World Historyby Matthew Caggia

Unit 1B: Classical Greece & Rome

Chapter 4 & 5

In this unit we will examine the origins of European civilization. The early Greeks are considered to have origininated European civiliation. All things European begin here. This unit covers the history of Greece from the ealry Minoans and the Phoenician influence, through the Mycenaenas (legendary participants of the Trojan War), the Greeks of Athens and Sparta and their conflict with Persia and with each other. We will wrap up the unit with Alexander the Great and the Greek culture.

Next we follow with the Roman Republic and eventual Empire in the Mediterranean and Europe. We will look at the influences the Roman had on Europe, its rise and fall, and set the stage for the Middle Ages.

Study Tools

Online Textbook Resources

These pages contain links to online content for studenty practice. It includes worksheets, section summaries, note taking guides, self-tests and self-quizzes.


Link to Quizlet! Vocabulary is the key to understanding any subject. Once you can break down the barrier of language the ideas and concepts are wide open. Here you can find the vocabulary for the unit to practice by using online flash cards and by practicing online generated vocabulary quizzes.

Agricultural Challenges of Greece

Presentation that briefly describes the differing ways Athens and Sparta handled the lack of arable farmland. Both led to confrontations.

Persian to the Peloponnesian War

A travesty to the history, BUT nonetheless, a VERY brief presentation that does little more than list a series of events that lead from the 1st Persian War to the Decline of Athens after the Peloponnesian War.


"Hominocentrism" is the idea that human beings are the most important thing on the Earth. A belief held by the Ancient Greeks and therefore the inspiration for many of their studies and discoveries in what would one day be considered sciences. This Prezi corresponds with an in-class discussion that will explain the connection between "Hominocentrism" and the additional studies. Click here to view this Prezi as a simple flowchart.

Systems of Government

Borrowed from the Civics & Economics Curriculum, the Roman Empire is a good unit to learn about different systems of government because the Romans gradually change their system from republic to dictatorship. Use this handout to take notes on the slideshow to gain the basics of a variety of government systems (or lack of government).


Decisive Battles: The Battle of Marathon

History Channel produced this series of videos (2006) that uses video games technology to demonstrate these important historic battles. The Battle of Marathon is an important turning point in history. The outnumbered Athenians single handedly defeat the Persians and alter the course of history. A Persian victory would have changed subsequent events and the history of Europe and the rest of the world would have been much different.

Decisive Battles: Battle of Thermopylae

History Channel produced this series of videos (2006) that uses video games technology to demonstrate these important historic battles. This legendary battle has been the subject of a popular graphic novel and movie ("300") that recounts the story of the ill-fated Spartan elites as they sacrificed themselves and fought to the death in order to allow the rest of the Greek army to retreat and fight again another day.

Decisive Battles: Battle of Gaugamela

History Channel produced this series of videos (2006) that uses video games technology to demonstrate these important historic battles. This important battle pit the forces of Alexander the Great against the Persian, but this time, the Greeks were the invaders. Alexander's battle tactics against the greater foe remain a topic for study at military academies around the world, including West Point.

Crash Course World History #5: The Persians and Greeks

From the publisher:
John compares and contrasts Greek civilization and the Persian Empire. Of course we're glad that Greek civilization spawned modern western civilization, right? Maybe not. From Socrates and Plato to Darius and Xerxes, John explains two of the great powers of the ancient world, all WITHOUT the use of footage from 300.

Crash Course World History #8: Alexander the Great and the Situation ... the Great?

From the publisher:
you are introduced to the life and accomplishments of Alexander the Great, his empire, his horse Bucephalus, the empires that came after him, and the idea of Greatness. Is greatness a question of accomplishment, of impact, or are people great because the rest of us decide they're great?

Also discussed are Kim Kardashian and the Situation, gender bias in history, Catherine the Great's death (not via horse love), the ardent love other generals--from Pompey the Great to Napoleon--had for Alexander, a bit of Persian history.

Decisive Battles: Spartacus Revolt

History Channel produced this series of videos (2006) that uses video games technology to demonstrate these important historic battles. Made popular by the movie "Gladiator" the plight of gladiatorial slaves has become better known. In Rome, a chilling gladiator revolt by the slave (and "barbarian" king) Spartacus struck fear into the hearts of all Romans. The fear that slaves, an important part of the Roman economy, would rise up and overthrow their overlords was realized when well trained gladiators escaped from the Colisseum in Rome and rampaged the peninsula north and south.

Crash Course World History #10: The Roman Empire. Or Republic. Or...Which Was It?

From the publisher:
John Green explores exactly when Rome went from being the Roman Republic to the Roman Empire. Here's a hint: it had something to do with Julius Caesar, but maybe less than you think. Find out how Caesar came to rule the empire, what led to him getting stabbed 23 times on the floor of the senate, and what happened in the scramble for power after his assassination. John covers Rome's transition from city-state to dominant force in the Mediterranean in less than 12 minutes. Well, Rome's expansion took hundreds of years, he just explains it in under 12 minutes. The senate, the people, Rome, the caesarian section, the Julian calendar and our old friend Pompey all make appearances, but NOT the Caesar Salad, as Julius had nothing to do with it.

Crash Course World History #11

From the publisher:
John Green teaches you the history of Christianity, from the beginnings of Judaism and the development of monotheism, right up to Paul and how Christianity stormed the Roman Empire in just a few hundred years. Along the way, John will cover Abram/Abraham, the Covenant, the Roman Occupation of Judea, and the birth, life, death and legacy of Jesus of Nazareth. No flame wars! Let's keep the commentary civil.

Video Link: Annenberg Media -


Copyright M. Caggia 2014