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Ancient Greece. -Key Concepts-. I. Prehistoric Beginnings. The Myceneans and the Minoans Heinrich Schliemann’s Discoveries --Ancient Troy (1870) --Mycenae (1876) Arthur Evans Uncovers Knossos (1899). A. Minoan Civilization. Society at its peak between 2000-1500 BCE

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ancient greece

Ancient Greece

-Key Concepts-

i prehistoric beginnings
I. Prehistoric Beginnings
  • The Myceneans and the Minoans
  • Heinrich Schliemann’s Discoveries

--Ancient Troy (1870)

--Mycenae (1876)

  • Arthur Evans Uncovers Knossos (1899)
a minoan civilization
A. Minoan Civilization
  • Society at its peak between 2000-1500 BCE
  • Harmonious and peaceful society

--first known flush toilet

  • Minoan civilization closely interrelated to Mycenean civilization
  • Minoan government
a minoan civilization cont
A. Minoan Civilization (cont)
  • Minoan Social Classes
  • Treatment of Women
  • Minoan Entertainment
  • A Gift for Inventions and Engineering
  • Minoan Religion
  • Minoan Art
b mycenaean civilization
B. Mycenaean Civilization
  • Emergence of Mycenean Civilization
  • Mycenean Conquest of the Minoans
  • The Fall of Mycenean Civilization

--Dorians

  • Mycenean Culture and Government

-- “wanax”

  • A culture geared toward war
  • Mycenean Art
c influence and significance of early greek civilization
C. Influence and Significance of Early Greek Civilization
  • Minor impact on later Greek life and culture
  • Cultural slate “wiped clean” by Dark Ages (1200-750 BCE)
  • Great wave of immigration during this era all over the Aegean and along western coast of Asia Minor
  • Still, significant contributions:

--earliest European civilizations

--progressive Minoan art

--Minoans: worldly and innovative

ii the dark ages 1200 750 bce
II. The “Dark Ages” (1200-750 BCE)
  • “Dark Ages” in the Near East were shorter, ending around 900 BCE
  • Homer provides some glimpses
  • Simple political patterns
  • Emergence of an aristocracy exerting influence over society
ii the dark ages cont
II. The “Dark Ages” (cont)
  • Social Life during the “Dark Ages”
  • Purpose of Early Greek Religion
  • Anthropomorphic Greek gods
  • Greek indifference to an afterlife
  • The role of arete or “excellence” in early Greek thought
iii early greek literature and the greek alphabet
III. Early Greek Literature and the Greek Alphabet
  • Development of the Greek alphabet
  • Benefits of the Greek alphabet
  • Homer’s Iliad

--Achilles and the Trojan Wars

  • Homer’s Odyssey

--Odysseus and Penelope

iii early greek literature cont
III. Early Greek Literature (cont)
  • Lessons of Homer’s Epics
  • Women as well as men pursued excellence
  • Homer’s depiction of the gods
  • Arete and the Birth of the Olympic Games (776 BCE)
  • Centrality of religion for communal activity
iii early greek literature cont1
III. Early Greek Literature (cont)
  • Hesiod and the theme of justice

-- Works and Days

  • Solon and the theme of moderation
  • 6th Century BCE Lyric Poetry

--Sappho from the island of Lesbos

--Archilocus the sailor

iv greek geography
IV. Greek Geography
  • Mountains and islands created isolation
  • Blessed with lots of good harbors
  • Isolation led to political disunity
  • Intimate size of Greek city-states
  • Most plentiful natural resources
v early political history and colonization
V. Early Political History and Colonization
  • The Emergence of the City-State (“Polis”)

--Athens, Sparta and Thebes

  • Importance of access to the sea in trading internationally
  • Role of the gods in sea travel
  • The prosperity of Corinth
  • Origins of Greek colonization movement
v early political history cont
V. Early Political History (cont)
  • Reasons for Greek colonization between 735-600 BCE
  • The Pattern of Greek colonization

-- “metropolis”

-- oikist

  • Interaction with local inhabitants

--1500 city-states stretching from modern Spain to Asia Minor (550)

v early political history cont1
V. Early Political History (cont)
  • Influence of other cultures through trade on Greek culture
  • Evolution of Greek city-state government

--phalanxes

  • Difference between ancient Greek political system and current American system
v early political history cont2
V. Early Political History (cont)
  • The concept of Greek citizenship

--ethnos (“league”)

--metics

  • Extension of some political rights to the poor
  • Humanistic approach to politics
vi the centrality of the greek polis
VI. The Centrality of the Greek Polis
  • The basic political unit was the polis
  • The center of the polis was the acropolis
  • The Greek agora or marketplace

--Athen’s Painted Stoa

  • Most Greeks were farmers
  • Some small-scale craftsmen
vi the centrality of the greek polis cont
VI. The Centrality of the Greek Polis (cont)
  • Intimacy was a key feature of polis life
  • Polis laws and government varied
  • The simplicity of the Greek lifestyle
  • Layout of Greek homes

--men’s dining room

--women’s room for working wool

--courtyard

  • Furniture and clothing
vi the centrality of the greek polis cont1
VI. The Centrality of the Greek Polis (cont)
  • Greek Dietary Habits
  • The nature of Greek slavery
  • Duties of Greek slaves
  • Sources of slaves
  • Treatment of slaves
  • Leisure and sociability of Greek life
  • Greeks were very religious people
  • Individual defined by place within the polis
vii the armed camp of sparta
VII. The Armed Camp of Sparta
  • Spartan militarism forged out of treatment of their neighbors

--Messenian Revolt (650 BCE)

  • Spartan governmental system

--ephors (overseers)

  • The equality of Spartan citizens— “Equals”
vii ancient sparta cont
VII. Ancient Sparta (cont)
  • Treatment of Helots
  • The training of Spartan boys
  • The role of women in Sparta
  • The “common mess” of Spartan men
  • Spartan attitudes toward materialism
  • Spartan military posture was isolationist and defensive
viii the athenian political partnership
VIII. The Athenian Political Partnership
  • The legend of Theseus
  • Athens evolved in a different direction than Sparta
  • Hereditary aristocracy ruled from 750-600 BCE

--Draco’s Laws (610 BCE)

  • Emergency powers given to Solon (594 BCE)
  • Solon introduces democratic principles
viii athenian political partnership cont
VIII. Athenian Political Partnership (cont)
  • The tyranny of Pisistratus (546 BCE)
  • The overthrow of the tyranny of Hippias (510 BCE)
  • Lasting stability introduced by Cleisthenes (507 BCE)
  • All Attica divided into 10 regions— “demes”
viii athenian political partnership cont1
VIII. Athenian Political Partnership (cont)
  • Basic components of Athenian political system:

--Assembly

--Athenian Council

--magistrates

--generals

  • The institution of “ostracism”
viii athenian political partnership cont2
VIII. Athenian Political Partnership (cont)
  • Athenian democracy was never truly democratic, but close
  • Problems with the system:

--undue influence of persuasive speech

--continuity of experience of officeholders

  • Reason-focused, humanistic foundation for Athenian political system
ix greek military history

IX. Greek Military History

The golden age of Greece is set between two wars like giant bookends.

a the persian wars
A. The Persian Wars
  • Initial Athenian contact with Persia
  • Athenian assistance to Ionian Greeks
  • Two Persian campaigns: 490 and 480-479 BCE
  • The Battle of Marathon (490 BCE)
  • Xerxes’ invasion of Northern Greece (480)
a the persian wars cont
A. The Persian Wars (cont)
  • The burning of Athens and Spartan resistance at the Pass of Thermopylae
  • The naval battle of Salamis (479 BCE)
  • Significance of victory over the Persians
  • Victory released a tremendous surge of confidence and optimism in human potential
b growth of the athenian empire 478 431 bce
B. Growth of the Athenian Empire (478-431 BCE)
  • Glorious war followed by inglorious era
  • Establishment of the Delian League

--triremes

  • Growing Athenian abuse of the Delian League
  • Spartan creation of the Peloponnesian League
b growth of athenian empire cont
B. Growth of Athenian Empire (cont)
  • Rich Athenians exploited the Delian League
  • Evolution of the Athenian Jury System
  • The political leadership of Pericles
  • Aggressive foreign policy against Sparta
c the peloponnesian war 431 404 bce
C. The Peloponnesian War (431-404 BCE)
  • Origins of the War
  • Athenian military strategy
  • Problems with this strategy
  • Faltering Athenian religious confidence
  • Deteriorating political leadership in Athens

--Cleon’s capture of 120 Spartan “Equals” (425)

c peloponnesian war cont
C. Peloponnesian War (cont)
  • Changing Spartan Military Strategy

--Athenian siege of Melos (416 BCE)

--Betrayal of General Alcibiades

  • Athenian surrender and aftermath

--Rule of the Thirty Tyrants

  • Continuing strife between Greek city-states
x women and slaves in the daily life of ancient athens
X. Women and Slaves in the Daily Life of Ancient Athens
  • Discrimination against women: seclusion
  • Special privileges for priestesses and courtesans

--Aspasia

  • Ancient Greek marriage
  • Life expectancy and daily duties of women
  • Property rights of Athenian women
x women and slaves in athens cont
X. Women and Slaves in Athens (cont)
  • Sexual bias against women
  • Legendary bias against women

--Pandora’s box

  • The importance of bearing male children
  • The role of Athenian slavery—small-scale but crucial to the development of Athenian culture
xi early greek philosophy

XI. Early Greek Philosophy

Phileo = “To love”

Sophia = “Wisdom”

a ionian cosmologists or pre socratics
A. Ionian Cosmologists (or Pre-Socratics)
  • Studied the workings of the physical universe apart from a religious context

--Thales

  • Nature is not governed by chance or manipulated by the gods—nature is orderly
  • Importance of human reason
a ionian cosmologists cont
A. Ionian Cosmologists (cont)
  • All things could be reduced to a primary substance

--concept of “metaphysics”

--Thales: water

--Democritus: primal matter (atoms)

a ionian cosmologists cont1
A. Ionian Cosmologists (cont)
  • Used general concepts crucial to abstract thought

--Anaximander: notion of “boundless” and evolution

--Pythagoras: numbers explain natural world

--Parmenides: reality known solely through the mind, not the senses

b the sophists
B. The Sophists
  • Professional teachers offering worldly wisdom and lessons in persuasion
  • The importance of oral culture in Athens
  • The training of Athenian youth

--Symposium

b the sophists cont
B. The Sophists (cont)
  • Humanistic and relativistic teaching of Protagoras

-- “Man is the measure of all things”

--no absolute truths

  • Impact of such teaching
  • Conservative criticism of the Sophists
  • Fear that Sophist teaching would offend the gods
c socrates
C. Socrates
  • His life and background
  • Human beings and society were the essential subjects of philosophical inquiry
  • Did believe in universal values and absolute good
  • His method of teaching was continuous questioning
c socrates cont
C. Socrates (cont)
  • New Direction in Greek philosophy: Ethics
  • An emphasis on critical self-examination
  • Charges brought against Socrates by a democratic faction
  • The trial of Socrates
  • The execution of Socrates
xii greek religion in the classical period
XII. Greek Religion in the Classical Period
  • Concept of reciprocity
  • Divine punishment of humans

--miasma

  • The nature of the gods
  • No uniform Greek faith or creed
  • Priests, priestesses and religious observances
xii greek religion in the classical period cont
XII. Greek Religion in the Classical Period (cont)
  • The nature of a religious sacrifice
  • The role of hero cults

--Hercules

  • The Cult of Demeter and the “Mysteries” of Eleusis
xiii greek history
XIII. Greek History
  • “historia” = humanistic inquiry
  • Herodotus—the Father of History

--Father of anthropology as well

--chronicled the Persian Wars

xiii greek history cont
XIII. Greek History (cont)
  • Thucydides and the Peloponnesian War

--scrutinized the reliability of sources

--sought underlying principles of history; moralistic writing

--Athenian hubris led to Peloponnesian War

--humanistic explanation for historical events

xiv greek medicine
XIV. Greek Medicine
  • Hippocrates = Father of Scientific Medicine
  • Four “humors” (fluids) in the human body: blood, phlegm, black bile and yellow bile
  • Physician should base his knowledge on careful observation of patients and their response to remedies
xv greek art and architecture during the golden age
XV. Greek Art and Architecture During the Golden Age
  • “Black Figure” Vases and jugs
  • Athenian sculptors took human greatness as their main theme
  • Well-proportioned, naturalistic human nudes appear early in the 5th century BCE
  • Sculptors and tragedians both depicting “universal man”
xv greek art and architecture during the golden age cont
XV. Greek Art and Architecture During the Golden Age (cont)
  • Aristocrats commission public statuary
  • Popularity of bronze as a medium for sculptors

--Myron’s Discus Thrower

  • Motion and energy in Greek statuary reflected the possibility of change and instability in classical Greek times
xv greek art and architecture during the golden age cont1
XV. Greek Art and Architecture During the Golden Age (cont)
  • The Athenian Parthenon (447-438 BCE)
  • Difference from Egyptian and Near Eastern temples
  • A new depiction of Athena
  • Not a gathering place for worshippers
  • Size and appearance of the building
  • An Ionic Frieze is used on a Doric-style Temple
xvi classical greek drama
XVI. Classical Greek Drama
  • Emergence of the Tragic Drama (500 BCE)
  • Athenian dramatic competitions

--protagonists

  • The role of the chorus and special effects
  • Tragedies were very humanistic
  • The universal law of fate and the role of rational reflection
xvi classical greek drama cont
XVI. Classical Greek Drama (cont)
  • The theatrical production

--Thespis = first single actor

  • Ideal plot inspired pity or fear leading to a “catharsis” or cleansing for the audience

--Sophocles’ Antigone

  • Plays frequently featured women as central, active figures
xvi classical greek drama cont1
XVI. Classical Greek Drama (cont)
  • Aeschylus and patriotic dramas

--The Persians

  • Sophocles and the problems of the human condition—moderation also a key

--Oedipus Rex

xvi classical greek drama cont2
XVI. Classical Greek Drama (cont)
  • The innovations of Euripides

--Medea and Electra

--most psychological of classical Greek tragedians

  • Aristophanes and classical Greek comedies

--The Clouds

--Lysistrata

--Birds (414 BCE)

  • State sponsorship of Greek comedies with no censorship
xvii the significance of greek athletics
XVII. The Significance of Greek Athletics
  • Origins of the Olympic Games
  • Importance of sportsmanship at the games
  • Individual, not national competition and the nature of training
  • Classical Greek Olympic Events
xvii greek athletics cont
XVII. Greek Athletics (cont)
  • Determining a winner
  • Prizes for victors and the keeping of Olympic records

--The significance of the pentathlon

  • No women allowed; athletes performed in the nude
  • Later history of the Olympics before the modern era
xviii the legacy of ancient greece
XVIII. The Legacy of Ancient Greece
  • See the Greeks realistically
  • The primacy of freedom

--eleutheria

  • Glorification of the mind and body
  • Dignity of the individual
  • Key words traced back to Greek civilization
  • Notion of democracy
  • Rich philosophical foundation
  • Fullest development of the human potential

--paidea = everyone must sculpt their own statue