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Greek Civilization and the West

Figure 1: The Acropolis and Parthenon. Retrieved from:

It was sometime in the 13th century before Christ that Greek-speaking tribe called the Ach'ans came into the 'gean peninsula and allied themselves with the ancient people they found there; of adventurous ilk, these early Greeks were seafarers and plunderers, and allegedly made their most famous expedition against the city of Troy, located on the north-west corner of Asia Minor (Robinson 11-14). Around 900 B.C., Greek society, having learned the art of writing from Phoenician merchants, began producing poems and verses to commemorate its great and terrible wars, conquests and adventures (Robinson 14). It was, however, 776 B.C. that marked two significant events in the origins of Greece: it was the earliest recorded date in Greek history, as well as the first time the Olympic Games were celebrated (Garland 4). It was also in this century that the great lyrical poet Homer is thought to have produced the Iliad and the Odyssey, each relating to the Trojan War, and each among the most enduring works in all of literature.

The advent of the written word impacted ancient Greek society in a myriad of ways, many of which appear to coalesce in the early 7th century B.C. Literate cultures may record their histories, codify laws,


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