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Classical Studies
Classical Studies 1000

Sources for the Ancient World Julia Hammond Classics lecture 1- Sources for the Ancient World Chronology and Time reckoning  Focuses on the period ca 1500 bc to ca ad 476  These dates are a modern convention, reflecting the modern calendar  The ancient situation was more complex  A strong awareness of the changing seasons and the months (astronomy)  There were many calendars for individual cities  Caesar reformed the roman calendar, bringing it closer to the modern system – foundation for modern calendar- 10 month calendar then added two more, one for Caesar- July and one for agoutis-August (his successor)  Every major city had there own calendar – could always be different, change drastically  The Ancient situation  Historical events were typically dated by the year of a particular priest or magistrate in which the fell  Often reference is made to a particular season  Rough length for a single generation were used to date past dynasties  The ‗acme‘ system was widely used in ancient biography  Occasionally the distance is measured from some single event, common eras (e.g. The first Olympics 776, founding of Rome 753/2 BC and the Trojan war 1183/2 BC)  Modern statements of historical chronology represent a conversion of ancient modes of time-reckoning to modern o E.g. a Roman writer would say that Caesar was murdered of the ides of March C. Caesar et M. Antonio consulibus  We would say that Caesar was killed on the 15 of march 44B.C.E  This modern fact represents a series of interpretations Languages  Greek is descended from Indo-European and I.E speakers seem to have moved in to the Greek world and sometime before the Mycenaean age (ca 2000 BC)  This new language seems to have displaced an indigenous language (or languages), but traces of pre-Greek vocabulary remain in the lexicon of classical Greek. People where the before the language, they did not speak this language.  People were surrounded by the sea, but did not have a word for it  The Greek world is geographically desperate, and during the classical period Greeks inhabited not only mainland Greece, but the Aegean islands, the coast of Asia minor, parts of north Africa and southern Italy  A number of dialects flourished, each with considerable variation in phonology, morphology and vocabulary o A modern student of Greek learns the language from the Athens area  This is called ―koine‖ Greek  Latin began as the language of latium the region of which Rome is the most important centre, and Latin belongs to the Italic group of Indo-European languages  Having originally been spoken at Latium from ca 800 BC, Latin came to be the dominant language of Italy, and later became the common tongue of the western Mediterranean world and as far as the Balkans to the east.  The diffusion of Latin is a direct reflection of the growing influence of Rome, the city that dominated Italy politically and culturally.  After middle of the third century BC- classical Latin emerged  Romans spoke ―speech of the city‖  Greek- reflects number of dialects and so a number of regions, other Italian dialects had little to no influence on the development of Latin The character of Greek and Latin  Very different from English  Inflected languages (meaning and syntactical function are determined by word form, not word order)  Extensive vocabularies  Translation is a difficult and often inexact science Literary sources The Greeks and romans each had an extensive literary tradition Only had a small fraction survives How did the ancient texts survive?  Methods of survival o Mediaeval transmission  The transition from orality to literacy  The introduction of writing (the Greek alphabet)  The development of a book trade  The consolidation of ancient texts in the library of Alexandra after 307 BC  The preservation of Greek and Latin texts in mediaeval monasteries  Copies where all made by hand and were all different o Papyri o Inscriptions Sources from the Ancient World: Cont‘d Julia Hammond Lecture 2- continuation 1  Mediaeval transmission presupposes a number of factors o The transition from orality (letters represent a sound) to literacy o The introduction of writing (the Greek alphabet). This alphabet was adapted by another writing unit, was very precise. The writing affected the culture o The survival of ancient text was by re-writing the literature. Usually a scroll, two pieces of wood with a piece a paper made from a papyrus plant in between. o If you wanted to refer back to the text you would have to go looking for the particular scroll. People then started to quote from memory for that reason o The development of the book trade (people started to copy down books for trade) o The consolidation of ancient text in the library of Alexandria (first kind of museum) after 307 B.C. o People had to go looking for books to put inside the library. o The preservation of Greek and Latin texts in mediaeval monasteries, etc. o Many mediaeval copies- this would guarantee survival (popularity) o Despite significant los of text, there is a wide variety of Greek and Latin text  Poetry  Drama  Philosophy  Oratory  Historiography  Fragments of ancient copies come to light, often in rough shape and new to modern time  Papyrus texts shed light on old problems and create new ones Inscriptions  Texts inscribed on stones  There are a large number of inscriptions that survived because stone is easily preserved  Very valuable, because uncorrupted, and have fairly precise information  Stone was valuable so there are no spaces between words  Set up by ancient communities throughout antiquity  Preserve a great deal of information, shedding valuable light on historical events, social history, religion, etc. Archaeology  The physical remains of antiquity  Numerous kinds of physical evidence o Digs o Architecture o Sculpture o Painting (vases or walls) o Jewellery The Bronze Age: The Minoans and Mycenaean‘s Julia Hammond Lecture three Historical frame work  Palaeolithic Period- before 70,000 B.C (stone age)  Neolithic Period- 6000-3000 B.C (new stone age)  Bronze Age -3000-1150 B.C o Pre Greeks o Reconstruct this world without the benefit of contemporary witnesses (only what comes out of the ground)  Historical Period- 1150-AD 476 Palaeolithic Period  Evidence for habitation in the Greek world  Hunting and gathering society  Tools and weapons of stone, wood, and bone  No evidence for social organization (they moved around, never built structure, or permanent stay) Neolithic Period  Evidence more abundant  Beginnings of agriculture cultivation, domestication of animals, use of textiles  Permanent communicates  Perhaps development of social structure  Figurines found that may suggest the worship of a female fertility (or earth-) goddess and her ithyphallic male consort  Male depictions of the male sex organ are not sexual but represent aggression Historical Context: The ancient Near East  In contrast to the Greek world, the Near had developed elaborate civilizations (high culture)  Numerous surviving documents  Influence on the Greek world controversial but scholarly acceptance is growing [e.g., M.L. West, The East Face of Helicon (1997)] Historical Context: Egypt  An elaborate high culture.  Trade relations as early as the 3rd mil. BC  Some see Egypt as the source of key aspects of Greek culture (e.g. the pantheon of gods) o This is suggestive, but unconvincing  Clear Egyptian influence on early Greek art (esp. in representing male figures)  Art jumps across the linguistic and cultural barriers The Bronze Age Chronology:  Refer to table slide 9 “the Bronze Age” ―Palace of Minos‖  Discovered by Arthur Evans in 1899  Located on Crete near the modern port-city of Iraklio  Complexity of the site supported the view that Crete had been the centre of a powerful thalassocracy.  Evans named this early Aegean civilization ‗Minoan‘ after Minos, King of Crete in myth  Minos had no defensive walls. This means they had high control of the seas and did not have to worry about land assault  The Palace is one of a number of Bronze Age sites on Crete  It was built ca 2000 BC (several phases of development are discernible).  Damaged by an earthquake ca 1700 BC  Evans restoration is highly speculative: an ‗archaeological Disneyland‘ The Bronze Age: cont‘d Julia Hammond Lecture 2 cont‘d- The Bronze Age: The Minoans and Mycenaean‘s Akroteri  A bronze age town deserted before the final eruption of the volcano Ca 1600 BC (Santorini) o Examples of desertion  No findings of jewelry suggesting that people packed and left  No evidence of dead people killed by the eruption  Remarkable preservation of building  Provides unique insights into everyday life  Arresting examples of Minoan wall-painting o Small paintings were found and preserved into modern day museums Minoan Society  Pre-palatial or early Minoan (3500-2000 BC) o Small faming communities o Arts and crafts established (ceremonies, wood-working, textiles) o Communal tombs o Varied grave-goods suggest a hierarchical society  Middle Minoan o Ca 2000 BC palaces established o Knossos is the most famous, but there are other sites (Phaestus, Mallia) o System of writing (hieroglyphic)- still today not able to understand the language carved into the stones o Trade, and a wide range of products o Ca 1700 BC damage from earth quakes o Rebuilding and development of palaces o Ca 1600-1500 BC  High point of Minaon culture  Thalassocracy  Influence throughout the Aegean world  Evidence of warfare  Violent sports (bull-leaping)  Human sacrifice? Decline of Minoan Society  Centralization of power and authority  Strained resources? o Relied on crops grown in local communities o If there was a drought, crops would suffer and the would be a famine  Natural disasters o Eruption of Santorini  After 1500 BC settlements were destroyed (often by force), and not immediately reoccupied  The Mycenaean‘s were the chief beneficiaries, who took over Crete Ca 1450 BC The Bronze Age: Cont‘d Julia Hammond Mycenae  Located in mainland Greece, It was a hilltop.  A major center of power during the later Helladic period  Known from Homer as the home of Agamemnon, leader of the Achaean forces at Troy.  Excavations of tombs by Schliemann brought to light many extraordinary finds.  ―Lions gate‖- front gate of the ruin, the lion symbolized power and was a symbol of the royals.  Death is polluting in Greek thought, many cemeteries were outside the border of Greece.  Grave circle in Mycenae contained god within the burial sites. Must be important people as Greeks thought death was polluting.  Gold faceplates were found resting on the faces of the deceased. Other pieces of gold included drinking glasses and headdresses.  ―Nestors cup‖ – it is said that whoever drinks from this cup will be filled with desire. Found in a grave that is thought to be one of a prostitute  Clay tablets were found with inscriptions of the language Linear A and linear B. Linear A is still unknown, but in the 1950‘s they were able to decipher Linear B.  No literature or poetry was found from the Mycenaean‘s. Any god that was worshiped was one found in Linear B.  Linear B gave us a great outlook on the time period including the economy and further insight into the Mycenaean world. Mycenaean‘s  Term applied to the inhabitants of Mycenae, as well as to the inhabitants of southern central Greece during the LH (ca 1600-1050 BC)  Descended from Indo-European speakers o Immigrants from northwest Anatolia?  Ruled by a warrior elite  Influenced by Minoan culture, but remained distinct. th th  14 and 13 cent. BC were the acme of Mycenaean power and influence.  Possibly called Ahhiyawa in Hittite texts, whose ruler is called ‗Great King‘  Suggest that the Hittite‘s were aware of the Mycenaean‘s and that had great respect for them. th  End of 13 cent. BC evidence of earthquake activity  Decline in Mycenaean power  Hostile forces from the east? Schliemann and Troy  Heinrich Schliemann : found troy, not a professional archaeologist, he was a businessman. Had an interest in the classics and discovered the ancient ruins of Mycenae and Troy (set about to find both).  Troy is located in Turkey. Most of the ruin has not yet been excavated  The site was discovered in 1820, and excavated by Schliemann from 1870-1890  The most influential excavations were caries out by Carl Blegen of the University o Cincinnati (1932-1938)  Important recent excavations by Manfred Korfimann (1988-present) Troy and Homer 11/21/2011 11:18:00 AM Classics Lecture 3 – Troy and Homer The Site of Troy  Was discovered in 1820, and excavated by Schliemann from 1870- 1890  The site was occupied from ca 3000 B.C.E to 1200 C.E  There were more than 46 building phases, which are grouped in 9 bands (meaning the area had been built and rebuilt around 46 times)  The Troy from the story of the Iliad is identified with layers VI-VIIb  There is still much controversy over Troy  There is a belief that ‗The Iliad‘ was inspired by true events  After being excavated, Troy turned out to be just as large as described in ‗The Iliad‘  The area around Troy was a prominent trade route, making Troy the controller of the trade routes, which would make them wealthy.  Troy was probably an outpost of the Hittite Empire, not a Greek speaking area as described in ‗The Iliad‘ The Homeric Poems  Considered the central texts of Greek culture  Greek poetry was sung in a performance, instead of simply being read  Homeric poems were epics  Epics: o A substantial narrative poem in dactylic hexameters o Elevated tone o Concerns the exploits of Gods and Heroes o Subject matter derived from traditional myth o Many conventional features (e.g. formulaic language, archaisms, type-scenes, extended similes) o Usually very long o The stories have been handed down through generations, told and retold, copied and re-copied  There are inconsistencies within the Homeric poems  There are views that the Homeric poems where a collection of poems written by different authors  Milman Parry was a major contributor to the Homeric debate  He studied the ‗formulae‘ of the Homeric poems  Concluded that ‗The Iliad‘ and ‗The Odyssey‘ were the products f the oral tradition of heroic song.  Found a modern tradition in the former Yugoslavia  He concluded that Homer‘s poems were the product of a tradition of songs  The Homeric poems were thought by him to be the product of a tradition of sung stories Troy and Homer Cont‘d 11/21/2011 11:18:00 AM Possible implications of oral theory  No single poet is fully responsible for the composition of the Homeric poems o And so no ‗Homer‘ in the usual sense of an author  Language and content shaped over time  No single authoritative version o Extemporization was important in the tradition  The Homeric poems had collective importance o ―A tribal encyclopedia‖ (Havelock)?  Poets gave expression that no one poet could rival.  They remain the foundation of cultural thinking Limitations of oral theory  May overrate the strength of the tradition, and underrate the contributions of individuals singers  Fails to explain the emergence of a fixed text  Fails to explain convincingly the transition from oral poem to written text  Has not formulated strategy for ‗reading‘ these texts  A lot of Homeric poems did not survive, yet some of the summaries did.  An oral singer could not write- some other way to write these poems down. (While the singer was performing, someone else would scribe)  When singer learned to write, they learned to express there emotion properly and formally  First recorded Olympic 776 BC – first written text  Homer‘s Iliad  Salient characteristics: narrative, speeches, similes, divine ‗machinery‘, etc.  Basic divisions (24 ‗books‘) at one point could have physically corresponded to scrolls  Covers 14 days of a war that lasted 10 years – gives you a feel of the whole war  Expansive narrative combined with remarkable compression.  The poem treats only 14 days in a war that lasted 10 years.  General structure and themes  Influence  Themes of anger (Achilles) – as you read the poem you have trouble to connecting or identifying with Achilles. Hector is a character we connect with as he his fighting for his home and his family. Achilles kills Hector, but does not appease his anger, so he continues to mutilate Hectors corpse.  Greatest work of literature on human conflict Troy and homer cont‘d 11/21/2011 11:18:00 AM Homer‘s Odyssey  Similar to the Iliad in character but very different in themes and structure  Regarded as the lesser poem in antiquity  Focus on the wanderings and sufferings of Odysseus  Explores the nature of human society by viewing it from without  Extensive use of folktales, often with striking parallels from the near eastern tradition  About society in the larger sense- family, community – much more interested in the roles we play in non military life  Greeks had a clear sense of the physical world and how it looked  What happens? All the princes want to marry the princess who now may be a widow. The early Epic Tradition  The Epic Cycle  Homeric Hymns  Hesiod o Theogony o Works and days o Catalogue of women etc. Art  Popular art, vase painting. Usually a drinking glass, and decorate their houses with them.  Another popular scene seen on vases is Odysseus escaping on the underside of a sheep  From the Dark age to the Archaic period 11/21/2011 11:18:00 AM Fall of Mycenaean Civilization  Beginning ca 1200 BC Mycenaean civilization began to falter o Palaces were attacked and destroyed o Many were abandoned o A breakdown of social cohesion  By 1100 BC the palace-communities were gone.  Great NE empires (Hittites, Egypt) were also in trouble  Troy fell ca 1250-1200 BC What happened?  It is easier to describe what happened than account for it  Various theories: o Marauding ‗sea-people‘ (as they are called in Egyptian texts) o Dorian ‗invasion‘ o A massive system collapse – could have been a plague, natural disaster (earthquake) Dark Age (115-700 BC)  A period of decline and slow reorganization and recovery.  Archaeological evidence sparse (graves for the most part).  The expression ‗dark age‘ suggests more consistency than the archaeological record has shown.  Some regions recovered sooner than others.  Not a return to a primitive state.  The elaborate architecture of the palaces and the bureaucracy of Mycenaean Civilization were gone.  So too was literacy  But life continued: o Agriculture o Livestock o Spinning and weaving (a diminution of skill and quality) o Pottery (improved technology) o Smelting and working iron (after 1050 BC) – people were buried with iron weapons o By 950 BC weapons in graves were typically made of iron, not bronze.  Beginning of colonization of Asia Minor  Greek presence opened the door to a later ‗Orientalizing‘ period.  Consolidation of settlements such as Corinth and Athens (become more important)  Large-scale bureaucracy replaced by local power structures. o E.g. ‗chieftains‘, clan-groups, ‗warrior class‘ o There was considerable variety. o The foundation for the development of the city-states (poleis) End of the Dark Age  Rise of a land-owning elite (aristocracy)  Emphasized divisions in society  Forced many to relocate  Colonization and trade  New settlements in southern Italy and Sicily  Establishments of trading ties abroad  Alphabet and literacy  Considerable development of religious festival o PanHellenic worship o Certain cult-centres became prominent (e.g. Delphi, Dodona) o Olympic games (first recorded in 776 BC) o Renewed interest I Mycenaean tombs (and burial practices)  Ancestor cult  Hero cult  (Powerful dead men worshiped in cult, worshiped their own dead ancestors)  They all serve the function to reinforce a sense of identity Archaic Period 11/21/2011 11:18:00 AM ca 700-500 BC Archaic Greece  Trade and colonization o Cities are prosperous o A lot of colonization, disease at a minimum, no plague reproduction (population increase) o International relations  Panhellenic religious festivals proliferated and grew in importance o People would make the trip to attend certain festivals o Popular ―the great Pan-Hellenic festival‖  Prominence of ‗new‘ literary forms o People started to keep poems as texts, earliest surviving  Development of artistic expression  vase-painting  sculpture o realism (incredible detail within the sculpture)  architecture  ‗Birth‘ of philosophy  Rise of the city-state (polis)  wars proliferated  civil unrest  a by-product of the stratification of society  an aristocratic elite is naturally complement by a subordinate poor. Rise of the City state  City-state (polis) is a convenient modern term to describe the most conspicuous political unit of Archaic and Classical Greece:  A central city and its surrounding territory o E.g., Athens and Attica o The arrangement is a natural development of political conditions of the Dark Age  Aspects are implicit in the Homeric poems Synoecism (Political Unification)  The basic political elements of early Greek society o A Basileus (chieftain) o Council of others o Assembly (of men of fighting age o The demos – suspected that they had control of things, but sometimes never achieved any kind of authority. They only contained adult male citizens. No women or children could participate in government  Clan-ties were used to bing together the various group both within the city and in the surrounding region  This is called the Greek synoikismos Forms of Government  There was a tendency to eliminate or reduce the rôle of the basileus  Re-allocation of various leadership rôles  Aristocratic council (‗elders‘) gains importance  Decrease in importance of popular council  Development of complex civic structures  Of central importance was the army Greek Lyric Poetry  This title is somewhat misleading, although it has been important for many intellectual histories of Greece. th th  A great deal of ‗lyric‘ poetry was written down during the 7 and 6 centuries BC  little has survived into the modern world  There were clearly rich and varied traditions of solo-song stretching well back to the Bronze Age (and beyond). Lyric vs. Lyric We use the word lyric to refer to a broad range of personal poetry.  The word properly refers to poetry sung to the accompaniment of a lyre (lyra).  The aulos was also used to accompany some kinds of poetry.  The early Greeks often used the word melos (‗song‘) o Melic poetry Characteristics of early Greek poetry  Very different from modern notions of personal poetry  a ―spontaneous outpouring of emotion‖ (Wordsworth)  It was sung and so performed, not designed for reading.  Closely bound to occasions: o Religious festivals o Weddings o Funerals o Victory-celebrations o Symposia  Formal and often traditional in character  Complex metres  Highly complex language o Elevated and artificial o Doric dialect common in some types, Ionic in others (even when produced in non-Dorian and non-Ionian communities).  Two basic modes: o Solo-song (monody) o Choral poetry The major figures  Choral o Alcman o Stesichorus o Simonides o Bacchylides o Pindar  Monody o Alcaeus o Sappho o Anacreon  Iambos o Archilochus o Semonides o Hipponax  Elegy o Tyrtaeus o Solon o Mimnermus o Theognis Sculptures 11/21/2011 11:18:00 AM From the dark age to the Archaic Age  The skills necessary to produce a large-scale work like the Lion Gate at Mycenae seem to have been lost  But the production of smaller (often sacred) figurines continued  Some evidence for continuity from the bronze age, as well as innovations (warriors, centaurs etc. )  ―kouras‖ sculpture (slide 2 ) represents the change from a boy to a man. Usually naked  ―Terracotta Centaur‖ Sculpture in the Archaic Period  Bronze continued to be a prized metal  Decorated cauldrons and tripods  Numerous small mold-made (and so mass-produced) terracotta figurines o A female figure reminiscent of the NE goddess Astarte common  Marble becomes and important medium beginning near the end of the 7 thcentury BC.  Two major types o Standing male kouros o Standing clothed female kore  A development from rather abstract stylization to greater naturalism  Sculpture of Zeus: remarkable detail (vein work in the foot) life size. Sculpture of Poseidon missing the trident, probably because it was made of bronze and melted down.  Techniques continued to develop  In later antiquity Greeks sculptors created pieces characterized by naturalness that would not be out of place in the Baroque or Rococo Period  The building of temples to the gods remained a priority for Greek communities  The temples were surrounded by colonnades  The architectural ‗orders‘ were designed for these exteriors  The ‗orders‘ represent a lasting contribution to western architecture and help define the classical style  Three main ‗orders‘ o Doric o Ionic o Corinthian The Persian Wars 11/21/2011 11:18:00 AM Greek warfare  Persians  Athenians  Spartans  The conflict  War was a persistent feature of Greek society  Conflicts grew in scale as large power blocks emerged  War shaped the institutions, society, and economy of the Greek world  Military function and social and political status were closely related o Important statements of this in both Homer and Aristotle o This accounts, in part at least, for the exclusion of women from political and public life o Political life was all about military life, and women were not a part of that  Victory in what was seen as indicative of divine favour o There is a large religious component to war in antiquity  At Athens the war dead were buried with an annual public ceremony and an oration that linked he fallen with the achievements of the polis o War underpins civic ideology  The Greeks were very much aware of the destructive side of war o ―No one is so foolish as to prefer war to peace: in peace children bury their fathers, while in war fathers bury their children.‖ (Herodotus) o A common theme in tragedy and comedy. o Historians regularly focused on the suffering of communities in defeat. o War is ―a violent teacher‖ (Thucydides)  After the Persian Wars (Greeks vs Foreigners) the view that Greeks should not fight Greeks was often expressed (e.g. by Plato), but the legitimacy of war itself was rarely questioned. Techniques of Greek Warfare  No theoretical treatises from early Greece.  The Iliad seems to emphasize single combat.  Tyrtaeus stresses the cohesion of the group  Hoplite warfare o the phalanx  Our idea of tactics is sketchy o In the Persian Wars the Greeks seem to have thought in terms of large-scale strategy for the first time.  The Athenian development of sea power introduced a new element to warfare. The Persians  In the narrow sense Persia is the name of the country lying in the folds of the Zagros mountains  In a broader sense Persia ( and the Persians) refers to the territory ruled form Persia that extended to the Greek cities on the coast of th Asian Minor in the 6 century BC  Like many people the Persians amassed and empire th  At the beginning of the 5 century BC (490 and 480) the Persians made to attempt to expand the empire to include Greece o Hence the Persian wars  There were complex ties between Greece and the Persians both before and after Persian wars  The approaching Persian forces polarized the Greek city-states o Some saw Persian victory as inevitable and advocated capitulation (‗Medizers‘)  The Greeks often referred to Persians as Medes o Others resisted (Sparta and Athens were the leaders) Sparta  Located in Lanconia, the Peloponnese in mainland Greece  Evidence for substantial Neolithic community in the area  Origins of Sparta shrouded in myth and legend:  the return of the Heraclids (descendants of Heracles)  the ‗Dorian invasion‘  Archaeology suggests a break with the Bronze Age  Sparta emerged as a major power in the 8 thcentury BC by conquering neighboring Messenia and enslaving its population (helots- which means taken or the captured)  Sparta was transformed both culturally and militarily o Dedications at the Temple of Artemis Orthia o Visits from distinguished poets  During the 7 thcentury Sparta was beset by numerous problems o A major Messenian revolt ( the second Messenian war) o Internal discontent from poor citizens o Military defeat by Argos in 669 BC th  During the 6 century Sparta successfully addressed its external problems by: o several successful wars o the creation of the so-called Peloponnesian League (which in turn provide support against the Helots)  Internal problems were addressed by  extending control over the whole of Messenia  re-organizing the structure of Spartan society to achieve a compromise between rich and poor (Lycurgus, the law-giver).  An economic system, according to which citizenship was given to several thousand men who served as full-time hoplites and were supported by produce provided by helots; the hoplites could perform no manual labour. Sole function was to fight  A political system which consolidated power in a small group (magistrates, two kings, council of elders). (group of officials ) o Maintained all political authority  A social and ritual system in which all Spartiates (except the two kings and their immediate heirs) underwent an austere upbringing and education that stressed corporate military values. o All about becoming a fighter  The result was eunomia (‗good order‘), which was admired for its long-term stability. o Lasted a long time – the diverse culture that attracted poets, was largely sacrificed  a society of peers rather than equals (homoioi) o result- very impressive society Athens  Not a major centre in the Bronze age o Not a significant player  Continuous habitation has largely effaced any archaeological record of prehistoric settlements  Attracted ―refuge‖ groups after the collapse of Mycenaean society  The Athenians perpetuated the myth of authochthony  Achieved eminence and influence during the archaic period The Persian Wars Herodotus  The father of history  His account of the Persian wars is the first real work of historiography, and remained a central masterpiece of Greek literature  Little is known of his life or precise chronology o B. ―a little before the Persian wars‖? o From Halicarnassus (modern Bordrum on the Aegean coast of turkey) o Halicarnassus was under Persian control at this time  Strong ties with Athens  His histories was well known ca 425 BC  His language , however, is that of the Ionian coast  Seems to have participated in a struggle against the Persians in his native area.  The result was exile.  Travel to many places (including Egypt).  Spent considerable time in Athens.  A friend of the tragic poet Sophocles.  Died in the 420s BC? Histories  A series of detailed, inter connected narratives focused around the Persian Wars o begins with the fall of Lydia in 545 BC, and looks forward to the 420s BC. o A rich variety of style. o A ‗joy at story-telling‘ (‗Freude an der Erzählung’). o Very different from Thucydides, the great historian of the Peloponnesian War. Persian wars: the conflict  Two Persian attempts to conquer mainland Greece:  490 BC (under Darius)  480/79 BC (under Xerxes)  The origins go back to the revolt of Asiatic Greeks at the beginning of the 5thcentury.  Herodotus dramatizes the Persian desire for revenge.  In reality the campaigns were intended to secure Persian rule over existing Greek subjects.  The first attack was by sea  a number of islands (including Naxos) were subjugated.  The Battle of Marathon  a crucial event in the war  The Athenians and their allies from Plataea had ca 10,000 men.  The Persian force was probably twice that size.  The Athenians defeated the Persians by thinning their line at the centre and strengthening the ‗wings‘.  They pursued the defeated Persians to their ships, and captured 7 ships.  Apparently 6,400 Persians died; 192 Athenians.  This brought to an end Darius‘ campaign.  Darius died  a revolt in Egypt The campaign of 480/79 BC  The Persian army was led by Xerxes, the Great King, himself.  A very large invading force. o Just how large remains controversial o A fleet of 1,207 triremes? o An army of 100,000? Very large force o Big enough that many Greeks though it was hopeless  The Delphic oracle predicted a Persian victory. o The Athenians were told to flee, and later to rely on a wooden wall. o The latter was interpreted as referring to their newly-built navy. o The Athenian resolved to resist o An alliance emerged with the Spartans in command o The Battle od Thermopylae  Small contingent of Spartans for two says  Betrayed by ocals  The bravery of the fallen became rallying cry  Athenians retreated to Salamis  Athens was evacuated and Attica occupied, as was most of central Greece.  Themistocles orchestrated a naval victory near Salamis.  Xerxes withdrew to Asia, leaving his general Mardonius in charge of the campaign.  Persian command was based in Thessaly.  Mardonius attempted to deal with the Athenians through negotiations.  Hostilities continue with a Greek counter-attack. o Mardonius killed. o Persians withdraw from central Greece  but eventually a treaty (449/8 BC) secures the independence of Asiatic Greeks.  Persia had learned to respect Greek military strength.  continued to take an interest in Greek affairs.  The Greeks gained an enhanced sense of their ‗Greekness‘  Athenians rejected Mardonius‘ terms in the name of ―Greek community of blood and language and religion and ways of life.‖ The Peloponnesian War 11/21/2011 11:18:00 AM The conflict between the Athenians and the Spartans goes back to the Persian Wars Internal problems pre-occupied Sparta, while the Athenian empire (Delian League) grew Active hostilities begin in the 460s and continued (with various interruptions) until the Athenians were defeated in 404 BC the Thirty Years Peace of 446 BC divides the conflict into two phases the great Peloponnesian War was fought from 431-404 BC Thucydides  Author of an incomplete history of the war between Athens and Sparta, the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC)  Born ca 460 BC (perhaps earlier)  served as general in 424 BC (and so was at least 30 years old)  Died ca 400 BC  internal evidence, as well as an ancient biography. A few details of his life….  He came from an aristocratic family  Strong family ties to Cimon, and those opposed to Pericles  But he followed Pericles with a convert‘s zeal.  He caught the plague (430-427 BC), but recovered.  His account of the plague is both highly detailed and puzzling.  In 424 BC he failed as a general to save Amphipolis from the Spartans.  He was exiled for this, and returned 20 years later (died shortly afterwards) His work…  An everlasting possession rather than a prize composition which is heard for the moment [i.e., heard and then forgotten]‖ (1.22)  ―My work is not a piece of writing designed to meet the taste of an immediate public, but was done to last for ever‖  The incomplete history falls into 5 parts: o Introduction o The ten years war o Uneasy peace o The Sicilian Expedition o The Decelean War (fragment)  Of these 2 and 4 seem the most polished.  5 ends in the winter of 411 BC, but it is clear that he intended to narrate events to 404 BC Character of Thucydides history  In addition to the narrative of events, Thucydides uses extended speeches.  The speeches in Thucydides constitute a fascinating series of texts.  In particular the epitaphios (funeral oration) delivered by Pericles (winter of 430/31 BC) is an extraordinary statement of the Athenian sense of their own greatness.  There are other versions of this speech, and Thucydides‘ speech is quite distinct. Thucydides‘ speeches cont.  ―The speeches offer further evidence that two hearts beat in Thucydides‘ breast‖ (Hornblower)- tension between the subjective and the objective  An unresolved contradiction: o the subjective o the objective  This remains a central challenge for those who write history. Thucydideds styles  A very bold and often difficult style (esp. in the speeches)  At times he verges on the experimental (e.g. the description of status in Corcyra in book 3)  Dionysius of Halicarnassus sums up the four instruments of Thucydides style:  Poetic vocabulary  Great variety of figures  Harshness of sound combination  Swiftness of saying what he has to say Thucydides‘ importance  Thucydides has been seen as the model of history in its modern sense: o ―wars and the administration of public affairs‖ (Gibbon) are the prinicipal subjects of history  many would disagree with this  Thucydides does not use the words ‗history‘ (historia) or ‗historian‘ (historikos) at all.  His accomplishment is more complicated than most modern assessment will allow. Democracy at Athens 11/21/2011 11:18:00 AM END OF INFORMATION ON MIDTERM Forms of Government Kingship  A Bronze age reality (the wanax)  a myth by the classical period Tyranny  A tyrannos is a term for an individual who seizes control of an existing government  Not necessarily bad (the negative connotations come from Plato and Aristotle) Oligarchy  Lit ―rile by the few‖  The most common form of government in the archaic eriod  For Aristotle= rule by the rich Democracy  Direct vs. representational or parliamentary democracy  For Aristotle=rule by the poor Athenian Democracy: ideology  It means (kratos) of the people (demos) o Decisions of the assembly: ‗ it seems good to the people…‖  Demokratia was hotly debated form of constitution o Often criticized by oligarchs and philosophers  Athenian democrats believed that democracy was intimately connected with liberty and equality (thuc 2.37) What or who are the Demos  To democrats: the who
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