City-State Known as polis Might be known for olives, wine, marble, or pottery Local, independent city-states Greece was NOT unified country Outsiders considered barbarians
Politics in the polis Agoramarketplace Typical citizen intimately involved in public life of community. Citizen who did not participate in public life was scorned. Idiotesa private person. One who doesnt participate in debate or public life.
Religion Pantheon of gods 1.Lived on Mt. Olympus 2.Cool, controlled, and detached 3.Could interfere with daily lives of humans
Greek gods Represent worst of human behaviors Are immortal Are all-powerful Frequently consort with mortal men and women Interfere in human affairs (take sides)
Greek Gods Become annoyed with humans and use their powers if they are insulted or dishonored. NOT judges of morality Sacrifices and libations are ways of honoring the gods.
Greek gods on Mt. Olympus Have banquets Have love affairs Plot Quarrel Mock and deceive each other Go on vacation
Arête Personal excellence Highest level of excellence to which a warrior could aspire Combination of courage, pride, and nobility. Closely related to code of honor
Desire for excellencethe Greek spirit Passion for perfection Attention on man as a creature who has both physical and spiritual attributes Physical and intellectual excellence Bestolives, wine, ships….
Intellectual curiosity Related to desire for excellence Ask question WHY Prime interestman, his world, his spirit, his capacities
Code of honor Personal honorGreeks primary concern. Untarnished reputation and personal honor. Warriors need to be acknowledged and respected by his peers Spoils of warwarriors material possessions.
Importance of funerals Show respect for dead. Funerals could last several days. Funeral is show of respect a warrior has earned. If one is not given a proper funeral, his soul would wander the earth forever.
Hubris Exaggerated pride or self-confidence Arrogance Defiance of the gods Punished by the gods
Homeric legend Blind rhapsode Traveling performer Oral tradition Probably sang the poem accompanied by a lyre
Homeric question See handout Centuries long debate Identity of author Just one?
Questions about Homer Why are plot, style and dialect sometimes inconsistent? Did Homer simply write down stories that many bards had recited and reshaped? Did the Greek alphabet exist when Homer lived?
Definition of an epic A long narrative poem in elevated style presenting characters of high position in adventures forming an organic whole through their relation to a central heroic figure and through their development of episodes important to the history of a nation of race.
Characteristics of an epic Hero is a figure of imposing stature, of national or international importance, and of great historical or legendary significance. Setting is vast in scope, covering great nations or the world. Actions consist of deeds of great valor or those requiring super-human courage
Epics Supernatural forcesgods, angels, demonsinterest themselves in the action and intervene from time to time. Style of sustained elevation and grand simplicity is used. Epic poet recounts deeds with objectivity.
Epicsliterary conventions Poet begins by stating theme and invoking a muse to inspire the poem. (Invocation) Poem starts in medias res and presents necessary exposition in later portions of the epic. Catalogs of warriors, ships, and armies are included. Main characters make extended formal speeches. Poet makes frequent use of epic similes (Homeric) Meter is dactylic hexameter.
Iliad Title means story of Ilionstory of Troy Earliest existing work of literature of European literature
Iliad Written approximately 850 BC. Just before end of the Dark Ages. Time when oral tradition is most important. Probably intended to be recited or chanted. Homers audience would know the story well.
Trojan War Both Iliad and Odyssey are based on legend of Trojan War. Homer does NOT tell the story of the war. Iliad takes places in the final year of the war and covers a few weeks.
City of Troy Walled city. Greeks in ships on shore Fighting is conducted on plain outside of Troys walls.
Themes of Iliad Wrath of Achilles Brutality of war Fate/Role of the gods Honor