CLAA06 Lecture 2.docx

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Classical Studies
Alexandra Pohlod

Classical Period (480-323 BCE) Marked by the end of the Persian wars and continues until the death of Alexander the Great Greek democracy Emergence of scientific thinking and Historiography Herodotus Xenophon Pherecydes, an Athenean mythographer Tried to create a timeline and family tree of mythological beings Flourishing of plastic and literary arts Greek Tragedy emerged in the Classical Period tragoidia: goat-song Dithyramb An improvised poetic performance in honor of Dionysus The Great Dionysia festival Aeschylus (525-456 BCE) The first of three major tragedians Added two characters to interact in poetic performance Called his tragedies “large cuts taken from Homer’s mighty dinners” – meaning his tragedies were treated with myths Sophocles (490-406 BCE) Added three characters to the play Was a general during the Peloponnesian war Euripides (485-406 BCE) Was witness to the Persian war Text copying boomed during the 9 century, which is where many of our sources originated Hellenistic Period Began after Alexander the Great’s death Division of Alexander’s empire, which reigned as far east as India and south to Egypt Establishment of the Library and Museum at Alexandria, Egypt Mouseion = place of muses Held approximately 1700 texts in the library Alexandria became the intellectual capital of the world Marked the integration of philosophical and scientific ideas into poetry These Alexandrian scholars were concerned with displaying their knowledge and for the first time had a large reserve of texts that they could use to condense past knowledge and integrate it with their own. Acknowledgements of variants – multiple versions of the same myth Callimachus (ca. 310-240 BCE) Wrote divine hymns inspired by things like the Homeric and religious hymns Apollonius of Rhodes (295-215 BCE) Also wrote hymns Roman Period Latin: Lucretius Virgil Ovid Statius Hyginus Aelian Greek Parthenius Was captured and brought to Rome. He catalogued myth in order to provide material to Galleus for his romance stories. He is credited with importing Alexandrian ideas into Rome. Plutarch Apollodorus Lucian Pausanias The Creation of the World Theos (god) + gonos (birth) = theogony Cosmos (universe) + gonos = cosmogony Hesiod traced the gods back to Cosmos and Gaia Homer’s Iliad: All the gods spring from Ocean and Tethys Aristophanes, Birds: Believed Eros began all life with gods. Eros was the personification of sexual desire. Hesiod Gods of Cult (Zeus, Apollo, Artemis, Thetis) Gods of Myth (Thetys, Phoibe, Hesperides, Typhoeus, Atlas, Epimetheus, Titans) Divine Guilds (Nereids, Graces, Cyclopes, Muses) Natural Elements (Uranus, Pontus, Aether) Personified Abstractions (Death, Sleep, Deceit, Sex, Battles, Lies, Victory, Power) Muses (Mneai = ‘Rememberers’) 3 original Muses: Melete (‘care, attention’) Mneme ('memory') Aoide ('song') Hesiod’s Muses Clio: ‘Fame’ (history) Euterpe: ‘Well-delighting’ (aulos-playing) Thalia: 'flourishing' (comedy) Melpomene: 'songstress' (tragedy) Terpsichore: 'dance' (choral poetry and dancing) Erato: 'lovely’ (lyric poetry) Muses are often associated with Apollo (God of poetry) and the Graces Theogony Begins with Chaos (‘gap’) Children of Gaia and Uranus Gaia + Uranus (hieros gamos = ‘sacred marriage’) Gave birth to the 12 titans (Hesiod’s version) Oceanus Coeus Crius Hyperion Iapetus theia Rhea Themis Mnemosyne Pheobe T
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