Greek culture is often studied as a narrative centered and culminating in the Classical period, particularly Athenian democracy. But in this lecture, John David Lewis takes up the challenge of portraying the Greek world as it first originated—not as a curiosity in the service of later developments, but as an achievement in its own right. His discussion begins with the difficulties involved in establishing an accurate chronology of the Archaic period. He then goes on to explore the foundations of the Minoan and Mycenean palace economies and the dark ages through which the Greeks collapsed and emerged.

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