Art of Ancient Greece
Unit Concepts1. Greek art, like the Greek people, was a product of the intermingling of several cultures initially.2. Greek art continually evolves and develops to reflect the philosophies of the time.3. The two constants in Greek art are a love of nature and an emphasis on humanism.*Egyptian art was famous for not changing for thousands of years, but Greek art is known for changing to match evolving philosophies.
Historical BackgroundRelationship to Minoan and MycenaeanMinoan: 3000-1400 B.C.Mycenaean:1600-1200 B.C.Greece:1000 B.C. - 100 A.D.
Five Periods and Dates1. Proto-Geometric (1000-700 B.C.)2. Archaic (700-480 B.C.)3. Transitional or Severe (480 - 450 B.C.)4. Classical- Golden Age of Greece (450-300 B.C.)5. Hellenistic (300 B.C. - 100 A.D.)
Dates and Events
First Olympics776 B.C.The Olympics were very high profile, more for professionals than amateurs. Athletes would train for 11 months and then stand nude before the judges. The body doesnt lie.
Solons Law Code594 B.C.Solon was the archon of Athens. He codified the laws. They were very harsh and strict. Draconian.
Persian Wars499 B.C. Ionian Greeks stage an uprising. Persia goes in to put down the rebels. Athenians help the Ionians, so Persia decides to attack the mainland. Although Persia had some victories, they were soundly defeated at the battle of Marathon in 490 B.C.In 480 B.C., after 10 years of preparation Xerxes again attacks Greece. At the Battle of Thermopylae, King Leonidas of Sparta and his 7,000 soldiers hold off the 200,000 (+/-) Persian army. After most had surrendered, Leonidas and his 300 Spartans almost held off the Persians at the pass, inflicting massive casualties.Persia broke through and started wreaking havoc, but was defeated by the navy at the Battle of Salamis.
Persian WarWhen the Persians broke through and defeated the Greeks, they felt that they had been abandoned by their gods. They felt they had to depend on themselves only. This led to a rise of humanism, the belief that humans are highly intelligent and beautiful beings that deserve homage and respect.
Golden Age of Pericles479-431 B.C.Famous Athenian city-state ruler who defeats Persians and rebuilds Athens. Updates and rebuilds everything in the classical style.
Peloponnesian War431-404 B.C.
Philip of Macedonia357-336 B.C.: Father of Alexander the Great. he united Macedonia and conquered Greece. Hired Aristotle to tutor Alexander.
Alexander the GreatConquers the world and spreads Greeces influence
Fall of Greece to RomeThe Greeks had polises, or city-states. They never ever fully united. In fact, the whole Peloponnesian war was because Sparta thought Athens was getting too strong. If they had united, they probably could have defeated anyone. But, they never were, and Rome defeated them.146 B.C. Battle of Corinth. Rome defeats the wealthiest and one of most powerful polises, thus crushing the will of Greece and asserting authority.
Philosophies and People
HumanismMan is most important above all the other animals. Man can and will take care of himself. Man has superior intellect, beauty, and physical prowess.
The Big ThreeSocratesPlato Aristotle
SocratesSocrates was a philosopher who believed that his role was to help people think and question the world around them. He would teach by asking them questions- the Socratic method. He felt he was the gadfly of the state. Obnoxious and annoying, but successful in spurring the lazy horse of state into activity. He felt it his calling and duty to educate young men who had a good hold on their shoulders, particulary Plato.He was so successful at being annoying, that the Athenian government felt he was corrupting the youth. Ordered him to death by drinking hemlock. The Apology.
Plato- the IdealistPlato believed that there was a perfect, beautiful truth out there. Believed in a pre-existence where everything was perfect. He believes that there is still the shadow of this perfection in everything, but we have to look for it. He influenced art by having sculptors and painters not paint for what was really there, but the perfection that is behind everything.
Aristotle- the RealistAristotle disagreed with Plato. Rather than look for the perfect, he found joy in the realistic. He was the king of applying rational, scientific thinking to solving problems. He liked things to be more practical and utilitarian.