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Dark and Early Archaic Greece.docx

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Graeme Ward

Dark and Early Archaic Greece 14/01/2013 1:53:00 PM Dark Age Sources  Little Material sources until 900 BCE  Homer: Illiad and Odyssey (7 thcentury BCE) o Epic poems rather than historical documents o Reflective mainly of Homer’s own age  Hesoid: Work and Days Disruption vs Continuity  On the one hand, massive changes at the outset of Dark Age o 1000 BCE – Population perhaps only 30% of Mycenaen o Demise of palace- citadel system (palaces will not return) o Great migrations of peope  On the other hand o Palace system collapsed, but majority of population moved o Greek language changed o Oral culture, we rely so much on what we read  Memory, history, poetry passed orally Greek Dialects/ Groups  Three biggest linguistic/ tribal groups: o Dorians (Doric)  The strongest  Includes Sparta o Aelians (Aeloc) o Ionaians (Ionic)  Oldest groups  Inclue Athens  Early migrations (1050- 90) BCE)  More than just language groups o Tend to live in different areas, these distinct groups are important to see how future alliances are formed Dark Age Society  Early Dark Age: o Settlements generally few and small (dozens of inhabitants) o Palace culture was not understaff and did not survive  Quasireu “king” (more like mayor), kind of what is left over of Mycenean culture  Basileus o Chief of village/ community o Wealth based in land, animals o Informal status as “Big man” Lefkandi  Island of Eurobea- 950 BCE  Back room used for feasting, there was also a meeting room  Reflects some of the things we’ve seen before of the Mcnean age  Seems to include communal storehouse o Dark age version of megaron? Homer on the Dark Age  Homer’s Illiad and Odyssey written in late Dark Age  Homeric Basileis o Odysseus “King of Ithaca” o Ajax, “King of Salamis”  Basis of authority of a Basileus o Bility to persuade through speech in assembly of warriors  Agora (public space where people could meet)  Marital Prowess (war)  Resources o The richest members of the community  Gifts o Gift exchange is very important, (even since Mycenaean age) The Oikos  Oikos o Not just house, but “household” o Includes extended family, land, livestock, other property (slaves) o Center of one’s existence (how they present themselves)  Economically self- sufficient o No walmart, everything was self produced  Patriarchal o Male father/ husband is head of household o What he says goes  Patrilineal o Name and inheritance passes only through male line Dark Age community  Larger communities are rare  Separate, small settlements linked together through kinship  “tribe” or clan (phyle) o Common ancestry, common blood, and very powerful  Entire people of a region, regardless of family ties, known as Laos o Ithacans, Cicones, Athenians  Social status and identity based in this family/ clan structure o Nobody would call themselves Athenians yet Greek Renaissance (900- 700 BCE)  Increase in trade and commerce o wine, olives, grain (3 staples in Mediterranean trade) o Mediterranean Triad”  Rise in population over 200 year period o Rise in agriculture over pastoralism o Plot of land  kleros  Problem: o No concurrent increase in land  ideas to growing disparity  Population is increasing, but land isn’t  Alphabet also improves (alpha, beta, etc) Panhellenic Sanctuaries and Festival  Hellenes (Hellas) o What they referred themselves to o Sanctuary to Zeus and Hera at Olympia  Site in N9W Peloponnesus (Southern Greece)  776 BCE (sometimes even used as the end of the Dark Age)  Sanctuaries of Divine Prophesy o Sanctuary to Apollo at Delphi  Center of the world  Sacred sight (oracle) Oracle of Delphi  Pythia (prophetess) o She used this gas, and got high, and would say gibberish, and the priests would translate her gibberish  Accompanying priests  Visitor made offerings (kept in treasury)  Oracular Sayings o Know thyself, nothing in excess, curb thy spirit, observe the limit, bow before the divine, keep women in check Delphi  Mt. Parnassus  Sanctuary and Treasuries  Pythian Games  Was kind of treated like a bank, because it was full of trasures from the Oracles (popular and people kept giving in gifts)  Also required a guardian Delphic Amphictyony  Amphityony o Early cult association responsible for protection of a sanctuary and its land o First: peoples- Dorians, Ionians, Aelians, Arcadians o Later: poleis- Sparta, Thebes, Athens, Corinth, etc.  Sacred Wars o Delphic Oath: “not to destroy any city” or “not to cut it off from running water, whether in war or peace” etc Forming a Hellenic Identiy  Religious sites and festivals for all Greeks o Delphi, Olympia  Looking back to the Greek past o Age of Heroes and Trojan War o Homer’s Illiad and Odyssey  Defining “greekness” o Hesoides Theogany o Barbaros  term applied to non- Greeks (those who did not spea
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