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Midterm Study Pack

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Victoria Wohl
Study Guide

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Basic History and Background Information
First stages of inhabitance Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations
1. Mycenaean period 1600-1200BCE
Poleis- Mycenae, Tiryns, Pylos, Athens, Thebes, Orchomenos, and Folksier
Politics- ruled by monarchies, the King was the top most level of society; all else either worked for
the King or were self-employed
Polis- ancient Greek city-state, composed of both rural and urban areas (pl. poleis)
Linear B- the first surviving script for writing Greek which died out after the Mycenaean collapse,
derived from Linear A which was the Minoan language preceding the Mycenaean period
2. Dark Ages 1200-800BCE
-the period between the fall of the Mycenean civilizations and the readoption of writing
-after the Trojan Wars, Greece was weak and was taken over by a tribe called the Dorians
3. Archaic Period 750-500BCE
-city states evolved and adopted their own unique cultures (all Greek city-states began as
-they were ruled by a Basileus a hereditary King but monarchies were later overthrown with
several other political alternatives
4. Classical Period 490-323BCE
-long war led to demise of Athens, then Sparta and Macedonia emerged as major Greek power
-marked flourish of democracy, art, culture and politics
Important Architecture
Acropolis- it is the raised, fortified citadel in a polis
-the Athenian acropolis is most famous, dedicated to the goddess of wisdom, Athena
-would hold many important festivals and events
Parthenon- work began on this temple in 447BCE on the acropolis and was dedicated to Athena
Important Terminology
Meden Agan- nothing in excess
Sophrosune- virtue, morality, personal limits
At - the tragic heros demise due to hubris
Gnothi Seauton- know thyself
Hubris- pride, haughtiness and arrogance
Physis- nature, to be born
Nomos- culture, customs and laws
Xenia- concept of hospitality, generosity and courtesy to guests
Andreia- manly courage, warriors virtue and strength
Kakos- bad on the inside, a counterfeit
Famous People
Major Thinkers- Socrates, Plato and Aristotle
Hippocrates- father of modern medicine
Drama Writers- Sophocles, Aeschylus and Euripedes
Heinrich Schliemann
-famous archaeologist who focused his work in Troy and Mycenae

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-discovered shaft graves with skeletons and royal gold including the mask of Agamemnon at
Background Information
Anthropomorphism- gods imagined physically in the shape of mortals
Panhellenism- spanning across all of Greece, uniting as one e.g Olympics
Polytheism- having many gods, Zeus ruling the communal existence in Olympus
-power and death separate the gods from the mortals although they have similar desires, feelings
Creation Story
Everything is created from these four elements:
Chaos- chasm, empty disorder
Gaia- ge, earth
Tartara- underworld
Eros- love and desire
-Ouranos was the first ruler of the universe and with Gaia (earth) they produced the Titans
-Kronos, the youngest of 12 titans castrates Ouranos and Aphrodite is born from his genitals
Kronos and Rhea produced the twelve Olympians
-Kronos hated his children and would swallow them when born
-Rhea disguises a rock as her son and forces Kronos to eat it while Zeus, her real son, survives
Ompholos- the boulder in Delphi representing the rock that was used to trick Kronos
Titanomachy- the twelve Olympians defeat the titans
-bloody violence eventually leads to the peaceful rule of Zeus
The Twelve Olympians
Zeus- leader of the gods
Hera- Zeus sister and wife, goddess of marriage
Poseidon- Zeus brother, god of the sea
Hades- Zeus brother, god of the underworld
Demeter- Zeus sister, goddess of the harvest
Aphrodite- born from Ouranos severed genitals, goddess of love
Ares- son of Zeus and Hera, god of war
Hephaistos- Heras alone son, god of metalwork
Athena- Zeus alone daughter, goddess of craft, war, cities
Apollo- Zeus son by the goddess Leto, god of music, arts, prophecy
Artemis- Zeus daughter by the goddess Leto, goddess of the hunt
Hermes- Zeus son by the goddess Maia, god of messengers and travelers
Dionysus- Zeus son by the human Semele, god of wine and theatre
Ponos- the god of hard labor and toil, represented the work men did

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Political Terms
Oligarchy- ruled by a few; usually a collection of the wealthiest citizens
-there were a few different types of oligarchies
Tyrranos- illegitimate usurpers of political power
-they were highly unstable and were quickly overthrown
Democracy- eventually replaced monarchies and oligarchies; Demokratia- kratos (rule) of the
demos (citizen body). Pisistratus and his sons were exiled in 510 BCE and democracy established
Information on Homers Epics
Homers Iliad
-believed to be the first work of Greek literature that was recorded
-focused on the power and fate as unavoidable, also on the horrors of war
-high level of humanism; it is sympathetic to both sides, the Greek and the Trojans although they
are enemies but are presented with the same sympathy and dignity as the Greeks
-was the story of two characters, Agamemnon and Achilles
Agamemnon- commander of Greek armies that went to Troy; was arrogant, selfish and proud
Achilles- was the greatest Greek warrior, hot tempered and proud as well
-these two men fought over women slaves captured from the enemy and this resulted in the Greeks
almost losing the Trojan War
Homers Odyssey
-Odysseus was the hero of the story, and can be seen throughout Greek literature
-he was often portrayed as a glorified seeker of truth, the Greek man in Barbarian territory, the
symbol of moderation, balance and perfection
-the Odyssey was about his ten year journey from Troy to Ithaca after the Trojan War
Main Concepts and Summaries of Readings
1.Thucydides - Funeral Oration
-Athens was governed by Aristocrats, taken over by tyrant Pisistratus and his sons, exiled in
510BCE and democracy took over soon after (Athens was a direct/radical democracy)
-the speech was delivered during the first year of the Peloponnesian wars
-the speech was a sort of propaganda and honored the dead while encouraging the living
-it tells us what the Athenians thought was valuable
Epitaphios Logos- annual speech in honor of those who died in war that year (Trans. Funeral
oration)Qualities of the Ideal Athenian
Kalokagathia- nobility, translates to handsome and good man, morally good
Eleutheria- freedom, all Athenians must be free, against slaves and Barbarians, masters of
Andreia- courage or bravery, natural by Athenian blood, military, manliness
Autochthony- belief that Athenians were born from the earth and that they were the children of
Also: obedient to the law, political engagement, citizenship, control, intelligence, devoted, generous
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