Ancient Greece



When people think of Greece they often think of the ancient civilisation that built the Parthenon, created many of the sciences and established the original Olympic Games.


There are many reminders of the age when Greece was possibly the most advanced civilisation on Earth. It was at the height of Ancient Greek civilisation that we saw some of the first serious attempts to understand science and the world without major reference to magic or gods. The Ancient Greeks made some major contributions to modern society, some of which have spread to the entire world.




         In small groups perform a scene depicting an historical event from Ancient Greece as described in the Learning spread. Consider discoveries in mathematics, science and philosophy or politics and military events.


         Art - Design a frieze depicting a major social achievement (in Ancient Greece) suitable for a Greek Temple in the Doric order.


         History and Art - Draw a timeline describing major events in the development of Ancient Greece from the First Olympiad to the Peloponnesian Wars. Identify major changes to sculpture, pottery and architecture created at these times.


         Art and Technology - Draw a design for a swift, narrow trireme warship with three rows of oars. Annotate the drawing with information about the galley, banks of rowers and oar length. Design the colourful sail, hull and animal figurehead.


         Technology and English - Draw an example of Archimedes water pump and describe how it worked. Prepare a type written press release about his invention including the report of him running into the street naked shouting, "I have found it!" (Eureka!).


         English and PE - Describe ten ways the Olympics have changed in structure and spirit since the first Olympiad. What events remain similar? Write an ode to a Victorious Olympian in the style of poets from the Periclean Age.


         English - The fourth century was mainly a prose age. Write a plot for an Athenian drama based on a parody of a Greek myth.


         English and History - Write a tale about the birth of civil war in Ancient Greece and include some Greek words that have become part of our vocabulary.


         History and SOSE - Themistocles was a great politician and strategist. If he were to run for parliament today what platform would he stand on? As his campaign manager how would you get him elected to serve another term? How would today's media portray him? Consider his image and write a campaign speech.


         SOSE - In what ways is ancient Greece's system of direct democracy different to our current system of representative democracy? What are the five most important things to you about living in a democratic society? Find an example in The Mercury of democracy in action.


         Mathematics - Describe the ideas about mathematics that were developed by Pythagoras and Archimedes that are still taught in schools today.





BBC History- Ancient Greece

Articles on different aspects of Ancient Greece and a section for younger students with information, activities and games. Ancient Greece

Articles about the ancient Greeks.


History for Kids- Ancient Greece

Information, in a form that younger students can cope with, on religion, philosophy, art, food, clothing and a timeline of ancient Greece.


Perseus Digital Library

Translations of original classical texts, articles on ancient cultures and many other resources for the study of the classical world.





Eyewitness Guide- Ancient Greece

By Anne Pearson

A marvellous pictorial overview of the world of the Greeks showing everything from their clothing and food to their politics and thought. Dorling Kindersley


Look Inside A Greek Theatre

By Peter Chrisp

Takes you inside this wonderous ancient artform, describing it as if you were there. There are some great illustrations, photos and fascinating facts. Hodder Wayland


Milestones of Science

By Curt Suplee

This book is not exclusively about the ancient Greeks but it will show you how much they contributed to science. National Geographic


Oxford History of the Classical World

By J. Boardman, J. Griffin and O Murray

A scholarly yet accessible history of ancient Greece and Rome, with some wonderful illustrations (Oxford).



Things to Watch



A retelling of the Homeric epic The Illiad, starring Brad Pitt and Eric Bana. See how well the ancient Greek story holds up after more than 200 years. Due for release in cinemas in May 2004


Empires - The Greeks: Crucible of Civilisation

Recounts the rise, glory and demise of the empire that marked the dawn of Western civilisation. In the 4th and 5th centuries BC, the Greeks built an empire that stretched across the Mediterranean from Asia to Spain. They laid the foundation of modern science, politics, warfare and philosophy and produced some of the most breath-taking art and architecture the world has ever seen. Available from ABC shops or DVD retailers.