee and decay of the Cretan civilization, which developed on Crete, the largest island of the Aegean Sea. This island was populated by tribes that probably came from Asia Minor.
During this period, other peoples went to Greece: the Achaeans, who settled in mainland Greece and also on the island of Crete. The Achaeans dominated the Cretans around 1400 BC giving rise to the Creto-Mycenaean civilization. In addition to the Achaeans, the Ionians and the Aeolians also came to Greece. Of all these peoples, the most important was the Dorian, with warlike characteristics, which gave new direction to Greek history. The Dorians destroyed Crete-Mycenaean civilization and conquered Greece. These events heralded a new period of Greek history - the Homeric period.
The Homeric Period
From the Dorian invasions began a period often called Homeric, because the knowledge of Greek society of the time is due in large part to two poems - the Iliad and the Odyssey -, attributed to Homer. THE Iliad chronicles the Trojan war, and the Odyssey, the adventures of the Greek hero Ulysses (Odysseus) on his journey back to Greece after the conquest of Troia. There is much discussion about the authorship of these poems. Many scholars argue that Homer never existed and that these were works of the Greek collective past, transmitted orally from generation to generation.
With the Dorian invasion, a new social model was implemented: production became subsistence, with exploitation of family labor, assisted by a few wage earners and slaves; art and writing have disappeared; crafts have declined; the finally worked bronze weapons were gradually replaced by crude iron artifacts; and burial in magnificent tombs was replaced by simple cremation.
During this period the population was organized in small communities, whose basic unit was the family. This social form is called genos. Each genus had its own leader, religious cult, and laws.
As time went by, genres expanded and eventually gave rise to another type of organization of social and political life - the polis, or city-state, which was characteristic of the next period of Greek history.