Ancient Greece Geography and Civilizations Quiz

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12 Questions

What was the name of the site that later became Constantinople and is now Istanbul?


What is the definition of an oligarchy?

Rule by the few

What was the name of the defensive alliance against the Persians that had its main headquarters on the island of Delos?

Delian League

Who was the dominant figure in Athenian politics between 461 and 429 b.c.?


What was the name of the practice used in Athens to protect against ambitious politicians?


What was the name of the highest mountain in Greece?


What body of water formed the eastern border of Greece?

Ionian Sea

Where did the Minoan Civilization flourish?


Who first discovered the fortified site of Mycenae on the Greek mainland?

Heinrich Schliemann

What was the main gathering place in the polis, typically located on a hill?


'Arete' in Greek culture refers to what concept?

Striving for excellence

What type of formation did Hoplites use in battle?

Rectangular formation

Study Notes

Ancient Greece

  • Byzantium was the site of what later became Constantinople and is now Istanbul.

Forms of Government

  • Tyrants: rulers who seized power by force from the aristocrats.
  • Democracy: government by the people or rule of the many.
  • Oligarchy: rule by the few.


  • Sparta: had a group of five men called Ephors, who were elected each year and were responsible for the education of youth and the conduct of all citizens.
  • Sparta: had a social class called Helots, a name derived from a Greek word for “capture”.
  • Athens: had become a unified polis on the peninsula of Attica.
  • Athens: was reformed by Solon, a reform-minded aristocrat, and later by Cleisthenes.

Persian Empire

  • The Ionian Greek cities in western Asia Minor had fallen to the Persian Empire by the mid-sixth century b.c.
  • In 499 b.c., an unsuccessful revolt by the Ionian cities occurred.
  • Darius was the Persian ruler, followed by Xerxes.

Delian League

  • The Delian league was a defensive alliance against the Persians.
  • Its main headquarters was on the island of Delos.

Age of Pericles

  • Pericles was a dominant figure in Athenian politics between 461 and 429 b.c.
  • The Age of Pericles saw the height of Athenian power and brilliance.

Politics and Practices

  • Ostracism was a practice used to protect against ambitious politicians.
  • Thebes was a new Greek power that struggled to dominate Greek affairs.

Geography and Culture

  • Greece is bounded by the Aegean, Mediterranean, and Ionian Seas.
  • Olympus is the highest mountain in Greece.
  • Rituals are ceremonies or rites.
  • An Oracle is a sacred shrine where a god or goddess reveals the future through a priest or priestess.

Early Civilizations

  • The Bronze Age civilization had been established on the island of Crete.
  • The Minoan Civilization flourished from 2700 to 1450 b.c.
  • The Minoans were not Greek, but they influenced the peoples of the Greek mainland.
  • The Mycenaeans were a civilization that came from Mycenae, a fortified site on the Greek mainland.

Greek Culture and Literature

  • The poetry of Homer is famous for its supposed military adventures.
  • Ionia was a strip of territory that came to be called Ionian Greece, in modern-day Turkey.
  • The Aeolian Greeks and The Dorians were two major groups of Greeks who settled in established parts of Greece.
  • An Epic poem is a long poem that tells the deeds of a great hero.
  • Arete is a hero's striving for excellence.

City-State Structure

  • The polis, or city-state, became the central focus of Greek life.
  • The Acropolis was the main gathering place in the polis, usually a hill with a fortified top.
  • The Agora was an open area that served as a place where people could assemble and as a market.


  • Hoplites were heavily armed infantry soldiers, or foot soldiers.
  • Each Hoplite carried a round shield, a short sword, and a thrusting spear about 9 feet (2.7 m) long.
  • The Phalanx was a formation of Hoplites marching shoulder to shoulder in a rectangular formation.

Test your knowledge on the geography of ancient Greece, including the Aegean, Mediterranean, and Ionian Seas, as well as the civilizations of Minoan and Mycenaean. Explore the influences of these civilizations on the Greek mainland and the poetry of Homer.

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