The Unification of Greece

Satisfactory Essays
During the Bronze Age, the Minoan civilization; situated on the cultural bridge Island of Crete, greatly influenced the Aegean Islands as well as the Greece mainland (75). Though they were not Greeks, the Minoans kept detail records in a form of Greek. These peoples were ruled by a King who was supported by a bureaucracy and centered on a palace (75). This form of organization was typical of many early civilizations but changed tremendously after this age (75). After the Minoans, the Mycenaeans arose and ruled in a similar fashion to the Minoans. The Mycenaeans; though also non-Greek, settled in the Greek mainland and was ruled by a King who held a royal domain, was given the ability to appoint officials, and to command servants among other responsibilities (77). After the fall of the Mycenaean empire, many Greek peoples spread eastward, ended trade with the old civilizations, and internally throughout parts of Greece (78). This period led Greek peoples to move into smaller communities with little communication between them (78). The initial organization of the Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations were as close to unification as Greek history allowed until the Macedonians arrived. However, these successful civilizations were not Greek but situated themselves on what became Greece and merely demonstrated a slight similarity in language. After the fall of the Mycenaean civilization, Greeks entered though disorganized and independent.

The appearance of the polis united Greek-speaking people though its initial use was not for such. The Greek poleis was a community of relatives who worshipped gods in ceremonies and formed republics dominated by the nobility through its councils of nobles and eventually distinguished monarchy (80-81). These poleis allowed Greek’s social life to grow and expand their territories tremendously (81-82). This expansion provided Greeks with a cultural identity and gave men outside the nobility an opportunity to become wealthy (82). This new class, however, also led to conflict and tyranny arose (82). The tyrants contributed most in that they eliminated the presence of the aristocracy leaving each citizen to prove their worth by their service of the polis (84). Throughout this period, tyrants ruled their individual city-states, and allied themselves with other allies to prevent war (84). After the end of the dark ages, Polytheism arose as a central religion connecting Greek peoples (85). During this age, the polis was still apparent though differed tremendously between different states (87).

Sparta and Athens, though powerful and influential Greek states were among these poleis and though they were perhaps, the most likely of the states to unite Greece both were unfit.
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