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38 Cards in this Set

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  • Back

What name is given to the period of Greek history between the Persian Wars and Alexander the Great?

the classical period

What descriptive name has been given to the Athenian civilization of the last half of the fifth century B.C.E.?

The Golden Age of Greece

What name is given to the period of history following the death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C.E.?

Hellenistic period

Why was the Greek belief in “nothing in excess” important in avoiding hubris?
Hubris, which meant excessive ambition, could be avoided, along with many other problems, if humans stayed within reasonable limits, living in equilibrium with the natural world and creating a balanced society.

What accounts for the powerful position of Athens during the first half of the Classical period?

a decisive role in the defeat of the Persians, and the establishment of a stable and effective democratic system of government.
What was the purpose of the Delian League according to Athens? According to the other Greek city-states?
According to Athens, the Delian League, whose treasury was on the island of Delos, was created in order to protect the states from possible outside attack. The other Greek city-states—Thebes, Corinth, and Sparta—suspected that Athens was using this treasury, and the power of the Delian League, for its own purposes rather than the welfare of all the states. They believed that Athens aimed to subjugate the independent states, creating an empire under Athenian rule.
What was the cause of the Peloponnesian War and the eventual result of the war?
Athens’ use of the Delian League’s treasury for Athenian building projects ultimately led to the Peloponnesian War. Athens fell to the Spartan army in 404 B.C.E.
What great historian wrote the History of the Peloponnesian War? (And why was he a “great historian”?)
History of the Peloponnesian War, written by Thucydides, gives a detailed and impartial description of events and attempts to analyze human motives and reactions to understand why the conflict occurred. This was a seminal work in the development of historical writing because rather than seeking to entertain the reader, its aim was to discover and record the truth of events.
According to Thucydides, which leader is most associated with the achievements of the Athenian Golden Age?
Who were the three great masters of Classical Greek drama?
Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides.
What was the function of the chorus in Greek theater?
The chorus represented the point of view of the spectator and interpreted and commented upon the characters, their words, and actions.
Who was the first important Athenian tragic dramatist (he wrote the Oresteia trilogy)? What does the Oresteia trilogy say about the way to bring a rational society of human beings out of primeval chaos?
Aeschylus wrote the first major tragic drama, the Oresteia trilogy. Through these three dramas Aeschylus expresses his belief that ultimately the power of persuasion and human reason can put an end to violence and despair, and for the larger community secure civilization and order over primeval chaos.
Who are the main characters in the Oresteia trilogy and how are they related to one another?
King Agamemnon, his wife Clytemnestra, their two grown children Orestes and Electra, and Clytemnestra’s lover Aegisthus.
Who was the author of Antigone and Oedipus the King?
Why did Antigone disobey King Creon?
she wanted give her brother Polynices a proper burial despite the King’s proclamation that Polynices was a traitor.
Which Greek dramatist showed the most sympathy for the problems of women (Medea, Phaedra) who lived in a society dominated by men?
The dramatist Euripides showed the most sympathy for the problems of women living in a male dominated society, particularly through the characters of Medea and Phaedra.
In Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, what action did the women of Athens take to convince men to stop their war?
withhold sex from their husbands until they have negotiated peace and brought an end to war.
How much of our knowledge of Socrates comes from his own writings? from the works of his student Plato?
Socrates didn’t set down any of his ideas in writing; it was his disciples—particularly Plato—who recorded his teachings.
What was the method used by Socrates to test the truth of traditional ideas?
intense questioning.
How did Socrates’ opponents feel about their ignorance being exposed by the questions of Socrates?
Like many today, Socrates’ targets didn’t appreciate their ignorance being exposed by his questions. Eventually his enemies brought Socrates to trial on the charge of collaboration with the tyrants in an unsuccessful coup.
What institution, founded by Plato in 387 B.C.E., was the first permanent institution in western civilization devoted to education and research?
the Academy
What was Plato’s “Theory of Forms”? What does his theory say about the world we perceive around us? In what phenomenon was Plato particularly interested?
In his “Theory of Forms,” Plato delineates his theory that there exists a higher dimension of existence in which all things are perfect (in an ideal form) and that the world we experience around us is only a corrupted reflection of these ideal forms. Much of his work centered upon political theory and the construction of an ideal state.
Who was Aristotle and what school did he found in 335 B.C.E. (in competition with Plato’s Academy)?
Aristotle was Plato’s most gifted student. In 335 B.C.E. he founded the Lyceum, based upon theories of reality which differed from those of Plato.
How did Aristotle’s view of reality differ from that of Plato?
According to Aristotle, the reality of forms is present and discernible in this world.
According to Aristotle, what caused the downfall of tragic heroes? What was the effect on the audience of watching the fate of the tragic hero?
According to Aristotle, the downfall of a tragic hero is caused by some previously undetected flaw in his character which ultimately brings him to a bad end. This flaw is part of a dramatic formula in which the audience relates to the hero and, after experiencing his intellectual and emotional turmoil, has a catharsis, or cleansing.
Why did Plato advocate the censorship of music?
he believed it had the power to influence people, called ethos, and that certain music could negatively shape a listener’s character.
What were Aristotle’s views on music?
Aristotle believed that music, due to its mathematical qualities, could and should be used to elevate listeners to a higher state of reason, and that the state could be served by supporting the composition of such “ethical” music.
Why is the Parthenon an “incomparable symbol of the Golden Age of Greece”?
The Parthenon is a monument to the Classical Greek faith in the power of human intellect and achievement. It was dedicated to Athena, the goddess of wisdom, intelligence, and understanding.
How did the building of the Parthenon contribute to the Peloponnesian War?
The Athenians used money from the treasury of the Delian League to build the Parthenon; however, these funds were supposed to be held and used for the welfare of all the Greek states. This was seen by the member states as an indication of Pericles’s imperialistic designs and thus contributed to the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War.
What was the subject of the Parthenon frieze (the Elgin Marbles)?
The Parthenon frieze depicts the procession that occurred every four years as part of the opening ceremonies of the Great Panathenaic Festival in which Athenians carried a robed, wooden statue of Athena to the Parthenon.
What is the subject of the caryatids of the Erechtheum?
The caryatids of the Erechtheum are statues of robed young women which function as columns supporting South Porch roof of the temple.

Why was the nude statue of Aphrodite of Cyrene by Praxiteles important in the history of western art?

it portrays the nude female body as an object of art and emphasizes the sensuality of the female form.

What two events mark the beginning and the end of the Hellenistic Period?
The death of Alexander the Great in 323 B.C.E and the Roman conquest of Greece in 146 B.C.E. respectively mark the beginning and end of the Hellenistic Period.
Where were the centers of Greek art and learning in the Hellenistic Period?
The centers of Greek learning and art during the Hellenistic Age were Alexandria, in Egypt (known as the Kingdom of the Ptolemies), Pergamum in Macedonia, and Antioch in Syria (known as the Kingdom of the Seleucids).
How did Hellenistic art differ from Classical art? Which style emphasized order and balance? Which style emphasized emotion and expression?
Whereas the artists of the Classical Period emphasized order and balance in their work, the artists of the Hellenistic Period emphasized emotion and expression. The daring and heroism of Alexander’s life infused artists with a spirit of adventure which, in addition to the many portrayals of the Emperor and the tales surrounding his exploits, led to a general freedom of expression throughout the visual arts. These works are characterized by strong contrasts of light and shade, an interest in depicting motion, and a complex composition of elements.
How did power of city rulers and businessmen in the kingdoms of Pergamum and Antioch herald in a new era in the arts?
During the Hellenistic period a new generation of city rulers and businessmen emerged in Antioch and Pergamum who became patrons of the arts. The works commissioned for this new class adorned marketplaces, theatres, centers of science and technology, as well as their own palaces and villas.
What story was told by the Laocoön sculpture?
The Laocoön sculpture depicts the priest, Laocoön, and his sons being strangled by two sea serpents sent by Apollo.
Into which empire were the Hellenistic cities absorbed?
the Roman Empire.