ancient greece the birthplace of western civilization

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  • Ancient GreeceThe Birthplace of Western Civilization

  • History and Geography

  • History and Geography

  • Literature and Myths

  • Literature and Myths

  • Philosophy and Religion

  • Philosophy and Religion

  • A Way of Life

  • Government

  • Art

  • Architecture

  • Architecture

  • Architecture

  • Writing

  • Gardens and LandscapeThe ancient Greeks' awareness of landscape is apparent in their choice of sites for temples and theatres, their love of trees in the care expended on temple groves, and their delight in flowers in the innumerable stories of mythological lore; they also used floral motives to give color and ornamental detail to architecture or as decorative and symbolic designs in vase painting. To a nation like the Greeks, so eager to take advantage of every device for embellishing their surroundings, the cultivation of beautiful gardens became a prime necessity in setting off their architecture. They always preserved a studied symmetry in laying out their gardens, which were planned to meet the principal requirements of shade, coolness, fragrance and repose. We can have some glimpses of their love for the garden lore from early literary sources: Homer, in the fifth book of the Odyssey, describes an early Greek garden: "In it flourish tall trees: pears and pomegranates and apples full of fruit, also sweet figs and bounteous too a fertile vineyard had been planted...beyond the last row of trees, well laid garden plots have been arranged, blooming all the year with flowers. And there are two springs; one leads through the garden while the other dives beneath the threshold of the great court to gush out beside the stately palace; from it the citizens draw their water- these were the splendid gifts of the Gods in the palace of Alcinous." Again, when

  • Gardens continuedOdysseus is imprisoned on the island of the nymph Calypso, the poet said that her cave is surrounded by a grove: "Trailing round the very mouth of the cavern, a garden vine ran riot, with great bunches of ripe grapes; while from four separate but neighboring springs four crystal rivulets were trained to run this way and that; and in soft meadows on either side the iris and the parsley flourished. It was indeed a spot where even an immortal visitor must pause to gaze in wonder and delight. The Greeks were not great gardeners. They sometimes planted trees to provide shade around temples and other public places but pleasure gardens were rare. The Greeks did grow flowers but usually in containers. Although Greek travelers admired the gardens of the east in Greece gardens were usually grown for practical reasons. The Greeks grew orchards, vineyards and vegetable gardens.

  • Gardens Continued During the early part of Greek history, as shown in the Odyssey, Greek agriculture - and diet - was based on cereals: barley, durum wheat, and, less commonly, millet or common wheat. Even if the ancients were aware of the better nutritional value of wheat, the growing of barley was less demanding and more productive. It did not take long for demand to out pace production capabilities. The "tightness" of the land also explains Greek colonization, and the importance Anatolian cleruchies would have for the Athenian empire in controlling grain provision. On the other hand, the Greek land was very well adapted for olive trees, which provided olive oil. The growing of olive trees dates back to early Greek history. Olive plantations are a long-term investment: it takes more than twenty years for the tree to provide fruit, and it only fruits every other year. Grapes also do well in the rocky soil, but demand a lot of care. Grapes have been grown since the Bronze Age. The core crops included cabbage, onion, garlic, lentils, chick pea, beans, and orchards of fig, almond, and pomegranate. Herbs like sage, mint, thyme, savory, oregano were raised; as were oilseed plants such as linseed, sesame, and poppy.

  • Garden of Knossos, Crete1200-800 BCE

  • Vegetation of Ancient Greece An olive grove in Crete Fig Trees of Greece

  • Music

    Have the students label Mt. Olympus, Delphi, Thebes, Corinith, Mycenae, Pylos, Athens, Olympia, Sparta, Knossos, the Ionian and Aegean Seas, Ithaca, and TroyScroll down of the way to get to the Greek mythology.Read through this link, do not need to go into any of the additional links as they are not accessible or do not have pertinent information.


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