Classical period- Repulse of Persian invasion create lots of creative activity in Greece that was rarely, if ever, matched anywhere at any time. Achievements of such quality produced during time between Persian retreat and Macedonian conquest justify era’s title as CLASSICAL PERIOD. Ironic because classical suggests calm and serenity, but word that best describes the common element present in Greek life, thought, art, and literature in this period is TENSION. Tension- word that best describes common element present in Greek life, thought, art and literature in CLASSICAL PERIOD. Created by things like how greeks recognize fate of xerxes awaits all those who reach too far, or the conflict between the soaring hopes and achievements of individuals and the claims and limits put on them by their fellow citizens in the polis. These forces at work throughout Greece. Golden age- time between the Persian and Peloponnesian wars. Those forces that created tension had most spectacular results in Athens in this age.
Attic tragedy- nothing reflects tension concerns better than the appearance of attic tragedy as a major form of greek poetry in this time. Tragedies presented as part of public religious observations in honor of Dionysus. Festivals were civic occasions. Poet wants to compete, submits work to archon. Each offer 3 tragedies (might or might not have common subject) and satyr play (comic choral dialogue with Dionysus) to close. Three best competitors each warded with 3 actors and a chorus. Actors paid by state. Chorus provided by wealthy citizen selected by state to perform this service as choregos. Most tragedies performed in theater of Dionysus on south side of acropolis. Prizes/ honors awarded to author, actor, and choregos voted best by a jury of Athenians chosen by lot. Sometimes subject is contemporary or historical event, but usually mythology. Before Euripides, is only religion, politics, ethics, morality. Architecture- great architectural achievement of periclean Athens, just as much as tragedy, show great results of union and tension between religious and civic responsibilities and also transcendent genius of individual artist. Until great Peloponnesian war, pericles has great building program funded by empire income. Building were temples to honor city’s gods and fitting gateway to temples. Pericles’ main purpose seems to represent visually greatness/ power of Athens, but in such a way as to emphasize intellectual and artistic achievement, civilization rather than military and naval power. Like these buildings are proof of pericles’ claim that Athens was school of hellas, or intellectual center of Greece. Philosophy- Tragedy architecture and sculpture are all indications of this fifth century bc’s extraordinary emphasis on human beings: their capacities, limits, nature, and place in universe. Parmenides of elea and pupil zeno carried on theoretical debate about nature of cosmos. In opposition to Heraclitus, they argue that change is illusion of senses. Reason and reflection show reality fixed and unchanging because seems like nothing could be created out of nothingness. Such fundamental speculations carried forwards by Empedocles of acragas ( four basic elements person) Like Parmenides think reality permanent but not immobile, because four elements moved by Love and Strife (or attraction and repulsion) This theory is path to atomic theory of Leucippus of miletus and Democritus of abdera. They believe in atoms. Atoms join with others to produced secondary qualities that senses perceive like color and shape. These qualities are conventional but atoms are natural. Anaxagoras of clazomenae , an older contemporary and friend of pericles, previously spoke of similar thing called seeds, which were put together on a rational basis by a force called nous or mind. He suggest distinction between matter and mind. But atomist regard soul or mind as material and believe pure physics only. From these two...
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