Introduction All Things Ancient Greece explores the Greek world of the Aegean and Mediter- ranean seas from the Bronze Age to the death of Philip II of Macedon in 336 BCE. Ancient Greece became the foundation for Western civilization and Christianity, providing the philosophical basis for ideas that were needed to allow Western society to thrive. Through Alexander the Great and all the way to Rome, Greek philosophy, politics, literature, arts, and culture spread throughout the Mediterra- nean, Europe, Near East, and into the Indian subcontinent in antiquity. The politi- cal ideologies of monarchies (tyrannies), republicanism (oligarchies), and democracies (populism), as well as their degenerative (negative extreme) natures, have been explored and discussed constantly over the past two and-a-half millen- nia. In the area of literature, Greek epic poetry, histories, tragedies, and comedies set a standard often unequaled until William Shakespeare. The epic poetry of Homer, best known through his works the Iliad and the Odyssey, influenced Virgil and John Milton. Herodotus and Thucydides created two different styles of his- tory, those using stories and those employing rigorous analysis both of which con- tinue to be used and often together in one work. In the area of the arts, Greek realism developed continually over the centuries, while architecture set the stan- dard for western buildings dominating future generations into the twenty-first century. In addition to the spread of logic and ethics via the Roman Empire, the Greek philosophers Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle also influenced early Christian- ity which spread through the everyday language of the east, Greek koine allowing for Christian ideology to develop. The study of ancient Greece is crucial to understanding the growth and devel- opment of the attributes of many modern societies. Modern society has received the foundations of government, culture, and philosophy from the ancient Greeks. Governments in the modern age have constantly witnessed the major forms exhib- ited in Greek cities, for good and ill, and the struggles in modern society often echo from ancient Greece. When modern societies have undergone changes, there are similar examples in ancient Greece. For instance, in 1918 imperial Germany suffered defeat in World War I, leading to a change in government from emperor Wilhelm (monarchy) to republicanism. This republicanism underwent civil dis- cord, resulting in the rise of a tyrant, Adolf Hitler, who was originally popular but then became the archetypical tyrant, leading to total war and destruction. Out of this war, a dismembered Germany underwent changes that led it to democracy.
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