Presentation on theme: "LUCIAN AND LATER ANTIQUITY. Lucian A Syrian author who wrote in Greek in the 2 nd c. AD As an outsider he offers a very sharp, intelligent, caustic and."— Presentation transcript:
LUCIAN AND LATER ANTIQUITY
Lucian A Syrian author who wrote in Greek in the 2 nd c. AD As an outsider he offers a very sharp, intelligent, caustic and very humorous view of the ancient Greek world. He had read and absorbed almost everything written in Greek in the past millennium (c. 800 BC – 200 AD), and uses traditional themes and motives combined in a uniquely insightful, funny and perceptive composition. Philosophy and comedy are at the top of his interests Particularly fond of cynic philosophy for its deconstructive nature, he pokes fun at everyone and everything, joking about the follies of people, as individuals and as nations or social groups
Historical Developments 338 BC. Philip II defeats the southern Greek states and unifies the Greek World. The Greek City state ceases to exist as an independent unit. 330 BC. Alexander conquers Persia. His successors split his empire into several kingdoms. In the large metropolitan areas of the new kingdoms the family unit changes. The ideally self-sufficient Greek oikos no longer makes sense, and the kyrios is no longer able to use the machinery of the democracy to cast a protective net over his family. The man is a mere subject, not the citizen-leader of the classical period. In a more hierarchical society women exist to please the mighty. Family and money become more significant. 146 BC. The Greek World is subdued by Rome, and Roman law and institutions eventually influence Greek socio-cultural structures
The Change From the 1 st century AD there is a considerable shift in moral and cultural perceptions. The family unit becomes sacrosanct, monogamy gradually becomes a desired state for men too, sexuality becomes dirty, and sex an act which should be avoided if possible, unless for the purposes of procreation. The cult of the body, enshrined in the classical ideal of beauty and perfection as a spiritual form, degenerates into vanity, and beauty is a commodity that can be bought with cosmetics and fancy clothes. Partly the prudish laws of Augustus intended to enhance family life, and partly oriental influences change the cultural landscape, and these changes only become accelerated and consolidated with the advent of Christianity.