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Chapter 2

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Department
Classics
Course
CLASS102
Professor
Craig Taylor
Semester
Winter

Description
CHAPTER 2 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF GREEK MYTHOLOGY New archaeology is constantly changing our understanding of Ancient Greece and rome, especially in regard to the sagas of MYCENAE and TROY. HEINRICH SCHLIEMANN (1822-1890) pioneer of archaeological work in Mycenaean world. SIR ARTHUR EVANS followed at the turn of the century, unearthing palace at Minos at Cnossus in Crete. GREECE was settled in Paleolithic times, before 70,000BC little figurines found have led some to conclude early religion (little women figurines with bellies and exagerated breasts and buttocks). great controversy. could be toys, right. THE BRONZE AGE Stone Age gave way to Bronze Age in greece, crete, and the islands with a MIGRATION FROM THE EAST - Asia Minor, across the aegean to southern Peloponnesus and up into greece. these invaders were responsible for MINAN CIVILIZATION of Crete. 1. EARLY BRONZE: 3000-2000 BC 2. MIDDLE BRONZE: 2000-1600 BC 3. LATE BRONZE: 1600-1100 BC three geographic areas: MINOAN - Crete CYCLADIC - the Cyclades are the islands that encircle Delos HELLADIC - Hellas is the Greek name for the Country of Greece, mainland. MINOAN CIVILIZATION Matured in Middle Bronze Age, pinnacled in 1600-1400 a great THALASSOCRACY: sea-power Palace at Cnossus compled and suggests the historical basis for the legend of the labyrinth and the slaying of the Minotaur by Theseus. Crete dominated the whole area for this pinnicle time, exacting tribute. No city walls, reliant on sea defence highly developed sense of religion, imporance of the bull in ritual, dominant role of a snake goddess, and the sacred significance of the double ax (LABRYS) labyrinth: home of the double axe about 1400bc, power shifted to mainland greece the reason for Crete's fall from power is controversial and divided into two groups: those who think Mycenaean (Greek) encroachment eventually took control of the island and those who don't. snake goddess suggests that before mycenaean ascendancy, their was first worship of a Great Mother Goddess. THE MYCENAEAN AGE ON THE MAINLAND, THE MIDDLE BRONZE AGE WAS USHERED IN BY AN INVASION FROM THE NORTH AND POSSIBLY EAST. THESE INDO EUROPEANS ARE THE FIRST GREEKS (SPOKE GREEK) TO ENTER THE PENINSULA. they brought with them the worship of a supreme god of the sky: ZEUS Mycenaean Civilization reached it's culmination in the late Helladic period (1600-1100), learning much from Minoans: painting, palaces, pottery... MYCENAE excavated by Schliemann in 1876. It had CYCLOPEAN walls (so large they were said to beult by giant cyclopes) two lions flanked the columns at the entrance to the city. THOLOS TOMBS Confirm belief in afterlife. built like huge beehives into sides of hills. SCHLIEMANN'S discoveries established the certainty of a link between the traditional tales of greek saga adn the actual places named in the poems ie Mycenae. These northerners religion of a patriarchal sky god differed much from Minoan fertility goddess worship. these two clearly blended in Mycenaen civilization. CARL BLEGAN discovered palace at Pylos where the family of Nestor lived. Found Linear B tablets MEGARON - a feature of Mycenaean architecture (not found in Minoan palaces) that is a large room in the palace with a central hearth. LINEAR B Tablets at Pylos that prove that the worship of Dionysus came to the area before the Mycenaean age
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