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Ancient Greece: The Classical Spirit Early Greece
Early Greek Poetry • Homeric epics: long narrative poems; heroic deeds; hero who brings pride to country. Iliad and Odyssey: First masterpieces of Western literature. • Heroes: Achilles and Odysseus • Despite man’s frailties, his life is noble
Sappho’s Lyric Poetry • Lyric poems: brief, expressing feelings, often accompanied by a lyre. • Sappho’s poems expressed her love for her women friends. • Lived her life on the island of Lesbos
Art in Early Greece • The Archaic period: 650-490 B.C. Progression from the Egyptian models • Naturalism: attempt to represent objects as they appear in nature • Vase painting: red-figure technique: figures left unpainted • Greeks’ range of feelings and actions
Sculpture • Kouros: free standing nude male youth. Rigid Egyptian poses • Koré: softer or female version. Clothing softened statue
The Classical Period • Opens with Greeks’ victory over Persians at Salamis in 490 B.C. • Golden Age: 480 B.C. and 404 B.C., Athens was defeated in the Peloponnesian Wars. Culture lasted until death of Alexander the Great. • Polis life: Human nature dictates life in city • Pericles: Delian League
Women in Classical Athens • Excluded from public affairs • Household duties: organization, supervision and labor. • Hetaera: foreign women who worked as courtesans, entertainers and prostitutes. • Some hetaera highly educated
The Greek Temple • The Parthenon (447 B.C.) Dedicated to Athena • Post-and-lintel form • Entablature: decoration of the vertical column and horizontal beam • Orders: Styles of columns • Cella: enclosed inner room of temple • Refinements
Parthenon Sculptures • Phideas: Athena statue in cella and again on the east and west pediments • Three Goddesses on East Pediment • Frieze • Cella frieze: low relief, noble procession of Athenian citizens depicted during the Pan Athenaic procession.
Other Acropolis Buildings • Propylaea: massive gateway • Erechtheum: Ionic temple with two porches • Caryatids: Porch of the Maidens
Classical Humanism • Belief that “Man is the Measure of All Things” Protagoras. • Nobility of human intelligence and action • Human ability to understand and control the world. • “Secular” humanism controversial today.
The Classical Style • Representing the human figure in motion: turning point for Greek sculptors. • Idealized, yet moving toward naturalism
Greek Sculpture • Kritios Boy: Human figure in motion • Classical Style: naturalism and idealism • Myron’s Discobolus • Riace Warrior Phideas? • Praxiteles’ Aphrodite of Cnidos • Contrapposto: S curve
Hellenistic Style • Emotionally charged realism of later Greek sculpture • Alexander the Great Persia and Egypt • Individuality • Lacoon and his Two Sons
Greek Theater • Athens: Greek Theater • Themes: • Power of the gods • Course of human destiny • Nature of love and justice • Dyonisus patron god: wine, revelry and intoxication. Dyonisian festivals
Greek Tragedy • Open-air theaters or amphitheaters • Wealthy citizens paid playwrights and producers • Yearly competition • Actors in front of the skene • Chorus: actors who danced and chanted on the orchestra, the area surrounded by the theatron
Greek Playwrights • Thespis: One actor • Aeschylus: added a second actor and dialogue. Suffering and guilt led to gods • Sophocles: Golden Age of Athens • Oedipus Rex • Hubris • Catharsis
Playwrights • Euripides: realism, social commentary • Showed people as they were, gripped by violent passions • Medea
Greek Comedy • Humorous portrayal of everyday themes and characters. • Aristophanes: Clouds and Lysistrata
Greek Philosophy • Philosophy: came from Greek’s fascination with rational inquiry. • Materialists: substance of which all matter was composed • Idealists: evidence of a divine and rational plan for cosmos--Pythagoras • Sophists: professional teachers, skeptics—Protagoras. Became cynical.
Socrates • Founded classical Greek philosophy and never wrote a word. • Socratic Method • Gadfly of Athens—Morals worth more than life itself. • “The unexamined life is not worth living.” • Trial and death: Tried for religious and moral offenses.
Plato • Student of Socrates • Wrote Socrates’ dialogues • Apology: Socrates’ trial • Phaedo: Socrates’ last conversation • The Republic: Ideal city-state/ Three parts of soul: reason, moral courage, appetites • The Academy
Aristotle • Challenged Plato’s teachings • Tutor for Alexander of Macedonia • Ethics:Happiness is found in balance between two extremes: Golden Mean • Poetics: Formal pattern of Greek drama. • Lyceum
Greek Music • Music: of the “Muses” Goddesses who inspired creative arts. • Lyre • Aulos • Music could bring about feelings • Music lost forever • Pythagoras’ intervals: octaves
Hellenistic Age • Philip of Macedon subdued Greek city-states. Succeeded by son Alexander • Alexander loved Greek civilization and spread it throughout his empire in Persia and Egypt • Hellenistic: Greek-like
Hellenistic Legacy • Collected great classical manuscripts in libraries. • Artists imitated forms and ideas of the Greeks. • Playwrights copied Greek theater • Euclid: Planets revolve around the sun • Established Greek culture as the standard.