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Lecture 21

CLCIV 101 Lecture 21: Lecture 21

4 Pages

Classical Civilization
Course Code
Richard Janko

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Lecture 21 1. Aristophanes, comic dramatist, 445-387 BCE a. Plays a.i. Lysistrata, 411 BCE a.i.1. Women take over state, end the war by a sex-strike a.ii. The Clouds 423 BCE b. Radical conservative c. Never openly attacks democracy d. Themes of his early plays: d.i. The new education d.ii. Oppression of the “allies” d.iii. Anti-war d.iii.1. Sued by demagogue Cleon for defaming Athens before foreigners d.iii.2. Attack on Cleon in Knights of 424 2. Socrates, 469-399 BCE a. Secrecy and initiation into mysteries of Socrates’ Thinkery b. Resemblance to Pythagoreans c. Pythagoreans’ meeting house was burned down at Croton (Italy) with Pythagoreans 3. Menander, 342-292 BCE 4. Dramatic festivals of Dionysus: a. Lenaea, January (especially comedy) b. City Dionysia, May, founded 534 BCE 5. Theater of Dionysus, Athens, seats 17,000 6. Theater, Epidaurus 350 BCE 7. Leading characters a. Ordinary citizens b. Chorus c. Characters who get ridiculed c.i. Pericles, Euripides, Socrates d. Parabasis (“march-past”): chorus of 24 speaks to audience directly d.i. Parabasis of the Clouds: poet chides audience and electorate who voted for Cleon 8. Humor: no limits to obscenity a. Politicians could sue, but poets hit back b. Poets mock their rivals and tragedy 9. The Clouds 423 BCE a. Strepsiades “Twister” and his Son by Megacles’ daughter (Alcmeonid Family) b. Pheidippides “Miser-horse” c. Older, short-haired, traditionally, more democratic vs younger, long-haired, sophistically educated, anti-democratic d. Strepsiades’ plan: educate his son in Socrates’ Thinkery e. Thinkery- biology, astronomy, geology, meteorology, geography, theology, literature, linguistics e.i. Right and wrong debate e.i.1. Antiphon- justice is not natural f. Strepsiades can’t learn f.i. He makes his son attend because his creditors are coming after him f.ii. He chases them away f.iii. They sue him for assault f.iv. Pheidippides beats his father, claims he can beat his mother f.v. Strepsiades burns down the Thinkery with Socrates inside “Dirty long-haired weirdos”: sophists, prophets, teachers of medicine, poets of dithyramb=intellectuals, religious experts, scientists g. Socrates prays to Air, Ether, Clouds g.i. There is no Zeus; the clouds are driven by a whirl g.ii. Strepsiades interpretation, Zeus is dead and Awhirl is king 10. Empedocles of Acragas: theory of 4 elements: fire, earth, air, water and 2 forces: love and strife a. Scientist, guru and magician influenced by Pythagoras b. Believed in reincarnation c. Claimed to work miracles d. Mt. Etna erupts
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