CSTU 101: Western Culture: Week 2 Notes
CSTU 101: Western Culture: Week 2 Notes CSTU 101
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by DanielleCuller21 on Sunday September 11, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CSTU 101 at Liberty University taught by Ms. Caitlin Elliott in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 28 views. For similar materials see Western Culture in Cultural Studies at Liberty University.
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Date Created: 09/11/16
CSTU 101: Western Culture: Week Two Notes WHERE ARE THEY LOCATED? West: Americas, Europe, Australia (places that the culture drastically changed with colonization) East: Asia Africa: Both and neither (Why? Impacted in colonization but reacted in a way that sets it apart from the “western” countries) *Western countries have been touched by European Christendom * Differences in Values East West Event based time Clock based time Collectivist Individualistic Internalizes emotion Expresses emotion Celebrates elderly Celebrates youth Academic focus Extracurricular focus Humility Confidence * how do these values effect daily life? What are some strengths and weaknesses of each? * EASTERN: Philosophy and Religion: o Japan: Shintoism o China: Daoism o India: Hinduism and Buddhism Focuses: o Living in harmony with others o Detachment from worldly desires and evil practices o Regeneration of life/ cycle of life and death/ natural rhythm of nature is important WESTERN: Philosophy and Religion: o Judaism o Christianity o Islam o The Roman Empire o Renaissance and Reformation o Enlightenment o The American Revolution Focuses: o Domination over others (The Roman Empire) o Individual search for truth and reason o Liberty from tyrannical government o Separation of government and church ANCIENT SUMER: Mesopotamia’s oldest civilization 1/3 of Sumer was agriculture Main city was Uruk End of PreHistoric era with writing Cuneiform: first written record of language o Very intuitive language that took a long time to learn how to translate THEOLOGY: Government and religion heavily intertwined Kings, seen as divine 3,600 deities deification of nature with a hierarchy within pagan beliefs Priests controlled economy ORGINS and MYTHOLOGY: Enuma Elish: Mythic orgin Violence, death, and power struggle created the world Gods created humans as the servants but humans were too difficult so they fired them LIFE and the AFTERLIFE Kur: name for the underworld, from which there was no return, special entrances in the city, had to follow certain strict rules or if you were living and you entered you could not leave Neither punishment nor reward, just slightly gloomier version of Earth VISUAL ARTS Ziggurat: Temple and alter Pyramids, high temple on platform “meeting the god’s in the middle” Mudhif: Sumerian reed house Divine was placed above the mundane VOTIVE SCULPTURES Limited acess to temples Statues in the likeness of individuals would be placed in the Temple in their absence to serve as a conduit for prayer LITERARY ARTS The Epic of Gilgamesh: 2,750 BCE o Based on a real king of Uruk who may have been named Gilgamesh as well Often regarded as the world’s first work of literature (oldest form of literature that we have discovered) CULTURAL VALUES OF SUMERIAN CULTURE: Gilgamesh: o Bold, wise, strong, handsome o 2/3 god, 1/3 man, son of a King of Uruk Enkidu: o Savage, wild, uncivilized, raised outside of the cities o Created by the gods to be a likeness to Gilgamesh and companion o Was “made civil” by Gilgamesh so that he could be his companion Civilization: Sex, Cleanliness and clothing, and bread and beer (civilized food) o WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT? Being “tamed” added to societal value Untamed is unpredictable, solitary, uncomfortable, and the opposite of civilization Separation from nomads and animals CONCLUSIONS: Sumerians were an intelligent people who created many scientific advancements Haunted by the prospect of death, as evidenced in their religious devotion and works of art Thought a lot about what it means to be Civil in a Civilized society (first civilized society) ANCIENT EGYPT (3150 BCE30 BCE) RESISTANCE TO CHANGE: Despite longevity, Egyptian culture maintained unity and consistency Conservative people (compared to Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome) The Quest for Permanence: desire to endure past this life and desire to pass on wisdom to the next generation Maintained by a singular Pharaoh governing both Upper and Lower Egypt Pharaohs held absolute power over all spiritual and temporal matters. The preservation of religious beliefs was the job of the priest. CUSTOMS AND DAILY LIFE Hygiene o Bathing took place in the Nile, “soap” was made from animal fat and chalk o Men shaved their entire bodies for cleanliness (hair was likened to animal fur) o Perfumed ointments were common o Clothing was made from bleached linens o Upper Class: Wigs Jewelry Cosmetics GENDER ROLES Law: Women completely equal to men, although this did not always manifest in practice Women could own property, borrow money, sign contracts, initiate divorce, appear in court as witnesses, etc. However, they were also expected to be the primary caretakers of children/ the family Was possible for women to hold jobs outside of the home Marriage was considered a “natural state” for adults Men were considered head of the household Women were considered mistress of the household A woman’s work outside of the home depended on her social class Not necessarily being submissive to men HERODOTUS: (Born around 490 BCE) Greek “historian” (similar to a travel diary) “Not only is the climate different from that of the rest of the world, and the rivers unlike any other rivers, but the people unlike any other people also, in most of their manners and customs, exactly reverse of mankind. The women attend the markets while men sit at home at the loom…” EGYPTIAN RELIGION: Like Ancient Sumer, was Polytheistic o Amun Ra/Re Pharoahs were believed to be decendents of the goddess Hathor who was a daughter of Amun Ra/Re THE AFTERLIFE Egyptians believed the land was intimately tied to their salvation o Fear of dying outside of Egypt’s borders Believed afterlife was similar to Earth; more optimistic view than Sumerians If the dead could navigate the obstacles of the Underworld (called Duat), they would be judged by the “weighing of the heart” ritual by Osiris and Maat The dead would swear that they had not committed any sins from a list of 42 If you passed you go to the afterlife and if you failed you were eaten by Ammit (part crocodile, part lion and part hippo) and you would cease to exist PHILOSOPHY: Credited by Greeks as being the first Philosophers Concerned with proper conduct and justice o Goddess Maat was the goddess of justice, and there was a code that concerned proper conduct, justice and law that was held to by Egyptian society CHARACTERISTICS OF PHILOSOPHY: Flexibility: Pluralistic, offered several explanations for things that were considered equally true Pragmatism: considered real life situations without abstractions Emotion: advised against, giving into momentary feelings. The “silent man” was ideal philosophical state, including thinking before acting. Impulsivity was less virtuous. o Maat: The ancient Egyptian concept of truth, balance, order, harmony, law, morality and justice o Personified as goddess of the same name (Maat means all those things listed about in Egyptian) o Represents ethical and moral principal that every Egyptian should follow o The citizens were expected to act with honor and truth in all manners o The Philosophy became the basis of law o Developed to embrace all aspects of existence MODES OF REFLECTION Canon of proportions: A grid or measuring system that was used to determine how to draw/sculpt the human body accurately Frontality: o An artistic technique where subjects are depicted in their most characteristic angle (the technique most often used by ancient Egyptian artists) o Style of art used to draw the best while remaining proportionate (truth of the individual objects instead of the truth of the overall image) VISUAL ART VISUAL ART FROM THE OLD KINGDOM Pyramids of Djoser, The Great Pyramids at Giza Statues: carved for funerary temple o Statues of the Pharaohs were generic, or symbolic to the position of the Pharaoh and true to the image of that office as opposed to being true to the image of the Pharaoh at the time o Portraits were not of an individual but of the concept of a divine power o Unified image of what the divine power looked like across time and across all of Egypt VISUAL ART FROM THE MIDDLE KINGDOM Tombs were later carved out of rock with gates (these tombs were much less expensive than the Pyramids, and were more secure against grave robbers) Block Statues: Usually male, private individuals (not kings or gods) o Usually positioned in the ritual places as guardians or gatekeepers VISUAL ART FROM THE NEW KINGDOM Bust of Nefertiti: More personalized statue, used color, softer, unfinished Mortuary tombs: were all carved out of the living rock (where the rock was found, no rocks were transported); used for worship during the Pharaoh’s life and then was their tomb after their death LITERATURE: The Book of the Dead: A narrative book of protections spells; could be commissioned but was very expensive; about half a year’s wages for a common person, prepared by scribes for funerals Used spells for protection, preservation, identification, knowledge, description, control, power Narrative (like Gilgamesh) as a poem of their journey through the afterlife