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2. The Dark Ages

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Published on Nov 20, 2008

Introduction to Ancient Greek History (CLCV 205)

In this lecture, Professor Donald Kagan explores the earliest history of Greek civilization. He demonstrates how small agricultural enclaves eventually turned into great cities of power and wealth in the Bronze Age, taking as his examples first Minoan Crete and then Mycenaean Greece. He also argues that these civilizations were closely related to the great monarchies of the ancient Near East. He points out that the Mycenaean age eventually came to an abrupt end probably through a process of warfare and migration. Reconstructing the Mycenaean age is possible through archaeological evidence and through epic poetry (Homer). Finally, he provides an account of the collapse of the Mycenaean world, and explains how in its aftermath, the Greeks were poised to start their civilization over on a new slate.

00:00 - Chapter 1. The Minoan Civilization
08:58 - Chapter 2. Mycenaean Language and Writing
16:07 - Chapter 3. The Citadel, Farmland, Burials and the Oil Trade
26:29 - Chapter 4. Cultural Unity, Agriculture, Religious Authority
33:41 - Chapter 5. Society and Economy
39:05 - Chapter 6. Theories about the Fall of the Mycenaean World
56:52 - Chapter 7. Results of the Fall

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Fall 2007.

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