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Leisure, Play, and Recreation in Ancient Greece

A Cultural Perspective

Tommy Means

on 12 November 2012

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Transcript of Leisure, Play, and Recreation in Ancient Greece

Important People Aristotle BC 384-322 Socarates BC 469-399 Plato BC 429-347 The Philosophers Homer ~7th century BC Hesiod ~7th century BC Euripides BC480-406 The Playwrights The Demigod Hercules Annibale Carracci 1596 The Choice of Hercules Ancient Greece Jessica Blum
Angela Garfield
Tommy Means
Sara Moore
Breanna Studinsk Greek Culture Ancient Greek Geography
Defined as a supporting pillar consisting of a base, a cylindrical shaft, and a capital. Columns: Major component in architecture In ancient Greece , groups of people set up colonies around the Aegean Sea and spread throughout Greece’s mainland. Greece is a country of small valleys. As cities grew, each became a city-state, the first city-states were Athens, Corinth, Argos, Sparta, and Thebes. Each city-state was given the freedom to govern themselves. Greece spread quickly and extended to Sicily, Italy, through Asia Minor, and around the end of the Mediterranean Sea. This Greek world was called Hellas by the people and had an abundance of seafood, fresh fish, a wealth of vegetables, and fresh drinking water. As Greece expanded so did their houses their houses and buildings. Due to the growth they needed to add on columns to their homes and building, which continues to be a main component in Greece throughout history. Greek culture is based on religion, therefore so is their architecture. Greece’s temples and buildings are beautiful and elegant. Their architecture also has a political component as they were built to celebrate civic power and pride. Ancient Greek Architecture There are three different styles of columns used in ancient Greek architecture. These include:

Doric: Is sturdy and the capital is plain. It was used mostly in mainland Greece.

Ionic: Thinner and more elegant than the Doric style. The capital was decorated with volute. Ionic style was found in eastern Greece.

Corinthian: Seldom used. Its capital is very elaborate and decorated with acanthus leaves. Styles of columns Doric Column Parthenon Doric Column example Doric column is the simplest. They have a capital (the top, or crown) made of a circle topped by a square. The shaft (the tall part of the column) is plain and has 20 sides. There is no base in the Doric order. The Doric column is placed horizontally on buildings. The area above the column, called the frieze [pronounced "freeze"], had simple patterns. Above the columns are the metopes and triglyphs. The metope [pronounced "met-o-pee"] is a plain, smooth stone section between triglyphs. Sometimes the metopes had statues of heroes or gods on them. The triglyphs are a pattern of 3 vertical lines between the metopes. Ionic Column Ionic shafts were taller than Doric ones and makes the columns look slender. They also had flutes, which are lines carved into them from top to bottom. The shafts had a special characteristic called entasis, which is a little bulge in the columns make the columns look straight, even at a distance The frieze is plain and the bases were large, looking like a set of stacked rings. Ionic capitals consist of a scrolls above the shaft. The Ionic style is a little more decorative than the Doric. Temple of Athena Ionic column example Corinthian Column The Corinthian order is the most decorative of the styles and is the most modern. The entasis to make the shafts look straight and the capitals have flowers and leaves below a small scroll. The shaft has flutes and the base is like the Ionian. Unlike the Doric and Ionian cornices, which are at a slant, the Corinthian roofs are flat. The temple of Zeus in Athens Corinthian example Greek Leisure Plato was interested in the benefits of music and gymnastics; he believed there were spiritual and physical rewards to be gained from these expressions. He also believed that education should be compulsory and should provide natural modes of amusement for children Socrates believed knowledge was required in choosing the best pleasures; the good life was a life of right choices and conduct The Ancient Greek Culture looks at leisure as “a means to the good life”

Athenian philosophers believed strongly in the unity of mind and body and in the strong relationship of all forms of human qualities and skills Aristotle believed leisure was freedom from having an occupation and this was the necessary condition for happiness; a life of contemplation was the proper use of leisure Athenians took great interest in the arts, learning, and athletics
Athletic competition (e.g. Olympics) Athenians felt that play activity was essential to the healthy physical and social growth of children

Young children enjoyed:
Jump ropes
Seesaws When young boys reached the age of 7, they were enrolled in schools in which gymnastics and music were primary elements – they were intensely instructed in the following:

Running and leaping
Throwing, javelin, and discus
Ball games Changes in the Greek Approach to Leisure

Parks and gardens
Open-air theaters
Exercise grounds
Stadiums http://www.greek-islands.us/athens/panathenaic-stadium/ The Upper Class The Middle Class The Lower Class Ancient Greece Hierarchy As member of the upper class in Athens you must be a citizen, and you cannot have a job.

A member of the upper class must be free from economic tasks such as trading.

He must get slaves or others to attend to his material concerns such as his property and fortune; only by such liberation can he find time for government, war, literature, and philosophy.

The Athenians believed there must be a leisure class, or there would be no standard for good taste, no encouragement of the arts, no civilization.

The aristocrats of Athens felt that no man in a hurry is quite civilized.

This elite class was very small numbering about 300 families. The middle class in Athens had a large number of non- citizens.

The free- men (non-slaves) of foreign birth, though ineligible for citizenship, had spent their life in Athens. They were mostly professional men: merchants, contractors, manufacturers, managers, tradesmen, craftsmen, and artists.

Not being able to vote.

The ceramic industry was owned entirely by the middle class. The non-citizens were forbidden to own land, or marry into a family of a citizen.

Creating such a law allowed the citizens to buy land at a cheaper price, because outside competition for the land was eliminated. This working class made sure that the navy fleet was maintained, the empire was supported through heavy taxes, and the commercial supremacy of Athens was preserved. The lower class was partly made up of freedmen, who at one time in their lives had been slaves.

There are different ways that a slave can gain his or her freedom. The slave may be freed by his or her ransom being paid off by a relative or friend. If a slave ever earns enough money he can buy his own freedom, which is difficult because slaves do not get paid for their services.

The Greeks in general felt that all men were not created equal. To an Athenian, there was no greater disgrace than being stripped of his citizenship. Some families had lived in Greece for generations, but they still were not considered citizens. The middle and lower classes outnumbered the upper class by an enormous number, but in the 600's B.C. only the upper class citizens who owned land could vote. This meant that all the decisions were made by the few, even though the rules they made up (law) applied to all. The Slaves The slaves of Athens were unransomed prisoners of war, victims of slave raids, infants rescued from and criminals. Only a very small number of slaves were Greek, the rest were considered barbarians because they were from a different place.

If a slave misbehaves he is whipped; when he is hit in the face by a person whose rank is higher than a slave, the slave must not defend himself.

In no case can a citizen legally go as far as to kill his slave. A Work and Leisure Perspective Playwrights vs Philosophers
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