Ancient History: Greece : Mycenaean Age (1100- 750 BCE)

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for Ancient History: Greece

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Example Questions

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Example Question #1 : Ancient History: Greece

The Homeric epics tell the story of __________.

Possible Answers:

the Trojan War

the foundation of Athens

the Persian Wars

the Peloponnesian War

the foundation of Rome

Correct answer:

the Trojan War

Explanation:

The Homeric epics, The Iliad and The Odyssey, tell the story of the Trojan War. The Trojan War probably did actually take place, although the account of it told by Homer is most likely highly fictionalized. The Iliad tells the story of the Greek invasion of Troy and The Odyssey tells the story of Odysseus’ attempts to get home after the war has ended.

Example Question #2 : Mycenaean Age (1100 750 Bce)

The Mycenaean civilization consisted of Indo-Europeans who settled in the Greek mainland in circa 2000 BCE.  Their name comes from their capital city of Mycenae. The Mycenaeans settled in southern Greece, along a steep rocky mountain ridge.  Mycenae was protected by a wall 20 feet thick that could withstand any attack. The Mycenaeans were ruled by warrior kings who controlled Mycenae as well as the cities of Tiryns and Athens (circa 1600 to 1100 BCE). The Mycenaeans came into contact with the Minoans circa 1500 BCE. They learned the benefits of sea trading from the Minoans and were soon sailing throughout the eastern Mediterranean Sea. They traded with the inhabitants of the Aegean islands and the coastal towns of Anatolia and ports in Syria, Egypt, Italy and Crete. The Minoans influenced Mycenaean culture as well. The Mycenaeans adapted the Minoan system of writing to their form of the Greek language and decorated vases with Minoan designs. The combination of Minoan and Mycenaean ideas formed the core of Greek religious practices, art, politics and literature.

The interaction between the Mycenaeans and Minoans had a direct effect on which of the following?

Possible Answers:

The development of hieroglyphic writing in Egypt

The Trojan War

The development of ancient trade roots in the Mediterranean Sea

Colonization of the northern African coastal areas 

The roots and development of Western civilization

Correct answer:

The roots and development of Western civilization

Explanation:

The Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations were highly developed in all forms of culture and politics. Their ideology was fanned the growth of Western civilization. They were not the only culture in the Mediterranean that were seafarers and had developed trade routes. Nor is there evidence to support colonization of the northern African coastal areas or influence upon the Egyptian form of writing. The Egyptians developed their own form of hieroglyphics independent of the Mycenaean culture. The Trojan War was a major event in Mycenaean history and while legend says that it lasted for ten years, it did not have much influence on Western Civilization. The Egyptians developed their own form of hieroglyphics independent of the Mycenaean culture. Many ancient nations explored northern Africa but there is no solid evidence of any colonization of the area.

Example Question #2 : Ancient History: Greece

A Mycenaean palace, such as those found at Mycenae, Tiryns, and Pylos, is best described as consisting of ______________.

Possible Answers:

subterranean with light-wells

cement constructions with domed ceilings

encircled with marble columns

central megaron with closed courtyards

built on a podium

Correct answer:

central megaron with closed courtyards

Explanation:

The Mycenaean palace contains a central megaron with courtyards allowing increasing segregation.

Roman temples are built on podia. Greek temples are encircled by columns. The Romans developed the use of cement and domed architecture. Structures with subterranean light wells are also prehistoric, but they are characteristic of the Minoan society.

Example Question #4 : Mycenaean Age (1100 750 Bce)

Which of these mythological figures was thought to have defeated the Minotaur?

Possible Answers:

Theseus

Artemis

Achilles

Heracles

Jason

Correct answer:

Theseus

Explanation:

Theseus was the mythological figure who was thought to have founded the city of Athens. Theseus, like Heracles, has a lengthy mythology attached to him that centers around his “labors.” The most famous of Theseus’ labors was the defeat of the Minotaur. The Minotaur was a bull-headed monster that lived on the island of Crete and was said to terrorize the local population.

Example Question #11 : Ancient History: Greece

The Dorians did make contributions to the art, architecture and politics of Greece.  The Dorian and Ionian styles of art and architecture developed side by side but with distinct differences. The Doric style was restrained, massive and simple. The Ionic style was graceful, elegant and ornate. The Dorian style of choral lyrics also dominated Greek tragedy. Politically the Dorians followed the practice of the Mycenaeans in identifying with the locality in which they lived rather than with the homelands of their ancestors. In the mercantile cities of Corinth, Rhodes and Argos, the Dorians initial plan was to maintain political power for themselves. But they eventually merged with the conquered native populations. In contrast, in areas such as Sparta and Crete, the Dorians maintained political power and became a military ruling class. In so doing, they halted the growth of society politically and culturally to maintain dominance over the conquered people. By 750 BCE, the city state or the “polis” was the fundamental political unit in ancient Greece. The polis encompassed the city and its surrounding villages. The citizens gathered at the agora and the acropolis to discuss city government. It was not unusual for tyrants to seize power in clashes between rulers, nobles, wealthy citizens or the average citizen. These tyrants were hailed as leaders working for the interests of the ordinary period setting up building programs that provided jobs and housing for their supporters.

What form(s) of government would one expect to see in Greece during the Doric civilization?

Possible Answers:

Monarchy

Democratic Republic 

Democracy

Republic

Plutocracy

Correct answer:

Monarchy

Explanation:

During the Dorian period one would see a monarchy, aristocracy, or oligarchy in Greece. The Dorians, living under the rule of the military tyrants, would not have a Democracy or a Democratic Republic form of government. A Plutocracy is rule by the wealthy. The Dorian tyrants ruled by military power not by use of their wealth.  The concept of a Democratic Republic is a modern form of government. The Democratic Republic form of government combines the best elements of a democracy and republic allowing the citizens to govern through elected officials. Therefore, during the Dorian period when Greece was ruled by tyrants one would expect to see a monarchy.

Example Question #1 : Mycenaean Age (1100 750 Bce)

The Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations were destroyed by new arrivals from Macedonia and Epirus. This new group of Greeks, called the Dorians, settled in the war ravaged lands and developed their civilization. The Dorians had a well-developed dialect and settled into communities based on their “tribes”. They were quite different from the Ionian Greeks and are traditionally believed to have been the conquerors of the Peloponnese during the years 1100 to 1000 BCE. According to Greek tradition, their name is attributed to Doris, a small district in central Greece. Tradition holds that the sons of Heracles were driven from their homeland by the Mycenaeans. They took refuge with the king of Doris.  Many generations later, the Heraclid brothers led the Dorians back to the Peloponnese to reclaim their heritage. The actual history of the Dorians is obscure.  They swept into central Greece from Macedonia and Epirus. From central Greece they moved into the southern Aegean. Based on this tradition and their language historians believe they may have been distant relatives of the Bronze Age Greeks. Shortly after arriving in the old Mycenaean cities, the Dorian economy and trade collapsed. The civilization remained intact and grew as the Dorians expanded their empire throughout the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas and as far as mainland Anatolia, modern day southwestern Turkey.  Greek history was passed on by oral tradition from generation to generation eventually influencing Homer, the well-known Greek writer and storyteller. 

The arrival of the Dorians began a period in Greek history referred to as which of the following?

Possible Answers:

The Era of the Slashing Sword

The Dorian Expansion

The Dark Age of Greece

The Age of Doric Conquest

The New Age of Greece

Correct answer:

The Dark Age of Greece

Explanation:

The Dorians were a less developed culture than the Minoans and Mycenaeans. Their only contribution to world technology was the iron slashing sword. During their reign in Greece, the art of writing was lost. There were no written records for 400 years.  History was passed on by oral tradition. For this reason, historians often refer to the age of the Dorians as the “dark age” of Greece.

Example Question #1 : Mycenaean Age (1100 750 Bce)

The Greek Dark Ages are usually said to begin around __________.

Possible Answers:

1,350 BCE

1,000 BCE

1,500 BCE

650 BCE

800 BCE

Correct answer:

1,000 BCE

Explanation:

The Greek Dark Ages are usually said to begin around 1,000 BCE, and last until the mid-eighth century. The Greek Dark Ages began as a result of the decline of the Mycenaean civilization in the twelfth and eleventh centuries. The Mycenaeans left behind a political and cultural vacuum that remained most unfilled until the rise of the Greek city-states in the eighth century. It is worth noting that some historians consider the Dark Ages to be a misnomer and argue that this period of time was still quite prosperous and advanced. The absence of written records from this time period, however, seems to reinforce the notion of a prolonged Dark Age.

Example Question #1 : Mycenaean Age (1100 750 Bce)

Which of these best describes Attica?

Possible Answers:

The territory to the north of ancient Greece that was inhabited by Macedonians

The collection of Greek city-states founded in Asia Minor

The region around the city-state of Athens

The region around the city-state of Sparta

The collection of Greek colonies founded in southern Italy

Correct answer:

The region around the city-state of Athens

Explanation:

Attica is the region around the city-state of Athens. Attica, with its natural harbors, has long been important in the development of Greek culture.

Example Question #2 : Athens And Re Development

Which of these best describes the Greek concept of Synoecism?

Possible Answers:

The process by which an individual could become a citizen of a city-state through selfless acts or financial donations.

A process of political unification in which smaller communities grouped together to form a city-state.

None of these answers accurately describes Synoecism.

A process of political fragmentation which arises when a community grows too large and unwieldy.

The process by which an individual could be banished from a city-state for failing to adhere to the community’s laws and customs.

Correct answer:

A process of political unification in which smaller communities grouped together to form a city-state.

Explanation:

Synoecism is the name given to the process by which a group of smaller communities group together to form a larger, unified city-state. It refers to a process of political unification by which many Greek city-states came into existence.

Example Question #1 : Mycenaean Age (1100 750 Bce)

Theseus was generally credited by ancient Greeks with __________.

Possible Answers:

founding the city of Athens

the construction of the Temple of Apollo in Corinth

founding the city of Sparta

leading the invasion of Persia during the Second Persian War

leading the invasion of Troy during the Trojan War

Correct answer:

founding the city of Athens

Explanation:

Theseus is a mythological figure who was thought to be the son of Poseidon. He was generally credited by the ancient Greeks (particularly the Athenians) with founding the city of Athens.

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