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Ancient Greece

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Lecture on early Ancient Greece

Lecture on early Ancient Greece

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  • 1. Ancient Greeks
  • 2. Greece: the basis of the West Some important places - Athens Sparta Corinth Thebes Olympia Troy Ephesus
  • 3. The Greeks didn’t stay put in Greece or the Aegean, though. They colonized all over the Mediterranean
  • 4.
    • As your book notes, geography helped shaped Greek civilization
    • Rugged rocky terrain meant that the interaction, communication, and ability to travel that’s necessary for empire was difficult
    • The cities developed as city-states and were fiercely independent. They each also developed their own government and sub-culture while remaining Greek.
    • The Greeks were pretty proud of themselves. The ability to speak Greek marked one as civilized. Those who couldn’t (or whose first language wasn’t Greek) were barbarians.
      • In fact, ‘barbarian’ comes from the Greek word barbaros. That’s because it sounded to the Greeks like non-Greeks were just going “Bar bar bar bar.”
  • 5.
    • Mycenaeans
    • Early Greek civilization lasting from about 1600-1100 BC
    • They extended through southern Greece and even onto Crete
    • On Crete, they defeated the Minoans and adopted their system of writing
      • The Minoans used a syllabic script we call Linear A which the Mycenaeans adapted to early Greek and is called Linear B
      • While Linear B was deciphered in the 1950’s, Linear A is still a mystery
  • 6. Linear A Linear B
  • 7.
    • The Mycenaean civilization suddenly collapsed around 1100 BC. It entered a dark age from which we have no written records
    • One theory is that the Dorians invaded and conquered the Mycenaeans, but this is disputed. We do know Mycenae and the other cities suffered damage.
    • The Dark Ages
    • Greece had its own. No written records from the time are extant.
  • 8.
    • Mask of Agamemnon
    • Uncovered by Schliemann in Mycenae
    • Funeral mask
    • Not really Agamemnon’s
  • 9. Lion’s Gate Entrance to citadel at Mycenae
  • 10. Entrance to the tholos tomb in Mycenae. That doorway is 18 feet high. Note the relieving arch. The inner lentil weighs 100 tons. How’d they do that?!
  • 11.
    • Homer
    • THE Greek poet
    • In writings, the Greeks would often refer to him simply as ‘the poet.’ Everybody knew Homer.
    • Wrote the Iliad about the Trojan war and the Odyssey about Odysseus's journey home
    • Good stuff and it informs about Greek character
      • And the Odyssey has cyclops, sirens, monsters, witches, revenge. How can you go wrong with that?
    • Debate whether he actually existed.
      • There are linguistic and style differences between the two epics
    • At any rate, it’s the writing down of oral tales
  • 12.
    • Professional storytellers would tells the tales and poems.
      • They’d have the entire thing memorized. They were the entertainers of the day.
    • Great opening passages