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Classical Greece

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Greek Achievements
Main Idea
The ancient Greeks made great achievements in philosophy, literature, art, and architecture that influenced the development of later cultures and ideas. How did Greek philosophy influence later thinking?

What types of literature did the Greeks create?

Classical Greece

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Philosophy of Socrates
Asking Questions
Socrates believed philosophers could learn what made good people, societies by asking questions Started with basic questions, like What is truth?
Socrates followed up with more questions

Socratic Method
By working through series of questions, Socrates thought people could discover basic nature of life Method of learning through questions called the Socratic method

Socrates interested in broad concepts of human lifetruth, justice, virtue

Classical Greece Plato

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One of Socrates students, became great philosopher in own right

Left behind great number of writings that record ideas on wide variety of topics, from nature of truth to ideal form of government
The Republic argues that government should be led by philosophers

Theory of Government
Philosophers most qualified to make good decisions Did not support Athenian democracy in which all men could take part Plato wanted to make philosophers education more formal Founded the Academy, which in Platos lifetime became most important site for Greek philosophers to do their work

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Aristotle
The Third Philosopher
Aristotle was among students who studied at the Academy

More concerned with nature of world that surrounded him


Tried to apply philosophical principles to every kind of knowledge

Emphasis on Reason and Logic


Emphasis on reason, logic Reason, clear and ordered thinking; use reason to learn about world Observe carefully, think rationally about what one has seen

Inferring New Facts


Aristotle also helped develop field of logic, process of making inferences Example: birds have feathers, lay eggs; owls have feathers, lay eggs; therefore, owl must be a type of bird

Classical Greece

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Classical Greece

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Greek Literature
Other Greek literature remains, with a great many works still popular today. Greeks excelled in poetryboth epics and other formshistory, and drama.

Homers Epics
Most famous works are some of earliest

Iliad and Odyssey


Iliad tells story of last year of war, two heroesAchilles and Hector Odyssey tells story of heroes from the war, with Odysseus who was forced to wander the sea

Epic poems of great events and heroes


The Iliad and the Odyssey, attributed to poet Homer, tell stories of Trojan War

These two works became basis for the Greek education system.

Classical Greece

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Other Forms of Poetry


Greeks wrote many types of poetry besides epics
Hesiod wrote descriptive poetry about works of gods, lives of peasants Greeks also created lyric poetry
Named after the lyre, musical instrument often played to accompany reading of poems Lyric poems do not tell stories, but deal with emotions, desires

Lyric poets
Sappho, one of few Greek women to gain fame as writer; dealt with daily life, marriage, love Pindar, late 500s, early 400s; poems commemorated public events, like Olympic Games

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Drama
While the Greeks wrote histories to preserve the past, they created a new form of writing for entertainmentdrama, the art of playwriting.

Athenian Roots
Earliest dramas part of festivals Dionysus, god of wine and celebration Group of actors called a chorus Recited stories

Development
Dramas became more complex Individual actors took on roles of specific characters in stories Two distinct forms of dramas developed, tragedy and comedy

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Distinct Forms
Tragedies
Focused on hardships faced by Greek heroes
Three great writers

Comedies
Many comedies were satires, plays written to expose flaws of society Aristophanes greatest Greek comedy writer Plays poke fun at aspects of Athenian society, from government to treatment of women

Aeschylus, Greek myths


Sophocles, suffering people brought on selves Euripides, tragedy brought on by chance, behavior

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History
Among fields for which Greeks best known Greek authors wrote about and analyzed own past First major Greek historian, Herodotus Lived in Greece during wars with Persia; described battles and public debates in The Histories

Primary Sources
Thucydides lived during Peloponnesian War, wrote about it Included primary sources, like speeches he heard delivered Looked at sources critically, ignored unreliable, irrelevant ones

Describing Famous Men


Another early historian, Xenophon fought in Persia after Persian Wars Concentrated less on sources, debates, more on describing famous men; had less critical style Work has helped us learn what life was like in 300s BC Greece

Classical Greece

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Greek Architecture and Art


Beauty
Athenians enjoyed beauty, both written and visual Expressed love of written beauty through literature; visual beauty through architecture, art

Architecture
Athenians wanted their city to be most beautiful in Greece Built magnificent temples, theatres, public buildings

Enhancements
To enhance appearance of buildings, added fine works of art, painted and sculpted Grandest buildings built on acropolis, at citys center

Parthenon
Most magnificent on acropolis Massive temple to Athena Begun by Pericles, 447 BC Took 14 years to build

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Sculpture
Human Forms
Greek sculptors among finest world has ever known Particularly adept at sculpting human form; studied people at rest, moving Tried to re-create what they saw, paid particular attention to muscles

Lifelike, Not Realistic


Greeks wanted statues to look lifelike, active, not necessarily realistic

Portrayed subjects as physically perfect, without blemishes, imperfections


Greek statues almost all depict figures of great beauty, grace

Roman Copies
Few original works remain; most copies made a few hundred years later Roman artists made many copies of greatest Greek statues Many copies survived even after original statues destroyed

Classical Greece Painting


Only a few original Greek paintings survive

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Best preserved are paintings on vases, plates, other vessels


Scenes from everyday life, or from myths, legends Most use only red, black; still convey movement, depth

Larger Paintings
Little evidence of larger works; written sources say Greeks created murals in many public buildings Often included scenes from Iliad, Odyssey; showed aftermath of battles, rather than battle itself Themes similar to tragic drama popular with Athenians