CS 1000 - Week 5
Lecture 1 October 7, 2013
For Iambos and Elegy see last week’s notes
(C) Choral: originated in the context of religious festivals; remains are very fragmentary;
sung by many people (unlike iambos and elegy).
(1) Alcman: Spartan poet; a fragment exists about a ritual for young girls. We only have
the second half of the poem but it is useful because it gives us a glimpse into early Sparta.
• The Spartans once had an elaborate culture but because of internal political issues
stopped focusing on the arts and they developed a reputation of being concerned
only with warfare.
• Poets (2)-(5) all used myth in their poems which calls back to Homer but they
used and treated myths very differently.
(D) Monody: more free ranging in terms of its lyric style; solo singing often thought of
as personal poetry.
• We have lyric poetry from all over the Greek world.
o What is interesting is thatAthens really doesn’t have this type of poetry
since it doesn’t start as a cultural force until later (although some lyric
poets do visit).
• Slides: Examples of Greek lyric poetry
o (1) Anacreon fragment 358 PMG:
Anacreon was a monody poet who was celebrated in antiquity for
his love of wine, he was esteemed by the elite and his songs were
probably sung at symposia (drinking parties).
This fragment talks about falling in love and being rejected. This
is one of the most controversial fragments of early Greek poetry.
For the poet love is always familiar (here he says ‘once again’) and
in Greece falling in love is a painful process and is seen almost as
being a disease. It is a force that exists outside you and acts upon
o Slide: Eros (‘desire’) is displayed as a youth with a garland and a goose
(which is sacred to Aphrodite).
o Anacreon is struck with a ball (the arrow comes later but in the earliest
representations of Eros, he throws a ball at you); perhaps the girls are
playing with a ball and it hits him (she is assimilated with love then).
At symposia if a woman wanted to show interest in a guest she
would through an apple at him.
o Stanza one is about falling in love but stanza two is about being rejected
o The girl is not interested in him – a parenthetical explanation comes in the
middle of the line and says that she is from Lesbos.
o In Greek, she gapes after ‘another’.
The feminine gender of the word in Greek shows us that it is
something feminine that she is interested in. Many scholars think
that she is interested in another woman, which they support with
the fact that the poet explains that she is from Lesbos.
This isn’t necessarily right because everything that we think hinges
on the interpretation of Lesbos. It is important to ask, when did
Lesbos become associated with female sexuality? It might not be
an ancient association. Sappho is from here, she writes love poems
about women, but there is no good ancient evidence to connect the
name of the island with the sexual orientation of the poet. This
association was a later invention.
The poet Catullus used a poem by Sappho to woo his married
lover. In the poems he wrote about his lover he exchanged her
name ‘Clodia’for ‘Lesbia’in order to protect both of them.
• Would he have done this if his Roman readers associated
the name ‘Lesbia’with female homosexuality?
o Saying that she comes from Lesbos, then, means that she can choose and
that she is sophisticated.
o It is likely that she is interested in another man and not him.
o The aged loving is a persistent theme inAnacreon’s poetry as a source of
irony and nostalgia.
o This poem illustrates how difficult it is to work with these texts since we
associated them with certain concepts and our own culture, which is not
the same as early Greek culture.
• Slide: The ‘New’Sappho: this poem was published in 2004; shows a more
personal side but also myth; telling young people (probably girls) to sing and
dance then she turns to herself and explains the onset of age in her body and she is
distinguishing herself from the young group of girls. She says that no one can
escape old age and mentions the myth of Tithonus (Trojan prince carried off by
the dawn and she made him immortal but forgot to get him made ageless so he
becomes a paradigm for growing old in the worst way possible). This is
interesting because she says ‘people used to think’which shows that people don’t
necessarily think that at her time. He may have escaped from death but he is
forever aging which is why these people don’t think this anymore. 3
o This shows moral points being made but also in the context of myth.
o Sappho can acknowledge her age and frailty but she can’t do anything
about it (and this is what it means to be human).
Art from the Dark Age to Archaic Period
• Most of our knowledge comes from vases (mostly because they were largely used
as grave goods).
• Evidence for the evolving style in their decoration.
• From the 11 -8 century, vases were decorated but without images but after 750
BCE, there is a new style which emphasizes figures and even scenes of actions
(with the new interest in representing the human form).
o Late Geometric Period (ca. 750-700 BCE)
o Orientalizing Period
• Slide: the Greeks had many different types of vessels ranging in size and
decoration. They are functional, used for storing, serving, and drinking.Alot of
them were used at symposia (many of the vases have scenes which reflect
Greek Pottery Production
• There was a three stage firing process:
o (1) fired and oxidized with air circulation
o (2) reducing conditions (high temp, wood smoke, no air);
o (3) oxidizing again (red color, but black gloss remained black)
• There were two types of pottery: black figure and red figure.
Styles of Vase Painting
• Black figure: invented around 720 BCE at Corinth but theAthenians perfected it.
o Lines were incised onto a silhouette with the addition of red and white –
figures drawn with realism.
• Red figure: invented around 525 BCE inAthens: figures are left red and the
background is painted black.
o Details are applied with a brush with allows for fluidity of drawing.
Slides: First slide is a black figure pottery showing two soldiers (in a scene from the
Iliad). The second slide shows an older pot in the left. The third slide shows the
geometric period and the types of designs that were put on pots. In the Orientalizing
period figures are represented (figures are not very realistic). The fourth slide shows this
type of decoration. 4
Lecture 2 October 9, 2013
Greek Art Continued
• Slide:Attic geometric amphora. Highly stylized; scene depicts the prothesis
‘setting out of the body’and the mourning and lamentation at a funeral with the
dead figure in the center while the women are ululating. The figures are different
sizes (ex. Children are diminutive adults of a smaller size) with the most
important figures being the largest (this is similar to Egyptian art). There are also
animals which might be decorative or for offerings.
• Slide: Two geometric vases. We start to see the recreation of more identifiable
scenes. Scene with a man with two horses on each side showing the emphasis on
horses in these vases.
o In the Classical Period, horses are extremely important as markers of
status. There was a whole class of well-off individuals called hippeis
which means ‘horse-men’. They are often referred to as knights in
English but they were actually just men who owned horses. Horses were
symbols of luxury because they were so expensive to maintain and not
• Slide: two white colored pots. This is a glimpse of the Greek imagination; we can
see the development of black figure vases. The left vase depicts part of the myth
of Herakles on top with gorgons on the bottom of the vase. Gorgons are
apotropaic, they turn away evil since the Greeks believed bad spirits were
everywhere). On the right vase, there is a depiction of a sea god.
o Herakles and Nessos: Deianira (Herakles’wife) was trying to cross a river
but could not so Nessos (a centaur) offered to carry her across. He tried to
rape her while crossing the river so Herakles shot him with a poisoned
arrow. When he was about to die, Nessos told Deianira to take some of his
blood and use it as a potion if Herakles should fall out of love with her.
Eventually Herakles lost interest in his wife and came home with a
princess. Deianira took the blood out of storage and put it on a cloak. She
didn’t know that poison was mixed with the blood and when Herakles put
it on it stuck to his skin and burned him. He ordered his followers to take
him to Mount Oeta and burn him alive.After he dies, he is made a god
marries the incarnation of Youth and Deianira commits suicide.
• Slide: vessels with animal features. On the right there is a scene of warfare with
hoplites and knights on horses at the bottom.
• Slide: fragment of anAttic bowl showing a sphinx which proves the influence of
the Near East (in the case Egypt).
• Slide: Scenes from Homer onAttic vessels; Odysseus blinding the Cyclops
• Slide: Red figure calyx krater. the basic process of making pottery and decorating
it remained the same but in red figure pottery a brush is used to draw figures 5
(instead of incising the pot). This allowed artists to put more detail into the human
figure. On this krater there is a corpse (Sarpedon) with two winged figures and in
the center is Hermes.
o This is directly from Homer’s Iliad
o Zeus is watching the battle and sees the Patroclus (Achilles’friend) is
fighting in the battlefield and is in a rampage.
o Zeus sees Patroclus going towards one of his sons, named Sarpedon. Zeus
is overwhelmed with distres