♣ The name Greece comes from the Latin
Graecia which in turn comes from the Greek
word Graikoi, the original name of the people
living in Dodona. However, the word is used to
address people living in Greece.
♣ The original Greek name was, and still is
Hellas., the land of the Helens.
♣ Originally, this was a small area south of
Thessalia, but it was widely used for people
with a Greek background and culture, stretching
from the West Coast of Asia Minor, southern
Italy and Sicily to the Pyrenes and Northern
♣ Influences from their art and culture have
made a great impact on the European and
American culture. Their highly organized
society (even the word politics is a Greek
word), their system of justice, and of course
their art, the sculptures, statues, plays and
mythology have been a major source of
♣ Studying Greek Literature would always
lead one to the study and understanding of its
mythology. One would have to familiarize
himself with the uniqueness of its gods and
goddesses. The origin of this is unclear
although it was believed to have been
influenced by the Mediterranean whose
origins lie in Crete and Asia Minor.
♣ The Greek mythological gods and
goddesses were made out of their own
image very different from the Egyptians and
♣ They were believed to be the controller of
the life of human beings.
♣ Greek gods were not supreme, almighty
beings. They were looked upon as idealized
human beings. They were powerful, but looked
human and had the same flaws human had.
They were immortal, didn’t get old or sick and
had eternal youth, but they did have human
flaws, desires and needs, such as hunger and
Zeus (Roman name: Jupiter)
The most powerful of all,
♣ god of the sky and the king of
♣ His temper affected the weather,
and he threw thunderbolts when he
♣ He was married to Hera but had
many other lovers.
♣ His symbols include the oak and
Hera (Roman name: Juno)
♣ Hera was goddess of marriage and
the queen of Olympus.
♣ She was Zeus's wife and sister;
many myths tell of how she sought
revenge when Zeus betrayed her
with his lovers.
♣ Her symbols include the peacock
and the cow.
Poseidon (Roman name: Neptune)
♣ Poseidon was god of the sea.
♣ He lived in a beautiful palace under
the sea and caused earthquakes when
he was in a temper.
♣ His symbols include the horse and
the trident (a three-pronged
Aphrodite (Roman name: Venus)
♣ Aphrodite was the goddess of love
and beauty, and the protector of
♣ She may have been the daughter of
Zeus and the Titan Dione, or she may
have risen from sea foam.
♣ Her symbols include the myrtle tree
and the dove.
♣ Apollo was the god of music and
♣ He was also an archer, and hunted
with a silver bow. Apollo was the son
of Zeus and the Titan Leto, and the
twin of Artemis.
♣ His symbols include the laurel
tree, the crow, and the dolphin.
Ares (Roman name: Mars)
♣ Ares was the god of war.
♣ He was both cruel and a coward.
♣ Ares was the son of Zeus and Hera,
but neither of his parents liked him.
♣His symbols include the vulture and
the dog, and he often carried a
Artemis (Roman name: Diana)
♣ Artemis was the goddess of the
hunt and the protector of women in
♣ She hunted with silver arrows and
loved all wild animals.
♣ Artemis was the daughter of Zeus
and Leto, and the twin of Apollo.
♣ Her symbols include the cypress
tree and the deer.
Athena (Roman name: Minerva)
♣ Athena was the goddess of
♣ She was also skilled in the art of
war, and helped heroes such as
Odysseus and Hercules.
♣ Athena sprang full-grown from the
forehead of Zeus, and became his
♣ Her symbols include the owl and
the olive tree.
Hephaestus (Roman name: Vulcan)
Hephaestus was the god of fire and
the forge (a furnace in which metal is
Although he made armor and
weapons for the gods, he loved
He was the son of Zeus and Hera and
♣ His symbols include the anvil and
Hermes (Roman name: Mercury)
♣ Hermes was the messenger
god, a trickster, and a friend to
He was said to have invented
boxing and gymnastics.
♣ He was the son of Zeus and the
♣ The speediest of all, he wore
winged sandals and a winged hat
and carried a magic wand.
Demeter (Roman name: Ceres)
♣ Demeter was the goddess of the
harvest. The word “cereal” comes
from her Roman name.
♣ She was the sister of Zeus.
♣ Her symbols include wheat.
Hestia (Roman name: Vesta)
♣ Hestia was the goddess of the
hearth (a fireplace at the center of
♣ She was the most gentle of the
gods, and does not play a role in
♣ Hestia was the sister of Zeus and
the oldest of the Olympians.
♣ Fire is among her symbols.
-refers to literature written in Ancient Greek
from the oldest surviving written works in the
Greek language until approximately the fifth
century AD and the rise of the Byzantine
- arose from the proto-Indo-European
language, though roughly one-third of its
words cannot be derived from various
reconstructions of the tongue. --
♣ A number of alphabets and syllabifies had
been used to render Greek, but surviving Greek
literature was written in a Phoenician-derived
alphabet that arose primarily in Greek Ionia and
was fully adopted by Athens by the fifth century
♣ At the beginning of Greek literature stand the
two monumental works of Homer, the Iliad and
the Odyssey. The other great poet of the
preclassical period was Hesiod. His two surviving
works are Works and Days and Theogony.
-30% of the words in a ordinary dictionary comes
from the ancient Greek language.
Ancient Greeks were the first to use vowels.
The vowels made the language easier to learn
- Our alphabet came from the Greek language.
For example: the word “alphabet” came from
ancient Greek words “alpha” “beta”.
Ancient Greek literature had four major writings;
epic traditions, lyric poetry, tragedy and comedy.
An example of the epic traditions are the Iliad
and the Odyssey.
Lyric poems got its name from a group of
individuals singing while playing the lyre.
Tragedies and comedies were dramas and used
to honour Greek god Dionysus.
These are the five main dialects of ancient
Greek that have been found on inscriptions:
The way children were educated was different in
each city state.
In Sparta, reading and writing was unimportant.
Boys learned to be good fighters.
In Athens, citizens had to be educated to
take part in voting in the Assembly. Athenian
boys also went to 'wrestling school' each
day, to learn many sports, not just wrestling.
They had to be fit, to fight in the army.
♣ Greek schools were small. They had only one
teacher and about ten or twenty boys. The schools
were not free and so only the rich could really
afford to send their children to school.
♣ They don’t need much of
school equipments, as they
had learn everything off by
♣ They used a wooden pen called a stylus with a
sharp end for writing and a flat end for 'rubbing out'.
In ancient Athens, the purpose of
education was to produce citizens
Trained in the arts, and to prepare citizens for
both peace and war.
Until age 6 or so, boys were
taught at home by their
mother or by a male slave.
Books were very expensive and rare, so subjects
were read out-loud, and the boys had to memorize
everything. To help them learn, they used writing
tablets and rulers.
In primary school, they
had to learn two important
things – the words of Homer
and how to play lyre.
Their teacher, who was always a man,
could choose what additional subjects he
wanted to teach. He might to teach drama,
public speaking, government, art, writing,
math, and how to play another ancient Greek
instrument – flute.
Following that, boys attended a higher school
for four more years. When they turned 18, they
entered military school for two additional years.
At age 20, they graduated.
Girls – were not allowed to go to school.
They were educated in housekeeping and how
to look after the family.
SPARTA : EDUCATION
In Ancient Sparta, the purpose of
education was to produce a welldrilled, well-disciplined marching
Spartans believe in a life of
discipline, self-denial, and
simplicity. They were very loyal
to the state of Sparta. Every
Spartan, male or female, was
required to have a perfect body.
♣ When babies were born in ancient
Sparta, Spartan soldiers would come by the
house and check the baby. If the baby did not
appear healthy and strong, the infant was
taken away, and left to die on a hillside, or
taken to be trained as a slave (a helot).
Spartan Boys : Spartan boys were sent to
military school at age 6 or 7. They
lived, trained and slept in the barracks of their
brotherhood. They were taught survival skills
and other skills necessary to be a great
This age marked the creation of the
Greek epics, The Iliad and The Odyssey.
Thi8s age was preceded by unknown
literature which were mostly unwritten.
The Attic Age
♣ This is the period of the emergence of
excellent playwrights like
Aeschylus, Soppocles, Euripides, and
Aristtophanes.; great historianslike Herodotus
and Thucitides; and Philosophers like Amagoras
♣ This period was the most glorious in ancient
history that revolves around great political
leader in the person of PericlesIt is also known
as Periclean Age.
♣ This age began after the death of
Demosthenes in 322 B.C. The following
year just after the death of Alexander
the di8vision of his empire. The literary
prominence of Athens passed to
Alexandria, a city in Egypt founded by
Alexander. Alexandria, then became the
metropolis of the Hellenistic world.
♣ Recognized as masters of modern Greek
letters, Seferis and Elytis received the Novel
Prize Literature, in 1963 and 1979, respectively.
♣ The poet Maria Polydouri (1902-30) gain
renown thgrough her intense, erotic love lyrics.
♣ The effort of modern Greek writers to
achieve a synthesis of the rich traditions o9f
the Greek heritage is well represented in the
wok of Nikos Kazantzakis.
♣ In general, 20th century Greek literature
reflects the evolution of European modernism
in such various forms as French symbolism
and surrealism or British American
experiment in narrative techniques.
♣ Symbolism appears in the work of George
Seferis and George Kostiras, surrealism in that
of Oddyseus Elytis.
Greeks created the
world’s first democracy.
Athens started out as a
monarchy and then
advanced to and
oligarchy until it finally
reached a democracy.
♣ The Greeks were the first civilization to use
♣ The Alphabet was developed after the Dark
Age when the Greeks stopped using their
previous written language.
♣ Today many letters of our modern alphabet
originate from the Greek alphabet such as the
letters A, B, E, and O.
The first library in the world, the library of
Alexandria was actually built in Egypt,
however Egypt was pretty much Greeks
because after Egypt submitted to
Alexander’s rule the Macedonians started
spreading the Greek way of life to all of the
lands he conquered including Egypt. A
The Olympic Games started in ancient
Greece. The participants were the citystates of Ancient Greece and their
colonies. The Olympic Games were held
every 4 years in honor of Zeus, the king
We still use Greek-style architecture
today. A type of Greek Architecture that is
used today would be pillars.
♣ In Greece a building which pillars were
used would be the Parthenon located in