Traditions and Encounters, AP Edition (Bentley), 5th Edition

Chapter 10: Mediterranean Society: The Greek Phase


Although the Greeks did not build a centralized state until the short reign of Alexander of Macedon, they did serve to link the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions through colonization, commerce, and cultural interaction. Through their unprecedented abilities as sea traders, and later through the unification provided by the Hellenistic empires, the Greeks left a rich cultural legacy of politics, philosophy, art, literature, and science that would go on to shape the European and Islamic worlds for centuries. Enduring innovations for which the classical Greek cultures are best known include the following:

  • The earliest of form of democracy, the best realization of which was found in Athens under the leadership of the statesman Pericles
  • The establishment of hundreds of cities throughout the Mediterranean basin and southwest Asia
  • Unique contributions to literature in the forms of mythology, poetry, drama, and essays
  • The contributions of the rational philosophical thought of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, and later the Epicureans, the Skeptics, and the Stoics
Traditions & Encounters, 5e
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