INTRODUCTION TO HUMANITIES, UNIT 3 Discussion: Arguably the most important legacy of Greek philosophy is how it has shaped the way we think about ourselves and our place in the cosmos. Aristotle, for instance, believed that we humans have a telos. For this discussion, begin by define telos as used by Aristotle.Then, describe an example of telos in your life or in our contemporary world. Your initial post must contain a minimum of 250 words and two scholarly sources. Reference: Matthews, R. T., Noble, T. F., & Platt, F. D. (2014). Experience humanities (8th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. Complete: Complete Section: a minimum of 350 words per question and three scholarly sources per question including the book reference. Questions: 1. Who were the principal philosophers in classical Greece, and what were their influence on classical philosophy? 2.) How did the Peloponnesian War impact Athens and the other Greek poleis in the Hellenic Age? 3.) Define tragedy and comedy, and explain what the popularity of Athenian theater teaches us about the city, its people, and their interests.
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INTRODUCTION TO HUMANITIES, UNIT 3
Arguably the most important legacy of Greek philosophy is how it has shaped the way
we think about ourselves and our place in the cosmos.
Aristotle, for instance, believed that we humans have a telos. For this discussion, begin
by define telos as used by Aristotle. Then, describe an example of telos in your life or in
our contemporary world.
Your initial post must contain a minimum of 250 words and two scholarly sources.
Matthews, R. T., Noble, T. F., & Platt, F. D. (2014). Experience humanities (8th ed.).
New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
Complete Section: a minimum of 350 words per question and three
scholarly sources per question including the book reference.
1. Who were the principal philosophers in classical Greece, and what were their influence on
2.) How did the Peloponnesian War impact Athens and the other Greek poleis in the Hellenic Age?
3.) Define tragedy and comedy, and explain what the popularity of Athenian theater teaches us
about the city, its people, and their interests.
LYSIPPOS. Bust of Aristotle. Ca. 330 BCE. Marble Roman copy of Greek bronze, ht. 12.5?.
Louvre. Aristotle was born in stagira, in the far north of Greece. His father was a doctor, who
became the court physician to the Macedonian kings. Aristotle studied in Platos Academy
in Athens. He was a handsome man, but the artist has not idealized him.
11/26/12 3:11 PM
The Hellenic Age
1. How did the
impact Athens and the
other Greek poleis in
the Hellenic Age?
2. Define tragedy and
comedy and explain
what the popularity
of Athenian theater
teaches us about the
city, its people, and
3. What intellectual
assumptions are shared
by these Hellenic
history, medicine, and
4. What is classicism and
how is it manifested in
and painting of the
Persians in 479 BCE to the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BCE, was
the golden age of ancient Greece. Indeed, it was one of the most brilliant,
I periods in all of human history. It has become clascreative, and dynamic
S has a rich array of meanings. It can simply mean
sic. Classic, or classical,
best. It can meanTof enduring significance. Or it can mean a standard
by which all other Ithings are judged. In all these respects the Hellenic Age
The figure at the
Nleft represents Aristotle, one of the greatest philosophers of the Hellenic Age. His influence extends to our own time. If spe,
The Hellenic Age, extending from the Greek defeat of the
cialization is valued today, it is precisely Aristotles astonishing range of
intellectual interests that attracts us to him. He wrote on literary theory
at his portrait sculpture. With its receding hairline, furrowed brow, and
wrinkled face, thisM
is a real human being. Humanity was the highest ideal
of the Hellenic Age. The bust is a copy of the original fourth-century work
E (370310 BCE), the second greatest Hellenic sculpby lysippos [lY-sipp-us]
and political philosophy; on logic and ethics; on biology and botany. look
tor. The Hellenic Age has left us a gallery of famous figures: sophocles and
5 and Alexander, socrates and Plato.
Not only was the
5Hellenic Age marked by exceptional versatility across
the fields of human
6 endeavor, but significant strides were also made
within each one. In philosophy, for example, the work of the Archaic phi-
tried to understand human beings more than to understand the natuU
ral world around them. Nevertheless, much of our understanding of the
losophers was deepened and expanded. Above all, however, philosophers
natural world today still depends on the empirical observations of Hellenic philosophers. Medicine became an empirical discipline with the
causes of illness divorced from divine intervention or moral failings.
History emerged as a distinct discipline dedicated to understanding the
relevance of past human action to present reality and future possibility.
11/26/12 3:11 PM
CHAPTER THREE: Classical Greece
Various archaic rituals and celebrations coalesced into
drama in its classic tragic and comedic forms. The
epic and lyric poetry of the Archaic Age was little in
evidence in the Hellenic era, but the plays written for
the stage were in beautiful and expressive verse.
Artists in several media overcame every obstacle in
capturing and interpreting the human form. Architecture saw the perfection of the Archaic Doric style and
the elaboration of a new Ionic style. In virtually every
area of the humanities, the Greeks of the Hellenic era
not only achieved high standards but also set standards that people would seek to emulate for the next
Balance, order, harmonywhat the Greeks called
C sophrosynewere central tenets of the age, even as
H they appreciated the human inclination toward the
Playwrights balanced competing moral poR opposite.
sitions. Artists avoided excess. Aristotle was THE phiI losopher of moderation. Greek life always stood in a
field bounded by Apollo (Figure 3.1), the god of
rational thought, ethical standards, and aesthetic balT ance, and Dionysius, the god of wine, drunken revI elry, sexual excess, and madness (Figure 3.2).
The polis may have been the most creative achieveA ment of Archaic Greece, but it did not have a happy
N experience in the Hellenic Age. Although the Greeks
Figure 3.1 Apollo. West pediment, Temple at Olympia. Ca. 460 BCE.
could not imagine living in any other kind of comMarble, ht. 10’2?. Archaeological Museum, Olympia, Greece. Apollos
, munity, they could not make the polis work over the
serene countenance in this splendidly crafted head reflects his image as
long term. Individual cities were unstable, racked by
the god of moderation. As the deity who counseled Nothing in excess,
internal violence, and frequently at war with one anApollo was a potent force in combating the destructive urges that assailed
J other. It is worth reflecting on the fact that the cultural
the Greeks. This sculpture is executed in the Severe style, or the first stage
of the Hellenic classical style, which is evident by the turn of the head to
A achievements of the Hellenic era all took place amid
the right. However, its wiglike hair indicates the lingering influence of the
war and strife.
Dionysus and His Followers. Ca. 430 BCE. Staatliche Museen, Berlin. Scrolling around
a perfume vase, this painting depicts a bearded Dionysus seated on the right with his followers. Of his
twelve devotees, eleven are maenads, young female revelers; the last is the bearded Silenus, the foster
father and former schoolmaster of Dionysus. Silenus is depicted on the lower left in his usual drunken,
11/26/12 3:11 PM
Learning Through Maps
Athenian subjects and allies, 431 BC
Lines of Athenian influence and trade
3.1 THE ATHENIAN EMPIRE, 431 BCE
proofshows the Athenian and Persian Empires on the eve of the Peloponnesian War. 1. Compare the Athenian and Persian Empires, with respect to size
and sea and land configuration. 2. Notice the difference between Athenian and Spartan
, influence in the eastern Mediterranean. 3. How did the locations of
Athens and Sparta influence their respective naval and military policies? 4. In what way did the distance between Sicily and Athens affect the course of the
Peloponnesian War? 5. Observe that Macedonias proximity to Greece helped in its conquest of the late fourth century BCE.
DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN
AFFAIRS: WAR, PEACE, AND
THE TRIUMPH OF MACEDONIA
On the eve of the Hellenic Age, the Greeks, having
defeated the Persians, were united only in their continuing opposition to Persia and in their hostility to
any polis that tried to control the others. Although
they cooperated on short-term goals that served their
common interests, goodwill among the poleis usually
evaporated once specific ends were met. If the period
was marked by division, rivalry, and conflict, it was
also generally prosperous. Wealth made possible some
aspects of a brilliant culture that sometimes reflected
on but that was never deflected by strife.
Political Phases of the Hellenic Age
The Hellenic Age is divided into four distinct phases:
The Delian League
Wars in Greece and with Persia and the ensuing
Thirty Years Peace
The Peloponnesian War
Spartan and Theban hegemony and the triumph
of Macedonia (Timeline 3.1)
A After defeating the Persians, the Greeks realized
a mutual defense organization was the key to preMthat
venting further Persian attack. In 478 BCE, a number of
I poleis formed the Delian League, a defensive alliance,
Athens at its head. But Athens soon began to transEwith
form the voluntary league into an Athenian Empire. As
the oppressive nature of Athenian policies emerged,
independent neighbors became alarmed.
Athenian power, however, was restricted by strained
5relations with Sparta, by the continuing menace of Per6sia, and by the highly unstable Delian alliance. When
a negotiated settlement finally resolved Persian claims,
7the Delian League fell apart, leaving Athens vulnerable
Bto its enemies on the Greek mainland. First Thebes and
then Sparta led attacks on Athens. The war dragged on,
Ubut in 445 BCE, when Sparta unexpectedly withdrew,
Athens won a quick victory that forced its enemies to
The ensuing Thirty Years Peace (which lasted only
fourteen years) brought the Hellenic Age of Athens to
its zenith. Athenian democracy expanded so that even
the poorest citizens were empowered with full rights
(though women continued to be excluded). Artists
and sculptors beautified the Acropolis, and the three
great Athenian tragediansAeschylus, Sophocles, and
Euripideswere active in the drama festivals. Drawing
11/26/12 3:11 PM
CHAPTER THREE: Classical Greece
PHASES OF HELLENIC HISTORY
All dates BCE
Pericles. Ca. 440 BCE. Marble, ht. 19 3/4?. Vatican
Museum. Pericles possessed a vision of Athens as the political, economic,
and cultural center of the Greek world. Even though this portrait bust is
a Roman copy of the Greek original, it conveys Pericles strong sense of
leadership and determination.
on the Delian treasury, Pericles [PER-uh-kleez], the
popular leader and general, launched a glorious building program that was essentially a huge public works
project (Figure 3.3). In a speech over Athenss war dead,
Pericles offered an eloquent summation of Athenian
democracy, praising its use of public debate in reaching decisions, tolerance of diverse beliefs, and ability to
appreciate beauty without sacrificing military strength.
His conclusion boasted that Athens was the model for
However, those poleis that were not enamored of
Athenian aggression became convinced that war was
the only way to protect themselves. Athenss foreign
policy and its expansionism had given rise to an alliance so delicately balanced that neither side could allow the other to gain the slightest advantage. When
Athenss neighbor Corinth went to war with Corcyra
(present-day Corfu) in western Greece, Corcyra appealed to Athens for aid. Athenss initial victories
frightened Corinth, whose leaders persuaded the Spartans to join with them in the Peloponnesian League.
C The Peloponnesian War (431404 BCE) had begun.
H Pericles knew the league was superior on land but
the Athenians could hold out indefinitely
within their own walls and win a war of attrition.
I However, a plague broke out in Athens in 430 BCE,
many citizens, including Pericles. The first
phase of the war ended in 421 BCE, when a demoralT ized and defeated Athens sued for peace.
I The second half of the Peloponnesian War shifted
from Greece to distant Sicily and the Westa move
A that sealed Athenss fate. In 416 BCE, a Sicilian polis
N begged Athens for military assistance. In trying to
conduct a war so far from home, the Athenians lost
, their fleet and never recovered their military and economic power.
In the early decades of the fourth century BCE,
J first Sparta and then Thebes emerged as the preemiA nent city-state, but these power struggles only further
weakened the poleis and made them easy prey for an
Minvader. At the northern edge of the civilized Greek
I world, that invader was gathering its forces. Macedowas a primitive Greek state, governed by a king
and whose people spoke a rough dialect of the Greek
language. Its king, Philip II, having been a hostage in
when young, had become a philhellenea lover
of Greek culture. A brilliant soldier, Philip expanded
5 Macedonia to the east as far as the Black Sea. He then
6 moved southward, conquering the poleis of central
Greece. The poleis hastily raised an army, but Philips
7 well-disciplined troops crushed it at Chaeronea in
B 338 BCE. After establishing a league between Macedonia and the poleis, Philip granted the Greeks auU tonomy in everything except military affairs. He then
announced an all-out war against Persia but was assassinated before he could launch his first campaign.
Philips nineteen-year-old son, Alexander, succeeded to the throne. Tutored in philosophy by the
renowned Aristotle, Alexander nevertheless had the
heart of a warrior. When Thebes and other poleis attempted to take control at Philips death, Alexander
burned Thebes to the ground, sparing only the house
of the poet Pindar. Placing a general in command of
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THE ARTS OF HELLENIC GREECE: THE QUEST FOR PERFECTION
ble temples gleamed in the brilliant Aegean sun (Figure 3.5). Below, in the agora (market area), philosophers
debated the most profound questions of human nature. Hundreds of citizens congregated outdoors to
serve in the assembly, where they passed laws or sat
on juries that made legal rulings. Citizens who were at
leisure cheered on the athletes exercising in the openair gymnasium (Figure 3.6). During drama festivals,
all of Athenss citizens turned out to share a gripping
tragedy or to laugh uproariously at the latest comedy.
The theater, in which the dramatic form known as trag-
Alexander the Great. Ca. 200 BCE. Marble, ht. 161/8?.
Istanbul Museum. Alexanders youth and fine features, idealized perhaps
in this portrait bust, add to the legends that have accumulated around
one of the most famous conquerors in history. Later rulers measured
themselves against Alexander, whose dream of a united world was cut
short by his early death.
Greece, Alexander turned his sights to the East (Figure 3.4).
Alexander dreamed of a world united under his
name and of a culture fused from Hellenic and Persian roots. His armies marched into Asia Minor,
Egypt, and Mesopotamia, absorbing the great Persian Empire; then they swept east through Asia to
the Indus River in India. As he conquered, Alexander
destroyed and looted the great centers of Eastern civilization, but he also founded new cities and spread
Alexanders dream ended abruptly with his death
in 323 BCE at the age of thirty-two. Seizing the opportunity presented by his sudden death, the Greeks
revolted against the Macedonian oppressors, but they
were quickly overwhelmed. The Macedonians then
occupied Athens and installed an aristocratic government. Thus ended democracy and the Hellenic phase
of Greek history.
THE ARTS OF HELLENIC GREECE:
THE QUEST FOR PERFECTION
Throughout this era of shifting political fortunes, ar
tistic and intellectual life flourished. The polis continued to be a fertile and dynamic institution. Athens
bursting with energywas the jewel of the Greek
world. Atop its Acropolis, perfectly proportioned mar-
Cedy reached a state of perfection, was one of the most
Hprominent civic institutions in Greece. Greek theater
arose in connection with the worship of DioRoriginally
nysus. The word tragedy in Greek means goat song,
I and this word may refer to a prehistoric religious cerin which competing male chorusesgroups
of singerssang and danced, while intoxicated, in
Thomage to the god of wine; the victory prize may have
I been a sacrificial goat. Whatever its precise origins,
during the Archaic Age theater in Athens had taken
Athe form of a series of competitive performances preNsented annually during the Great Dionysia, celebrated
in March. Although the names of numerous tragedi, ans are known to us, the plays of only three survive
and we have only a handful of their plays. Eventually
comedy took its place alongside tragedy as a public
Jspectacle and as another component of the Dionysiac
Afestival. Only one comedians plays are extant. All the
while, music grew in prominence, in connection with
Mtragedy and independently.
I At first, the chorus served as both the collective acand the commentator on the events of the drama.
Then, in the late sixth century BCE, according to tradition, the poet Thespisfrom whose name comes the
thespian, or actorintroduced an actor with
whom the chorus could interact. The theater was born.
5Initially, the main function of the actor was simply to
6ask questions of the chorus. During the Hellenic Age,
the number of actors was increased to three, and, oc7casionally, late in the fifth century BCE, a fourth was
Badded. Any number of actors who did not speak might
be on the stage, but only the three leading actors enUgaged in dialogue. In the fifth century BCE, the chorus
achieved its classic function as mediator between actors and audience. As time went on, however, the role
of the chorus declined and the importance of the actors increased. By the fourth century BCE, the actor
had become the focus of the drama.
Because the focus of tragedy was originally the
chorus, the need for a space to accommodate their
dancing and singing determined the theaters shape.
The chorus performed in a circular area called an
11/26/12 3:11 PM
CHAPTER THREE: Classical Greece
Old Temple of Athena
Figure 3.5 Plan of the Acropolis. This plan shows the sites of the major temples: the Parthenon
(Figure 3.13), Athena Nike (Figure 3.14), and the Erechtheum (Figure 3.15). For an overall view,
compare Figure 2.7.
size 39p6Aw x 26p6 d
Athletes in the Palaestra. Second quarter of the fifth century BCE. Marble, ht. 121/2?.
National Archaeological Museum, Athens, Greece. This low-relief sculpture depicts athletes warming
up in the open-air exercise area (gymnasium) where spectators would congregate to urge on their favo …
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