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Classics 1A03 #2. doc.doc

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McMaster University
Spencer Pope

MinoanChronology Absolute Pottery Architecture 3000-2000 BC Early Minoan Pre-Palatial 2000-1700 BC Middle Minoan Old Palace (1st) 1700-1450 BC Late Minoan New Palace (2nd) Minoan:“Pre-Greek”Civilization • 1) exhibits cultural characteristics similar to the Greeks, therefore may be considered a culture that gave rise to Greek culture proper. Here is strong evidence for cultural continuity between Minoans and Greeks. Minoan culture recalled in Greek mythology. • 2) lacks diagnostic feature of Greek culture itself: Evidence of the use of the Greek Language. MinoansinGreekMyth • “Minoan” Culture named by excavator, Sir Arthur Evans • Mythological king of Knossos = Minos • Recognized for wisdom and justice • After Minos’s death, he became a judge in the underworld • Son of Zeus (who was also born on Crete) Minoans in Greek Myth Myth of Theseus (Athenian hero) killing the MINOTAUR (half-man, half-bull born to wife of Minos) Labyrinth and Daedalus • Minotaur held in maze like structure, the Labyrinth, designed by • Daedalus ("rst Greek architect and sculptor) New Palace Period • 1700-1450 BC = New Palace Period: • Earthquake hits c. 1450 BC • Flourishing of Minoan Culture: Development of “palaces” as centers of religious, political and economic power • Palaces found at: Knossos, Phaistos, Mallia, Zakros Pillar Crypt • Zakros • Small, enclosed space used for religious rites Minoan Palace Architecture • Architectural Features in common among Palaces: • 1) Central Courtyards (2:1 ratio) • 2) Warehouse/storage areas • 3) Western Entrances (principal entrance) • 4) !eatral Areas • 5) Pillar Crypt/ritual space • Minoan Architecture • Cut Stone Blocks (orthogonal or ashlar blocks = rectilinear solid) • Wooden beams and posts (tree trunks) • Open, airy spaces fed by lightwells Palace and Society • Functioning of “Palaces”: – Political: impressive (monumental) architectural complex, indicating the seat of power (ruling elite). Residential space not given a priority. – Economic: 1) storehouse for redistribution of agricultural goods 2) site of metal smiths and artists – Religious: rites (both public [theatral space] and private [pillar crypt] performed at palaces) = administrative center more than royal residence Historians and Travelers • Historians: – Herodotus = Greek Historian, 5th c. BC – Thucydides = Greek Historian, 5th c. BC – Livy = Roman Historian, 1st c. BC – 1st c. AD • Travelers: – Pausanius, 2nd c. AD (Guide book)
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