32 greek expressions of identity


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  • A group of people must share the idea that they have the same background, and a shared sense of history, and a link to some specific territory – they do not necessarily have to truthfully be in a group. These are what Jonathan Hall believes to be part of ethnicity. This is a grave that is just south of the Agora in Athens, dug as a pit for a cremation burial. First, the container for the burial was inside. Another container, an amphora, was placed there, to hold wine and liquids. Also there were spear heads and perfume containers. There is also a bent sword around the amphora. The other cups signify that warriors like to drink together – they ritualistically would after a battle. An outward public expression, shows that the deceased deserves honor.
  • Purposely bent to express the identity of the person buried there. Explain the role in society of the person as a warrior. The blade has been in a way sacrificed so as to never be able to be used again, by anyone else.
  • The objects are becoming more geometric in style – very little figural decoration. The shape of this amphora is slightly different, the handles are placed differently. This one is called the belly amphora – more associated with female burials. The other amphora, called a shoulder amphora was more associated with male burials. The other unique container was thought to be a container for holding grain. We later find out that sixth and seventh century Athens (long before the democracy) was divided up into four classes of society. At the top, were people known as the Pentakosiomedimnoi – the five hundred bushel people. To say that they owned enough land to produce five hundred bushels of grain a year. Here is a single representation of the granaries. This object was placed here to associate her membership within this class.
  • As a container, it might have been used as a kind of jewelry box. Jewelry was found in this burial – emphasizes this as a particularly wealthy burial.
  • Gold earrings and a beaded necklance
  • Scholars have pointed to different styles of pottery as showing ethnicity. Culture-history: you could divide up groups of people by the styles of the objects that they made. For example, decoration, it was a way to define them as groups. The design is a kind of mimicking of metal shapes. Tries to gain prestige by looking like metal; proto-geometric
  • The vessels became much more specialized until in the 5 th century, this range was reached, showing the different kinds of storage cups and jars. Knowing the rules demonstrates membership in a certain group – these could be sets of specialized sets of cups and glasses. Shows that there could have been differing kinds of banqueting processes. Those on the bottom are the most important for Greeks – wide mouths that are open for the mixing of wine with water, called craters. Critical for drinking properly, you never drink wine straight, and at parties it was uncivilized to get drunk too quick – symposiums. The Greek specifically identified drinking straight wine as a foreign practice – barbaroi, foreigners.
  • Different styles of decoration that emerge in the Greek World – essentially the same shoulder amphora type shape – geometric, dates to the 8 th century BCE. Simple, mostly non figural motifs, although there are some animals. They are more patterned than narrative. Horses pictured: they are an emblem of wealth and prosperity. In the center, there is an image of figures fighting. Called a black technique – produced when the pottery uses a very watered down version of clay until it is liquid, and used to paint silhouettes on the pot. The watery clay painted called slip can pain the figures – no details, then fired so that the watery clay turns a different color from the background – anywhere from beige to orange red. The slip will turn black. The details will be painted on the silhouette, and lines would be incised. This style emerges in the 7 th century, but later superseded by another technique called the red technique. Here, the slip is painted to produce the background, and the detailed lines of the figures that are uncovered. It is much easier to paint fine details into the gloss, rather than scratching them into the surface.
  • This is a chronological chart of pottery/pottery decoration.
  • There is an emergence of the black technique at Corinth in the 7 th century. Has the buff background and the orangeish details. This is an early proto-Corinthian vessel. This is a small jar that athletes would fill with oil to use after their activities.
  • Here is a wine jug from Oinochoe – has a vegetal motif. The lines provide a small amount of detail. There is a use of scratching in the detail. The black figure technique was invented at Corinth. This is the furthest Greek settlement away from Italy, yet the latest trend is reflected here.
  • Another flask from the middle Proto-Corinthian period. There is a scene of warfare. The young men of Corinth were expected to fight in the army. This reinforces this aspect of their identify. Emphasizes the particularly Greek type of combat – with a helmet, large shield, and spear.
  • The entire decoration of the previous flask. Men marching along, archery – chaotic.
  • Only a few inches tall. Plastic head, shows a battle scene with heavily armed soldiers with emblems on their shields. Below, a race on horseback.
  • 32 greek expressions of identity

    1. 1. ARTH 2402 Classical Art and Archaeology
    2. 2. Warrior ’s grave Areopagos Athens ca. 900-850 (EGI)
    3. 3. Warrior ’s grave Piraeus ca. 900-850 (EGI)
    4. 4. Rich woman ’s grave, Agora, Athens, ca. 850 (EGII)
    5. 5. Granaries? Rich woman ’s grave, Agora, Athens, ca. 850 (EGII)
    6. 6. Jewelry Rich woman ’s grave, Agora, Athens, ca. 850 (EGII)
    7. 7. Euboian PG pendent-semicircle skyphos Lefkandi, 1000-900
    8. 12. Euboian PG pendent-semicircle skyphos Lefkandi, 1000-900
    9. 13. EPC aryballos, Evelyn Painter, ca. 700 BCE
    10. 14. EPC oinochoe Kyme ca. 700 BCE
    11. 15. MPC aryballos Lechaion ca. 675 BCE
    12. 16. MPC aryballos, Lechaion, ca. 675 BCE
    13. 17. MPC aryballos (Macmillan aryballos) Thebes ca. 675 BCE
    14. 18. Macmillan aryballos, Thebes, ca. 675 BCE
    15. 19. MPC olpe (Chigi olpe) Veii ca. 675-650 BCE
    16. 20. Chigi olpe, Veii, ca. 675-650 BCE
    17. 21. Chigi olpe, Veii, ca. 675-650 BCE
    18. 22. LPC olpe Kamiros ca. 650 BCE
    19. 23. EPA amphora Analatos Painter Analatos ca. 700-675 BCE
    20. 24. EPA amphora Analatos Painter Analatos ca. 700-675 BCE
    21. 25. EPA amphora Analatos Painter Analatos ca. 700-675 BCE
    22. 26. Rhodian Wild Goat oinochoe ca. 625 BCE
    23. 27. Dinos (funeral games for Patroklos and wedding of Peleus and Thetis) Sophilos Athens ca. 580
    24. 28. “ Sophilos megrapsen” – “Sophilos painted me” “ Patroklous athla” – “Games of/for Patroklos”
    25. 29. Dionysos with youths, Amasis Painter, ca. 540
    26. 30. Satyrs making wine, Amasis Painter, ca. 540-530
    27. 31. Achilles and Ajax gaming Exekias ca. 535
    28. 32. Achilles and Ajax gaming, Exekias, ca. 535
    29. 33. Achilles and Ajax gaming, Exekias, ca. 535
    30. 34. Achilles and Ajax gaming Exekias ca. 535
    31. 35. Suicide of Ajax Exekias ca. 535