Topics: Greek mythology, Socrates, Plato Pages: 14 (2879 words) Published: March 31, 2013
Ancient Greek Cultural Values(Fiero 76-136)

rational explanationsexperiential extensions

Pericles’ Funeral Speech (88-89)the Iliad (81-84) Aristotle’s Poetics (99)the Antigone (92-98)
Plato’s Crito (102-104)Sappho’s poems (128)
Plato’s Allegory of the Cave (104-107)Pindar’s Odes (128)
Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics (109-110)
Vitruvius on Symmetry (114-116)

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arete, agon, kalokagathia, kosmos, moira

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transcendent performancesinterpretive forms

Palace of Minos (78)Bull Leaping Fresco (79)
Queen’s Quarters (78)Priestess with Snake (79)
Lion Gate (80)Mask of Agamemnon (80)
Epictetus cup (117)Ajax and Achilles Playing Dice (117) Calf-Bearer (118) Contest of Two Warriors (76)
Zeus-Poseidon(120)Death of Sarpedon (81)
pendant of Athena (127)Geometric Krater (116)
Aphrodite of Knidos (121)Bust of Pericles (87)
the Parthenon (122-126)Foot Race amphora (90)
Song of Seikelos (121)Dipylon kouros (118)
Berlin painter- Kitharode (129)Kroisos (119)
Kritios Boy (119)
Doryphorus (115)
Discobolus (113)
Kore from Chios (121)

Value Terms

arete- a particular ability or skill; originally the display of martial prowess on the battlefield (Homer); ability displayed in athletic competition (Myron); skill as a citizen displayed through active participation in the activities of the state (Pericles, Parthenon); virtue in a general sense, such as in Aristotle’s doctrine of the mean kalokagathia- the quality of being both beautiful and good (kalos and agathos) klea-fame, good report, glory

agon- a struggle; a contest between well-matched opponents, which either may win kosmos-the order of the state and universe which is beautiful; the accord of the will of the gods and human actions and desires

hubris-wanton violence arising from pride in strength or passion; outrage hamartia- to miss the mark, fail or err, do wrong
moira-one’s portion in life, lot, destiny

I. The Manifestations and Transformations of arete

Homeric aretestrength and ability on the battlefieldContest of the Two Warriors

The citizen’s arete:on the battlefieldPericles’ Funeral Oration service to the state
on the athletic fieldDiscobolus, Doryphorus, Pindar

in politicsFuneral Oration, Antigone, Crito

From arete to agathoskosmosPresocratics


the Good for allAllegory of the Cave

kosmos as the agathosparticipatory citizenshipthe Parthenon

Greek Values

--ideals of balance of reason and beauty (Parthenon)
--emphasis on the quality of human life (Socrates)
--strong commitment to the role of individual intellect in shaping the destiny of the community (Pericles, Antigone)
--worldliness and optimism (Herodotus)


--the best of its kind; enduring; superior (i. e. cars, films)

--the characteristic phase of a culture (Han China, 200- BCE-200 CE is “classical China”

--classical as a style, especially of 5 BCE Greece, characterized by clarity, harmony, balance, moderation, and refinement

II. The Homeric Idea

Bronze Age Aegean

Minoan (c. 2000-1400 BCE)
--a seafaring people who felt secure enough at home so that they built no fortifications
--bull-leaping as a ritual act emphasizes the authority of the participants (contrast with Mesopotamia votives or Egyptian Book of the Dead in which the gods direct the energies); the humans are contestants (the...
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