Ancient Greece Lecture
Lisa M. Lane 2008
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Lisahistory: Ancient Greece

Transcript

>> And then we'll talk about [inaudible] for a little bit and then we will get into the quiz results for a little bit at the end of the period. So let's talk about the Greeks. I gave you a couple of designations here we should be aware of, time designations, periods.

[ Writing on chalkboard ]

>> Most people, when they say they're going to discuss ancient Greece or some people just [inaudible] we'll talk about Greece now, what they mean are the archaic and practical periods of [inaudible]. And those are the designations that your text book uses and your text book in the chapter really did try to divide this up chronologically, but if you remember at the end of chapter two, we had a little bit of Greece also. Right? At the very end, what they were calling the dark ages of Greece or what some people call Homeric Greece. What would that word refer to?

>> [Inaudible].

>> Right. The time Homer lived in, the construction of his stories. Yes?

>> When would you say that [inaudible]?

>> That's going to be later, after classical. Right? So what we'll do is we'll get down to here.

>> [Inaudible].

>> No. It's its own thing. And, in fact, Rome is going to take over some of the [inaudible] period. What were you going to say?

>> [Inaudible].

>> Yes. And when we talk about [inaudible], which is where we're going to start here today, and [inaudible], you're talking about that some of it, the Homeric period, and some of it getting into the archaic. So because your text book is jumping around, I thought I did a pretty good job, I've seen a lot worse, to put a little bit of dark ages or Homeric Greece at the end of chapter two and then chapter three going right into the other Greek history, I thought that was pretty well organized. I liked that. And to focus on society and politics, which I'm going to do too. So I'm actually backing up a little bit. [Inaudible] chapter two because I'm going to start with those background civilizations. We know in [inaudible], I want to make sure we don't get them mixed up and that we understand what each one of them contributed to use, because they're very, very different societies. Do I need to turn out these lights a little bit? Is this a little bit faded out? Yes.

[ Silence ]

>> There. That's a little bit better. Okay, what you see on the left here is [inaudible] Crete. And I've got a map so you can see that Crete is an island. It's not on mainland Greece, it's not in Turkey or Asia Minor, it is its own place, and yet a civilization emerges there during this Homeric age. Two key things about this civilization, if you look at the top picture there, that is the palace at [inaudible], which was, in the 19th century they tried to put it back together and reconstruct it. They didn't do it very well. But it's the great palace. There's one central area at the palace of [inaudible], which seems to be where the Minoans ruled all of Greek from. The other image, which is actually a fresco from the palace, it's a little bit difficult to see here, but its sporting event showing a bull. And the idea of the sporting event was that the athlete has to grab the bull by the horns, which has since become a metaphor and throw him or herself, women seem to have competed in this also because men and women are portrayed as white and red and they've got both in this picture, throw yourself over the horns at the front and somehow do some sort of handstand or some kind of bounce or vault off the back and then land on your feet. It's like gymnastics, except you could die.

[ Laughter ]

>> Because you do this wrong, that's it. There's not more [inaudible] for you. So this was obviously a wild event. Male and female participated, so that suggests what?

[ Inaudible ]

>> Some sort of egalitarianism here. Right? So some sort of, or basic equality between male and female in this civilization. It also suggests they were somewhat loony, right? I mean bull jumping is hardly a sensible occupation. But they had this celebration and the bull, it turns out, is at the center of those Minoans as [inaudible] religious culture. So this bull's worshiped. We find the symbol all over Minoan Crete, you find this symbol, the bullhorns, everywhere. You find them abstract like that or you find it more realistic, in sculptures where the bullhorns were made of gold. So there was some sort of nature worship going on with these particular animals. And if you've ever heard the myth about the labyrinth, the Minotaur and the labyrinth, it's part bull, yes, that comes from Minoan Crete. Now one of the main points I want to make about Minoan Crete is that it seems to have been, looking at the archeological evidence, a training and relatively peaceful society. You do not find walls around its cities as if they were attacked a lot. You know, when you see an island civilization in the sea, there is two possibilities, the sea is either protecting them from attack, or it's being used as transport to trade. It seems to be the latter in the case of Minoan. It seems to be a relatively peaceful society. And I want to emphasize that because I want you to compare it in your minds with the Mycenaean's, which is very much the opposite. The Mycenaean culture here, and we've got the mask of Agamemnon, which becomes part of the Homeric legend and the lion's gate, and you can see how thick and large these walls are. They're palaces also were surrounded by huge, thick walls. I mean, what does that suggest about a civilization when they're buildings are surrounded by big, thick walls?

>> [Inaudible].

>> Oh, yes. They're getting attacked a lot. And they may be attacking other people. I've seen books where the Mycenaean's are, everywhere they're mentioned, just referred to as the pirates of the Mediterranean Sea. Yes. It is. They may well have been, again, we're going on archaeology right here. We don't have writings, not real history in that sense. We don't have written documents of their acts of piracy. But judging by the archaeology, that's what they were doing. Piracy and war. There's threads of both of these civilizations that come into ancient Greek culture. So even though the Minoans are from Crete because they traded their ideas do come into mainland Greece. Similarly, you can see the location of [inaudible] here. I think, if you know your map, and I'm going to bring up a map in a second, because you do need to know your maps, you can see by their location why the Spartans would have claimed to have been descendents from the Mycenaean's. And not so much the piracy issue, but the warrior culture is a very big deal with the Spartans and they said it was derived from the ancient Mycenaean's. They got it from them. In some ways the Athenians were trying to mimic, and I'm not sure it was conscious, the Minoan culture, trading people. Empires are based on trade rather than war, that kind of thing. So we have this contrast happening even before we get to the archaic and classical age. So, questions you may have about Minoan Crete or Mycenaean? Yes?

>> [Inaudible].

>> Who, which group?

>> [Inaudible].

>> The Athenians are more like the Minoans in terms of trade was worth everything. And the Spartans not only were more like the Mycenaean's but they actually claimed to come from them. They said they were Mycenaean's. Yes?

>> [Inaudible].

>> No. It's not on this map. Let me get to the next map. Yes? Yes?

>> [Inaudible].

>> Yes. The bull seems to appear, we don't have evidence for it being the center of Mycenaean worship, but the image appears a lot. It is definitely the center of Minoan worship. It's in everything. And there's so many valuable works of art that it gives you that impression. A lot of that is guesswork, right, it's safe that when you find a bunch of valuable objects in a certain shape there is a tendency to assume that worship, that that was a part of worship. They found the same thing with the Venus figure that they find all over the place, these little women, little dolls and objects and statuettes shaped like very fertile females, some were pregnant, and they have large breasts and big butts and those kinds of things. And you look at those and everybody goes oh, female worship, goddess worship. Well, maybe, they tended to bury them in the fields. They knew something there, but is it really their religious system, we're guessing, a lot. Yes?

>> Is the whole bull thing [inaudible]?

>> That's very interesting. It may well. It may well, because certainly you get a very deep sense in Minoan culture, Mycenaean culture and archaic Greek culture of the connection to the geography of the land and that landforms, very frequently, are considered to be symbols of gods and that kind of thing. That would make a lot of sense. Just the mountains too, mountain peaks and that kind of thing. It would make a great deal of sense.

>> [Inaudible].

>> Yes.

>> Could it have anything to do with [inaudible]?

>> Yes, I think there's elements of that that come in, but the time you get to that level where you're really dealing with the classical Greek pantheon of gods, you've got oh, you've got goats, you've got half and half humans and animals, there's all kinds of mixes going on there to lend various characteristics to certain gods, so I would [inaudible] to the bull, because it's more like a goat thing. Yes. All right. Geography is what I expect you to know. Greece is, as you can see, all over the place. A deep characteristic of its geography is its island nature. And these are going to be trading people. And yet, because it's got a lot of mountains, even if they're not really huge mountains, I mean you've got nothing like the Alps here, but you've got a lot of rocks and a lot of hills. Geographic determinism theory, which some of you dealt with on your test, suggest that when you have a region where smaller areas are divided up by geographic barriers, whether that's water or a little mountain range, you tend to get small groups of people living together who don't care much for the groups living on the other side of the whatever. You know, you tend to get these isolated pockets, rather than an area with big, flat areas where people communicate more easily, you get more of a cohesive culture like we saw in Egypt. Whereas here, everything's kind of divided up and it's a little hard to get to each other, you get little groups who get into conflict with the other groups. So that seems to be geographically related. The areas that you need to know here, Crete, of course, where the Minoan civilization is. And now I'm going to look at this as bullhorns forever, thank you. Yes, it really does. Doesn't it? Ionia, which is on the cost of modern day Turkey, is where the Athenians spread out their empire to take over the Mediterranean. So you need to be aware that's what they called that region there. I've marked Macedonia way up in the north because that's where Alexander the Great is going to come from when we get to him. And he's going to start out the Hellenistic Age and it's good to know that Macedonia is way the heck up in the north, not in the heartland of classical Greece at all. Sometimes outsiders take up the culture and carry it even better than people who've lived with it for a very long time. And then the main areas here, in Greece proper, Athens, old Mycenae and Sparta, the center itself, and then be aware, [inaudible], I guess you would call it an [inaudible], is that what it is, a peninsula? Yes? The Peloponnesus, it's kind of hanging off and there's where [inaudible] is. It's right on the [inaudible] between the peninsula and the Peloponnesus and Athens. So there's this little narrow, narrow bridge there where Corinth is. So what happens is geographically the Athenians are costal people. They're tied into the sea to a very great extent. Whereas the Spartans, and they emerge in the classical era, become very much tied to the land in the Peloponnesus. And they don't care much for sea faring, they don't care much for boats, they don't care much for trading. They are a land based, military empire. The Athenians, of course, as you've read, filled a water-based empire of trading scattered all over the place. Yes?

>> Is there any [inaudible] to why the Spartans entered [inaudible] but never really cared for the sea?

>> Well, yes. One reason is there's not a whole lot of really good arable land in this whole region. But what there is, is in the Peloponnesus. So it's possible then for a civilization to do agriculture and be good with that. Now they were already of a warrior mindset, feeling they were defended from the Mycenaean's. And they captured the [inaudible] and the [inaudible] were captured as an entire culture. And that had never happened before. They ended up winning a war against an entire culture of people and took all of them prisoners. And they turned them into helots or farming slaves. And because they had this land that could be farmed profitably. I lost it. Thank you. Because they had this land that could be profitably farmed, they took the helots and took them into an entire slave class and had them do their farming so that they could do their warrior stuff and make money off the land. That's not possible around Athens. The land is too rocky and when it rains, the water goes right through. Those kinds of people become trading people. And the sea provides around Athens all kinds of good stuff, like sponges and things people want to trade. So the Spartans don't care about trade, they only become anti trade when they meet the Athenians and they hate them.

>> [Inaudible]

>> Yes. Their like the Peloponnesus out there. Yes. And it's geographic. They like to be hanging out there. It's their place and they run it and they've got these helots working it for them so they can be a warrior class of people in the tradition of the Homeric epic, in the tradition of the Mycenaean's culture. They're quite happy there and they don't really care about trade and ships and that's for weak people who really can't be warriors. Those are the people that trade from the Spartan's perspective. And, of course, the Athenians see them as a bunch of stupid rednecks. Right? Not smart enough to trade. Not smart enough create imperial holdings all over the city. Not bright, enough to realize that true culture comes when you experience other cultures and trade goods with them and become very, very rich. The Athenians have a whole different perspective. And again, geography kind of explains why this perspective happens. Other questions on the map are the different cultures that emerge from these regions. [Silence]

>> [Inaudible].

>> Oh, I think the Athenians and the Spartans [inaudible]. Now in the classical era, we've got lots of writings from the Athenians and people who deeply respected the Spartans. And of course, we're going to get into the wars where they have to fight together because that's where their first contact is. They're actually on the same side. So we will get to that when we talk about the wars in just a minute. Okay. Greek concept, things we associate with ancient Greece, before I get to the wars. There's something conceptual here. What do all of these objects have in common?

>> [Inaudible].

>> They're what?

>> [Inaudible].

>> Well, yes, they're cultural [inaudible], a couple of buildings. Stylistically, what do they have in common?

>> [Inaudible].

>> It's what?

>> [Inaudible].

>> Yes. And they were all painted too, by the way, and I'll get to that point in a moment. There's a tendency to date back to ancient Greece and ancient Rome as having been white and everything's marble and it's always white. It's white now because the paint wore off. But yes, it would have been much more colorful, much more like [inaudible] than they appear here. But what else do they have in common in addition to being art works or cultural expressions?

>> [Inaudible].

>> There is implied here some sort of relationship with God, yes, and some sort of contact there. What else, just looking at them? Yes?

>> [Inaudible].

>> No, just what they have in common.

>> [Inaudible].

>> [Inaudible].

>> [Inaudible].

>> The [inaudible]. Yes?

>> [Inaudible].

>> Yes. Yes they are. They are. That's true. That's true. So if we had to use a word to say what kind of value this stuff would represent what would we think of?

>> [Inaudible].

>> I'm sorry.

>> [Inaudible].

>> Oh, I suppose. Yes. Yes. A little bit ornate. But is decoration the first thing you see, if you just kind of glance at it and look away? Yes. What about the structure? Is there anything, for example, say, like this?

>> [Inaudible].

>> No.

>> [Inaudible].

>> Yes. We have serious symmetry here. Very serious symmetry. We're so obsessive for seeing things that are symmetrical that we don't even notice it and yet it represents a really important Greek value about symmetry. In fact, I could have shown you a picture of something that wasn't quite symmetrical, but most of the Greek stuff displays a symmetry on purpose, whether it's a building or an artwork, there is this concept of balance that goes beyond an artistic style. The artistic style reflects a deeper value. So if we think about that for a minute, if they're hung up on symmetry, what sort of deeper value does that represent?

>> [Inaudible].

>> They like proportions and they think of everything in proportions. Okay. We use that as a linguistic thing to say, oh, your reaction is in proportion to what happened. What does that mean when we say that?

>> That you acted accordingly.

>> You reacted accordingly. There was some kind of balance. That the force was here and your reaction was here and they were symmetrical. They balanced out. There's some sort of moderating factor, if you like, going on there. Right? They're balanced. You ever heard in the Chinese culture, yin yang, where there's always this balance going on? That's a Greek thing too. Everything is seen that way. In fact, in ancient Greece, medicine, that's one of the ways to define illness. Something's out of balance. Something's not symmetrical. Their theory of the humors of the body, if one got real big and the other three were kind of not so forceful, you were ill, because one of the humors was taking over the other three. Everything is in this kind of concept of balance, symmetry, moderation. And it applies to everything, medicine, thought, philosophy, everything. But you can see it visibly in the structures and in the art. We're so used to looking at this stuff, right? It's on the cover of magazines and they build modern structures, you go to Washington D. C. and everything looks like this, right? So symmetrical and columns and domes and triangles, it's all very geometric, which is one other thing they were into, is geometry. Of course. How could you build something like this and not be into geometry? But what they're looking for is balance, and they're looking for it everywhere, not just in the buildings. So very important Greek concept and we'll see it come back again and again. You can actually apply it to anything. If you look at Greek philosophy, you'll see it. If you look at Greek art, you'll see it. Questions on that concept? We haven't seen that before. In Egypt, we saw sort of a cyclical thing. Change is bad, continuity is good, everything should go round and round. In Mesopotamia, we saw a sort of confrontational relationship with nature where things are going to go badly so you better whip it out and figure out how to live with it and use your technology and use your brain. But here, we see this idea and it's true in nature too, they thought, this idea of balance and moderation and symmetry. Really important to the way they look at the world. [Inaudible] there were historians that looked at the Athens Sparta thing as exactly what? Well, you've got to have both types of people. Right? That has to balance. That has to moderate. I think any great concept and here, again, definitely in the classical grades. It's the idea of the kouros. The kouros, this is a statue, you can see these statues in museums all over the world and they're always called kouros and for a long time I thought maybe that was somebody's name, you know, it would be capitalized. Maybe the guy's name is kouros. No, they all look different. They don't look like each other. Maybe it's not kouros. Maybe it's not like a guy, kouros, or a person kouros. And the word actually means, in Greek, young man. So that means that there are kouros' everywhere. So if you go to the [inaudible] and you see the [inaudible] kouros, you just are seeing the one they happen to have. There's statues of young, Greek men everywhere. And they're all naked. Yes?

>> [Inaudible].

>> Yes. Kind of like the Venus idea. This isn't just specific Venus. It's a Venus. Yes, very similar. This is a kouros. So they're all young, they're all male, they're all naked, and they're all over the place. What kind of values are we talking about.

>> [Inaudible].

>> Absolutely. Yes. And we just did the Olympics, right, and it's obvious there in the Olympic mentality. But the appreciation of physique. The appreciation of athletic form. And, in particular, the appreciation of the athletic male form, not the athletic female form. Yes [inaudible].

>> [Inaudible].

>> Yes. Sure.

>> [Inaudible].

>> Yes. Yes. Wrestling was naked. It always amuses me when they do Greco-Roman wrestling in the Olympics and they've got clothes on.

[ Laughter ]

>> It's like, you know, come on. Let's go for some accuracy here. Yes. And the purpose of it being naked was, there was several reasons, one was that the audience enjoying men of physique was naturally increased by nudity. And the other was strategic, as anyone will tell you who has wrestled, being able to see every muscle is very beneficial.

>> [Inaudible].

>> What if what?

>> [Inaudible].

>> Oh, I suppose of course it would be because we're so used to seeing it the other way. Right? We're used to it being clothed. So yes, we'd find it very distracting, but I think we'd get used to it. I think we'd get used to it. But it's very different. Colton, what were you going to say?

>> [Inaudible].

>> Right.

>> [Inaudible].

>> Yes. Somewhere, where you see, all the kouros' are somewhere between 16 and 22. They're all like right in that age. And there's an obsession about that age in Greek culture. There's this thing about men at that particular time of life as representing the absolute prime of life and the prime of most definitely the physical, one's physical life.

>> Is that why older men tended to [inaudible] younger boys?

>> Yes. Yes. The whole educational system is based, to a very great extent, on the idolization of the kouros. The idea that this is the time of life when a young man needs to be influenced by the principles of his culture in order to become a full member of society. And in the case of Athens, where the citizen had to participate, that's extremely important that somebody be fully educated. So the system among the wealthy, among the middle class males, the males who were formally educated, females were informally educated, the males who were formally educated were in a tutorial system with an older mentor. And when they got old, they were expected, societally expected to be mentors to younger men of this age and younger, to continue society's tradition and make sure every body's getting the full education of what it means to be a citizen in their society. So yes, and you'll see that everywhere. If you read Plato's symposium, you've got all these mentors and they're boys hanging around at a party, drinking, having sex, doing stuff, talking, because all of that was part of the curriculum, if you like. It wasn't like the curriculum that we have now, where I'm standing here teaching you about history and that's all I'm supposed to teach you about. And I'm not supposed to teach you, like how to be a good mother. You don't even have a class for that, do you? No. Okay. This is an incomplete education that you are receiving because you are not receiving education about all aspects of your life. The Greeks believed that you had to receive education about all aspects of your life, not just the academic, what we would call the academic aspect. So if you could afford it and you were male, you would have this tutorial kind of arrangement with an older man. Yes?

>> They actually did pay for it, the relationship?

>> Yes, this is a tutoring.

>> I thought it was by their work that they gave back?

>> No, there's an overall concept of that at a societal level, but for those who could afford it, they were shopping for specific tutors for their sons and they were paying them good money. And we all know, I mean you're sitting here in a group with 30 other people, but we all know that the best learning takes place one on one. You know? And the idea that if you could afford it, to have one person whose entire focus is on helping you learn. I mean, that's a really sound education. And so that's how they did it and they learned about everything. But notice how the female here in the picture was different. [Inaudible]. Now of course, I'm exaggerating, I'm interpreting, there are nude female Greek statues, but they're not in proportion, should we say, to the number of nude, male, Greek statues at all. They are very rare and they tend to represent goddesses. Yes?

>> Also, the Venus statues that appear later, I think they're more Hellenistic.

>> Yes.

>> [Inaudible].

>> Yes.

>> [Inaudible].

>> Yes.

>> They're more relaxed when it came to female nudity.

>> Yes.

>> [Inaudible].

>> Yes.

>> Philosophically speaking, it was the main focus was on the male.

>> The male, exactly. And please, I'm staying right here for this because we're going to talk about the Hellenistic world separately and when we do, you will see a far different view of women. And you will not see this idolization of the kouros that you see in the classical era. This is strictly classical. And the reason we focus on the classical is because that's where science and the philosophy that we care with us now came from. So there's elements of all of this stuff in modern day culture, too, in modern day culture as well. Now the example here, I use Athena, she's a goddess, even though she's clothed, but I wanted to show you she's painted. I really want you to have this concept in your mind. I don't want you thinking white Greek buildings and white Greek statues, they were all painted. The kouros would have been painted, painted in realistic skin tones and hair and the whole bit. And so just to give you an example of the reconstruction, Athena, this statue, was inside the Parthenon, the building that I just showed you, so when you went in you would look up at this gorgeous, and she had gold and it was really not this plain white statuary. So that's what she would have looked like recreated, based on [inaudible] that archaeologists like to do. Okay, now here's the key to the classical age or what they call the golden age of Greece. Take a look at the dates here. You've got the Persian wars. This is where the Athenians and the Spartans have to fight together against an external aggressor. The Persian wars go to 479 B. C. and then the Peloponnesian War, which is Sparta versus Athens, starts up in 431. And it's the in between that is the golden age. Now all of the sudden we've gone from chapter one, where we were talking about centuries and millennia at a time to talking about a real tiny piece of time here. This is very small. I mean, how many years is that even, 479 to 431.

>> 48.

>> Is it? Okay. I'll take your word for it. 48 years. That's it. I mean, that's not even a lifetime now. Most of the stuff we get from ancient Greece, when people talk about ancient Greece, they're not talking about the Homeric age, unless they're really into that and they just watched Troy, they're not talking about archaic Greece, they don't care about Mycenae, they don't care about Minoan Crete, they're not talking about the Hellenistic age with [inaudible], they are talking about the classical age and they're only talking about those 48 years. It's real tiny. During that particular period a lot was going on elsewhere in the world. Philosophically and religiously, particularly in religions like Hinduism and Buddhism, in philosophy it's like Chinese Confucianism and Daoism, all over the world in the 5th century B. C. something so big was happening that historians now call it the axial age, as if there's an axis and the whole world just kind of turned on it. There were big changes in intellectual development for all humanity for reasons we don't understand. The climate historians have a lot of fun with this. They say climate conditions were so perfect that everybody was eating well, they had time to hang out and do philosophy. Okay. We could ask the Buddhists, I don't think he ate very much, but he's in that age. This is happening right in the middle of it. It's 48 years in the middle of the axial era. So during that time, we've got the kouros' being constructed everywhere. During that time we have this male based Greek educational system. During that time we get all this artwork that decorates your textbook. It's all from this little time period. Yes.

>> Did the Athenians fight off the Persians after the golden age or in the golden age [inaudible].

>> There's an agreement.

>> Yes. There's an agreement and an agreement to stay out of certain areas that they took over. And in fact, if you look at this map, what's important about this one by the time we get into Athens versus Sparta, is you can see Athens is in the yellow, Athens and her allies is in that kind of bright yellow here on this lower map. If you look at the upper map, of course, all of that was Persian, initially, right? So you're talking about Athenian naval tactics defeating Persia, which had overstressed it's empire and could not keep up the supply line through the sea very well. So Athens took over a lot of the edges of the Persian Empire as part of its own empire. And that includes this area, do you remember the name of it along the coast of Turkey?

>> Ionia.

>> Ionia. I hope you wrote it down. Ionia. So all of those Ionian colonies. You can see here Sparta in sort of a dark pink here. I don't think they'd like that color. And then the Athenians. This is the weirdest holograph I ever saw, but it fit the slide so I had to take it. And then the Athenians dotted all over the place in yellow. So yes, they take over part of the Persian Empire, the edges, the ports they need, where you're moving the stuff, the trade is what they took. So in between the Persian wars, where Athens and Sparta are at war, and the Peloponnesian wars, where Athens and Sparta are at war with each other, during that little time of peace is where you get all the stuff that you read about.

>> [Inaudible].

>> Yes. They're linked from the main page. It's how I got to it. Yes.

>> They say that the climate is really the primary reason, or is that just speculation?

>> It's speculation.

>> [Inaudible].

>> Yes.

>> [Inaudible].

>> Maybe so. Top communication, greater trade, networks. But then what facilitated the greater trade networks? What do you have to trade? The climate comes, keeps coming back, they keep coming back to it and trying to show that the climate during the 5th century B. C. was simply amazing world wide and it caused all of this stuff to happen. People got to eat first before they can trade.

>> [Inaudible].

>> Exactly. All right. The other key thing to know about Greece, the political system, yes, used slightly modern images to try to portray the ideas here.

>> [Inaudible].

>> Greek politics has four stages. Some cities, they got stuck in one stage, some in another. Because of how we've developed and our emphasis today in Europe and the United States on democracy, we tend to see democracy as the end of the process. But actually, the whole thing circles around again. In many cities they went through a democracy and ended up right back at monarchy and starting all over again. So these are stages that link to each other. That's why I've got the arrows. Monarchy, of course, arch is rule, mono is one, right, rule by one. Not Burger King, that's one ruler. Then gradually over time people get upset at the one ruler or the idea of one ruler and a small group, usually warrior elite, overthrows the king and takes over. And that happens with oligarchy, that's called oligarchy, which means rule by a few, like a council ruling thing, a small group, so like a [inaudible], right? So over time, people get frustrated with that, especially the common people, because a [inaudible] tends to rule for its own power. They don't really care about anybody else. So gradually the ordinary people get pissed off and they look for somebody to lead them. And when they find somebody and he manages to overthrow the oligarchy, you have a tyrant. Now our interpretation of the word tyrant is kind of messed up by the Declaration of Independence because Thomas Jefferson, in trying to make a point, kind of made a point w don't need. A tyrant does not mean an evil ruler who's doing his own thing. It means somebody who was put into power by the masses and only remains in power so long as the masses support him.

>> [Inaudible].

>> Yes. Solomon was one and there are others. Some people interpret [inaudible], sometimes they say he is. I think he is. People who are put in power as superman, that's the symbol I use. Here's the guy that's going to lead us all to glory. Here's the one. He's the strong guy. He's on top. That's a tyrant. Yes.

>> Well, I wouldn't say that the word tyrant actually comes from the Greek word tyrannous, which means absolute power.

>> Yes. Yes.

>> So, he wasn't doing evil, like you said, but he had absolute power.

>> Right. He had absolute power and the thing is he's got absolute power because the people put him there and you can't really fight the masses. And they're not putting him there because they want the power, they're putting him there because they want certain things taken care of. When they want the power, you're getting into democracy. So it's a little bit different. Yes, absolute power, that's a good point.

>> Yes. I was going to say it's starting to sound a little bit like democracy.

>> Yes. Well, ultimately, if the people get frustrated with their tyrant and they want to run things, you get democracy. And in its original interpretation, democracy, rule by the people, rule by the people, you're looking at certain people. And the word democracy is very difficult to apply to any city state other than Athens, because Athens had a form of it they self defined and it was based on being. You had to be all of these, you had to be male, you had to be adult, you had to be Greek and you had to be a citizen. Right. You had to be all four of these. If you weren't all four of these, you weren't part of the democracy. So it's a limited democracy. So there's no women, there's no children, there's no aliens, right, there's no foreign people allowed. You have to be a member of the city-state and there for a really long time, you can't come from outside and just hang out for a year. And if you've got all of that, then you can be part of this. And in Athens during the golden age, that was about 6,000 people. About 6,000 people who constitute that democracy. Compared to our democracy, that's measly small.

>> [Inaudible].

>> Right. And they choose to take office. So what you've got is you've got an assembly of possibly 6,000 if everybody shows up. Not everybody shows up for any meeting, right? I mean, look around you. Not everybody showed up for this meeting. People don't always show up for the meeting. They don't always get the memo. If 6,000 people actually showed up in the [inaudible] in Athens on any particular day to make a decision, it would be really weird. But a lot of people did, and sometimes it did number over 1,000 and at that point, trying to rule with 1,000 people trying to make a decision is problematic. Now some people blame this form of government for the Persian attack and for, later, the Spartan attack. Because they're so busy sitting around talking about things, nothing's getting done. And so the ultimate bureaucracy. The only way to get on top in Athenian democracy is to be able to speak so persuasively that people listen to you, groups of people out of the 6,000 listen to you and follow you. You have to be an extremely persuasive speaker. And that's why the number one skill in golden age Athens is rhetoric, the ability to speak convincingly.

[ Silence ]

>> And this is what brings us into philosophy. Because Socrates was objecting to the Athenian system that emphasized rhetoric over all other aspects of education. Now we know why it's necessary to speak well to be able to be politically influential in ancient Athens. What was happening then is that all those daddies who were paying for their son's educations were hiring people who taught the sons how to be powerful, persuasive speakers. And that's really all we've heard about. So they were paying a lot of money. And those teachers, who taught only that were called sophists, which was a very inappropriate name, because the Greek word Sophia means wisdom, which would certainly suggest a lot more than just public speaking, right? It would suggest you're being taught about a lot of things. And yet the sophists emphasized public speaking and that's what they taught the young man to do, and then the young man could go into the [inaudible] and take over the political system. That's what they wanted, that's what their daddies wanted, that's what they paid for. Okay, so before I get into Socrates, questions about any of that? Why rhetoric's important, why Athenian democracy worked, and what the sophists were up to? [Inaudible].

>> [Inaudible].

>> Male adult, yes, in most city-states, adult was 16, 17 or 18, depending on where you were. Yes. So you're trained during that earlier period. So your teenage years are really crucial for that. And then 18 or 19 you're going to get into the public arena somehow and try to be heard. Yes?

>> [Inaudible].

>> Yes. This is a mentoring relationship going from the lower left, and I'll get to that in a minute. But I want to make sure that you understand why Socrates is angry before we get into that. Yes?

>> [Inaudible].

>> Yes.

>> [Inaudible].

>> Well, exactly. What was funny about that, though, is that don't work really any ideal. What they were teaching is people, you know, it's sort of like when you go to law school and you have to debate on either side, you know, you have to be able to be the defense and you have to be able to be the prosecutor. Okay? Which one's right in this case?

>> Objective.

>> Yes. It's not about who's right. It's about who can be more persuasive. So it's not so much that the sophists are [inaudible] their values on these young men. Right. It's that there are no values. There's nothing there. It's just argue this side. Okay, that's really good, you get an A on that. Argue the other side. Okay, that was a B plus, try again. You know?

>> [Inaudible].

>> It doesn't seem like education like we would think of it. And a lot of the Greeks, if you go back to Homer, a lot of his stories were meant to teach moral value and cultural norms. Well, we're getting neither of that from the sophists. And this is why Socrates got angry, because there is no moral content to what the sophists are doing. And without moral content, you know, you take an amoral, I mean that's the word, right? It doesn't mean immoral, it means amoral, there's nothing moral there. You take an amoral education, you put it into young impressionable men, and you send them out into the political system, what kind of political system do you get?

>> Amoral.

>> An amoral political system. Is that okay with everyone?

>> No.

>> Yes. If it were, we wouldn't get so angry when we find out that politicians are doing [inaudible] things. Right?

>> [Inaudible].

>> Okay. Socrates then was upset about this, and he offered free tutoring, you know, he was a scholar, he offered free tutoring to young men. And he got himself a little collection of young men who were listening to them and what he would do is he would talk to them, introduce them to ideas of morality, and his method was highly questionable. Because his method was questioning, he would ask you questions instead of tell you what morality was. Okay? Now this was where he got into trouble because Socratic Method, as they call it, the questioning of young men, implied that maybe they could have different answers, right? If he's teaching morality, which is what he said he was doing, and you have 10 young men and they each have a different answer to a question about right and wrong, okay, do you see the moral problem there? People did not understand his method and they did not understand that what he was trying to get all the young men to was to the same moral place. He believed in universal moral principle. It's just the method he used to try to get them there. They'd come home and tell daddy, hey, you won't believe what Socrates asked us today, you know? And me and Jim had completely different answers, and the dads are going, this is not what I'm paying for.

>> [Inaudible].

>> [Inaudible] for themselves, but I don't want to emphasize that too heavily. I realize when people talk about Socrates, they say the whole purpose of the Socratic Method is to make you question and come to your own answers. No, not really. If you buy that, then you're on the side of the guys who killed him. Okay? Because that's what they said, he was doing. But he says he was bringing all these young men to the same universal moral standards of good and bad and of right and wrong. It's just the method he was using let them ploy it around for a while before they got there. But the state and the right of the state to determine what is just and what is not has to hold. He's an absolutist in these principles and that is why when they condemned him to death he accepted it and killed himself before they could do it for him, an act which very much upset his student, Plato. Socrates didn't write anything. He may have been illiterate, we're not sure. We know every thing about him that we know from Plato, his student, who was very upset that a government that could be created would kill somebody like his teacher.

>> Besides Plato, were there any other [inaudible] Socrates?

>> Yes. There's lots of evidence that Socrates existed, because there were a whole bunch of plays, mostly comedies, written at the time that made fun of him. So yes, he's definitely there. Not a mythical figure at all. Yes, most of the plays were really nasty about him. In fact, they tend to portray him as this old, grubby guy in a dirty gown kind of wondering through and mumbling to himself. It's not a very flattering portrayal. Yes, Elizabeth?

>> I had to read The Apology, which is a play [inaudible].

>> Sure.

>> And he said that his method that he thought that Apollo had come to him in a vision and said that he was the wisest man.

>> Yes.

>> And so he didn't believe it so he walked around trying to question all these men who he thought was wise and tried to basically prove that [inaudible] and that's why [inaudible] got mad at him [inaudible].

>> Of course, that can't be right. Because if it was him questioning authority, he would have escaped from prison. But you see, they arrested him and his students tried to get him to escape and said, okay, you're right and the state is wrong. You shouldn't be condemned to death. We bribed the guards, let's go. And he said, no, if I do that I'm going to be showing them that I'm exactly what they say I am, that I'm coming up with my own moral standards for everything and saying I'm wiser than everyone. But he wouldn't do it. But the question is to what extent is Plato making a moral lesson out of the story?

>> Yes, and the early dialogues [inaudible].

>> Oh yes. Yes. This guy worshiped his master, but he had his own conceptions. And those conceptions become solidified when Socrates is gone. And so you see it in his work. So what Plato gives us is, among other things, and there are many other things, that is absolutely right, but what I'm going to focus on here is that he gives us this idea that the government was wrong, that democracy is not all its cracked up to be, and that a better system of government is needed to make things just and fair and moral and this is where, if you have to read Plato's Republic, you get the conception of what that's supposed to be like. And it's based on, which is why I put King Solomon up there, the idea of the wise philosopher ruler. The idea that whoever's in charge has to be smart, and idea that we don't seem to use much. A plutonic idea, which makes it automatically idealistic, that whoever's in charge ought to be really, really smart, a philosopher king. [Inaudible] Plato also had students, and one of his students was Aristotle. And the reason I listed [inaudible] is because it's the only thing I want you to really keep in mind right now about Aristotle, because we'll come back later, is the idea of [inaudible]. There was a conception during the Greek golden age was that there was too much knowledge for one person to know, and there's too much knowledge to just say here's knowledge. You had to divide it and say here this type of knowledge, ethics is one type of knowledge, poetic or literature as we would call it, is another type of knowledge, science is another type of knowledge. They have to be categorized into areas because the Greeks understood because they had so much knowledge that there were too much for one person, one subject, one category to carry around anymore. You had to divide it up in disciplines is because Aristotle, you're in a history class, instead of college one. Okay, because he's got this idea of dividing into disciplines.

>> [Inaudible].

>> Yes. [Inaudible] this is too big, it was unwieldy, you've got to split it up to balance it out. Yes. Each one of us got a little pillar of [inaudible].

>> Yes.

>> Aristotle, of course, the only reason Alexander's up there, is because Aristotle was the mentor and tutor of Alexander the Great. Yes?

>> [Inaudible].

>> Yes. Phillip the Second was, Aristotle had helped Phillip and so Phillip wanted him to teach Alexander, too. So he was like, I don't know exactly how old he was by the time he taught Alexander but he was getting on in a serious way. So I kind of like this because it's sort of, like knowledge is power, right, to go from Socrates to conquering the world. The more you know, the better you do. So we'll get back to Alexander, but he is in line [inaudible]. Last subject for today. The Greeks had theatrical ideas that are still with us today. Theater was very important as an expression of culture. They are the ones who categorized theater into comedy and tragedy and I'll just give you one example of each, because [inaudible]. For tragedy my example is a play written by Sophocles called Oedipus Rex, which just means Oedipus the King. Why are we smiling at Oedipus? We know the story and it's weird.

>> Yes.

>> [Inaudible].

>> Oedipus complex is a Freudian creating of kind of a psychological phenomenon based on this story.

>> [Inaudible].

>> It's based off of this, yes. The Oedipus complex. There's an Electra complex also from another one. The Oedipus complex in Freudian psychology is the idea that the son cannot break from his mother completely, is unable to do that psychologically and is continually dominated by his mother and that there are sexual and physically connective connotations to that. The reason that comes out of the play is because this play is about this man who is told by an oracle that he is going to grow up to kill his father and marry his mother. It's a horrible fate. Right. A horrible fate. And he tries to avoid it, which actually is the problem. People focus on the marries his mother thing, because it plays out. He ends up accidentally killing his father and accidentally marrying his mother without knowing she's his mother. In other words, it does happen, like the oracle said, and everybody gets hung up on that and how gross it is. But the point of it is that he was told it was going to happen and he said, not to me it's not. And he tried to avoid his fate. He thought that he was more important than his fate and he was better than that and he could stop it from happening. And he finds out in the end he didn't. It ended up playing out. So the reason that's critical, the critical point, is because the Greek value here is not about how awful it would be to marry your mother, as awful as that would be, the point is he had, the character has this flaw of pride, real big pride, stupid pride, thinking he could avoid the fate that was laid out for him, thinking he was smarter than the whole system. That kind of excessive pride is called [inaudible]. It's this idea, and in tragedies all the tragedies have the same premise, the main character has to much [inaudible] and as a result he is destroyed. Oedipus is shown here with red eyes because at the end of the play he gauges them out. At the end of the play, there's blood all over his face and everybody is crying. His catharsis, which is also a Greek word, is why you go through these things, so that you can feel pity for Oedipus and horror and you cry and it's just awful. And then you leave and you feel so much better. You go have a cup of coffee and everything's good. Because you're so lucky that, you're not this guy.

>> [Inaudible]

>> Yes. This guy's life is terrible, which makes you feel so much better about your life.

>> [Inaudible].

>> Yes. Still works. Very Greek. Very Greek idea. All right. So [inaudible]. Now we can apply this to modern type. I was watching the hurricane. I'm always, you know, we're all watching the hurricanes. It now is like an annual thing. Hurricanes go on. So, and you remember in hurricane Katrina where people thought the levy's were going to hold. We're going to defy fate, right? We built these levees. Okay, I saw a little humor to that. Going back to 9-11, the idea of building these huge towers that represent global trade domination. Okay [inaudible]. There's tragedy. Now we say tragedy, we use it improperly, we say a movie, oh I saw this movie, it was such a tragedy, these people died. Tragedy does not mean sad story. The sadness is kind of a side effect. It means that you've got characters who demonstrate [inaudible] and it brings them down. Crash.

>> [Inaudible].

>> Yes. Yes. So it's this idea that excessive pride causes a fall. And it causes the character to destroy himself through his own fatal character flaw. And that's what a tragedy is. And some movies are tragedies, where the characters internal flaw causes his downfall, that's a tragedy. But not just any old sad story.

>> [Inaudible].

>> Yes. Everybody who has written tragedies since uses this model. It's still the model of what a tragedy is. Comedies, of course, we say they're funny and they are, but they were funny in Greek times because they were based on current political situations that we have trouble understanding. Most Greek comedies are right over our head, except for Sophocles coming in and wondering around, we wouldn't recognize any of the characters, because they were like, you know, the mayor. They were local townspeople they were making fun of and so we don't get it. The only one we really get, the only comedy that really comes across is [inaudible] because [inaudible] is the story of a group of women who deny their husbands sex until their husbands stop fighting in war. That we get. We don't need to know who all the little characters are, we get that idea. That's a bigger idea. That's an idea about war and about male, female relations and about sex. We can relate to that one. The others are a little difficult. They're too political for us. Okay. A lot of Greek stuff in one day. That is a lot. Okay. The test. Remember, Colton asked me, right, you asked me if I was going to curve it?

==== Transcribed by Automatic Sync Technologies ====