Greek History

Prep for CLST Final Exam, Fall 2010
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Join date : 2010-12-15

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PostSubject: Essay Topic 1   Essay Topic 1 I_icon_minitimeWed Dec 15, 2010 8:19 pm

Herodotus and the shield:
- Nothing is perfect. Hdt. says "count no man blessed until he is dead". Solon, Croesus, Astayages, Cyrus, Cambyses are examples we can use.
- Histor = judge. Historians judge facts as valid. They don't just repeat them.
- Gods are a part of everyday human life. Oracles is a major example in Herodotus.
- Gender roles: the shield shows women cooking, which is what they should be doing (To the Athenians).
- Nature v. Nurture: Hdt. recounts experiments about this topic. There are examples like the Persian experiment w/ language and the sun baking of Egyptians' skulls.

Thucydides and the Shield:
- Competition: Thucydides is having a competition with Herodotus about who writes the best history. He refers to Herodotus early in his writings and jabs at his works. Sparta v. Athens is another form of this competition. Athens' competitive nature ultimately leads to their downfall. "It is wrong the take what isn't ours, but it would be unwise to leave it".
- There is nearly no mention of the Gods. Only real mention is the defacement of statues of Herms. It could have been a sign to the Athenians to not go off to Sicily.
- Nothing is perfect: If Athens had stayed and not grasped at more, it wouldn't have fallen in such an ignominious fashion.

The Iliad and the shield:
- The Greeks are fighting their future, Troy. The Greeks represent the city at war while Troy represents the city at peace.
- Competition: The Greeks are at war right now, which is technically competition. The competition between the judges also symbolize the nature of Greek culture/society. Also, the funeral games held for Patroclus symbolizes this.
- Gods are a part of everyday human life. They fight in the war.
- War v. Peace/ Nature v. Nurture: Should people stay at home and heed laws? In doing so, they are going against their nature. Should people go to war and try to find eternal glory while feeding their inherently gruesome natures?

The plays and the shield:
- Competition: the plays themselves is a form of competition.

The court cases and the shield:
- Competition: judge with best verdict gets 2 talent prize.
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