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Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece - How Did It All Begin?



Ancient Greece - How Did It All Begin?
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 9 to 11
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   9.34

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    Aristarchus, post-disaster, reshape, predecessor, bustling, iconic, sacked, aggression, southward, subcontinent, vibrant, alloy, groundbreaking, philosophy, downfall, crucial
     content words:    Persian Empire, Aegean Sea, Trojan War, Bronze Age, Dark Ages


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Ancient Greece - How Did It All Begin?
By Vickie Chao
  

1     Greece has a very long and interesting history. Over the course of thousands of years, people there made many groundbreaking discoveries that would later profoundly reshape other cultures. For example, Archimedes figured out the law of buoyancy in the 3rd century B.C. Aristarchus was the first in the world to claim that the Earth rotates and revolves around the sun. Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle were three great philosophers whose schools of thought laid the foundation of Western philosophy. And, of course, there was the famous Alexander the Great. This mighty Macedonian king defeated Egypt and eradicated the Persian Empire. He even invaded and controlled a portion of the Indian subcontinent.
 
2     Everybody mentioned here is an iconic figure that helps to define what a magnificent civilization ancient Greece once had. But before those people came along, Greece was already bustling with all sorts of advanced developments, dating as far back as 3000 B.C. At the time, a group of people called the Minoans settled on the island of Crete in the Aegean Sea. Their culture, termed the Minoan civilization, lasted nearly 2,000 years.
 
3     The Minoans, by all accounts, were fond of doing overseas business. Most of their commercial activities revolved around making trades with other countries, such as Egypt. Since very early on, they had discovered a way to cast bronze (an alloy traditionally composed of copper and tin) and applied that knowledge to make metal tools and weapons. The Minoans had their own languages and sophisticated art. They loved building palaces and enjoyed decorating them with lively frescoes. Those vibrant wall paintings told tales about what life was like back then. Because of them, we know that "bull jumping" was one of the most popular sports at the time. We know, too, that the Minoans had their own beliefs and practiced various religious rituals.

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