Classical antiquity

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"Classical era" redirects here. Classical antiquity_sentence_0

For the Classical period in music, see Classical period (music). Classical antiquity_sentence_1

For the classics journal, see Classical Antiquity (journal) and Classical World (journal). Classical antiquity_sentence_2

Classical antiquity (also the classical era, classical period or classical age) is the period of cultural history between the 8th century BC and the 6th century AD centered on the Mediterranean Sea, comprising the interlocking civilizations of ancient Greece and ancient Rome known as the Greco-Roman world. Classical antiquity_sentence_3

It is the period in which both Greek and Roman societies flourished and wielded great influence throughout much of Europe, Northern Africa, and West Asia. Classical antiquity_sentence_4

Conventionally, it is taken to begin with the earliest-recorded Epic Greek poetry of Homer (8th–7th-century BC), and continues through the emergence of Christianity and the fall of the Western Roman Empire (5th-century AD). Classical antiquity_sentence_5

It ends with the decline of classical culture during Late antiquity (250–750), a period overlapping with the Early Middle Ages (600–1000). Classical antiquity_sentence_6

Such a wide span of history and territory covers many disparate cultures and periods. Classical antiquity_sentence_7

Classical antiquity may also refer to an idealized vision among later people of what was, in Edgar Allan Poe's words, "the glory that was Greece, and the grandeur that was Rome". Classical antiquity_sentence_8

The culture of the ancient Greeks, together with some influences from the ancient Near East, was the basis of art, philosophy, society, and education, until the Roman imperial period. Classical antiquity_sentence_9

The Romans preserved, imitated, and spread this culture over Europe, until they themselves were able to compete with it, and the classical world began to speak Latin as well as Greek. Classical antiquity_sentence_10

This Greco-Roman cultural foundation has been immensely influential on the language, politics, law, educational systems, philosophy, science, warfare, poetry, historiography, ethics, rhetoric, art and architecture of the modern world. Classical antiquity_sentence_11

Surviving fragments of classical culture led to a revival beginning in the 14th century which later came to be known as the Renaissance, and various neo-classical revivals occurred in the 18th and 19th centuries. Classical antiquity_sentence_12

Archaic period (c. 8th to c. 6th centuries BC) Classical antiquity_section_0

Further information: Iron Age Europe Classical antiquity_sentence_13

The earliest period of classical antiquity takes place against the background of gradual re-appearance of historical sources following the Bronze Age collapse. Classical antiquity_sentence_14

The 8th and 7th centuries  BC are still largely proto-historical, with the earliest Greek alphabetic inscriptions appearing in the first half of the 8th century. Classical antiquity_sentence_15

Homer is usually assumed to have lived in the 8th or 7th century BC, and his lifetime is often taken as marking the beginning of classical antiquity. Classical antiquity_sentence_16

In the same period falls the traditional date for the establishment of the Ancient Olympic Games, in 776  BC. Classical antiquity_sentence_17

Phoenicians, Carthaginians and Assyrians Classical antiquity_section_1

Main articles: Phoenicia, Ancient Carthage, and Ancient history of Cyprus Classical antiquity_sentence_18

The Phoenicians originally expanded from Canaan ports, by the 8th century dominating trade in the Mediterranean. Classical antiquity_sentence_19

Carthage was founded in 814 BC, and the Carthaginians by 700 BC had firmly established strongholds in Sicily, Italy and Sardinia, which created conflicts of interest with Etruria. Classical antiquity_sentence_20

A stela found in Kition, Cyprus commemorates the victory of King Sargon II in 709 BC over the seven kings of the island, marking an important step in the transfer of Cyprus from Tyrian rule to the Neo-Assyrian Empire. Classical antiquity_sentence_21

Greece Classical antiquity_section_2

Main article: Archaic period in Greece Classical antiquity_sentence_22

The Archaic period followed the Greek Dark Ages, and saw significant advancements in political theory, and the rise of democracy, philosophy, theatre, poetry, as well as the revitalization of the written language (which had been lost during the Dark Ages). Classical antiquity_sentence_23

In pottery, the Archaic period sees the development of the Orientalizing style, which signals a shift from the Geometric style of the later Dark Ages and the accumulation of influences derived from Egypt, Phoenicia and Syria. Classical antiquity_sentence_24

Pottery styles associated with the later part of the Archaic age are the black-figure pottery, which originated in Corinth during the 7th-century  BC and its successor, the red-figure style, developed by the Andokides Painter in about 530 BC. Classical antiquity_sentence_25

Greek colonies Classical antiquity_section_3

Main articles: Apoikiai and Magna Graecia Classical antiquity_sentence_26

Iron Age Italy Classical antiquity_section_4

The Etruscans had established political control in the region by the late 7th-century BC, forming the aristocratic and monarchial elite. Classical antiquity_sentence_27

The Etruscans apparently lost power in the area by the late 6th-century BC, and at this point, the Italic tribes reinvented their government by creating a republic, with much greater restraints on the ability of rulers to exercise power. Classical antiquity_sentence_28

Roman Kingdom Classical antiquity_section_5

Main article: Roman kingdom Classical antiquity_sentence_29

According to legend, Rome was founded on 21 April 753 BC by twin descendants of the Trojan prince Aeneas, Romulus and Remus. Classical antiquity_sentence_30

As the city was bereft of women, legend says that the Latins invited the Sabines to a festival and stole their unmarried maidens, leading to the integration of the Latins and the Sabines. Classical antiquity_sentence_31

Archaeological evidence indeed shows first traces of settlement at the Roman Forum in the mid-8th BC, though settlements on the Palatine Hill may date back to the 10th century BC. Classical antiquity_sentence_32

The seventh and final king of Rome was Tarquinius Superbus. Classical antiquity_sentence_33

As the son of Tarquinius Priscus and the son-in-law of Servius Tullius, Superbus was of Etruscan birth. Classical antiquity_sentence_34

It was during his reign that the Etruscans reached their apex of power. Classical antiquity_sentence_35

Superbus removed and destroyed all the Sabine shrines and altars from the Tarpeian Rock, enraging the people of Rome. Classical antiquity_sentence_36

The people came to object to his rule when he failed to recognize the rape of Lucretia, a patrician Roman, at the hands of his own son. Classical antiquity_sentence_37

Lucretia's kinsman, Lucius Junius Brutus (ancestor to Marcus Brutus), summoned the Senate and had Superbus and the monarchy expelled from Rome in 510 BC. Classical antiquity_sentence_38

After Superbus' expulsion, the Senate voted to never again allow the rule of a king and reformed Rome into a republican government is 509 BC. Classical antiquity_sentence_39

In fact, the Latin word "Rex" meaning King became a dirty and hated word throughout the Republic and later on the Empire. Classical antiquity_sentence_40

Classical Greece (5th to 4th centuries BC) Classical antiquity_section_6

Main article: Classical Greece Classical antiquity_sentence_41

The classical period of Ancient Greece corresponds to most of the 5th and 4th centuries BC, in particular, from the fall of the Athenian tyranny in 510 BC to the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC. Classical antiquity_sentence_42

In 510, Spartan troops helped the Athenians overthrow the tyrant Hippias, son of Peisistratos. Classical antiquity_sentence_43

Cleomenes I, king of Sparta, put in place a pro-Spartan oligarchy conducted by Isagoras. Classical antiquity_sentence_44

The Greco-Persian Wars (499–449 BC), concluded by the Peace of Callias gave way not only to the liberation of Greece, Macedon, Thrace, and Ionia from Persian rule, but also resulted in giving the dominant position of Athens in the Delian League, which led to conflict with Sparta and the Peloponnesian League, resulting in the Peloponnesian War (431–404  BC), which ended in a Spartan victory. Classical antiquity_sentence_45

Greece entered the 4th century under Spartan hegemony, but by 395 BC the Spartan rulers removed Lysander from office, and Sparta lost her naval supremacy. Classical antiquity_sentence_46

Athens, Argos, Thebes and Corinth, the latter two of which were formerly Spartan allies, challenged Spartan dominance in the Corinthian War, which ended inconclusively in 387 BC. Classical antiquity_sentence_47

Later, in 371 BC, the Theban generals Epaminondas and Pelopidas won a victory at the Battle of Leuctra. Classical antiquity_sentence_48

The result of this battle was the end of Spartan supremacy and the establishment of Theban hegemony. Classical antiquity_sentence_49

Thebes sought to maintain its position until it was finally eclipsed by the rising power of Macedon in 346 BC. Classical antiquity_sentence_50

Under Philip II, (359–336 BC), Macedon expanded into the territory of the Paeonians, the Thracians and the Illyrians. Classical antiquity_sentence_51

Philip's son, Alexander the Great, (356–323 BC) managed to briefly extend Macedonian power not only over the central Greek city-states but also to the Persian Empire, including Egypt and lands as far east as the fringes of India. Classical antiquity_sentence_52

The classical period conventionally ends at the death of Alexander in 323  BC and the fragmentation of his empire, which was at this time divided among the Diadochi. Classical antiquity_sentence_53

Hellenistic period (323–146 BC) Classical antiquity_section_7

Main article: Hellenistic period Classical antiquity_sentence_54

Further information: Hellenistic philosophy and Hellenistic religion Classical antiquity_sentence_55

Classical Greece entered the Hellenistic period with the rise of Macedon and the conquests of Alexander the Great. Classical antiquity_sentence_56

Greek became the lingua franca far beyond Greece itself, and Hellenistic culture interacted with the cultures of Persia, Kingdom of Israel and Kingdom of Judah, Central Asia and Egypt. Classical antiquity_sentence_57

Significant advances were made in the sciences (geography, astronomy, mathematics, etc.), notably with the followers of Aristotle (Aristotelianism). Classical antiquity_sentence_58

The Hellenistic period ended with the rise of the Roman Republic to a super-regional power in the 2nd century BC and the Roman conquest of Greece in 146 BC. Classical antiquity_sentence_59

Roman Republic (5th to 1st centuries BC) Classical antiquity_section_8

Main article: Roman Republic Classical antiquity_sentence_60

Further information: culture of ancient Rome Classical antiquity_sentence_61

The Republican period of Ancient Rome began with the overthrow of the Monarchy c. 509 BC and lasted over 450 years until its subversion through a series of civil wars, into the Principate form of government and the Imperial period. Classical antiquity_sentence_62

During the half millennium of the Republic, Rome rose from a regional power of the Latium to the dominant force in Italy and beyond. Classical antiquity_sentence_63

The unification of Italy under Roman hegemony was a gradual process, brought about in a series of conflicts of the 4th and 3rd centuries, the Samnite Wars, Latin War, and Pyrrhic War. Classical antiquity_sentence_64

Roman victory in the Punic Wars and Macedonian Wars established Rome as a super-regional power by the 2nd century BC, followed up by the acquisition of Greece and Asia Minor. Classical antiquity_sentence_65

This tremendous increase of power was accompanied by economic instability and social unrest, leading to the Catiline conspiracy, the Social War and the First Triumvirate, and finally the transformation to the Roman Empire in the latter half of the 1st century BC. Classical antiquity_sentence_66

Roman Empire (1st century BC to 5th century AD) Classical antiquity_section_9

Main article: Roman Empire Classical antiquity_sentence_67

The precise end of the Republic is disputed by modern historians; Roman citizens of the time did not recognize that the Republic had ceased to exist. Classical antiquity_sentence_68

The early Julio-Claudian Emperors maintained that the res publica still existed, albeit under the protection of their extraordinary powers, and would eventually return to its full Republican form. Classical antiquity_sentence_69

The Roman state continued to call itself a res publica as long as it continued to use Latin as its official language. Classical antiquity_sentence_70

Rome acquired imperial character de facto from the 130s BC with the acquisition of Cisalpine Gaul, Illyria, Greece and Hispania, and definitely with the addition of Iudaea, Asia Minor and Gaul in the 1st century BC. Classical antiquity_sentence_71

At the time of the empire's maximal extension under Trajan (AD 117), Rome controlled the entire Mediterranean as well as Gaul, parts of Germania and Britannia, the Balkans, Dacia, Asia Minor, the Caucasus, and Mesopotamia. Classical antiquity_sentence_72

Culturally, the Roman Empire was significantly Hellenized, but also saw the rise of syncretic "eastern" traditions, such as Mithraism, Gnosticism, and most notably Christianity. Classical antiquity_sentence_73

The empire began to decline in the crisis of the third century. Classical antiquity_sentence_74

While sometimes compared with classical Greece, classical Rome had vast differences within their family life. Classical antiquity_sentence_75

Fathers had great power over their children, and husbands over their wives, and these acts were commonly compared with slave-owners and slaves. Classical antiquity_sentence_76

In fact, the word family, familia in Latin, actually referred to those who were under the authority of a male head of household. Classical antiquity_sentence_77

This included non-related members such as slaves and servants. Classical antiquity_sentence_78

In marriage, both men and women were loyal to one another and shared property. Classical antiquity_sentence_79

Divorce was first allowed starting in the first century BC and could be done by either man or woman. Classical antiquity_sentence_80

Late antiquity (4th to 6th centuries AD) Classical antiquity_section_10

Main articles: Late antiquity, Migration period, and Fall of the Western Roman Empire Classical antiquity_sentence_81

Late antiquity saw the rise of Christianity under Constantine I, finally ousting the Roman imperial cult with the Theodosian decrees of 393. Classical antiquity_sentence_82

Successive invasions of Germanic tribes finalized the decline of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century, while the Eastern Roman Empire persisted throughout the Middle Ages, in a state called the Roman Empire by its citizens, and labeled the Byzantine Empire by later historians. Classical antiquity_sentence_83

Hellenistic philosophy was succeeded by continued developments in Platonism and Epicureanism, with Neoplatonism in due course influencing the theology of the Church Fathers. Classical antiquity_sentence_84

Many writers have attempted to put a specific date on the symbolic "end" of antiquity with the most prominent dates being the deposing of the last Western Roman Emperor in 476, the closing of the last Platonic Academy in Athens by the Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian I in 529, and the conquest of much of the Mediterranean by the new Muslim faith from 634–718. Classical antiquity_sentence_85

These Muslim conquests, of Syria (637), Egypt (639), Cyprus (654), North Africa (665), Hispania (718), Southern Gaul (720), Crete (820), and Sicily (827), Malta (870) (and the sieges of the Eastern Roman capital, First Arab Siege of Constantinople (674–78) and Second Arab Siege of Constantinople (717–18)) severed the economic, cultural, and political links that had traditionally united the classical cultures around the Mediterranean, ending antiquity (see Pirenne Thesis). Classical antiquity_sentence_86

The original Roman Senate continued to express decrees into the late 6th century, and the last Eastern Roman emperor to use Latin as the language of his court in Constantinople was emperor Maurice, who reigned until 602. Classical antiquity_sentence_87

The overthrow of Maurice by his mutinying Danube army under Phocas resulted in the Slavic invasion of the Balkans and the decline of Balkan and Greek urban culture (leading to the flight of Balkan Latin speakers to the mountains, see Origin of the Romanians), and also provoked the Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628 in which all the great eastern cities except Constantinople were lost. Classical antiquity_sentence_88

The resulting turmoil did not end until the Muslim conquests of the 7th century finalized the irreversible loss of all the largest Eastern Roman imperial cities besides the capital itself. Classical antiquity_sentence_89

The emperor Heraclius in Constantinople, who emerged during this period, conducted his court in Greek, not Latin, though Greek had always been an administrative language of the eastern Roman regions. Classical antiquity_sentence_90

Eastern-Western links weakened with the ending of the Byzantine Papacy. Classical antiquity_sentence_91

The Eastern Roman empire's capital city of Constantinople was left as the only unconquered large urban center of the original Roman empire, as well as being the largest city in Europe. Classical antiquity_sentence_92

Over the next millennium the Roman culture of that city would slowly change, leading modern historians to refer to it by a new name, Byzantine, though many classical books, sculptures, and technologies survived there along with classical Roman cuisine and scholarly traditions, well into the Middle Ages, when much of it was "rediscovered" by visiting Western crusaders. Classical antiquity_sentence_93

Indeed, the inhabitants of Constantinople continued to refer to themselves as Romans, as did their eventual conquerors in 1453, the Ottomans. Classical antiquity_sentence_94

(see Rûm and Romaioi.) Classical antiquity_sentence_95

The classical scholarship and culture that was still preserved in Constantinople were brought by refugees fleeing its conquest in 1453 and helped to spark the Renaissance (see Greek scholars in the Renaissance). Classical antiquity_sentence_96

Ultimately, it was a slow, complex, and graduated change in the socio-economic structure in European history that led to the changeover between Classical antiquity and Medieval society and no specific date can truly exemplify that. Classical antiquity_sentence_97

Political revivalism Classical antiquity_section_11

Further information: Carolingian Renaissance, Ottonian Renaissance, Renaissance, Classicism, and Legacy of the Roman Empire Classical antiquity_sentence_98

In politics, the late Roman conception of the Empire as a universal state, headed by one supreme divinely-appointed ruler, united with Christianity as a universal religion likewise headed by a supreme patriarch, proved very influential, even after the disappearance of imperial authority in the west. Classical antiquity_sentence_99

This tendency reached its peak when Charlemagne was crowned "Roman Emperor" in the year 800, an act which led to the formation of the Holy Roman Empire. Classical antiquity_sentence_100

The notion that an emperor is a monarch who outranks a mere king dates from this period. Classical antiquity_sentence_101

In this political ideal, there would always be a Roman Empire, a state whose jurisdiction extended through the entire civilized western world. Classical antiquity_sentence_102

That model continued to exist in Constantinople for the entirety of the Middle Ages; the Byzantine Emperor was considered the sovereign of the entire Christian world. Classical antiquity_sentence_103

The Patriarch of Constantinople was the Empire's highest-ranked cleric, but even he was subordinate to the Emperor, who was "God's Vicegerent on Earth". Classical antiquity_sentence_104

The Greek-speaking Byzantines and their descendants continued to call themselves "Romans" until the creation of a new Greek state in 1832. Classical antiquity_sentence_105

After the fall of Constantinople in 1453, the Russian Czars (a title derived from Caesar) claimed the Byzantine mantle as the champion of Orthodoxy; Moscow was described as the "Third Rome" and the Czars ruled as divinely-appointed Emperors into the 20th century. Classical antiquity_sentence_106

Despite the fact that the Western Roman secular authority disappeared entirely in Europe, it still left traces. Classical antiquity_sentence_107

The Papacy and the Catholic Church in particular maintained Latin language, culture, and literacy for centuries; to this day the popes are called Pontifex Maximus which in the classical period was a title belonging to the Emperor, and the ideal of Christendom carried on the legacy of a united European civilization even after its political unity had disappeared. Classical antiquity_sentence_108

The political idea of an Emperor in the West to match the Emperor in the East continued after the Western Roman Empire's collapse; it was revived by the coronation of Charlemagne in 800; the self-described Holy Roman Empire ruled over central Europe until 1806. Classical antiquity_sentence_109

The Renaissance idea that the classical Roman virtues had been lost under medievalism was especially powerful in European politics of the 18th and 19th centuries. Classical antiquity_sentence_110

Reverence for Roman republicanism was strong among the Founding Fathers of the United States and the Latin American revolutionaries; the Americans described their new government as a republic (from res publica) and gave it a Senate and a President (another Latin term), rather than make use of available English terms like commonwealth or parliament. Classical antiquity_sentence_111

Similarly in Revolutionary and Napoleonic France, republicanism and Roman martial virtues were upheld by the state, as can be seen in the architecture of the Panthéon, the Arc de Triomphe, and the paintings of Jacques-Louis David. Classical antiquity_sentence_112

During the revolution, France itself followed the transition from kingdom to republic to dictatorship to Empire (complete with Imperial Eagles) that Rome had undergone centuries earlier. Classical antiquity_sentence_113

Cultural legacy Classical antiquity_section_12

Main articles: Classicism and Classical studies Classical antiquity_sentence_114

Classical antiquity is a broad term for a long period of cultural history. Classical antiquity_sentence_115

Such a wide sampling of history and territory covers many rather disparate cultures and periods. Classical antiquity_sentence_116

"Classical antiquity" often refers to an idealized vision of later people, of what was, in Edgar Allan Poe's words, Classical antiquity_sentence_117

In the 18th and 19th centuries AD, reverence for classical antiquity was much greater in Europe and the United States than it is today. Classical antiquity_sentence_118

Respect for the ancient people of Greece and Rome affected politics, philosophy, sculpture, literature, theatre, education, architecture, and sexuality. Classical antiquity_sentence_119

Epic poetry in Latin continued to be written and circulated well into the 19th century. Classical antiquity_sentence_120

John Milton and even Arthur Rimbaud received their first poetic educations in Latin. Classical antiquity_sentence_121

Genres like epic poetry, pastoral verse, and the endless use of characters and themes from Greek mythology left a deep mark on Western literature. Classical antiquity_sentence_122

In architecture, there have been several Greek Revivals, which seem more inspired in retrospect by Roman architecture than Greek. Classical antiquity_sentence_123

Washington, DC is filled with large marble buildings with facades made out to look like Greek temples, with columns constructed in the classical orders of architecture. Classical antiquity_sentence_124

In philosophy, the efforts of St Thomas Aquinas were derived largely from the thought of Aristotle, despite the intervening change in religion from Hellenic Polytheism to Christianity. Classical antiquity_sentence_125

Greek and Roman authorities such as Hippocrates and Galen formed the foundation of the practice of medicine even longer than Greek thought prevailed in philosophy. Classical antiquity_sentence_126

In the French theater, tragedians such as Molière and Racine wrote plays on mythological or classical historical subjects and subjected them to the strict rules of the classical unities derived from Aristotle's Poetics. Classical antiquity_sentence_127

The desire to dance like a latter-day vision of how the ancient Greeks did it moved Isadora Duncan to create her brand of ballet. Classical antiquity_sentence_128

Timeline Classical antiquity_section_13

Further information: Timeline of classical antiquity Classical antiquity_sentence_129

See also Classical antiquity_section_14

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Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical antiquity.