Chapter 13 - Everyday life in Classic Greece

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University of Guelph
Classical Studies
CLAS 1000
John Walsh

Chapter 13 Everyday Life In Classical Greece pg. 215 Aristocratic Survivals -In the Archaic Period, the Aristocratic class both political power and status. -Hoplite warfare becoming the norm in Greece -aristocrats could no long prove themselves heroic (everyone is fighting in the wars) -Aristocratic inefficient cattle economy all but collapsed by 550 b.c. AGOTHI *upper class* (the good ones) - defined by high birth, physical excellence, and skill in war Kakoi *lower class* - saw wealth as corrupting -Aristocrats started to try to prove their heroic status via contests 'agones'-Olympic games took full form Ancient Olympics -9 events including chariot races, boxing wrestling and pentathlon -lasted for 5 days, attended by vast crowds -events interwoven with contests for herald and trumpeters, speeches, banquets, sacrifices, and on the last day, the victors are given wreaths of wild olive and showered with leaves and flowers -6th century, Olympic games joined by pythian games at delphy (582 b.c.), isthmian games, and by the nemean games at nema in 573 b.c. -only those who had the leisure to train for the games could participate -> Aristocracy Games -Games victors would be incorporated unarmed into the line of battle -> talismans of their city's strength -Rich would use Olympic victories to manipulate their city's democratic assembly -Defeat brought as much shame as victory did honor Symposium -would have parties for the victor at the local symposium, always an odd number of seating -'Symposium' a major influence on the design of pottery and its decoration --symposia = foods, drinks, conversation, and sex -prostitutes at symposia = hetairai - danced + sold themselves to men -usually end in a song 'the hetairai' Greek Music -Greek hymns = prosodia -songs praising individuals = ecomia -songs at funerals and marriages - epithalamia -music was used to give a emotional tone to the spoken word -music forms core of a traditional education in Athens, related to physical + moral development -lyre was popular instrument to play to different songs -lyre was the symbol of restraint, respectable women shown on pottery playing one -once literacy acquired children learned poems such as homer Greek Youth -Attendance at symposium appears to have been part of young Athenians initiation into aristocratic society -Young men allowed to sit but not recline on the couches and serve out wine at symposium -Older men would then compete for the attention of the young boys -These pederast relationships were common -Old man = erastes, Young boy = ermenos -Young boys were expected to by monogamous, refuse gifts, and not to submit easily to the attentions of his lover -The boy had right to be protects from unreasonable sexual demands and his family would be vigilant to ensure no abuse -Male who accepts or is payed to be submissive refused Athenian citizenship or citizenship taken away Life on the Land… (Farming in Greece) pg. 220 -Persian war confirms Greeks as good soldiers and sailors -However most Greeks spent most of their time farming -Oikos = In Greek worlds, primary unit for production, storage of goods and their consumption -Oikos is an elastic term -may refer to house itself, household including family and slaves, or even the house with its surrounding land -kleros = small share of inherited land given to son by father -Soil in Greece is poor, a lot of rainfall,, very unpredictable = hard farming -good yield = frequent turning and weeding to retain moisture -tools were primitive, back breaking work -Each city had different variety of land, had to plan for survival accordingly -Land divided amongst aristocracy in terrifying detail, land seems to be greatly spread out to provide an intensive, market- oriented agricultural economy -The difficulty of farming in Greece shows the ingenuity of the peasant class -most widespread cash crop = olives -Greek farmers would plan for surplus, to help pay for daughters dowries, for contributions to collective feasts, and as means of buying goods. -Greek farming year had 2 period of activity: September - November: Gathering olives + grapes, plowing + sowing of seeds for next year May - June: Harvesting of grain -Relaxing times = early spring and from July-September, when harvest was in -This was wen the great games of Greek world were held -Wars also took place during these periods (Persian wars) -All construction happened in the 'resting time', Men + his animals also employed as builders Industries, Crafts, and Trade -Largest form of non-agricultural trade = Mining -Iron ore could be found in Greece, smelted for tools and weapons -Gold and silver used by the states for large-scale enterprise, such as paying mercenaries and to promote the cities commercial life -Athenians borrows money (12% interest) and approaches slave owners for the lease of labor -Labor for slaves so hard, life expectancy cut short -Mines have up to 1000 talents worth of precious metals -Mines later taken over by Macedonia in the
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