Classics Notes.doc

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University of Toronto St. George
Johnathon Burgess

Classical Time: Especially 1 millennium BC and first half of the first millennium AD – ca. 1000 BC to 500 A.D. Place: Mediterranean world (Greek and Italic Peninsulas but anywhere ancient Greeks and Romans lived). Keeping in mind Alexander the Great and the Romans took over a great part of Europe and Asia Minor. This course will sample literature (Homer), Archaeology (Pompeii), Art (paintings), Politics (the forms of government), Sociology (gender, social class, slavery). Satyricon by Petronius The Human in the context of the divine and the animal. Human consciousness of time. Lecture # 2 Lectures online are summary only. Response is due the at the beginning of each tutorial class. Classics- Latin as in “class”- social class, relating to the Roman/Greek world, appropriate for the upper class, the elite to study. Big Picture: Hominids – primates, early humans Homo sapiens – last 100,000 years Paleolithic – “old” “stone” age. Neolithic- “new” 10,000 Agricultural revolution c.a. 9000 B.C. (9 millennia). *Fun fact: There are 3D photographs of the cave paintings at Lascaux, France. Jericho, Stonehenge, Catalhuyuk Chronology -B.C/B.C.E. -A.D/ C.E. -cf “before present” BP (Before Internet) Ancient methods e.g.: Greek Olympiads (once every 4 years), Roman consuls, “Julian” Calendar.  Back then they used it, they used the Julian calendar after the consul lost power as well. (cf= confrere ‘bring together’ compare) e.g. = exempli gratia ‘for example’ ‘for the sake of example’ c.a. circa “around” c = century Mesopotamia = middle of the two rivers. Ancient Near East Terms: -Bronze Age: c.a. 3000-1200 -Mesopotamia ‘middle riverplace’ -3K-2K B.C. : Sumerian/akkadian (language civilizations) -City-states (e.g. Uruk, Babylon)  empires. -Language Groups: SEMITIC European: Akkadian and Hittite Civilization -Non-nomadic -cultivated plants, domesticated animals -Property/buildings/cities )ca. 3000 B.C.) -War, malnutrition disease -Specialized skills, economy Government (temple, palace, assembly, council) Writing Accounting, administrative, Law , religious myth Lecture #3 Beginning of the Gilgamesh Epic -He (Gilgamesh) had seen everything…he had journeyed to the edge of the world and made his way back.. “He had carved his trials on stone tablets, had restored the holy Eanna Temple and the massive wall of Uruk” -Gilgamesh is kind of a Noah Story. Build walls to protect your city. Tragic Hero= Flawed Stone Ones- poles across the sea of death End of the Gilgamesh epic: Return to Uruk Gilgamesh says to the ferryman on return to Uruk:”see how its ramparts gleam…climb the stone staircase” Aspects of Civilization Large public builidings= ZIGGURATS Like the Mesopotamian ziggurat for example. Writing systems: like Mesopotamian Cuneiform *sign language -Cuneiform, hieroglyphics -Pictures of single things, ideas Syllabic: consonant + vowel sound -True alphabet: different signs for consonant and vowels. SEMITIC aleph + beth  Alpha Beta. The Greeks divided the consonants from the vowels. Hammurabi’s Law code King of Babylon, first half of 2 Millennium B.C. The law code provided some stability, however they had massive equality issues. For instance if an equal’s daughter is killed by (you), then you would not die or go to jail, rather they would kill your own daughter. Ergo, innocent young girls would die for the mistake of another girl’s father. Mesopotamia- Relevance to Course Mesopotamia Egypt Greek Pre History 3d Millennium Sumerian Old Kingdom 2 Millennium Akkadian Middle Kingdom Minoan (Hyksos Invasion) Mycenaean New Kingdom Egypt Key Aspects: 1. Nile: agricultural flooding, transportation, national unity 2. Inward Looking 3. Challenge of Hyksos Culture -Pharaoh as king- god: national bureaucracy Pyramids, temples -religion: multiplicity of divine beings Often animal or hybrid gods (cf. anthropomorphic Mesopotamian gods) -concern for afterlife, thus with body, pyramids Syncretism e.g. Demeter and Isis -c.f. Herodotus and Plutarch on origins -Egyptian myth featured her family role, mother of Horus, wife of Osiris -Isis later featured in Greek and Roman cult 2000 B.B. the Indo-Europeans came to Greece. Link back to Demeter/Persephone (connect it to Isis). Different languages and different cultures do not necessarily mean different races. Politics in the Iliad Thersites yelled out these insults right at Agamemnon, the people’s Sheppard, abusing him. Noble Odysseus stood up quickly, confronting Thersities. Scowling, he lashed out sternly: “Shut up, chatterbox. You’re a champion talker, but don’t try to have it out with kings” -Iliad Relevance of Egypt Bronze Age Mycenaean trade: later contact -Greek wonder at (Herodotus, Plato’s Atlantis Story) -Conquered by Alexander, Rome. Crete- Knossos Dark Ages were 1100-800 B.C. Minoans had Linear A script (we have the signs yet the code has not yet been cracked) Linear A: (c.a. 200) may have lead to Linear B (c.a. 1470) The guy who cracked the Linear B code used to break German codes. He thought it was Greek (Crete) but they took over the Minoans (especially Knossos) later. th
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