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Unformatted text preview: History 1A Lecture Notes Wednesday, January 31 st , 2007 BRONZE AGE GREECE Greece in Bronze Age home to 2 major civilizations: Menoan (centered on island of Crete) & Mycenaean (arose on mainland of Greece) Menoans 1 st stone-age settlement dated to 6100 BC; Early Bronze Age, 3000-2000 BC, immigrants fr Asia minor begin moving into Cyclades islands and onto E, Central Crete; civilization that results on island of Crete, lasting 2000-1400 BC, called Menoan after a legendary Cretan King, Minos 4 centuries between 2000-1600 BC witness rise of Menoan civilization; during this period, city of Knossos in N-Central part of island emerges as the political center of Crete & Menoan civilization Trade contacts made to N, E; palaces, roads built; religious shrines established; fruitful cultural, trade contacts made w/Egypt, at that time ruled by pharaohs of 12 th Dynasty; and system of writing devised Linear A we cant read it but sure its not a form of Greek Menoan civ reaches height 1600-1450 BC; notwithstanding a massive volcanic eruption on Thera 1628, progress continues on Crete; capital at Knossos continues to flourish; new palaces are built elsewhere on island Menoan daily life (upper classes): both men, women wore skirts fastened by a belt around the waist; women topless, men clean-shaven; harvest, dancing, sporting events; most intriguing Menoan sport- people jumping over charging bull King Minos of Crete a prominent figure in later Greek mythology; according to myth, Minos wife cheats on him with a bull, gives birth to a half-man, half-bull son, the Minotaur; Minotaur thrown into labyrinth, occasionally fed humans Possible that this myth somehow grounded in reality- at palace in Knossos, if look at restorations in ground plan, hard to find your way around; perhaps some visitors to Crete impressed by the palace, this became model for labyrinth, and myth of Minotaur arises from many bull images found at Knossos Minoan religion : chief deity female: goddess portrayed holding a pair of snakes, called the snake goddess ; most influential modern theories hold she is a kind of mother goddess/mistress of animals/fertility goddess- this strengthened by comparisons w/near E religions (remember Minoans orig from Asia Minor, coastal modern Turkey and one of goddesses from that area: Sybile (Roman- Magna Matere), female deity closely connected w/animals, fertility, though; Sybile religion- priests had to castrate themselves) We dont get a lot of different names for the King of Crete almost always named Minos so strong probability that Minos not really a name but rather a title, given to each successive king (eg. Pharaoh) According to later Greek sources, Heroditus and Theucidities writing in 5 th century, King Minos (Menoans) exercised a general hygemeny over the sea in the area of Crete- specifically, King Minos controlled the Cyclades islands located to N of Crete:...
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