The Emergence of Advanced Societies in the Mediterranean World
The text explores the development of advanced societies in the Mediterranean world around 800 BC. It discusses the emergence of the Greek polis in mainland Greece, the rise of Phoenician power, and the increasing connections between the Aegean and the Levant. The text notes that the Mediterranean world decisively pulled ahead of Europe north of the Alps, due to factors that supported increased populations and strong community bonds.
Table of Contents
- Emergence of Advanced Societies in the Mediterranean World
- The Rise of the Greek Polis
- Evidence of Polis-Formation
- Transformation in Greek Material Culture
- Connections between the Mediterranean and the Levant
- Conclusion: The Mediterranean’s Decisive Advantages
Emergence of Advanced Societies in the Mediterranean World
Q: What is the significance of the Urnfield societies of middle Europe?
A: The Urnfield societies of middle Europe had complex social and political structures, with warrior elites controlling territories of around 150-200 kilometres across. Settlements of the warrior elites began to be fortified around 1100 BC, with most showing signs of destruction at some point in their history.
Q: What are the origins of the Etruscan period in central Italy?
A: The post-Villanovan period in central Italy, from 700 BC, is termed Etruscan, but it evolved organically from the Villanovan and not from migrants from western Asia Minor as previously thought.
Q: What kind of impacts did traders and craftsmen have on the central and western Mediterranean during this period?
A: Throughout this period, eastern traders and craftsmen were having major impacts on coastal areas of the central and western Mediterranean, with Minoan and Mycenaean traders expanding their field of operations westwards and Cypriot traders and craftsmen also operating in the central Mediterranean.
Q: What changes occurred in Sardinian settlements?
A: Meanwhile, native Sardinian settlements were undergoing dramatic changes, with over 4,000 stone-built structures (nuraghi) now known on the island, most dating from the second half of the second millennium BC.
The Rise of the Greek Polis
Q: What is the Greek Polis?
A: The Greek Polis refers to individual communities that turn themselves into citizen-states.
Q: What is the process of power-sharing between elite families in the Greek Polis?
A: The chapter describes the process of power-sharing between elite families, the emergence of formal structures of authority, the earliest law-codes, and the increasing sense of belonging to a political community.
Q: What role did Egypt and the Near East play in the transformation of Greek culture?
A: The chapter also discusses how the culture of the Greek world was transformed under the influence of the civilizations of Egypt and the Near East, leading to the great colonizing movements of the eighth and seventh centuries BC.
Q: What is the significance of the rise of Phoenician power?
A: The chapter also touches upon the rise of Phoenician power, their trading interests and connections with the Mediterranean world.
Evidence of Polis-Formation
Q: What are some examples of evidence that show polis-formation occurring in ancient Greece?
A: The emergence of polis-formation in ancient Greece can be seen through archaeological evidence such as the development of sanctuaries, the emergence of urban spaces and the transformation of Greek material culture.
Q: How did sanctuaries serve as markers of political territory?
A: Sanctuaries served as visible markers of political territory and by the early eighth century, Perachora had become one of the richest sanctuaries in the Greek world, attracting lavish dedications.
Transformation in Greek Material Culture
Q: What transformed in Greek material culture during the eighth and seventh centuries BC?
A: A transformation in Greek material culture occurred in the eighth and seventh centuries BC, with the introduction of Near Eastern and Egyptian influences.
Q: What influences can be seen in the new style of Greek material culture?
A: The geometric tradition was replaced by an entirely new style, with an entirely new repertoire of naturalistic figures. The influence of north Syrian bronze-work can be seen, as well as monumental statue-dedications imitated from contemporary Egyptian stone sculpture.
Connections between the Mediterranean and the Levant
Q: What are the examples of connections between the Eastern Mediterranean and the Atlantic trade circuit?
A: The text notes that the Aegean and the Levant were becoming increasingly linked, as demonstrated by the existence of connections between people from the eastern Mediterranean and the Atlantic trade circuit as early as the tenth century BC.
Conclusion: The Mediterranean’s Decisive Advantages
The text proposes that the Mediterranean world decisively pulled ahead of Europe north of the Alps, due to factors such as successful intensification of agriculture, which supported increased populations, the emergence of strong community bonds and successful local leadership, and the existence of entrepreneurs, whose trading activities enhanced developments back home.