History of the Classical World
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The history of the Classical World includes the civilizations that thrived in the Mediterranean Sea basin from the 6th century BCE through the 8th century AD. These were mainly ancient Greece (and the Hellenistic Kingdoms) and Rome. Both wielded huge cultural, political, and economic influence throughout much of Europe, North Africa, and Asia Minor and the Near East. In Edgar Allan Poe’s words, the Classical World rested on “the glory that was Greece, and the grandeur that was Rome”.
The culture of ancient Greece became the foundation of European civilization. Rome spread this culture throughout its empire, and into Europe, and the Classical World became an amalgam of Greece and Rome. This cultural ethos influenced many aspects of the modern West: its language; its politics, rhetoric, law and ethics; its learning, philosophy, literature, and science; its military; and its art and architecture. The surviving remnants of Classical culture led to the Renaissance of the 14th century and a revival of its thinking, style, and values, as well as to other Neo-Classical revivals in the 18th and 19th centuries.