Tag Archives: herodotus

Minos Family Feud, Round 2! (By Connor)

            Yesterday Cretan diva Ariadne, daughter of King Minos, was seen jet-setting away from her island estate with none other than the athletic Athenian heartthrob Theseus. Ariadne must really be mad at her dear daddy for running away with the Athenian star of the hit reality show “The Labyrinth”, and son of King Aegeus. It seems like only yesterday that Theseus upset the Minoan favourite Minotaur, in the mind-twisting labyrinth to win the coveted crown (with a little help on the side *wink*), but it didn’t take him too long to move on to his next prize, Ariadne.

            Now the question that’s on everybody’s mind is how Minos is reacting to yet another family fiasco! It wasn’t too long ago that his wife, Pasiphae, had an affair with the hunky, “bull-of-a-man” Channing Tatum. Not to mention the shocking death of his son Adrogeus at the Panathenaic games! The family man image doesn’t seem to work so well without the family part… tough luck for Minos. The King of Minoan civilization himself, has been unable to comment seeing as he has been hiding in meetings with The Labyrinth’s producer Daedalus all week, however we can assume that he is going bananas!

            Rumours are also circulating that the Athenian heartthrob was just using Ariadne to help win the show! Is Theseus that cold-hearted? For Ariadne’s sake lets hope not because there is no turning back to Crete now. That’s right honey it’s full-steam ahead, but if Kim Kardashian can set a precedent, it’s that you can be out of this in a month! That’s all the info I got folks, but don’t worry because this bubbling blogger will keep all of you Mycenaean and Minoan gossipers updated as this classic clash unfolds.

XOXO – Herodotus (father of history and Greek gossip)

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Seminar: An Introduction to the Classical World

Discussion Question 1: What comes to mind when you think of the word “classical”?

Classical Periods:

  • Greece: Athens, 600-400 BCE
  • Rome: Roman Empire, 100 BCE – 14 CE

Discussion Question 2: How do we study Classical Civilizations?

History: The Greeks were the first to attempt to record history.

Herodotus (484 – 425 BCE): “The Father of History” – attempted to record events and human actions for the sole purpose of preserving them for future generations.

  • Wrote Histories (450’s 420’s BCE) – 9 books about the events and causes of the Greco-Persian wars and other conflicts
  • Criticized for including myths, folk legends, and outrageous tales

Thucydides (460 – 395 BCE) Wrote a History of the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BCE), the first attempt to present history in an “objective” way, and to make correlations between cause and effect and observations about human behaviour and its relation to events

  • Placed value on eyewitness testimony (he was a soldier in the Peloponnesian war and survived the Athenian plague), and did not write about divine intervention in human affairs

Discussion Question 3: Fox focuses on three main THEMES: Freedom, Justice, and Luxury. Why do you think Fox chooses these themes? (See Fox page 7-9)

 

The Homeric Epic (Fox p. 13-23)

-An epic is a long work of heroic poetry that succeeded in becoming traditional, helped to establish a sense of national identity, and reinforced accepted values. Recited orally,  they would take 2-3 days to recite.

-Homer lived in 8th C. BCE but his major works (The Iliad, The Odyssey) are about the Bronze Age, “The Age of Heroes,” (c. 1100 BCE) and they are not factual histories.

Discussion Question 4: Why are the Homeric epics useful for learning about Greek Civilization even though we know they are not factual?

 

Values in the Homeric epics include:

  • Courage in battle and noble conduct
  • Physical strength and beauty
  • Loyalty
  • Hospitality between equals – Xenia
  • Rigid social order
  • Wit and cleverness in speech and actions
  • Religious devoutness and loyalty to the Gods
  • Luxury – ornate palaces, precious clothes and adornments
  • Love between men (Achilles and Patroclus) and heterosexual love (Penelope and Odysseus)
  • Freedom from enslavement to a foreign power
  • Justice – human and divine (theodicy)

Discussion Question 5: Think about the values evident in works written about our society. Do you think humanity is mostly the same, or have we changed significantly since ancient Greece?

 

 

Works Cited

Cahill, Thomas. Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter. New York: Anchor Books,             2004.

Cantor, Norman F. Antiquity: The Civilization of the Ancient World. New York: HarperCollins,              2003.

“History of Greece: Introduction.” Ancient-Greece.org. N.p., June 2007. Web. 21 June 2012.             <http://www.ancient-greece.org/history/intro.html&gt;.

Lane Fox, Robin. The Classical World: an Epic History of Greece and Rome. London: Penguin             Books, 2005.

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