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Metics probably found their niche in manufacturing and trade because they could not legally own land. Mining was another important industry. The silver mines near Athens gave the city the financial means to build its navy and political might. Other silver and gold mines throughout Greece produced even more. Many of these came under the control of the kingdom of Macedon, helping fund its rise in power during the 300s BCE. The political and economic structures of Greece were connected. Throughout history, Greeks had to fight to protect their land, both from outside threats and from other Greek people who sought to take it over.

By approximately 800 BCE, the Greeks had adopted a different system. They were in contact with the Phoenicians, who used an alphabet that was all consonants. The letters were strung together, and the reader or speaker had to remember which vowels went where. The Greeks took this language and made some modifications. 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.

As punishment, he destroys the town but spares the people who took him in. affected their art greatly. In the 600s BCE, their contact with artisans on Crete and Cyprus influenced their work in metals, gems, and jewelry making. Bronze was a particularly popular material during the Archaic Age. indd 43 10/23/14 11:43 AM cheaper than gold or silver, but still durable, and it could be manipulated to produce a range of colors. Unlike the unimpressive private homes, the public architecture in ancient Greece aimed to please the eye.

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Ancient Greece by Diane Bailey


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