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Lecture 4

CLA160 Lecture 4 Notes

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Johnathon Burgess

CLA160 Lecture 4 Notes Topics 1. Trojan War: myth—and history? 2. Thucydides’ view 3. archaeology of Troy 4. Thersites 5. Shield of Achilles Trojan War: History or Myth - two sides - most likely untrue for the most part – however there is usually some historical basis - tunnel to water inside the walls of Mycenae – not entirely proven that these people had the ability to go lay siege to Troy – unlikely – palatial structure is defensive - on the other hand, archaeological records of Mycenaean Age relate to Homer’s accounts – boar tusk helmet, as used by Odysseus in Book 10 of The Iliad - while Homer knew next to nothing about the Mycenaean Age, it is clear that he had some knowledge – such as the boar’s tusk helmet Later Views on Homer and the Trojan War - Thucydides – 5 century B.C. Athenian historian - sees Trojan War as history – but history that needs to be rationalized - no Greek/Hellenic “nation” in that age - however, Minos and Agamemnon are seen as real people to him – takes this for granted - Homer places more importance on story and characters – Thucydides places more on the rationalization of these events and resources - interested in archaeology – surprisingly - cannot look at ruins and jump to conclusions – message of Thucydides – example of Lacedaemon and Athens – remarks on future remains – Sparta may one day been seen as a small and insignificant city compared to the grand city of Athens if the only evidence to remain are archeological sites – however one must keep in mind how powerful Lacedaemon truly was - ancient Greeks built over ruins – Greeks often worshipped at grave sites Dark Age (1200-800 B.C.) - no palaces or big buildings - population loss, migration to Asia Minor - use of iron (“Iron Age” – mythic/Hesiod, archaeology) - loss of literacy – linear B lost – oral tradition remains – epic tradition is oral - epic tradition of Hesiod, Homer – passed down perhaps even from Mycenaean culture/tradition – best method to retain a specific memory of the past - Homer and Hesiod – Archaic Age poet – try to represent past – but intermixed with culture of his own age Greek “Renaissance” - Iron, Archaic Age - renewed trade with outer world - population recovery - colonization - rise of the polis – city-state culture - new alphabet – from Phoenicians in Near East – oral performance of epic poems remain – most bards and people likely were illiterate - earliest bards of Archaic Age – did not write down – just performed it – later written down – therefore they (Homer, Hesiod) do not truly know about Greek history - much of what they write about is mixed in with their own culture and cultural ideals - Anatolia – Troy – modern Turkey – hill that Schliemann dug up – ancient Troy – Ilium Novum, “New Troy” - Ilium – alternate name for Troy - in antiquity – until Schliemann – supposed site of Troy – mythological Troy – two separate areas - ruins of Troy – most is historic – Athenian, Greek and Roman ruins - not much nd rd is prehistoric, only a small amount goes back to the 2 and 3 milleniums B.C. Schliemann in the 1870s - dug up Troy, Mycenae - myth – Trojan War of the “Heroic Age” - archaeology – no texts, few weapons – walls, stone - level VI – destroyed around 1300 B.C. – long lasting, impressive, ‘right’ time period, but destroyed by an earthqu
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