The Greeks Textbook Notes 2.docx

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Classical Studies
Classical Studies 1000
David Lamari

The Greeks Notes 2 Tragedy: Festivals and Conventions - “Tragedy” means goat song but surviving tragedies have little to do with rituals involving goats - Probably an Athenian invention - Performed for several days in March at the festival great/city dionysia – procession in honour of Dionysus (Peistratus established a temple in acropolis) o 1 day of procession o Contest in dithyrambic odes involving 10 choruses o 1 day for comedies (5 of them) o 3 days for tragedies  competitive, each day playwright presented 3 plays which may be linked but usually not in plot and then finally a satyr play for comic relief o Judges (kritai) drawn from 10 tribes and elected - gave verdict - Dionysia as a state institution first associated with Peisistratus then later appears to be reorganized by Cleisthenes - First dramas acted in the agora - Thespis separated himself from singing and dancing to converse with chorus leader nd rd - Aeschylus introduces a 2 character and Sophocles a 3 - Comedies introduced shortly before the Persian wars - Plays only had 1 city performance - Have 6 plays by Aeschylus, 7 by Sophocles and 19 by Euripides - Arrangements of the festival were made by the eponymous archon –year of office known by his name o Chose from the wealthiest citizens a number of choregoi who were required to pay for the training and equipping of a chorus – financial role o Also chose playwrights – non Athenians could apply – wrote play, provided music and choreographed - in early days playwrights also actors , then with the addition of more actors came class of professional actors - From the time of Pericles – state treasury paid for admission but foreigners had to pay – some slaves/women might have been able to attend - Periclean theatre held 14 000 spectators - In the centre of the performing area was an altar to god - The circle = the orchestra meaning “dancing place” – where the chorus dances and sings - Wooden stage behind the orchestra - First background building in 460 (skene) – perhaps containing dressing rooms and entrance to stage - All acting took pace out of doors in the open air - Interior scenes might be played on the ekkulema (probably a platform with wheels that could be rolled out) - Acts of violence usually committed offstage and reported later in the play - Mechane – crane by which a god might be lowered from the top of the theater (gods also appear on a balcony of the stage building called the theologeion) - Sophocles introduced scene paintings - Need much effort in voice projection - Actors (all male) wore masks and the principal actors has special high boots (or buskins) called kothurnoi – masks were painted to give individuality to characters and could be changed from scene to scene - Individuality could also be from colour of costumes or props - Chorus was trained in perfect harmony and actors must have concentrated on conveying large effects and giving a clear expressive rendering of the words themselves (important due to people way in the back) - All plays consist of a number of episodes or scenes involving the principal characters , divided by choral interludes (stasima) - Aeschylus had interludes about 1/3 of the play whereas Sophocles and Euripides reduced part of the chorus - The chorus is detached from the main actions but is fully integrated in the emotional and thematic pattern of the play - Greek drama more stylized than subsequent European drama - Although drama developed from a religious ritual – it was freed from any restrictions of needing to write about certain gods/myths (not restricted to any subject) Aeschylus (525 – 456) - With Peisistratus – destroyed power of archaic aristocratic order whose power was extinguished with the reform of the areopagus - Oldest tragedy about the Greco-persian wars - celebrates heroes in Marathon and Salamis – set in Persia o Plot: Mother of Xerxes anxious about the fate of the expedition and makes libations at tomb of husband Darius – his ghost appears – sees justice in fate of Persians due to actions of his son (see excerpt) – “man is mortal and must learn to curb his pride” - Darius is idealized as a wise old king and the fall of the Persians is more from the envy of the gods than the power of the Greeks - Hubris bringing in its wake ate (infatuation or folly) begets it’s inevitable nemesis - All the other surviving tragedies feature heroic figures of traditional myths - The story of Orestes (one surviving trilogy) – Agamemnon returns from Troy where his cousin Aegisthus takes him to his palace and kills him o Earlier Aegisthus prevailed to make his wife (Clythenestra) her paramour (who possibly murdered Cassandra??) o Reigned for 7 years until Orestes came to avenge his father by slaying Aegisthus and then has a banquet o Focus on clythenestra’s infidelity and is contrasted with the loyalty of Odysseus’s wife Penelope o Receives divine approval from gods for his bravery - “Agamemnon” of Aeschylus – priest tells Agamemnon that Artemis is angered at him and will only be appeased by the murder of his daughter Iphigeneia o Faced with a choice: he can return home in failure and risk censure of men or he can persevere with the great expedition after the sacrifice o The priest predicted atonement for the sacrifice of the child – the guilty doer must suffer o Justice inclines scales to exact wisdom at the price of suffering o Clymenestra masters Agamemnon psychologically showing his weakness o Is murdered by throwing a net over him as he bathes and stabbing him repeatedly, aegisthus insultingly called a woman - In the “libation bearers” – Orestes returns to execute the orders of Apollo to avenge his father o Kills Aegisthus first and confronts Clymenestra with her crimes – hesitates and asks if he should spare her, seeks the persecution of the furies who deal with crimes committed between kinsmen - In “Eurimides” – Orestes sought sanctuary and the protection of Apollo o While the furies sleep, tells him to go seek the justice of Athena o The spirit of clymenestra awakes the furies and goads them to hunt Orestes to his death o The furies rebuke Apollo for interference – they say that a wife and her husband are not actually kin o Athena hearing both sides submits the case to a tribunal of 12 Athenian judges in her temple on the hill of Ares o Apollo appears as a witness of Orestes’ behalf o The votes cast equal so Athena gives her verdict in favour of Orestes o Athena then proceeds to placate the furies who are older than the Olympians and feel that the younger gods have overridden ancient laws o Athena’s second reason is that Zeus through the oracle has given witness that Orestes should not suffer for his deeds, she then promises the furies honor and abode in Athens - Aeschylus’s interest and presentation of the myth is quite different from Homer’s who had stressed the infidelity of Clymenestra, the wrong done to Agamemnon and Orestes’ just revenge o In Aeschylus’ version , Orysteia, the myth is a vehicle for the dramatic expression of a conflict between men and women involved in a blood feud and between the rival claims of different generations of gods o The good that prevails is a communal good – the establishment of Athenian justice sanctioned by the gods o The learning caused by suffering does not come from the individual soul but by divine dispensation from without?? (this textbook is weird) o Court scene at the areopagus represents historical solution to old tribal system of justice through blood feud in the development of the laws and institutions of the polis o The overall effect is not really tragic o In the court scene – the bizarre arguments makes us feel gods work in mysterious ways that reflect the arbitrariness with which judgements are frequently arrived at in human courts of justice o Also puts us into raw contact with the primitive roots of human behaviour which social institutions of civilization are designed to restrain o Protagonists show a determined willingness of ruthless action and capacity of unholy deeds which is appalling Sophocles (496-406) - Note of celebration in the Oresteia also found in Antigone by Sophocles o Chorus believes that the power of contrivance (invention) which is the subject of the song can lead to both good and evil o See passage p. 117 o Greek word deinos has many translations: wonder, clever, terrible and marvellous o Song prompted by news the edict (decree) of King creon has been flouted o Polyneics killed in battle by twin brother – King creon says his body should not be buried because he is an enemy of the city (decrees a death penalty to anyone who does) o In the song – make a distinction between a man who is hypsipolis (high in state), the laws of the land and a cityless outcast (apolis) who does wrong for the sake of daring o Antigone, his sister – does the deed o Sophocles can be said to have constructed a tragedy upon conflicting claims of family and city represented by 2 individuals of strong and uncompromising will o No movement towards a resolution nor do the gods intervene o Creon becomes more tyrannical, doesn’t listen to pleas of son, Haemon, who is betrothed to Antigone o After fierce confrontation with prophet, Triesias, he finally relents fearing force of established laws – goes to free Antigone only to find she has committed suicide o Haemon thrusts as Creon with himself, misses, then kills himself… he then returns to the palace to find his wife has hung himself in despair  creon recognizes his fate has reduced him to less than nothing o One of the 3 surviving plays featuring members of the house of Oedipus – titled “The theban plays” - Aristotle uses “King Oedipus” as an example of the best sort of tragedy in his “Poetics” o Everything follows logically and naturally from the plague which sets the play in motion – however is not a “naturalistic play” – some coincidences o Legend of Oedipus is full of absurdities that are disguised by plotting of the play by Sophocles o Prophet tells Oedipus that the killer of his father Laius is present and will be found to be the son and husband to the mother that bore him (we do not know at this point that it is Oedipus who kills his father and married his mother) o Oedipus did not actually suffer from the complex that bears his name – tried to remove himself from his parents o Interweaving of 3 oracles in the play – Jocasta seeks to deny that he would be killed by hands of his own child and instead killed by robbers??? (confusing – see p. 119) o Aristotle contrasts simple/complex plots:  Complex action- one in which the change of fortune is accompanied by a discovery (a change from ignorance to knowledge) or a reversal (change of one state of affairs to its opposite) or both  ex. In Oedipus a messenger who came to cheer Oedipus and relieve him of his fear about his mother does the opposite and reveals who he was  a discovery in combination with reversal will carry either pity or fear o A corinthian messenger gives O. news that Polybus is dead and that the corinthians may make him king of isthmus – O. is still fearful mother is still alive – hails himself the child of chance and the servant of Laius is called and the truth is revealed o The audience already knows of Oedipus’s fate because it is a famous myth o No other Greek play has exploited dramatic irony so ruthlessly – much of the play’s symbolic force lies in Oedipus’ ignorance and blindness contrasted with the blind prophet who knows – in the reversal after knowing, Oedipus blinds himself because he cannot bear to look upon the light of day - Plot from Wikipedia: Oedipus was born to King Laius and Queen Jocasta. In the most well- known version of the myth, Laius wished to thwart a prophecy saying that his child would grow up to murder his father and marry his mother. Thus, he fastened the infant's feet together with a large pin and left him to die on a mountainside. The baby was found on Kithairon by shepherds and raised by King Polybus and Queen Merope in the city of Corinth. Oedipus learned from the oracle at Delphi of the prophecy, but believing he was fated to murder Polybus and marry Merope he left Corinth. Heading to Thebes, Oedipus met an older man in a chariot coming the other way on a narrow road. The two quarreled over who should give way, which resulted in Oedipus killing the stranger and continuing on to Thebes. He found that the king of the city (Laius) had been recently killed and that the city was at the mercy of the Sphinx. Oedipus answered the monster's riddle correctly, defeating it and winning the throne of the dead king and the hand in marriage of the king's widow, Jocasta. o The play fulfils the Aristotelian requirements for a tragic fall (good men should not pass from prosperity to misery and evil men from misery to prosperity… nor should a worthless man be seen falling from prosperity to misery – has to invoke pity or fear – our pity is awakened by undeserved misfortune and fear by someone just like ourselves) o Aristotle believed that plot was the soul of tragedy and character came second o Oedipus has faults – quick to get angry and though the killing of his father justified because of being provoked – is rash temper apparent in his treatment of Creon and the prophet (Tiresias) o Does all in his power to prevent his fate – did not merit his fall – victim of a tragic flaw within himself o Contrasted with version by Roman playwright Seneca in which he is at first concerned for his people then becomes single-minded in his quest for truth o Final words spoken to him by Creon – command no more, your rule has ended o Aristotle’s definition of tragedy: a representation of an action that is worth serious attention, complete in itself and of some amplitude… presented in the form of action not narration, by means of pity and fear bringing purgation of such emotions o Dramatizes the human struggle against an inscrutable fate and the insecurity of human happiness o Not only do we pity Oedipus, we admire him for his great spirit Euripides (485-406) - Earliest surviving play called the “Medea” of 431 o Medea out of love for Jason helped him gain the Golden Fleece and had been involved in the murder of his uncle Pelias – as a result they fled with their children to settle in Corinth o Jason betrayed Medea for a marriage to Glauce, the daughter if Creon (king of Corinth) o Speech gives sympathy to the social position of women and the powerlessness of foreign women in particular o Creon orders Medea to take her sons into exile, in spite of his fear for her – he grants the request to be delayed by 1 day o Reversal of roles – women’s reputation of faithlessness will be ended o Euripides shows a fondness of cut and thrust line-by-line debate, stichomythia o Criticized for making his characters indulge in clever talk (sophistry) o Jason says she did what she did for him out of eros, though he recognizes a debt – claims in bringing her, a foreigner, to greece to have given her the benefits of Greek life o Jason’s ultimate misogyny and xenophobia seen as the main burden of the play’s meaning o Medea gains asylum from the visiting Athenian Aegeus – she reveals her plan for revenge – she will send her children to Glauce with a gift of poisonous dress in which she will expire in agony – then she will kill her sons (she prefers guilt to the mockery of her enemies) o In climax, Medea wavers over plan to kill her children – the action of the play entirely determined by human agents – she recognizes her sons will be doomed anyways as they will be killed for being part of Glauce’s murder o By making Medea consciously pronounce her wrong-doings – suggests that Euripides has Socrates’ doctrine in mind in that wrongdoing results from the faulty perception of good and that no one willingly does wrong o Sophocles remarks that while he portrays humans as they ought to be, Euripides portrays them as they are – his representation of actual human nature different from the Socratic ideal - Contrast most apparent in their different treatments of the myth of Orestes o Electra has been forced into marriage with a peasant on whose farm the action is set – husband treats her well – when told about him Orestes reflects that true nobility has little to do with noble birth o While characters are strong in Sophocles’ version, Euripides subjects them to weakness and fear – in S.’s version – Elektra becomes single-minded after suffering, in E’s version – she has a break down o His Clystemenestra is a pitiable figure admitting to frailty and expressing regret for the revenge she took on Agamemnon o His Orestes questions the wisdom of the Oracle and is goaded into action by Elektra’s accusation of weakness o Sophocles’ climax is the killing of Aegisthus and ending on a rejoicing at the cleaning of the house; in Euripides’ version, the climax is the horror and torment felt by both the daughter and son at the murder of their mother o Resolution made by appearance of gods Castor and Pollux who say that Clymnestra’s fate was just but do not justify Orestes or Elktra saying Apollo’s command was not wise – his gods merely machines for tying up loose ends at the ends of the plot o Elektra is to marry Pylades and Orestes is to stand trial in Argos o Cly…. Is to be buried by her sister, Helen o Zeus in his anger (angry because Atreus’s brother lay with his Atreus’ wife and took the lamb w/ a golden fleece given to him by Pan to his own house) reversed the course of the stars and the sun’s chariot – useful to promote fear and reverance to the gods - Of all tragic poets, E. held in greatest regard  soldiers captured in sicily thanked Euripides for their deliverance because they were given freedom/food in exchange for teaching/reciting his poems Old Comedy: Aristophanes (450-385) - Aristotle says word derived from “kome” – village – because comedians were turned out of towns and went strolling around the villages - Scholars say it derived from “komos” – revel - Revels which took place on festival days might end with participants parading the streets - Aristotle also says comedy came from improvisations connected with phallic songs (associated with fertility and the worship of Dionysus) and that the earliest plot makers were Sicilian - Also a state institution performed at the Great City Dionysia – also had a special festival in Jan called the Lenaea - The chorus (24 members) provided by a choregos who was responsible for hiring, training and fitting out the members at his own expense - The actors # weren’t restricted like in tragedy – wore grotesque masks and special footwear called the comic sock and often had a phallic emblem – costumes were very padded - Only surviving from 5 century are 9 by Aristophanes, another 2 of his from 4 century - Most striking feature is the satrical character and ridiculing invective of named individuals (could be politicians or philosophers or poets) - Verb komodein (to represent in comedy) also used to mean ridicule or satirize - Another feature is the frank indecency with regard to sexual matters and bodily functions o Ex. In Lysistrata – women of Athens and Sparta agree to bring war to an end by withdrawing sexual services until peace is concluded - Most plays involve some extravagant fantasy o the birds, for ex. Concerns an attempt to establish an ideal city in the sky – Cloudcuckooland – where the inhabitants can rule by controlling food supply of both men and gods - realistic picture of ordinary athenian life emerges despite the distortion of the comic lens o in “wasps” and “assembly women” – we can see how the system works o Plato replies to tyrant questioning Athenian constitution to send him a play by Aristophanes - Parabasis – in which the poet uses the chorus to break the dramatic illusion midway to speak in his own voice – may or may not be related to play - In poetic form, many lyrics are appealing and charming - The Knights – his first play – savage attack on leading politician of the day – Cleon (Pericles’ successor) who had recently gained political kudos by his presence at a notable Athenian victory over Sparta at Pylos o At the end of the play – the imperialist schemes of Hyperbolus and the Athenian tendency to swindle allies and prosecute war at all costs denounced o An oracle discovered that Cleon (a seller of leather by trade) is to be ousted from the favour of the Demos (Athenian people) by a sausage seller – when told of his destiny feels unworthy because he was born in the gutter and can scarcely read or write o Told “come off it, you don’t think politics are for the educated do you? Or the honest? It’s for illiterate scum like you” o Sausage seller says he is a bigger crook than cleon, they compete for the favour of the irascible and the stupid old man, Demos by flattery and bribery and interpretation of oracles o In a conversation with the knights, see that Demos isn’t as simple as he seems – he knows the thieving ways of the politicians o The sausage seller steals Cleon’s hare and wins by showing that while his hamper is empty cleon has kept most of the food for himself (suggesting that the real cleon lines his own pockets) o Cleon confesses he has been outdone in shamelessness and sees the truth of the oracle o Sausage seller revealed to be Agoracritus (the choice of the assembly) o The sausage seller boils Demos to rejuvenate him so he appears as he was in the good old days of Militiades – the general who commanded the Athenians at their finest hour in the battle of Marathon – Demos is then amazed at his stupidity and vows to reform the politics and manners of the city o Is shown “two sweet 30 year old treaties” – probably in female form – who Cleon had hidden away and then Cleon is given Agoracritus’s old job selling sausages at city gates o Re-read plot – p. 128 o Addressing the judges he says “let the intellectuals choose me for my intellectual content and to those who enjoy a good laugh, judge me on my jesting” o Cleon has prosecuted Aristophanes a year earlier for bringing the city into disrepute before foreigners – the “knights” was a defiant reply o Implication is that Demos gets the politicians he deserves o The “knights” represents a tribute to the maturity of the Athenian democracy as well as a stringent criticism of it - The Frogs – written just after Euripides death and at a time of impending natural disaster o E. arrives in Hades – impresses riff-raff with his sophistical talents and as a result attempts to usurp the throne of tragedy from Aeschylus who resists – a contest will be weighed by Dionysus who has gone down to Hades for love of E.’s poetry o The chorus characterizes the poets similar to their styles – ex. E. has clear-cut phrases and neat wit and finding fault  he is a sophist and believes that A. is artistically primitive  A. is a traditionalist who accuses E. of degrading tragedy subject matter and style o E. is proud of trimming tragedy of its excess weight an gives voice to women and slaves to make it truly democratic and has taught the audience to be critical o Says the purpose of poetry is “wit, wisdom and to make people better citizens” o A. says it is the duty of the poet to talk about wholesome things and to be useful to the tradition of Homer, Hesiod, Orpheus and Musaeus o Dionysus likes both poets equally and finds it hard to judge between them – he asks them if Alcibiades should be recalled from exile  E says we must trust new men - A, being out of touch, asks what sorts of men should the city put faith in – the good and the true? – Dionysus says “of course not” – A doubts whether the city can be saved o Eventually Dionysus chooses A. as the winner (see passage p. 130) o The jesting of E. seems to be affectionate even though E. is no less a fool as A. - His poems seen as prophetic to the decline of imaginative creativity in the 4 century Later Comedy - Last 2 poems of Aristophanes – the Assemblywomen and Wealth – differ in that parabasis is abandoned and the plays are less overtly political - Quite transformed by plays of Menander: more links between Euripides and New comedy than old comedy and new comedy o Wit, indecency and caricature give way to humour and the realistic presentation of typical characters - New comedy greatly concerned with public affairs and the workings of the city state – which has at this time lost its independence to Macedonia - One complete play by Menander – Dyskolos (the Peevish Man) is a 5 act structure o The chorus is only a musical interlude between acts and a prologue figure as in Euripides to set the scene o Central character is an obstacle in the way of the young man who has fallen in love at first sight with his daughter – only after being rescued after falling down a well does the peevish old man see the error of his ways – “only disaster can educate us” o Young man has to prove himself capable of happy marriage - New comedy depends on effect of clever manipulation of the stereotypical (ex. The manipulative slave) o Does not challenge the audience but confirms the norms of a bourgeois world – o greatly influences European drama Classical Art - Kouros traditionally attributed to the leading sculptors of the period, Critios – were definitely made before the persians destroyed the temples in 480 - Relaxed in new pose – weight shifted on back leg with hips raised accordingly - Arms were not fixed to thighs as before, left arm bent backwards slightly, right arm dropped vertically - Legs and arms asymmetrically balanced, slight turn of head - Eyes more lifelike and hair shortened (diminishes effect of stylization) - Apollo statue – straight frontal pose, situated at the centre point of the pediment - subject is the battle of lapiths and centaurs o One arm outstretched, head is turned and looking towards battling figures o Calm majesty contrasted with chaos of battle of inferior beings o Image of ideal male beauty – straight nose, large eyes, fine eyebrows, strong chin and cheekbones - God of Artemisium – more dynamic pose – identified as poseidon and sometimes Zeus o Thought to be about to hurl a trident (or thunderbolt) o Hand. Face and foot point in direction of the target o Weight balance on heel of one foot and the ball of the other o Made of bronze o Sharp angle of beard – points toward target- intensifies sense of purpose and power - Diskobolos of Myron – not known in the original but from many roman copies o Poise and balance of its dynamic pose were celebrated o Fully liberated from archaic form o Original in bronze, represent ideal athlete – no sign of muscular strain, delicate position of head o Balance created by curves Red Figure Innovative Pottery - In 530, athenian potter reversed process by painting an outline of the figures then colouring the background black so that the figures remained red - The drawing of the figures was completed with a brush instead of an engraving tool - gave fluidity and depth to figures - Exekias representation of warriors seems stiff an formal compared to the girl goring to wash on an athenian cup - There is still some trace of geometric patterning – head, pail and basin make a triangular frame - The composition is roughly circular (incline of head, backward stretch of arm and curve of back foot) - Features give the impression of a moving figure at a pivotal moment (archaic form was strictly frontal or profile or a combination) - Actual pose is unnatural – backwards extended hand would create too much strain - Elements of stylization continue to exist in the hair and the lines of the drapery - Further innovations initiated by one of the early masters – Polygnotus o None of his works survive but in descriptions by historians – was attributed the key role in the revolution whereby painting becomes 3-dimensional with limited use of perspective to create the illusion of space o Vase painters began to create scenes where all the figures were not all on the same baseline - The nioboid-painter (so called from the subject of the scene on the reverse side in the vase featuring the killing of children in Niobe) has a group of figures spaced at different levels o Did not make them smaller, seem to be floating in space o Thought to represent the argonauts o Warriors are in a relaxed mood o Some patterns, but doesn’t have the same geometric structure perfected by Exekias o More naturalistic effect, creates illusion of depth o Lacks concentration of a single focal point – more relaxed and casual o All 4 poses different o Adopted new anatomical structure of recent sculpture where the centre of the body is filled out (unlike archaic form) o Does not have the same perfection as black-figure pottery of Exekias, but is an advance towards a freer style o Experiments of spatial effects were soon abandoned o Painted scene works against the natural contours of the vase – seems to penetrate the pot High Classicism – the architecture of the parthenon - Parthenon: temple dedicated to Athena – parthenos meaning “maiden” - Located at the top point of the city - Ex. Thucydides states that if sparta were to become deserted – it has nothing of significance to show its power but with Athens one would think that the city had been twice as powerful as it actually is o Prophetic: Parthenon, even in its ruined state, was an inspiring symbol of Athenian greatness and distinguished athens from sparta - Cultural emblem – embodiment of classical spirit - Plutarch in his “life of pericles” suggested that Pericles built it to encourage people to cherish higher ambitions and make themselves believe they are capable of great achievements o Pericles proposed that all greeks send delegates to a congress at athens to discuss the burning of greek sanctuaries by the persians o Never happened- sparta didn’t want anything to do with the plan o However – pericles went ahead with the restoration of the temples on the acropolis that the persians destroyed  building of parthenon began in 447 and completed 15 years later o Motive also political – Pericles wanted to enhance confidence and self-awareness of the Athenian polis o Plutarch in his writings described how the most wonderful thing about them was the speed at which the buildings were built - Soon after completion of the parthenon, Pericles in his funeral oration as told by Thucydides gives voice to the athenian cultural ideal – “our love of what is beautiful does not lead to extravagance; our love of things of the mind does not make us soft” - The project was funded by contributions of allies - Roots of classical architecture traced to the Egyptians, the minoans and the mycenaeans o The egyptians used columns to decorate their temples and tombs o Minoans used “trabeation” – placing horizontal beams or lintels across the top of the load bearing up-right posts or columns to form “entablature” - 2 main stylistic orders: Greek word for column is “stylos” o Doric – evolved as the predominant form of mainland greece  More severe and grand  The parthenon is seen as the perfection of the doric style th o Ionic – developed in Ionia and the Aegean sea islands in the late 6 century  Taller and thinner columns with more decoration – ore graceful o The later corinthian order which is the predominant form of temple architecture in imperial rome is a variation of ionic with a distinctive capital - Religious ceremonies performed at an altar in open air , the temple’s function was to house the statue of the deity and to act as a storeroom for the deity’s property - Had at least 2 columns more than usual – probably to house the enormous Athena statue (~40 ft high) made by the greatest sculptor at that time, Pheidias – the architects of the Parthenon, Ictinus and Callicrates must have worked in conjunction with Pheidias - Has a basic rectilinear pattern – the columns’ tapering drew the eye upward from the base to the roof o Columns were also given a slight inward curve o The architrave has a slightly outward curve – convex shape o Gives temple a more natural relation to the ground on which it was built o Subtlety of the Parthenon can be appreciated when compared to the temple Paestum – thought to have been dedicated to Hera or Poseidon (the Parthenon contains a new grace when compared to the stockier structures of the early 5 century) - The decoration on Greek architecture not allowed to interrupt the dominant lines of the structure as a whole as it does in gothic style o The parts are subordinate and not allowed to detract from the overall unity - Sculptural decoration, according to the Doric canon, are confined to 3 areas: The triangular pediments on either end, the inner frieze and the metopes - Other surfaces (architraves, exterior walls) are known as the “cella” and are plain - The parthenon differs from traditional doric temples in that all the metopes and whole inner frieze are sculpted – the marble was then painted - The parthenon suffered 2 disasters: th th o first when it was converted to a Christian church in the 5 -6 century of the Christian era – resulting in the loss of centre of the east pediment o After Turkish conquest it became a mosque o 2 and greatest disaster was in 1687 when it was used as an arsenal by the turks in their war with the venetians – large part of centre blown out - However, much of its original design can be reconstructed - Pausanias wrote that the pediment above the entrance represented birth of Athena while the other showed a contest between Athena and poseidon - Drawings by artists before 1687 also help complete the picture of the pediments - Carved so that figures near the corners were reclining and those in the middle were standing - Many individual metopes survive – main subjects appear to be a battle between the gods and giants on the east side, the battle between the greeks and the Amazons (female warriors) on the west, the battle of the lapiths and centaurs on the south and scenes from the sack of troy on the north o Has been argued that there are recurrent themes of the triumph of reason over chaos and hellenism over barbarism - The subject of the inner frieze is not from a traditional myth – devoted to a representation of the panathenaic procession (annual festival held in honour of Athena in the late summer) o Every 4 years – had the Great Panathenaea where a new robe (peplos) was offered to the goddess o At main point – the robe is presented to a magistrate while the spectacle is watched by the Olympian gods (including Athena) - Lord Elgin, British ambassador to Turkey in 1799 AD took large portions to london for safe- keeping Sculptures of high classcism: Polyclitus; the sculptures of the Parthenon - Early classical sculpture more “severe” in contrast to the more rounded 3D art that followed o Ex. The diskobolos is largely 2D – offers no proper view from the sides o Great masters of the developed classical style from 450-onwards was the Athenian Pheidias and Argive Polyclitus - Best known statue by Polyclitus is the doryphorus (spear-bearer) – over 30 copies made o Original in bronze and did not need the prop found in the marble copy o Sometimes identified as achilles – carries spear in left hand o Lines in shoulder no longer horizontal as seen in the Critian boy o Freedom and flexibility greatly advanced o Expresses movement – figure coming to a halt or starting to walk o Asymmetrical balance of limbs more developed and combined with torso more responsive to tilt of the hip o Turn of its head completes the rhythm of the statue making an S-curve o More rounded, pleasing views of the sides - Polyclitus set out a consciously conceived idea of proportion in his book the “Canon” o Because of this, the statue itself was called the canon o The book does not survive – only have accounts by other authors o Sculptor thought the secret to beauty lies in the commensurability (ability to measure by a common standard) of the parts o May have been influenced by Pythagorean’s doctrine that numbers are the ultimate reality o Believed that perfection could not be wholly engendered by determining optimum ratios o Bears witness to greek belief of due measure in all things - Regarded Pheidias as their greatest sculptor – called the “maker of god” o Most famous – the great cult statues, decorated in ivory and gold, of Athena made for the parthenon and Zeus for the temple at Olympia o The olympian zeus was 40 ft high and was one of the wonders of the ancient world o Formed it in the image of the nod of Zeus in Homer expressing his absolute will (in the Iliad)  represents homeric attitude – slight inclination of head and arch of eyebrows – did not envoke fear o Cicero reports he did not fashion zeus after any single man but had a perfect picture in his mind of beauty which he had contemplated and directed his hand - Idealism in classical sculpture illustrated in “the Olympian Pericles” by Cresilas – “the art of sculpture has made noble figures more noble” o Called the olympian because of his aloofness, oratory or mighty ways o Also had a “squillhead” – the helmet in his sculpture covers his onion shape head and to dignify his position o Note: realistic portraiture did not develop until the hellenistic period o Equally ideal is the head of the horses of Selene in the parthenon – suggests power and epic nobility almost beyond nature - The sculptors of the parthenon probably under the direction of one man – probably Pheidias o Dynamic positioning of lapith’s legs, curves of cloak provides a dramatic backcloth, folded drapery adds depth (3 layers – lapith’s legs, centaur’s flank and the cloak) o The 3 seated figures in the frieze identified as Poseidon and twins: Artemis and Apollo  Relaxed and serene; figures are all calm and passionless but endured with life o In the figure of the west pediment (“Iris”) – the clinging drapery shows off the form of the body as well as the direction of its curves – gives a strong impression of movement Classical Painting - No surviving originals – has to be inferred from later copies or in accounts in writing - Apollodorus nicknamed “the shadow painter” – first to make extensive highlighting by means of shading o First to give realistic presentation of objects- paved way for Zeuxis of Heraclea - Both Zeuxis and Parrhasius had skills in the art of illusion o Zeuxis produced a picture of grapes so successfully represented that birds would fly to the stage building where it was exhibited o Parrhasius created a picture of curtains so naturalistic that Zeuxis mistakenly asked for it to be drawn aside thinking his true painting was behind it o Suggests absolute mastery in shading and mixing colours to provide a natural illusion - Did not simply copy nature – see passage p. 201 - According to Cicero, Zeuxis when asked to decorate the temple of Hera – he wanted to paint a picture of the helen of troy – he chose the 5 most beautiful women (each with some imperfections but took the perfect parts of each to create his image – “because in no case has nature made anything perfect and finished in every part”) o Added to the painting the words of homer “who on earth could blame the trojan and achaean men at arms for suffering so long for such a woman’s sake. Indeed she is the very image of an immortal goddess” - Like nature the artist imposes form (eidos) upon the undifferentiated matter of the world (hyle) – the artist can also transcend nature by ironing out imperfections - Vase painting due to limitations does not represent the pinnacle of greek achievements in painting (came later with Apelles – said to be greatest painter in antiquity) o However, art of line drawing in the free Attic style of the Perciclean era has rarely been surpassed - Lekythos by the “achilles painter” (attributed to white ground funeral vases called “lekythoi (oil flasks))  depicts a girl playing the lyre o Word at the bottom “helicon” means the seat of the muses – she may have been one herself o Musical representation by the bird at her feet o Did not include unnecessary detail which would have taken away from the concentration on the main figure o Very unified – with curves (thighs, back, lyre) counterbalanced with vertical lines (drapery, strings, fingers, arm) o At its best – greek art even in its maturity never lost touch with geometric origins o Final masterly touch seen in the positioning of the bird (parallel to the arm) o Beauty comes from fluidity and refinement (in execution of detail – none of which draws attention to itself and has its place in the larger design - and slight incline of head) o Grecian Profile – forehead and nose are united in a continuous straight line o Grecian bend – slightly rounded shoulders o Regarded as a touchstone in distinguishing the calm, poise and serenity of classical art The Peloponnesian War - Fought in various phases from the outbreak of hostilities in 431 to the defeat of Athens in 404 o Was a dispute between Athens and Corinth over Corcyra – a colony of Corinth which sought to make an alliance w/ Athens contrary to the interests of Corinth which appealed to Sparta to intervene o Sparta declared war with the expressed aim of liberating greek states from the dominance of Athens o Thucydides finds the underlying cause to be Spartan fear of increasing Athenian power - Pericles’ strategy was to avoid pitched battle by retreating behind the walls of the city by which the harbour and the city were both connected and defended o Athen’s was assured of food supplies by way of traditional corn routes through the Bosporus o Meanwhile, she might herself blockade the food supply to the Peloponnese o When spartans invaded Attica, which was done in the corn-growing season of all 6 years – the rural populations retreated to the city - One of the most promising engagements was the occupation of Pylos in Messenia at the eastern coast of the Peloponnese where a number of spartiates were taken prisoner and shipped back to Athens - Sparta sued for peace but the successors of Pericles urged continuation of the war - Sparta made a successful attack against the Athenian empire in the north in the Thracian Chalcidice where she captured Amphipolis – an important source of raw materials and promising for further interference in the region - But neither side gained any significant advantage and peace was agreed in 421 where both sides agreed to give up their gains and return to the status quo – Athenian power remained intact o The peace did not suit spartan allies – and Alibiades (brought up in the household of Pericles) who now dominated the assembly– exploited discontent by makking alliances with Peloponnesian states in dispute w/ sparta – reasserted her dominance at the battle of Mantinea o Athens subjugated the island of Melos, one of the few Aegean islands not subject to her – killed all men of military age and sold women and children to slavery - In 415 envoys from Egesta came to Athen’s requesting help in Sicilian war – Pericles had advised Athens not to try to expand empire during the war with sparta but Alcibiades’ support won the day and the Athenians mounted a huge expedition with the aim of expanding their empire o Alcibiades recalled to answer charges of sacrilegious behaviour and fled to Sparta where he proceeded to help the enemy o The fleet was defeated and destroyed and the troops taken prisoner – weakened Athenian power – taking advantage of this a number of the states of her empire revolted while sparta began to equip with a new fleet for war in the Aegean - At the suggestion of Alcibiades – sparta established a permanent base at Decelea restricting Athenian movement by land - Athens involved Persia in the war by supporting the revolt of Amorges in Caria against Persian rule  as a result persia began giving financial support to Sparta for a spartan rule would increase Persia’s power over the Asia minor deprived of Athenian protection o Sparta and Persia made a treaty in which sparta recognized Persia’s sovereignty over asiatic greeks in return for persian support - Athens was running out of funds and corn supply threatened by the new Peloponnesian fleet - Alcibiades, now in Persia, made contact with the Athenian fleet at samos promising to arrange for Persia to change sides if they overthrew their democratic constitution – an oligarchic revolution took place in 411 – the oligarchs did not succeed in bringing peace w/ sparta and the constitution was modified to a more moderate oligarchy – in 410 radical democracy was restored - Alcibiades had been recalled and successfully secured the corn supplies restoring Athenian power in much of the Aegean - Battle of Arginusae in 406 – Athenians defeated the Spartan fleet but lost many ships/men in a subsequent storm – all victorious generals were executed upon return to Athens - The athenian fleet defeated in battle of Aegospotami in Hellespont  sparta required her to dismantle long walls and to maintain a fleet no more than 12 ships and to recall citizens exiled when oligarchy had been overthrown o A board of 30 took over and began a reign of terror against political opponents – the leading democrats who had fled to Thebes returned to fight the 30 and killed a number of them o The spartans did not oppose the gradual restoration back to democracy - See summary analysis by Thucydides in tribute to Pericles – p. 60 – believed the sicilian expedition was not properly supported Socrates (469-399) and the Sophists - Did not write anything so our sources of him come from: Xenophon who wrote personal recollections from him in his “Memoirs of Socrates” and chiefly from Plato who made socrates the main spokesman in his dialogues – all written sometime after his death in 399 o Most scholars believe socrates did not develop a system of beliefs and that what the world knows as Platonism is really just Plato’s tendencies in Socrates’ thought - Son of an Athenian stonemason in whose trade he was trained - In the “Apology” – socrates’ friend had consulted an oracle and asked if there was anyone wiser than socrates – the oracle said no – socrates sets out to refute the oracle only to find those with other reputations of wisdom really knew nothing and makes it his duty to disabuse all sorts and conditions of men from their own self-conceit and self-ignorance – put them on a road to truth - Favourite method: cross-questioning in order to refute an opponent - called “eironeia” – this questioning method called Socratic irony o The refutation called the elenchos – negative in effect by destroying conceit that we already have knowledge and destroying self-ignorance - The socratic method served a positive moral function in paving the way for clarity of thought about moral issues - Socrates compares himself to a midwife – he is “barren of wisdom” – when he asks questions – the person makes progress not because they have learned anything from him but because of the ideas they produce within themselves- in this way Socrates says he is responsible for the “delivery” o “I do what I do because it is my moral duty not to connive at falsehood and cover up truth” o His midwifery serves as a positive function to bring new ideas, not to destroy old beliefs – each mind seeks ground of its own conviction o Socratic belief: virtue is knowledge - The wise man who knows what is good and what conduces human happiness will do what is good and conduces to human happiness o Wrong actions a result of a faulty perception of what is good o Once you learn what is good and conduces to human happiness – the knowledge will be irresistible o “no one willingly does wrong” o Ethical concern meant to increase self-awareness as a prerequisit to health and well- being of the psyche - Enquiring method of Socrates sometimes called “the Greek Enlightenment” - Came with it a new kind of professional teacher called the “sophist” – derived from the word meaning wisdom or skill (sophia) o Moved from city to city teaching lessons in math, politics and the art of public speaking - Gorgias of Leontini associated with the development of Rhetoric – thought to have influenced Thucydides - “Man is the measure of all things” – Protagoras – thought to imply a doctrine of relativity in relation to knowledge and skepticism as to the universality of any science o Was an agnostic – first to propose that on any subject there are 2 conflicting opinions o See passage – p. 147 – says his students will learn from him the proper concern of his personal affairs and his state affairs - Plato thought the sophists taught skills without any genuine interest in moral truth or in the higher ends which knowledge should be made to serve, unlike socrates o The sophists also gave lectures in schools for a fee whereas socrates never set up a school or took fees - Nevertheless, aristophanes in his satire of sophists used socrates as the principal character in the play “Clouds” o A farmer (Strepsiades) has heard socrates is a man that can make the worse case appear a better one and hopes to profit from his teaching to cheat those to whom he is in debt o Goes to the “thinking school” of socrates who introduces the clouds and alleges they are responsible for rain instead of zeus – but Strep. Is too stupid to learn anything so he sends his son (Phedippides) instead o As a result of his learning – is able to teach his father to cheat his creditors – but he then beats his father proving he is justified in doing so and disowns the authority of the gods – Strep. Sets fire to the school in anger o In actual his trial, Plato makes Socrates refer to the Aristophanes caricature in his defence – Plato says “socrates is guilty of inquiring into things below the earth and into the sky and makes the weaker argument defeat the stronger and teacher others to follow his example” – he then tells them to refer to Aristophanes - Those who charged socrates were probably wanting to punish him for criticizing democracy (made on the grounds that the government should be in the hands of experts whereas the demos is undisciplined and untrained) - During his trial, Socrates refused to employ a proper defence choosing to make an honest and uncompromising avowal of his life’s aims and endeavors instead – says he cannot just “mind his own business” after the trial – says the best thing a man can do is to spend every day talking about goodness and examining both himself and others (“life without this examination is not worth living”) - Once condemned to death – he refused to escape from prison but chose to drink hemlock in the traditional manner - The testimonies of him were in part to vindicate him against his charges - In the symposium, Alcibiades says Socrates is like the figures of Silenus in shops – their unrepossessing exterior bellies their inner reality – for they are hollow inside and contain little figures of gods o Silenus is a pot-bellied drunkard who in sober moments dispenses wisdom to those who can pin him down and constrain him to do so o Socrates was ugly and chubby and the butt of many jokes – o Alcibiades also likens him to Marsayas who can entrance men with his flute – says socrates casts his spell with words and speech o See passages – p. 149 – says socrates has induced in him a feeling of shame o Alcibiades gets into bed with socrates who shows restraint – used to illustrate Socratic “sophrosyne” – the divine inner being masked by a comic exterior o Alcibiades has a reputation of both being a great drinker as well as a courageous soldier o Compares socrates’ speech to silenus – says he sounds ridiculous at first – uses the same language and ideas over and over – but if someone sees the content of Socrates’ talk exposed he will find is almost the talk of a god (passage p. 150) - Xenophon and Plato represent him as patriotic and law-abiding - Xenophon describes him to be the best and happiest of men; Plato describes him as the “wisest of men” Plato (427-347) - Born from an aristocratic family – wrote poetry before turning to philosophy after meeting socrates - Main respondents of socrates in the Republic are Glaucon and Adeimatrus, Plato’s elder brothers - After Socrates death, Plato turned aside his political career and started travelling extensively – visited the court of the tyrant Dionysius and met the ruler’s brother in law Dion who became his friend - Plato says the only way to have a good government was to have philosophers as kings - Returned to athens where he began a school situated in Academus thus called the Academy  attracted the sons of the powerful and wealthy from all over the Greek world - After Dionysius’s death – Dion invited Plato back to Syracruse to teach the young ruler Dionysius II who was not a responsive pupil - First systematic thinker in western philosophy - Some evidence that plato is the author of the letters attributed to him – deliberately refrained from putting his more advanced thought on paper o Dialogues seem to be designed for popular consumption without the use of technical language - Platonic Socrates – imaginative extension of the real figure – model of a man who believes virtue is knowledge - His discussions ascend the ideal – they start in the real world of practical human concerns - Does a good job at representing his characters well – ex. Aristophanes serio-comic style - In the republic – contrast of character between the polite socrates and the opinionated dogmatic sophist, Thrasymachus – socrates is denunciated by him – his character portrayal deliberately extreme - **See figure 26 p. 153 – a key to plato’s thought – especially his distinction between the ideal th and the phenomenal in his famous allegory of the cave in the 6 book of the republic o Graphic representation of the tendecy in greek thought to find happiness and virtue in knowledge and to exalt the wise man as the enlightener and saviour of mankind o Truth through the application of human intelligence and the ex
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