World History- Chapter 7 Summary
Lesson 1- Rise of Greek Civilization
• Greek civilization began on a mountainous peninsula
surrounded by seas with many islands. As a result, Greek
communities were often isolated. The Greeks created many
independent city-states. This lack of unity weakened Greece,
making it easier to be conquered.
• The Minoan civilization began on the island of Crete and
influenced the Mycenaean civilization that arose on the
Greek mainland. The Mycenaeans outlasted the Minoans and
may have conquered them.
• Wars and earthquakes helped cause the fall of the
Mycenaean civilization around 1100 b.c., followed by a “dark
age .” During that time, the Dorians, a people known for
making iron weapons and tools, invaded and drove the
Greeks off the mainland. The Greeks also adopted the
• Greeks returned to the mainland and the “dark age” ended.
The Greek population grew. This led the Greeks to establish
colonies around the Mediterranean Sea, in places such as
Italy, North Africa, and western Asia. The colonies increased
trade and spread Greek culture.
• The Greeks developed the modern concept of citizenship.
Each city-state was called a polis. Free, land-owning men
could become citizens. Citizens could vote, hold public office,
and defend themselves in court. Citizens were also
responsible for serving in the government and defending the
polis by serving as hoplites, or soldiers, in the army of the
LESSON 2 Sparta and Athens: City-State Rivals
• In the 600s b.c., there were many political changes in
Greece. Farmers, merchants, and artisans wanted reforms.
The unrest led to the rise of rulers with total power, called
• Although many tyrants were fair rulers, by the 500s b.c.
most city-states had replaced them with either an oligarchy
or a democracy. An oligarchy is a government in which a
few wealthy people hold power over the larger group of
citizens. In a democracy, all citizens share in running the
• The city-state of Sparta created a military oligarchy with a
very strong army. Spartans boys trained for war from an
early age. Sparta's economy was based on farming and the
Spartans had many slaves. Sparta’s currency was iron bars which made trading very difficult.
• The Spartan government resisted change. Citizens were
prevented from traveling and there was little trade. Spartan
women did have more rights than other Greek women, such
as the right to own property.
• Athens developed from a city-state ruled by fair tyrants to a
democracy. In the 500s b.c., the tyrants Solon, Peisistratus,
and Cleisthenes made reforms that gave citizenship to all
free men and helped the poor. Under Cleisthenes, every male citizen had a chance to be a member of the city council.
• An assembly of all male citizens became the main governing
body of Athens. The assembly was aided by a council of 500
citizens, who introduced laws and helped run the daily
affairs of the city-state.
LESSON 3-Greece and Persia
• The Persians built a powerful empire in Southwest Asia. This
empire was so large that its rulers divided it into provinces
called satrapies. Persia had a large, permanent army and a
vast network of roads. Persians believed that their kings
ruled by the power of the god Ahura Mazda.
• In the 400s b.c., Persia tried to expand into Europe and took
control of some Greek colonies in the Mediterranean area.
This led to war between Athens and Persia.
• Persia invaded Greece, but the Athenians defeated a much
larger Persian army at the Battle of Marathon in 490 b.c. The
Persian king Xerxes led another invasion in 480 b.c. and won
a costly victory over the Greeks at Thermopylae. Later in
480 b.c., the Greeks destroyed a huge Persian fleet at the
Battle of Salamis.
• The Persians lost a final battle at Plataea in 479 b.c. against
a combined army of Greeks from many city-states. After this
defeat, the Persian Empire weakened and became
defenseless against outside attacks.
LESSON 4- Glory, War, and Decline
• After the Persian wars, Athens entered a golden age of
prosperity and achievement led by Pericles. He rebuilt
Athens and formed a group of city-states called the Delian
League. Pericles also expanded democratic government and
• Athens was a direct democracy. All citizens met to debate
and vote on government issues. This worked in Athens
because the city-state did not have many citizens. Women
had no political rights and there were many enslaved people
in Athens who helped build its prosperous economy.
• Sparta did not join the Delian League. Instead, it became
the leader of a group of city-states opposed to Athens.
When Athens tried to interfere with Spartan alliances, war
broke out in 431 b.c. Historians called the war the
Peloponnesian War because Sparta was located in the
• Sparta had a stronger army, while Athens had a stronger
navy. Sparta surrounded Athens but could not capture it.
Then the Spartans joined with the Persians and built a navy.
They conquered Athens in 404 b.c.
• Sparta ruled its newly acquired empire much as Athens had
ruled its empire before. For 30 years, city-states rebelled
unsuccessfully. Then, in 371 b.c. the city-state of Thebes
overthrew the Spartan empire. The Greeks were so busy
fighting each other that they failed to notice the growth of
the powerful Macedonians to the north.