The Greek Legacy


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Professor Mindy McAdams's lecture based on a the work of Eric Havelock

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The Greek Legacy

  1. 1. The Greek Legacy Presentation by Mindy McAdams Week 6.1 / MMC 2265
  2. 2. And the Pharaoh Said to Thoth: You have invented an elixir not of memory, but of reminding ; and you offer your pupils the appearance of wisdom, not true wisdom ... [they will] seem to know many things, when they are for the most part ignorant. “ ”
  3. 3. Early Uses of Writing <ul><li>Propaganda </li></ul><ul><li>Funerary inscriptions </li></ul><ul><li>Predicting the future </li></ul><ul><li>A property marker (“This belongs to …”) </li></ul><ul><li>A signature (a seal) </li></ul><ul><li>Accountancy, bookkeeping </li></ul>
  4. 4. Eric Havelock, 1903 – 1988 <ul><li>Professor at the University of Toronto, 1930s </li></ul><ul><li>Chair of the Classics departments at Harvard and Yale, 1960s and 1970s </li></ul><ul><li>Famous books include Preface to Plato (1963) and The Muse Learns to Write: Reflections on Orality and Literacy from Antiquity to the Present (1986) </li></ul>
  5. 5. Eric Havelock, 1903 – 1988 <ul><li>Havelock described the transition in Greek culture from primary orality to literacy as a “crisis” </li></ul><ul><li>What replaced the oral tradition (memorization, recitation and rhetoric) in Greece > > > “a quite different system of instruction and education ” </li></ul><ul><li>The Homeric state of mind was replaced by the Platonic (after Plato) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Phoenicians: Traders and sailors, they invented what is acknowledged to be the first phonetic alphabet (about 1200 B.C.E.)
  7. 7. The Phoenicians’ alphabet was adapted by the Greeks, later modified by the Etruscans, and from them, adopted by the Romans
  8. 8. <ul><li>He was a student of Socrates </li></ul><ul><li>His writings featured Socrates, but they may have used Socrates as a character voicing Plato’s own ideas </li></ul><ul><li>He was the teacher of Aristotle (384 – 322 B.C.E.) </li></ul>Plato, c. 428 – c. 348 B.C.E.
  9. 9. When: About 400 B.C.E. <ul><li>Two consequences of this transformation in Greek culture (according to Havelock): </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The content of thought changed (esp. the concept of man or of the soul) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The way in which thought is organized also changed </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Because of writing, and the utility of the Greek alphabet </li></ul>
  10. 10. Ancient Greece, 435 B.C.E.
  11. 11. Greece Today
  12. 12. Alexander the Great <ul><li>A brilliant military general, died at age 33 </li></ul><ul><li>He conquered the world – as “the world” was known at that time to people in the area that he conquered </li></ul><ul><li>His conquests resulted in the Hellenistic period or Hellenistic Age </li></ul><ul><li>Combination of both Greek and Middle Eastern (Arab and Persian) culture </li></ul>
  13. 13. Alexander the Great, 356 – 323 B.C.E.
  14. 14. <ul><li>Housed many thousands of scrolls (later also codices) </li></ul><ul><li>A center for study , for scholars to meet and talk </li></ul><ul><li>Destroyed by fire between 48 B.C.E. (Caesar) and the Muslim Conquest </li></ul>The Library at Alexandria <ul><li>Founded c. 300 B.C.E. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Roman-held lands, 298 – 218 B.C.E.
  16. 16. Roman Empire, 27 B.C.E. – 476 C.E.
  17. 17. The Romans did not have lowercase letters, only uppercase The Arch of Titus, a marble arch on the Via Sacra in Rome, built by the Emperor Domitian in honor of his brother Titus, in 81 C.E.
  18. 18. The Greek Legacy Presentation by Mindy McAdams University of Florida