1-Greek Inheritance.ppt

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Greek Culture, Classical Culture, Classicism,
  Greek Inheritance — Overview of Greek Culture ã  Arête — The Quest for Excellence ã Greek Conception of Perfection ã From Myth to Philosophy ã Birth of Drama ã Chronology  Arête  — The Quest of Excellence ã Evolution of  Arête —   ―excellence,‖  – Excellence in battle —Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey  – Excellence in public speaking —Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey  – Excellence in public speaking & argumentation — Sophists in 5 th  century BCE  – Excellence in the sense of moral behavior (virtue) — Socrates  – Excellence in the sense of moral virtue — Greek translation of Bible (1 st  century CE) ãHomer’s  Arête  (800-500 BCE)  –Man’s life was spent earning glory and the recognition of his fellow warriors— aristocratic code of life  – His arête consisted of battle skills — spears, sword, horsemanship, hand-to-hand combat  – His arête   fame & glory for his victories in battle== kudos    – Great kudos led to honor and recognition in memory of future generations== time’     –In war, council of Greek warriors would award ―war prizes‖ to those warriors who excelled in battle ã Iliad —  Achilles awarded a concubine (female slave) as recognition of his kudos   ãValue of war prize was a measure of the warrior’s time’    ã  Arete after Homer (after 500 BCE)  –  Arête   becomes synonymous with ―skill‖ and with ―virtue‖    –  Arête of a pottery painter, sculptor, athlete, playwright, no longer just a warrior  – Socrates, Plato and Aristotle use arête  to mean the moral virtue inherent in a rightly educated person  Greek Conception of Perfection ã Greeks always assumed that perfection was possible, even if unlikely ã What was around us on earth was just an imperfect copy of a perfect model that existed somewhere beyond our world  – Men look different from one another because each of us is an imperfect copy/imitation of the perfect from of a male  – Greek sculptors intended to create the perfect human form — a virile, young, muscular male--- Polycleitus’ Spear Bearer    ã Not interested in sculpting a particular person (just a copy of perfect form of male), but in sculpting the perfect human (male) form ã Sculpture of females were always fully clothed because female form was inferior to that of male form — reflected patriarchal values of Greek society Woman was an ―unfinished man‖ ã  Aristotle wrote Poetics in which he described the elements of a perfect Greek tragedy  – Defined the elements that must be included in the perfectly constructed drama  –  Admitted that no Greek tragedy included all the elements he defined, but did not doubt that it was possible to write the perfect dramatic tragedy
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