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Lecture 3

CLA230 Lecture 3 Notes

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Dimitri Nakassis

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CLA230 Lecture 3 Notes Why Study Greek History? - Greek culture produced great literature, philosophy, science, political developments - able to accomplish many amazing things in a very short period of time - that classics is central to every form of thought is the typical answer – not as satisfying today - Greek problem – Greeks concluded all males should be qualified to discuss it – very black and white - not all nor even most Greeks thought that life was about human reason – much literature is about the limits of rationality - ancient Greek medicine – Hippocrates and school – they refused to analyze epilepsy on religious terms – epilepsy considered a sacred disease (being caused by the gods) – Hippocrates refers to it as no more or less a sacred disease than others - everyone accepted that divine was a major factor of Greek life - most Greek historians say that Alexander was not crowned pharaoh - Greek culture is foundational to European history, culture, etc. - Greek society is radically different from society today – similar foundational principles but also quite alien - what characterizes a good person – virtue – in today’s society, treating people well – Greeks would consider alien - aristocratic Greeks – look down on slaves, foreigners, women, etc. - Greek motto – help your friends, harm your enemies - good marriage – man and woman think alike – source of joy to friends and a source of pain to their enemies Environmental Conditions - Greece – small country but enormous amount of environmental variety - high amount of variety particularly with rainfall – Athens had very little rainfall – northwest Greece produced much higher amounts – west had more rainfall than the east – due to maintain chain - dry part – marginal agriculture – no irrigation, except in the Neolithic period - high fluctuation in rainfall – inter-annual variation - rare in Greece for there to be open plains – Argive plain, some of Athens, Thessaly – otherwise very mountainous – meant that agricultural land was broken up naturally – political boundaries tended to fall along relief lines – natural boundaries, like the Argolid - topography – small areas - Corinth – shallow coastal plains, foothills, then mountains - coastal plains yielded grains, hills yielded olives and vines - Greek communities tended to be small – due in part to the topography - Athens was a fairly large polis but still small by modern standards - Kea – island with three cities, each with an average of 43 square kilometers which encompassed the entire community, not just living quarters - small farms – farm of average middle class family was about 4.5 hectares - wealthy families had five to ten times that amount of land - middle class farmers – lived on the edge of economic solvency – sometimes forced to take out loans to keep from starving – enslaved by their debt to wealthier families – could even be sold into slavery to repay debt - properties of parents were divided equally between sons – ownership did not just pass to the eldest son Prehistorical Greece - Francthi cave – between Sparta and Athens – most important site because of the unbroken cultural site – can see how things changed over time - Paleolithic • hunter-gatherers • off coast fishing, wild deer, boars - Mesolithic • still hunt • increasing evidence of large fish, wild nuts, plants • pears, peas pistachios, oats, barley – undomesticated crops • begin to use obsidian – island of Mylos • fact that there were large fish and obsidian – proof that they were proficient sea-farers - Mesolithic • domesticated animals and crops, especially grains • goat, sheep, wheat, barley, lentils • stone tools such as axes and sickles • pottery – jars and bowls • still hunting and fishing • diversified economy • reliance on domestication for economy • domestication adapted extremely rapidly – domestication appears early in Near East • large difference in economic terms between hunting/gathering and domestication Early Bronze Age - early Bronze Age is an extension of the Neolithic period - early experiments in early sophisticated organization - Lerna – House of Tiles - fairly small villages – no established social classes - changes in places – model is Lerna - Lerna is the site where Herakles allegedly kills the Hydra (Lernean Hydra) House of Tiles - construction of large buildings – House of Tiles – named thusly for tiled roofs - around 2500 B.C – construction of fortification walls – towers – not solid fortification - fortification wall – stone foundation with the rest as mud brick - by the time the House of Tiles is constructed – wall is out of use – fairly large structure – two storeys – plaster walls – wealthy family perhaps - sealings found in the House of Tiles - seal – emblem recognizable to others and used to seal things - impressions of seal stones found – over 70 seals found – difficult to know what the sealings were used for – may have been left from tributes for payment of taxes, e
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