from ClassicalWisdom Website
However, before the great achievement of the Fifth Century BC in Athens and elsewhere, they underwent a period of decline and dislocation.
However, out of this grim period there emerged trends that contributed to the glories of Greece Civilization.
Sometime about 1200 BC, the Mycenaean civilization collapsed and they abandoned their palaces.
Once it was believed that another group of Greeks from the northern Balkans, the Dorians, led to their downfall. However, this has been rejected in recent years.
It is possible that
climate change led to famines, which caused civil war and led to
the collapse of the Mycenaeans.
Found in Tomb V in Mycenae by Heinrich Schliemann in 1876.
Gold death-mask known as the "Mask of Agamemnon".
This mask depicts the imposing face of a bearded nobleman.
It is made of a gold sheet with repoussé details.
Two holes near the ears indicate that the mask
was held in place of the deceased’s face with twine.
Their palaces had been centers of culture and with their demise, the knowledge of their writing system known as Linear B was lost.
There is some evidence that towns were abandoned and many people returned to living in remote settlements that could easily be defended.
People lived in self-sufficient households called Oikos.
Archaeologists show that long-distance trade collapsed and while once the Mycenaeans had traded with other civilizations this ended from the 12th to 9th century BC.
Lefkandi, on the island of Euboea,
was a trade and manufacturing hub and it was a large town by the
standards of the time. It appears that it was a maritime power.
the main entrance of the citadel of Mycenae,
13th century BC
Such findings lead some experts to believe that there was no Dark Age and that Greek society was much more sophisticated than often believed.
It appears that Greeks had many more contacts with other cultures, such as the Phoenicians. The Phoenicians were great merchants and had also developed an alphabet, a phonetic one.
This was adopted by the Greeks and, as a result, they once more were able to become a literate society. Greece became quite prosperous by the 8th century and the population increased.
This led to the colonization of other areas especially in Crimea and Asia Minor.
Traditionally, Homer is
portrayed as a man who was blind.
Homer and His Guide (1874)
by William-Adolphe Bouguereau
These were original works of oral poetry that were based on the semi-legendary stories about a war between the Greeks and Trojans and the adventures of Odysseus in its aftermath.
The stories of the Iliad and Odyssey had a profound impact on Greek society, including its literature, art, ethics, and even mythology. Just as important, the epic poems helped to foster a sense of a common Greek heritage and identity.
Homer was a critical influence in the development of Classical Greek culture.
Greece declined socially, culturally, and economically. It became a poor and backward area, and this remained the case for many centuries. However, parts of the Greek world may have continued to be advanced and prosperous.
The creation of a new Greek alphabet was crucial to the ending of the Dark Ages, and the works of Homer contributed to a Renaissance in the Hellenic World.