Classical Greece cont.docx

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Department
Classical Studies
Course Code
CLAA04H3
Professor
Chris Wallace

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CLAA01 Oct. 18 We have more information about Ancient Athens because they gave us the largest body (corpus) of literary work.  This is not even because they literally wrote more books. Athenian were judged to be ‘better’ by scholars and they lasted until today because everyone was reading them. The ‘canon’: a group of books that were considered ‘necessary to know’  The first of these canons may have been created by Dionysus of Halicarnassus Peloponnesian War Sicilian Expedition  Was an attack by the Athenians against the Sicilians; was a complete failure on behalf of Athenians.  Athens lost over 100 war ships  Quite a few Athenians were captured alive o Some executed right away o Some were left in stone quaries to die of heat exhaustion, starvation etc. Deceleian War (413 – 404) Alcibiades was in Sparta, helping the Spartan army  He suggested building a fort at Decelalia, a border between Athenian and Spartan territory  Fort was built, allowing Spartans to attack Athens year-round Athenians were constantly under siege. This would have continued because Sparta really had no ways to breach the walls that surrounded Athens. Alcibiades was too frivolous for Spartan society. When he impregnated one of the wives of the king, he was forced to flee.  Fled for Sardis, part of the Persian Empire.  There he advised the ruler on how best to defeat Greece: to keep them infighting among themselves until they eventually destroyed each other.  Alcibiades eventually had to flee Sardis for Athens, after displeasing the ruler. CLAA01 Oct. 18 Arginusae (406) Athenians won the battle of Arginusae over Sparta.  Many Athenians were left floating in the sea during the battle because their ships had been destroyed.  Five captains had been told to take their ships to rescue these soldiers but did not go once a storm rolled in. The sailors left in the sea drowned.  These caused a huge outcry in Athens. Eventually, the captains were put to death without a trial, a decision made by the Assembly.  Afterwards, this decision was considered illegal and was struck down (after the death of the captains)  Graphae paranomon: in which the person who sponsored an illegal bill is put to death. Aegospotami  Lysander: Spartan captain  Athenian boats just followed the Spartans around to goad them into war. o Athenians lost Athenian Defeat When Athens surrendered, Sparta proceeded to make ridiculous, unrealistic demands  Sparta and Athens became ‘allies’  Democratic system was replaced by ‘the Thirty’. Composed of thirty men loyal to Sparta, governing Athens  Critias became the ruler of Athens, was pretty much the Athenian equivalent of Hitler. Was also Socrates’ nephew. For the next hundred years, there was a three-way struggle between Athens, Sparta, and Thebes. Greek Literature Athenian Drama  Was actually considered a mandated city religion  Theatre allowed for recognition of own faults, catharsis Tragedy Tragedies could contain violence but it could not be shown on stage so role of ‘messenger’ to recount gory details. CLAA01 Oct. 18 Some ‘flaw’ (mistake) always caused the downfall of the hero  Aeschylus  Sophocles  Euripides Comedy Aristophanes  Wrote ‘old comedy’ : slapstick, political/personal attacks on others Menander  Wrote ‘new comedy’ : was more like romantic comedy Philosophy Plato (427 – 347)  Was a minor during the Peloponnesian Wars  Published ‘Conversations with Socrates’, in the form of dialogues  Was a student of Socrates  Had a system of education enforcing music/physical activity/geometry in schools to make good people i.e. eventual ‘philosopher king’.  Plato’s idea of a philosopher king never really worked out: in the case of Dion of Syracuse, he’d been taught all of Plato’s knowledge on how to be a successful ruler. He was eventually assassinated. Aristotle (384 – 322)  Teleology: everything is directed to have some sort of result/end.  Intrinsic end: happiness is the only goal that is truly the end. Socrates (469 – 399)  Known for Socratic method (way of questioning people) o Actually went around questioning people and manipulating their belief
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