The Classical Greeks The Hellenic Roots of Western Culture
Classic: Three Meanings <ul><li>“ First rate,” or “the best of its kind” applies to music, vintage cars, or films—implying...
The Classic Civilizations <ul><li>The Greek or Hellenic: That which reached its height in the fifth century BCE </li></ul>...
Minoan Civilization (2000-1400 BCE) <ul><li>Site of a palace and labyrinthine maze on the Island of Crete, south of mainla...
Minoan Site <ul><li>Archaeological evidence indicates the site was involved in seagoing trade with the Phoenicians, based ...
Linear B Script <ul><li>Linear B Script is the first phonetic script in Europe </li></ul><ul><li>Based on syllables; each ...
Mycenaean Civilization (1600-1200 BCE) <ul><li>More of a militaristic peoples with warships vying for control of the Easte...
The Heroic Age (1200-750 CE) <ul><li>Mycenae was conquered in 1200 CE by the Dorians whose iron weaponry proved superior <...
Iliad: Paris’s Choice <ul><li>Eris, the Goddess of Discord, throws an apple with the inscription “To The Fairest” in a cro...
The Iliad: The Battle of Troy <ul><li>Through an alliance of gods and mortals, war breaks out between the “Achaeans” and t...
Iliad: Achilles as Central Character <ul><li>The central figure of the Iliad is Achilles, a powerful warrior who at first ...
Iliad: The Main Themes <ul><li>The theme of Achilles that recurs in Greek thought: </li></ul><ul><li>Selfhood vs. communit...
Odyssey:  Frustrated Homecoming <ul><li>Odysseus  encounters obstacles—adventures—while trying to sail home to Ithaca afte...
The Principal Gods in the Greek/Roman Pantheon <ul><li>Zeus (Rom. Jupiter or Jove): The head of the pantheon of gods </li>...
Other Gods of the Greek/Roman Pantheon <ul><li>Demeter (Ceres): Goddess of Agriculture/Grain </li></ul><ul><li>Persephone ...
Gods According to Greek Theology <ul><li>Origin myth: Zeus, angered by human evil, destroyed humankind by flood </li></ul>...
The Humanlike Qualities of the Gods <ul><li>The immortals show all the human emotions: they are amorous, capricious, quarr...
Greek City States: Principal Sites
Greek City States: Economic Basis <ul><li>A rocky environment allowed little agriculture </li></ul><ul><li>Best strategy: ...
Greek City States: The Persian Wars <ul><li>Autonomous city states arose in the mainland </li></ul><ul><li>Persian expande...
City States: Emergence of Democracy in Athens <ul><li>Initially Oligarchic Rule </li></ul><ul><li>Reforms by Solon: abolit...
City States: Sparta Contrasted with Athens <ul><li>Elite of five, though elected,  saw themselves as rulers incarnate of t...
Athens under Pericles <ul><li>Pericles:  An aristocrat who nevertheless believed in a democratic form of government </li><...
Peloponnesian Wars <ul><li>These acts led to a war between Athens and an alliance dominated by Sparta </li></ul><ul><li>Th...
Two Historians: Herodotus and Thucydides <ul><li>Herodotus:  First known historian who combined keen observation with crit...
Greek Drama: Overview <ul><li>Characters were all played by men. </li></ul><ul><li>The structure comprised a stage, rather...
Structure of Drama <ul><li>Setting: The site of the play and its context </li></ul><ul><li>Rising Action: The events that ...
Characters in a Play <ul><li>Every play has a conflict or a crisis.  </li></ul><ul><li>Protagonist:  The hero or main char...
Types of Greek Drama <ul><li>Tragedy:  A work with tragic consequences for the hero. </li></ul><ul><li>The hero is usually...
Greek Tragedy <ul><li>Hubris: Tragic Flaw </li></ul><ul><li>The hero is a noble </li></ul><ul><li>He is a man (almost alwa...
Case Study: Oedipus the King by Sophocles <ul><li>Oedipus  is the son of  Laius,  the king of Thebes, and of  Jocasta.  </...
Oedipus: The Patricide <ul><li>While traveling, Oedipus meets an arrogant man  </li></ul><ul><li>They argues over the righ...
The Sphinx and Her Riddle <ul><li>At the gates of Thebes, he encounters the Sphinx, who has been terrorizing Thebes for ye...
Oedipus’s Answer <ul><li>His answer: “man” </li></ul><ul><li>He crawls on all fours in the morning (of life as a toddler) ...
Oedipus Become King and Marries his Mother <ul><li>The grateful Thebians award him with the kinship </li></ul><ul><li>And ...
Curse of Oedipus Rex <ul><li>The chorus fills the audience in on the details of the events </li></ul><ul><li>A messenger c...
Departure of Oedipus Rex; Fate of Antigone <ul><li>He leaves Thebes with his daughter Antigone </li></ul><ul><li>Another p...
Incest Tabu <ul><li>Definition: A rule that forbids copulation between two persons of defined relationships </li></ul><ul>...
Biological (Genetic Explanation) <ul><li>Fears of inbreeding deters incest </li></ul><ul><li>Lower intelligence (e.g. Down...
Biological (Genetic): Shortcomings <ul><li>Connection between copulation and childbirth often not made </li></ul><ul><li>R...
Other Tragic Dramatists <ul><li>Aeschylus:  The first playwright in the Western World </li></ul><ul><li>Known for the Ores...
Philosophy in Hellenic Greece <ul><li>Pre-Greek Philosophers:  The stuff that unified the reality we perceive—what is ever...
Pre-Greek Philosophers <ul><li>Thales of Miletus:  produces an accurate theory of the solar eclipse </li></ul><ul><li>Anax...
The Sophists <ul><li>Protagoras  (pictured) </li></ul><ul><li>Meaning of “Man is the Measure of All things” </li></ul><ul>...
Socrates: The Dialectical Method <ul><li>To Socrates, inquiry involved a three-step method </li></ul><ul><li>Thesis:   A p...
Socrates: The Quest for Virtue I <ul><li>Contrary to the Sophists, argued that there is only a unitary truth  </li></ul><u...
Socrates: The Quest for Virtue II <ul><li>One argument: That as a citizen of Athens, he had incurred obligations </li></ul...
Plato: The Quest for the Ideal Form <ul><li>Idealism:  the notion that reality lies in the realm of unchanging forms rathe...
Plato: Allegory of the Cave <ul><li>The cave is a metaphor for our perceived reality </li></ul><ul><li>Like the shadows of...
Plato: The Perfect State <ul><li>In Plato’s  Republic,  asks “what is the nature of justice?” and </li></ul><ul><li>“ What...
Aristotle: In Pursuit of Reason <ul><li>A student of Plato, rejected both the notion of universal truths and psychic unity...
Aristotle: Ethics <ul><li>Basic aim of ethics: to achieve both happiness and the good life ( eudaimonia ) </li></ul><ul><l...
Aristotle: The Golden Mean <ul><li>There is a need for balance between two extremes; between: </li></ul><ul><li>Excess and...
Aristotle: Politics and the State <ul><li>Applied reason to analyze the state by comparing the constitution of 150 city st...
Aristotle on Drama <ul><li>Tragedy: the cause of how an unfortunate ending comes to be </li></ul><ul><li>An initiation of ...
Conclusion of this Section.  <ul><li>Greeks formed city states but shared a culture </li></ul><ul><li>Warring was common d...
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Classical Greece

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Describes Greece in the Heroic Ages and its Fluorescence, including Drama, Philosophy, and Aesthetic Ideals

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Classical Greece

  1. 1. The Classical Greeks The Hellenic Roots of Western Culture
  2. 2. Classic: Three Meanings <ul><li>“ First rate,” or “the best of its kind” applies to music, vintage cars, or films—implying enduring quality </li></ul><ul><li>The characteristics of a civilization, one that has enduring significance on later civilizations. </li></ul><ul><li>The stylistic features of a node of expression governed by principles of clarity, harmony, balance, simplicity (moderation), and refinement </li></ul><ul><li>The classic civilizations are so in all three senses of the term </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Classic Civilizations <ul><li>The Greek or Hellenic: That which reached its height in the fifth century BCE </li></ul><ul><li>The Hellenistic or “Greek-like” in which a Macedonian named Alexander spread its influence into Asia and Egypt (ca 300 BCE) </li></ul><ul><li>The Roman in two phases: </li></ul><ul><li>The Republic (509-31 BCE) </li></ul><ul><li>Empire (31 BCE-476 CE) </li></ul>
  4. 4. Minoan Civilization (2000-1400 BCE) <ul><li>Site of a palace and labyrinthine maze on the Island of Crete, south of mainland Greece. </li></ul><ul><li>Named after King Minos whose minotaur—half man and half bull—was kept in the labyrinth and fed Athenian youths </li></ul><ul><li>The minotaur is killed by the Athenian hero Theseus, freeing Athens from his rule. </li></ul>
  5. 5. Minoan Site <ul><li>Archaeological evidence indicates the site was involved in seagoing trade with the Phoenicians, based in Carthage of North Africa </li></ul><ul><li>A three-story palace build around a courtyard </li></ul><ul><li>Absence of fortress walls indicate the kingdom felt secure on this island. </li></ul><ul><li>Frescos indicate the sport of bull-vaulting, still practiced in Portugal </li></ul><ul><li>Bare-breasted woman with snakes; may indicate fertility ritual with either a goddess or a priestess. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Linear B Script <ul><li>Linear B Script is the first phonetic script in Europe </li></ul><ul><li>Based on syllables; each symbol represents a syllable rather than a speech sound </li></ul><ul><li>Vowel is the peak of a syllable </li></ul>
  7. 7. Mycenaean Civilization (1600-1200 BCE) <ul><li>More of a militaristic peoples with warships vying for control of the Eastern Mediterranean </li></ul><ul><li>Site includes heavily fortified walls expected of a militaristic society </li></ul><ul><li>Death mask is probably that of Agamemnon, king of Mycenae who led the Achaeans against Troy </li></ul><ul><li>Grave of Agamemnon includes jewels and other precious grave goods </li></ul><ul><li>The Mycenaeans attacked Troy (Ilion) around 1200 BCE, resulting in a 10-year war </li></ul><ul><li>This sets the stage of Homer’s two epics, The Iliad recounting the last days of the Trojan War </li></ul><ul><li>The second is The Odyssey , of the obstacles to Odysseus’s (Ulysses) homecoming after the Trojan war. </li></ul>
  8. 8. The Heroic Age (1200-750 CE) <ul><li>Mycenae was conquered in 1200 CE by the Dorians whose iron weaponry proved superior </li></ul><ul><li>The Homeric epics were passed down by oral tradition for 300 years before being transcribed and 300 more before being reaching their present form </li></ul><ul><li>Little is known about Homer himself, except that if he existed, he was blind </li></ul><ul><li>Represents the culmination of a long tradition of oral history </li></ul><ul><li>The two epics represent a national symbol of present-day Greece </li></ul>
  9. 9. Iliad: Paris’s Choice <ul><li>Eris, the Goddess of Discord, throws an apple with the inscription “To The Fairest” in a crowd at a wedding. </li></ul><ul><li>Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom, Hera, the wife of Zeus, and Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, Sex, Beauty, and Fertility, vie for the apple </li></ul><ul><li>They agree to allow Paris, a moral (and Trojan) to make the judgment. </li></ul><ul><li>Athena promises victory against the Greeks; Hera promises dominion over the known world; Aphrodite promises him the love of a beautiful women Paris gives gives the golden apple to Aphrodite </li></ul><ul><li>The spurned goddesses, Hera and Athena, conspire with other deities for revenge. </li></ul><ul><li>Paris kidnaps Helen, Menaleus, her husbands, forms an alliance with other Acheans to get his wife fack </li></ul>
  10. 10. The Iliad: The Battle of Troy <ul><li>Through an alliance of gods and mortals, war breaks out between the “Achaeans” and the Trojans of Troy, a commercial center in Asia Minor (now Turkey) </li></ul><ul><li>The Iliad is set in the last days of the Trojan war </li></ul><ul><li>The war end when the Trojan Horse, containing Achaean solders, taken to be a gift, is haled onto the fortress, and the Acheans slaughter the Trojans in a ruse. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Iliad: Achilles as Central Character <ul><li>The central figure of the Iliad is Achilles, a powerful warrior who at first refuses to join the Achaeans </li></ul><ul><li>He consents only after a close friend of his, Patroclus, is killed in battle by Hector, the chieftain of the Trojans </li></ul><ul><li>Though half-god, half man, he has a flaw: his heel which his mother Thetis held while dipping into the river Styx, which rendered him invulnerable: </li></ul><ul><li>Except for the heel, which any weapon could prnetrate. </li></ul><ul><li>Note the penetration of the arrow in his heel. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Iliad: The Main Themes <ul><li>The theme of Achilles that recurs in Greek thought: </li></ul><ul><li>Selfhood vs. community responsibility </li></ul><ul><li>We see it later in Socrates’s refusal to escape after being condemned to death </li></ul><ul><li>Heroic act to prove virtue or excellence ( arete has both connotations) </li></ul><ul><li>Both God and Man displays a range of human emotions: anger, love, grief (over loss of friend) </li></ul>
  13. 13. Odyssey: Frustrated Homecoming <ul><li>Odysseus encounters obstacles—adventures—while trying to sail home to Ithaca after the war </li></ul><ul><li>On one occasion, he ix within sight of Ithaca when a strong wind blow the ship out to open sea. </li></ul><ul><li>He has to navigate the ship between Scylla, a monster perched on a rock, and Charybdis, the monster lurking in a large whirlpool </li></ul><ul><li>Allows himself to listen to the Sirens, while tied to the mast and the men rowing with earplugs, so they can hear neither him, nor then; otherwise the ship would have been lost to the rocks </li></ul><ul><li>In the end, he does arrive home, and he slaughters the suitors trying to woo his wife Penelope because of his long absence. </li></ul>
  14. 14. The Principal Gods in the Greek/Roman Pantheon <ul><li>Zeus (Rom. Jupiter or Jove): The head of the pantheon of gods </li></ul><ul><li>Hera (Juno): Queen of the Gods </li></ul><ul><li>Ares (Mars): God of war </li></ul><ul><li>Aphrodite (Venus): Goddess of (erotic) love, beauty, </li></ul><ul><li>Athena (Minerva): Goddess of wisdom—and war </li></ul><ul><li>Eros (Amor/Cupid): God of (erotic) love, often portrayed as an infant </li></ul><ul><li>Hades (Pluto): God of the Underworld </li></ul>
  15. 15. Other Gods of the Greek/Roman Pantheon <ul><li>Demeter (Ceres): Goddess of Agriculture/Grain </li></ul><ul><li>Persephone (Proserpina): Goddess of the Underworld </li></ul><ul><li>Apollo, Helios (Phoebus): God of the Sun </li></ul><ul><li>Hephaestus (Vulcan): God of metallurgy, fire </li></ul><ul><li>Heracles (Hercules): God of strength, courage </li></ul><ul><li>Artemis (Diana): Goddess of the hunt, the moon </li></ul><ul><li>Hermes (Mercury): Messenger of the gods </li></ul><ul><li>Nike (both): Goddess of Victory </li></ul><ul><li>Poseidon (Neptune): God of the sea </li></ul><ul><li>Hestia (Vesta): Goddess of the hearth, domestic </li></ul>
  16. 16. Gods According to Greek Theology <ul><li>Origin myth: Zeus, angered by human evil, destroyed humankind by flood </li></ul><ul><li>Deucalion (Greek Noah), constructs boat for himself and his wife </li></ul><ul><li>“ Bones” of Gaia thrown overboard and new humans, first of whom is Hellen (ancestors of Hellenes or Greeks), spring from the rocks </li></ul>
  17. 17. The Humanlike Qualities of the Gods <ul><li>The immortals show all the human emotions: they are amorous, capricious, quarrelsome </li></ul><ul><li>They take sides in human wars (as they do in the Iliad ) </li></ul><ul><li>They live among humans, atop Mount Olympus </li></ul><ul><li>Gods seduce mortal women (Leda and the Swan, who is Zeus), interfere in human affairs, and much else </li></ul><ul><li>They set forth no clear principles of moral conduct </li></ul><ul><li>Gods are beings to curry favor from by animal sacrifice </li></ul><ul><li>Oracles (like the one at Delphi) are sources of prophecy and mystical wisdom </li></ul>
  18. 18. Greek City States: Principal Sites
  19. 19. Greek City States: Economic Basis <ul><li>A rocky environment allowed little agriculture </li></ul><ul><li>Best strategy: to grow crops of high value for trade—olives (for the oil) and grapes (for the wine) </li></ul><ul><li>Became master craftsmen of metallurgy, textiles, pottery, and other arts </li></ul><ul><li>Rocky terrain allowed for little overland trade </li></ul><ul><li>Therefore, they continued to trade via maritime routes </li></ul><ul><li>Law of comparative advantage illustrated here: crafted goods, oil, and wine for basic foodstuffs like grain from the Near East </li></ul>
  20. 20. Greek City States: The Persian Wars <ul><li>Autonomous city states arose in the mainland </li></ul><ul><li>Persian expanded westward and annexed Ionia, a region in Asia Minor </li></ul><ul><li>When Ionians revolted, other city states joined in </li></ul><ul><li>At the Battle of Marathon of 499 BCE, an army of 11,000 men defeated a Persian army twice that number </li></ul><ul><li>The Greeks proceeded to develop an navy and at the Battle of Salamis, defeated the Persian armada </li></ul>
  21. 21. City States: Emergence of Democracy in Athens <ul><li>Initially Oligarchic Rule </li></ul><ul><li>Reforms by Solon: abolition of debt slavery </li></ul><ul><li>Formation of the Popular Assembly by 550 BCE, comprising all Greek citizenry </li></ul><ul><li>It operated alongside the Council of Five Hundred and Council of Ten Generals </li></ul><ul><li>Popular Assembly acquired the right to legislate </li></ul><ul><li>Involved direct participation, not representatives </li></ul><ul><li>Women, non-landowners, and slaves still had no such rights </li></ul><ul><li>Success probably attributed to low population: 40,000 eligible, probably 5000 actually participated in open-air market (agora) forums. </li></ul>
  22. 22. City States: Sparta Contrasted with Athens <ul><li>Elite of five, though elected, saw themselves as rulers incarnate of the gods </li></ul><ul><li>Male citizens from seven years upward were trained as soldiers </li></ul><ul><li>Physical labor done by helots, prisoners captured in frequent local wars. </li></ul><ul><li>Spartan women, expected to live out ideals of warrior culture, were allowed more freedom than their Athenian counterparts </li></ul><ul><li>Nevertheless, strict order allowed for little creativity </li></ul>
  23. 23. Athens under Pericles <ul><li>Pericles: An aristocrat who nevertheless believed in a democratic form of government </li></ul><ul><li>His foreign policies were also high-handed </li></ul><ul><li>Part of the Delian league, he collected monies for a collective defense against the Persians </li></ul><ul><li>Then he appropriate them for Athens to build the Athenian temples demolished by the Persians </li></ul><ul><li>He also tried to dominate the commercial policy of league members </li></ul>
  24. 24. Peloponnesian Wars <ul><li>These acts led to a war between Athens and an alliance dominated by Sparta </li></ul><ul><li>The war brought to an end the so-called Golden Age of Athens </li></ul><ul><li>Eventually, this would bring forth the imperialistic forays of Alexander the Great </li></ul><ul><li>It would also generate the Hellenistic Age by which Greek philosophy, literature, and art and architectural styles were spread throughout much of the known world. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Two Historians: Herodotus and Thucydides <ul><li>Herodotus: First known historian who combined keen observation with critical judgment </li></ul><ul><li>Did make errors, such as his opinion that non-Egyptian slaves built the pyramid </li></ul><ul><li>Thucydides: </li></ul><ul><li>Wrote a detailed account of the Peloponnesian wars between Athens and an alliance dominated by Sparta, which proved disastrous for Athens </li></ul><ul><li>He himself was a general in the conflict, so that he is a primary source, one who made the actual observations </li></ul>
  26. 26. Greek Drama: Overview <ul><li>Characters were all played by men. </li></ul><ul><li>The structure comprised a stage, rather small, and the seating for the audience, which were levels of stairlike seats </li></ul><ul><li>The chorus played an important role of informing the sequence of events. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Structure of Drama <ul><li>Setting: The site of the play and its context </li></ul><ul><li>Rising Action: The events that lead to a crisis between those involved in a conflict </li></ul><ul><li>Climax: The moment of high intensity, usually the crisis in which the outcome can go one way or another </li></ul><ul><li>Denouement: The conclusion of the play, usually involving resolution of the conflict. Whether the play is a tragedy or comedy determines the outcome </li></ul><ul><li>Deus ex Machina: The device whereby a seemingly irresolvable conflict is resolved by a God who is lowered by a lift (the machine) whose command determines the outcome. </li></ul><ul><li>(Modern: the Cavalry arrives just in time to expel the Indians) </li></ul>
  28. 28. Characters in a Play <ul><li>Every play has a conflict or a crisis. </li></ul><ul><li>Protagonist: The hero or main character of the play </li></ul><ul><li>Antagonist: The principal opponent to the protagonist </li></ul><ul><li>Chorus in Greek Plays: Those who respond to the lines of the protagonist and the antagonists and fill in the details missing in the dialogue </li></ul><ul><li>Audience: The watchers of the play, but they may also participate in the dialogue. </li></ul>
  29. 29. Types of Greek Drama <ul><li>Tragedy: A work with tragic consequences for the hero. </li></ul><ul><li>The hero is usually a noble, often one who has accomplished great things. </li></ul><ul><li>But he has some defect (see tragic flaw) </li></ul><ul><li>That brings him to ruin at last </li></ul><ul><li>Comedy: A work, usually with happy endings </li></ul><ul><li>Only later did it become identified with amusement </li></ul><ul><li>Often a work with realistic ends. </li></ul>
  30. 30. Greek Tragedy <ul><li>Hubris: Tragic Flaw </li></ul><ul><li>The hero is a noble </li></ul><ul><li>He is a man (almost always a man) of some accomplishment) </li></ul><ul><li>But he has some defect </li></ul><ul><li>That defect proves destructive to the hero. </li></ul><ul><li>Catharsis: the cleansing of the soul brought about by witnessing a demise </li></ul><ul><li>Tragic Waste </li></ul>
  31. 31. Case Study: Oedipus the King by Sophocles <ul><li>Oedipus is the son of Laius, the king of Thebes, and of Jocasta. </li></ul><ul><li>When born, he receives a prophesy that he will slay his father and marry his mother. </li></ul><ul><li>The father has his boy’s feet pierced, and orders a shepherd to leave him on a hillside to die. </li></ul><ul><li>Polybus, the shepherd, instead rears the child as his own. </li></ul><ul><li>When, as a man, he receives this prophecy, he leaves the shepherd out of fear it might come true. </li></ul><ul><li>He travels to Thebes, the most distant place from the site </li></ul><ul><li>The theme underlying this effort is that it is folly to outwit the Fates. </li></ul>
  32. 32. Oedipus: The Patricide <ul><li>While traveling, Oedipus meets an arrogant man </li></ul><ul><li>They argues over the right of way on a narrow road </li></ul><ul><li>The dispute gets out of hand </li></ul><ul><li>Oedipus kills the man </li></ul><ul><li>Guess who the man is </li></ul><ul><li>Laius is the man, Oedipus’s father </li></ul>
  33. 33. The Sphinx and Her Riddle <ul><li>At the gates of Thebes, he encounters the Sphinx, who has been terrorizing Thebes for year </li></ul><ul><li>The Sphinx has waylayed people, ask a riddle, and murders them all for their failure to give the right answer </li></ul><ul><li>The riddle: what walks on four in the morning </li></ul><ul><li>On two at noon, and </li></ul><ul><li>On three at night? </li></ul><ul><li>Your turn: got a good answer? </li></ul>
  34. 34. Oedipus’s Answer <ul><li>His answer: “man” </li></ul><ul><li>He crawls on all fours in the morning (of life as a toddler) </li></ul><ul><li>Walks on two at noon (maturity) </li></ul><ul><li>Walks on three in the evening (a cane, at old age) </li></ul><ul><li>She screams, falls to the ground with a thud, and rots away with decay and vultures </li></ul>
  35. 35. Oedipus Become King and Marries his Mother <ul><li>The grateful Thebians award him with the kinship </li></ul><ul><li>And with the hand of Jocasta to be his wife </li></ul><ul><li>In so doing, he fulfils the prophecy that he will marry his mother. </li></ul><ul><li>The Gods, angered by his incest, send a plague to the city </li></ul><ul><li>After siring and bearing four children, Oedipus is told by the blind prophet Tiresias that he is the cause of the plague. </li></ul><ul><li>In his pride, he refuses to believe the prophet, thinking his rival Creon, Jocasta’s brother, has set him up to this. </li></ul>
  36. 36. Curse of Oedipus Rex <ul><li>The chorus fills the audience in on the details of the events </li></ul><ul><li>A messenger conveys the news of the shepherd Polybus’s death and adds that he was only Oedipus’s adopted father. </li></ul><ul><li>Jocasta discovers the truth in the conversation, runs off the stage and hangs herself </li></ul><ul><li>The truth come slowly to Oedipus; he takes the brooch from his dead wife and blinds himself </li></ul>
  37. 37. Departure of Oedipus Rex; Fate of Antigone <ul><li>He leaves Thebes with his daughter Antigone </li></ul><ul><li>Another play portrays Antigone herself, his daughter/sister </li></ul><ul><li>After Oedipus’s death, she returns to Thebes </li></ul><ul><li>When Creon, now king, decrees she cannot give her brother Polynices the rites of burial at his death, she does so anyway </li></ul><ul><li>For her defiance, she is sealed in a cave to slowly suffocate. </li></ul><ul><li>She commits suicide rather than suffer this fate </li></ul>
  38. 38. Incest Tabu <ul><li>Definition: A rule that forbids copulation between two persons of defined relationships </li></ul><ul><li>Primary kin: parent-child, siblings </li></ul><ul><li>Father-daughter </li></ul><ul><li>Mother-son </li></ul><ul><li>Brother sister </li></ul><ul><li>Exception: Egyptian, Inca, Hawaiian </li></ul><ul><li>Allowed only in royal line: “purity” </li></ul>
  39. 39. Biological (Genetic Explanation) <ul><li>Fears of inbreeding deters incest </li></ul><ul><li>Lower intelligence (e.g. Down syndrome) </li></ul><ul><li>Birth defects: </li></ul><ul><li>Hemophilia </li></ul><ul><li>Anomalous characteristics </li></ul><ul><li>Assumptions </li></ul><ul><li>Individuals have facts of life straight </li></ul><ul><li>Defect attributed to inbreeding </li></ul><ul><li>No close marriages </li></ul>
  40. 40. Biological (Genetic): Shortcomings <ul><li>Connection between copulation and childbirth often not made </li></ul><ul><li>Rapan (Easter) Islanders: woman is fertile during menstruation </li></ul><ul><li>Other explanation may explain childbirth (witchcraft, evil spirit in womb) </li></ul><ul><li>Defect may not show up for generations </li></ul><ul><li>Widespread cross-cousin marriage also entail inbreeding: few birth defects </li></ul>
  41. 41. Other Tragic Dramatists <ul><li>Aeschylus: The first playwright in the Western World </li></ul><ul><li>Known for the Orestian trilogy, which detail the horrors that befell the House of Atreus </li></ul><ul><li>This trilogy set the pattern for other tragedies. </li></ul><ul><li>Euripides: Had the reputation of a freethinker and was highly unpopular in his time. </li></ul><ul><li>Wrote 92 plays in his lifetime of which 18 are still known. </li></ul><ul><li>Among the plays: The Trojan Women (the aftermath of the war); Hercules; Orestes (Medusa’s killer); and Medea (murderess of an abusive father). </li></ul>
  42. 42. Philosophy in Hellenic Greece <ul><li>Pre-Greek Philosophers: The stuff that unified the reality we perceive—what is everything made of </li></ul><ul><li>The Sophists: The first relativists: “How do we know what we know? </li></ul><ul><li>Socrates: First (through Plato) to argue for an unchanging body of truths. </li></ul><ul><li>Plato: Argued for absolute truth (expressed through Socrates, so we don’t know which is which); founded the Academy </li></ul><ul><li>Aristotle: Founded the Lyceum; saw reason as a tool for knowledge; rejected Plato’s theory of forms and notion of a universal psyche </li></ul>
  43. 43. Pre-Greek Philosophers <ul><li>Thales of Miletus: produces an accurate theory of the solar eclipse </li></ul><ul><li>Anaxmiander: Argued that life evolved from beginning in the sea and that humankind evolved from a more primitive species; laid groundwork for evolutionary theory </li></ul><ul><li>Pythagoras: Argues for a spherical earth around which five planet revolved. Also laid down the Pythagoran Theorem, in which the square of the hypotenuse of a right triangle equals the sum of the square of the two sides. </li></ul><ul><li>Leucippus: Theorized that all matter is composed of atoms </li></ul><ul><li>Anaxagoras: Postulates that the sun is a large, glowing rock and explained solar eclipses </li></ul>
  44. 44. The Sophists <ul><li>Protagoras (pictured) </li></ul><ul><li>Meaning of “Man is the Measure of All things” </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge cannot exceed human opinion </li></ul><ul><li>Relativism forms the norm; there is no reality apart from one’s own perceptions </li></ul><ul><li>Gorgias </li></ul><ul><li>Reality in incomprehensible </li></ul><ul><li>Even if one comprehend it, he could not describe the real to others. </li></ul><ul><li>Basic Theme: What might be true and just for one may not be so for another. </li></ul>
  45. 45. Socrates: The Dialectical Method <ul><li>To Socrates, inquiry involved a three-step method </li></ul><ul><li>Thesis: A proposition of what is true </li></ul><ul><li>Antithesis : a proposition offering the opposite proposition </li></ul><ul><li>Synthesis: A proposition reconciling the thesis and antithesis. </li></ul><ul><li>Formed the basis of his dialogues and his teaching technique </li></ul>
  46. 46. Socrates: The Quest for Virtue I <ul><li>Contrary to the Sophists, argued that there is only a unitary truth </li></ul><ul><li>This was not dependent on one’s perceptions </li></ul><ul><li>Virtue is the condition of the psyche (soul or mind) </li></ul><ul><li>To do good, one must first know good </li></ul>
  47. 47. Socrates: The Quest for Virtue II <ul><li>One argument: That as a citizen of Athens, he had incurred obligations </li></ul><ul><li>One obligation was to submit to the law even if it meant his life (here, he is about to drink the hemlock as a sentence for corrupting the youth </li></ul>
  48. 48. Plato: The Quest for the Ideal Form <ul><li>Idealism: the notion that reality lies in the realm of unchanging forms rather than in sensory objects </li></ul><ul><li>Our perceptions are imperfect and limited </li></ul><ul><li>Psyche belongs to the universe of eternal forms; imprisoned in the body, the mind forgets its once-perfect knolwdge </li></ul><ul><li>Task of philosophy: to draw the mind out of its limited body and so regain perfect awareness. </li></ul><ul><li>Railed against the Sophists for their relativism </li></ul>
  49. 49. Plato: Allegory of the Cave <ul><li>The cave is a metaphor for our perceived reality </li></ul><ul><li>Like the shadows of the cave, our reality is not the things they really are, the ideal </li></ul><ul><li>Going out into the sunlight, we would see the ideal that is behind the reality we perceive </li></ul>
  50. 50. Plato: The Perfect State <ul><li>In Plato’s Republic, asks “what is the nature of justice?” and </li></ul><ul><li>“ What is the nature of a just society?” </li></ul><ul><li>Roots the answers in a two-level reality </li></ul><ul><li>The one of changing particulars in our senses </li></ul><ul><li>The other is an unchanging set of universal truths </li></ul><ul><li>Formed the idea of a philosopher king, who alone perceived the universal truths and so were the only ones fit to rule a republic </li></ul><ul><li>The physicists loved this idea and formed the backbone of their model at least before Einstein </li></ul><ul><li>Also is dogmatic; Marx, for example, seized on this idea for a perfect socialist state. </li></ul>
  51. 51. Aristotle: In Pursuit of Reason <ul><li>A student of Plato, rejected both the notion of universal truths and psychic unity </li></ul><ul><li>Argued that mind and matter could not exist independently of each other. </li></ul><ul><li>Developed the empirical method, whereby observation of things and events are the key to understanding </li></ul><ul><li>Methods: objectivity, clarity, and consistency </li></ul><ul><li>He applied these methods to observing plants and animals, city state constitutions, and literary forms. </li></ul><ul><li>Also invented the syllogism, the basis of inductive reasoning. </li></ul>
  52. 52. Aristotle: Ethics <ul><li>Basic aim of ethics: to achieve both happiness and the good life ( eudaimonia ) </li></ul><ul><li>Eudaimonia is defined in terms of the object: eye is to see, racehorse is to run fast; knife is to cut. </li></ul><ul><li>Ultimate aim is arete (virtue and excellence) </li></ul>
  53. 53. Aristotle: The Golden Mean <ul><li>There is a need for balance between two extremes; between: </li></ul><ul><li>Excess and scarcity, there must be moderation </li></ul><ul><li>Cowardice and recklessness, there must be bravery or courage </li></ul><ul><li>All these involve reason to arrive at a balanced moral conduct </li></ul>
  54. 54. Aristotle: Politics and the State <ul><li>Applied reason to analyze the state by comparing the constitution of 150 city states </li></ul><ul><li>Argued that some were more fit to rule than others, so advocated an elitism. </li></ul><ul><li>Government should exist for the sake of the state, not the individual, lest competing interests reduce the state to squabbling faction </li></ul><ul><li>Ideal form: governance by the middle class (Golden Mean hypothesis between tyranny and anarchy) </li></ul><ul><li>Humans can reach their potential only in the context of state society; man is thus a political animal </li></ul>
  55. 55. Aristotle on Drama <ul><li>Tragedy: the cause of how an unfortunate ending comes to be </li></ul><ul><li>An initiation of action that brings pity and fear </li></ul><ul><li>An error in judgment made by a superior man </li></ul><ul><li>Should be confined to the unities of time and place—a single place on a single day. </li></ul>
  56. 56. Conclusion of this Section. <ul><li>Greeks formed city states but shared a culture </li></ul><ul><li>Warring was common despite the advances in philosophy, arts, architecture, and drama </li></ul><ul><li>The next stage: an empire, first under Philip of Macedonia </li></ul><ul><li>Then under Alexander the Great, his son. </li></ul>

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