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Chapter 2.6

HIS 104 Chapter Notes - Chapter 2.6: Sophist, Phlegm, Euripides

Course Code
HIS 104
Daniel J. Gargola

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~ Chapter Two: The School of Greece ~
Part 6: Athenian Culture: Mastering the World
o In the 6th century BCE, the inhabitants of Ionian Greek cities became curious about the physical world
and its many different inhabitants.
o Philosophers tried to understand how the physical universe operated.
o Athens gradually became the center of innovative thought in Greece.
This remarkable city created tragedy and comedy, and transformed rhetoric,
philosophy, history, and more.
Ways of Healing: Hippocrates and Asclepius
o Medicine was one of the new ways of understanding that flourished in the 5th century BCE.
o The medical men developed new ways of dealing with disease.
They insisted that a doctor must observe patients and record case histories
precisely and unemotionally.
Health depended on the balance of the four competing substances called humors:
black bile, yellow bile, phlegm, and blood.
o Hippocratic practitioners regarded all diseases as natural.
o After the plague on 430-426 BCE, the god of healing, Asclepius, was eagerly received.
Training for Public Life: The Sophists
o The Athenians fiercely debated the diverse ways of understanding the world.
o Anyone who hoped to survive politically had to be able to speak effectively to the Assembly, in order
to convince his audience that his proposals would serve their interests.
o Men known as sophists educated young statesmen for public life.
o Sophists: An itinerant teacher of philosophy and rhetoric during the archaic and classical
periods. Sophists focused on the skills of argument and debate rather than the search for
absolute truths. From the Greek word Sophia (“wisdom” or “wise”)
They trained young pupils to argue both sides of almost any case and to be well
informed, quick on their feet, and eloquent.
Memory training and elocution lessons (so they could be heard)
Education in rhetoric emphasized content and form.
He needed to know how to compose and deliver a speech.
o Aristotle’s Three Kinds of Speeches:
o Deliberative or political
Convince the audience where its advantages lay in politics
o Forensic or judicial
Where justice lays in law
o Demonstrative
Who or what deserved honor and shame
o The sophists were the first Western teachers to offer a liberal education concentrated not on
technical skills but on the range of arts needed by the free men who rules Athens and other city
Staging Conflict: Civic Life as Literature and Performance
o Tragic and comedic drama were Athenian inventions.
o They emerged during the late 6th and early 5th centuries BCE when the great celebration of
Dionysos underwent a slow transformation with extraordinary results.
o Athenian drama became the common property of all Greeks as theaters were built and performances
of Athenian plays were held across the Mediterranean world.
The Festival of Dionysos
o In the 6th and 5th centuries BCE, the festival of Dionysos became the grandest event of the Athenian
civic year.
o Procession
o Sacrifices
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