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Greece Development in Historical Perspective Essay


There are many different countries in our world and they all have their unique culture. However, there is hardly a state in the world, which has as rich history as Greece has. The thing is, that Ancient Greece is known to be the place where modern European civilization with its values was born. Philosophers of this state created the majority of notions in science while poets and playwrights of Ancient Greece managed to create the basis for classical literature.

There is no use denying the fact that all these achievements became possible due to unique history of this very state. There is a great number of periods in its development which are connected with the rise and fall of Ancient Greece and each of them is unique. With this in mind, it is possible to analyze the history of this state in order to understand better peculiarities of its development.

The analysis should be started with the investigation of the area where Ancient Greek state appeared. The thing is that “geography acts as an enormously divisive force in Greek life” (McKay, Crowston, Wiesner-Hanks and Perry 60). “Hellas” (McKay et al.60), as Greeks still calls the area, can be characterized by a great number of small islands which predetermined the way in which the country developed.

The fact that “much of the land is rocky” (McKay et al 60) and that “there are good harbors on the sea” (McKay et al 60) led to Greece becoming a powerful maritime country with a strong military and commercial fleets. Additionally, it was rather difficult to develop agricultural sector because of the lack of fat land. That is why, some special agricultural spheres and cultures such as goat breeding and cheese production developed (McKay et al 59).

Peculiarities of geography of the land influenced people and the way in which they started to organize different societies. Such term as polis appeared and became one of the most important things in the history of Ancient Greece which determined its development and fall. “Polis developed form Dark Age towns” (McKay et al 66) and presented itself a city-state with a great level of independence and different cultural, religious and economic peculiarities. There also were different forms of government peculiar to these polices.

These forms were democracy, oligarchy and tyranny (McKay et al 66). Being different, polises, however, had some common traits which differentiated these cities from the rest of the world and helped to create unique culture of Ancient Greece. The thing is that every city added something special to the culture and, as the result, great variety of genres and kinds of art appeared (McKay et al 75).

It could be said that culture was one of the things which influenced development of Greek civilization greatly. It is not the most ancient state in the world however, the whole world appreciates Greek culture. The thing is that classical art was invented there. All regularities and genres which are appreciated now originated from Greece (McKay et al 74).

That is why, culture became a very powerful remedy which helped ancient state to spread its influence and find new allies. Even being concurred by Roman Empire, Greece was able to save its culture and not decompose in the customs of its conquerors. Moreover, Roman culture obtained a great number of traits which were peculiar to the culture of Ancient Greece, and its language even became very popular.

It has already been stated that great diversity in the life of ancient geeks became possible due to peculiarities of its political structure. Great number of polises enriched culture and political life of a state. However, this fact is also often called as one of the main factors which led to the decline of Ancient Greece. The thing is that there was no centralized state which could be able to resist invaders. The whole history of ancient Greece can be taken as the chain of wars for dominance in the region.

Polis, which managed to conquer the rest of cities in the area, became the main power which determined further development of a state, However, its rule was not perennial and new internecine war started. Athens, Sparta, Macedonia and a great number of other small states on the territory of Greece tried to become dominant and rule the whole area. It should be said that periods of the rise of influence and power of Greece coincideed with periods when one polis managed to seize the power.

The state of Alexander the Great is the best evidence to this statement. Having managed to unite Greece under his rule, Alexander defeated Darius and conquered Persia and a great number of other regions. However, after his death a great state collapsed and different polises again started the war in order to obtain dominance and dictate their rules. This fact became one of the main reasons of the collapse of Ancient Greece. It was still very strong and influential.

Additionally, Greece tried to spread its influence all over the world with the help of its powerful fleet. Trying to find new places where to settle and create a new polis, Greeks investigated great number of seas which resulted in the appearance of a great number of metropolises. Additionally, “expansion of the Greeks created a much larger market for agricultural and manufactured goods” (McKay et al 67).

With the help of these new lands Greece was able to fulfill its need in food and other goods, at the same time selling its products which were manufactured in the area. However, this process also had another side. Greece was not the only state in the region which wanted to spread its influence.

Young Roman Republic also wanted to obtain new markets and increase its power. That is why, the appearance of the conflict of objectives was just the question of time. It should be said that Greece did not have any chance. Atomized country with weak centralized power was not able to resist military state with clear structure and the army which was the best in the ancient world. That is why, the decline of Ancient Greece was inevitable because of its atomism and constant wars.

Having analyzed the main aspects of development and collapse of ancient Greece, it is possible to make certain conclusion. There is no use denying the fact that it was rather powerful state with developed society and culture.

Its fleet was one of the most powerful in the ancient world. Moreover, combined with unique culture, it became one of the main factors which promoted development of Geek state. However, it was doomed to collapse. Absence of a strong leader and centralized power led to the collapse of Greece and it became conquered. However, its culture influenced development of the world greatly.

Work Cited

McKay, John, Clare Crowston, Merry Wiesner-Hanks and Joe Perry. Understanding Western Society. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2014. Print.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Greece Development in Historical Perspective." May 6, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/greece-development-in-historical-perspective/.


IvyPanda. (2020) 'Greece Development in Historical Perspective'. 6 May.

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