CLCV notes lecture 3.docx
DepartmentArts and Contemporary Studies
Course CodeACS 103
10/3/2012 6:58:00 AM
Mycenae had cities = administrative centres
The rulers of the city controlled people in the surrounding countryside- they took their
produce and redistributed it – Redistributive Economy
The model of the Redistributive economy may have come form the Meospotamian people.
However, the greek civ was different from the Meso civ- they were individualistic an d took
religion very lightly- they had a “casual relationship” with their deities- unlike the Near
Mycenaean cities disappeared during the Dark Ages
Mainland- destroyed and abandoned
Islands- characteristics of Myceaean civ gone and forgotten
C 6th BCE- Greece emerged form the Dark ages- the cities were very different though.
GR ppl called their cities POLIS
We don’t know how they came about bcz it did so uring the Dark Ages and there are no
written records of its development. All the theories about how it developed are
- A small town with little but sufficient land to support the population except for POLIS on
the coast which substituted agriculture for fishing
- -Community= very close knit these POLIS were probably formed by families banding
together for defense purposes
- Every POLIS was on a fortified site- walled and defensible
- They were always ready to defend themselves
- All fit adult males were expected to be available to defend the POLIS
- Sparta, however was different- it was an anomaly in the Greek World
- .the formal could be anything- no fixed type.
Aristotle’s preferred characteristics of a POLIS
- -Function= happiness of citizens
- Size= small enough for the function to be achieved and big enough to be defensible. It also
has ot be small enough for the people to be able to be controlled w/out police force.
- Community = tight knit- everyone is prob related to each other in some way.
- Exclusive & Anti- Expansionist – Outsiders were not welcome.
Characteristics of a Greek Polis
- the men;s activities were all outside while the women’s were inside.
- GR (Greeks) established a very clear distinction between in and out of the
house- and where men and women were supposed to be. The houses tended to look
inside NOT outside (windows etc)
- it was matter of pride for the males to involved in war and politics
- the males competed to excel within the community – DICHOTOMY= they were very
loyal to the community (if they came from Athens they would refer to themselves as
first being Athenian and then being Greek) but they had their own ambitions within
that same community.
- Nationalism (to their community/POLIS) so strong that they find it hard to come
together as GREEKS in times of battle and stuff- some just opt not to even if it means
that it could be the end of them.
One theory= City State appeared in the Asia Minor
- family unit was the basic
- animals an d slaves = all part of the family & would participate in the religious rites.
Citizenship rewuired one to be registered as a legitimate member of a family/clan i.e. to
have had a legitimate marriage.
o Purpose fo marriage= procreate children
o Women were still partially owned by their fathers
o Dowry was returnable if the marriage failed- the dowry had to be kept
separate form the husband’s family wealth.
o Wife is “lent” to the husband and can be taken back.
- Citizenship was exclusively guarded
- notoriously known to refuse to extend citizenship outside of the POLIS
Development and the Spread of the Alphabet
- Early scripts= v.clumsy /only sueable by ppl from a specialized caste of scribes who
spent their lives learning them- used to keep records/write down
legends/rituals/medical texts(not a lot)
- 2 types- 1. Heiroglyphic 2.Syllabic
1. Heiroglyohic: small drawings- Egypt
2. Syllabic: diff signs for each syllable
- Alphabet was “inherent “ (?) in the EG (Egypt) script- they used it to record foreign
names-they didn’t develop it though.
- Appears to have been developed in the area where PALESTINE and EGYPT meet.
- They take signs an d use it for letters- we know its letters because if they were sighs
for hieroglyphs or syllables there’d have to be MUCH more.
- Greek attribute their development of the alphabet to CADMUS
- All the signs are developed from Phoenician letters which in term were
derived from EG.
- GR alphabet prob developed by Greek merchants somewhere in the asia minor
Saw the imp/usefulness of script and adapted it.
Direction of the Script
- First it was from right to left
- Then alternating sides on each line
- Finally it was from Left to right (the way we write today).
Alphabet + Development of Society
- originally created for records eveolved to be used for communication
- Indo Euro alphabet had between 22-30 characters, usually 26.
- Because there weren’t so many- normal people could learn the alphabet and then
learn to write and read- i.e. it was easier for the common man to become literate.
Became a means for information to be
o exchanged + spread + developed + thought + challenged + ideas to be
- Early GR writing was in verse prob bcz it was easier to memorize
o Early philosophers wrote in verse, as writing spread verse prose.
o If writing had not spread philosophy would not have developed from
o GR developed the idea of challenging ideas => (lead to) Development of
Society (it was crucial to this)
o a literate society could challenge the priesthood –secularization was given
by the hreeks o Indo Eur civ.
Technological Writing Emerged (i.e. writing about:-)
- Agriculture knowledge/ skills could spread. B4 it only remained w/in the famly.