Introduction to western culture(C)

By Zachary Pierce,2014-07-10 15:56
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Introduction to western culture(C)Intr

1. What were the main features of ancient Creek society?

    As far as we know Creek culture reached a high point of development in the 5th century B.C... This was marked by the

    successful repulse of the Persian invasion early in the century, the establishment of democracy and the flourishing of science, philosophy,

    literature, art and historical writing in Athens. Athens was a democracy. Democracy means “exercise of power by the whole people”,

    but “ by the whole people” the Creeks meant only the adult male citizens, and citizenship was a set of rights which a man inherited from his father, women , children, foreigners and slaves were excluded. They had no rights. The economy of Athens rested on an immense

    amount of slave labor. The Creeks loved sports.

    2. The great achievements of Greek science

    The Greeks did have inventions, but they were stronger in the world of ideas, and we owe much to them for this. They developed

    geometry and studied astronomy, geography, and mechanics. These studies formed the basis of much science that followed. Their

    philosophers developed speculative philosophy which is the foundation of much of our speculation and a good portion of our Mathematic

    Their art and architecture were very influential and set styles that are still popular and highly copied today. Museums around the world

    have much material from ancient Greece which is often the most valuable part of their collection. Before them there was a man named

    Democritus who put forward the first atomic theory. Another two men may be mentioned for what they did to push science forward.

    Euclid is well known for his Elements, a textbook geometry perhaps the most successful textbook ever write. Archimedes did important

    work not only in geometry, but also in arithmetic’s, mechanics and hydrostatics(流体静力学). Greek scientists collected a wealth of material and enquired into the proper method of doing scientific work. As a result, they were able to deduce theories and built up systems,

    which had a tremendous influence on later scientists, Art, architecture, Sculpture and pottery. 3. What did the Romans have In common with the Greeks? And what was the chief difference between them?

    The burning of Corinth in 46 B.C. marked Roman conquest of Greece, which was then reduced to a province of the Roman Empire.

    From this time on, the Romans had a lot in common with the Greeks. Both people had traditions rooted in the idea of the citizen-assembly,

    hostile to monarchy and to servility. Their enough for most of their deities to be readily identified-Greek Zeus with Roman Jupiter, Greek

    Aphrodite with Roman Venus, their myths to be fused. Their languages worked in similar ways, and were ultimately related. Both being

    members of the Indo-European language family which stretches from Bangladesh-Iceland. There was one big difference. The Romans

    built up a vast empire: the Greeks didn’t, except for the brief moment of Alexander’s conquests, which soon disintegrated. The Romans

    were confident in their own organizational power, their military and administrative capability, shown by uniformity with which they put

    their system smoothly and quickly into effect, wherever in the world they went.

    4. What contribution did the Romans make to the rule of law?

    An important contribution made by the Romans to European culture was Roman law. In its earliest stage, only a number of

    patricians knew the customary legal procedure. Early Roman law was drawn from custom and statutes(法令;, but later during the times

    of the empire, the emperors asserted their authority as the ultimate source of law. The basis for Roman law was the idea that the exact

    form, not the intention, of words or of actions produced legal consequences. Romans recognized that there are witnesses to actions and

    words, but not to intentions. Roman civil law allowed great flexibility in adopting new ideas or extending legal principles in the complex

    environment of the empire. Without replacing older laws, the Romans developed alternative procedures that allowed greater fairness. It

    was not until much later in the 6th century AD that the emperor Justinian I, who ruled over the Byzantine Empire in the east, began to

    publish a comprehensive code of laws, collectively known as the Corpus Juris Civilis, but more familiarly as the Justinian Code. When

    the rules were put into it writing in the middle of the third century B.C. it marked a victory for the plebeians. There was further

    development of law under the emperors until it was codified eventually to become the core of the modern civil and commercial law in

    many western countries.

    5. Why do we say Judaism and Christianity are closely related?

    Among all the religions by which people seek to worship, Christianity is by far the most influential in the West. As far as we know,

    Judeo-Christian tradition constitutes one of the two major components of European culture. Judaism and Christianity are closely related.

    In fact, it was the Jewish traditions which gave birth to Christianity. Both originated in Palestine-the hub of migration and trade routes,

    which led to exchange of ideas over wide areas. Many aspects of Judaism correspond to Western concepts of ethics and civil law.

Judaism is among the oldest religious traditions still being practiced today, and many of its texts and traditions are central to other

    Abrahamic religions. As such, Jewish history and the principles and ethics of Judaism have influenced various other religions, including Christianity and Islam.

    6. The main ideas and contents of the Bible

    The Bible is a collection of religious writings comprising two parts: the Old Testament and the New Testament. The former is about

    God and the Laws of God, the latter, the doctrine of Jesus Christ. “Testament”means“agreement”—namely, the agreement between God

    and Man. In Western Christianity, the Old Testament refers to the books that form the first of the two-part Christian Biblical canon (sacred

    books). In modern usage, it is sometimes called the First Testament. Most scholars agree that the Hebrew Bible was composed and

    compiled between the first and the 2nd century B.C., before Jesus’ birth. Jesus and his disciples referenced it when discussing Jesus’

    newer teachings, referring to it as "the law of Moses, the prophets”. The New Testament is the name given to the second major division of the Christian Bible, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament. The New Testament is sometimes called the Greek New

    Testament or Greek Scripture. The vast majority of denominations (various groups) of the New Testament have settled on the same

    twenty-seven book canon: it consists of the four narratives of Jesus Christ’s ministry, called “Gospels”; a narrative of the Apostles’ ministries in the early church, which is also a sequel(续集; to the third Gospel, twenty-one early letters, commonly called “epistles” in

    Biblical context, written by various authors and consisting mostly of Christian counsel (advice) and instruction.

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