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From Hutton Webster's, Early European History (1917); edited for this on-line publication, by ELLOPOS
I. THE LANDS OF THE WEST AND THE RISE OF GREECE TO ABOUT 500 B.C.
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RELIGION AS A UNIFYING FORCE; AMPHICTYONIES
Religion formed another bond of union. Everywhere the Greeks worshiped the same gods and performed the same sacred rites. Religious influences were sometimes strong enough to bring about federations known as amphictyonies, or leagues of neighbors. The people living around a famous sanctuary would meet to observe their festivals in common and to guard the shrine of their divinity. The Delphic amphictyony was the most noteworthy of these local unions. It included twelve tribes and cities of central Greece and Thessaly. They established a council, which took the shrine of Apollo under its protection and superintended the athletic games at Delphi.
A NEW AGE
The seventh and sixth centuries before Christ form a noteworthy epoch in Greek history. Commerce and colonization were bringing their educating influence to bear upon the Greeks. Hellenic cities were rising everywhere along the Mediterranean shores. A common language, literature, and religion were making the people more and more conscious of their unity as opposed to the "barbarians" about them.
THE GREEK WORLD, 500 B.C.
Greek history has now been traced from its beginnings to about 500 B.C. It is the history of a people, not of one country or of a united nation. Yet the time was drawing near when all the Greek communities were to be brought together in closer bonds of union than they had ever before known.
Cf. The Ancient Greece * The Ancient Rome
Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium) * Western Medieval Europe * Renaissance in Italy