Paper on Important Factors on Ancient Greek Civilization

The Ancient Greek civilization of between 800 bce and 200 bce can be divided into two periods; the archaic and classical periods. During this time, the economy of Greece grew significantly because of immense technological developments. The Ancient Greek civilization was characterized by advances in technology, arts, and poetry, development of city-states the rise of tyrants, archaic renaissance, trade and resource opportunities, and colonization.

An important factor of the civilization was the birth of the city-states. During the Greek Dark Ages, the population across Greece was low, as people became scattered across the country (Hornblower). Several years later, Ancient Greek civilization was witnessed. During the period, the population grew to cause the evolution and expansion of villages. Various communities decided to build walls around the villages (city-states) to prevent interference by other communities. These communities also established and developed governments that were tasked with formulating laws to govern people within a given community. Additionally, governments were mandated to create effective armies and develop effective strategies of collecting taxes to run their functions. With time, various city-states across Greece developed common characteristics, for instance, their economies were based on agriculture. Moreover, most of the city-states were ruled by a small number of wealthy aristocrats. As such, conflicts between the rich and poor were encountered as the wealthy aristocrats decided to monopolize power and the farmland. The monopoly of the farmland negatively influenced the economy within these city-states as their economies were supported by agriculture.

The rise of tyrants is another important factor in the Ancient Greek civilization. The population increased within these agricultural city-states thus labor focused augmented. The increased workforce promoted the production of consumer goods such as metalwork, pottery, and wine. The trade of these commodities made a few people wealthy, who later came together and formed groups of wealthy individuals. With the aid of trained and armed soldiers, new leaders, who were tyrants, were elected (Hornblower). Most of these leaders effectively governed the city-states, which led to economic growth. However, a series of political reforms ended their rule, especially with the introduction of “a rule by the people” system was established.

Archaic renaissance is one of the aspects that were witnessed during the Ancient Greek civilization. The transition of the archaic period significantly influenced the art and literature across Greece by spreading diverse styles of art and literature far and wide (Hornblower). Many people were encouraged to engage in the era’s creative revolutions. For instance, Homer, produced an art (Iliad) that identified various human figures, and played a key role in serving as a memorial to the dead.

Trade and resource opportunities were also part of the civilization. Greeks were great sea-farers, who traveled across the Mediterranean. They were eager to discover and explore new markets as well as establish more city-states throughout the Mediterranean. Thus, the export of Greek products such as pottery, wine, metalwork, and oil, was permitted. The city-states across the Mediterranean became a source of slaves that offered cheap labor in the Greeks’ farmlands. They also became lucrative trading points for Greek products. Greeks also established military bases in the city-states to protect their lucrative sea routes. However, several years later, other rival civilizations such as Phoenicians and Etruscans emerged in the Mediterranean, which led to the eruption of wars that adversely affected Greeks’ trading activities and economy.

The aspect of colonization cannot be overlooked upon the mention of Ancient Greek civilization. With the establishment of new city-states across the Mediterranean, people migrated to the new states thus relieving the pressure of the dense population that was witnessed in most city-states. The change allowed for an equitable distribution of population across Greece (Hornblower). Land needed for agriculture was in plenty, which improved the economy of most city-states as agriculture controlled their economies. Moreover, the city-states had sufficient resources to help satisfy the needs of their citizens.


Work Cited

Hornblower, Simon. “Ancient Greek Civilization.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Accessed 4 November 2018