Ancient Greece Part 2 - Mr. Williams

Ancient Greece Part 2 - Mr. Williams

Ancient Greece Part 2 Greek Mythology Mythology a body of stories (from any culture) about gods and heroes that try to explain how the world works. Like many cultures weve studied, the Greeks were polytheistic (believed in many gods), and their Gods were not perfect individuals. They had both strengths and weaknesses. Their stories explained natural or historical events. Having completed the webquest, which Greek god or goddess do you think you are most like? For additional review of the Greek gods, check out the PowerPoint on the

website. Greek Heroes Greek heroes - In addition to stories about the gods, the Greeks had lots of myths about great heroes Some were real; some were not. Often had special abilities Often faced terrible monsters Cities often had favorite heroes, usually someone from there. Examples: Theseus (Athens) went to Crete and killed the Minotaur Jason sailed the seas searching for the golden fleece, fighting enemies along the way Hercules twelve labors including killing

the hydra Perseus killed Medusa Celebrity Think about it . . . A hero overcomes obstacles and helps others. A celebrity is famous. A hero seeks honor and wisdom. A celebrity is famous. A hero is interested in becoming all that he or she can be. A celebrity is famous. Greek heroes displayed character traits that were admirable in Greek culture, so the Greeks looked up to heroes and tried to be like them. What do Greek heroes tell you about what ancient Greek culture valued. Today, we sometimes look up to celebrities instead, confusing fame with heroism. Think about the difference between a celebrity and a hero. Are all heroes famous? Are all celebrities heroic? Whom do you admire, and why? What do our modern heroes say about what our society values. Olympics

Honored the gods by holding sporting contests Olympic Games largest contest, held at city of Olympia in southern Greece to honor Zeus. In fact, in the city there stood a 40 foot statue of Zeus made of gold and ivory which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Though other games had taken place, the first official Olympics took place in 776 BC and consisted of only one event, a footrace 200 meters long. It still drew a crowd of over 45,000 spectators. Events footraces, chariot races, boxing, wrestling, and throwing events. One of the most exciting events was a chariot race in the Hippodrome, a flat arena with a post at each end. The racers had to make 12 turns around the posts, which meant they covered about 5 miles. Olympics

Only men could compete, participants were naked, and women werent allowed to even watch. Went on for more than 1,000 years Only Greeks could participate. In 394 AD, Emperor Theodosius of Rome put an end to the games, claiming they went against the spirit of Christianity, the official religion of the Roman Empire at the time. The first modern Olympics took place in 1896 in Athens, and featured 280 participants from 13 nations, competing in 43 events. Since 1994, the Summer and Winter Olympic Games have been held separately and have alternated every two years. HH Olympics HH Flame

Greek Literature Epic poems Very long poems, often passed on orally and eventually written down. Usually tell of great adventures and heroes. Lyric poetry Often set to music. During a performance, the poet played a stringed instrument called a lyre while reading the poem. Today, words of songs are called lyrics after these ancient Greek poets. Fables stories told to teach people important lessons. Lets look at some of the most famous examples of each of these. Homer & The Iliad

Greeces most famous works of literature, Homers epic poems The Odyssey and The Iliad were written much later, but both have to do with the Trojan War. The Iliad set during the final year of the 10 year war; tells about battles and events during weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles. This is the where the idea of referring to a persons weakness as an Achilles heel comes from. Historians know nothing about Homer, and some dont think he ever lived. According to legend, he was blind and recited The Iliad and The Odyssey aloud. They were written down much later.

The Odyssey Also attributed to Homer, The Odyssey tells about the ten year journey home of Odysseus and his struggle to reestablish himself as king of Ithaca. In part of the story, the half woman and half bird Sirens sing sweet songs that make passing sailors forget everything and crash their ships. To trick the Sirens, Odysseus plugs his crews ears with wax and has himself tied to his ships mast so he can hear the song. Later, he is kept on an island for seven years by the nymph Calypso. Although he is her prisoner, he certainly seems to enjoy his time there with her. Can you think of any modern references to the Calypso character? Sappho

Most poets were men, but the most famous lyric poet was a woman name Sappho. Her poems were mostly about love and relationships with her friends and family. She was an aristocrat who married a wealthy merchant. Because she had plenty of money, she spent her time studying the arts and writing poetry. Although she was extremely wellknown, and had at least nine complete volumes of work, we only have one complete poem today. All the rest of what we have are just fragments. Have a look at these examples of her poetry. (Click to see the animations.) Read the following poem and see if you can figure out what the Queen of the Night is. The stars that round the Queen of Night

Like maids attend her Hide as in veils of mist their light When she, in full-orbed glory bright. Oer all the earth shines from her height A silver splendor. Did you figure it out? The title of this poem is The Moon and Stars. Who do you think this poem is talking about? Thou liest dead, and there will be no memory left behind Of thee or thine in all the earth, for never didst thou bind The roses of Pierian streams upon thy brow; thy doom Is now to flit with unknown ghosts in cold and nameless gloom. Aesops Fables Historians dont know for sure if a man named Aesop ever really lived, but many ancient legends

are told about him. According to one story, Aesop was a slave in the 500s BC. Another story says he was an adviser to a king. Some historians think that the fables credited to Aesop were actually written by many different people and collected together under a single name. Many of these stories you have grown up with and they are very familiar: The Tortoise and the Hare, The Grasshopper and the Ants, The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Lets read a few other fables and see if you can figure out the morals to these stories. Aesops Fables The Milkmaid & Her Pail Moral: Do not count your chickens before they are hatched. The North Wind & the Sun Moral: Gentleness and kind persuasion win where force and bluster fail.

Belling the Cat Moral: Its one thing to say that something should be done, but quite a different matter to do it. The Dog & His Reflection Moral: It is very foolish to be greedy. The Ass in the Lions Skin Moral: A fool may deceive by his dress and appearance, but his words will soon show what he really is. The Miller, His Son, & the Ass Moral: If you try to please all, you please none. Greek Language During the Mycenaean Age the Greek language began to spread across the islands of the islands of the Aegean.

It was a strange mix of Hebrew, Turkish, Arabic, and other languages now lost in time. This common language is what is used to classify people as Greeks. Their alphabet consists of 24 letters, some of which look very different from our alphabet. See if you can write your name phonetically using the Greek alphabet. Impact on Modern Language Ancient Greece has had a huge impact on our modern language. Our language often borrows stems that come from Greek (and Latin). Many of these stories are popular movies and books today.

Many words and expressions come from Greek mythology and literature. Lets take a look at some of these examples. HH Words

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