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CLAA06H3 (39)
Chapter 2

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Classical Studies
Xuefeng Liu

Chapter 2 – Cultural Content of Classical Myth Greek Geography • Poor, 1million people • Horses were high value • Limestone – marble, sculptures (Euboea) and Clay – pots, myths, burials (Athens and Corinth) • Aegean Sea – fish, transport Greek History • Early/Middle Bronze Age (3000 – 1600 BC) – Origin of the Greeks o Minoans – inhabitants of island Crete – built wealthy places, bull is part of religious ritual by double ax, worshipped gods of fertility, no walls so no fear. o Indo-Europeans – Migrated Eurasia with customs and their language.(this is Greek’s parent language)  Three groups – kings and priests, warriors and food producers • Late Bronze/Mycenaean Age (1600-1150BC) o Named for stone citadel of Mycenae o Powerful kings with military and bronze weapons, strongly fortified o A.K.AAchaeans – men who attacked troy o Big on art and religion o Linear B – nonalphabetic script o Fire destroyed most of place  • Dark Age o Dorian Greeks takeover o Social disorganization, depopulation, impoverishment • Archaic Period (800 – 480 BC) o Greek alphabet (vowels) o Polis – politically independent city (women were separate, constant competition with neighbor) o Sea for start of commerce, transportation and food o Social structure o Seafaring – exploring and risk o Coined currency o Kakoi – bad men / aristoi – best men o Tyrants – strong men/commercial class vs. aristrocracy o Threatened by Persians • Classical Period (480 – 323 BC) o First Democracy – rule by the people – destroy kakoi vs aristoi o Clisthenes reorganizaed Polis gave decision making to males o Ability to persuade was the power o Freedom proved good when they beat the Persians o Second victory over Persians is turning point to start Classical period o Victory let them to try different thoughts, social organizations + art o Best artists, influential thinkers, politicians o Violent tensions ancient loyalty to family and current loyalty to state o Aristole – man reaches full potential in a polis o Peloponnesian war – military Sparta v.s. aristocratic Athens • Hellenistic (anything Greek) Period (323-30 BC) o Polis was crippled when Philip of Macedeon overran Greek states didn’t like freedom movements o When he was killed, his son Alexander liked war and took over Persians, greatest field commander ever. o Hellenistic period starts when Alex died of fever o Empire broke up to different kingdoms but Greek became world culture with shared cultures o Capital city Athens moved to Alexandria, city founded by Alex o End of period when Alexandria fell to Romans after the suicide of Alex last descendant Cleopatra suicide Greek Society • Bronze/Iron – Linear B • Archaic – Poems of Homer and Hesoid • Classical – we know more from tragedies and literary work
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