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By Diane Bailey

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The Phoenicians used some consonants the Greeks did not, so they borrowed those unneeded symbols and assigned them vowel sounds. Now any word could be written down. The new alphabet helped literacy spread through Greece, and the Greek system became the basis for other alphabets, including the one used in English. indd 54 10/23/14 11:43 AM power and fame, he instead questioned the greater rights and wrongs of society, often speaking up for the underdog when no one else did. Socrates worked to broaden the role of philosophy.

As a result, the scenes on red-figure pots are much more detailed and natural, better showing people’s bodies, clothing, and facial expressions. Some artists also began signing their works, as a sense of pride of ownership emerged. Because sculptors were of higher status, it was more likely for them to sign their names than painters. indd 44 10/23/14 11:43 AM precisely in its place that the builders did not use mortar to fill the cracks. Metal clamps in the stones kept them from shifting in case of an earthquake.

Athletes competed naked, which fit the Greek ideal of promoting physical fitness and attractiveness. The competition focused on individual rather than team events. Who was fastest? Who was strongest? indd 51 10/23/14 11:43 AM Aiming to be the best dovetailed with the Greeks’ competitive spirit and their emphasis on being able to subdue an enemy. As with other rituals, the games also had a religious aspect, and sacrifices were held beforehand. Athletes consulted the gods for guidance in the competition, but there were no guarantees, and defeat for some was unavoidable.

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Ancient Greece by Diane Bailey


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