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Lecture

CLA160H1: Lecture notes #1.docx

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Department
Classics
Course Code
CLA160H1
Professor
Victoria Wohl

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CLA160: Lecture 1 Reading #1: Hesiod’s Works and Days Brainstorming:  A general view of Greek society: - Polytheist society. - Very defined justice system. - Hard work is valued. - There is a connection between man& god but a separation between man& nature. - There is a very dark view of women (Pandora). - There is a clear emphasis on the agricultural aspect of society. From an archeological point of view…  Geography - Lived all around the Mediterranean. - Emphasis on trade: grain from Egypt, wood from Bulgaria, precious stones from Syria. - The Greeks depended on the Sea (fish, salt, vital in geopolitics). - They were often fighting for the control of the Mediterranean. - Greece is very mountainous, only 20 to 30% of the land serves agricultural purposes. - The agricultural existence was difficult but so their general philosophy was based on hard work - Greece was divided into little communities (valleys, little cities, local communities, kingdoms then city states). th - In the 19 century Greece became unified, before it consisted of myriad city states and local communities. - The Greek territory was inhabited since the Stone Age.  The Minoans were the first civilization - 2000-1300 BCE. - Linear A was the primary script used in palaces and religious writings. - They are known through their archaeology: Palace at Knossos, the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete. This complex has lots of family suites and the palace runs into the city with nice houses. - We can deduce that it wasn’t a terribly hierarchical society, that it was quite wealthy and quite egalitarian. These ideas are confirmed by their art (pictures of everyday people doing everyday things. - They worshipped nature (presence of female goddesses), although the status of women at that time remains relatively obscure.  The first Greek civilization: the Mycenaean civilization - 1600-1200 BCE. - Dozens of Mycenaean Palaces, wealthy, walled off and outside the palaces there was generally nothing except a few wooded houses. Clearly, the walls were to keep people with little privileges separated. Maybe there wasn’t a big Middle class? - They valued defensiveness over esthetic. - It was a hierarchical and militaristic society. th - 17 century: Tholos graves (plural is Tholoi) are burial structures characterized by their false domes. - In the graves, there was pottery from all over the Mediterranean = they travelled. - There was also lots and lots of gold, depicting a very wealthy society (death masks, crowns, child- sized gold armour). It was a royalist culture. - They are inscribed (hunting, army beseeching a city). - They had a written language: Linear B. In the 1950’s, the code was broken and the signs stand for syllables. It is very similar to the traditional, Modern Greek language. - The texts were decrypted: list of items received and sold, tax invoices etc. - 600 tablets came from Pylos (town and a former municipality in Messenia, Pe
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