History of Europe

From 1100 to 508 BC. J.-C.:Archaic period

AROUND 1,100 – 800 BC. AD

Archaic Greek period:

After the collapse of the Mycenaean civilization , life is difficult in Greece. The inhabitants devote all their time to agriculture and forget their other skills, such as writing.


Life in ancient Greece:

During the Archaic period, the Greeks began to trade with other countries and grew rich. They live in small city-states , consisting of a city and surrounding land. The 2 most important are Athens and Sparta . Each city-state has its own customs and ruler. All have their own armies and they wage war against each other. The most formidable warriors are those of Sparta, they are called Spartans and spend their lives training in combat. The boys leave their mother at the age of 7 to start training. Daughters also need to be in excellent shape to give birth to strong children. While men go to work, shop or see friends, women stay at home and take care of household chores, children and slaves.


Boys from wealthy families start school at age 7. They learn to read, write, mathematics, music, poetry, dance and athletics. As for the girls, they stay at home and are educated by their mother.

The theatre:

The first great coins of the world are written by the ancient Greeks. They are played as part of religious festivities for the pleasure of the gods. The parties last several days and a prize rewards the best piece. All the actors are men, but some are dressed as women.


First Olympic Games:

During the Greek Archaic period, athletics was the popular pastime for men. They practice running, jumping, boxing, wrestling, horse and chariot racing, discus and javelin throwing… Competitions are held throughout the country and the most important are the Olympic Games which take place every 4 years in Olympia as part of the festivities of the god Zeus, the ruler of the Greek gods.


Beginning of democracy in Athens:

All free men participate in the administration of the city. They meet every 10 days to vote on new laws. This type of government is called democracy and means “to rule by the people”. Women, foreigners and slaves do not have the right to vote.