Ancient Greece Notes Oct. 13,15
Ancient Greece Notes Oct. 13,15 REL 301
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Greek Religion 101315 The Gods and Godesses A Greek deity is identified by a name in three parts individual name such as Poseidon functional epithet such as Soter and cut toponym such as Sounion This is more familiar with Athena PoliasParthenos at Athens The family structure of the Twelve Olymian deities is artificial Herodotus says that Hesiod and Homer created a divine genealogy gave the gods epithets and distributed to them their offices They are arranged into ouranic sky and chthonic earth deities Athena Parthenos in the Celia of the Parthenon at Athens Athena is 10 m high with a statue of Nike held in her right hand Beneath her left hand is her shield inside of which is a large gold snake associated with the cult of Eretheus Homeric Hymns The hymns are thirtythree anonymous poems celebrating individual gods The hymns are Homeric in the sense that they employ the same epic meter dactylic hexameter as the Iliad and Odyssey use many similar formulas and are couched in the same dialect Most were composed in the seventh and sixth centuries with a few Hellenistic additions Some are brief and other as long as 500Hnes Most of the major gods of Greek mythology are praised The shorter ones may have served as preludes to the recitation of epic verse at festivals by professional singers The Greek of Pantheon The principal Greek gods were the Olympians residing on Mount Olympus under the eye of Zeus The limitation of their number to 12 seems to have been a comparatively modern idea Besides the Olympians the Greeks worshipped various gods of the countryside the satyrgod Pan Nymphs spirits of rivers Naiads who dwelled in springs Dryads who were spirits of the trees Nereids who inhabited the sea river gods Satyrs and others In addition there were the dark powers of the underworld such as the Erinyes or Furies said to pursue those guilty of crimes against bloodrelatives Cape Sunion and Athens Cape Sunion is a promontory located 69 km 43 mi SSE of Athens at the southernmost tip of the Attica peninsula The god Poseidon was the patron of sailors rounding the cape to Athens The original archaic temple to Poseidon was destroyed by the Persians in 480 BC The Athenians celebrated a quadrennial festival at Sounion which involved Athens leaders sailing to the cape in a sacred boat Greece Myths and the Near East Walter Burkert s The Orientalizing Revolution Near Eastern influence on Greek Culture in the Archaic Age Harvard 1998 exposed that the Greek miracle was influenced by the Near East by literary comparisons and philology He shows the Greek world was penetrated by Near Eastern craftsmen seershealers workers in the sacred and poetssingers The Mesopotamian Gilgamesh Epic and Enuma Elish were influential on Hesiod s Theogony helping us better understand the world of Archaic Greece was not isolated Heroes and Heroines The Greek hero Heracles received on Mount Olympus by a winged Nike Victory and escorted by a scepter and thunderbolt bearing Zeus Drawing of a RedFigure Athenian Amphora Date 476450 Problems with the Pantheon The problem is that gods looked like human and even worse behaved like them Robert Parker The Attempt to confer logical coherence on Polytheism is a hopeless enterprise On Greek Religion 2011 84 Prayers were made to a particular god eg Athena not to the gods The preference for an anonymous form of expression God become pronounced in the late sixth and fifth centuries The debate on Polytheism versus monotheism in the 19th century was anachronistic But Greeks did not think of gods as a collectivity of individual wills The Fundamentals Temples Altars Themenos Priests and Preistesses Sacred Days and Festivals Temples Temple of Apollo in Old Corinth o By 700 BC there are over 70 places of worship in Greek Poleis nearly half of which possess temples Most have disappeared but Temple of Olympion Zeus at Athens 0 A colossal ruined temple in the center of Athens that was dedicated to Zeus king of the Olympian gods Construction began in the 6th century BC during the rule of the Athenian tyrant who envisaged building the greatest temple in the ancient world but it was not completed until the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century AD some 648 years after the project had begun During the roman period it was renowned as the largest temple in Greece and housed one of the largest cult statues in the ancient world Paestum in Bay of Naples Italy 0 Founded around the en dog 7th century BCE by colonists from the Greek city of Sybaris and originally known as Poseidonia Sybaris was founded in 720 BCE by colonists from by Achaeans and Troezenians from the Peloponnesus Greek Colony at Cyrene Libya 0 Founded in 630 BC 0 Temple of Apollo constructed as early as 7th century BC Greek Altars The altar was central a rectangle made of stone or marble inscribed with the name of the deity It was an openair altar visible to the heavens not inside a covered building for receiving the offerings animal sacrifices and liquid libations It was positioned to the east with the priest on the western side Temenos The sacred area heron around the altar and temple was enclosed by a mudbrick or stone wall or fence peribolos sometimes with corner boundary stones horOI This boundary temnein to enclose was not to be violated or polluted by sexual intercourse defecation death or childbirth Dedications and valuable votive offerings were housed within the precinct and theft was considered a major crime 0 O O Priests and Priestesses Jacob Burckhart once claimed the Greeks were a world of paymentthey simply did not know what a priest was But the preisthoods were dominated by a social elite and not open for anyone appointees and servants of the people The priest hierus was normally an aristocratic member of one of the founding families There were no priestly colleges like Rome Their responsibility was to manage the hiera the offerings sacrifices and the sanctuary precinct ie they served the god not the worshippers Sacred Days and Festivals There were days in honor of the gods and an annual festival They were characterized by simple prayers hymns and processions followed by sacrifices goats or sheep and offerings to the gods The grand climax was the sharing of the remainder of the sacrifices in a grand feast for family and friends The Enigmas of Greek Religion The Greeks lack a sacred book and divine revelation bn Khaldun observed those religious without a book outnumber the people of a Book The Muqqadimah 20054748 There is no professional priestly class that interprets sacred texts What then is the basis for Greek sacrifice dedications processions festivals and other aspects of Greek worship Greek Sacred Books How would the Greeks know what is pious or impious pleasing or unpeasing to the gods The Greeks had myths Homer and Hesiod cited as authoritative Hesiod s Theogony and the Homeric Hymns are the first evidence of written religious texts Herodotus preserves sightings of the supernatural and gods In the third century BC the Greeks collected the miracles stories of their gods The epiphanies of Apollo etc Individuals and Ethics There was limited interest by the Greek gods in human ethical behavior The primary offense to the gods was murder or homicide These were death with by courts of the citizens as the concern was the pollution of the city Of secondary concern of the gods were mistreatment of parents and foreign envoys xenon In the fourth century legal cases death with theft bribery extortion violation of contracts but the gods were not involved Society and Slavery Domestic slaves appear in literature from Homer in the archaic period to Xenophon and afterwards in classical times but Homer said man loses his selfhood by slavery ll 6463 Aristotle in contrast developed the idea of natural slavery Greeks should not enslave fellowGreeks but only barbarians Pol1 Periander of Corinth legislated against slavery and Solon s reforms included the ransoming Types of Slavery Agricultural never developed extensively in ancient Greece The dependent farmers are known as penestai in Thessaly helots in Sparta and mnoitai and klarotai in Crete They are better designated serfs than slaves They are probably limited to several per farm Large slave holdings are rare and after the archaic period Debt slavery Many were enslaved because of debt Debt bondsmen forfeited liberty to work off debt and then could return to freedom The extent of slavery Industrial slavery was limited and rare Workships in Greece were small dozens not hundred The most brutal slavery was in mining at Laurium where Nicias made a fortune by hiring slaves but this is the classical period when mines were stateowned The source of the most slaves was the area of the Black Sea Estimates of slaves in archaic Greece generally unreliable and too large some suggest 80100000 at Athens in late 5th century but this is about 14 of population 0 Probably not this many slaves Slavery and Society No Greek abolitionists or any moralizing over the question by philosophers For Aristotle slaves are merely nonGreek instruments Marxists have made this phenomenon a political question but there are no slave revolts in the Classical Greek World Slaves are passive in archaic and classical Greece no evidence of social upheaval The Afterlife The picture of the underworld was one of a mass of insubstantial souls fluttering around with only heroes restored to consciousness and eternal punishment for the wicked Punishment for wrongs fell on the guilty in this life or upon the family and descendants of the sinner Greek tombstones provide the name and a patronym of the deceased and may celebrate their virtues or innocence Mainstream Greek religion offered little in terms of an afterlife The glimpses of any hope for the afterlife are few and on the margins existing for a minority 1 Eleusinian Mysteries 0 Eleusis is situated in the fertile plain of Thira about 14 miles west of Athens opposite the island of Salamis Location of the Eleusinian Mysteries or the Mysteries of Demeter and Kore These mysteries revolved around a belief that there was a hope for life after death but only for those who were initiated The central myth of the mysteries was Demeter s quest for her lost daughter Kore or Persephone who had been abducted by Hades At Eleusis king Keleos and his queen Metaneira found her and took her to their palace to nurse her When Demeter found Kore she instructed Queen Meteneira to build a temple for her where she sat waiting for the world to pray to Zeus to make the world provide food again by the agricultural god Triptolemos The Eleusinian mysteries and cult of Demeter were based on Persephone giving Triptolemos the king s son the first wealth grain and sowing him how to plant in order to harvest crops This belief was cultivated by an introduction ceremony in which hopeful initiates were shown a number of things including the seed of life in a stalk of grain The hymn of Demeter composed about 600 BC provides the foundation myth later shaped for all Greeks The emphasis is the fertility of crops and the welfare of the dead in the afterlife o The Elusinian Mystery rites remain unknown the punishment for revealing mysteries was death 0 But some of the rites were visible and known at least in outline 1 There was a procession to the seacoast at Phaleron where the initiates bathed piglets in the water that they brought with them 2 Piglets were then sacrificed at the altar of Elusia in Athens 3 The procession from Athens to Elusis by the sponsors priests and initiates barefoot and wearing wreathes of myrtle leaves followed by two days of secret rites We don t know what goes on during these days 2 Orphic Gold Tablets 0 In 1879 excavation in Thurii revealed inscribed tablets of gold metal leaves in fourth century BC burials They subsequently have been found elsewhere in southern Italy Rome and Hipponium Thessaly and Macedonia in Greece and Crete 0 They were placed on or near the body as a phylactery or rolled and inserted into a capsule often worn around the neck as an amulet They were the passports of the dead 0 The inscription instructs the initiate on how to navigate the afterlife including directions on how to navigate the afterlife including directions for avoiding hazards in the landscape of the dead and formulaic responses to the underworld judges Who was Orpheus Mythical poet who descended into Hades and returned Orphics also revered Persephone who annually descended into Hades for a season and then returned and Dionysus or Bacchus who also descended into Hades and returned Orpheus was said to have invented the mystery of Dionysus Myths based on sacred writings about the origin of gods and human beings Human souls were characterized as divine and immortal but doomed to live for a period in a grievous circle of successive bodily lives through metempsychosis or the transmigration of souls The Orphic Corpus 38 texts range in date from 4th century BC to the second century AD They consist of various types and shapes The Italian scholar Dominick Comparetti initially associated them with the initiates into Orphic Mysteries JHS 3 1882 11118 and the Spanish scholar Alberto Bernabe 2008 also argued that they were produced by a united Orphic tradition They confirm the eschatological hopes of the initiates of the Dionysos Bacchus tradition go back to at least the fourth century BC if not earlier Where did this begin No one knows for sure but general assumption goes back to Pythagoras Pythagoras of Samos c 57 495 BC The Founder of Orphism Pythagoras was an lonian philosopher and mathematician who visited Egyptand Greecea nd around 530 BC he moved to Croton in Magma Graecia and there established a philosophical school and movement called Pythagoreanism Pythagoras claimed he had lived four previous lives that he could remember in detail one of which was as a beautiful courtesan He also claimed he heard the cry of his dead friend in the bark of a dog Croton was a neighbor of Thurii and it is thought that Pythagoras was the shaper of Orphic philosophy The Deverni Papyrus A papyrus roll was discovered in 1962 at Deverni in Macedonia which preservers a philosophical treatise that is an allegorical commentary on an Orphic poem composed ca 350 BC The charred scroll was found in ashes atop the slabs of the tomb a nobleman s grave in the necropolis of the ancient city of Lete It describes a theogony concerning the birth of the gods produced in the circle of the philosopher Anaxagoras in the fifth century Richard Janko 2005 considers it the most important new piece of evidence about Greek philosophy and religion to come to light since the Renaissance The fragments pieced together from 26 columns of text The text is a commentary on a hexameter poem ascribed to Orpheus The poem begins with the words close the doors you uninitiated the famous admonition to security It also revealed the surprising fact that a total of 113 pieces some of them as large as a third of a column in width were still unplaced Richard Janko working on Deverni Papyrus Janko used specialized software for the interpretation of CT scans ion order to view the images on pages of ancient texts that are either stuck together or rolled up and cannot be separated without destroying the objects Two pieces were selected for the expedient a fragment of a papyrus roll and the spine of a parchment codex from the 15th century which consisted of several layers of the parchment glued tightly together Advantage of digital unrolling won t have to decipher what is a crack and what is a letter Trade and Commerce 101515 Theories of Trade and Commerce in the Archaic Period 1 The Primitivist Theory Trade was lowlevel and on a subsistence and local level not characterized by the widespread interdependent markets J Hasebroek 1933 K Polyani 1957 M Finley 1973 2 The Modernist View Emphasizes the interdependence of urban centers and emporia dealing with surplus production in exchanges R Osborne 1995 DW Tandy 1997 A Bresson 2000 The Nature of Trade in the Archaic Period 1 Trade was a minimal part of the Greek economy in the Archaic Age It is estimated that only 2 of the population was involved in commerce but this is true of most preindustrial economies 2 The Homeric epics tend to obscure the identify of these traders who are primarily aristoi elite individuals 3 WHO were these elite traders Evidence for Commerce in Archaic Greece 1 The Archaeological evidence Lefkandi and elsewhere in Greece 2 The literary evidence Homer Hesiod the Lyric Poets 3 Attic Pottery Workshops Toumba Cemetery at Lefkandi Excavations of Tomb 79 at Leftandi The cremated remains of an individual had been placed in a bronze hemispherical cauldron with handles and lead and placed together with some offerings in a niche cut into the side of a shaft rather than the floor The use of a cauldron for burial is unparalleled in Greece After the burial the ashes of the pyre and other offerings were placed into the shaft mainly vases but also an iron sword and a spearhead with tangled arrowheads of varying sizes some fused into masses and two knives The Date of Tomb 79 The burial is dated firmly to SubProtoGeometric ll period by two Attic oenoche EGll This suggests a date in the early 9th century BC There is no sign of burning so they may be postcremation offerings Near Eastern Balance Weights A series of 12 badly burnt stone weights were also inserted into the niche along with four more of similar shape found in the fill The weights reprint the major standards of the Phoenician ports the Babylonian standard of 84 g used for shekels the Syrian standard of 94 g and the Palestinian standard of 104 g They also represent the only balance weights that survive in Aegean Greece between 1200 and 500 BC The Fill of the Grave In the fill of the tomb was a Syrian cylinder seal belonging to a class known from ca 1800 BC Parts of two Phoenician nichrome jugs one with a long ridged neck typical of Phoenicia These were also fragments of 3 small Cypriot jugs Two monumental craters with stands similar to those in the early Heroon burials A wide array of things some things from Syria some things ocay Who is Buried in Grave 79 1 A Euboean WarriorTrader Popham and Lemnos 1995 based off of the weapons and trading material 2 A Phoenician Trader John Papadoupolos 1997 because of eastern things in the tomb 3 A proxenos resident at Lefkandi acting in behalf of Near Eastern merchants Carla Antonachhio 2002 Person who acts on behalf of the foreigners facilitating trade with neareastern merchants A pirate trader Nino Larachi 2006 2 The Homeric Epics The epics refer to many luxury items fine dyed textile and metal works cauldrons mixing bowls tripods How did they get into the Aegean world The Phoenicians are always in the horizon or context llliad 971 72 Ody 4615619 The standard word used for a trader in Homer is emporos but used for a traveler on board another s ship Phoenicians sell trhinklets on a Syrian island Ody 8162 and look for a buyer in Ithaca for the local Prince Eumaeus 15483 Phoenicians in Archaic Greece There is evidence for resident Phoenician craftsmen in Greece is especially strong for Cos Rhodes Crete and perhaps Ephesus Coldstream 1982 26826 Geometric jewelry at Athens Corinth and Eretria has a strong Phoenician character suggesting the presence of master Phoenician jewelers Coldstream suggests mixed marriages explain the adaptation of Eastern styles and techniques to local Greek tastes and traditions Implication that presence of Phoenician jewelry must be the work of a Phoenician jeweler in the Greek world Hesiod s Work and Days Hesiod is full of advice on trade don t put too much cargo in your wagon the axle may break and you lose you freight 6923 Don t put all your merchandise on a ship keep most of it at home Praise a small boat but put your cargo on a big one The destination is not mentioned what is being put on ships or who is manning them The Lyric Poets ALCAEUS of Mytilene is clearly a sailor who traded wine at Naukratis in Egypt fr 208 SAPPHO of LESBOS mentions her brother Charaxus was also trading at Naukratis Hdt II 136 and uses nautical language and has a husband who is trading at Andros SOLON of ATHENS traveled among emporia AP 111 DEMARATUS of CORINTH the Bacchiad tyrant was the father of Traquinius Priscus of Etruria and a trader DionyHal Evidence of individuals who could write and were also engaged in trade gt elites who were operating as traders not average individuals Pedon of Priene Mercenary to the Egyptian Pharaoh Psammetichus II He oft inscription on sa statue he brought home to Greece Pedon son of Amphinneus dedicated me havingcarreid me from Egypt to whom the Egyptian King Psammetichus gave as rewards gold bracelets and a city for his fine performance The find of some horse equipment in Etruria and Samos bearing the name of Hazael of Damascus king of Damascus suggest that they were booty from the Assyrian siege of the city in 732 BC subsequently acquired by some Greeks who took them westward Indicates Greeks present and movement spreading across ancient world 808 Amphora 630 BC Large storage 808 Amphora used to transport olive oil they were produced in Attica from later part of the 8th into the first half to eh 6th century The name comes from a squiggly 808 on the neck over 100 examples are known The definition of SOS labels is unknown Many graffiti on the pots have a variety of names Found particularly in Greece Sicily throughout Italy and Etruscia and Spain But absence in large parts of Greece Asia Minor Crete and North Africa Indication is that large quantities of olive oil was being shipped to particular markets rest of Greece didn t need it because they had olive oil Sostratus and The 08 Amphora The discovery at Gravisca the port of Tarquinia of a fragment of an anchor inscribed I am of Aeginetan Apollo Sostratus made me the son of suggested this may be the clue to the meaning of SOS As a result the Attic pots with the potmark 808 were initially associated with this Sostratus but this seems unlikely now But the connections of the Aegean with Etruscan Area in Italy seem firmly established now Greeks operating in the Magna Grecia world in the west as traders The Nikothenic Workship at Athens During the last half of the 6th century the workshop Nikosthenes at Athens produced a large quantity of blackfigured pottery Of the workshop s pots of known provenance more than 96 are from the Etruscan area of Italy The shapes imitated those of Etruscan bucchero pottery At Cerveteri most of about 100 Nikosthenic amphorae are known Certain communities had certain interests in certain kinds of pots At Vulci and Orvieto most of about 400 Nikosthenic small kyathoi are known smaller drinking vessels The workshop obviously tailored and geared its production for a particular foreign market Against the primitivist view of the economy there is an international world that the Greeks are involved in they have interdependent markets What did Etruscans provide to Greeks in exchange for pots More sophisticated economy than Finley and comrades had previously supposed No one today would probably argue the primitivist view
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