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Lecture 1

CLAS 1000 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Troy Vii, Anax, Basileus

Classical Studies
Course Code
CLAS 1000
John Walsh

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Wed, Sept 14, 2016
Early Greece Continued…
Morris and Powell, Chapter 4 readings
Greeks before history, 12000-1200 BC continued
-Palace at Knossos can relate to the story of the maze and the minotaur
-Labroi means double headed axe
-the Minoans were great builders, they had a great navy military force
-myths are based in some way on historical truths*
-palaces served as distribution centers, command economy
-Knossos being the most well known
-Minoans were deeply artistic, marine and floral themes dominate, expressing
images of the natural world
-2000-1600BC is the top of the Minoan culture
-1600BC the Minoans are under stress and the decline of their culture can be related
to the volcano on Thera, just north of the island of Crete
- the ash layer of the volcano went East towards Crete, this destabilized the culture
because the ash layer effected the distribution cities
- when the Minoans would be under great stress they would even sacrifice children
to appease the gods
- 1600-1200BC there is an exchange of power, Minoans fade and the Mycenaean’s
start to thrive on the greek mainland
- evidence of this can be shown by: the Minoans used Linear A script and it was
replaced by the Linear B script which would suggest the power of the Mycenaean’s
- Linear B was first “broken” by Michael Ventris and John Chadwick
The story of Theseus is evidence of the Mycenaean’s rise to power. Thesues travels
to Knossos and kills the minotaur
-Mycenae is a massive fortress on a hilltop, they construct their cities with war in
-Mycenae had Grave Circle A, were evidence was found that shows daggers with
sophisticated war art (scenes of conflict)
-They were a strict warrior hierarchy, Wanax (wanakes) are chiefs and superior
-around 1200 BC is a period of collapse: Mycenae culture just goes away
-Athens snuck through the collapse and continued to thrive
-Egyptians nearly suffer the same fate, Egypt and the sea peoples (quite possibly the
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