Classical Greek Civilization

Greek Middle Ages – Geometric Era

In the middle of the 12th century BC, the Doria invasion plunged Greece into a prolonged era called the Greek Middle Ages or Geometric Period. It was a transitional stage between Prehistory and History.

In the year 766 with the lists of winners of the athletic competitions held in Olympia, archaic Greek civilization begins.

The dorios that occupied the Hellenic territory, except the Attica, merged with the previous population. The dorios were culturally inferior but contributed the incineration of corpses and iron.

The disappearance of centralized Mycenaean power, isolated the regions and resulted in a fragmentation that would cause the emergence of the polis, state, city, most original political institution in Greek history.

Land scarcity and overpopulation accentuated colonization and propelled the Hellenic to the confines of the Mediterranean. After the Mycenaean expansion, the Dorians pushed the Ionian to the Asian coast; supported by commerce and industry, colonization continued 3 centuries and contributed to the development of pan-Hellenic consciousness.

The development of the polis transformed the Greek social and political life; causing the feudal aristocratic regime to drift towards tyranny and lead to the emergence of democracy.

The aristocracy was a landowning and exploiting class of small farmers, the bourgeoisie composed of artisans and the urban proletariat were achieving reforms.

Opposite forms of citizen life appear, Athenian democracy became a model, while Sparta followed very different paths.

In 490, the Persians were defeated by the Athenians in the battle of Marathon; begins the passage from the archaic age to the next affirmation of the Greek spirit.

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