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Classical Studies
Classical Studies 3151F/G

The Greeks The Gymnasium - Boys have been called to practice from an early age - Gymnos – “naked” (naked exercise customary) - Early on – gymnasium was an open place with facilities for changing, then adjacent buildings where teaching took place - Children, along with learning music and poetry, were sent to a trainer to build physical strength and good bodies (so not to be a coward in war) - In Athens, youth between 18 and 20 had to undergo military training ( 1 year in barracks in the nd Piraeus and 2 year as apprentice hoplites in the colonies) - In Sparta – naked excercises were institutionalized in a festival (Gynmnopaediae) – attended by the king  endurance of bodily pain, rigour, discipline, whippings - In Athens – gym also a place of relaxation - Cloister – colonnades that gave shade from the sun in the summer heat ... Socrates talks about how he meets Euthydemus in the undressing room of a gymnasium - Gymnasia were municipally owned - Palaestra – wrestling floor – privately owned o After military service, Socrates drops in on his old haunts for conversation at a palaestra o Palaestra – setting for ceremonies… a place for contemplation and celebration of the body beautiful - Socrates catches sight of a beautiful youth and enquires about him -?? 93 Games - Primary purpose of physical training was military but also promoted athletic talent for competitive games - Established in Greece in the classical times, most famous being the Olympian, Pythian, Nemean and Isthmian - Olympic games first instituted by Heracles – dedicated to zeus and thankgiving for victorties - Time measured in 4 – year Olympic cycle by naming victor - First – 776 BC – foot race - Hieromenia – holy time of the month – armistice throughout Greece - Games were part of a religious occasion – could be said games were a religion o Well regulated – Eleans appointed judges and administered the competitions - Olympic law very important – Spartans refused entry for not paying a fine… Spartans sent hoplites of theirs and made an attack at a time of Olympic truce and had to pay a fine – Spartans protested saying they made attack before the truce o Although Spartans did not back down or pay fine, did not intervene by force which they could have (restrained by respect of Olympic law) - All Greeks eligible to compete – only men allowed to watch o Separate women’s games in honour of Hera - Victors hoped for a statue or poetic phrase about them o Very honorary to win the games – as seen by the boasting scripture in textbook Literature Introduction Aristotle – “ the instinct for imitation is natural to us as is also a feeling for music and for rhythm” - For epic, Homer used diactylic hexameter o Composed of 6 units or feet o Each unit may be a dactyl made up of a long syllable followed by two short syllables or by a spondee made up to two long syllables - Greek metre not determined by a pattern of stressed or unstressed syllables - After homer, other kinds formed such as the elegiac couplet (hexameter followed by a pentameter) used for epitaphs, inscriptions and epigrams - See textbook pg. 103 - Iambic – metre for spoken parts of drama – first used for occasional poems o Pattern allows for syllables to be either short or long o Makes metre very flexible - Archilochus – earliest post-homer surviving poetry – used both - Early lyric poetry – performed usually at a symposium or drinking party had two branches o Aeoian – from northern Asia minor – monadic (composed for one voice) and monostrophic (written in stanzas that repeat the same metrical form)  Two main reps: Sappho (much poetry dedicated to Aphrodite and muses) and Alcaeus (gods, war and political poems, love poems and drinking songs) – names given to favoured metrical forms o The dorian choral lyrics – involved dancing – triadic structure involving strophe, antistrophe and epode  Many kinds: hymeneal, the hymn, the dithyramb in honor of Dionysus . threnody and encomium  Pindar – heroic odes - celebrate aristocratic values Philosophy The Presocratics - Philosophy – “love of wisdom” - First thinkers consciously to reject world handed down from traditional myths – Ionia in the 7 th th and 6 centuries - Movement of myth to philosophy made easier by nature of myths (Zeus is not omnipotent or omniscent) - Little remains of presocratics besides quotations from later authors - Earliest Ionian thinker: Thales of Miletus o Believed primary substance from which everything came into being and of which all is ultimately is made is water - Their common enquiry was into nature of the physical universe on the assumption that it is both one and intelligible - Pythagoras – against materialism of early Ionians o Doctrine of soul’s immortality and its reincarnation in a cycle of lives in the animal and human spheres o Body is the prison or tomb of the soul – purified in an ascetic life of study o Talked about universe in metaphysical terms – advancements in math and music o Word “kosmos” – good order/decency – perfect order or universe - Heraclitus of Ephesus – fire primordial substance o World is n everlasting fire which is partly flaring up and partly dying down in equal measure – constant balance in which tension and strife is essential o Primordial element – “Logos” – universal reason – principle that there is unity in diversity and diversity in unity - identified with what is eternal and constant while phenomenal world constantly changing - Parmenides – Being, the One, is real; Becoming, change is illusion o Being is the only true object of knowledge and is known through reason and thought - Cicero – “Socrates brought philosophy down from the skies to the common problems of mankind” – moved from physics to ethics - Greater shift took place in Greece as a whole - Complementary aspects of the growing Greek enlightenment The Symposium - “drinking party” - Took place in the andron (men’s quarters) - Reclining couches with tables in the middle - Usually a master of ceremonies - leader to conduct the ceremonies in a sober manner - Wine and entertainment - Plato’s symposium: agathon’s house. Alcibiades comes in late and drunk, encourages everyone to drink. Someone mentions that this is wrong having said no thanksgiving before they drink - Socrates is a man of extraordinary self control - Custom is to drink out of small cups and dilute the wine, 3:1 proportion of water:wine; Alcibiades broke this custom - Xenophon also wrote an account of the Socrates drinking party - Autoclycus – beauty drew everyone’s attention to him- modest and self controlled - Callias loved him - Unfussy and open appreciation of male beauty - Flute girls worked as prostitiutes and entertainment in the red light district of Athens - Different kind of symposium in Xenophon’s history – celebrating festival of Aphrodite - assasins brought in disguised as heitairai Homosexuality - In the discussion of love in the symposium, Pausanias used two different stories about Aphrodite to distinguise common love and heavenly love o One born of zeus and dione- common love – this is the love that men feel whether for women or boys o Physical rather than spiritual o Heavenly Aphrodite – no female strain in her, spring entirely from the male – older and free from wantonness – hence those inspired by this love are attracted to the male sex – value it as being stronger and more intelligent o Alludes to the story of Uranus being castrated and Aphrodite springing from the foam o Do not fall in love with boys, wait for them to reach an age where they show intelligence – near growing a beard – intentions to form a lasting attachment and partnership for life o Do not take advantage of boys o Goes on to suggest that there must be a law to forbid the loving of mere boys and connections with freeborn women o Berates common lovers o No intrinsic condemnation or distaste in yielding to a lover, he uses lover in masculine form - Athens represents a complicated mean between the two extremes of Sparta: Elis and Boetia on the other hand where love is accepted entirely without disgrace and on many other parts of Ionia and other states under the Persian rule where the situation is reverse o Persian condemnation he puts down to their absolutism which looks unfavourably on strong friendships and private attachments o Thucydides tells how Athenians believed that their famous pair of aristocratic lovers had expelled the tyrants in 514 by killing Hipparchus (son of Peisistratus) – pair lost their lives in the attempt o Made a statue for them – shows honour accorded to love between men in Athens o He says that there is no absolute moral value to be attached to acts of love, all depends on motive and circumstance o Has a scene where Alcibiades tries to seduce Socrates – reversal – beautiful youth going after the intelligent older man - Read this over, super confusing. The Persian Wars - Greeks had migrated across the Aegean to settle on the coast of Asia minor (sometime after 1000) - Unaggressive Lydian empire to the east, lived freely and in peace - In 546 – Persians who had already conquered Medes, Cyrus moved more west, defeated king of Lydia - Cyrus annexed the greek states, Ionia revolted called upon help – only Athens and Eretria came to hel
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