Preview

Greek history

Better Essays
Open Document
Open Document
1158 Words
Grammar
Grammar
Plagiarism
Plagiarism
Writing
Writing
Score
Score
Greek history
True Justice: The Interpretation of Justice in Ancient Greece

Throughout the works of ancient Greece many themes are explored thoroughly and in turn give an overall view of confusion and ever changing beliefs. This idea of continuously changing ideals can be seen firmly rooted within the social and moral function of justice. Justice being the recompense, social balancing act and morality cleansing hunger that consumes everyone throughout the stories of Homer and explored more lightly in Archaic poetry and philosophy. Though the term justice may not be thoroughly explained, it is given in each person’s wants and desires for their outcomes as well as others that they came across. Now, the main question that comes to mind when considering justice in the Greek world is, what did it mean to them and how did it change? Overall there was little to no change to the definition of justice, just the blurring of lines between it and revenge. Revenge seemed to be what the Greek writers considered to be justice, as long as they were even with whoever wronged them, and then they were completely whole. The exploration of revenge clashing with justice can be seen throughout the passages about to be presented. Starting with Homer’s epic, The Iliad, we find Agamemnon fighting with Achilles over their own form of personal justice and gratification when it comes to the spoils of war throughout the entire first book, including, “Rage: Sing, Goddess, Achilles’ rage, black and murderous, that cost the Greeks incalculable pain, pitched countless souls of heroes into Hades’ dark, and left their bodies to rot as feasts for dogs and birds, as Zeus’ will was done.” (Iliad, 1,1-6) This passage is an overview of the entirety of the Iliad and gives brief insight to what transpires over the entire book. Achilles rage is the cause of the majority of the deaths throughout the story, including his best friend, all starting from the blinded line of revenge and justice. Homer seems to

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Powerful Essays

    To what extent was Themistocles’ contribution the key factor in bringing about a Greek victory in the Persian Wars, 480-479 BC?…

    • 1448 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Pride In The Iliad

    • 924 Words
    • 4 Pages

    The conflict began because Agamemnon was unwilling to give up his treasure, Chryseis, and believed that he should be “owed another prize” so he “wouldn't be the only Argive left without a gift” (Homer, Iliad 1. 126-127). Tensions began to rise between Achilles and Agamemnon as each of the powerful men voiced their opinions about the fairness of Agamemnon's demands. Eventually, the argument got to a breaking point when Achilles decided to “return home now to Phthia…” because he didn't “fancy staying here unvalued, to pile up riches, treasures just for you [Agamemnon]” (Homer, Iliad 1. 185-188). Achilles attempted to deliver revenge on the king for his disrespectful behavior by refusing to fight for him. His refusal to fight reinforces the importance of combat in Greek society and how not choosing to fight is seen as a big deal. Pride wounded by Achilles’ act of defiance, Agamemnon lashed out one last time by claiming to “take your [Achilles’] prize, fair-cheeked Briseis” (Homer, Iliad 1. 200-201). By wounding man’s pride, the need to get revenge was established through the dialogue exchanged between the two rival…

    • 924 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Ancient Greek Culture

    • 1522 Words
    • 7 Pages

    There are so many ways in which history has been documented over time all serving as a permanent record of a culture and its people for future generations to have access to and learn from. The study of the visual arts and architecture in a given time period showcase the basic ideas about a group of human beings giving insight into their beliefs and cultural message. These insights are presented with a specific point of view intended by its creator, influenced by its historical experiences. And so, it is the responsibility of the observer to examine pieces of art and architectural structures taking into account the context in which they were produced. By doing so, we can more accurately understand the ideas that are trying to be conveyed. Political,…

    • 1522 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    In Homer’s book the “Iliad” lays an epic conflict between a man and his inner self that ultimately leads to great loss on a wider scale and not just to himself. Achilles is a man with a superpower but has a severe problem when his ego is insulted. Achilles is driven by rage and anger and will do everything in his power to seek vengeance on anyone whom gets in the way of his pride whether it is friend or foe. One might argue whether Achilles is an epic hero but this answer lies within the reader. Achilles is one man who has the greatest fighting abilities as well as the greatest military prowess of any of the Achaean ranks. The only downfall for Achilles is that his inner force is driven by rage and proves to be devastating to his Achaean comrades.…

    • 787 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    In Homer’s book The Iliad, Homer tells the story of the Trojan War with Achilles, the best Greek warrior. However, Achilles does not like Agamemnon, the king of Mycenae, because he took Briseis (Briseis was a woman that Achilles had received as a war prize). This is the reason why Achilles was raged at Agamemnon. In a rage, Achilles wants to kill all of the Trojans, especially Hector, the best Trojan warrior. Patroclus, Achilles’ best friend goes out to the battle field as Achilles (wearing his armor), trying to kill Hector but instead Hector kills Patroclus thinking he has killed Achilles. When Achilles finds out about this, he is very mad and goes out to kill Hector himself. When he kills Hector, he is very arrogant about it. Only after this happens does Achilles get Briseis back from Agamemnon.…

    • 680 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Dbq Ancient Greek Culture

    • 462 Words
    • 2 Pages

    The Ancient Greece culture has made many contributions to western civilization. The ancient Greeks affected the western civilizations math, government, sports, and medicine. They affected the western civilization in a big way. We even use some of these contributions today.…

    • 462 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Better Essays

    Achilles

    • 1334 Words
    • 6 Pages

    * Wrath in its fullest potential can fuel the most heated of battles, but it can also corrupt and destroy the rational mind. In Homer’s, Iliad, wrath is a key component to understanding Homer’s input of emotion on the battlefield of Troy. Achilles creates this emotion throughout the epic. He shows his anger in three ways. First, he leaves command with his soldiers. Second, he curses the Greeks. And finally he kills Hektor to avenge Patroklos. He is justified in revenge because Agamemnon dishonored him by taking his concubine. He has a right to get revenge and reclaim his honor because he is a superior fighter. Achilles, however, was taken over by anger and acts dishonorably in this haze of emotion.…

    • 1334 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Greek Civilization Dbq

    • 796 Words
    • 4 Pages

    The Greek Civilization lasted from 1900 – 133 BC, but the affect it had on the Western world is still here today. As Greeks conquered other empires and build more and more territory for them, they spread and received their ideas from other cultures. During these times, the Greeks made many long lasting contributions in the areas of art, architecture, philosophy, math, drama, government, medicine, and science. This is why many of the foundations of Western civilization can be traced back to the ancient Greeks. The sharing of their ideas, inventions, and contributions had a massive influence on the future of many civilizations.…

    • 796 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Achilles 'the Illiad'

    • 1560 Words
    • 7 Pages

    In Book 1 we witness the wrath of Achilles towards Agamemnon. As 9 years of warfare precede the opening of The Iliad we can only assume (at this point) that the grudge between Achilles and Agamemnon has a long history. We do learn that Achilles considers Agamemnon, “Son of Atreus, most lordly, greediest for gain of all men” (Lattimore 2011 1:120). Achilles believes Agamemnon fights merely for power and riches and that he has no compassion for the countless lives lost or those left behind to mourn. We also learn that Achilles fights for personal glory of which he has obtained as he is much loved by the Achaeans. But Achilles is also fighting for the shared purpose and this shows that whilst Achilles has his own personal objectives he also has a heart. Achilles “cares about the whole army, not only himself and his Myrmidons; he is known for his medical knowledge; he respects the dead; he ransoms or sells prisoners rather than killing them. We certainly know that he is brave and unsparing of his own efforts on behalf of the…

    • 1560 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Greek Life Research Paper

    • 445 Words
    • 2 Pages

    The Fraternity and Sorority Life Relations Office aims to foster academic success, brotherhood/sisterhood, civic engagement, and leadership within Georgia Southern University’s campus. They are open Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm and is located in the Russell Union. They watch over the 37 chapters which are represented by the interfraternity council, Multicultural Greek Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council, and the Panhellenic Association. Membership into these organizations provides many different benefits such as: opportunities to give back to the community through community service and philanthropies, networking with alumni, providing leadership opportunities, and enhancing your academic success. Although this is a large organization, there is a…

    • 445 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Ancient Greek History

    • 1379 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Why should one study the Ancient Greeks? There exist almost countless contributions that Greek culture has made to western society in the areas of art, literature, philosophy, drama, architecture and politics. Lasting visions of thought and inspiring intellect helped shaped today's western culture with notions of democracy and personal freedoms. Greek scientists made revolutionary discoveries in medicine, mathematics, physics, and astronomy. It was the Greeks who, through philosophy, instilled thoughtful exploration of the mind and consciousness. The beauty of their artwork and the precision of their statues reflected human development and expression of individuality. The most important reason to study the Greeks is for the opportunity to take small glimpses of history related to them, and try to better understand our humanity.…

    • 1379 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    The Hellenic Age and the Hellenistic Age are the two main periods in Greek history. The Hellenic Age is significantly different from the Hellenistic Age. The Hellenic period saw the rising and falling of the polis while Hellenistic period was plagued by warfare among the remaining dynasties. Despite the differences between the Hellenic and Hellenistic periods, the one thing that remained consistent in both periods was the Greeks' ability to not only advance science and philosophy but to strive for excellence in everything that they undertook including their ability to deemphasize the role of the gods in their lives.…

    • 6260 Words
    • 18 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Agamemnon at Fault

    • 911 Words
    • 4 Pages

    While Book 1 of the Iliad establishes the epic’s enveloping action as the conflict between the Achaean (the Greeks) and the Trojans, it documents yet another agon: The disagreement between Agamemnon, the leader of the entire Achaean army, and Achilles, the Achaeans’ most important general and greatest warrior. According to ancient Greek values, as well as the ancient Greek cosmology, Agamemnon is at fault because he violates the citizen-king bond, fails to demonstrate the concept of “heart”, and exhibits hubris; the one truly unforgivable “sin”.…

    • 911 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Huberus and the Illiud

    • 1131 Words
    • 5 Pages

    “Rage: Sing; Goddess, Achilles’ rage, Black and murderous, that cost the Greeks Incalculable pain, pitched countless souls Of heroes into Hades’ dark, And left their bodies to rot as feasts For dogs and birds, as Zeus’ will was done.” (page 107) The Iliad, in lines 1-8, begins its story with the word “rage.” Rage in this epic was the cause of pain to many Greeks and the reason why souls of heroes were sent to Hades. Now notice how the end of the quote says, “[…] as Zeus’ will was done.” It was specifically Achilles rage that caused this conflict. By reading the whole statement, we do understand by reading the end of it that it was Zeus’ will that the rage would result in the death of many Greeks and the reason why heroes were sent to Hades which means that when hubris arises, what results or in this case what Zeus’ will was that the people would break out in war and much conflict.…

    • 1131 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    The Justice of Athena

    • 1834 Words
    • 8 Pages

    In the Greek trilogy of revenge The Oresteia, Aeschylus actively utilizes literary symbols to suggest significant parallels between the representative system of justice reflected in the play and the prevalent democratic attitudes of 5th century Greek society. The goddess Athena is instrumental in drawing these parallels, as it is she who establishes the unbiased court system in which Orestes is tried. However, Aeschylus also shows the necessity of divine intervention in the resolution of the plot, which is an apparent contradiction of Athena’s legal system. Although this evaluation is valid, a more emblematic reading of the text reveals that Aeschylus in fact portrays divine intervention as a stabilizing component in the plot that Greeks should recognize and ultimately try to simulate in their own system of law. In order to relate the importance of this stabilization, Aeschylus opts to portray Athena and her legal system as an implicit analogy to Greek governance rather than a direct depiction, and thus is able to explore striking similarities between the two doctrines of justice.…

    • 1834 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Powerful Essays