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Bronze Age and Homer - Hunting

4 Pages

Classical Studies
Course Code
Classical Studies 2302A/B
David Lamari

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BronzeAge and Homer – Hunting Minoan Sport (c. 1750-1150) Crete – Minoan (1 culture) and another on Greece which spoke Greek – Mycenean -Dorion invasion and kicking the people out – origins -dorions carved out for themselves the southern part of Greece – dark skin, didn’t speak greek, hyper competitive and militaristic – not really artistic, poetic, but they were aggressive and competitive -sparta was a good example of Dorions (Peloponnesos) -sparta persue excellence (military) how do you achieve it? Devote yourself to it – therefore no music -for them arête was military excellence - out of these hyper competitive people athletics were born – somehow this makes you a better person -romans asked why not be competitive in conquering other people -excelling in athletics made you a great person -many of the earliest competitions – in southern greece Bull-leaping  bull coming towards you – try to grab his horns – you use him trying to throw you to propel yourself onto the back of the bull (none surviving – remains from crete – nobody has ever landed on their feet – not clear if it is even a sport) – doesn’t suffice – for a competition Tumbling Boxing  two fists bound with gloves – 2 men fighting – fresco (painting) on an island off the coast of crete – birth place of some competition? – rhyton is a ceremonial vessel (figure 26) from crete – figure 27 shows whats depicted on it – guys at the top are boxing, bulls beneath below is more boxing and ore boxing on the bottom – arguments against this being athletic competition > no prizes, multiple boxing matches – all have the same gesture (helmets present) – guys on the top – 2 are back to back? – Want literature and somebody explaining it before you say they are competing for a prize – Tripod figure 28 – guys standing over a tripod – arm wrestling? Cant tell what they are doing – Vases where we cant depict what they are doing No Literature – fragments we have we can’t comprehend because the language has been lost in time Acrobatics figure 23 – somersalt or just bending over backwards – most of the references aren’t competitions it is just for entertainment Mycenaean Sport - less information on main land of athletics Hunting/ chariot racing religious ceremonies, or funeral games -randoms depictions on art but can’t tell what they are – on Greece itself really no evidence until we get to homer (below) Homer's epics, c. 820  primary source -area – watch – footrace, want to see who is the fastest in Greece (birthplace) 50 years before that -he’s writing about people that lived about 400 years ago (Mycaneans etc) Trojan War (c. 1200??)  earliest evidence of greek athletics – these heroes want first prize – athletic competition -funeral – Achilles friend dies – when a great person dies, in their honour, all his equals get together and compete against each other to honour his memory -why is this so tantalizing? Real evidence – Homeric question The Homeric Question  why does Homer make so many mistakes in his poems? – his poems are set in a world that doesn’t have iron (it’s the bronze age) – every now and then he’ll make reference that a prize is a piece of iron – a character could die in his poem and then come back to life (makes all of these mistakes) – is he a bad poet? No, is it possible that it’s a bunch if poems not just one? How does he make this many mistakes – Homer made up the poem as it went along – he was a singer and he improved – he was called a “Bard” – he sang poems, and made up the poem as he went along – off the top of his head – create a stream of hip hop poetry – composed so many he can do it on any topic – reason why for us this is a nightmare is because Homer is a singer around 820 and hes signing about events in the year 1200 but hes heard so many poems about all sorts of different times (before 1200, poems set in egypts/Cyprus/mainland etc) – hes heard all of these poems so as he makes his up – he throws in any bits of poetry he can remember from any poem hes hea
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