Minoans and Mycenaeans
The Minoans and Mycenaeans play an important role in ancient Greek history.
The two different civilizations helped develop ancient Greece.
Minoans were in power from 2600 B.C.E. until 1400 B.C.E. and lived on the Greek islands.
They constructed a large palace on the island of Crete.
The Mycenaeans lived from 1600 B.C.E. until 1100 B.C.E. They occupied the mainland area of Greece.
The Minoans were an advanced civilization that constructed a large navy.
The navy was useful for protection and trading goods.
They were ruled by a king with a central government. The capital city of the Minoans was called Knossos and was located on the island of Crete.
The palace for the Minoan kings in Knossos was huge with 1,500 rooms and each room had its own bathroom.
Greek mythology claims one king named Minos built a large maze beneath the palace to house a beast called Minotaur.
The beast was half-man and half-bull.
The Minoans were an advanced culture with a written language named Linear A.
The ancient homes found on Crete contained beautiful art, statues, and there was running water for drinking and bathing.
The Minoans created a large agricultural system based on olives and grapes which they used in trade for bronze and ivory.
The Minoan kings were also generous to the people and shared the wealth throughout the Minoan region.
Even poor Minoans had lavish homes.
The Minoan civilization was affected may times by natural disasters that occurred.
The disasters included erupting volcanoes, tidal waves, and earthquakes. After each natural disaster the Minoans rebuilt homes and palaces.
Researchers believe that natural disasters helped with the decline of the Minoan culture.
Mycenaeans culture thrived on the mainland of Greece and the Peloponnesian in Southern Greece.
The Mycenaeans were a fierce group of people and fought many wars with stone weapons.
The Mycenaean kings were much different than the Minoan kings.
They did not share the wealth people. Instead the kings would use the money for the military and huge ceremonies celebrating victory or the death of a warrior.
The capital city was named Mycenae but there were other Mycenaean cities too such as Athens and Thebes.
The Mycenaeans developed the first spoken language and are sometimes referred to as the First Greeks.
They grew a strong navy for protection and trading goods like the Minoans.
They traded goods as far away as Egypt and within the Mediterranean Sea.
According to Homer’s Iliad, the Minoans were defeated by the Mycenaeans at the city of Troy.
When the Minoan culture declined the Mycenaeans eventually occupied the mainland and islands of ancient Greece.
They also used much of the Minoan culture like adapting the Minoan writing into their language.
This writing is named Linear B today.
The Mycenaean culture declined after many of their cities were destroyed.
Researchers do not know if this decline was due to natural disasters like an earthquake or if they were conquered by other ancient civilizations like the Dorians or Sea Peoples.
After the decline of the Mycenaean culture, ancient Greek entered into the Dark Ages.
The Dark Ages of Greece was a time of famine which led to a reduction in population.
The Dark Ages of Greek lasted from 1100 B.C.E. until 800 B.C.E.
Facts about Minoans and Mycenaeans
- The Minoans occupied the islands of Greece and mainly lived on the island of Crete.
- The Minoans capital city was named Knossos and located on the island of Crete.
- According to Greek mythology King Minos kept a monster named Minotaur under the palace.
- The Minoans were constantly rebuilding their cities due to natural disasters like earthquakes, tidal waves, and erupting volcanoes.
- The Mycenaeans occupied the mainland of Greece and the Peloponnesian area.
- Their capital city was called Mycenae. Other ancient Mycenaean cities included Athens and Thebes.
- The Mycenaeans were a war like society. They defeated the Minoans at the city of Troy according to Homer’s Iliad.
- The Mycenaeans spoke the first Greek language.
- The Minoans created a written language named Linear A and the Mycenaeans later adapted the written language into their language. Their written language is referred to as Linear B.
What is the difference between the Minoans and Mycenaeans?
The Minoans lived between 2600 B.C.E. until 1400 B.C.E. The Mycenaeans lived between 1600 B.C.E. until 1100 B.C.E. The Minoans occupied the Greek islands mainly living on Crete.
The Mycenaeans lived on mainland Greece and the Peloponnesia.
The Minoans were mainly farmers and traders, while the Mycenaeans were a warlike society.
Why are the Minoans and Mycenaeans important?
The Minoans are important because they represent the start of civilization in Europe.
The Mycenaeans are sometimes referred to as the First Greeks because they spoke the Greek language.
Each society created a written language.
Why did the Minoan civilization decline?
The Minoan civilization mainly declined due to natural disasters like earthquakes, tidal waves, and erupting volcanoes.
Who came first, the Mycenaeans or the Minoans?
What did you learn?
- What was the name of the Minoans capital city?
- Which Minoan king held a monster named Minotaur under the palace?
- What is the name of the written language developed by the Minoans?
- Which civilization spoke the first Greek language?
- What type of natural disasters helped in the decline of the Minoans civilization?
Earthquakes, tidal waves, and erupting volcanoes