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Word Count: 754
Among all the peoples of the ancient world one whose culture most clearly exemplified the spirit of Western society was the Greek or Hellenic No other people had so strong a devotion to freedom or so firm a belief in the nobility of human achievement The Greeks glorified humanity as the most important creation in the universe and refused to submit to the dictates of priests or despots The Greek view of the world was predominantly secular and rationalistic it exalted the spirit of free inquiry and preferred knowledge to faith With only a limited cultural inheritance from the past upon which to build the Greeks produced intellectual and artistic monuments that have serve ever since as standards of achievement The fall of the Mycenaean civilization resulted in overwhelming change for the Hellenic world It ushered in a period that is known as the Dark ages which lasted from 1150 to 750 BC lecture notes ancient Greece pg 3 Records were lost and the culture reverted to a simpler from Given the lack of writing or physical remains the Greek society during the Dark ages is scarce almost all of it coming from inferences drawn from the Iliad and the Odyssey derived from the epic poems of Homer who wrote the heroic masterpiecePolitical patterns were very simple Village communities were autonomous The rulers were called basileus which is Greek for king which was no more than a little tribal leader who commanded the local army The bulk of the myceanaen inhabitants lived in extended villages where they worked either land or land held by nobles or kings Agriculture and herding were the basic occupations of free men Slavery existed male slave were relatively few in numbers because the source of supply was war prisoners Women including worked in the home their main function was to bear children and manage the home where a women was restricted to the quarters when her husband entertained his
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