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					European Culture
  An Introduction
   Introduction to the course
• I. Arrangement of contents
• The teaching materials are sequentially
  arranged. There are ten divisions altogether. In
  the first division, we talk about Greek Culture
  and Roman Culture; in division two, the Bible
  and Christianity; in the third division, the Middle
  Ages; in the fourth one, Renaissance and
  Reformation; in the fifth division, the 17th
  Century; and then the rest divisions are the Age
  of Enlightenment, Romanticism, Marxism and
  Darwinism, Realism and Modernism and Other
      II. Two Major Elements in
           European Culture
• Two of the elements which have gone
  through changes over the centuries are
  considered to be more enduring and they
  are: the Greco-Roman element and the
  Judeo-Christian element.
    Division One Greek Culture and
            Roman Culture
•   I Greek Culture
•   1. The historical context
•   2. Social and political structure
•   3. Literature
•   4. History
•   5. Philosophy
•   6. Science
•   7.Art, Architecture, Sculpture and Pottery
•   8. Impact
     1. The historical context
• a. Trojan War: 1200B.C.
• b. Persian invasion: 5th century B.C.
• c. Civil War between Athens and Sparta:
  at the end of the 5th century B.C.
• d. Spread of Greek Culture: Alexander,
  King of Macedon, the second half of the
  4th century.
• e. Roman conquering Greece: in 146 B.C.
 2. Social and political structure
• Athens was a democracy which means “exercise
  of power by the whole people.” By “the whole
  people” the Greeks meant only the adult male
  citizens, and citizenship was a set of rights
  which a man inherited from his father. Women,
  children, foreigners and slaves had no rights.
  The economy of Athens rested on an immense
  amount of labor of slaves who worked on farms
  and in workshops and mines. The Olympic
  Games were held every four years on Olympus
  Mount. It was later revived in 1896.
                3. Literature
• a. Homer’s epics: the Iliad & the Odyssey
• The Iliad deals with the alliance of the states of
  the southern mainland of Greece, led by
  Agamemnon in their war against the city of Troy.
• The Odyssey deals with the return of Odysseys
  after the Trojan war to his home island of Ithaca.
  It describes many adventures he ran into on his
  long sea voyage and how finally he was reunited
  with his faithful wife Penelope.
  b. Lyric poetry: Sappho & Pindar
• Sappho is noted for her love poems of
  passionate intensity.
• Pindar is best known for his odes
  celebrating the victories at eh athletic
  games, such as the 14 Olympian odes.
  John Dryden, a 17th century English poet,
  imitated Pindar.
                   c. Drama
• 1) Tragedy
• Aeschylus(525-456B.C.): Prometheus Bound,
  Persians, and Agamemnon were written in verse.
  Aeschylus is noted for his vivid character
  portrayal and majestic poetry.
• Sophocles(496-406B.C.): Oedipus the King,
  Electra and Antigone contributed greatly to tragic
  art. He added a third actor and decreased the
  size of the chorus.
• Euripides(484-406B.C.): Andromache, Medea,
  and Trojan Women in which characters are less
  heroic, more like ordinary people.
• 2) Comedy
• Aristophanes (about 450-380B.C.): Frogs,
  Clouds, Wasps, and Birds are loose in plot
  and satirical in tone, full of clever parody
  and acute criticism. Coarse language is a
  striking feature of Aristophanes.
                  4. History
• a. Herodotus (484-430 B.C.): “Father of History”,
  wrote about the wars between Greeks and
  Persians. His history is full of anecdotes and
  digressions and lively dialogue, but not always
• b. Thucydides (about 460-404B.C.): more
  accurate as an historian who told about the war
  between Athens and Sparta and between
  Athens and Syracuse, a Greek state on the
  island of Sicily. He wrote with imagination and
            5. Philosophy
• a. Pythagoras (about 580-500B.C.): the
  founder of scientific mathematics,
  believing all things were numbers. He put
  forward the abstract conceptions
  underlying mathematics—point, line,
  magnitude, surface, body—and the first
  theory of proportion.
• b. Heracleitue (about 540-480B.C.): the early
  exponent of materialism, believing fire to be the
  primary element of the universe, out of which
  everything else had arisen, putting forward the
  theory of the mingling of opposites, and
  believing it was the strife between the opposites
  that produced harmony. “All is flux, nothing is
• c. Democritus (about 460-370B.C.): one of the
  earliest exponents of the atomic theory and
  philosophical materialists, believing the atomic
  structure of matter.
• d. Socrates(about 470-399B.C.): known
  through the famous Dialogues compiled by his
  student Plato, ready to discuss anything in
  heaven and earth, specializing in exposing
  fallacies, using the method of argument which,
  by questions and answers, has come to be
  known as the dialectical method.
• e. Plato (about 428-348B.C.): Dialogues, a brilliant
    stylist writing with wit and grace. Shelley said: “Plato
    was essentially a poet—the truth and splendor of his
    imagery, and the melody of his language, are the most
    intense that it is possible to conceive.” After Socrates
    was put to death, he went traveling abroad for 12
    years, returning to Athens and buying a house and
    garden in a public park called the Academy where he
    studied and lectured on philosophy, mathematics and
    astronomy. Then he became tutor of the king’s son
    trying to turn him into “a philosophical king”.
• Dialogues, of which 27 have survived, includes
  The Apology (Socrates’ defense of himself at
  the trial), Symposium (dealing with beauty and
  love), and the Republic (about the ideal state
  ruled by a philosopher but barring poets)
• Plato’s Idealism theory: He built up a
  comprehensive system of philosophy dealing
  with, among other things, the problem of how,
  in the complex, ever-changing world, men were
  to attain knowledge. He believed men have
  knowledge because of the existence of certain
  general “ideas”, like beauty, truth, goodness.
  Only these “ideas” are completely real, while
  the physical world is only relatively real.
• f. Aristotle (384-322 B.C.): tutor of Alexander
  the Macedonian King, Retired to Athens to
  found his own school at the Lyceum and spent
  his last years in teaching and research. In
  Aristotle, the great humanist and the great
  man of science meet. On logic, moral
  philosophy, politics, metaphysics, psychology,
  physics, zoology, poetry, rhetoric, he wrote
  epoch-making works, which dominated
  European thought for more than a thousand
  years. Dante called him “the master of those
  who know”.
• His works: Ethics (an introduction to moral
  philosophy), Politics, Poetics (a treatise on
  literary theory), and Rhetoric (dealing with the
  art of persuading an audience).
• His philosophy: For one thing, Aristotle
  emphasized direct observation of nature and
  insisted that theory should follow fact. Again, he
  thought that “form” (=idea) and matter together
  made up concrete individual realities.
  Happiness is man’s aim in life. By happiness,
  he meant sth that could only be achieved by
  leading a life of reason, goodness and
g. Contending Schools of Thought:
•   the Sophists,
•   the Cynics,
•   the Sceptics,
•    the Epicureans
•    the Stoics.
             The Sophists:
• teachers of the art of arguing. The most
  eminent was Protagoras(普罗塔格拉斯)
  who wrote a book On the Gods and is
  chiefly noted for his doctrine that “man is
  the measure of all things.”
Four contending schools in the 4th
• The Cynics (犬儒派): getting their name
  because Diogenes, one of their leaders,
  who decided to live like a dog. The word
  “cynic” means “dog” in Greek.
• The Sceptics(怀疑派):with Pyrrhou as
  their leader, who held that not all
  knowledge was attainable, doubting the
  truth of what others accepted as true.
• The Epicureans(享乐派): disciples of Epicurus,
  who believed pleasure to be the highest good in
  life, but by pleasure he meant, not sensual
  enjoyment, but freedom from pain and emotional
• The Stoics(斯多葛派):believing the most
  important thing in life was “duty”. One should
  endure hardship and misfortune with courage.
  The chief stoic was Zeno (芝诺), a materialist,
  asserting the existence of the real world and
  believing there is no such thing as chance, the
  course of nature is rigidly determined by natural
                6. Science
• Many Greek philosophers were at the same time
  scientists. For example, Plato was a
  mathematician and Aristotle contributed to
  zoology and started methodical research
  patiently collecting material and laying massive
  foundations for modern science. Other scientist-
  philosophers like Democritus who put forward
  the first Atomic theory. After them, two men may
  be mentioned for what they did to push science
  forward, both lived in the 3rd century B.C.
•   a. Euclid(欧基里德): well-known for his
    Elements, a textbook of geometry which was in
    use in English schools until the early years of
    the 20th century.
•   b. Archimedes(阿基米德):contributing not
    only to geometry, but also in arithmetic,
    mechanics, and hydrostatics (流体静力学);
    discovering when a body is immersed in water,
    its loss of weight is equal to the water
    displaced; inventing machines which greatly
    helped his native city Syracuse against the
    Romans; “Give me a place to stand, and I will
    move the world.”—illustrating the principle of
    the lever.
 7. Art, Architecture, Sculpture and
• a. Art: a visual proof of Greek civilization. Greeks
  put in works of art the things they admired and
  worshipped, the scientific rules they discovered,
  and the stories they loved and believed.
• b. Architecture: Three styles of Greek
  architecture: The Doric style (also called the
  masculine style), the Ionic style (also called the
  feminine style) and a later style called the
  Corinthian style.
• The Doric style: sturdy, powerful, severelooking
  an showing a good sense of proportions and
  numbers, but monotonous and unadorned. The
  Ionic style: graceful and elegant, showing a
  wealth of ornament. The Corinthian style: known
  for its ornamental luxury.
• The Acropolis at Athens (437-432 B.C.) and
  Parthenon are the finest monument of Greek
  architecture and sculpture in more than 2000
  years. Parthenon(巴特农神殿): a great tourist
  attraction, is the most important temples the
  ancient Greeks built upon hills and the most
  perfect of all, 240 feet one ad n110 feet wide, a
  rectangle structure with evenly spaced lines of
  columns around.
• c. Sculpture: The earliest Greek sculptures
  were those of Gods, which are mostly stiff,
  lifeless wood carvings. Toward 7th century
  B.C. the size of the statues became bigger
  and life-size. The 5th century B.C. marked
  a development in sculpture. Before it,
  everything was stiff ad mechanical. In
  the5th century B.C. , the beauty of the
  internal structure of human bodies and
  mythological figures are well-observed and
  brought out. Examples:Discus Thrower(掷
  铁饼者) , Venus de Milo (断臂的维纳斯) ,
  Laocoon group
    8. Impact of Greek culture
• a. spirit of innovation
• b. supreme achievement
• c. lasting effect
       II. Greek Mythology
             1. INTRODUCTION
• Greek Mythology, set of diverse traditional tales told by
  the ancient Greeks about the exploits of gods and
  heroes and their relations with ordinary mortals.

• The ancient Greeks worshiped many gods within a
  culture that tolerated diversity. Stories about the origins
  and actions of Greek divinities varied widely, depending,
  for example, on whether the tale appeared in a comedy,
  tragedy, or epic poem. Greek mythology was like a
  complex and rich language, in which the Greeks could
  express a vast range of perceptions about the world.

• A Greek city-state devoted itself to a particular god or
  group of gods in whose honor it built temples. The
  temple generally housed a statue of the god or gods.
• The Greek gods resembled human beings in
  their form and in their emotions, and they lived
  in a society that resembled human society in its
  levels of authority and power. However, a
  crucial difference existed between gods and
  human beings: Humans died, and gods were
  immortal. Heroes also played an important role
  in Greek mythology, and stories about them
  conveyed serious themes. The Greeks
  considered human heroes from the past closer
  to themselves than were the immortal gods.
                    a    Gods
• Given the multiplicity of myths that circulated in
  Greece, it is difficult to present a single version
  of the genealogy (family history) of the gods.
  However, two accounts together provide a
  genealogy that most ancient Greeks would
  have recognized. One is the account given by
  Greek poet Hesiod in his Theogony (Genealogy
  of the Gods), written in the 8th century bc. The
  other account, The Library, is attributed to a
  mythographer (compiler of myths) named
  Apollodorus, who lived during the 2nd century
                                   the Gods
       a1The Creation of creation, the god
    According to Greek myths about
    Chaos (Greek for “Gaping Void”) was the foundation
    of all things. From Chaos came Gaea (“Earth”); the
    bottomless depth of the underworld, known as
    Tartarus; and Eros (“Love”). Eros, the god of love, was
    needed to draw divinities together so they might
    produce offspring. Chaos produced Night, while Gaea
    first bore Uranus, the god of the heavens, and after
    him produced the mountains, sea, and gods known as
    Titans. The Titans were strong and large, and they
    committed arrogant deeds. The youngest and most
    important Titan was Cronus. Uranus and Gaea, who
    came to personify Heaven and Earth, also gave birth
    to the Cyclopes, one-eyed giants who made
              a2Cronus and Rhea
• Uranus tried to block any successors from taking
  over his supreme position by forcing back into Gaea
  the children she bore. But the youngest child,
  Cronus, thwarted his father, cutting off his genitals
  and tossing them into the sea. From the bloody foam
  in the sea Aphrodite, goddess of sexual love, was
  born. After wounding his father and taking away his
  power, Cronus became ruler of the universe. But
  Cronus, in turn, feared that his own son would
  supplant him. When his sister and wife Rhea gave
  birth to offspring—Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades,
  and Poseidon—Cronus swallowed them. Only the
  youngest, Zeus, escaped this fate, because Rhea
  tricked Cronus. She gave him a stone wrapped in
  swaddling clothes to swallow in place of the baby.
      a3Zeus and the Olympian Gods
• When fully grown, Zeus forced his father to disgorge the
  children he had swallowed. With their help and armed with the
  thunderbolt, Zeus made war on Cronus and the Titans, and
  overcame them. He established a new regime, based on Mount
  Olympus in northern Greece. Zeus ruled the sky. His brother
  Poseidon ruled the sea, and his brother Hades, the underworld.
  Their sister Hestia ruled the hearth, and Demeter took charge
  of the harvest. Zeus married his sister Hera, who became
  queen of the heavens and guardian of marriage and childbirth.
  Among their children was Ares, whose sphere of influence was
  war. Twelve major gods and goddesses had their homes on
  Mount Olympus and were known as the Olympians. Four
  children of Zeus and one child of Hera joined the Olympian
  gods Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Hades, Hestia, Demeter, and Ares.
  Zeus’s Olympian offspring were Apollo, Artemis, Hermes, and
  Athena. Hera gave birth to Hephaestus.
           a4The Offspring of Zeus
• Zeus had numerous children by both mortal and
  immortal women. By the mortal Semele he had
  Dionysus, a god associated with wine and with other
  forms of intoxication and ecstasy. By Leto, a Titan,
  Zeus fathered the twins Apollo and Artemis, who
  became two of the most important Olympian divinities.
  Artemis remained a virgin and took hunting as her
  special province. Apollo became associated with
  music and prophecy. People visited his oracle (shrine)
  at Delphi to seek his prophetic advice. By the nymph
  Maia, Zeus became father of Hermes, the Olympian
  trickster god who had the power to cross all kinds of
  boundaries. Hermes guided the souls of the dead
  down to the underworld, carried messages between
  gods and mortals, and wafted a magical sleep upon
  the wakeful.
• Two other Olympian divinities, Hephaestus and Athena, had
  unusual births. Hera conceived Hephaestus, the blacksmith god,
  without a male partner. Subsequently he suffered the wrath of
  Zeus, who once hurled him from Olympus for coming to the aid
  of his mother; this fall down onto the island of Lemnos crippled
  Hephaestus. The birth of Athena was even stranger. Zeus and
  Metis, daughter of the Titan Oceanus, were the parents of
  Athena. But Gaea had warned Zeus that, after giving birth to
  the girl with whom she was pregnant, Metis would bear a son
  destined to rule heaven. To avoid losing his throne to a son,
  Zeus swallowed Metis, just as Cronus had previously
  swallowed his own children to thwart succession. Metis’s child
  Athena was born from the head of Zeus, which Hephaestus
  split open with an axe. Athena, another virgin goddess,
  embodied the power of practical intelligence in warfare and
  crafts work. She also served as the protector of the city of
• Another of Zeus’s children was Persephone; her mother was
  Demeter, goddess of grain, vegetation, and the harvest. Once
  when Persephone was gathering flowers in a meadow, Hades,
  god of the underworld, saw and abducted her, taking her down
  to the kingdom of the dead to be his bride. Her grief-stricken
  mother wandered the world in search of her; as a result, fertility
  left the earth. Zeus commanded Hades to release Persephone,
  but Hades had cunningly given her a pomegranate seed to eat.
  Having consumed food from the underworld, Persephone was
  obliged to return below the earth for part of each year. Her
  return from the underworld each year meant the revival of
  nature and the beginning of spring. This myth was told
  especially in connection with the Eleusinian Mysteries, sacred
  rituals observed in the Greek town of Elevsís near Athens. The
  rituals offered initiates in the mysteries the hope of rebirth, just
  as Persephone had been reborn after her journey to the
            a5Disruptive Deities
• Human existence is characterized by disorder
  as well as order, and many of the most
  characteristic figures in Greek mythology exert
  a powerfully disruptive effect. Satyrs, whom the
  Greeks imagined as part human and part horse
  (or part goat), led lives dominated by wine and
  lust. Myths depicted them as companions of
  Dionysus who drunkenly pursued nymphs,
  spirits of nature represented as young and
  beautiful maidens. Many of the jugs used at
  Greek symposia (drinking parties) carry images
  of satyrs.
• Equally wild, but more threatening than the
  satyrs, were the savage centaurs. These
  monsters, depicted as half-man and half-horse,
  tended toward uncontrolled aggression. The
  centaurs are known for combat with their
  neighbors, the Lapiths, which resulted from an
  attempt to carry off the Lapith women at a
  wedding feast. This combat was depicted in
  sculpture on the Parthenon, a temple dedicated
  to Athena in Athens.
• The Sirens, usually portrayed as birds with
  women’s heads, posed a different sort of threat.
  These island-dwelling enchantresses lured
  mariners to their deaths by the irresistible
  beauty of their song. The seafaring Greek hero
  Odysseus alone survived this temptation by
  ordering his companions to block their own ears,
  to bind him to the mast of his ship, and to
  ignore all his entreaties to be allowed to follow
  the lure of the Sirens’ song.
                 b. Mortals
• The Greeks had several myths to account for
  the origins of humanity. According to one
  version, human beings sprang from the ground,
  and this origin explained their devotion to the
  land. According to another myth, a Titan
  molded the first human beings from clay. The
  Greeks also had a story about the destruction
  of humanity, similar to the biblical deluge.
 b1The Creation of Human Beings
• Conflicting Greek myths tell about the creation of
  humanity. Some myths recount how the populations of
  particular localities sprang directly from the earth. The
  Arcadians, residents of a region of Greece known as
  Arcadia, claimed this distinction for their original
  inhabitant, Pelasgus (see Pelasgians). The Thebans
  boasted descent from earthborn men who had sprung
  from the spot where Cadmus, the founder of Thebes,
  had sown the ground with the teeth of a sacred dragon.
  According to another tale, one of the Titans, Prometheus,
  fashioned the first human being from water and earth. In
  the more usual version of the story Prometheus did not
  actually create humanity but simply lent it assistance
  through the gift of fire.
         b2The Greek People
• According to myth, the various peoples of
  Greece descended from Hellen, son of
  Deucalion and Pyrrha. One genealogy related
  that the Dorian and the Aeolian Greeks sprang
  from Hellen’s sons Dorus and Aeolus. The
  Achaeans and Ionians descended from Achaeos
  and Ion, sons of Hellen’s other son, Xuthus.
  These figures, in their turn, produced offspring
  who, along with children born of unions between
  divinities and mortals, made up the collection of
  heroes and heroines whose exploits constitute a
  central part of Greek mythology.
• Myths about heroes are particularly characteristic of
  Greek mythology. Many of these heroes were the sons
  of gods, and a number of myths involved expeditions by
  these heroes. The expeditions generally related to
  quests or combats. Scholars consider some of these
  myths partly historical in nature—that is, they explained
  events in the distant past and were handed down orally
  from one generation to the next. Two of the most
  important of the semihistorical myths involve the search
  for the Golden Fleece and the quest that led to the
  Trojan War. In other myths heroes such as Heracles and
  Theseus had to overcome fearsome monsters.
      c1Jason and the Golden Fleece
• Jason was a hero who sailed in the ship Argo, with a band of
  heroes called the Argonauts, on a dangerous quest for the
  Golden Fleece at the eastern end of the Black Sea in the land
  of Colchis. Jason had to fetch this family property, a fleece
  made of gold from a winged ram, in order to regain his throne.
  A dragon that never slept guarded the fleece and made the
  mission nearly impossible. Thanks to the magical powers of
  Medea, daughter of the ruler of Colchis, Jason performed the
  impossible tasks necessary to win the fleece and to take it from
  the dragon. Afterward Medea took horrible revenge on Pelias,
  who had killed Jason’s parents, stolen Jason’s throne, and sent
  Jason on the quest for the fleece. She tricked Pelias’s
  daughters into cutting him up and boiling him in a cauldron.
  Medea’s story continued to involve horrific violence. When
  Jason rejected her for another woman, Medea once more used
  her magic to avenge herself with extreme cruelty.
                     C2. Meleager
• Jason and the same generation of heroes took part in another
  adventure, with Meleager, the son of King Oeneus of Calydon
  and his wife Althea. At Meleager’s birth the Fates predicted that
  he would die when a log burning on the hearth was completely
  consumed. His mother snatched the log and hid it in a chest.
  Meleager grew to manhood. One day, his father accidentally
  omitted Artemis, the goddess of the hunt, from a sacrifice. In
  revenge Artemis sent a mighty boar to ravage the country.
  Meleager set out to destroy it, accompanied by some of the
  greatest heroes of the day, including Peleus, Telamon,
  Theseus, Jason, and Castor and Polydeuces. The boar was
  killed. However, Meleager killed his mother’s brothers in a
  quarrel about who should receive the boar skin. In her anger
  Althea threw the log on to the fire, so ending her son’s life; she
  then hanged herself.
      C3. Heroes of the Trojan War
• The greatest expedition of all was that which resulted in the
  Trojan War. The object of this quest was Helen, a beautiful
  Greek woman who had been abducted by Paris, son of King
  Priam of Troy. Helen’s husband Menelaus and his brother
  Agamemnon led an army of Greeks to besiege Troy. After ten
  years, with many heroes dead on both sides, the city fell to the
  trick of the Trojan Horse—a giant wooden horse that the
  Greeks built and left outside the gates of Troy while their army
  pretended to withdraw. Not knowing that Greek heroes were
  hiding inside the horse, the Trojans took the horse into the city.
  The hidden Greeks then slipped out, opened the city gates and
  let their army in, thus defeating Troy. The Iliad, an epic poem
  attributed to Greek poet Homer, tells the story of the Trojan War.
  The story continued with the Odyssey, another long poem
  attributed to Homer, in which the Greek hero Odysseus made
  his way home after the Trojan War. Odysseus returned to his
  faithful wife, Penelope, whereas Agamemnon returned to be
  murdered by his faithless wife, Clytemnestra, and her lover.
      c4Heracles and Theseus
• Heracles had been an Argonaut but left the
  expedition after being plunged into grief at the
  loss of his companion Hylas. In another story, a
  fit of madness led Heracles to kill his own wife
  and children. But he is best known for his feats
  of prowess against beasts and monsters, which
  began soon after his birth. The most difficult of
  these feats are known as the 12 labors, which
  are believed to represent efforts to conquer
  death and achieve immortality. Although
  Heracles died, his father, Zeus, gave him a
  place on Mount Olympus
• Theseus successfully slew the Minotaur, a
  monster that was half man and half bull. On his
  voyage home to Athens, however, he forgot to
  hoist the white sails that would have signified
  the success of his adventure. According to one
  tale, Theseus’s heartbroken father Aegeus,
  seeing black sails, believed his son had died,
  and committed suicide. The Aegean Sea in
  which he drowned is presumably named after
• No hero of Greek mythology has proved more
  fascinating than Oedipus. He destroyed a monster, the
  Sphinx, by answering its riddle. Yet his ultimate downfall
  served as a terrifying warning of the instability of human
  fortune. As a baby, Oedipus had been abandoned on a
  mountainside by his parents, King Laius and Queen
  Jocasta of Thebes, because of a prophecy that the child
  would grow up to kill his father and marry his mother.
  Saved by the pity of a shepherd, the child—its identity
  unknown—was reared by the king and queen of the
  neighboring city of Corinth. In due course, Oedipus
  unwittingly fulfilled the prophecy, matching the horrific
  crimes he had committed with the equally ghastly self-
  punishment of piercing his own eyes with Jocasta’s
• a. Gods and Goddesses
• b. Heroes
         aGods and Goddesses
• In many respects the gods and goddesses of
  Greek mythology resembled extraordinarily
  powerful human beings. They experienced
  emotions such as jealousy, love, and grief, and
  they shared with humans a desire to assert
  their own authority and to punish anyone who
  flouted it. However, these emotions and desires
  took supernaturally intense form in gods and
  goddesses. As numerous literary descriptions
  and artistic representations testify, the Greeks
  imagined their gods to have human shape,
  although this form was strongly idealized.
• Greek mythology also told how divinities interacted
  with heroes, a category of mortals who, though dead,
  were believed to retain power to influence the lives of
  the living. In myths heroes represented a kind of
  bridge between gods and mortals. Heroes such as
  Achilles, Perseus, and Aeneas were the products of a
  union between a deity and a mortal. The fact that the
  gods often intervened to help heroes—for example,
  during combat—indicated not the heroes’ weakness
  but their special importance. Yet heroes were not the
  equals of the gods.
• Like most other mythological traditions,
  Greek myths served several purposes.
  First, Greek myths explained the world.
  Second, they acted as a means of
  exploration. Third, they provided authority
  and legitimacy. Finally, they provided
• Our knowledge of Greek mythology begins
  with the epic poems attributed to Homer,
  the Iliad and the Odyssey, which date from
  about the 8th century bc even though the
  stories they relate probably have their
  origins in events that occurred several
  centuries earlier. Scholars, however, know
  that the origins of Greek mythology reach
  even farther back than that.
 a. Origins of Greek Mythology
• Linguists (people who study languages) have
  concluded that some names of Greek deities,
  including Zeus, can be traced back to gods
  worshiped by speakers of Proto-Indo-European,
  the common ancestor of the Greek, Latin, and
  Sanskrit languages. But it would be misleading
  to regard the people who may have spoken this
  language as originators of Greek mythology
  because many other elements contributed.
• Archaeologists have shown that many of the places
  where mythical events presumably took place
  correspond to sites that had historical importance
  during the Mycenaean period of Greek history (second
  half of the 2nd millennium bc). Scholars thus consider
  it likely that the Mycenaeans made a major
  contribution to the development of the stories, even if
  this contribution is hard to demonstrate in detail. Some
  scholars have argued that the Minoan civilization of
  Crete also had a formative influence on Greek myths.
  The myth of the Minotaur confined in a labyrinth in the
  palace of King Minos, for example, might be a memory
  of historical bull-worship in the labyrinthine palace at
  Knossos on Crete. However, there is little evidence
  that Cretan religion survived in Greece. Nor have any
  ancient inscriptions confirmed that Minos ever existed
  outside of myth.
• Scholars can demonstrate influence on Greek
  mythology from the Middle East much more reliably
  than influence from Crete. Greek mythology owed
  much to cultures in Mesopotamia and Anatolia,
  especially in the realm of cosmogony (origin of the
  universe) and theogony (origin of the gods). To take
  one example, a clear parallel exists in an early Middle
  Eastern myth for Greek poet Hesiod’s story about the
  castration of Uranus by his son Cronus and the
  subsequent overthrow of Cronus by his son Zeus. The
  Middle Eastern myth tells of the sky god Anu who was
  castrated by Kumarbi, father of the gods. The weather
  and storm god Teshub, in turn, displaced Anu.
  Scholars continue to bring to light more and more
  similarities between Greek and Middle Eastern
 b. Development of Greek Mythology
• Our knowledge of Greek myths comes from a
  mixture of written texts, sculpture, and
  decorated pottery. Scholars have reconstructed
  stories that circulated orally by inference and
• Homer’s epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey, stand
  at the beginning of Greek literary tradition (see
  Greek literature), even though they almost
  certainly depended on a lengthy previous
  tradition of oral poetry.
• Artists, too, portrayed myths. Statues of gods stood
  inside Greek temples, and relief sculptures of scenes
  from mythology adorned pediments and friezes on the
  outside of these temples (see Greek Art and
• Other visual representations of mythology were more
  modest in size and scope. The best evidence for the
  use of mythology in Greek painting comes from
  painted ceramic vases. The Greeks used these vases
  in a variety of contexts, from cookery to funerary ritual
  to athletic games.
• The Greeks retold myths orally, as well as preserving
  them in literary and artistic works.
              III. Roman Culture
•   1. Romans and Greeks
•   2. Roman History
•   3. Latin Literature
•   4. Architecture, Painting and Sculpture
        1. Romans and Greeks
•   a. Roman conquest of Greece
•   b. Language
•   c. Similarity: Democracy &Religion
•   d. Differences
•   e. Assimilation of the artistic and
    intellectual inheritance
           2. Roman History
•   a. the year 27B.C.
•   b. the Pax Romana
•   c. Roman law
•   d. Declination
          3. Latin Literature
• a. Prose
• b. Poetry
                  a. Prose
• 1) Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43B.C.): noted for
  his oratory and fine writing style (eloquent &
• Selected readings: pp. 39-41
• 2) Julius Caesar (102/ 100?- 44B.C.): once
  dictator in Rome
• He recorded what he did and saw in eh various
  military campaigns he took part in and these
  writings, collected in his Commentaries are
  models succinct Latin, in which he used
  language with economy and ferocity.
                     b. Poetry
• 1) Lucretius (留克里希阿斯about 93-50 B.C.):
  philosopher & poet
• He wrote the philosophical poem On the Nature
  of Things to expound the ideas of Epicurus the
  Greek atomist.

•    2) Virgil (70-19B.C.): the greatest of Latin prose
    who wrote the great epic, the Aeneid (埃涅阿斯
    纪),which tells eh story of Aeneas (Troy战争中
    的英雄,罗马的创建者),one of the princes of
    Troy. Virgil borrowed phrases, similes,
    sentiments, whole incidents, form Homer.
    4. Architecture, Painting and
• a. Architecture
• b. Painting
• C. Sculpture
            a. Architecture
• 1) The Panthon (万神殿): the greatest and
  the best preserved Roman temple, built in
  27B.C., reconstructed in the 2nd century
  A.C. with around, domed form and the
  world‘s first vast interior space.
              2) Pont du Gard:
• an exceptionally well-preserved aqueduct
  spanning a wide valley in southern France.
3) The Colosseum (古罗马圆形大剧
• an enormous amphitheatre built in the
  centre of Rome in imperial times, able to
  hold over 5000 spectators with a two-third
  mile round interior.
                 b. Painting
• Much of the painting no longer exists. Some
  wall-paintings from Pompeii (庞培) and other
  towns near Naples (那不勒斯) include still lifes,
  landscape paintings and figure paintings.
  Examples found in Pompeii: the Lady Musician
  and Young Girl (1st century B.C.), the Maiden
  Gathering Flowers (1st century A.D.) and the
  Landscape (1st century A.D.)
•   The Romans developed a sculpture-portrait
    style in their images of wax to show respect to
    the deceased and the powerful.
    –   Constantine the great: an enormous head of the first
        Christian emperor made in the early 4th century A.D.
    –   Spoils from the Temple in Jerusalem (A.D. 81):
        records of triumphant procession celebrating the
        Roman conquest of Judaea in A.D. 70.
    –   She-wolf: a statue illustrating the legend of creation
        of Rome.

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