January 9th, 2012
How did Greek define themselves? By what they are not.
o The way they dressed, their politics, women etc.
Women were weak, men were strong.
Gods are like humans but they are absolutely powerful and lived forever. Humans
had to die.
Dangers of comparing yourself to the other:
o False or simplistic view, egotism, xenophobia and misogynistic.
Tragedies Allowed for the Greeks to play the other.
2 Important facts
o 1. Greece dependent on the sea if you controlled the sea, you controlled the
o 2. Rowers were the most powerful in Athens.
Greece wasnt united till the 19th century.
Mycenaean and Minoan cultures
Dark ages: Wide spread poverty, no written language but good verbal culture. I.E
Bards who sang poetry.
Iliad and the Odyssey
But Henry Schliemann found Troy using the Iliad.
Archaic period = rise of wealth.
Polis = city state
o Different qualifications in each city defined citizens.
Greece is a weak confederation of city states.
Different domestic policies
But- All worshipped the same gods and when Greece was threatened, they would
Focusing on Athens
o Most powerful and literate What it meant to be Greek was different in Athens than in Sparta.
Writers were male and white.
Cultures reflect themselves in literature.
Reading summary Thucydides Funeral oration
Speech given by Pericles at the end of the first year of the Peloponnesian wars. The
speech begins by Pericles praising the war dead. He doesnt focus on the past of
Ancient Athens but chooses to instead look at present day ancient Athens and
praises the dead by glorifying the city for which they died. He moves on to address
the audience. He tells them to live up to the standards the deceased have set. He
reminds the audience of how hard it is to speak of the dead and then they are
Autochthony: "being born from the earth itself"
- Athenians believed both that they were born from the earth (that they were
autochthonous) and that they were the children of Athena (myth of Athena and
- This had implications for the way they viewed themselves and others.
In the Archaic period, Athens was governed by aristocrats, including the
aristocratic dynasty of Pisistratus. Pisistratus and his sons were exiled in 510 BCE
(in an episode we will return to later in the term) and democracy was established
Athens was a direct or radical democracy.
Dmokratia = kratos (rule, sovereignty) of the dmos (the citizen body, the people)
Pericles' (or Thucydides') Funeral Oration:
Epitaphios Logos: annual speech in honor of those who died in war that year
heroic kleos in an egalitarian, civic context
some seminal qualities of the ideal Athenian:
kalokagathia: "beauty and goodness," nobility (social and moral)
all Athenians become elites, no division between rich and poor
defined against (implicit) others: the poor unwashed dmos and the old aristocrats
a (male) person who has the quality of kalokagathia is a kaloskagathos (plural:
eleutheria: all Athenians are free and masters of themselves
both democracy and empire are represented in the speech as results and
manifestations of this innate quality andreia: bravery, military courage, manliness
Athenian andreia is innate (unlike the Spartans'), according to Pericles
If andreia is a defining quality of the Athenian, can there be a female Athenian?
Reading Summary Hesiod Theogony
Describes the genealogy of the Greek pluralistic gods. Tells how they came to be
and established rule over the cosmos.
Gods and Mortals
Greek men are superior but inferior to gods.
Greeks love to tell myths about superior mortals like Arcane:
o Weaver and very beautiful. Competition with Athena.
o But gods always prevail.
o Gods all powerful and live forever.
Thanatoi those who die and athanatoi those who live forever.
o Anthropomorphic religious ideas having human shape.
Gods invested in human affairs but dont suffer from them.
Domestic despute in the Iliad:
o Zeus was flirting with another women. Hera got jealous and used sex to get him
back. Here we see that gods can be mortal and immortal.
Protagoras Man is the measure of all things.
Anthropomorphic mans center and gods reflect them.
Lots of detail in the Theogony Why?
o Made a good poem.
o Impressive to say.
Panhellenism o Starts thinking of Greece as a whole.
o Like Olympics did.
Hesiod took everybodys gods and put them together in one poem.
o Shows community.
o Zeus and the Olympians.
Gods not completely separate from humans
Mortal + god = hero.
Theogony = birth of the gods.
o They reproduce, Have human problems, Power hungry
Hesiods succession myth
o Handing down power through conflict.
o Conflict between father and son.
Chaos (empty disorder)
= basic starter kit for the universe
Geia created heaven and they had the titans and kronos
Ouranos pushed his children back into the earth.
Gods are endlessly fertile
o Penis thrown into water = Aphrodite born.
Second generation = Kronos and Rhea and their children are the Olympians
Kronos swallows his children
Knows Zeus is going to overthrow him
Rhea hides zeus and feeds kronos a boulder. Zeus comes back and makes his
father throw up all his siblings
3rd generation Olympians beat titans.
Olympians ask Zeus to become leader
Zeus has a peaceful rule