The Greek Dark Ages and Greek Renaissance: The History and Legacy of the Bronze Age Transition to Archaic Greece, Charles River Editors
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The Greek Dark Ages and Greek Renaissance: The History and Legacy of the Bronze Age Transition to Archaic Greece

Author: Charles River Editors

Narrator: Tracy Wells

Unabridged: 2 hr 0 min

Format: Digital Audiobook

Publisher: Findaway Voices

Published: 03/28/2023

Genre: History - Ancient - Greece

Synopsis

The Greek Dark Ages, sometimes referred to as the Homeric Age or the Geometric Period, spans the era of Greek history from the end of the Mycenaean civilization around 1100 BCE and the emergence of the Greek poleis in the 9th century BCE. It is an era that has provided little in terms of extant archaeological evidence, which in part explains the name “Dark Ages,” but this lack of evidence has led some archaeologists and historians to make the very great assumption that little of any real significance occurred during these 200 years. Instead, they view it as a sort of hiatus between the collapse of the Mycenaean culture and the emergence of Archaic Greece. As with other so-called “Dark Ages,” this assessment is simplified, and an absence of evidence should never be assumed as evidence of absence.

If anything, the collapse of the Mycenaeans was a drawn-out affair, and while the early centuries of the Dark Ages might beseen as a continuation of this trend, even in the worst years, there was a degree of continuity and even some innovations. These changes including the beginnings of the use of iron as an alternative to bronze and some religious practices that continued to be observed. Furthermore, enough remained to form the basis of a recovery in economic, cultural, and artistic aspects of life in the later stage of the era, and in the political sphere, changes necessitated by the collapse in the economic system certainly paved the way for the rise of the polis, which would prove so fundamental in Greece in the centuries that followed. 

This laid the groundwork for the Greek Renaissance of the 8th century. During that time, the Greek alphabet developed and the earliest surviving Greek literature was composed, while in terms of art and architecture, sculptures and red-figure pottery began. Warfare changed significantly as well when the hoplite became the core infantry.

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