Part one : The history of Greece
I. Predecessors of the Greeks:
?Cretan(克里特) and Mycenaean(迈锡尼) Culture(2600-1200 BC , Bronze Age culture/Aegean
Cretan Culture The empire of King Minos
Knossos :also known as Labyrinth(迷宫), or Knossos Palace
?Greek Legend on Crete
• Minotaur: symbol of brutality and danger
• Labyrinth: a common metaphor in western literature—confusion and entrapment
• Daedalus: James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Mycenaean culture lasts from 16BC to 12 BC,the Achaeans brought their language, their gods, and a
monarchial form of government to Greece.
Features of Mycenaean civilization
--domed tombs (royal):Tomb of Clytemnestra
The dynasty of domed tomb reaches its prosperity in Mycenaean culture.
---rich in gold? Agamemnon’s mask
---the decline of Mycenaean civilization
?.The Greek Arrives
--Hellenes’ invasion collapsed Mycenaean civilization
?Population growth and the establishment of colonies throughout the Mediterranean. ：Warship, heavy infantry , hoplites, a phalanx；
The Greco-Persian Wars , or Persian Wars
• The 5th century BC opened with events that shaped the future of Greek civilization and Western culture.
• The Persian invasions: Darius and Xerxes are defeated in Greece “I shall fight to the death. I shall put freedom before life. I shall not desert colonel or captain dead or alive, I shall
carry out the general’s commands, and I shall bury my comrades-in-arms where they fall and leave none
?.The Hellenistic Age(希腊化时代) (338—30 BC)
----the battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC
?the empire of Alexander the Great
--Alexander founded over seventy new cities
---Intermarriage; one currency; literature and arts further developed ?the empire after Alexander
Antigonid, Ptolemies, Seleucid
Part two: Greek religion and politics ?. Greek Religion
Polytheism ?Mycenaen Origin ?
Religious athletic festivals
---Dionysus (Bacchus), a god of wine and spiritual ectasy, who was a son of Zeus.
--- Pan, a horned god of shepherds and folk music.
---Hekate, a goddess of witchcraft and crossroads..
• Pythian Games ,at Delphi
• Isthmian Games, at Corinth
?Worship also reflected individual independence Berlin – Pergamon Altar at Pergamon Museum
?the city-states: small, self-governing. ?democracy: tyrannies often gave way to democracy ?constitution: over 150 different independent ones.
The constitution of Sparta The constitution of Athens
Loyalty& bravery& Freedom & equality Totalitarian
Military state first Personal self-regulation
Council and Assembly Polis
Democracy for man Democracy for all
※Aristotle’s idea on politics
Politics: Cities---quite small ~Power---soliders~Citizens--slaves
?. Society and Education
?War and Slavery
? Greek education :a healthy, moderate and sensible man. ※an important part of the education of a young male was his sexual relationship with an older
Part three: Literature and Arts
?.the beginning of Greek literature. (800-700 BC) ?Epic :Homer’s (荷马) Iliad (伊利亚特)and Odyssey(奥德赛)
Lyric poetry: Sapphoc.612-580 BC(萨福) I could not hope to touch the sky with my two arms. Pindar(品达) (c. 518-438 BC), was an Ancient Greek lyric poet --14 Olympian odes
?Drama: comedy or tragedy
※tragedy?--human suffuring ---pleasure for audience --- “three unities”(Aristotle):catharsis ※Comedy satirized issues of the day.
Famous Tragedies :three tragedians:
Aeschylus(埃斯库罗斯), c. 525 /524 – 456 /455 BC Prometheus Bound Agamemnon
Sophocles(斯福克勒斯) c.496-406 B.C
Euripedes(欧里庇得斯) c.484-406 B.C The Trojan Women Medea
Sophocles(斯福克勒斯) c.496-406 B.C Oedipus ,the King Antigone
Oedipus complex Electra complex
--his plays are more psychologically and dramatically advanced than those of Aeschylus
One comedy writer: Aristophanes. c. 450-c.338 BC(阿里斯托芬尼斯)
Frogs, Clouds, Wasps, and Birds
Herodotus(希罗多德)(484-420 BC) "Father of History" in Western culture. The Histories
Thucydides (455-400BC)(修昔底德) father of “scientific history”
? History of the Peloponnesian War
his strict standards of evidence-gathering and analysis in terms of cause and effect
?. The Arts
? Architecture?Temples and the golden ratio.---harmony and proportion
Parthenon?golden ratio Pediments (三角墙)
Columns Ionian order Doric order Corinthian order ?Sculpture Venus Discus Thrower Laocoon Group
Part Four: Philosophy and Science ---reason and inquiry
?Socrates(469-399 B.C.)----dialectic method of inquiry,
known as the Socratic Method
?Plato(428-c.347) 柏拉图---idealist philosopher Dialogues: Republic The Apology Symposium
※Theory of Forms, the definition of reality, the theory of knowledge, the definition of what is good, and
theory of government
? Aristotle (384-322 BC)---Empiricist--- direct observation Ethics, Politics, Poetics, Rhetoric ---Deductive logic
--- Tragedy: Three Unities (三一律)Catharsis ( 宣泄)
• All Athenians are Greeks.
• I am an Athenian,
• Therefore I am Greek.
• It will not work if you say:
• All Greeks have black hair.
• I have black hair
• Therefore I am a Greek.
Contending Schools of Thought
• ---the Sceptics(怀疑派)
• ---the Epicureans(伊壁鸠鲁派)
• ---the Stoics(斯多葛派)
Early Greek scientists and their discoveries
• Thales of Miletus (624 BC — 548 BC) predicted eclipses, measured the sun's diameter.—
excluded gods from his explanation of the world.
• Anaximander of Miletus (610 BC — 547 BC) produced a sundial, a map of the known
world and had a theory of evolution.
• Anaximenes of Miletus (c. 544 BC — c. 525 BC) suggested there was condensation, and
thought solids came about in this way.
• Pythagoras (c. 570 BC — c. 490 BC) proposed that heavenly bodies were spherical
• ---- all things were numbers.
• --- the founder of scientific mathematics .
• Heraclitus (c. 535 BC — c. 475 BC) was a philosopher of importance who believed in the
connection of opposites and constant change.
• --fire was the primary element of the universe.
• Democritus ( about 460-370 B.C.)
• --- the earliest philosophical materialist. (Atomic theory)
• Parmenides of Elea (c. 510 BC — 450 BC) suggested that
• the earth was a sphere.
• Anaxagoras (c. 500 BC) suggested that the moon was like the earth, and shines with
• Hippocrates of Cos (460 BC — 377 BC) is considered the father of medicine
?What do you think of polytheism in ancient Greek culture?
Freedom / equality /positive/ emotional /rationalism
?What influence do you think the Greek political tradition have on western modern political system?
? Try to make a comparison of tragedies between ancient Greek culture and Chinese culture. ? Try to find out the similar period in ancient China when the contending schools of thought appeared, and make a brief introduction.
? What impress you most in ancient Greek culture?