Mesopotamia: Return to Eden
- This episode examines the culture of the ancient Sumerians, who once lived in
an area that's now part of Iraq. Some historians believe that these people built the
world's earliest civilization.
- Search for Garden of Eden starts @ Mesopotamia
- First place to have humankind, 3 great civilization of ancient world Babylon,
Assyria, and Sumer.
- 6000 years ago, one of first civilizations was Iraq/Mesopotamia
- Journey starts in Mesopotamia, Israel.
- Two men traveling near Jerusalem with sheep see a cave
- Sees wreckage of ancient pots, leather scrolls, papaya sheets not touched since
time of Jesus.
- Writings by Jewish sect become the dead sea scrolls, & eventually unearthed.
- Old version of old testament, including Torah
- Precious to Jews b/c of the history.
- Bible read by two points of view: historical and sacred
- Torah written by hand, words read aloud as scribe writes.
- Each Torah is considered holy as soon as it’s written.
- Historical accuracy of bible can’t be confirmed.
- Urge to explore biblical history is a tradition.
- Exploring began in holy land, but would lead to Mesopotamia.
- People are drawn to places where biblical history took place.
- Teams of people (French, German) would dig up ancient artifacts in the holy
- In Moab, bedouins find strange black stone tablet. First person to find out is
Frederick augustus klein. He examined it & didn’t recognize the language.
- He found help deciphering the stone from people in Jerusalem.
- Writing proved to be a king’s account of a battle that was also in the bible.
- This was proof of the bible’s historical accuracy.
- In order to avoid having the black stone robbed from them by the Europeans, the
Bedouins burned the black stone in an attempt the break it apart.
- They thought it must be made of gold, which is why they decided to burn it.
- They thought the Europeans would steal it from them because they were found
of things that were made of gold.
- They found no gold & the black stone was destroyed.
- This was devastating, but it didn’t end the biblical treasure hunt.
- The bible pointed its way into the past, 2500 years ago, to an empire ruled by
Babylon and then to when the bible was born.
- In 586 B.C., the armies of Menecaneza, king of Babylon fight Jerusalem with a
raft of an angry G-d.
- Romans haven’t dreamed of empire yet.
- Very dark chapter in history of the Jews, while Babylon is rising.
- Homes are destroyed; King Solomon’s palace is set on fire & destroyed. - 10,000 Jews are lead to Babylon in chains; crossed more than 500 miles of
desert; they cry & try to remember Zion.
- When they reach Babylon, they are in awe of this city.
- They wrote down songs that they sang about Zion in Babylon.
- King Nebamanezza once ruled Babylon.
- Babylon had great diversity.
- Israelites found themselves with different cultures & abomination, like
- Babylon is where the bible first became a book.
- Babylonians allowed to Jews to live their own religion; this is what preserved the
bible to this day.
- The bible would reflect Babylonian cultures that the Jews couldn’t ignore.
- Babylonian temples were among the largest buildings in the world.
- The Tower of Babylon was the most extraordinary monument.
- Pilgrims hoped finding the building would prove the bible’s accuracy.
- When one person failed, he forbade others from going near it.
- The best possibility was posed by German archeologist Robert Coldaway.
- In the early 1900s, he discovered a ditch with only a few ancient bricks
- People believed that he found the remains of the tower.
- Babylon was first civilization to have a written legal code.
- The original carved stone to hold this legal code is amazing, & has one of the
most important legal documents of all time. This was found in the late 19 century. th
- 1200 years before the Jews were held captive; a Babylonian king had this stone
carved with the laws: Hemerobbes Code. Hemerobbes set down these laws.
- This can be read in exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy.
- This code has influenced every civilization since Babylon.
- Some of its laws are used today.
- The code described a ritual called ‘the ordeal”, a painful, even deadly task of guilt
or innocence. In some Bedouin communities, it’s still practiced.
- ex. – Mubashi will examine the accused by testing their tongue after they’ve
licked a red hot scorch. Two men were accused of theft.
- Water cleanses & purifies the drinker, and prepares him for judgment.
- Someone then examines the tongue to search for a sign from G-d.
- Mubashi will determine the judgment and the person’s fate.
- One is found innocent, the other guilty and will be fined for the crime.
- The foundation of biblical law is the 10 commandments, & the beginning of the
- Babylonian history goes back to an earlier civilization 7 centuries before Jesus, to
a place called Assyria, the bible called it “a land bathed in blood”.
- The Assyrians were the deadliest Mesapatanian armies to sweep through the
- They’re the symbol of bloody tyranny and ruthless oppression in the bible.
- 100 years before the Jews were held captive in Babylonia, the Assyrians
attacked them. - Assyrians believed they were powerful. On the walls of their palaces were
expeditions. They would even kill their own people & kings.
- Even the bible speaks against the Assyrians’ attitudes.
- When Rome was new, Assyria was the most powerful city. Its capital city was
Nineveh. For a thousand years, Assyria history wasn’t know, but in 1852, the ruins
of this city were discovered by British archeologist Austin Henry Laird.
- He found the royal palace of Nineveh, in northern Iraq.
- The world was excited by this breakthrough; this showed more of the bible’s
historical accuracy. The most momentous was the library of Nineveh; 22,000 clay
tablets inscribed with the writing of the Assyrians was discovered.
- From historical writings, we have direct communication with people from those
times; we know what they ate, their medical treatments, politics, family life, religious
views. Commoners and women have little status.
- Every Assyrians woman in her early life & before marriage, would wait by the
temple of Ishtar, would sit on the steps & wait there until a man came along &
dropped a coin in the hem of her dress, & then they would do their thing: get
- Even in marriage a woman had certain rights.
- It was discovered that Assyrians queens enjoyed great privilege.
- 1989: the treasure of Nimbrad was discovered in northern Iraq. The bodies of 2
queens were discovered. The tomb of an Assyrian queen had been intact.
- The stem broker had a curse to protect its occupants.
- The queen declared if anyone were to remove her from her tomb, the person
would be thirsty and would have eternal restlessness.
- Queens were lavished with golds upon death, & they were also discovered in this
certain queen’s tomb.
- 701 B.C., King Saneckra & his Assyrian armies travelled towards the
Mediterranean Sea; their goals were to conquer Judea, Jerusalem, and king
- The city of Lekeesh suffered the most destruction according to historical papers
& the bible.
- Whoever was not executed was taken away for slavery.
- The armies travelled up mountains with shields, and would shoot down.
- King hesikayah foretold the Assyrian attacks, & warned Jerusalem. He order an
underground aqueduct dug in order to protect the city’s water supply in case of a
siege. This plan worked.
- Esikayah’s version of the conflict was found & had the same details as the bible,
but its point of view is different.
- G-d commended that b/c Hesikayah did not listen to Him, 46 of his cities were
sieged. Stories are told in different points, with no contradictions, except one: the
result of Hesikaya being shut up in Jerusalem, although the bible says the Assyrian
armies are held back.
- Assayah chapter 6: G-d says He shall destroy all the Assyrians, and also
destroys Nineveh. This wasn’t the first time G-d has destroyed a civilization: the first
time was when they destroyed Sumar & people in Noah’s generation in a great
flood. - This is famously known as the story of Noah’s ark.
- Noah, his family & animals stay in the ark, while the rest of mankind is destroyed.
- This story was found in the ruins of sumar, along with the bible.
- In early 1900s, a group of Mesopotamian tablets were translated & revealed the
known legend of the catalismic flood.
- Tells story of King Gigamesh and the great flood, which precedes bible by 2000
years. The similarity between these stories is that birds fly around after the flood.
- The story of the great flood was told in Sumer, Uruk, Eridu and Ur.
- Sumer is the first civilization on earth; they invented the wheel, government, &
- They devised mud bricks, which they used to make the first momuments called
Sicarettes. They invented the 60-second minute and the troubled teenager.
- Their most impressive invention is writing, and we know about the Sumerians’
history, legends and secrets because of this.
- These writings were on window panes.
- 5000 years ago, someone wrote their stories into clay.
- Assyrians were like us: they met people, drank beer, etc.
- There are even poems that discuss woman preparing for her lover.
- The centre of Sumer was the lost city of Ur. It was first thought to be the
birthplace of Avraham. It’s the epitome of the city, and was the site of the most
famous archeological digs carried out in the 20s and 30s by British archeologist
Leonard Willy. He once described archeology as “the science of rubbish”.
- He would dig up tons of things, like pots and bricks. He would make these
findings come alive, and would talk about the people that lived in those houses &
their furniture, etc. He dug up the pit & found deep silt.
- His wife said it was evidence from the biblical flood, & Willy figured that out.
- Speculations of the biblical flood became a sensation; even without proof, it was
as if science & the bible had united in the desert of southern Iraq.
- Willy eventually discovered the royal tombs of Ur.
- He discovered 74 skeletons, entombed at the same time.
- This burial told a story about a king’s final journey to the after & those who
accompanied him & a pre-dynastic funeral.
- First they dug up a pit with a map. In the pit, they erected a stone in which the
body of the royal king/prince(?). The entire court then filed into the pit.
- Everyone filled their clay pots with poison, then drank it & died.
- The prince was accompanied by the entire court.
- The discovery of these tombs was a triumph of archeology.
- Where the trails end, the epic of Gilgamesh provides final clues that lead us back
to the garden & a place called paradise.
- In the beginning G-d created the world as the garden of Eden. People want that
kind of life, and some want it as a reward for hard work.
- In the tale of Gilgamesh, the name of paradise is Domen, where the survivors of
the flood go to live. Everything was perfect, a paradise, a perfect place of wonder.
- It’s also home to a serpent. The snake steals the flower that bestows immortality,
& Gilgamesh must leave & die. - The idea of paradise seems universal, & the clues of its existence points to a
place called Bahrain, which is on the salt seas of Mesopotamia.
- Bahrain was once lush & had abundant water & life, and once was Dilmon(?).
- It was a garden, & there were people there who lived blessed lives.
- 85,000 people are buried in the burial mounds. These people who taller, healthier
& lived longer than anyone else in the region.
- In the burial mounds also holds the remains of snakes, which is one more clue.
- They were embalmed more than 4000 years ago.We also find the serpent in
Bahrain. Is it possible to go back in time to the time of Adam?
- There was an island/garden in Mesopotamia; we have to believe it was once
Aegean: Legacy of Atlantis
- 1628 B.C: People of Theora are leaving their island home because they’re so
- They leave behind their wheat, olives, wine, etc, but they take their gold & jewels.
- Feel that earth is trembling beneath them; this is no ordinary earthquake.
- They think they’ll return but they don’t.
- This inspires a certain legend.
- A volcanic eruption destroys their town, yet memories remain. ex. - footsteps
- 3,000 years ago, the disappearance of this island & its occupants must have left
the powers of the region awestruck.
- Egyptian’s travelled here but found nothing but an island.
- Many centuries later, a legend will develop of a utopian society that disappeared
into the sea: Atlantis.
- Greek philosopher Plato told a story that came from Egypt: handed down from
Solan, who met an Egyptian priest who said that these books contained stories
about Atlantis, & said that a civilization had developed. Solan said that these stories
- There was great power in Atlantis; the people had a certain fineness of mind &
treated each other with wisdom. They built a great city & lived great lives, but then
became corrupt, & tragedy struck.
- There were earthquakes & floods, & in one day, the island disappeared into the
- As the mystique grew, it was thought that the citizens possessed computers,
spaceships, even nuclear weapons.
- Atlantis has been found everyone from the rainforests of Guatamala, the
mountains of Tibet, & on the floor of the Atlantic ocean.
- Thera: Greek island, between Egypt, Greece & Asia, now just has volcanic rocks.
- To find out about Atlantis, we have to travel back to the times of gods & heroes.
- Homer is the source for many of the myths, but to find out if he discussed the real
island, we must look at the greatest myths of the Aegean world:
1) The tale of a Greek king murdered by his wife & her lover the night he returned
from the Trojan war. He’s a Minotaur; half-man, half-bull, & he stalked his prey in a
dark labyrinth on the island of Crete.
2) Helen of Troy, who launched a thousand ships & a 10-year war with the Greeks. - Investigation goes from Thera (now called Santarini) to Troy, Turkey, Mycena,
western Greece, & Crete.
- It begins with Homer’s tale of the Trojan war.
- Greek armies descending on Troy to win back Helen from her Trojan lover Paris.
- Men fought while gods argued over favourites on either side.
- For 10 years the Greeks were unable to penetrate the gates of Troy.
- Eventually, the battle would be decided by a trick. Pretending to accept defeat &
leave, they leave behind a huge hollow wooden horse.
- The Trojans dragged this into the city, but it was filled with soldiers.
- For centuries, ancient Turkish legends discussed a ruin on Turkish soil named
- In the 19 century, nothing along the shore seemed like it was the site from
Homer’s war. Heinrig Shleiman believed those legends though. He’s thought about
it since childhood & was convinced these stories were true.
- He decided to begin excavations in Troy in the late 1860s & used the book
Homer: The Odyssey as a guide.
- Homer wrote of 2 rivers flowing near Troy: one very cold & one with steam rising
- April 9 , 1870: he selected a site & set to work.
- Shleiman was born in Germany & found his fortune in America in the California
gold rush. He was an amateur prone to exaggeration, but he was also a visionary
with an amazing insight that few archeologists could match.
- When the team found a coin named Iliom (the roman word for Troy), anticipation
rose. Shleiman found signs of more cities. He kept digging, believing that once they
found Homer’s Troy, they’d find a great treasure.
- He made a lot of mistakes in the beginning, but learned as he went along, & went
on the right trail. When he was lost, he always returned to Homer.
- When the Trojans were feasting, the Ulysses Greeks came in & brought the
wooden horse. They let the Greshelamy in. That night, Troy was burned.
- Shleiman searched for traces of fire. In his diary, he wrote that he found ashes in
the streets. He decided that this road must be the path to the palace of Priam, for
king of Troy.
- Shleiman wanted to find out about Helen through more searching.
- He would marry someone also with the name Helen who also loved Homer &
was dedicated to her husband’s search.
- After many years of searching, he found the treasure of Priam. He found silver,
copper, earrings gold, rings, tiaras, necklaces, etc. It was one of the richest
- He uncovered the remains of Atlantis, even though all of his findings haven’t
- Troy definitely existed.
- Ancient myths recorded King Agememnon’s voyage home after defeating the
Trojans. There was a big celebration, but afterwards his wife & her lover,
Plietemnetra (whom she had when the king went away for 10 years) killed him.
- Plietemnetra hated the king for a while, and he & the king’s wife sacrificed her’s
and the king’s daughter to ensure victory. - Shleiman found the remains of a fortress, & he assumed it was King
Agememnon’s palace with a gateway guarded by lions.
- This is a great example of the power that people like him had.
- He also found skeletons buried in a pattern, near the ruins of the fortress.
- He decided to uncover the grave of King Agememnon.
- He found 19 royal skeletons surrounded by gold treasure.
- He also uncovered a gold mask, which belonged to King Agememnon.
- By looking at people’s skulls, you can figure out what they looked like.
- A clear picture of the Myesenians began to emerge.
- Hairstyling for the dead demands inspired guest work.
- Homer called the Myesinians the stronger generation of earthborn mortals.
- Shleiman also found swords that Homer discussed exactly to the point.
- A helmet was made with 40 pairs of borust tucts.
- Armour like these were made 14-1100 B.C.
- Shleiman discovered a lost civilization.
- It is later found out that the skull he found was too early to be Agememnon.
- Before, our knowledge of the past was based on the written records of ancient
historians & authors.
- The most terrifying Aegean legend was the myth of the Medator, a half-man, half-
bull, that lived in a labyrinth below the palace of king Minus.
- Every year, people living in the Greek villages dress up for the ritual of sacrificing
a bull; the town donates the most expensive bull for this occasion.
- Apstoles Qoninakes explains that the bull has been a symbol of life & its sacrifice
portrays a continuation of traditions.
- Paniodes parades himself with the bull, according to tradition.
- Greek mythology discusses the bull’s power & sexual potency; the miniature
myth has its origins in king Minus’ wife’s lust for a bull.
- We can sense the Minituare myth in the bull’s ritual slaughter.
- This myth discusses King Minus sending tributes down to the bull’s labyrinth;
whoever went there never returned. This terror was ended by Theseus; he did this
for his survival & to free his people from Minus’ rule.
- The myth’s origin was only revealed recently, even though the bull’s sacrifice has
been taking place for years.
- 1883: Shleiman’s trail was picked up again in Athens. it would lead to the first
glimpse of a possibl Atlantis.
- Arthur Evans, interested in Shleiman’s findings, wondered if the seal stones
pointed to a pre-Greek civilization. Seal stones stamp images in wax & clay.
- He wondered where he could find these stones & he was told to go to Crete (the
home of king Minus).
- Crete is the largest island in the Aegean sea, & abundant in mountains & myths.
- As he travelled, he found a village that hasn’t changed much since Jesus’ time.
- Women in this village call the seal stone the milk stone, & don’t sell it in fear that
the milk would dry from mother’s bodies.
- He was told to go to a place called Knasses, where some say there was a palace
beneath the ground. - He went there, & discovered a vast palace with passages and a throne, perhaps
of king Minus himself. It was built in 1900 B.C, contemporary with stone hedge &
Pharaohs. Evans decided to rebuild sections of the palace, to recreate what life was
like. He found Frescoes depicting life back then.
- What he described (in a room with the bull of minus) were women with hair done,
chatting & ignoring what was going on around them, they painted their lips & eyes,
their sleeves were puffed, dresses were long, the nipples were shown/ their breasts
were exposed for religious ceremonies. The civilians had fun, enjoyed life, drank
wine, etc. The men wore a long cloak, & had lovely figures & were good-looking.
- Civilians would watch an athletic event where acrobats (boys & girls) would jump
over the back of the bull, other boys & girls would cut him.
- Knasses was once the capital of a great power; the palaces of Crete shared the
trait of not being fortified. The people of Crete were cultured & advanced.
- Legacy of Minus was one of love of art, colour, peace, life & achievements.
- The bull is a recurring theme in Minoa art; its depiction echoes Plato’s description
of Atlantis. The bulls were tied down with ropes.
- Charles Pelligreno menoins of Aegean and Atlantis legends.
- Senterini was an island, now a resort. It was once known as Thera.
- The disaster on Thera was not ordinary. After the explosion, the hole was 8 miles
long. It caused a tidal wave along the shores of the Aegean.
- 1628 B.C. was the year the island was destroyed, sending clouds of smoke
around the world. An Egyptian scribe described it as darkness clouding the earth.
- It reached China & North America.
- Each year since the explosion, a bit of sulphur grows on the snow in the island.
- In 1967 Spiridon Marinotoes began a search based on the ashes of the island,
looking for Menoin remains.
- He uncovered walls, streets, dozens of jars filled with produce, & exquisite
- Most walls had frescoes painted on. There were no bodies, gold nor jewels.
- Women in Thera also wore elegant dresses & had fancy hairstyles.
- The evidence shows Thera being a prosperous island. In Plato’s legend, the
place is crowded with habitation. Boats, vessels, merchants, etc.
- Thera & Atlantis traded with Egypt. Other similarities were buildings, fountains
(with hot & cold water), according to Plato. There were flush toilets, showers, etc.
- Plato also believed that Atlantis was on the Atlantic ocean.
- Thera was the size of parts of Asia combined, & was a great economic power of
the world & pretty much ran the Mediterranean world.
- It was as if the legend of Atlantis was part of Menoin history.
- The only palace to survive the earthquake was the palace of Conossus.
- The Mysenians were jealous of this empire. As more earthquakes destroyed the
island, they moved in & swept victory with great military strength.
- As more earthquakes occurred, the people turned to sacrifices, in vain.
- The skulls of the priest & priestess who performed the sacrifice were found &
reconstructed. They were killed by the collapsed shrine/roof caused by an
earthquake. This took place during the last days of the island’s life.
- Thera belonged to the first European civilization. - No one knew they existed until the 1900s.
- They got no help; they were basically on their own.
Greece: A Moment of Excellence
- 1687: People in Athens are under siege
- Danger is coming for them at The Parthenon, where the people in Athens used to
store gunpowder. The Parthenon is destroyed & stays that way for 2000 years,
looked upon by the Athens.
- This video discusses the golden age of Greece.
- The city of Athens was expected to be competitive in Greek city competitions
- 5 century B.C: Athens grew more powerful as other cities turned to them for
protection from the Persians.
- The acropolis in Athens represents achievements in the history of western
civilization & creative excellence that derives from the buildings.
- The artists tried to excel themselves in their work, which was carried through by
Paraklese, who was the leader of the Athenians.
- He built the Parthenon to honour the goddess of Thena.
- Parklese came to power in 461 B.C, & Athens flourished.
- He paid for the city’s magnificence through other city’s taxes.
- They built tons of buildings, & the city was creative & gorgeous.
- The city was completed within 50 years, was designed by the finest architects &
was adorned by Fideus: a Greek sculptor.
- The star guest at Athen’s evening parties was Socrates.
- One exception to all-male affairs was the foreign women seized in war who
became captive entertainers, includes Aspacia. Paraklese fell in love with her &
- Everything that we discuss nowadays (ex. – philosophy) was discovered in
- The Athens were the first people to calculate the position of the earth, moon, &
stars & were the first to come up with the atom.
- This age of Greece produced some of the world’s most original minds: Plato,
Aristotle, Socrates, Hypocretes, etc.
- In Athens, Paraklese presided over the world’s first democracry, and it was later
followed by kings & queens.
- 30,000 men in Athens participated in this & voted for certain things.
- They understood law & tradition.
- The Athens’ success in art, & diplomacy in sports & government was motivated
by their desire for excellence. Eventually, it was a spiritual commitment.
- The most important place was the palace of Thena. There were sacrifices that
took place outside the place b/c the smoke had to rise to the gods & there was a
need for a respectful distance away from the place due to the divinity dwelling in her
home. You also might do something wrong & someone powerful might get mad @
- 1928: off the island of Uboa, Greece, in the Aegean sea, a small boat was
looking for sponges. - A diver saw a strange shape beneath the sand: it was a Greek statue that had
sunk with the ship carrying it nearly 2000 years before.
- People now believe that this was Praziden, a greek g-d of the sea. st nd
- This statue was one of the hundreds of statues that were stolen during the 1 -2
centuries by the Romans.
- G-ds like him were thought to have a real power of the lives of the ancient
- There is a temple, overlooking the sea @ Tsunian, 37 miles south of Athens, built
in honor of him He was a G-d the Greeks were anxious to have on their side.
- His domains are the depths of the earth & sea; he’s an uncontrollable g-d.
- The Greeks built a lot of temples, where you had a sense of otherness.
- On Mount Olimbus lived the Pantheon of greek g-ds: Zeus.
- There were gods for everything; love, jealously, fertility, wisdom, anger, but this g-
d ruled above all others.
- These gods weren’t known as spiritual beings; they had human characteristics &
interfered with human lives.
- Anyone who offended them could expect great revenge.
- Delphi is the most important sanctuary to the g-ds.
- It was dedicated to Apollo, the god of knowledge, light, music & heating.
- They honoured him with plays, games, discussions & sporting events (the
sporting taking place on the stadium near the mountains).
- Pilgrims would cleanse themselves in a pond nearby after sacrificing a goat to
Apollo. People still believed in mysterious powers
- It also home to the Arocho of Delphi: a prophet. People would come to it for
advice, & a priest would hear the people’s questions and give them to the Arocho,
- A medium was a woman sent into a trance by chewing pose & leaves.
- Her answers were garbles that priests couldn’t understand.
- At times, the answers were misunderstood anyways. For example, when Crizias
of Lydia asked if he should attack the Persian empire, she replied “if you go to war,
you’ll destroy your own kingdom” and that’s what happened.
- Greek sanctuaries were busting with life. There were venders, musicians, etc.
- Thousands of people came to Delphi every 4 years for a 5-day festival. It was at
Apollo’s temple. Pilgrims were expected to offer what they could afford.
- King Mytus sent his gold throne just to honor him.
- It was also in Delphi that another ritual took place, honoring Dianeses, god of
- On top of Mount Parnasses, women would come & dance in honor of him.
- These women were called maniacs. It was one of the few opportunities for them
to follow their instincts & leave their inhibitions. Men thought they were having orges.
- These rituals later became public events at the beginnings of theatre.
- All drama originated as part of religious festivals. It led to poetry, masks, &
eventually tragedy & comedy. The amphitheatre in Delphi was where plays were
produced that still takes place today. Many were about women.
- An actress named Yula Gavala has placed a lot of the roles from classical plays. - She says that women stayed at home, had powerful personalities & wanted to
know more about the other world.
- Theatre became central to the way of life. The plays were paid for & went all day.
- Media is about a woman driven to revenge when her husband betrays her.
- Media refuses to accept her husband Jason’s decision to leave her for the king’s
daughter. The tragedy is that she gives up everything for him. In a male-dominated
society, she’s powerless to prevent him from leaving her & their kids. Her only
possible revenge is to kill their kids.
- Traces of tension b/w men & women can still be seen today.
- Women, resident foreigners & slaves were considered lesser beings compared to
- We still have the same problems today that Media & Helen had in those days.
- Ejaj has youth & it’s able to endure all contests, including strength contests.
- To the Greeks, a beautiful body was as important as a brilliant mind.
- One of the 4 religious & athletic festivals was the Amian festival.
- It’s excavated by Stephen Miller, who’s restaging the games.
- The participants worked every day except the religious holidays & sporting
- The coins would come out of the court. They were controlled by Argos.
- Stephen Miller discovered a starting line with holes in it.
- Ropes were held in front of the participants & the logs were dropped when they
were supposed to start running.
- Men ran in the nude. A woman wanted to see her son run in trainer’s clothes.
When her son won, she jumped over the fence & all was revealed. From then on,
trainers were supposed to be naked.
- Long jumpers carried weights that would thrust them forward & would drop them
when landing. There were no prizes but loral or celery reeds.
- Back home, the celebrations were lavish, & if they were Athenian, they would
enjoy free dinners for the rest of their lives.
- Most important games were held every 4 years. The first international sporting
game was held here in 776 B.C. Athlete comes from Greek word Athlose.
- It was first a religious occasion though.
- Central to everything was the great temple of Zeus.
- The gymnasium was created.
- Aesthetics & intellectual were all part of perfection.
- Homosexuality was common in Athens & there was no stigma.
- Sexual relations b/w grown men & boys were ok as long the boys got gifts
beforehand & it stopped at marriage.
- Admiration among men was reflected in athletics.
- Olympic torch still glows today.
- It carries the goal that once every 4 years all countries join together for Olympics.
- The Athenians had some harsh blows.
- 399 B.C: they put Socrates on trial; they accused him of not believing in the gods
& corrupting the young minds w/ his new ideas. They would put in pebbles for guilty
or innocent. They found him guilty & sentenced him to death by poison.
- The Athenians became too cautious. - 430 B.C: there was a plague that swept through the city & killed almost anyone
that got it. It was the most widespread in Athens.
- Paracles’ sister & son caught it. People came to the temples to die.
- There was a feeling of burning inside, & people drank water to relieve their thirst,
but it didn’t work.
- The plague affected Paracles b/c people blamed him for it, shortly after he
caught it & died. With that a certain style of leadership died with him.
- 1/3 of the population died. Without Paracles’ leadership, people were lost.
- For half a century, Athens fought Sparta for dominance over Greece; the fighting
happened in Sicily. Sparta sided with Sicily, and the Athenian navy was destroyed
due to sea battles.
- 404 B.C: Athens is defeated.
- Sparta asked for peace, but Athens didn’t want to go without a fight.
- The Athens defeat left Sparta to become the main dominance in Greece.
- The goddess was powerless to help them; this relief was called the mourning
- Socrates’ friends wanted to help him escape, but he refused. He was content
with his life & he didn’t mind that it was complete. He drinks the poison & dies.
- Athens became part of other empires
- 1971: The Parthenon was in danger of collapsing, but is now being rebuilt as the
magnificent ruins of Athens.
- It’ll take longer to rebuild than the 15 years it originally took to build it.
- After its destruction in 1687, the temple robbed by treasure seekers.
- The Turks (who ruled Athens @ the time) were easily bribed.
- Heads & limbed were severed to make more salable items.
- All over Europe, salesmen offered their treasure to museums & private collectors.
- 1803: When Lord Elgin arrived, he removed any remaining sculptures.
- His men took 56 freezes & 12 or so statues. It took 22 ships to carry them to
- They’re called the Elgin marbles. They’re in the British museum.
- Seeing Parthenon is a reminder of what we’ve achieved.
- Athen’s light shone so powerfully that it defined intellectual thought for centuries.
- Its democracy ways were used 2000 years later to affect the lives of people all
over the world.
Alexander the Great and the Birth of Hellenism
- Alexander the Great’s father was Philip II of Macedon, king of Mecedonia.
- An empty kingdom the north of Greece. It was run by the Greeks until he took
- He was held captive during his childhood in Thebes by the Greeks there.
- After the Palepaligion war, Sparta & Athens were weakened. This was when he
took over Macedon. He conquered Thessaly, Thrace & Molossia; they were added to
the Macedonian empire.
- Athens & Thebes still controlled a lot of the land, and Philip wanted to conquer
- They fought back & joined together to protect themselves. - His used his new empire to create his league of allies.
- The result of cities joining his league & him pressuring other cities to join was
“the League of Corinth”. It included most of Greece with Phillip as their leader.
- He threatened the lone holdouts: the Spartans. They replied “if”.
- He sought to lead them. They fell into line & respected the Greek’s martial
- The Masedonians respected the Greek people’s achievements.
- With the Masedonians leading, Greek culture looked poised to take over the
world, but then Phillip was assassinated by his ex-boyfriend, Paulsanious.
- Phillip’s rule fell to his son Alexander. Alexander inherited much from his father.
- He inherited a wealthy empire around the Aegean sea, power of the Macedonian
army & Greeks, and got an amazing education from Aristotle. He also watched his
father turn Greece into something better.
- Alexander used all this to begin a campaign of conquest.
- He conquered Levant, Syria, Asia minor & the Persian empire, adding it to his
own empire. He also invaded Pakistan.
- He was undefeated until they reached India & he was defeated by his own
soldiers. He was forced to go home.
- He was a keen politician & powerful warrior.
- He burned cities that resisted him, killed their men & sold their women into
slavery, yet he showed leniency to people who were kind to him.
- He made allies of his fiercest opponents & at Troy he visited the grave of Akeles,
& at Jerusalem he respected their G-d & accepted a place in their prophecies.
- In Egypt, he liberated the Egyptian people & took the title King of the Universe.
- He also built; his empire was threatened by cultural, linguistic & religious
- To unite them, he built cities across his empire & made other Greeks run the
empire for him. Because of him, Greek culture & language spread around the
- The term for that is Hellenization & marks the beginning of the Hellenistic period.
- He never made it home though; he died in Babylon.
- Without him, his empire was in danger of collapsing as soon as it was built.
- Alexander ended up leaving his empire to the “strongest” which was no help.
- This caused fighting between his generals & families. In the end, his empire was
divided into 4 smaller kingdoms: Masedon, Pergon in Asia minor, Talumay in Egypt,
& the Salucid empire in the east.
- All the places he travelled to & conquered were known as the real world.
Alexander the Great
- Alexander was the son of a king Philip II & a princess & conquered the ancient
known world. He was born in Masodenia in 356 B.C.
- From an early age, he showed physical courage. He tamed the horse Usephelus.
- He was trained & received education from Aristotle.
- He became friends with Nephista, his future lover.
- Alex learned about the wonders of the world through Aristotle. - Another great influence was his mother, Olympias. She wanted power for herself
& her son. She was a high priestess of a count devoted to Dionises, which involved
snake handling. She thought that Phillip wasn’t Alex’s true father, but a snake’s.
- Things weren’t great between them, but got worse when he took a younger wife,
Cleopatra. Alex’s parents’ separation devastated him & didn’t want to be his dad’s
successor. One of her relatives almost implied that Alex was illegitimate.
- This ticked him off, he & his mom left for a while, then he came back.
- Shortly after, his dad was assassinated & Alex was suspected of it.
- A rebellion blew up in Greece. He seized the throne & killed anyone who posed a
threat to his succession, including his baby half-brother.
- He realized his father’s dream & wanted to expand his empire. He set his sights
on Greece’s enemy Persia, which had the biggest empire. They had been in war for
nearly 200 years. They occupied Greek cities in Asia Minor.
- 553 B.C: At 21, he crossed Bahalisbond, the border between Europe & Asia &
began to invade Asia.
- He inherited the Macedonian fallocks, which he was to use in battle.
- During the battle of Granicus, his army was outnumbered 4 – 1 & Alex was nearly
killed & saved by Klytus. After that, he murdered 20,000 Greeks/Persians?
- The next battle against the Persians was the battle of Issus.
- He came into contact with the Persian king: Dorias. Dorias left the battle scene &
left behind his armies & his family. They fell into Alex’s hands. He treated her like his
own mom. He did say that he was the proper king & that she must submit to him.
- The city of Tyran was also defeated; Dyrias offered Alex all of the lands west of
the Uphrais river & ransom for the royal women.H rejected it.
- He then went to Egypt & was treated like a hero. He found a city called
Alexandria, named after him, the first to do so. He now thought he was invincible.
- Dorias assembled the largest army to crush him in Guatamala.
- 331 B.C: In Guatamala, he was just one battle away from ruling Persia.
- At 25, he was confident about victory. He figured out a strategy to conquer them.
- All Persian cities, including Babylon, fell. They reached Persepolis, the <3 of the
Persian empire. He “burned it to the ground”.
- Dorias went on the run & was aided by his cousin Besus, who took over as
commander of the Persian empire.
- He stayed with Dorias until he was arrested & died, and he challenged Alex with
a perian empire. Before Alex got there though, Dorias was betrayed & murdered, &
his head was sent to Alex as a warning not to take over Persia. He was to have no
competition as the Persian king.
- He adopted Persian dress & customs, to the disgust of his generals.
- He replaced his generals with his own men.
- The conditions & campaigns affected him & Klytus challenged him to a drunk
- One of the communions took his sword away, but Alex stole a spear & killed
- He was guilt-ridden. At 29, he went to Patria (present-day Afghanistan).
- He was impressed by its people & met the beautiful princess Roxanne, & fell in
love with her & married her. He then left Afghanistan with her & went to Pakistan. - He wanted to discover more land to conquer, but his army didn’t want to. After 8
years of battle, they wanted to go home, and turned back.
- Alex begged them not to go, but they refused.
- They went home through the dry land of the River Indus. Some went on ships,
but the rest had to march back on dry land.
- Alex tried to integrate his men into the Persian world.
- 324 B.C.: his forced his officers into marriage with Persian nobility in a mass
wedding ceremony. For his troops, he went too far. His men thought he had gone
native. None of these marriages worked except one.
- In Eckbatica, Babylonia, Hephaestion died & Alex was devastated. He ordered
public mourning. He drank heavily due to sadness & then fell ill.
- He got a fever, wasn’t able to speak, and only at the endhe acknowledged
Masonanians walking past him. He died at age 33.
- He had amazing military success.
Ancient Greece: The Fabulous Centers of Hellenism
- The Mediterranean, Turkey, 2 century B.C: for 200 years now, since
Romanticism, artists have never been tired of measuring themselves against the
- Anthher cultural revolution started in 323 B.C. & it would last for centuries.
- 4 century B.C: Asia Minor, Africa & the rest of the countries had an earthquake.
- The guy who brought this upheaval was Alexander the Great.
- He swept down on countries. He brought a Greek culture which was transformed
by other artists, and invented a new way of conceiving art: Hellenism.
- He controlled Ionia & Phoenicia & conquered the Persian empire.
- The culture lost its importance. Kingdoms separate.
- This brings on a new period known as Hellenism.
- The art form, sculpture, shows the most change.
- Cleopatra statue is from Hellenistic period.
- We could see what life was like in those days.
- As Greece expanded, artists checked out cities on the other side, like Athens,
Ephesus. In Ephesus, they found a certain drawing that caused confusement.
- The scholars solved the mystery. It was part of a great freeze.
- Stones represent a legend in pictures. Andronicus learns that he’ll be driven out
in Athens & fish will point out a new city. He cooks a fish & a bore comes, he follows
it & kills it & finds Athesus. It dates from later Roman times.
- It has stone walkways & tall stones.
- This way of laying out cities started in Mylintu – birthplace of the first urban
planner to form cities – Hippotamus of Mylinus.
- In Athesus the streets serve to differentiate neighborhoods.
- The houses were luxurious with hot & cold water.
- A library built around a tomb – a house to protect scrolls.
- Scholars tried to see why the library & mausoleum were built in the same place.
- To be buried here was an honor granted to people who deserved to be
remembered as a hero. It was erected by Julius Polomanius in memory of his father
Celsus. - Building a library in front of his tomb showed the citizens his father was a great
- The temple of artums inspired all for centuries.
- Polis described the stones in his way.
- Unfortunately, Athesus was abandoned. Not everyone lost heart though.
- 1866: a description was found discussing where the Artemisia laid.
- Unfortunately, only a singer column remains.
- The temple started construction started in 560 B.C & lasted almost 100 years.
- Had paintings & sculptures.
- Figure of goddess was the most popular souvenir from Athesus.
- The Romans built their city in the Hellenistic style. These buildings have been
unearthed. It has left its mark on humankind.
- The other major city in Ionia was Pergamum.
- Exclepious was the g-d of medicine, & said that bathing in water would cure
- People also went to see physicians, including Waylon. His name is the word
used to describe vegetable medication: gaylenical.
- Pergamum was an intellectual centre of anatolium.
- It was this city that invented writing, esp on parch wood.
- Pergemum held one of the biggest libraries in the world.
- It also has a very large theatre.
- The city was built to delight visitors. They were shocked, surprised & impressed.
- The altar of Zeus is one of the few wonders that we can enjoy.
- Today, it’s at the Pergemum museum in Berlin.
- 1865: Archeologist Carl Human described how he felt the day he went to the
acropolis of Pergamum.
- One of the stones was burned to dust.
- Human & Vilham the first pressured the Turkish prime minister until he was
allowed to excavate Pergamum. He unearthed many marble slabs, 130 inscriptions
& statues & went to Berlin.
- Pergamum also had an altar that made a huge impact.
- Access was through a small staircase. It was unique in its own right & was open
to everyone. It was also built to celebrate the Pergameans’ military prowess.
- The top of the tower had a colonnade.
- The altar was considered the most important building in the city.
- It was built during the height of Hellenism.
- Long before Purgamum came under Roman rule, the Purgameans defeated the
Golassions, who were barbarics. The altar was built to commemorate their victory
- There is a Telephist freeze in the altar. The sculptures tell the story of Telephist,
the hero of the city, who was the son of Haraclese.
- Self-celebration was strong during the Hellenistic period.
- Main story is told by the larger freeze, which is made of stone slabs 7 1/2 feet
- It was 130 yards long. It tells of the battle of g-ds & giants, that giants represent
the forces of evil, have attacked Olympus, home of the g-ds, the incarnation of good. - The metaphor is the war that Pergamum fought & defeated the barbarians.
- Many artists contributed to this freeze.
- Interaction between the Greek culture of Mesadonians & the society of the
Persian empire brought artistic innovation.
- Artists, poets, philosophers, etc, built foundations that lasted thousands of years.
- The culture Hellenism resulted from this. It depicts beauty, resolves human
emotion & has become the fountain head of all the arts.
Alexandria: The Greatest City
- Has all the knowledge of the world.
- Imagine all the ideas this city produced & when it was destroyed.
- For 2300 years, it’s occupied a key junction b/w the eastern & western
- It’s in Egypt at the top of the Nile, on the coast of Mediterranean.
- Every inch of the city is jam-packed today & buzzes with life.
- The ancient city is conspicuous by its absence.
- Alexander the Great was buried here, Cleopatra seduced Marc Anthony &
Caesar here & it’s the home of one of the 7 wonders of the world.
- What make this city special are the scientific & intellectual aspects of it.
- Wanted to become the most powerful city in the world by capturing all of the
- In ancient times, Alexandria was a new city. It was founded only 2300 years ago.
- 4 century B.C: in b/w time of history. Alexander the Great changed the world.
- The word “Great” is included b/c his achievements were truly outstanding.
- He united the Greeks as a nation & created a large empire.
- He also invaded Egypt.
- It was covered in ancient art.
- Greeks said non-Greeks ere “barbarians” & respected Egyptians.
- He invaded Egypt in 332 B.C. & overcame the Persians who dominated them.
- He also had to influence Egypt.
- When he arrived, a certain pyramid was 2000 years old; Egyptians believed it
had a sacred power.
- The Egyptians had beautiful blocks & inscriptions on them.
- They also had an underground. There is a bull buried in there.
- Along with believing in life on earth, they were obsessed with life after death.
- They mixed up animals & humans happily.
- When Alexander arrived, he became a part of the society & gave money & land
to the temples. He visited the temple where he was hailed as the son of an Egyptian
G-d, so he was supposed to be the divine ruler on earth. This fits in with the