In this period we deal with the time of the Greeks, which was followed by the time of the Romans. This period lasted from 3000 BC to 500 AD. This period is called antiquity.
Around 3000 BC, the first people began to write. From that moment on, they began to gather knowledge and develop in philosophy and science. At the beginning of antiquity, the Greeks were the most powerful people in Europe.
The Minoans lived on the Greek island of Crete. Their culture is called the Minoan culture. In this epoch this was the highly developed civilization in Europe. They traded in vases, pots, tissues, wine and oil. By sea they brought this to Egypt, among other things. So it came to which their population became rich and grew ever larger. But unfortunately, the soil in Greece was not fertile enough to feed all those new Greeks. The Greeks moved elsewhere. Greek city states were formed in Italy, France and Spain. The Greeks also went to the Middle East to conquer land. The greatest conquests were made by Alexander the Great. He's an important man in history. Alexander the Great was king of Macedonia in the fourth century BC. This is the north-eastern part of Greece. In 336 BC he conquered the Persian Empire. The Greeks went to live in their conquered territories and took their culture with them. The spreading of Greek culture is called Hellenism.
The Greeks were given competition by the Romans in the fourth and third centuries BC. Their empire grew at that time into the area we now call Italy. In the second century BC, the Romans turned out to be stronger than the Greeks. The Romans took control of all the colonies that were formerly of the Greeks. However, it took several centuries before they had all the Greek colonies in their hands. Egypt was not conquered until around 30 BC. The last Greek-Egyptian queen in Egypt was Cleopatra VII.
In ancient times, many religions were born that we still know today. The oldest religions are polytheistic religions. This means that the believers believe in multiple gods. The most famous polytheistic religion that still exists today is Hinduism. But if, according to one religion, there is only one god, we call it a monotheistic religion. The oldest monotheistic religion is Judaism. Christianity is also a monotheistic religion. This arose approximately in the year 100 AD. In the beginning, this religion was forbidden in the Roman empire. But when the Roman emperor Constantine converted to Christianity, it became the official religion of the Roman empire.
Around 117 AD, the Roman empire was the largest. They had begun to conquer the Netherlands from 57 BC. In the first century AD they had conquered France, Belgium, and parts of the Netherlands, Germany and England. In the Netherlands there were different peoples at the time. Some of these were the Batavians, the Cinninefates, the Celts, the Franks, the Frisians and the Saxons. Thanks to the Roman conquests, these peoples came into contact with this culture and later also with Christianity.
The year 395 was a disastrous year in the history of the Roman Empire. In this year they had to split up the Roman empire because it was attacked in the west. From now on, there was a Western and Eastern empire. The capital of the Eastern Empire was Constantinople. Constantinople is now called Istanbul.
- Citizenship and scientific thinking in the Greek city-stateDid you know that democracy is not modern at all? The ancient Greeks gave the people the chance to talk about important decisions 2,500 years ago.
- Spreading Greco-Roman culture and confronting Germanic cultureHas the Netherlands been in Roman hands in history? Some places do. The Romans could only conquer the south of the Netherlands.
- Christianity in the Roman Empire: from forbidden to any permitted religionNowadays, almost every village has a church. Can you imagine the church was once forbidden? In the era of the Romans, you weren't allowed to be a Christian.