Ancient Greece: From Prehistoric to Hellenistic Times, Second Edition
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architectural complexes today labeled "palaces," relied on an interdependent economy based primarily on redistribution. The first, "pre-palace" settlers in Crete presumably immigrated across the sea from nearby Anatolia about 6000 B.C.These Neolithic farming families originally lived in small settlements nestled close to fertile agricultural land, like their contemporaries elsewhere in Europe. In the third millennium B.c.,however, the new technological developments in metallurgy and agriculture
political organization in Greece was the "league" or "federation" (ethos), a flexible form of association over a broad territory which was itself sometimes composed of city-states. The most famous ancient analyst of Greek politics and society, the phi- The Archaic Age 55 losopher Aristotle (384-322 B.c.),insisted that the emergence of the polis had been the inevitable result of the forces of nature at work. "Humans," he said, "are beings who by nature live in a polis" (Politics 12S3a2-3).
forgetting a sacrifice, violating the sanctity of a temple area, or breaking an oath or sworn agreement made to another person. The gods were regarded as especially concerned with certain transgressions (such as violating oaths), but as generally uninterested in common crimes, which humans had to police for themselves. Homicide, however, the gods were thought to punish by casting a state of pollution (miasma, as it was called) upon murderers and upon all those around them as well. Unless the
settlement. By the third millennium B.C. large dwellings were being built in Greece, as at Lerna in the Argolid region, where the so-called House of Tiles had a roof of baked tiles covering more than one story of rooms. The remarkable changes of the late Neolithic period came about as inno- Backgrounds of Ancient Greek History 11 vative human adaptations to what in anthropological terms would be called the feedback between environmental change and population growth. That is, as agriculture
treasury of Athens, splinter its political harmony, and devastate its military power, but the long The Pelopomesian War and Its Afiermath 163 years of the war also exacted a heavy toll on the domestic life of Athenians. Many people both urban and rural found their livelihoods threatened by the economic dislocations of the war. Women without wealth whose spouses or male relatives were killed in the war experienced particularly difficult times because dire necessity forced them to seek work