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Megara

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Hannah Johnson

on 4 February 2014

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Transcript of Megara

Megara
Basic Characteristics
o Known for the amount of money received trading and by other means; have own coinage
o Highly respected by other city-states
o Similar beliefs and “structure” to Corinth – Corinth created Megara
o Fine art schools and such similar to Athens
o Boys were trained in the arts and sciences, going to school while also studying mathematics
o After high school boys went to join the military (minimum of two years)
o Offered citizens much freedom, were allowed to do what they please within rules
o Traders, main export: wool and other animal products (plus livestock)
o Explorers/colonizers – established Byzantium and Chalcedon
o Oligarchy
Apollo- Patron God of Megara
God of Light, Prophecy, Music, and Healing
Son of Zeus and Leto; Brother of Artemis
Usually portrayed as young and attractive
It is sometimes said that when someone dies suddenly, they have been hit by an arrow of Apollo
Had a lot of lovers, but no children
Megara's Influence on Greek Culture
Megara
Megara is different because...
o A gracious amount of freedom is given to citizens
o It is not as advanced as the other neighboring city-states (below or match)
o They didn’t come up with most “things” on their own – their ways of life and more adopted from others
o Wealthy goods in the city-state itself
o Rules: respect the leaders, follow the same god(s), children must be educated, must be a citizen of Megara, be loyal to all leaders

Strengths and Weaknesses
o Strengths:
Loyalty
Trading
Government
Arts
Schools
o Weaknesses:
Shadowed by other city-states

Location
o Western-most part of Attica
o Near Megara Gulf and Saronic Gulf
o Coastal plain around Megara – Megaris
o West of Athens
o East of Corinth

Participation in History
o Independence war with Corinth – Megara victorious
o Peloponnesian war – helped Sparta, victorious
o Persian war – band together with Greeks to fight the Persians, Greeks victorious

Why Apollo?
Megara and Corinth were the two closest city-states
Megara copied many things from Corinth
Their proximity to Corinth led to them being sun worshipers
They worshiped and asked Apollo in everything that they did
After Athens annexed Megara, their worship of Apollo diminished
Megara had many patron gods and goddesses, but Apollo and Athena were their main gods.
Cult and Religious/Worship Surrounding Apollo
THARGELIA
o The festival of Apollo; also celebrated the new harvest
On the first day of this festival, the city chose two people, normally criminals, to be scapegoats (a person or group made to bear the blame for others or suffer in their place), but occasionally, an important person would sacrifice themself. The scapegoats were fed, led through town, and then removed. In a catastrophe, they were pushed off a cliff or thrown into the sea.

THE ORACLE AT DELPHI
o As a myth goes, Apollo needed an oracle (a priest or priestess acting as a medium through whom advice or prophecy was sought from the gods in classical antiquity), but not just an ordinary oracle that would give a vague answer, he wanted the best oracle there could be, hence Pythia.
o Before Apollo was worshiped at the shrine, other gods were worshiped there as well, including: Gaia, Themis, Demeter, and Poseidon.
o The Greeks would ask Pythia their questions about the future and Pythia would channel Apollo.
o The prophecies were only given on certain days of the year and the process would last the whole day.
THE PYTHIAN GAMES
o The Pythian Games was a sport dedicated to Apollo in ancient Greece.
o The games were played on the spot where Apollo slayed Pytho (the earth-dragon of Delphi, sent by Gaia)
Myths About Apollo
Apollo is kind to humanity and is definitely a role model. He gave beautiful music to the people and was worshiped for it; he gave to humanity the Pythian Games of music and the people played them year after year in honor of Apollo. Apollo helped to minimize conflict between humanity and Python (without meaning to) by killing him.
In Delphi, there was a creature with the body of a snake that was often referred to as the Python of Delphi. It caused trouble and left a bad odor wherever it went. One day, Hera sent him out to chase Leto, a pregnant lover of Zeus, but Leto gave birth soundly to Apollo. He was strong just days after he was born. Later, Hephaestus gifted him with a silver bow, complete with golden arrows. These gifts made Apollo decide to hunt down and kill Python as revenge. Apollo eventually found Python’s cave and they fought. In the end, Apollo won and Python was dead. Apollo, joyous from victory, played a song on his lyre which spread joy to the humanity. Because of this, Apollo became the God of music.
Apollo committed a crime by killing Python and, as a punishment, Zeus ordered Apollo to institute the Pythian Games’. These were named after the place where Apollo buried Python, Pythian. Apollo obeyed and took part in these games himself. Then, every year after, those games were held in honor of Apollo.

Where the Pythian games were held in Delphi.
Lyre
Apollo
Apollo and Python battling.
Apollo's Values
• Supports founding new cities and governments.

o In Homer’s Iliad, Apollo had helped build the walls of Troy, along with Poseidon.

o Pausanias’ Description of Greece states that Alacathous (son of Pelops) rebuilt the walls of

The Megarians enjoyed establishing new towns and developing civic projects.

• Advocate of the arts, especially music and poetry.

o In the Iliad he is seen entertaining the other gods with his lyre.

o In some myths he is credited with the creation of the lyre and the flute.

o Homeric poets learned their trade from Apollo or the Muses.

In Megara, young boys were taught the arts as well as science. They studied and memorized poetry and trained in playing the flute and lyre.
"There is a common saying about the Megarians: 'They build as if they are to live forever; they live as if they are to die tomorrow.'" Saint Jerome
As Megara was not as advanced as other city-states, and did not invent many things, its influence on Greek culture was not as significant as other city-states'. Megara copied many of its beliefs, ideas, and structures from other city-states. Despite its small influence on Greek culture, it was heavily influenced by other Greeks. However, they did impact some Greek things, such as trade, which they relied on greatly.
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