Ch3MythDevelopment

Ch3MythDevelopment - Classics 10: Chapter 3: Fall 2011 The...

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Classics 10: Chapter 3: Fall 2011 The Development of Classical Myth
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[Greek History and Culture, continued] Sources of Myth I. The Archaic Period II. The Classical Period III. The Hellenistic / Roman Period
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The Six Eras of Greek History All dates BC(E)
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5. The Classical Period: 480–323 BCE The Classical period of Greece was inspired by their national pride and their military prowess Greek cities fought with one another but they recognized that they were all Hellenes, different from the barbaroi (“barbarians”) around them Greeks called Greece Hellas (occupied by Hellenes) The Romans call it Greece and its occupants Greeks The great “civil” war of the Greeks (often called the Peloponnesian War, 431-404) fatally weakened them all Progressive, naval Athens vs. traditional, landed Sparta; whole Greek world allied with one or other
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5. The Classical Period: 480–323 BCE Athens = intellectual center of Greece Myths were reworked and retold in new forms to reflect the political and social realities of the day Tragedy: Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides History: Herodotus Philosophy and science developed in the late Classical Period as a counterpoint to myth (Socrates, Hippocrates, Plato, Aristotle)
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5. The Classical Period: 480–323 BCE The Macedonian king Philip II overran the Greek city-states in 338 (Chaeronea) Greek cities lose their independence and become subject to Macedon Alexander the Great follows in 336; leads huge Hellenic campaign against Persia Massive victories all the way to India Alexander’s death in 323 the conventional date for the end of the Classical Period
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6. The Hellenistic Period: 323–30 BCE Greek culture the “global” culture in the Mediterranean area (centered on Near East) Hellenic = Classical; Hellenistic = derived from that Alexander’s conquests divided into 3 kingdoms 146 BCE: Greek mainland conquered by Rome 30 BCE: Egyptian queen Cleopatra, the last of Alexander’s successors, pacified by Rome Greek history subsumed into Roman history Romans called the Hellenes Greeks
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Greek Cultural Attitudes Hard to recover the lives and attitudes of the average Greek Myths were universally popular, not just for upper classes, but our evidence mostly involves Athens, and primarily the elite males of Athens Then again, most myths involves heroes and elite figures (or gods!), and elite cultural attitudes surely affected the way they passed down the stories So it’s good to know a little about those attitudes
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“Greek” usually means “Athenian” Freedom defined Greeks as citizens of their city as opposed to “barbarians” Education: reading, writing, music, athletics, all to be a good voter and fighter for your city War = the defining activity of manhood Males became citizens at age 18 (two year initiation period as ephebe = “youth”) Self-control (“sophrosyne”) = most valued virtue
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This note was uploaded on 11/30/2011 for the course CLA 10 taught by Professor Traill during the Fall '08 term at UC Davis.

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Ch3MythDevelopment - Classics 10: Chapter 3: Fall 2011 The...

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