Ancient Greek Art. Freaky Fun Facts.
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The English word gymnasium comes from the Greek word gumnazein which means “to exercise naked.” Men in ancient Greece went to a public gumnazein to be physically fit for war. If Olympic games were held, (every 4 years) and there was a war going on, the fighting would stop, so that people could travel safely to the games.
Athletes, (always men) competed in the nude. Winners were awarded a wreath, and free meals for life from their home village.
There are no paintings left from Ancient Greek society. However, the Greek vases contain lots of images which help us today know how the people lived, played, and worshipped. Ancient Greek vases are categorized into two areas: Black Figure and Red Figure.
The shape of the vase determined it’s function.
AMPHORA Today we give cash bonuses to athletes. We film them endorsing their favorite products. But in early Greece, victors in the Pan-Athenic games were awarded oil...and the oil was stored in large ceramic vessels called Amphoras.
HYDRIA If your chore was to bring home the water, you'd carry it in a hydria. A hydria has three handles: the two on the shoulder of the vessel are for lifting. The handle at the top makes pouring easier.
KRATER It was considered uncivilized to drink wine straight... so mixing it with water was a social ritual. The early Greeks used a Kraterfor this process. It's a large bowl with a wide mouth.
Vase Style: Red Figure
A black glaze is painted around the figures, letting the red-clay color show.
What shape of vase is this?
Greek architecture is highly copied. It’s features have come to symbolize safe shelter, democracy and independent thought; and has become a model for national monuments, government buildings and even homes.
People associate the Greek style with humane values, honesty, heroism, civic virtue; the highest ideals in art, and politics.
Doric Ionic Corinthian
This is dated to around 540 BCE.
Ancient Greeks strongly believed in fortune telling and omens… their lives, they believed, were at the will of the gods. Temples were built to honor these gods.