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  • Classicism describes a style of creative expression marked by clarity, simplicity, balance, and harmonious proportion – features associated with moderation, rationalism, and dignity. The foundation of classicism were laid in the Aegean civilizations of the Bronze Age. But it was not until the fifth century B.C.E that the Greek city of Athens enshrined classicism as the expression of a Golden Age in the arts. The Ancient city of Athens enshrined classicism as the expression of a Golden age in the arts. The ancient Athenians called themselves “Hellenes” and their land “Hellas” (the English “Greece” deriving from the roman place –name , Graecus). The Hellenic (Greek) phase of classical antiquity reproduced some of the most memorable landmarks in the history of culture, The subsequent Hellenistic (Greek-like) age, inspired by the ambitions of Alexander the great, drew on its Hellenic ancestry and spread classicism throughout much of the civilized world.
  • Ancient Greek Civilization The island of Crete was home to a strikingly sophisticated culture during the Bronze Age, known today as the Minoan civilization. The remains of the Minoan culture were only rediscovered in the early twentieth century by Sir Arthur Evans , with his initial exploration and excavation at the site of Knossos . Evans dubbed the material assemblage he found at this central Cretan site after the mythical king of Crete, King Minos. The complex of buildings he discovered reminded the excavator of the Labyrinth constructed by Minos at his palace, Knossos, to house the Minotaur. Thus, Knossos and the Minoans received their names.
  • A myth is a made-up story that explains the existence of a natural phenomenon — such as where thunder comes from or why snow falls from the sky. Myths — which often include gods and goddesses and other supernatural characters who have the power to make extraordinary things happen — are popular even when people know the actual reasons for natural phenomena. According to the story, the clever Athenian hero Theseus, aided by the king’s daughter Ariadne, ( she gave him a ball of string)threaded his way through the Minotaur’s labyrinthine lair to kill the monster, thus freeing Athens from its ancient bondage to the Minoans. Theseus tells his father King Aegean that if he is successful he will change his sail on his ship to white sails. But Theseus forgot and the King thought his son was dead so he through himself into the sea. And since that time the people called the sea the Aegean sea.
  • The small statue of a bare-breasted female brandishing snakes (ancient symbol of rebirth) may represent a popular fertility goddess; or it may depict a priestess performing specific cult rites. Sir Arthur Evans, the discoverer and excavator of the Minoan palace of Knossos, was the first to ponder aspects of the Minoan religion. Based on a series of female figurines found at the site and analogy with the cults of the ancient Near East, Evans hypothesized that the Minoans worshipped the Great Mother , a female goddess who embodied fertility, fertility of the earth, of the animal world and of humans. In addition to being a fertility goddess, she was a protectress of the people.
  • Probably associated with the cult of the bull- ancient symbol of virility- the ritual game prefigures the modern bullfight, the “rules” of which were codified in Roman times by Julius Caesar. Some of the best examples of such figured frescoes come from the excavations at Knossos. The frescoes at this site fall into two general categories, scenes from nature and scenes from the court and ritual events.
  • Heinrich Schliemann , a nineteenth century excavator and explorer, was famous for seeking, and finding, the locations of the great myth cycles of the Greeks. He discovered and excavated Troy, and after that triumph he moved on to the great Bronze Age city of the Argolid, Mycenae . He wanted to excavate the city of Atreus and Agamemnon, to reveal the splendor of the period. Ultimately, Schliemann wanted to prove to the world that the stories of Greek epic and tragedy were more than imagined stories, but based on a real period, real places, and real events. At, Mycenae he succeeded. The city walls were immense, incredibly thick, and consisting of several ton boulders. The 'Lion Gate of Mycenae , a rather late addition, is one of the few examples of a decorated entranceway in the Bronze Age on mainland Greece. The space above the lintel is filled with a sculptured image of two lions on either side of a Minoan style column. Underground tunnels were built to wells and springs at both Mycenae and Tiryns in preparation for sieges.
  • Master stonemasons, the Mycenaean's buried their rulers in beehive-shaped tombs. The royal graves, uncovered by Schliemann in 1876, are filled with weapons and jewelry fit for an Egyptian Pharaoh.
  • A gold death mask that once covered the face of the deceased, Schliemann identified as belonging to Agamemnon, the legendary king who led the ancient Greeks against the city of Troy. This tale is immortalized in the first of the Greek epic poems, the Iliad.
  • During the long period of darkness that followed storytellers kept alive the history of early Greece, the adventures of the Mycenaean's, and the tales of the Trojan War, passing them orally from generation to generation. The Odyssey, Homer, Plot Overview, TEN YEARS HAVE PASSED since the fall of Troy, and the Greek hero Odysseus still has not returned to his kingdom in Ithaca. A large and rowdy mob of suitors who have overrun Odysseus’s palace and pillaged his land continue to court his wife, Penelope. She has remained faithful to Odysseus. Prince Telemachus, Odysseus’s son, wants desperately to throw them out but does not have the confidence or experience to fight them. One of the suitors, Antinous, plans to assassinate the young prince, eliminating the only opposition to their dominion over the palace. Unknown to the suitors, Odysseus is still alive. The beautiful nymph Calypso, possessed by love for him, has imprisoned him on her island, Ogygia. He longs to return to his wife and son, but he has no ship or crew to help him escape. While the gods and goddesses of Mount Olympus debate Odysseus’s future, Athena, Odysseus’s strongest supporter among the gods, resolves to help Telemachus. Disguised as a friend of the prince’s grandfather, Laertes, she convinces the prince to call a meeting of the assembly at which he reproaches the suitors. Athena also prepares him for a great journey to Pylos and Sparta, where the kings Nestor and Menelaus, Odysseus’s companions during the war, inform him that Odysseus is alive and trapped on Calypso’s island. Telemachus makes plans to return home, while, back in Ithaca, Antinous and the other suitors prepare an ambush to kill him when he reaches port. On Mount Olympus, Zeus sends Hermes to rescue Odysseus from Calypso. Hermes persuades Calypso to let Odysseus build a ship and leave. The homesick hero sets sail, but when Poseidon, god of the sea, finds him sailing home, he sends a storm to wreck Odysseus’s ship. Poseidon has harbored a bitter grudge against Odysseus since the hero blinded his son, the Cyclops Polyphemus, earlier in his travels. Athena intervenes to save Odysseus from Poseidon’s wrath, and the beleaguered king lands at Scheria, home of the Phaeacians. Nausicaa, the Phaeacian princess, shows him to the royal palace, and Odysseus receives a warm welcome from the king and queen. When he identifies himself as Odysseus, his hosts, who have heard of his exploits at Troy, are stunned. They promise to give him safe passage to Ithaca, but first they beg to hear the story of his adventures. Odysseus spends the night describing the fantastic chain of events leading up to his arrival on Calypso’s island. He recounts his trip to the Land of the Lotus Eaters, his battle with Polyphemus the Cyclops, his love affair with the witch-goddess Circe, his temptation by the deadly Sirens, his journey into Hades to consult the prophet Tiresias, and his fight with the sea monster Scylla. When he finishes his story, the Phaeacians return Odysseus to Ithaca, where he seeks out the hut of his faithful swineherd, Eumaeus. Though Athena has disguised Odysseus as a beggar, Eumaeus warmly receives and nourishes him in the hut. He soon encounters Telemachus, who has returned from Pylos and Sparta despite the suitors’ ambush, and reveals to him his true identity. Odysseus and Telemachus devise a plan to massacre the suitors and regain control of Ithaca. When Odysseus arrives at the palace the next day, still disguised as a beggar, he endures abuse and insults from the suitors. The only person who recognizes him is his old nurse, Eurycleia, but she swears not to disclose his secret. Penelope takes an interest in this strange beggar, suspecting that he might be her long-lost husband. Quite crafty herself, Penelope organizes an archery contest the following day and promises to marry any man who can string Odysseus’s great bow and fire an arrow through a row of twelve axes—a feat that only Odysseus has ever been able to accomplish. At the contest, each suitor tries to string the bow and fails. Odysseus steps up to the bow and, with little effort, fires an arrow through all twelve axes. He then turns the bow on the suitors. He and Telemachus, assisted by a few faithful servants, kill every last suitor. Odysseus reveals himself to the entire palace and reunites with his loving Penelope. He travels to the outskirts of Ithaca to see his aging father, Laertes. They come under attack from the vengeful family members of the dead suitors, but Laertes, reinvigorated by his son’s return, successfully kills Antinous’s father and puts a stop to the attack. Zeus dispatches Athena to restore peace. With his power secure and his family reunited, Odysseus’s long ordeal comes to an end.
  • Where as the Epic of Gilgamesh takes as its theme the pursuit of everlasting life, the Greek epics deal with the quest for individual honor and glory. Iliad Summary - In the tenth and final year of the Trojan War, Chryses , a priest of Apollo , attempts to ransom his daughter from Agamemnon , commander-in-chief of the Achaeans, who has taken her captive while on a raid. When Agamemnon treats him roughly and refuses the ransom, Apollo is angered and brings plague on the Achaeans. The Achaean prophet Calchas correctly identifies the cause of the problem, and he suggests giving the girl back with gifts to Apollo. Agamemnon demands that he be compensated for the loss of the girl, and Achilles , the greatest Achaean warrior, objects. The two men quarrel viciously. Agamemnon says he will take back Briseis , a captive woman who was given to Achilles as a prize for valor. Horribly dishonored, Achilles returns to his ships and refuses to fight. Agamemnon has Briseis taken from Achilles, and he returns Chryses' daughter to him. Achilles asks his mother, the goddess Thetis , to prevail on Zeus , king of the gods, to bring ruin on the Achaeans as long as Achilles does not fight for them. Zeus is indebted to Thetis, and he grants her request. With Achilles out of the way, Hector , champion of the Trojans, drives the Achaeans back to their beached ships. The Achaeans build fortifications, but at the urging of the chieftains Agamemnon sends and embassy to ask Achilles to return to battle. Agamemnon offers rich prizes, but Achilles refuses the offer and remains withdrawn from battle. The Achaean fortifications are breached, and many of the the greatest remaining Achaean warriors are wounded. Achilles beloved companion, Patroclus , begs Achilles to do something to help their fellow soldiers. He asks that he be allowed to put on Achilles' armor, so that the Trojans will think that Achilles has returned. Achilles grants the request, but warns Patroclus to return once he has driven the Trojans back from the ships. Patroclus drives the Trojans back all the way to their own city walls, but there Hector kills him with the help of Apollo. Hector strips his armor and puts it on himself, and the Achaeans barely manage to save Patroclus' body from desecration. Achilles goes berserk with grief and rage. Thetis warns him that if he kills Hector, he will die soon afterward. Achilles accepts his own life as the price for revenge. He reconciles himself to Agamemnon, receives new armor, via his mother, forged by the smith of the gods, Hephaestus . He charges into battle, slaughtering Trojans left and right, routing the Trojan army almost single-handedly. He meets Hector, chases him around the city, and kills him easily. He then drags the body from the back of his chariot, running laps around the city of Troy so that the Trojans can watch as their champion's body is horribly desecrated. Achilles returns to the Achaean camp, where he holds magnificent funeral games for Patroclus. He continues to abuse Hector's corpse. Zeus sends Thetis to tell Achilles that he must accept the ransom that Priam , king of Troy and father of Hector, will offer in exchange for Hector's body. Priam himself comes to see Achilles, the man who has slaughtered so many of his sons, and Achilles suddenly is reminded of his own father‹who, as Priam has, will outlive his most beloved son. He understands what he has done, and his rage and grief give way to compassion. He returns the body and offers a cease-fire so that the Trojans can bury Hector. With the word of Achilles as their guarantee, the Trojans take eleven days to give Hector a proper mourning and funeral. As the epic ends, the future is clear: Achilles will not live to see the fall of Troy, but the city is doomed nonetheless. All but a handful of her people will be slaughtered, and the city will be wiped off the face of the earth.
  • The legendary warrior and Trojan ally, Sarpedon, was killed by Patroclus in the course of the war. He is shown being carried from the battlefield by the winged figures of Hypnos (sleep) and Thanatos (Death). Central to the lyrically balanced composition is the figure of Hermes, messenger of the gods, who guides the dead to the underworld. Although immortal, the Greek gods were much like the human beings who worshipped them: The were amorous, capricious, and quarrelsome. They lived not in some remote heaven, but (conveniently enough) atop a mountain in northern Greece – that is, among the Greeks themselves. From their home on Mount Olympus, the gods might take sides in human combat (as they regularly do in the Iliad), seduce mortal women, and meddle in the lives of ordinary people. The Greek gods were not always benevolent or just. Thy set forth no clear principles of moral conduct and no guidelines for religious worship.
  • The 12 Gods of Olympus represented a single concept: nature, in all i t ’ s phases and each god or goddess was associated with one or more of the p owers of nature. Their role was not so much that of creating the world as of maintaining order and harmony in it. To the Greek mind, the gods were immortal and magnificent. They could control all mortal beings in every sphere of their lives, determining their fortunes, their relationships, and when they came into the world and left it. The gods were not inaccessible beings. Man could approach them easily, seeing them, hearing them and even touching them. As contradictory and mutually complimentary beings, they constituted the incarnation of the perfect human, but a human who was free of the deprivations and prohibitions of life, who could take pleasure in whatever presented itself to him, who could injure himself without suffering pain or death, could fall in love without being subject to the barriers applicable to mankind, who could experience anger or jealousy without having to suppress his feelings, who could carouse and get drunk, who could live and enjoy himself with his creatures as if he were both creator and creation. The ancient Greeks assigned to their gods all the properties that they themselves would have liked to possess, but which their human nature prevented them from obtaining. This is the light in which we have to view the anthropomorphism of the ancient Greek gods. The twelve gods of Olympus , formed a special category of their own. Six male and six female, were divided in accordance with their properties and activities into six couples united by bonds of friendship or kinship. Zeus overthrew his Father Cronus and then drew lots with his brothers Poseidon and Hades. Zeus won the draw and became the supreme ruler of the gods. He is lord of the sky, and the rain. His weapon is a thunderbolt, which he hurls at those who displease him. He is married to Hera but is famous for his many affairs. He is also known as the god that punishes those that lie or break oaths. Hera is Zeus wife and sister. She is the protector of marriage and takes special care of married women. Hera's marriage was founded in strife with Zeus and continued in strife. Zeus courted her unsuccessfully. Then he changed himself into dishevelled cuckoo. Hera feeling sorry for the bird held it to her breast to warm it. Zeus then transformed in his normal form and took advantage of the opportunity he gained, and raped her. Then she married him to cover her shame. Her sacred animals are the cow and the peacock. Her favourite city is Argos.
  • Sparta was chosen as the leader of the of land and sea operations for its superior military capabilities.
  • The Persian war began after the Persians conquered the lands of Lydia on the coasts of Asia Minor. The Persians placed tyrants in control of the new city-states. The conquered Lydians revolted with the help of Athens. With the help of the Athenian ships, the Lydians burned the capital of Sardis. In 490 BCE the Athenians met the vengeful Persians at Marathon. The Athenians were vastly outnumbered but prevailed through superb strategy. Without this victory the Athenians would have been destroyed and the Persian war would have ended before it could have begun. Thermopylae ~ This is the most well known battle during the Persian War. This is where 300 Spartans sacrificed themselves to buy the Athenians enough time to finish the construction of their navy. However it is commonly overlooked that a few thousand made the last stand in the Hot Gates and not only the 300 Spartans. The Spartans were accompanied by Thespians and Thebans. The Greeks were able to hold out due to their military formation the Hoplite, which required every man to cover the man to the left with his shield, thus making a wall of shields and spears. When the spears failed the resorted to the short sword at their hip. Salamis ~ This was the defining battle that delivered the crippling blow to the Persians. The Greeks lured the Persian navy to the island of Salamis. As the Persian navy sailed into the straight the Greeks cut off the escape route and systematically rammed and sunk the Persian navy of twice their size. Plataea ~ This was actually the final battle of the war. In 479 B.C.E. the remaining Persian army was defeated and Mardonius was killed, thus ending the Persian War.
  • This mind set was the driving force behind the great cultural achievements that would catapult Athens into the leading culture of the time.
  • The defeat of Persia inspired a mood of confidence and a spirit of vigorous chauvinism. Pericles – An aristocrat by birth, he was a democrat at heart. In the interest of broadening the democratic system, he initiated some of Athens’ most sweeping domestic reforms, such as payment for holding public office and a system of public audit in which the finance of outgoing magistrates were subject to critical scrutiny.
  • The ancient Greeks were the first masters in the art of drama, the literary genre that tells a story through the imitation of action, recitation and chant, music, dance, and mime animated the enactment of myths that celebrated rites of passage of marked seasonal change.
  • The three main components of a Greek theatre are the theatron, orchestra, and skene . The theatron , or “watching place,” was the curved audience seating area. The orchestra , or “dancing place,” acted as the performance area for the chorus. In the middle of the orchestra usually sat a stone altar to Dionysus. While theatres have had a theatron and orchestra since their inception, the third main part of the theatre, the skene , or stage building, did not appear until later. At Athens, the skene was not added until 458 BC. The roof of the skene was known as the theologeion , meaning “god speaking,” hinting that it was used for the appearance of gods.
  • ANTIGONE Oedipus Trilogy by Sophocles Antigone, daughter of Oedipus, the late king of Thebes, in defiance of Creon who rules in his stead, resolves to bury her brother Polyneices, slain in his attack on Thebes. She is caught in the act by Creon's watchmen and brought before the king. She justifies her action, asserting that she was bound to obey the eternal laws of right and wrong in spite of any human ordinance. Creon, unrelenting, condemns her to be immured in a rock-hewn chamber. His son Haemon, to whom Antigone is betrothed, pleads in vain for her life and threatens to die with her. Warned by the seer Teiresias Creon repents him and hurries to release Antigone from her rocky prison. But he is too late: he finds lying side by side Antigone who had hanged herself and Haemon who also has perished by his own hand. Returning to the palace he sees within the dead body of his queen who on learning of her son's death has stabbed herself to the heart.
  • Most of the evidence from which knowledge of dramatic costume comes from is pottery depicting dramatic scenes. Two well-known examples of vases of this sort are the Pronomos vase and the Choregoi vase. The Pronomos vase (so-named for the aulos -player pictured), above, is a red-figure volute-krater, from roughly 400 B.C., which shows a scene of actors preparing for a satyr-play performance. The two central seated figures are Pronomos the aulos -player and Dionysus, while the poet Demetrios sits to the left. The rest of the 11 figures are chorus members in preparation. The Pronomos vase captures the ornate nature of satyr-play costumes.
  • one of a few known female poets of the ancient world. She was an aristocrat who married a prosperous merchant. Her wealth afforded her with the opportunity to live her life as she chose, and she chose to spend it studying the arts on the isle of Lesbos. An aristocrat, married and had a daughter. Settled on The island of Lesbos, where she led a group of young women dedicated to the cult of Aphrodite. At Lesbos, she trained women it the production of love poetry and music. Her homoerotic attachment to the women of Lesbos as reflect the realities of ancient Greek culture, in which bisexuality and homosexuality were commonplace both in life and as subject mater. Sappho’s He is more than a hero   He is more than a hero he is a god in my eyes-- the man who is allowed to sit beside you -- he who listens intimately to the sweet murmur of your voice, the enticing laughter that makes my own heart beat fast. If I meet you suddenly, I can' speak -- my tongue is broken; a thin flame runs under my skin; seeing nothing, hearing only my own ears drumming, I drip with sweat; trembling shakes my body and I turn paler than dry grass. At such times death isn't far from me
  • Socrates Socrates was a Greek philosopher who taught by asking questions. When teachers ask questions that encourage students to draw conclusions, they are using the "Socratic method" of teaching. The oracle of the prominent polis of Delphi pronounced Socrates the wisest man in Greece. Socrates concluded that while others professed knowledge they did not have, he knew how little he knew. Socrates asked many questions, but he gave few answers. He often denied knowing the answers to the questions he asked. Socrates was a well-known teacher in Athens. He drifted around the city with his students, engaging many people in arguments about "justice, bravery, and piety." What we know about Socrates comes from what others wrote about him. Socrates did not write any books because he believed in the superiority of argument over writing. Socrates' students wrote that he believed that evil is ignorance, and that virtue could be taught. According to this philosophy, all values are related to knowledge. Evil is ignorance, and virtue can be taught. Socrates regarded the tales of the gods as an invention of the poets.
  • Socrates won as many enemies as he won friends. He was brought to trail for subversive behavior, impiety, and atheism. The leaders of Athens did not want a critic like Socrates in their city. They threatened to bring him to trial for neglecting the gods and for corrupting the youth of Athens by encouraging them to consider new ideas. The leaders expected the seventy-year-old Socrates to leave Athens before his arrest, but he remained in Athens, stood trial, and was found guilty. A friend tried to plan an escape from prison, but Socrates refused to participate. He believed that he must obey the law, even if his disagreed with it. His last day was spent with friends and admirers. At the end of the day, Socrates calmly drank from a cup of poison hemlock, the customary practice of execution at that time.
  • Plato Most of what we know about Socrates comes from Plato, his most famous student. Plato called Socrates “the best of all men I have ever known.” When his mentor was executed, Plato left Greece for more than a decade. He returned to start the Academy, a school that would operate for more than 900 years. Plato described his idea of an ideal society in his most famous book, the Republic. Plato did not believe in democracy. He argued in favor of an “aristocracy of merit,” rule by the best and the wisest people. Plato believed a small group of people intelligent and educated men and women should govern society. This small group would select the best and the brightest students to join them. Plato believed the government should rear all children so that everyone would have equal opportunities. Schools would test students on a regular basis. Those who did poorly would be sent to work, while those who did well would continue their studies. At the age of thirty-five, those persons who mastered their education would be sent to the workplace to apply their learning to the real world. After fifteen years, if the student succeeded, they would be admitted to the guardian class. Plato taught that the ideals of truth or justice cannot exist in the material world. Today we describe a "platonic" relationship as one in which people have mental and spiritual exchanges but refrain from physical intimacy.
  • Republic-In Book VII, Plato, Socrates presents the most beautiful and famous metaphor in Western philosophy: the allegory of the cave. This metaphor is meant to illustrate the effects of education on the human soul. Education moves the philosopher through the stages on the divided line, and ultimately brings him to the Form of the Good. Socrates describes a dark scene. A group of people have lived in a deep cave since birth, never seeing the light of day. These people are bound so that they cannot look to either side or behind them, but only straight ahead. Behind them is a fire, and behind the fire is a partial wall. On top of the wall are various statues, which are manipulated by another group of people, lying out of sight behind the partial wall. Because of the fire, the statues cast shadows across the wall that the prisoners are facing. The prisoners watch the stories that these shadows play out, and because these shadows are all they ever get to see, they believe them to be the most real things in the world. When they talk to one another about “men,” “women,” “trees,” or “horses,” they are referring to these shadows. These prisoners represent the lowest stage on the line—imagination. A prisoner is freed from his bonds, and is forced to look at the fire and at the statues themselves. After an initial period of pain and confusion because of direct exposure of his eyes to the light of the fire, the prisoner realizes that what he sees now are things more real than the shadows he has always taken to be reality. He grasps how the fire and the statues together cause the shadows, which are copies of these more real things. He accepts the statues and fire as the most real things in the world. This stage in the cave represents belief. He has made contact with real things—the statues—but he is not aware that there are things of greater reality—a world beyond his cave. Next, this prisoner is dragged out of the cave into the world above. At first, he is so dazzled by the light up there that he can only look at shadows, then at reflections, then finally at the real objects—real trees, flowers, houses and so on. He sees that these are even more real than the statues were, and that those were only copies of these. He has now reached the cognitive stage of thought. He has caught his first glimpse of the most real things, the Forms. When the prisoner’s eyes have fully adjusted to the brightness, he lifts his sight toward the heavens and looks at the sun. He understands that the sun is the cause of everything he sees around him—the light, his capacity for sight, the existence of flowers, trees, and other objects. The sun represents the Form of the Good, and the former prisoner has reached the stage of understanding. The goal of education is to drag every man as far out of the cave as possible. Education should not aim at putting knowledge into the soul, but at turning the soul toward right desires. Continuing the analogy between mind and sight, Socrates explains that the vision of a clever, wicked man might be just as sharp as that of a philosopher. The problem lies in what he turns his sharp vision toward.
  • Aristotle was the greatest scientist of the ancient world. He is considered the father of the natural sciences. Aristotle believed in using logic and reason, rather than the anger or pleasure of gods, to explain events. Aristotle was born in Macedonia, a mountainous land north of the Greek peninsula. At that time, many Greeks believed Macedonia was a backward place with no culture. Aristotle moved to Athens and studied at Plato’s Academy. He remained at the school for more than twenty years until shortly after Plato died. Aristotle then returned to Macedonia, where King Philip hired him to prepare his thirteen-year-old son, Alexander, for his future role as a military leader. His student would one day be known as known as Alexander the Great, one of the greatest military conquerors of all time. Once Alexander became King of Macedonia, Aristotle returned to Athens and opened a school he called the Lyceum. For the next twelve years, Aristotle organized his school as a center of research on astronomy, zoology, geography, geology, physics, anatomy, and many other fields. Aristotle wrote 170 books, 47 of which still exist more than two thousand years later. Aristotle was also a philosopher who wrote about ethics, psychology, economics, theology, politics, and rhetoric. Later inventions like the telescope and microscope would prove many of Aristotle’s theories to be incorrect, but his ideas formed the basis of modern science.
  • Being a young woman of the Athenian high society, Agnodice was frustrated by the law that banned women from studying. Encouraged by her father, she cut her hair and dressed like a man so that she could attend classes, particularly those of famous physician Herophilus. In the year 350 BC, on June 3rd , she obtained the highest marks in the medicine test and became a gynecologist, still hiding her real identity. Soon, patients began to flock her practice and the other doctors, jealous by her success, spread the rumor that “he” would be taking advantage of “his” profession to seduce and corrupt married women. Accused of raping two patients she was forced to reveal her identity under the risk of being condemned to the death penalty for having practiced medicine being a woman. A crowd of her patients declared in front of the temple that if she were executed, they would die with her.
  • Born around 551 B.C., Confucius was a Chinese thinker and philosopher. His teaching and influence had deeply touched the lives of Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Taiwanese, and Vietnamese life. His philosophy emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity. San Zi Jing .The Song Emperor Taizong asked his Grand Secretary Zhao Pu why he was reading the Analects, a book commonly taught to kids. Zhao replied: "With half of this book I helped your father gain the empire. With the other half I help you to preserve it." Be not ashamed of mistakes and thus make them crimes. Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves. Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it. Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses. He who will not economize will have to agonize. I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand. Ignorance is the night of the mind, but a night without moon and star. It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop. Men's natures are alike, it is their habits that carry them far apart. Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do. Respect yourself and others will respect you. Study the past if you would define the future. The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come. When in a state of security he does not forget the possibility of ruin. When all is orderly, he does not forget that disorder may come. Thus his person is not endangered, and his States and all their clans are preserved. To see what is right and not to do it is want of courage. To see what is right, and not to do it, is want of courage or of principle. What the superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is in others. When anger rises, think of the consequences. When we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and examine ourselves. Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart. They must often change who would be constant in happiness or wisdom. By nature, men are nearly alike; by practice, they get to be wide apart. Fine words and an insinuating appearance are seldom associated with true virtue. Have no friends not equal to yourself. He who speaks without modesty will find it difficult to make his words good. He with whom neither slander that gradually soaks into the mind, nor statements that startle like a wound in the flesh, are successful may be called intelligent indeed. Hold faithfulness and sincerity as first principles. I am not one who was born in the possession of knowledge; I am one who is fond of antiquity, and earnest in seeking it there.
  • The Greeks competed in the nude, so nude sculptures were considered normal.
  • 6 th century B.C.E. the Persian Empire advanced westward, - Persia annexed Ionia, the Greek region on the coast of Asia Minor. A move that clearly threatened mainland Greece. Thus, when in 499 B.C.E. the Ionian cities revolted against Persian rule, their Greek neighbors came to their aid. In retaliation, the Persians sent military expeditions to punish the rebel cities of the Greek mainland. In 490 B.C.E., on the plain of Marathon, near a Athens, A Greek force of eleven thousand men met a Persian army with twice its numbers and defeated them, losing only 192 men. Persian casualties exceeded 6,000. the Greek warrior who brought new of the victory at Marathon to Athens died upon completing the 26-mile run. Hence the word ”marathon” has come to designate a long-distance endurance contest.
  • By definition, Kore (maiden) refers to statues depicting female figures, always of a young age, which were created during the Archaic period (600 – 480 BCE) either as votive or commemorative statues. Wealthy patrons commissioned them either to serve the deities in place of the patron, or as less often was the case, to become commemorative grave markers for members of a family. Many times their base (and sometimes on their dress) was inscribed with a short paragraph documenting the statue’s function, the patron, and the artist. According to the most accepted interpretations of the archaeological evidence, Kore statues never represented deities. Korai statues are the female equivalent of Kouros. There are several distinct differences between the two, with the most significant one being the fact that Kouros statues were almost always portrayed in the nude, while Kore were always clothed. Consequently, when studying the statues, we tend to focus on the development of anatomy in Kouros, and on the development of the dress for the Kore along with the facial expression. Most of the Kore statues are either life-size or a little smaller, and were developed with the same techniques and proportional conventions as the Kouros equivalents of the same era. With Kore statues, the human anatomy is acknowledged under the clothes but it is not emphasized. Instead, the lines of the drapery form smooth shapes that flow with ease creating a serene, almost hypnotic aura, which is duly complemented by the usual peaceful facial expression and the relative motionless body.
  • One fine example of early Attic Kouros is the “ Moschoforos ” or Calf Bearer . The statue is unique in that it does not depict a single figure, nor a group of figures, but a man and a calf closely bound in an exquisite composition. The arrangement guided the sculptor to depict the arms crossed across the chest of the man as he holds the calf’s legs in a large “X”. The calf is naturally settled by its weight on the man’s shoulder as it turns its head to face the viewer. While the statue is defined with the typical geometric planes of the Archaic era, certain areas of the figure are rendered in a much more smooth manner as the muscles of the forearms are described in stone.
  • The Kritios boy belongs to the Late Archaic period and is considered the precursor to the later classical sculptures of athletes. The Kritios or Kritian boy was thus named because it is believed to be the creation of Krito, the teacher of Myron, from around 480 BCE. The statue is made of marble and is considerably smaller than life-size at 1.17 m (3 ft 10 ins). With the Kritios Boy the Greek artist has mastered a complete understanding of how the different parts of the body act as a system. The statue supports its body on one leg, the left, whiles the right one is bent at the knee in a relaxing state. This stance forces a chain of anatomical events as the pelvis is pushed diagonally upwards on the left side, the right buttock relaxes, the spine acquires an “S” curve, and the shoulder line dips on the left to counteract the action of the pelvis (contra-posto). The Kritios Boy exhibits a number of other critical innovations that distinguish it from the Archaic Kouroi that paved its way. The muscular and skeletal structure are depicted with unforced life-like accuracy, with the rib cage naturally expanded as if in the act of breathing, with a relaxed attitude and hips which are distinctly narrower. As a final fore bearer of the classical period, the “smile” of Archaic statues has been completely replaced by the accurate rendering of the lips and the austere expression that characterized the transitional, or “Severe” period from the Archaic to the Classical era.  
  • Greater weight on the left leg, Balanced - Although the Doryphoros represents a warrior poised for battle, he does not don a suit of armor or any other protective gear. In fact, were it not for the actual spear that that statue originally held, it would have been difficult to identify him as such. A hallmark of classical Greek sculpture, male nudity or nakedness was understood as a marker of civilization that separated the Greeks from their “barbarian” neighbors. Many of the most influential Greeks of this period, including artists, writers, philosophers, and politicians, were obsessed with the notion that one should strive for perfection while recognizing that such perfection was unattainable. The face of the Doryphoros is devoid of individual features, which suggests that he is meant to represent an idealized version of the everyman, the perfect Greek male citizen (women were not citizens). Yet, his body—proportional, balanced, naked, strong, and exuding confidence—is one that the viewer might aspire to achieve, but never could.
  • Tall and poised, with small breast and broad hips. The Aphrodite of Cnidus (Knidos) by Praxiteles (c.350 BC) is the first monumental female nude in classical sculpture. Upon seeing it, the Greek Anthology (VI.160) has Aphrodite herself remark, "Where did Praxiteles see me naked?" Of it, Pliny says "...and yet superior to anything not merely by Praxiteles, but in the whole world, is the Venus."
  • The statue of the goddess established a canon for the female nude, and inspired many derivatives and variants, the best of which is considered to be the Colonna Knidia, which is in the Vatican's Pio-Clementine Museum. Here she stands in a contrapposto pose, her weight on her right leg, her left knee slightly bent. A Roman copy, it is not thought to match the polished beauty of the original, which was destroyed in a disastrous fire at Constantinople in AD 475.
  • This larger-than-life sculpture of Zeus (or possibly Poseidon) was made in bronze circa 460 - 450 B.C.E. It is 2.09 m (6' 10.5") high and 2.10 m (6' 10.75") fingertip to fingertip. It was found in the sea near Cape Artemisio. It is housed at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens , Greece. There is some debate whether or not this sculpture depicts Zeus or Poseidon, but I think the most important aspect of this work is that it depicts a god in purely human form. It was most likely carved by a master craftsman (possibly Kalamis) using an Olympian athlete as a model. The muscles, the beard, the genitalia are all perfectly masculine and human . The gods interacted with the Greeks with their petty jealousies and arrogances - that is, their human frailties - fully intact. It has been said that the Greeks' interest in the gods was really only as an exploration of the human - the human psyche, the human body, the human soul. The name Zeus became Deus in Roman Latin and later Diós , or "God" in Spanish, giving us an explanation for words such as adiós : literally "to Zeus." We have the same sort of farewell in English with goodbye , a contracted form of "God be with you."
  • Myron Discobolus (Discus Thrower), Myron was an ancient Greek sculptor working during the 5th Century BC. He is most famous for his bronze sculptures of athletes caught in a moment of action, though he did also produce statues of gods and heroes. His sculptures are notable for their sense of life and movement, for the realism captured in the athletes’ tensed bodies, and for their innovation of stance and posture. His work was greatly admired by the Greeks and Romans, and he has long been considered one of the great masters of classical art. The Discobolus ( Discus Thrower ) Myron’s most famous bronze sculpture is the Discobolus ( Discus Thrower ), a statue portraying an athlete caught mid-swing as he prepares to throw his discus. What makes the statue so unique and captivating is the specific moment Myron has chosen to depict. The discus thrower has been captured in the momentary pause between two actions – back swing and forwards throw. By choosing this particular snapshot of the action, Myron has gone further than simply exploring motion in his statue. With the Discobolus, he has managed to capture two separate and opposite movements, as well as to create a sense of potential motion in the tensed body. The statue looks as if it is merely pausing, about to burst into life at any moment. The statue’s composition also creates an interesting balance of opposites. The athlete’s arms and left foot create a neat curve down one side, broken by the jagged edges and right angles of his back and legs on the other. His chest faces towards the viewer while his legs are seen from the side. The top half of the statue is smooth and open; the bottom half closed and angular. The Discobolus is a statue that strives to break from any kind of symmetry, and in the process creates its own unique sense of balance and beauty.
  • Designed by the architects Ictinus and Kallicrates-Sculpture by Phidias-Commissioned by Pericles, who freely drew on (Delian League) funds to restore the wooden temples burned by the Persians during their attack on Athens in 480 b.c.e. -Greek architects used no mortar. Rather they employed bronze clamps and dowels to fasten the individually cut marble segments. When work began on the Parthenon in 447 BC, the Athenian Empire was at the height of its power. Work on the temple continued until 432; the Parthenon, then, represents the tangible and visible efflorescence of Athenian imperial power, unencumbered by the depradations of the Peloponnesian War. Likewise, it symbolizes the power and influence of the Athenian politician, Perikles, who championed its construction. Some historians believe that Athens concluded a peace treaty with Persia in 449, two years before work began on the Parthenon. The significance of this would be that the Delian League/Athenian Empire continued to exist, even after the reason for its existence (a mutual defense league against the Persians) had ceased to be valid. In other words it was now openly acknowledged that Athens was not just the head of the Greek defense league but actually an imperial master over other Greek states. The decision by the Athenians in 454 BC to move the League treasury from the Panhellenic sanctuary at Delos to the Athenian acropolis points in the same direction. Because the Parthenon was built with League funds, the building may be read as an expression of the confidence of the Athenians in this newly naked imperialism. But the piety of this undertaking should not be underestimated; the Persians had sacked the temples on the Athenian acropolis in 480, and rebuilding them fulfilled, in Bury's words, the Athenians' "debt of gratitude to heaven for the defeat of the Mede."
  • Chryselephantine statue of Athena - The Parthenon’s main function was to provide shelter for the monumental chryselephantine (made of gold and ivory) statue of Athena that was created by Pheidias and dedicated in 438 BCE. The statue stood approximately 9 or 11 meters (around 40 ft.) tall. It has not survived to our day, but we have enough accounts of its existence along with a number of smaller marble copies, including the one on exhibit at the National Museum of Athens. Athena stands holding a Nike (Victory) on her right hand that extends forward from the elbow, as if offering Nike to the Athenian citizens. With her left hand she supports her shield which shelters a snake as it rests on the ground, and her lance that rests on her left shoulder.She is dressed with an Attica peplos, and on her head she wears a richly decorated helmet with a sphinx at the apex and two Pegasi on each side. Her breastplate is adorned with snakes and the head of Medusa at the center. The statue was a hollow construction with a wooden armature that supported the outer surfaces of the golden drapery, and the ivory flesh of Athena. The statue was situated close to the south end of the cella and was surrounded by a procession of double-decked Doric columns on its flanks as well as the back. The floor of the cella in front of it was a shallow pool of water or oil, which added further drama to the statue’s context with its reflective surface.  
  • Here is a drawing of what we think it would have looked like. The statue sat in the naos of the Temple of Zeus at Olympia for approximately 800 years. The exact manner of its destruction is the source of debate: some scholars argue that it perished with the temple in the 5th century AD, others argue that it was carried off to Constantinople, where it was destroyed by fire in 475 AD
  • The great statue of Zeus at Olympia was sculpted by the Athenian artist, Pheidias. After completing his work on the Acropolis in 438 BC, Pheidias was commissioned by the Olympian priesthood to design and produce a chryselephantine statue of the god (P. Valavanis). The statue took Pheidias over 12 years to complete, and the result was so astounding that those who saw the statue marveled and placed it among the seven wonders of the world (J. Swaddling). Pheidias is said to have used verses from Homer’s Iliad as inspiration for his masterpiece (H. Schobel). The following lines served as a basis for his interpretation: The son of Cronos spoke, and bowed his dark brow in assent, and the ambrosial locks waved from the king's immortal head; and he made great Olympus quake. - Iliad, Book 1 - The statue itself was destroyed around the 5th century AD; therefore any knowledge of the statue comes to us through second hand descriptions and representations. Luckily, Pausanias described the statue in great detail. The following description of the statue is based on his observations. The statue sat on a throne in the middle of the temple of Zeus. At over 12 meters high, the statue nearly touched the ceiling. On his head, Zeus wore a crown of olive branches. In his right hand he held the goddess of victory, and in his left an eagle topped scepter. The god was clothed in a great mantle decorated with inlaid animals and lily-flowers. The crown, mantle and sandals were all made of gold. The throne on which the god sat was decorated with gold, precious stones, ebony and ivory. Figures of Victory adorned with legs of the throne, Sphinxes comprised the arms, and on the back of the throne were depictions of the Graces and the Hours: three on either side of Zeus’ head. In front of the statue, Pheidias placed a pool of oil to prevent the statue from being eroded in Olympia’s humid climate (Pausanias).
  • He was a military genius: Within 12 years, he created an empire that stretched Greece to borders of modern India. 4 th cen. B.C.E. was a turbulent era marked by - rivalry and warfare among the Greek city-states. - The failure of the Greek city-states to live in peace - would lead of the spread of Hellenic culture. The word Hellenistic is a modern word and a 19th Century concept, the idea of a Hellenistic Period did not exist in Ancient Greece. In the mid-19th Century, J. G. Droysen coined the term Hellenistic to be defined as the period when Greek culture spread in the non-Greek world after Alexander’s conquest. The major issue with the term Hellenistic lies in its convenience, as the spread of Greek culture was not the generalized phenomenon that the term implies. Some areas of the conquered world were more affected by the Greek and especially Macedonian influences than others. The term Hellenistic also implies that the Greek populations were of majority in the areas in which they settled, while in many cases, the Greek settlers were actually the minority amongst the native populations. The Greek population and the native population did not mix; the Greeks moved and brought their own culture, but interaction did not always occur.
  • Alexander the Great became King of Macedonia when his father was assassinated in 336BC. King Philip had conquered most of the Greek peninsula. The Greeks believed they could free themselves of Macedonia rule, since the new king was a “mere boy.” Alexander proved them wrong by capturing the city of Thebes. He destroyed the entire city as a warning to the others. Alexander then conquered Persia, the longtime enemy of Greece, and the mightiest empire in the world.Alexander was a military genius, possibly the greatest warrior of all time. His troops were better trained and organized than the Persian army. His soldiers also admired Alexander because of his personal courage. Alexander led his soldiers in battle instead of remaining behind the lines. The troops saw that Alexander was sharing their danger, and was not asking them to take any risks he would not take himself. Once he conquered the Persians, Alexander quickly assembled a huge empire. In 332BC, he moved south to Egypt, where he rested his troops. The Egyptians welcomed Alexander as a hero because he freed them from harsh Persian rule. They crowned him Pharaoh and declared him a god.Alexander eventually created an empire that reached India. Aristotle taught him that the Greeks were the most advanced people in the world, and that all other cultures were barbarians. Once he defeated the Persians, he came to see them very differently. He saw that many Persians were intelligent people and were worthy of his respect. Alexander accepted many Persians into his army and married the daughter of a Persian king. In 323BC, when Alexander was only thirty-three years old, he fell ill from a fever and died a week later. Alexander had created a huge empire in less than thirteen years, but it quickly crumbled. Alexander’s mother, wives, and children were all killed in the struggle for power that followed his death. In the end, his empire was divided among his generals in three parts.Alexander changed the world, but not through his accomplishments on the battlefield. Alexander carried the ideas of the Greeks and their love of learning throughout his empire. He founded the great city of Alexandria, which became a center of learning and culture in Egypt. A library in Alexandria housed the accumulated knowledge of the Greeks. This would become very important in the centuries that followed because Greece and Rome would fall to barbarian tribes who could not read.
  • New emphasis on personal emotion & individuality gave rise to portraits that were more intimate and less idealized. Note: The Apollo Belvedere represents one of the great legacies of Greek art. It was a Roman copy, probably of a bronze original made by the Athenian sculptor Leochares, who worked for Alexander the Great, around 320BC. The Apollo Belvedere was discovered in the late 1400's near Rome, and has been in the Vatican since 1511, in the Cortile del Belvedere, from which it gets its name. The statue had a major influence on Renaissance art, including Michelangelo's David and Creation of Adam . By the 18th century, however, views of the statue shifted - the pope at the time, Pope Pius IV was offended by its nudity, and had its genitals covered with a coy fig-leaf. He also decided to have new hands made for Apollo and added to the statue... In more recent history, the Apollo Belvedere served as the model for the Apollo head shown on the badges of the astronauts on the Apollo 17 Mission!
  • One of the major discoveries of the Italian Renaissance, this sculptural grouping was lost for centuries but found in 1506 near Rome, by a farmer plowing a field in the ruins of Titus' palace. It depicts an event in Vergil's Aeneid (Book 2). Michelangelo (1475-1564) had been in Rome twice, (1505-06) to start work on the Tomb of Pope Julius II; on that visit he and the pope, upon hearing the news of the Laocoön discovery, rode by horseback through the countyside of Rome, to witness the unearthing of the ancient Laocoön Group. Realizing that the sculpture was indeed the long lost famous Laocoön, it was mounted on a special wagon and brought back into Rome with a traditional hero¹s welcome. Along with the city turning out for the 'ticker tape parade',there were three days of citywide celebrations.One of the major discoveries of the Italian Renaissance, this sculptural grouping was found in Rome in 1506 in the ruins of Titus' palace. It depicts an event in Vergil's Aeneid (Book 2). The Trojan priest Laocoön was strangled by sea snakes, sent by the gods who favored the Greeks, while he was sacrificing at the altar of Neptune. Because Laocoön had tried to warn the Trojan citizens of the danger of bringing in the wooden horse, he incurred the wrath of the gods. The theatricality and emphasis on emotional intensity is typically Hellenistic Greek--often called "Baroque" as well. Note the writhing serpents, one of whom bites Laocoön's left leg, and pained expressions. The furrowed brow and open-mouthed pain would be copied by Bernini and Caravaggio in the seventeenth century.
  • The Venus de Milo was discovered on April 8, 1820 on the Aegean island of Melos, then a backwater under the indifferent rule of the Ottoman Turks but subject politically to the influence of France. Indeed, Olivier Voutier, an ensign in the French navy, whose warship had been idling in port, was searching for Greek antiquities when a local farmer, while removing stones from an ancient wall nearby, uncovered the statue. It was found in several pieces--a nude upper torso, a draped lower body, and part of the right hip that allowed both parts to be fitted together without toppling over. The arms, too, were missing but Voutier was convinced that the sculpture was a masterpiece and hurriedly returned with the local vice-consul to persuade him to buy it. The farmer had continued to dig and found a hand holding an apple, two herms standing on inscribed bases, and a fragment of an upper arm. The Venus arrived in Paris and was offered to Louis XVIII on March 1, 1821. (So obese was the king that it would be almost a year before he actually saw it.) Placed in the Louvre, its restoration would be supervised by the comte de Forbin. He had become director in 1816, the same year that the British parliament had voted to purchase the marbles (designed by Pheidias) taken from the pediment of the Parthenon by Lord Elgin. The year before, after the defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo, the Apollo Belvedere had been returned to the Vatican (although, a few years later, it would prove to be a Roman copy) and the Venus de' Medici to Florence. For the pride of France, the Venus de Milo had to rival the recent acquisition by the British Museum and compensate for those works of art reclaimed from the Louvre.
  • Rome’s influence on Western culture was felt long after Roman glory and might faded. T he romance between Antony and Cleopatra might have changed the world. If Antony had succeeded in wining sole control of Rome with Cleopatra as his queen, he could have changed the course of the Roman Empire, making the world we live in today a different place. However, their relationship ended in mutual suicide in 30 BC, eleven years after it started, when Roman troops engulfed the Egyptian city of Alexandria and threatened their capture. The seed that spawned their relationship was sown with the murder of Julius Caesar in March 44 BC (see The Assassination of Julius Caesar) . Rome descended into anarchy and civil war. By 41 BC Antony and Octavian (who would later change his name to Augustus) shared the leadership of Rome and had divided the state into two regions - the western portion including Spain and Gaul ruled by Octavian, the eastern region including Greece and the Middle East ruled by Antony. Marc Antony-The Parthian Empire located in modern-day Iraq posed a threat to Antony's eastern territory and he planned a military campaign to subdue them. But Antony needed money to put his plan into action and he looked to Cleopatra - ruler of Egypt and the richest woman in the world - to supply it. In 41 BC he summoned Cleopatra to meet him in the city of Tarsus in modern-day Turkey.
  • Rome’s early history, Rome’s origins are to be found among the tribes of Iron Age folk called the Latins. The Latins borrowed elements that would enhance their own history. From Etruscans, the Romans absorbed the fundamentals of urban planning, chariot racing, the toga, bronze and gold crafting, and the most ingenious structural principle of Mesopotamian architecture – the arch. The Etruscans provided their dead with tombs designed to resemble the lavish dwelling places of the deceased, On the lids of the sarcophagi (stone coffins) that held the remains of the dead, Etruscan artists carved their portraits, depicting husbands and wives relaxing and socializing on their dining couch, as if still enjoying a family banquet From the Greeks the Romans borrowed a pantheon of god and goddesses, linguistic and literary principles and the aesthetics of the classical style. As the Latins absorbed these cultures so they drew these and other peoples into what would become the most powerful world statein ancient history.
  • The Roman Republic (509-133 B.C.E.) The monarchy slowly gave way to a government “of the people” (res publica). The agricultural population of ancient Rome consisted of a powerful class of large landowners, the patricians, and a more populous class of farmers and small and owners called plebeians. The plebeians constituted the membership of a Popular assembly. The wealthy patricians –life members of the Roman Senate- controlled the lawmaking process. Through their leaders, the tribunes - made themselves heard. Eventually, they won the freedom to intermarry with patricians, the right to hold executive office, and finally in 287 b.c.e. the privilege of making laws, The stern and independent population of Roman farmers had arrived at a republic by peaceful means But no sooner had Rome become a Republic than it adopted an expansionist course that would erode these democratic achievements. Rome seized every opportunity for conquest, and by the end of the first century b.c.e., the Empire included most of North Africa, the Iberian peninsula, Greece, Egypt, much of southwest Asia, and the territories constituting present-day Europe as far as the Rhine River. Despite the difficulties presented by the task of governing such far-flung territories, the Romans proved to be efficient administrators, They demanded from their foreign provinces taxes, soldiers to serve in the Roman army, tribute, and slaves. The Collapse of the Roman Republic (133-30 B.C.E.) The senate became increasingly powerful, as did a new class of men. Wealthy Roman entrepreneurs who filled the jobs of provincial administration. The army, by its domination of Rome’s overseas provinces, also became more powerful. The increased agricultural productivity of the plantations gave economic advantage to large landowners who easily undersold the lesser landowners and drove them out of business, Increasingly, the small farmers were forced to sell their farms to neighboring patricians in return for the right to remain on the land, Or, they simply moved to the city to join, by the end of the first century b.c.e. a growing unemployed population. The disappearance of the small farmer signaled the declined of the Republic. As Rome‘s rich citizens grew richer and its poor citizens poorer, the patricians fiercely resisted efforts to redistribute wealth more equally. But reform measures failed and political rivalries increased, Ultimately, Rome fell victim to the ambitions of army generals, who, having conquered in the name of Rome, now turned to conquering Rome itself. The first century b.c.e. was an age of military dictators, whose competing claims to power fueled a spate of civil wars. As bloody confrontations replaced reasoned compromises, the Republic crumbled.
  • In 46 b.c.e., an extraordinary army commander named Caius Julius Caesar triumphantly entered the city of Rome and established a dictatorship. Caesar, who had spent nine years conquering Gaul (present day France and Belgium), was as shrewd in politics as he was brilliant in war. Hid brief but successful campaigns in Syria, Asia Minor, and Egypt –where his union with the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra (69-30 b.c.e.) produced a son- inspired his famous boast Veni, vidi, vici(“I came, I saw, I conquered”) . A superb organizer, Caesar tool strong measures to restabilize Rome: He codified the laws, regulated taxation, reduced debts, sent large numbers of the unemployed proletariat to overseas colonies, and inaugurated public works projects, He also granted citizenship to non-Italians and reformed the Western calendar to comprise 365 days and 12 months (one of which he named after himself-July) Threatened by Caesar’s populist reforms and his contempt for republican instituions, a group of his senatorial opponents, led by Marcus Junius Brutus, assassinated him in 44 b.c.e.
  • First citizen - The Roman Empire: Pax Romana (30 B.C.E.-180 C.E.) Following the assassination of Julius Caesar, a struggle for power ensued between Caeasar’s first lieutenant, Mark Anthony (ca. 80-30 b.c.e.) and his his grandnephew (and adopted son) Octavian (63 b.c.e -14 c.e.). The contest between the two was resolved at Actium in 31 b.c.e. when Octavian’s navy routed the combined forces of Mark Antony and Queen Cleopatra. That destiny, howerver , would fall to Octavian. In 43 b.c.e. Octavian usurped the consulship and gained the approval of the Senate to rule for life, Although he called himself « first citizen » , his title of Emperor betrayed the reality that he was first and foremost Rome’s army general. The Senate, however, bestowed on him the title Augustue- shared legislative power with the Senat, but retained the right to veto legislation. Thus, to all intents and purposes, the Republic was defunct, The destiny of Rome lay once again in the hands of a military dictaor. Anenthusiastic patron of the arts, Augustus commissioned literature, sculpture, and architecture, He boasted that he had come to power when Rome was a city of brick and would leave it a city of marble. Roman Law - The sheer size of the Roman Empire inspired engineering programs, such as bridge and road buliding, that united all regions under Roman rule, Law- a less tangible means of unification – was equally important in that regard, The deveopmpent of a system of law was one of Rome’s most original landmark achievements. The twelve Tables of law provided Rome’s basic legal code for almost a thousand years.
  • Plot Overview O n the Mediterranean Sea, Aeneas and his fellow Trojans flee from their home city of Troy, which has been destroyed by the Greeks. They sail for Italy, where Aeneas is destined to found Rome. As they near their destination, a fierce storm throws them off course and lands them in Carthage. Dido, Carthage’s founder and queen, welcomes them. Aeneas relates to Dido the long and painful story of his group’s travels thus far. Aeneas tells of the sack of Troy that ended the Trojan War after ten years of Greek siege. In the final campaign, the Trojans were tricked when they accepted into their city walls a wooden horse that, unbeknownst to them, harbored several Greek soldiers in its hollow belly. He tells how he escaped the burning city with his father, Anchises; his son, Ascanius; and the hearth gods that represent their fallen city. Assured by the gods that a glorious future awaited him in Italy, he set sail with a fleet containing the surviving citizens of Troy. Aeneas relates the ordeals they faced on their journey. Twice they attempted to build a new city, only to be driven away by bad omens and plagues. Harpies, creatures that are part woman and part bird, cursed them, but they also encountered friendly countrymen unexpectedly. Finally, after the loss of Anchises and a bout of terrible weather, they made their way to Carthage. Impressed by Aeneas’s exploits and sympathetic to his suffering, Dido, a Phoenician princess who fled her home and founded Carthage after her brother murdered her husband, falls in love with Aeneas. They live together as lovers for a period, until the gods remind Aeneas of his duty to found a new city. He determines to set sail once again. Dido is devastated by his departure, and kills herself by ordering a huge pyre to be built with Aeneas’s castaway possessions, climbing upon it, and stabbing herself with the sword Aeneas leaves behind. As the Trojans make for Italy, bad weather blows them to Sicily, where they hold funeral games for the dead Anchises. The women, tired of the voyage, begin to burn the ships, but a downpour puts the fires out. Some of the travel-weary stay behind, while Aeneas, reinvigorated after his father visits him in a dream, takes the rest on toward Italy. Once there, Aeneas descends into the underworld, guided by the Sibyl of Cumae, to visit his father. He is shown a pageant of the future history and heroes of Rome, which helps him to understand the importance of his mission. Aeneas returns from the underworld, and the Trojans continue up the coast to the region of Latium. The arrival of the Trojans in Italy begins peacefully. King Latinus, the Italian ruler, extends his hospitality, hoping that Aeneas will prove to be the foreigner whom, according to a prophecy, his daughter Lavinia is supposed to marry. But Latinus’s wife, Amata, has other ideas. She means for Lavinia to marry Turnus, a local suitor. Amata and Turnus cultivate enmity toward the newly arrived Trojans. Meanwhile, Ascanius hunts a stag that was a pet of the local herdsmen. A fight breaks out, and several people are killed. Turnus, riding this current of anger, begins a war. Aeneas, at the suggestion of the river god Tiberinus, sails north up the Tiber to seek military support among the neighboring tribes. During this voyage, his mother, Venus, descends to give him a new set of weapons, wrought by Vulcan. While the Trojan leader is away, Turnus attacks. Aeneas returns to find his countrymen embroiled in battle. Pallas, the son of Aeneas’s new ally Evander, is killed by Turnus. Aeneas flies into a violent fury, and many more are slain by the day’s end. The two sides agree to a truce so that they can bury the dead, and the Latin leaders discuss whether to continue the battle. They decide to spare any further unnecessary carnage by proposing a hand-to-hand duel between Aeneas and Turnus. When the two leaders face off, however, the other men begin to quarrel, and full-scale battle resumes. Aeneas is wounded in the thigh, but eventually the Trojans threaten the enemy city. Turnus rushes out to meet Aeneas, who wounds Turnus badly. Aeneas nearly spares Turnus but, remembering the slain Pallas, slays him instead.
  • Following Caesar’s assassination, he too was murdered, his head and hands put on public dsiplay in the Forum. diplomacy in the friendly settlement of controversies is more desirable than courage in settling them on the battlefield; but we must be careful not to take that course merely for the sake of avoiding war rather than for the sake of public expediency. War, however, should be undertaken in such a way as to make it evident that it has no other object than to secure peace.
  • Large numbers of citizens inspired the construction of tenements, meeting halls, baths, amphitheaters and aqueducts. They placed arches back to back to form a barrel vault. Or right angles to each other to form a cross or groined vault.
  • A temple whose structural majesty depends on the combination of Roman technical ingenuity and inventive spatial design. One of the few buildings from classical antiquity to have remained almost intact. The surrounding pavement over time covered the steps leading up to the Pantheon. (the steps are underground)
  • Roman sculpture served an essentially public function, advertising the regal authority of the emperor, often shown leading his troops to victory. During the second century, this tradition of portraiture assumed a heroic dimension in the image of the ruler on horseback. The equestrian portrait of Emperor Marcus Aurelius depicts the general addressing his troops, his right hand raised in the magisterial gesture of authority.
  • The lava preserved many homes and many mosaics survived to give us a glimpse into their lives. Mosaics are small pieces of stone or glass embedded into the cement.
  • Slow decline was likely caused by a combination of internal circumstances:
  • But they had many things in common. Qin created an empire by defeating all rival states and assuming absolute responsibility for maintaining order. Both brought political stability and cultural unity to vast reaches of territory. Both were profoundly secular in their approach to the world and to the conduct of human beings. Each inherited age-old practices in religion , law, literature, and the arts, which they self-consciously preserved and transmitted to future generations.
  • Large salaried bureaucracy. Ordered the first census. Standardized written Chinese. Divided china into provinces. Created a uniform coinage. Created a system of weights and measures. Standardized all axles on Chinese wagons so they would fit into excisting ruts. The silk industry brought wealth But the peasants were heavily taxed
  • The Peloponnesian War The Golden Age of Greece was short lived. Athens and Sparta were both powerful poli, and each wanted to spread their way of life. Sparta attacked Athens in 431BC, beginning the brutal 27-year-long Peloponnesian War. One out four people in Athens died shortly after the war began, but not because they were defeated in battle. When Sparta attacked, the Athenian people crowded behind the walls of the city. The cramped and dirty living conditions were an easy target for disease. A plague, or great sickness, spread through the city. Sickness claimed the life of Pericles, the leader of Athens. Once Pericles died, the people began to listen to demagogues. Demagogues were bad leaders who appealed to people’s emotions rather than logic. Sparta eventually defeated Athens by building blockade around the walls of the city. This is called a siege. The people of Athens could not leave to get supplies or food from the countryside. Faced with starvation, Athens surrendered to Sparta in 404BC. The Peloponnesian robbed Athens of its Golden Age. Great thinkers and teachers lived in Athens during and after the war but the era of support for new ideas and the spirit of democracy had passed.
  • The foundation of classicism were laid in the Aegean civilizations of the Bronze Age. But it was not until the fifth century B.C.E that the Greek city of Athens enshrined classicism as the expression of a Golden Age in the arts. The Ancient city of Athens enshrined classicism as the expression of a Golden age in the arts. The ancient Athenians called themselves “Hellenes” and their land “Hellas” (the English “Greece” deriving from the roman place –name , Graecus). The Hellenic (Greek) phase of classical antiquity reproduced some of the most memorable landmarks in the history of culture, The subsequent Hellenistic (Greek-like) age, inspired by the ambitions of Alexander the great, drew on its Hellenic ancestry and spread classicism throughout much of the civilized world.

Chapter 2 3 greekart Chapter 2 3 greekart Presentation Transcript

  • By contrast with the Minoans, the Mycenaeans were a militant and aggressive people . This maritime civilization flourished when it seems to have been absorbed or destroyed by the Mycenaeans. Mycenaean Civilization (ca. 1600-1200 B.C.E) Aegean Civilization (Minoans) (ca. 3000-1200 B.C.E.)
    • A minotaur – a monstrous half-man, half –bull hybrid born of the union on Minos’ queen and a sacred white bull.
    • Theseus, Ariadne
    What is a Myth?
    • Suggest the persistence of ancient fertility cults honoring gods associated with procreation.
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  • Mycenae Lion Gate c. 1350-1200 B.C.E., constructed heavily fortified citadels and walls so Massive that later generations thought they had been built by a mythical race of giants known as the Cycops. I
  • The "Agamemnon" Mask from Tomb V at Mycenae 16c. B.C.E.
  • The Heroic Age (ca. 1200-750 B.C.E)
    • A more powerful, iron-bearing tribes of Dorians, a Greek-speaking people from the north, destroyed Mycenaean civilization.
  • It took three hundred years before they were written down. The Iliad and Odyssey became the “ national” poems of ancient Greece. Achilles bandages the arm of his friend Patroclus. (Homer gets credit) The adventures of the Mycenaeans and the Trojan War Iliad and Odyssey
  • Euphronios and Euxitheos, Death of Sarpedon , ca. 515 B. C. E. Greek Gods were envisioned as a family of immortals who intervened in the lives of human beings.
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    • The Greek League was the alliance of the Greek city-states led by Athens, Corinth, and Sparta.
    • The Persian War played out
    • in three key battles after Marathon.
    • They were:
    • Thermopylae
    • Salamis
    • Plataea
    • The victory for the Greeks set their tone of superiority in the world, especially the Athenians.
    • The Greek Golden Age was
    • one of the most creative in the
    • history of the world.
    • Pericles was the leading proponent of Athenian democracy who dominated the Board of Ten generals for more than thirty years.
  • Epidarus Greek Drama
    • Twice annually
    • Greek drama was a form of play that addressed the dynamic relationship between the individual, the community, and the gods.
    • Greeks were the first masters in the art of drama.
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      • Sophocles’ Antigone
      • The individual and the community
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    • pottery depicting drama
    • Great Greek lyrists
    • One of a few known female poets of the ancient world.
    • Settled on The island of Lesbos, where she led a group of young women dedicated to the cult of Aphrodite.
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  • He was sentenced to death by drinking hemlock, a poisonous herb. Jacques-Louis David’s , The Death of Socrates, 1787
  • He founded the first school of philosophy, the Academy. He wrote some two dozen treaties most of which were cast in the dialogue of Socrates.
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  • Plato’s student from Macedonian, whose contributions rivaled his teacher. Aristotle was the greatest scientist of the ancient world. He is considered the father of the natural sciences
    • Athenian high society
    • laws that banned women from studying.
    • she cut her hair and dressed like a man
    • attended classes of famous physician Herophilus.
    • The Analects is the original "Confucius says:"
    • The Analects are required reading for Chinese school children.
    • The Analects is a small but transcendental work put together by the disciples of Confucius.
  • Myron Discobolus ca. 450 B.C.E. The Olympic Games ( 776 B.C.E .)
    • All city-states of Greece participated
    • at Olympia
    • Honor Greek Gods
    • Midsummer every four years
    • Winners received garlands of
    • wild olive, or laurel leaves, olive oil
    • and the acclaim of Greek painters and poets
    • Where did the name Marathon
    • come from?
  • Greek Painting Archaic period
    • Geometric painting
    • (ca. 1000-700 B.C.E.)
    • Flat, angular figures and complex patterns
    • Figures painted in black or brown
    Funerary Krater ca. 750 B.C.E., terra-cotta
  • Niobid Krater Greek Painting Classical period
    • 480-323 B.C.E
    • Artist replace the black-figured style with one in which the human body was left the color of the clay and the ground was painted black
  • Andokides Painter
  • Classical: Head of Blond Youth Archaic: 700 - 480 B.C.E. Classical: 480 - 323 B.C.E. Hellenistic: 323 - 30 B.C.E
  • Archaic: Kouros c. 650 B.C.E. The Archaic Period (700 B.C.E. - 480 B.C.E .)
    • Egyptian and
    • Mesopotamian influence
    • Freestanding, rigid
    • and block like
    • Perpetual homage
    • to the gods
    • Kouros – male youth
    • Kore – female youth
  • Archaic Period Influence: Ancient Egypt c. 2600 B.C.E.
  • Archaic Period Influence:Mesopotamia c. 2700 B.C.E.
  • Archaic: Kore & Kouros
  • Archaic: Kouros
  • Archaic: Kore from Acropolis and Painted Kore
  • Archaic: Kore
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  • Early Classical Kritios Boy , c. 480 B.C.E. and Blond Boy , c. 480 B.C.E.
  • Classical: Polycleitus, Doryphorus (spear-bearer) The Classical Period (480 B.C.E. - 323 B.C.E.)
    • More natural positioning
    • opposition that is natural and graceful
    • Doryphorus is considered the canon of ideal proportions.
  • Praxiteles – Aphrodite of Knidos ac. 350 B.C.E. (Roman Copy)
    • Established a model for the ideal female nude.
    • Regarded by the Romans as the finest statue in the world.
    • What do you think?
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  • Classical: Zeus 440 B.C.E.
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  • Phidias Man with Helmet
  • Parthenon replica - Nashville Greek Architecture: The Parthenon (448 to 432 B.C.E.)
    • Landmark architectural achievement
    • of Golden Age Athens
    • Temple dedicated to Athena (the goddess of war and of wisdom, and the patron of the arts and crafts.
    • Commissioned by Pericles
  • Parthenon
  • Pheidas’ Athena Parthenos 2002 – Nashville Replica Pheidas’ Athena Parthenos
  • Sculpture of the Parthenon
    • Phidias and his members
    • of his workshop
    • 448 and 432 B.C.E.
    • Homage to the patron
    • deity of Athens: Athena
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  • Greek influence
  • Ionic
  • Doric
  • Corinthian
  • Doric: Temple of Zeus at Olympia Architecture
  • Pheidas Zeus 5 th c. BC
  • Lincoln Memorial Greek influence
  • Lincoln Statue
  • The Hellenistic Age (323-30 B.C.E.)
    • Philip of Macedonia defeated the Greeks.
    • Assassinated 2 years later, his 20 yr old son Alexander-the-Great assumed the throne.
    • He was a student of Aristotle.
  • Alexander was a military genius, possibly the greatest warrior of all time.
  • Belvedere Apollo (Roman copy) Vatican Museum- late fourth century B.C.E. Hellenistic Art
    • Notable for its sensuous male/female
    • nudes.
    • Apollo Belvedere, A landmark example of the new sensuousness.
  • Laocoon and his sons c. 175-150 B.C.E. Vatican Museum
  • Hellenistic: Venus of Melos (Milo) c. 100 B.C.E.
  • Empire: The Power and Glory of Rome (ca.500 B.C.E.-500 C.E.)
    • The word “Empire” derives from the Latin imperium, the absolute authority held by the rulers of ancient Rome.
    • By sheer military force, Rome’s rulers created the West’s largest and long-lasting
    • empire.
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  • Julius Caesar
    • An army commander who in 46 B.C.E. Triumphantly entered the city of Rome and established a dictatorship.
    • Veni, vidi, vici
    • (“I came, I saw, I conquered”)
    • Assassinated by Brutus
    • Octavian (Augustus)
    • A struggle of power with Mark Anthony and Egyptian Queen Cleopatra.
    • Octavian gained approval of the Senate to rule for life.
  • Epic Poetry
    • Rome enjoyed a Golden Age of Latin literature whose most notable representative was Virgil (70-19 B.C.E.)
    • He wrote the Aeneid a
    • semi legendary epic that
    • immortalized Rome's destiny
    • as world ruler .
    • On Duty (44b.c.e) essay evaluates the benefits of diplomacy versus war
    • Served Rome as consul, statesman and orator
  • Roman Architecture
    • Roman Engineers built 50 thousand miles of paved roads.
    • Superb Engineers, they employed the structural advantages of the arch.
    Pont du Gard, near Nimes, France, ca. 20-10 b.c.e. - 25 mile long aqueduct that brought fresh water to the city. Built of 6-ton stones and assembled without mortar, the bottom row supporting a bridge and the top water ran by gravity.
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  • Colosseum (70-82 B.C.E.)
    • Covered 6 acres
    • Accommodated 50 thousand
    • Spectators
    • Chariot races, mock sea
    • battles, gladiatorial contests,
    • and a variety of brutal
    • blood sports.
  • Romans innovated the use of cement , which made large-scale architectural constructions much cheaper to build.
  • The Pantheon Ca. 118-125B.C.E.
    • Dedicated to the seven planetary deities.
    • Pantheon boasts a 19 foot-thick rotunda that is capped by a solid dome consisting of 5000 tons of concrete.
    • The interior of the dome, is pierced by a 30 ft wide oculus , or “eye,” that admits light and air.
  • Roman Influence
  • Trajan’s Victory Column Rome (113 C.E.)
    • 100 ft tall marble column erected by Emperor Trajan.
    • To celebrate his victory over the Dacians.
    • Includes 2500 figures
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  • Roman Painting and Mosaic Mosaic portrait of a women, pompeii, 1 st cen C.E.
    • Pompeii and Herculaneum remain the showcases of Roman suburban life.
    • Both cities were destroyed by volcanic eruption from Mt. Vesuvius.
  • Pompeii
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  • What caused the fall of the Roman empire?
  • The Fall of the Roman Empire Alexander-the-Great, Pompeii
    • The difficulties of governing so huge an empire, the decline of the slave trade, and an increasing gap between the rich and the poor.
    • 1/3 to 1/2 of the population of Rome received some form of public welfare.
    • And repeated barbarian attacks on Rome’s borders.
  • The Qin Dynasty (221-210 B.C.E.)
    • Rome and China traded overland, by way of Asian intermediaries, but neither reflects the direct influence of the other.
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  • “ First Emperor” Shih Huang Di tomb
    • It took 700,000 workers to build.
    • 8,000 life-size terra-cotta armed soldiers, with horse drawn chariots.
  • “ First Emperor” Shih Huang Di (259-210 B.C.E.)
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  • The Great Wall of China
    • Began 3 rd cen. B.C.E.
    • 1500 miles long
    • Could not stop foot soldiers, but slowed down horse drawn wagons and men on horse back.
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  • The Heroic Age (ca. 1200-750 B.C.E) A more powerful, iron-bearing tribes of Dorians, a Greek-speaking people from the north, destroyed Mycenaean civilization. Storytellers kept alive the history of early Greece, the adventures of the Mycenaeans, and the Trojan War, passing them orally from generation to generation. It took three hundred years before they were written down. The Iliad and Odyssey became the “ national” poems of ancient Greece.
  • Early Classical Aristodikos Kouros, c. 500-490 B.C.E. Periods
  • Myron Athena
  • Hellenistic: Aphrodite and Satyr
  • Hellenistic: Poseidon of Melos
  • Hellenistic: Boy Jockey and Horse
  • Hellenistic: Sleeping Hermaphrodite (Roman Copy c.150 BCE original)
  • Niobid Painter II
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  • Achilles Painter Apulian Painter
  • Berlin Painter Choephoroi Painter
  • Melian Painter Sophilos Painter
  • Temple of Zeus Ruins
  • Status of Zeus
  • Phidias Workshop
  • Erechtheum on Acropolis in Athens c. 421 B.C.E. Architecture
  • Ionic: Temple of Athena Nike – Acropolis Athens c. 427 BC Architecture
  • Doric: Parthenon - temple of Athena Parthenos Architecture
  • Parthenon Architecture
  • Doric: Temple of Athena Architecture
  • Doric: Temple of Hera Architecture
  • Corinthian: The temple of Zeus at Athens 2 nd c. BC Architecture
  • The temple of Zeus at Athens Detail Architecture
  • Corinthian: Choragic monument of Lysicrates - Athens ( 335 B.C.). Architecture
  • Early Classical: Warrior from the Temple of Aphaia at Aegina
  • Early Classical Fallen Warrior from the Temple of Aphaia at Aegina
  • Early Classical Archers from the Temple of Aphaia at Aegina.
  • Classical - The Charioteer of Delphi , Delphi c. 470 B.C.E.
  • Classical: Polyclitus and Praxiteles Hermes bearing the infant Dionysus
    • Civilizations
    • Philosophy
    • Sculpture
    • Architecture
    • Painting
  • Classicism describes a style of creative expression marked by clarity, simplicity, balance, and harmonious proportion – features associated with moderation, rationalism, and dignity.
    • Sappho’s He is more than a hero
    •   He is more than a hero he is a god in my eyes-- the man who is allowed to sit beside you -- he who listens intimately to the sweet murmur of your voice, the enticing laughter that makes my own heart beat fast. If I meet you suddenly, I can'
    speak -- my tongue is broken; a thin flame runs under my skin; seeing nothing, hearing only my own ears drumming, I drip with sweat; trembling shakes my body and I turn paler than dry grass. At such times death isn't far from me