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Chapter 6

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Department
Social Science
Course
SOSC 2730
Professor
Lewis Code
Semester
Fall

Description
Chapter Six- Citizen Versus Ideal City Part 1: City and Citizen - “By the end of the sixth century the Hellenic city had begun to take form; but the form achieved was still rustic, often crude and the life it contained was more significant than the container.” (pg 158) - We often picture Greek of its love of abstract perfection, and forget all the violent, irrational, tormented aspects of Greek life. - We find that the city is full of imperfections: the disorders of growth, the fermentations and secretions of life, the rural ways of life not fully adjusted to the more urban life - Athens was the work of men, “to use their every resource” (pg 159) - With the beautiful and massive acropolis, shrines, temples, and fountains that make up this “beautiful- goodness” of a city, we see mud-walled huts that the people called their homes with poor living conditions is all this an illusion? - “One aspect of order we find in the Greek mind was indeed passed on to the city during the later Hellenistic Age; but what we find in the city of the fifth century was something more deeply organic, closer to the quick core of human existence…” (pg 159)  not a new type of city, but a new kind of man (Development of man himself) - The Greeks introduced and brought forth the “free citizen” no inequality, did not “owe” anything, every part of life was open and accessible Part 2: The Form of the Hellenic City - The core of the city was the Acropolis; it was above all the home of the city’s gods. Great symbolism as these massive rocks raised these buildings of the Acropolis to the sky  “Above everyone else” - The Acropolis was thought to be like a “holy mountain” with the caves, graves, springs, shrines, fountains, etc. swarmed with gods and nymphs  was a sacred spot! - Examples of the whole paleolithic to neolithic transition in culture Paleolithic spring and cave to neolithic wall and sacred enclosure / protected camps & villages to the powerful city - “The deepest primitive sources and the highest esthetic expressions were united on the Acropolis” (pg 161) - Much the Acropolis has been destroyed/defaced today… a lot of open places - Architects today try to re-create as much of a “realistic image” of the Acropolis that deemed to be such a powerful symbolic image to the Greeks - “There was even a sophisticated exploitation of the visual possibilities of a devious, irregular approach” pg 162) - The Acropolis represents the city in depth (being situated high in the high, above everything else), down to its deepest primeval sources, the agora represents it in extension, reaching out beyond its visible spatial limits (The Agora was like a little city on the foot of the Acropolis, like a marketplace) - Theater now introduced amphitheater, where dancers and actors could perform. By 406BC, 1200 plays were written and produced. - The Acropolis expressed an accumulation of traditional relationships, but right at the base of it were poorly constructed houses (unbaked brick, mud-walls and roofs) that made up the major portion of the city  characteristics with “village crudeness” - “The road to Athens is a pleasant one, running between cultivated fields the whole way. The city is dry and ill- supplied with water. The streets are nothing but miserable old lanes, the houses mean, with a few better ones among them. On his first arrival a stranger would hardly believe that this is the Athens of which he has heard so much.”(Dicaearchus, pg 163)  gives a clear visual image of the city - Urban growth called for stricter care - Bathrooms have been discovered in Olynthus. But the private bath seems a rite reserved for special occasions, as would be natural in a water-poor community, without a piped private supply. Water transferred by hand from fountains. - The hygienic and sanitary facilities were of limited and low grade - The Greeks did not live life wanting “luxurious possessions”, rather they lived an athletic, abstemious life Part Three: The Polis Incarnate - To understand the full achievement of the Hellenic polis, one must take one’s eyes off the buildings, and look more closely at the citizen - The Greek citizens was poor in comforts and convenience; but he was rich in a wide variety of experiences - Went through so many life-defeating routines and materialistic compulsions of civilization - Made slaves so all the physical work - “Not part of life was out of sight or out of mind” (pg 165)  Greeks had a completely opened mind - Sophocles had a personality capable of facing life in all its dimensions, ready to assume moral responsibility for his choices - “Not least of Athen’s achievements was its establishment of a golden mean between public and private life” (pg 167) - Citizens taking turns in the office (political issues) - Almost ever male Athenian, at one time or another, had to take part in public business had to be decision makers, this showed the value of equality of the citizens - Also participated in arts (plays, theatre) and sports (contests, physical) - Thus the public of the Athenian citizen demanded his constant attention and participation - “Athens overcame the original vices of the city, its one-man rule, its segregation of activities, its occupational narrowness, and worse, its bureaucratization—and they had done this for at least a generation without forfeiting skill or lowering the standard of excellence.” - Those who planned and built the late Hellenic and post-Hellenic city did not succeed in developing the usages, the mannered, the laws, the new urban forms that would have passed on the experience of Athen’s golden day - Life of men in the cities significantly animated, it was so varied and rewarding - There was work & leisure, theory & practice, private life & public life all these were in rhythmic interplay - “The role of the polis was adm
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