Pericles and classical greece Week Three
tri = three triangle tricycle trio
mis = bad/wrong/ill misspell mistake
re = again/back recycle reminder retro
West metopes of the Parthenon The goddess Athena
Paradox of Pericles and the Parthenon • The Athenian Empire, designed to keep Greek cities free, began to enslave those very cities. Athens, the most assertive democracy in the ancient world, was effectively ruled by a single man who held no elected office.
II. Persian Wars A. Battle of Marathon • After a stunning victory over the Persians, Athenians are convinced of their invincibility, superior culture, and efficiency of democratic government B. Battle of Thermopylae • Ten years later, Greek city-states ally and fend off Persian invasion led by Xerxes C. Delian League • An alliance of equal city-states meant to free Aegean territory from Persians • Gradually turns into an Athenian Empire
III. Pericles A. Extender of democracy • An aristocrat, but extended political participation to all free citizens, abolished property requirements, and paid juries. B. Builder of public works • Helped fund construction of the Lyceum, statue of Athena, Parthenon
sym/syn = together/same symmetry symphony synonym
hypo = under/below/less hypodermic hypothermia hypotension
hyper = over/beyond/high hyperventilate hyperactive hypersensitive
III. Pericles C. Promoter of Greek Culture 1. The Examined Life • Sophists: Protagoras instructs skills of rhetoric and logic • Socrates: condemns the Sophists for failure to engage issues of morality; Socratic method; “know thyself”; executed for corrupting the morals of youth
III. Pericles 2. Understanding the Past • Herodotus: the first historian • Analysis: of the Persian Wars • Philosophy of history • Context
Herodotus, The Histories, Book III For if it were proposed to all nations to choose which seemed best of all customs, each, after examination, would place its own first; so well is each convinced that its own are by far the best. It is not therefore to be supposed that anyone, except a madman, would turn such things to ridicule. I will give this one proof among many from which it may be inferred that all men hold this belief about their customs.When Darius was king, he summoned the Greeks who were with him and asked them for what price they would eat their fathers' dead bodies. They answered that there was no price for which they would do it.Then Darius summoned those Indians who eat their parents, and asked them (the Greeks being present and understanding through interpreters what was said) what would make them willing to burn their fathers at death. The Indians cried aloud, that he should not speak of so horrid an act. So firmly rooted are these beliefs; and it is, I think, rightly said in Pindar's poem that custom is lord of all.
III. Pericles 3. Athenian drama • Roots: Indebted to Homer and early Greek material • Sophocles: Analyzes the competing allegiances of the family and the state in Antigone • Aristophanes: comedic sympathy with common people • Human condition 4. The human image • Less stylized; more natural
III. Pericles 5. Architecture • Acropolis: melding of idealism and realism; but the grandeur is something of an illusion
D. Aggressor in Foreign Policy • End of Delian League (431) • Peloponnesian War • First phase: inconclusive • Second phase: Athens defeated by a Spartan-Persian alliance
IV. Pericles’ Demise • Destruction: Of Pericles and the economic, political, and civic foundations on which the Parthenon had been built. • Philosophy and the Polis: philosophers respond to political disruptions by elaborating new theories
IV. Pericles’ Demise A. Platonic forms • Distrusted Athenian democracy; the best government should rest in the hands of philosophers • Cave allegory: ignorance (darkness) and truth (light) B. Aristotelian empiricism • Realism and systematic observation C. Hellenistic philosophies • Cynics: freedom through renunciation of material objects • Epicureans: freedom from pain • Stoics: freedom from disorder
IV. Pericles’ Legacy Funeral Oration: “Our constitution is called a democracy because power is in the hands not of a minority but of the whole people. When it is a question of settling private disputes, everyone is equal before the law; when it is a question of putting one person before another in positions of public responsibility, what counts is not membership of a particular class, but the actual ability which the man possesses. No one, so long as he has it in him to be of service to the state, is kept in political obscurity because of poverty.”
Epilogue • Pieces of the Parthenon at the British Museum, the Louvre, Copenhagen, and elsewhere.