October 11, 2016 WEEK 5
Friends = Philoi
- Family; people tied by friendship and obligations
Enemies = Ekhthroi
- People who had done some harm in the past, their family and friends
It was honourable to be supportive of you friends and to do harm to your enemies.
The idea of doing harm to one’s enemies was common at the private and pubic level.
An extreme case of revenge: a betrayed wife of the myth—Medeia
- The young Greek hero, Jason is supposed to be the king based on his ancestors.
- He wants to take his position on the thrown but there is already someone in power
- The person in power says that he has to go and get the Golden Fleece to prove that he is
worthy to be on the thrown.
- The king in the place where the fleece is is trying to kill Jason
- Medeia is the king’s daughter and falls in love with Jason
- She saves him and helps him get the fleece (she is a magician)
- She comes back with Jason
- Jason leaves her because he wants to go marry the daughter of another king
- Medeia wants to take revenge:
o She decides to kill his wife
o Kill her children
Polemos = War
Polemios = one at war with you
(different from the private enemy (ekthros), who was usually a fellow citizen and was a comrade
- When two citiis were at war with each other, their citizens were polemioi – war enemies
– to each other, while private rivalries were suspended
- Citizens of different cities could establish bonds of guest-friendship, an ancient and very
respected institution, especialy for the elite. In this case, loyalty *****
Xenia = guest-friendship
Xenos= friends from abroad
Assumption of perpetuity of xenia
Betrayal of it is considered as an offence against the gods
The beginning of the relationship was marked by a ceremony
Xenia does not expire with the death of the original partners, but is passed on to their male
In the age of Homer, it was acceptable to stop during the battle to ask who the person you were
fighting was. This ensured that you weren’t going to harm
Proxenia = bond of trust between a polis and a prominent individual of another polis
Proxenos was usually a citizen of the state in which he served and not of the state he represented.
He supported the citizens of the other polis when they visited his ***
- Intentionally dishonouring behaviour
- Insulting use of physical force or violence
- Hubristic acts are also sexual assaults and the insolence of accepted inferiors: i.e. women,
- It also applies to humans who act as if they were gods.
- Means being excessively competitive
Balancing competitiveness and collective values:
- In Athens there were several factors balancing the competitive attitude of the citizens and
its potentially destructive effects:
o Arenas where competition could happen in a controlled way: contests of different
kind, law courts, democratic politics
o In politics, the democratic system required the support f the other citizens, and
there were institutions discouraging excessive ambition – such as ostracism
o Appointments to many civic offices was not competitive. Each citizen had **
Sophron = self-controlled man
Sophrosune = self control/ prudence/ moderation/ temperance/ modesty/ acknowledgement of
one’s own limitations
The virtue of sophrosune was directly related to the acknowledgement of one’s limitations, not
only in general – as human and mortal—but also based on his/her place in society:
Rich and poor, man and women, adult and child has quite different roles and limitations.
A great social arena:
The symposion (not in text book !!)
Symposium (sumposion) = drinking together.
Male and aristocratic activity. Women were only present as professional entertainers.
A symposium is much more than drinking:
Each man was expected to contribute to the success of a social meeting of peers with his
personality and skills. There he engaged in conversation and debate, played games, performed
music and poetry. He had to follow a set of rules, balancing need to excel and respect of the
others, and exhibiting the appropriate balance of sociability and self control in the enjoyment of
wine and other pleasures. The younger participants would look up to the more mature as role
Andron = men’s dining room.
The rooms were small because it was easier to hear people in a smaller room, and it
makes it easier for everyone to participate and interact.
There was a game called Kottabos.
- The Greek wine was not very fine and there was a residue in the bottom
- The game was to flip the cup and get the last few drops to hit the target.
At the bottom of the cups was a picture of a guy throwing up and this was done to remind the
person drinking to drink enough to have fun but to stay within their limits.
Wednesday October 12, 2016 WEEK 5
The population of Athens:
o Adults and citizens
o Adults and citizens
o Different rights