How similar were the Mycenaeans and the Minoans

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The Minoans and Mycenaeans thrived in different times in Ancient history however they actually had quite a lot of similarities which I will explain below.

The Mycenaeans and the Minoans both reigned and traded in and around the Aegean Sea. Although they thrived in different parts of Greece, the Aegean Sea was both of their trading roots. Following this point about sailing, thy both spent some time sailing in the water, with sailing being there strongest a most popular sport at the time. Map/Still

If you look at their pottery you can see that they are not too different in terms of design. They both believed in one goddess and they had the same palace layout. In fact both the Minoans and the Mycenaeans were interested in building palaces. However one main difference in their art was the fact that the Mycenaeans focused more on weapons and military rather than the Minoans which painted in very bright, vivid colours. In fact, most Mycenaean art is painted whilst they were hunting whereas the Minoans didn’t fight often and preferred to use art to show how beautiful their towns were.

Another thing that they have in common were their languages. The language of the Mycenaeans and the late Minoans were the same – Linear B, although older Minoan society was spoken in Linear A. This shows that they had a lot of contact with each-other.

They both also lived in the Bronze Age and had the same weapons and tools available although the Mycenaeans used them a lot more than the Minoans.

Looking at their art, we also know that they both worshipped the same ‘Snake Goddess’ and although their depictions of her are different, they all have the same idea. From this we can see that the Mycenaeans took some aspects of the Minoans. Bull-Leaping also seemed like quite a normal idea, with many pictures showing different people leaping over the bulls. One of the major similarities is that they both liked spending their wealth through gold and stylish palaces and very extravagant pieces of equipment. However whilst the Mycenaeans spent their money on the best shields and helmets- such as the boar helmet- the Minoans spent their money on gold cubs and other things that symbolise wealth.

However although they are similar in these ways they are also somewhat different. The Minoans for example, were a highly sophisticated society with many sophisticated ideas such as the irrigation system and once they were defeated, their ideas were lost for centuries later. The Mycenaeans took ideas from Minoan society such as the Snake Goddess and created new ideas of their own. We have no record of the Mycenaeans having major interest in art and beautiful cities. All of what the archaeological digs have found are basically scenes of them hunting whereas in Minoan frescoes we see beautiful drawings of people. Also the Mycenaeans seemed to take the horse as their sacred animal whereas the Minoans worshipped the bull.

What all these differences show is that the Minoan culture worships the natural world and environment and is in believe that we can live in harmony however the Mycenaeans believe that the only way to succeed in life is to do battle and war.

In conclusion I believe that although they are similar in quite a number of ways, I do believe that the Minoans and the Mycenaeans have different beliefs and ideas that separate them and overall I think that they are more different then similar as apart from their language and their religious beliefs the Minoans and Mycenaeans were completely different people.

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