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Classical Studies 2302A/B Lecture Notes - Homeric Question, Chariot Racing, Rhyton

Classical Studies
Course Code
CS 2302A/B
David Lamari

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Bronze Age 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
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
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
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