Minoan Civilization

Topics: Minoan civilization, Knossos, Crete Pages: 6 (1943 words) Published: June 22, 2013
(i) Name TWO (2) of the following:
* Palaces
* Knossos
* Phaistos
* Frescoes
* Priest King
* Bull-Leaping
* Resources
* Olives
* Figs
* Industries
* Textile industry
* Pottery industry
* Types of writing
* Linear A
* Linear B
(i) Briefly outline a legend (other than Theseus and the Minotaur) associated with the Minoans. Icarus, the son of Daedalus who attempted to escape from Crete by flying to the sun with wings of feathers and wax. His father, Daedalus had been imprisoned by King Minos of Crete within the walls he created himself. Daedalus knew could not leave Crete by sea, as the king kept strict watch on all vessels, permitting none to sail without being carefully searched. Since Minos controlled the land and sea routes, Daedalus set to work to fabricate wings for himself and his young son Icarus. He tied feathers together, from smallest to largest so as to form an increasing surface. He secured the feathers at their midpoints with string and at their bases with wax, and gave the whole a gentle curvature like the wings of a bird. When the work was done, the artist, waving his wings, found him buoyed upward and hung suspended, poising himself on the beaten air. He next equipped his son in the same manner, and taught him how to fly. When both were prepared for flight, Daedalus warned Icarus not to fly too high, because the heat of the sun would melt the wax, nor too low, because the sea foam would soak the feathers. But Icarus became ecstatic with the ability to fly and forgot his father's warning. The feathers came loose and Icarus plunged to his death in the sea.

(ii) Describe the role of women in Minoan religion
It appears that in everyday society women and men were equal, in the art woman shown more frequently than men - believed that women were of higher importance in religion. Also evident that women had the roles of priestesses and took part in religious rituals and funerals. Frescoes show us that women dressed beautifully with makeup and jewellery, they attended the theatre, and partook in many of the same activities as men. Women were the main workers in the textile industry, they were nurses and grinders of corn,(such as those shown in the Agia Triada Sarcophagus),, and they had the right to marry, divorce and inherit property they also had control over the property that they owned. It appears that the Minoan women had more rights and freedom than women in any other ancient societies. Frequently a woman is shown with wild animals and fantastic creatures, thought to be a nature goddess and has been called ‘Mistress of the Animals’. Figures appear in house hold shrines; they wear crowns of various sorts and lift up their hands in a prayer position. Women were respected, highly fashion-conscious, and socially and religiously active, accompanied men to public festivals and took part in athletics, active in religious practice as men, and priestesses participated in religious ceremonies.

(iii) Explain what art reveals about Minoan society
Minoan art was highly distinctive in style and took many forms. Much of it was architectural – adornments for homes, shrines and palaces, and much were religious – mural paintings, statuettes or ritual vases. Murals in palaces and fine homes were fragmentary. This reveals the lifestyle the Minoans pursued; the art portrays the Minoans as wealthy and extremely religious. There were two main subjects:

* Palace life – ceremonies, processions, sporting activities and festivals – many with religious significance * Scenes from nature – eg. Dolphins, cat striking pheasant-like bird and monkeys Figurines were generally of animals and people and often came in the form of goddesses. One of the most well-known is the ‘Goddess with the upraised arms’ found in Kharpi. She wears slashed poppies in her crown, indicative of opium use. Another is the ‘Snake...
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