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Home of columned temples, chiton-wearing gods, slinkily dressed goddesses, amazons, and bearded philosophers. Also home to mythic thong-wearing heroes who ride winged horses and do great deeds (all without getting either chafed or sunburnt). The Spartans live here too, and they're known for their brutal training methods, stylish slow-motion fighting techniques and for being manly enough to charge nearly naked into battle even when outnumbered 70 to 1. And they definitely aren't gay. Frequently confused with Ancient Rome by directors who just don't care.
In fact, this picture is a blend of two distinct periods; mythical Greece, conventionally said to end with the Trojan War around 1000BC, and classical Greece, home to the first philosophers. The "classical Greece" period itself tends to blend cultures that evolved and combined over the course of many centuries. Until Athens pulled the city-states together for defense against Persia, Greece didn't have a monolithic culture; it was the sum of the cultures of many independent city-states, all angling to make their patron gods the most important, and all ultimately blended together in the giant food processor of history. If you were to visit the Balkan Peninsula in, say, Pythagoras' day, you'd find that religious practices and social mores varied heavily depending on what city you were in.
Popular tropes that feature this time period are
- Achilles Heel
- Achilles in His Tent
- Action Girl (Artemis, Atalanta, Athena, the Amazons...)
- An Aesop
- Badass Army: The Spartans.
- Bigger Is Better in Bed: Inverted to Tartarus and back. A small wang was a sign of virility, while being hung like a horse was just plain silly looking to them!
- Though played straight with Priapus, a Greek god of fertility, who sported such a monster, and in fact is the source of the medical term for an unnaturally long-lasting erection. However Priapus' erection is also seen as a symbol of his incredibly boorish and vulgar nature, and all the other gods scorn him.
- Cassandra Truth
- Erastes Eromenos
- Fatal Flaw
- Love Potion (Eros's arrows)
- Physical God
- The Spartan Way
- Training From Hell
Series set in this time period are
- So far, alluded to in Axis Powers Hetalia though Herakles/Greece's as yet unseen mother, Mama Greece. It's also implied that she eventually became the Byzantine Empire...only for her to die in Turkey's hands.
- Three Hundred
- Asterix at the Olympic Games
- Cartoon History of the Universe: Volumes 5-7, at any rate.
- Epicurus The Sage by William Messner-Loebs and Sam Kieth.
- David Gemmell's Lion of Macedon is a retelling of Alexander the Great (or, rather, his dad).
- The Trojan Cycle, including the Homeric epics
- The Batrachomyomachia
- The Aeneid
- The Metamorphoses
- Terry Pratchett 's Pyramids and Small Gods both feature Ephebe, an Affectionate Parody of Athens and her philosophers, while Eric (as well as the videogame Discworld Noir) touches on the Trojan War.
- Gene Wolfe's Soldier of the Mist and Soldier of Arete tell the story of a mercenary in Xerces' army who does something to offend the gods, and is cursed with forgetting everything that happens more than a day ago, but who can see the gods. Wolfe "translates" place names (for example, Sparta is "Rope", and they fought the "Great King" at "Hot Springs"), lending a sense of immediacy, and distancing the book from the familiarity of the trope.
- The Firebrand by Marion Zimmer Bradley.
- Mary Renault's mature period novels.
- Liddell and Scott Greek-English Lexicon: Decidedly Nonfiction.
- Thais of Athens is set during the classical period and the onset of Hellenism.
- Time Scout mentions Ancient Greece as the destination of a tourist gate, but only one brief scene features it and only two downtimers came through that gate.
- Over the Wine Dark Sea: Hellenistic period.
- Hercules: The Legendary Journeys
- Xena: Warrior Princess: Though the series is also happening at the time of Ancient Rome. The writers never tried to respect chronology.
- God of War
- The Battle of Olympus
- Kid Icarus
- Empire Earth
- Age of Empires I, as well as Age of Mythology; also, Rise of Nations has a tour through the "Classical Age"
- The Civilization series when playing as Greece.
- The first two games in the Hegemony Series.
- Odysseus the Rebel
- Rumors of War: Somewhere between the Late Bronze Age and the Classical Period, presumably in the Greek Dark Ages.
- In Sluggy Freelance, this is seemingly where the Holiday figures (Santa Claus, Tom Turkey, etc.) got their origins.