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Greece: Then and Now

Introduction to ancient Greece and Mythology

Alayna Siebman

on 15 September 2010

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Transcript of Greece: Then and Now

GREECE: Then and Now Oldest short stories of all time passion tragedy war heroism Myths: Why do we study them? Richest, most fertile
collection of stories
in Western Culture Greeks cherished life and believed
in living it to the fullest extent (death is inevitable) Answer to death?
They believed only answer
was to carve an imperishable legend
by magnificent deeds. Pursued fame above
almost all else tough

made them:
vengeful The Myths strengh
intelligence Result of
quest for
fame? wealth of heroes Their feats were far above humanity Also had failings-sometims ruined them adventurous
clever overbearing pride
ruthlessness in revenge
sexual conflict
*result of ambition* These heroes provided standards for Greek youths to follow. Why do we study them? 1.Well, besides the obvious: entertainment
2. Have had deep influence on all great literature
3. Famous composers have used mythology as inspiration
4. Huge influence on art-paintings and sculptures
5. Important link with the past in architecture, law, government, and language Where is that? Mountainous peninsula the size of Maine 1/4 of land could be cultivated Islands provided marble, gold, silver, and copper
-still primary natural resources for Greeks today Depended on colonies and commerce for wealth Mediterranean Sea
-important for travel and commerce Greeks were known as "sea-faring people" 1: travel over land was difficult
-people formed independent communities
2: Communities were called city-states
3: City States quarreled fiercely with each other
4: Still-they had a common language, religion,
and cultural beliefs
5: Influenced by:
*Marriage with invading cultures
*War with surrounding cultures
*Trade with higher cultures melting pot of various races=Classical Greeks What is a myth? back it up! It is an account of the deeds of a god or of a
supernatural being. It relates to a supposed
historical event or it serves to eplain some
practice, belief, institution, or natural phenomenon What does Mythology mean? The study of Myths A mythology: system of myths
told by a given race Polytheism: belief
in many gods Why? -Hungered for knowledge
-Wanted explanations for phenomena in daily lives
-Reasons for structure of universe Curiousity! Types of Myths Answer big questions How were the universe and earth created? Where did man come from? What happens when we die? Answer every-day questions Such as...
-Origin of certain constellations
-Why the sun disappears at night
-Why creatures behave the way they do
-Why does the spider weave a web?
-How the evils (sickness, death, grief) were released upon the world
-How fire came to man
-Why the seasons change Ancients weren't
constrained by truths
of science and techology.
-They were free to
developoutrageous tales 9 basic types of myths 1: Culture Myth 2: Nature Myth 3: Aetiological Myth 4: Literary Myth 5: Theogony 6: Legend 7: Fable 8: Allegory 9: Folk Tale Story in which man is taught the arts of life by some supernatural being
--Honor, truth, generosity
--Hercules Myth story which explains the phenomena of nature
--rain, tornadoes, hurricanes, lightening storms story that explains origin of a ritual or custom
--sacrifices, weddings, funerals Myth created essentially by one author though it may draw from existing myths
--Homer's The Illiad and The Odyssey an account of the origin of a god or gods
--creation myth A traditional quasi-historical story, occasionally containing supernatural elements but not involving the personal intervention of a god
--Pecos Bill and Paul Bunyan A story intended to teach some principle, in which animals or inanimate objects speak or behave like humans. These have morals.
--Aesop's Fables A story which is an extended metaphor, the characters being personifications and the events and relationships representing other events and relationships
--Animal Farm A story handed down by word of mouth among the common people. Folk tales differ from myths and legends in that their content is not affected by official cults and their themes are culturally very widespread.
--Grimm's Fairy Tales How did they get to us? Greeks believed character is destiny
They believed achievemets stemmed from within ourselves. Myths had measure of gradeur in their code of honor and defiance of fate. Achieved fame in myths Handed down by word of mouth Written at some point
-Muses: 9 daughters of Zeus-goddesses of music, poetry, literature, and art-said to provide inspiration to artists recording oral stories. Many poets
-Hesiod and Homer Theogony Wrote the Illiad and the Odyssey Who are they? Gods Goddesses & mirrored these positive and negative qualities They were unforgiving and quarrelsome.
Waring, banqueting, loving depicted in human form strength
intelligence Grow grain, fruit, and vegetables Goats and sheep raised on less fertile land plains surrounded by dense forrests and mountains Islands around the peninsula centers around history of gods, beginning with creation also great artist
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