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The Greek Way. Humanism and the Western Tradition. I. Tale of Two Wars. Myth, History and the Greek Mind. A. The Anger of Achilles. Achaeans (Greeks). B. Nike! . Heroes and History. Archaic Period - “heroic individualism” - acceptance of Fate

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The Greek Way

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The Greek Way

Humanism and the Western Tradition


I. Tale of Two Wars

Myth, History and the Greek Mind


A. The Anger of Achilles

Achaeans (Greeks)


B. Nike!


Heroes and History

Archaic Period

- “heroic individualism”

- acceptance of Fate

The Iliad& The OdysseyHomerca. 800-700 BCE


Marathon, 490 BCE v. Darius I

Thermopylae, 480 BCE v. Xerxes

Salamis, 480 BCE

Platea, 479 BCE


Herodotus the “Father of History”- continuity- freedom- interest in other cultures- hubris

History without myth- human actors, motivations


The Lust for Life

Odysseus and Achilles

I would rather be a paid servant in a poor man's house and be above ground than king of kings among the dead.

Humanism


II. Epochs

Bronze Age pre 1200 BCE

Mycenaeans

Minoans


Greek Dark Ages 1200-800 BCE


A. Archaic Environment & Culture

Crossroads of civilization

Necessity and invention


Ionian philosophy

  • Rationalism

    - nature composed of elements

    - universe was not random (laws)

    - gods in-active


2. Thales of Miletus ca. 600 BCE

Change v. permanence

materialism


The Polis

- abstract; artificial

“The state…aims at the highest good.”- Aristotle


Hoplite Culture

1. Citizen-soldiers

phalanx

Enfranchisement

Egalitarian

Patriotic

Patriarchal

Athenian hoplite


Tyranny

- anti-king, law-givers

- merit v. heredity


Cultural life

Centrality of human existence to arts

Discobulusby Myron 400s BCE


II. Hellenic Powers

Sparta and Athens


A. Sparta

  • Conquest, class and conflict600s BCE

    helots


2. Reforms of Lycurgus ca. 600 BCE

“eunomia”

- state supportkleros


3. Service to the state

- mentors

Delayed citizenship

Xenophobia

4. “Liberated” women


C. Athens


1. Draco620 BCE

- written codes

2. Along came Solon594 BCE

wealth corrupted men

Militarism cowed men

Economic reforms


3. Cleisthenes508 BCE

- political reform

- demos→ “the people”


III. The Hellenic Achievement

Classical Age, 500-323 BCE


A. The Persian Wars

  • Miletan Revolt 499 BCE

    [ Cyrus the Greatd. 530 BCE]

    - Darius I d. 485


2. Battle of Marathon 490 BCE


3. Greek unity

- Thermopylae 480 BCELeonidas

- Salamis 479 BCEThemistocles

Conclusion?

- Go Greek


B. Athens’ Advance

  • Pericles495-421 BCE

    - links freedom to expansion


C. Limits of democracy

  • The Delian League477 BCE

    - prosperity / slavery rise


2. Women and public life

- heirs v. wives

Aspasia, a hetaira

Teaching a woman to read and write? Like feeding a vile snake on more poison- Menander the Athenian


D. Peloponnesian War 431-404 BCE

1. War on land and sea


2. War and democracy

- demagoguery

- impatience

- slave revolt

Alcibiades


3. Defeat of Athens

- Greece vulnerable to conquest

- dramatic reassessment of human nature, politics


IV. Age of Introspection

The heights of Classical thought

*from external to internal philosophy*


A. Philosophy

  • The Sophists

    - radical skepticism / relativism

    Man is the measure of all things- Protagorus


2. Socrates469-399 BCE

- Socratic Methoddialogue or dialectic

- knowledge (virtue) developed from within

Challenge all popular beliefs


3. Plato429-347 BCE

The Republic

- why did Athenian democracy fail?

- Allegory of the Cave


B. The Humanities

1. Drama

- focus on human dilemmas “reality”

Sophocles Oedipus Rex and Antigone


2. History

- Herodotus

“lesson,” or thesis

- Thucydides

objective, investigative


VII. The Hellenistic Period


A. Macedonians

1. Philip IId. 336 BCE

- Hellenization

- showdown with Persia


B. Alexander

  • War & legitimacy

    - Calisthenes

    - Granikos River 334; Gaugamela, 331


2. Alexandrian empire 336-323 BCE


C. The Hellenistic Environment

1. Division


2. Cultural fusion

- migration

- koine “common Greek”

3. Decline of the polis


D. Hellenistic philosophy

1. Aristotle 384-322 BCE

- empirical data, careful observation

- minimize errors of senses

- another early basis of scientific method


2. Anti-Aristotle

Zeno

- Stoicism

Epicurus

- purpose is pleasure

Diogenes

- Cynicism


Hellenistic Legacy

1. Language of the ancient world

2. Western “achievement” not confined to Greeks

3. Accelerated the rise of Rome


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