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Lecture 1

CLAS 104 Lecture 1: Lecture1-January42016

Classical Studies
Course Code
Ronald Kroeker

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Historical Background (Lecture 1 Slides)
- Homer: writing around 750 BC, last author of the Dark Ages
- Bronze Age Greece (2000 - 1100 BC):
- Minoan Civilization (on Crete - Knossos is centre of Civ)
- is NOT a Greek civilization - did not speak “Greek” and had written
records (mainly economic records) that cannot be interpreted since not in
- influenced the Mycenaean Civilization
- known for large palaces and advanced architecture
- had running water, indoor plumbing
- known for lively iconography (lecture 1, slide 5 - bull jumping)
- people thought they were peace loving civilization since they didn’t glorify
war in their iconography - also did not have any protective walls, etc.
- religion supposed to be worshipping a mother goddess (lecture 1, slide 6)
- Mycenaean Civilization (based in Mycenae)
- began in mainland amongst people who spoke Greek
- adopted a lot of Minoan advanced elements
- known for building great walls (lecture 1, slide 9)
- cyclopeans is what the architecture is called - thought only giants
could carry these large stones
- intricate art
- Minoan vs Mycenaean: Minoan did not portray any type of violent
activities - Mycenaean did! (lecture 1, slide 10)
- a much more violent society?
- Linear B
- writing systems that Mycenaean used - adopted from both Minoan
and Greek
- an early form of Greek
- a lot of gods are listed in these Linear B tablets
- noticed that the gods we know about from Greek myths
are mentioned in the Linear B tablets -- suggests continuity
in what happened to Mycenaean Bronze Age and to the
stories told much later until 750 BC
- palace culture:
- has palaces as a centre of government and civ
- Mycenaean culture died out -- but stories were told orally over the
- why did it collapse?
- around 1200 BC -- widespread disruption of civilizations and Mycenaean
civilization deteriorated
- Dark Ages (1100 - 800 BC):
- iron technology came to Greece
- myths are transmitted orally
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