Greece’s capital, as well as its largest and most prized city. It has a current population of 745,514 and is home to 39 km 2 of land. The city bears the labels of both the world’s oldest city and the alpha-world city, as well as the 32 nd richest city in the world. In addition, it is also swiftly becoming a center for business in the European Union. Athens has a strong and unique culture, and is known for its intricate and ancient monuments, sculptures, etc., as well as other architectural phenomenon such as the Parthenon. Religion is another thing it is known for – the Greek myths about their gods are commonly told and re-enacted by both school children and professionals. The city is also known to be the “birthplace” of democratic government, and well as a home to philosophy. Another part of their culture is recreation and sports. The Olympic Games are held in various cities nowadays, but the first modern Olympics were held in Athens in 1896, though the ancient Olympics were held in Olympia in 776 B.C.. People would compete in various different events testing their strengths. Athens is known to have born many great athletes, artists, philosophers, and other intellectually talented people. In this PowerPoint, daily life in Ancient Athens is portrayed, covering religion, art, music, social structure, and much more!
Social Structure The Pyramid Of Social Structure
Members of the upper class of Athens did not have an occupation because
they had to be relived of economic tasks such as trading. The members of this
elite class had slaves who focused on their property and fortune, so that their
masters could have free time to commit to more important business such as
government, war, and philosophy. This upper class was supposed to be the leisure
class, that would encourage the development of Greek culture and the arts.
The majority of the middle class of Athens was free men that were born outside of Athens. These men worked, mostly as merchants, tradesmen, craftsmen, and artists. These men were not considered citizens, so they had many limitations. They were forbidden to own land, vote, or marry a family of a citizen. The upper class used the middle class to prove that they were of superior power.
The lower class was made up of former slaves that had been freed. These freedmen were usually not citizens, so the highest social structure they could achieve would be the middle class.
The slaves of Athens were prisoners of war, victims of slave raiders, or infants rescued from abandonment. Slaves cost between 50 to 1 000 dollars. Slaves had very few rights. If the slave earned enough money to pay for freedom, he would be welcomed into the lower or middle class. If the slave was disobedient he could be whipped or hit. Owners could think of any kind of punishment for disobedient slaves, but they could not go too far and murder their slave.
The High Slave Class consisted of slaves who worked as tutors or police.
The Middle Slave Class were domestic slaves.
The Low Slave Class was the slaves who worked in mines.
*Note* women were not respected as much as men, and had few rights and did not have right to vote, so in Athenian social structure, women were considered lower than men and could be treated like domestic slaves.
Surrounding a typical Athenian household there would be a sun baked brick wall layering over a foundation of stone, within lay a courtyard where the sun would shine on children playing, maybe a small garden, places to sit, and a place to cook meals. If a household was rich, there would be fountains and statues and gardens, some in honor of the gods. Inside the actual house, the first level would mostly be for men. On the first level, there would be a special room, with tiled floors and a door leading directly to the street. This room was called an Andron and was specifically for the male inhabitants of the household to be able to entertain outsider males without, under any circumstances, the guests meeting the women of the house. The Andron was usually the only lavishly decked room in the house: the rest of the house would have packed dirt floors and simple, wooden furniture such as stools chairs and couches. The kitchen was where people ate their meals; it was only used to cook when the outdoor cooking place was deemed inacceptable for whatever reason (rain, wind, cold). For such times, there would be a smoke hole in the tiled roof. Moving upstairs of the usually two leveled houses in Athens, there would be the women’s quarters. Sometimes, the men would not even be permitted entrance. As for bathrooms, there would normally be one to two of them in the house, them usually the only private room in the house. If this was not enough, there was a chamber pot in each room-its contents later to be dumped out the window. In a large household, the inhabitants would include: grandparents, parents, children, unmarried female relatives, slaves and pets. Pets kept by Athenians were tortoises, caged birds, pigs and dogs.
Like the average citizens of Athens, the wealthy lived in plain houses made of mud bricks or stone with earthly floors. However, wealthy Greeks lived in larger houses with many rooms. The rooms were usually arranged around the courtyard and usually had a second storey. The rich furnished their houses with basic furniture. They stored items in wooden chests or hung them from pegs nailed into the wall. The wealthy also had couches that were also beds made with wooden frames with mats of rugs placed on top. The rich also had olive oil lamps, so they could stay up late and wake up as early as they pleased.
Women were separated from men and kept in the back or upper part of the house, to protect them from men they were not related to. Wealthy women were still expected to manage the household, but they could stay inside and send slaves to do the shopping instead of having to go out and shop themselves like average women. Rich women, like average women, were expected to make clothes for the family.
Though Greece’s landscape and climate were not always favourable for growing crops in ancient times, the ancient Greeks used irrigation systems to get a sufficient supply of what they needed. Also, Greece was surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, which led to many trade opportunities. By way of trade, they could receive foods that they failed to grow in their climate and terrain (it was often too hot, and the soil was not fertile along the coastline). However, their natural environment did provide them with some foods, and they are well known for many foods similar to that of Italy, Turkey, and other neighbouring countries. Goats were plentiful even in ancient times, because they were immune to the harsh landscape and sweltering climate of Greece. The ancient Greeks used these goats to produce foods that they are now famous for today, such as feta cheese and goat milk. Another food they are known for is flatbread (nowadays known as pita bread). They were able to make this from wheat grown in the plains, where the soil was more efficient for harvesting crops. They were also able to foster the growth of plants that provided fruit, such as grape vines (to make their famous wine), olive trees, and fig trees. Vegetables they
harvested included cabbage, onions, lentils, sweet peas,
chickpeas, broad beans, garden peas, grass peas, and
many more. In addition, the Mediterranean Sea did not
merely provide trade, but also supplied the ancient
Greeks with fish and other seafood. Meat was rarely eaten (with an exception of the wealthy, who would eat hares, birds, goat, sheep, geese, chickens, pigs, etc. that they would buy in larger cities). Though this was so, the majority of the meat’s use was as a sacrifice to the gods.
In ancient Greece, there were both social affairs for eating and regular household dining, in which women and men ate separately (most often, if the men were starved, they would eat first). There were four meals each day.
Breakfast: After Sunrise
Wine (for dipping the bread in)
Supper: Nightfall (The most important meal)
Lunch: Around midday
Wine (to dip the bread in)
* A small meal was sometimes eaten in the late afternoon.
In a small, basic household, the ‘food chain’ would go: husband/father, older sons, wife/mother, children (young boys and girls) pets, and then slaves. Females were always controlled: first by their fathers and then by their husbands. They often stayed at home and when they did go out, it was to the Agora (marketplace) and always with a male escort; if a woman went alone, it was a sure sign of extreme poverty. When men entertained, the women of the house were not invited to dinner. The only thing that a wife/ mother had control of was the children and chores, those being her only duties, she was expected to perform them well. As for the children themselves, they were sometimes brought up with the help of a nanny (if a family was rich) who normally earned a healthy fear and love from the child. When the children grew up, the inheritance line would always be through the male: a female had little rights and there were limitations on how much land she could own.
For a woman, a marriage was arranged by her parents, her brother, or her uncle- and she often did not meet her bride to be until the day of the marriage. There wasn’t much choice in the matter on the groom’s side either: his parents arranged the marriage and with the help of his fiancées parents, they negotiated a dowry. This would all go on when the bride-to-be was aged 12 to 18, the groom-to-be in his late 20s or 30s. For a traditional, ancient Athenian wedding there would be no priest; the rituals would be between the parents and the new couple. First, at their separate houses (their parents’ houses) they would take baths, followed by the groom journeying to the bride’s house in a cart if he was poor, or a chariot if he was wealthy. Together, the new couple would join the bride’s parents for a feast (the grandness all depends on the rich/poor factor) hosted by the father of the bride. After the feast, the bride and groom would ride to the groom’s house in the cart/chariot and be greeted formally at the door by the parents of the groom. Ceremoniously, they would be led to the hearth and nuts and fruits would cascade upon them; this being an important task of the groom’s parents. For full acceptance into her groom’s household, the bride would have to conceive for him a child: so, the concluding part of the wedding would be for the new couple to have sex. From then on after, as long as the wife met requirements, and she lived in the house of the groom, the new couple was legally married.
Divorce was not hard to achieve like it is today, if the wife fell out of the husbands favor, he could divorce her. If the wife failed to bear children, he could divorce her. If the woman moved out of the groom’s house, they were divorced. If the wife had an affair with another man, divorce was compulsory. This was why the Andron was so vital: husbands never even mentioned their wives names in front of other men: let alone let them meet and exchange pleasantries; they were too afraid of having to divorce they’re perfectly good brides. If a couple were to divorce, the man would have to pay back the dowry to the wife or the wife’s parents (if they were still living). Also, the children would stay with their father to learn his trade or grow up with a proper source of income.
Giving birth was considered a necessity in a woman’s life, and always took place in their home. Immediately following the point in a girl’s life when she reached puberty, which was generally around the age of 12 or 13, she was expected to marry. Part of the marriage ceremony included the woman giving her husband the gift of a child. If a woman was not able to have children, they were labeled cursed from the gods, and their husbands had a right to divorce them, since they had full control of their wives. It was also believed to be counterproductive for the woman’s heath. If they could not give birth, there were many procedures that they could undergo to allow them to bear a child. A common one included sleeping in a dormitory in Epidaurus. Here, the god Asclepius would make them have dreams that would cure the problem in their “inner body”. Others attempted to heal the part of the body that they believed was causing the girl’s inability to be impregnated. Of course, they did not have the knowledge we have today, so they believed that problem was cause by the semen’s inability to reach the inside of the womb, so they attempted to soften and open the entrance to the uterus (they believed that semen mixed with menstrual blood created an egg). Over all, there was a lot of social pressure on a woman to have children. Before giving birth, a woman must encompass: olive oil (to inject into the labouring woman, and for greasing), warm water (for cleansing), soft sea sponges (to sponge off matter), pieces of wool (to ensure that the woman’s parts are not exposed), bandages (for the new born child), a pillow (for the new born child to be placed on succeeding its birth), aroma-bearing foods, herbs, etc. such as pennyroyal, a clod of earth, barley grouts, apple, quince, lemon, melon, and/or cucumber (in order to revive the woman in labour), a midwife’s stool or chair (this was to give birth on, however this could be replaced by a friend’s lap), two beds, and an appropriate room. Often woman died giving birth (or their newborn children died) due to the feeble medicines and treatment available, in contrast to the good medicines and low death rate in childbirth we have today in Canada. Eileithyia (meaning "she who comes to aid" or "relieve") was the goddess of childbirth, and was believed to be the cause of labour pains and "bringing the child into the light”.
If a father thinks that he already has enough children, them all having to have either a respectable dowry or inheritance, he has until the fifth day after birthing to decide whether or not to give the command to abandon the child for death or slavedom
Named on their seventh or tenth day of living because babies didn’t usually live that long; it was like a celebration or reward
On tenth day, much celebration, all kinsmen come extremely special event
Wrapped in cloth for much of babyhood to keep limbs long a nd strait
Toys such as rattles, tops, swings, tables, dishes, wagons, animals, dolls of wax or wood -special: movable hands and/or feet
usually nanny worked for family unless very poor children formed healthy respect and fear of the nanny but also usually loved her
the first education receive by children was Aesop’s fables and scary stories about monsters that were supposed to frighten the children into not being naughty
Recreation/Sports: In Canada, many sports are open for the youth to experiment with (though they
sometimes cost money) and many find one or more that they enjoy, before choosing to pursue them. Some
of these sports include basketball, soccer, baseball, field hockey, ice hockey, swimming, tennis, badminton,
ping pong, volleyball, lacrosse, and many more. Some prefer to participate in activities that are not organized sports but can become competitive - mere recreational activities - such as skateboarding, bike riding, rollerblading, etc.
School/Work: Canadian children commonly attend school and receive an education, for it does not require money as an organized sports team does. Some children are taught from home – or are homeschooled. However, the majority of children are educated in schools by trained teachers. They learn about anything that could be required for a job later on in their lives. They are allowed to choose their future and their jobs, so they learn everything there is to know, so that they can make a good choice when the time comes to choose their job, unlike in Ancient Greece, where the majority of the children don’t have a say in their job, but do whatever their parents do. In Canada, girls are given an education as well as boys, a trait not found in Ancient Greece.
Religion Practices: Canada is a very diverse and multi-cultural country, and with that comes many different religions. Some practice a religion, while others do not believe in any particular religion. Unlike ancient Greece, this is accepted and even common among children. Religion is not taught in most schools, unlike Ancient Greece, where it was considered to be a requirement. The most common religions found in Canada are Roman Catholic, Protestant, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, and Sikh.
Leisure's: In Canada, children are exposed to many different entertaining activities to do once they having completed their work. Some examples include watching television, going on the computer, reading a book, playing outside, expressing themselves through art, playing a board game, or doing any other creative activity. Watching television is an excellent way to relax, because children can learn valuable lessons while they are occupied. However, found on television are some shows that have proven not suitable for younger audiences, so parental supervision is indirectly required, depending on the age of the child. Watching television, along with going on the computer, are often an over practiced relaxation activity in Canada, though both are not to be abused. In Canada, and average of 3-4 hours are spent in front of the T.V. by Canadian children. The remaining activities listed, conversely, are exceptional ways for youth in Canada to relax.
Until they age of 6, they were taught at home by a male slave or by their mother.
From 6-14, they went to school which started at dawn and ended at sunset. They would go to the local school or a private school, if they were wealthy. There, they learned reading, writing, poetry, math, drawing, and painting. Their teachers would always be male. Their teacher could also teach them the optional courses: drama, public speaking, government, or how to play a Greek instrument.
Between the ages 14-16, they would have physical training by training at the public gym and playing sports.
When they turned 18, they attended military service where they would serve for two years. Here, they learned about the treacherous art war and how to be a good citizen.
Though they were not permitted to go to school, girls were taught from age 6- 14 in the comfort of their own home. They were taught by their mother or a tutor if they were wealthy. They were taught how to run an efficient household, and sew. Running an efficient household included being able to command slaves, raise your children well, and taking care of your husband. They were also sometimes taught how to read, write, and solve math equations.. This prepared them for when they were to get married, have children, and run a household of their own.
One very powerful aspect of Ancient Greece culture is it’s religion. The Greeks invented gods and goddesses designated to one aspect of the world. These deities were often involved in quarrels and had very human-like characteristics. The gods were believed to live on Mount Olympus, with the exception of Hades, who resided in his kingdom and did not wish to live with his brothers and sisters who resented him in many ways. The Greeks also made up many myths that took the form of stories, poems and plays. These famous myths explain everything from the changing of the seasons to why there are spiders, to how humans were created. The myths were often linked together and one myth can lead to a series of other myths related to each other by means of cause and effect. The characters in these myths include humans, heroes, fictional animals, monsters, and of course, the gods and goddesses themselves.
Religion effected the daily life of Athenians in many ways. In the centre of their house, Athenians had a courtyard where they could offer sacrifices to the gods. The whole of Greek culture was effected by it’s religion. For example, the great architectural feats of ancient Greece were usually temples where Athenians could worship and honour their gods. Sculptures, wall paintings, and other forms of art honoured the Gods and Goddesses. Greek art also depicted scenes from myths. These forms of art effected daily life because Athenians would offer sacrifices to the Gods and pass by art works of scenes in myths.
These are some of the main gods and goddesses:
Zeus - the king of the gods and god of the sky
Poseidon - god of the sea, horses, storms, and
Hades –lord of the underworld and the
Aphrodite - goddess of love and beauty
Apollo - god of music, prophecy,
poetry, and light
Athena - goddess of wisdom and craft
Artemis – virgin goddess of hunting
and the wilderness
Ares - god of war and violence
Hestia – goddess of home and hearth
Hephaestus - the blacksmith of the gods and the god of fire
Athena was believed to be the goddess of wisdom, intellect, civilization, craft, justice, weaving, skill and war strategy. Her three main symbols are the owl, her helmet, and the olive tree.
Athena, was also, the patron goddess of Athens. This is the myth of Poseidon and Athena, the contest for Athens.
When first king of Athens, (it was not called Athens then) was appointed, he had to find a patron god for his city state. The two gods who were very interested in the being the patron of Athens were Poseidon and Athena. They presented themselves to the king and asked to be patron of Athens. They were both asked to offer a gift of high value for Athens to prove themselves as the best patron. Poseidon presented a magnificent well, artfully crafted for the people of Athens to drink out of. However, the water was salty, as Poseidon was the sea god, and therefore, not useful to the city-state. Athena planted an olive tree as a symbol of peace and prosperity to Athens. The king was very impressed by Athena ’s gift,, so he chose Athena as the Patron goddess. He then named, the city- state, Athens.
It is because of this myth that one of Athena’s symbols is the olive tree. Athena was highly worshipped in Athens and it is probably because of her high stature that the Athenians valued the arts and intelligence rather than only sports and skill.
The clothing was made for the whole family by the women of the household; the mother, daughter, slave etc. the main cloth used was wool, linen was also used, but it was more expensive and took greater efforts to make. Wool was made by a series of soaking, dyeing (only if rich) spinning and finally, using a large loom to weave the yarn into cloth. In winter, a woolen cloak was vital. Linen could also be dyed if one was rich, but first, the flax crop would have to be gathered, the seeds combed out, the stalks would have to be beaten and soaked, the fibers spun and woven, and only then could the fabric be dyed if one had the money. Leather was used to make footwear; the fabric was prepared by lots of soaking in things like urine, water, oils, and oak bark for up to weeks on end.
A typical clothing garment for an Ancient Athenian consisted of a homemade blanket wrapped strategically around the body, usually decorated in vibrant colours. The two primary clothing pieces worn by men and women alike were: a peplos or chiton tunic, along with a himation cloak. The peplos version of the tunic was a hefty rectangular piece of fabric of wool that would be folded over along the top, so that it would reach the waist of the person wearing it. The cloth was then draped around the body, and finally tied at the shoulders with a pin for a secured position. Armholes were found on either side of the body. The overall garment was rather heavy.
The chiton version of the tunic was much lighter than the peplos version. A regular chiton tunic would be constructed of linen, and it was very wide and long. It was so long, in fact, that it glided along the floor, and created a fold over the belt called a koplos. The tunic was sewn up at the sides, and again pinned up or sewn up at the shoulders. For a woman, a soft band was sometimes worn underneath the tunic around her mid section.
Chitons were not only worn by women, but by men as well. The men’s version was shorter than the women’s, averaging at around knee-length, but sometimes shorter. For any kind of athletics: horse riding, hard labour, or any other kind of exercise.
The himation cloak was worn by both men and women, and was normally made of either wool or linen. It was a rectangular piece of cloth that was traditionally draped diagonally over the person’s body, or pinned up at both shoulders.
Women sometimes wore an epliblema over their chiton or peplos tunics. An epiblema was a type of shawl, worn for added warmth. When riding, men often sported short cloaks called chlamys. On occasions, men would wear a petasos (a wide hat), and women would wear a hat with a flatter brim and a pointed top.
The footwear worn by Ancient Athenians was not too different from the footwear we sport nowadays, and they usually walked barefoot if they were in their houses. Outdoors, however, they wore sandals, slippers, boots, or soft shoes.
Throughout he ages of ancient Athens, it was all about loose, flowing clothing, only rouges and bandits wore tight, distasteful clothing. But, when it came right down to it, if someone really wanted to be truly stylish in ancient Athens, you had to be rich.
For simple utility reasons, slaves, female and male, had hair that’s cropped short by law- but no one who was not a slave would ever deign to sport short hair: it was the equal to public humiliation. In the early periods, even for lower class women, hair was worn long and flowing- sometimes curled and braided, but then, that took time, and unless you were wealthy, time was money. In the later periods, long hair was still in, but now it was fashionable to wear it pinned back into a bun, or a ponytail. For men in the early periods of ancient Athens, hair cropped short and beard was all the rage but beards fell out of fashion towards the later periods.
In the earlier stages of ancient Athens, men and women alike wore jewelry to adorn themselves- it was a obvious, completely un- subtle way to show you riches off. However, as time progressed, jewelry fell out of liking for everyone except the women. Popular pieces that were wore were: bracelets, earrings and necklaces.
Rudimentary forms of makeup were forming: even in the ancient times of Athens. If a woman was wealthy, she would show it off by having pale skin; showing that she didn’t have t work outside all day: she could just lounge around inside. Women not so financially fortunate wanted pale skin too; so instead they were driven to use highly toxic white lead in order to create a fashionable pallor. Chalk was sometimes use in its place, but the problem with chalk was that it blew off in the wind and just didn’t stick like the lead did. Oddly enough, unibrows were something to be jealous of so women compensated their separated brows by brushing dark powder onto their eyes; which is kind of like what we call eye shadow. Women of that age also used a blush of sorts; they applied a type of red powder made from a type of root to their cheeks. In ancient times, hygiene standards weren’t quite so high as they are in our time, so perfume was very popular. They made it by mixing oils, water and substances like lilies, roses, lavender, cinnamon, basil and almonds.
Ancient Greece is known to have produced many artistic phenomenon. They have had smooth-edged pottery, intricate figurines, vibrant wall and vase paintings, magnificent architecture, complex sculptures, and much more! Greek art, particularly sculpture and architecture, has had an influence on the cultures of many countries. For an example, the art found from the Roman Empire issues Greek origin, and such origins are similar to those found in art from Alexander the Great’s reign in the East. In addition, subsequent to the Renaissance in Europe, many European artists sought out inspiration in ancient Greek art (sculptures, paintings, etc.). And, in the 19 th century, the Western civilization, too, produced art of ancient Greek influence. Greek art has been separated into four style periods. These periods are: the Geometric, Archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic. The Geometric period dates from roughly 1000 B.C. until 1200 B.C.. However, the knowledge of this time period is sketchy, and some refer to these years as the “Dark Ages”. The Archaic period began to grow in 7 th century B.C.. It was shown greatly through vase paintings, in which the artists would use a “black-figure” style. The Persian Wars (480 B.C. TO 448 B.C.) were the rough boundary intervening between the Archaic and Classical phases, while the rule of Alexander the Great (336 B.C.to 323 B.C.) acted as a boundary for the Classical and Hellenistic. The transfer of one artistic period to another was not abrupt, but took many years. Pieces of art can be indentified in regards to when they were painted by knowledge of local traditions and religious cults.
theatre, temple, or agora (marketplace) was normal in the daily life of an ancient Greek. The Greek architects valued symmetry and worked to get the correct ratios and proportions in order for their buildings to be symmetrical.
There are three orders of Greek Architecture: Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. Doric, the simplest order is plain, but looks very powerful. Doric columns look good placed horizontally on buildings such as the Parthenon. Ionic columns are slender. The Ionic order is slightly more ornamental than the Doric order. The Temple of Athena Nike, is one of the most famous Ionic buildings in the world. The Corinthian order is the most ornate and is the style that appeals to modern society the most.
One Greek buildings is the Parthenon which was built around 440 BCE. It was a temple built to honour the Goddess Athena. It sat upon an Acropolis (a hill, overlooking over the city of Athens). The Parthenon was designed by Phidias, a famous sculptor at Pericles’s ( a Greek politician) command.
Sculpture is a vital portion in Ancient Greek culture, for they tell about Gods, famous heroes, memorable events, mythical creatures, and much more. They were primarily constructed from stone, marble, and limestone (these minerals were commonly found in Ancient Greece), as well as clay and other materials, though these didn’t usually keep for long, as they were easily destructible. Ancient Greek Sculpture, like other forms of Ancient Greek art, held inspiration for many different civilizations, including the Romans. If this civilization had not found the Ancient Greek artwork admirable, there would be few Ancient Greek legends and stories to be told, for many original pieces have not remained in tact all these years. Seven focal stages have been identified in Ancient Greek sculpture: Mycenaean Art, Sub-Mycenaean or Dark Age, Proto-Geometric, Geometric Art, Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic. First came the Mycenaean stage, which lasted from roughly 1550 B.C. until 1200 B.C. During this time, the Greeks neighbored with the Mycenaean's, to whom they learned many things (the Mycenaean’s were more advanced than the Ancient Greeks). One thing they learned was how to use Mycenaean methods to use different metals in art. An example of their work is the Cyclopean Wall of Mycenae. The next era was the Sub-Mycenaean phase, otherwise known as the “Dark Age” . It has been given this name due to the lack of abundance in sculptures found from this time period. However, some examples have been found, though they show no trace of development throughout the interlude, which was supposedly due to the never-ending streamline of wars that evidently didn’t allow their culture and community to flourish. This artistic phase lasted from roughly 1100 B.C. until 1025 B.C.. The next artistic period was called the Proto-Geometric stage. This phase lasted from 1025 B.C. to 900 B.C., and focused mainly on a certain part in sculpture: pottery. The design patterns on this pottery were mostly curved lines, black hands, and other straightforward shapes. During this era, it is assumed that the Ancient Greek culture began to become stronger, because the pottery became more abstract as they experimented further, along with the help of faster pottery wheels. Some signature markings found in art created in this time include a extensive band across the neck and belly, and exact circles.
The era proceeding the Pro-Geometric stage was known as the Geometric stage. This era began in 900 B.C., and came to a close in 700 B.C.. During this time, it is said that cities and religions began to develop, and the art began to more obviously resemble legends from different cities. Temples were built in honor of different gods and goddesses, and some of the more famous pieces from this time include the armed warrior, the chariot, and the horse. This time period used both pottery and carving. Also, Greek art during this time began to truly blossom, with the help of new trade opportunities with other civilizations. The only type of art absent in this stage was stone statues. The next era was called the Archaic chapter. Dating from 700 B.C. TO 450 B.C., this period displayed influence from the Near East and Europe. Artists from this era began to use creatures such as griffins (bird/lion), sphinxes (woman/winged lion), and sirens (woman/bird) in their art. Also, competition began to sprout in this era – competition between all the Greek artists, to make the most impressive sculptures. This stage was well known for producing stone statues that commonly portrayed naked human beings with smiles on their faces, and though the goal was to showcase human perfection, the statues didn’t always come across that way. However, by 550 B.C., Athens had faultlessly achieved the delicate use of black figure pottery. The following stylistic era was known as the Classical era. Lasting from 480 B.C. until 323 B.C., it is also known as the “golden age”. During this stage, artists mastered the use of marble, and this showed through in their artwork because the statues had more expression, and the figures had more overall livelihood to them. Finally came the Hellenistic period. It lasted from 323 B.C. until 31 B.C., beginning at the death of Alexander the Great and ending in the battle of Actium. During this period, Greek artists became more experimental and eager to try new ways of doing things. Art in this era became further from the traditional structure, and became more abstract.
Ancient Athenians painted not with subtlety but with enthusiasm, and used various exotic and vibrant colours in their artwork. Marble statues have been found with no colour, but facts state that they were painted originally, however the colours faded into transparency over the years. Athenians would also paint on walls and floors. On walls, they would use fresco painting ( a concoction of paint and sodden plaster that they would stick to the walls in order to create a mural). On floors, they would create famous tile mosaics: broken up rock, painted in vivacious colours, and placed together with an equal distance between all the shapes, creating tile mosaics that would cover floors and walls. However, few people except the wealthy used tile mosaics, for they were highly expensive (the supposedly cost 3500 drachmas, which was ten years of payment for the average Athenian). Few wall paintings and mosaics survived.
Ancient Athenians also painted vases. People have more knowledge of vases, since more of them survived compared to the feeble amount of wall and floor artwork that is still recognizable. Vases that would be used in households had simple designs, while black and red figure styles were used for finer vases. Black figure styles had black shapes, while the background was the colour of the original clay used. White or purple would sometimes be used to enhance the vase’s paint job. Painted vases had many uses, including: amphora's for storing wine and food, hydria's for drawing water, and kantharos or kylix for drinking water or wine. Vases were also used in religious rituals.
Some gods in involved with the art of ancient Athenian music were Apollo, god of music, Hermes, who created the first Lyre, and, the 9 Muses of the arts and sciences. The muses were the daughters of Zeus and the goddess of memory: Mnemosyne. The nine muses are:
Calliope of epic poetry
Clio of history
Euterpe of lyrical poetry
Melpomene of tragedy
Terpsichore of choral songs and dance
Erato of love poetry
Polyhymnia of sacred hymn
Urania of astronomy
Thalia of comedy
These nine muses dwelt on Mount Helicon and drank of the fountain of Hippocrene and were eternally youthful.
If a Athenian child’s mother knew how to play an instrument, than the child would usually be taught how to play; particularly in girls, and particularly in less pronounced and proper families- it was the same with dance. Some instruments played by the Athenians were: the lyre, drums, reed pipes (played either recorder or flute style), and cymbals. The Greeks worshipped the gods by playing music: they found it a peaceful, lively way to honor Dionysus especially, him being the god of parties. If the drums and pipes were being played, it was usually a party and was more lively sounding: people often danced to these instruments. However, the lyre was also popular; though for different reasons-it was played soothingly, often, if a family was rich, a musician would be hired to play the instrument in order to create a calming vibe about the house. From what can be told, the lyre was half way between a harp and a guitar. Music was a huge part of Athenian culture because they were a very structured society. They found that music was a beautiful way to express pattern and structural order-after all, the god of music, Apollo was a logical god.
The three dramatic genres found in ancient Athens were tragedy, which came first, comedy, which came last, and thee satyr plays, which were around pretty much always- them being a comedicaly depicting myths.
Some say the first recorded playwright, named Thespis, was the man who invented tragedy. Others say that there had already been tragic plays, but Thespis had defined them; before him the plays had been written and preformed only once to honor the god Dionysus. The drama festival called Dionysia was a huge festival that took place once in spring and once in winter; as seen from the name, the festival’s purpose was to honor Dionysus. A actor in a tragedy would wear elevated boots called cothumuses that would make them tower over other people.
In all genres, masks, then called personas, were worn by the actors to give obvious expression of the character: subtle facial expressions wouldn’t do because the amphitheatres they usually preformed in were huge. Also, the masks helped the actors’ voice be heard by even the most far-off audience members. Also in all genres, there were only 3 actors to a play and none of them could be female.
Later on, comedic plays were ‘discovered’ and became very popular. Comedies dealt with normal, human, everyday happenings that were humorous. Opposite from the tragic footwear, the actors in the comedies wore extremely thin soled shoes called socks.
Festivals were also a contributing factor in the Ancient Athenian lifestyle. The people of Athens held festivals for many gods and famous heroes, including the obvious choice of Athena, to whom their city was named after. To this goddess, they held their most important festival, called the Panathenaea. Along with being Athens most important festival, it was a festival of grandeur all over Greece. It is said to be held on Athena’s proposed birthday. Allowed to participate in the festivities were all polis citizens aside from slaves. A parade of people would begin before daybreak at the Dipylon gate and pass through the Agora (where people assembled). Various offerings were placed by the Areopagus and the Temple of Athena Nike. They would then reach the Propylaea, from which point only Athenian citizens were granted permission to continue. After entering the Acropolis and passing by the Parthenon, the parade would wind down at the magnificent statue of Athena that lay opposite the Erechtheum. Contributed to Athena each year was a new peplos (a long garment worn by women). Starting in 556 B.C., every fourth year the festivities were held, there was an extensive few days after the regular festival, in which there would be many great events including the Panathenaic Games.
Ancient Greece is famous for it’s philosophers. Though the ancient Greeks had myths to explain everything, some people also strived to find another explanation of life. Ancient Greek philosophy is credited to three men: Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. All three men lived in Athens and knew each other. Socrates was the first big philosopher; he taught Plato. Plato wrote many famous works. His most well known works present his views on ethics, reason, and the life of human beings. Plato can be thought of as an idealist or a person how believes that physical objects do not exist outside your mind and a rationalist. Plato questioned the lack of rights for women. He wrote “If women are to have the same duties as men, they must have the same education.” Aristotle was one of Plato’s students. He thought that knowledge was gained from your senses. Therefore, Aristotle set a base for what developed into scientific method. These three men have influenced current, western philosophy. They have been three of the most influential philosophers in all of history.
Zeus was lord of the skies, Urania the muse of astronomy; it was said that together the gods put great heroes in the skies as constellations as they were dying or when by putting them in the night sky, the gods were saving them from a terrible fate. The gods put creatures, objects, demigods, and mortals in the sky because they were grateful to them, were in love with them, admired them, or found them fearsome or otherwise significant. Some examples of those the gods saw fit to place in the skies: Hercules, Orion, Pegasus, Princess Andromeda, Hydra and Centaurus. The ancient Athenian’s thought the stars had great power and could tell the future and provide guidance. Ancient Athenians studied the night sky and became the first astronomers; their observations are still being referred to today. Astrology was a branch of philosophy, and was used to predict things like earthquakes, floods, famine, plague, politics and war; it was also said to have influence upon childbirth, and death. Oracles, such as the Oracle of Delphi was said to obtain their futuristic wisdom from the stars. Oracles were said to be ancient beings that had been given a gift from the gods to be able to refer to the stars and omit prophesies of great wisdom to heroes: in this way, astrology is much ancient-er than the ancient Athenians themselves.
In conclusion, Ancient Athens was a very powerful city, with a unique culture and an impressive past known by all. The origin of intellectuality lies in this city, as well as the origin of humanism and democracy. It has had a massive impact on overall civilization in the fields of art and philosophy. Within the art they produced, there were many different types, including sculpture, painting, and architecture. The styles they used in these different forms of art became very popular, and influenced Europe and the Western civilization. Some of the world’s greatest philosophers were born here, and many of their ideas are still used to this day at universities. The base of much of our knowledge today is from Ancient Athens. They are also known for their religion, in which they believed in many gods, goddesses, and legends instead of merely one god. Ancient Athens was the largest city found in Greece, and many people travelled there from all over Europe to study and trade.