A civilization that flourished during the Bronze Age, ~3000-1100 B.C., in central and southern mainland Greece. Also an era, which saw the disparate tribes of this region assimilate into a homogeneous civilization, and develop a style of culture, art and architecture that would become the basis of the Hellenic. These people, or Mycenaeans, were influenced heavily by the Minoan people of Crete and, to a lesser extent, the inhabitants of the Cyclades. The Helladic saw the the Mycenaeans rise to become the dominant community of the Aegean region, only to fall into obscurity.

The Helladic is commonly recognized to have three distinct periods: Early, Middle and Late Helladic.

Early Helladic Period ~2750 B.C.-2000 B.C.
During this period a metal-using agricultural people settled the lands of Greece. They spoke a language other than Indo-European. Next to nothing is known of their religion, language, or lifestyle. The Early Helladic period appears to have been, relative to the other periods, quiet and peaceful. All that ended around 2000 BC, as these early villages were claimed or destroyed by Greek invaders.

Middle Helladic Period ~2000 B.C.-1550 B.C.
The Middle Helladic period saw the Greeks conquer and replace the previous inhabitants, and ultimately dominate the social landscape. Their society was highly militaristic and their leaders were basically warlords. Agriculture was difficult, as much of Greece is dry and rocky, and coastal settlements based on fishing flourished. This gave these early Greeks an opportunity to trade with an island civilization to the south, the Minoans. Interaction with Minoa was successful, and a time of rapid urbanization began.

Late Helladic Period ~1550 B.C.-1150 B.C.
Around 1600 B.C. these urban centers began to prosper and the Greeks began their first major period of cultural creativity; towns turned into cities, art grew more common, and agriculture became very efficient. The power wielded by these new cities began to be felt around the Aegean, through trade, but mostly through fear, as their society was geared for battle and invasion. Former ally Minoa was likely a victim of their imperialism. This period of growing affluence is also called the Mycenaean period, and is remembered best for its great war against Troy, told of in Homer's Iliad. The close of the Helladic was brought about by some sort of economic collapse, possibly caused by sea-faring nations depriving the Mycenaeans of their sea supremacy and trade. Mycenaean populations dwindled, and mountain people of the north, called Dorians, displaced them. The end of the Helladic saw mainland Greece return to a non-urbanized tribal culture; a Greek "Dark Ages".

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