AMAZING History of the Ancient Greeks! From crazy pets to the incredible philosophers…stay tuned to Number 1 to find out what ancient Greece is still known for to this day!
Brought to you by Zero2Hero!!
Don't forget to subscribe here! https://goo.gl/NXuChu
Click here to find out AMAZING Facts About the Human Body!! https://youtu.be/btDMBvDcF4w
Number 10: Warring Hellenes
Most people don’t know that the Ancient Greeks preferred to be known as 'Hellenes,’ and they lived in 'Hellas.' These 'Hellenes' were never actually one people, or country, as you and I would know it today. Ancient Greece was actually divided up into small 'city-states,' each ruled by a king-like figure. Some of the better-known city-states are Athens, Sparta, Corinth and Olympia.
Each city-state had its own government structure, laws and army. And, wouldn't you just know it? They didn't always get on very well with each other. It wasn't until as recent as the 300s BC that Alexander the Great ruled the whole of Greece under one flag. I know, the 300s BC doesn't seem that recent…but this is Ancient history we're talking about, so it’s relative.
Athens and Sparta, for example, were once at war for nearly 30 years! The Peloponnesian War lasted from 431 to 404BC, and there was only one group that the Spartans hated more than the Athenians, and you know who that was, right? The Persians.
Number 9: This is Sparta!
The Spartans were all about war and self-inflicted hardship. At seven years old boys would leave their families to get an education: an education in pain and battle. It was only when they turned 30 that the boys, those who'd made it through to the end, could become soldiers and be considered true citizens of Sparta.
The boys were only given one tunic and weren't allowed shoes. They slept most nights in the open, and were deliberately not given enough food so they would learn how to forage and steal. They were encouraged to fight each other and did physical and battle training every day. It wasn't just the boys, though, as the girls were tough as nails too. They were given athletic training and taught how to throw discus and javelins. The women of Sparta couldn't be soldiers, but they did compete against the boys at sport. And, apparently they won a lot of the time too.
So after years of getting their food stolen, walking barefoot and fighting wild animals…what was a Spartan soldier's reward? The glory of battle and a loving mother who would see you off by saying: "Come back with your shield, or on it." Meaning that she'd rather you died and were carried back by your fellow warriors than drop your shield and run away like a coward. Actually, that kind of reminds me of my mom...
Number 8: The Olympic Games.
But it wasn't all war and struggle in ancient Greece, honestly. In 776 BC, the first Olympic Games took place as part of a religious festival to honor almighty Zeus, king of the Gods. The Games were held, like the modern ones, every four years in the summer. They were popular, as well, with between 20,000 and 40,000 people attending at the height of the games. The games were so popular that all of the city-states - even Sparta! - stopped fighting for a whole month before the games so that the athletes could have time to train and, you know, not get killed. Whatever brings the people together, I guess!
The Olympic Games were male-only, and included foot races, horse races, chariot races, boxing, wrestling, the long jump, disc throwing and spear throwing as events. As a prize, the winner was given a wreath of olive leaves plucked from a sacred tree next to the temple dedicated to Zeus. Sounds, kind of lame, right? Although…they would also get a statue made of them, and KUDOS from their home town, lots and lots of kudos.
Number 7: What’s in a Word?
Speaking of kudos, that's actually a word we got from the Ancient Greeks. A lot of our English language words originated in Greek and many are from their gods and legends.
For example, Atlas was a giant who was punished by having to carry the world on his shoulders, and now it's our name for a book of maps of the world.
Chronos was the god of time and chronology means to put events in order of time.
Okeanos, who was the god of the mystical river Oceanus, which provided the Earth with all of its fresh water.
Clotho was the youngest of the Three Fates who spun the thread of life, think about that next time you go clothes shopping.
Strangely, the word 'tragedy' comes from the Greek word for the song of the male goat. Did anyone else know that Billy Goats sang? That's news to me! Maybe it sounds terrible though, worse than that time your Aunt had a bit too much egg nog at Christmas and decided to have a one-person karaoke party, why else would it become the word for tragedy? Speaking of tragedy, the Greeks used to perform a ritual where a circle of people would dance around a goat before sacrificing him…probably when his singing was the worst!