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Who was Sophocles? Greek playwright

By |2018-05-21T22:39:24+00:00July 11th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

Papyrus with part of Sophocles' play Antigone written on it When did Sophocles live? Aeschylus is the first playwright whose plays survive, but Sophocles (ca. 496-406 BC) is the second. (More about Aeschylus) Sophocles lived at the same time as Aeschylus, but he was younger and he lived longer. He died at the [...]

Phaedra’s suicide – Euripides’ Phaedra

By |2018-06-19T15:58:18+00:00July 11th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

After Phaedra's suicide, Hippolytus drives his chariot away (On a red-figure vase from Southern Italy, ca. 350 BC) Phaedra - the second half of the play So the clueless chorus is singing about the need for love and balance in people's lives. (What's the beginning of Phaedra's story?) Phaedra's suicide But suddenly Phaedra's [...]

Melos and Athens – Thucydides

By |2018-04-23T08:03:15+00:00July 10th, 2017|Greeks, History, Literature|

The Pnyx, where the Athenian Assembly met In 416 BC, Athens and Sparta were right in the middle of the Peloponnesian War. As part of that war, the Athenians got in an argument with the island of Melos. It ended in disaster. Melos was an island in the Aegean Sea, between Greece and the Persian [...]

Classical Greek history

By |2018-04-23T06:34:12+00:00July 7th, 2017|Greeks, History|

Classical Greece: the Pnyx, where the Athenian Assembly met Democracy in Athens In 510 BC a man named Cleisthenes (KLICE-then-eez), who was an aristocrat (a rich, powerful man) in Athens, invented another new type of government, the democracy. Cleisthenes, like other aristocrats, wanted to get more power. But tyrants had gotten unpopular in [...]

Corinth, Greece in the Classical period – a rich city-state in ancient Greece

By |2018-01-10T10:37:56+00:00July 6th, 2017|Government, Greeks, History|

Corinth, Greece: Corinthian aryballos (perfume jar) in the shape of an owl (now in the Louvre, Paris) Corinth, Greece: A Greek city-state sells perfume and pottery In the 800s and 700s BC, Corinth was very wealthy from trade and from selling their perfume in little fancy pottery jars. Corinthian traders also  sold the [...]

Athenian Democracy – Cleisthenes and Pericles

By |2018-06-19T18:10:34+00:00July 6th, 2017|Government, Greeks, History|

Athenian democracy: the Pnyx, where the Athenian Assembly met in Classical Athens Cleisthenes invents democracy With Hippias gone and the tyranny over, the leader of the Alcmaeonid family, Cleisthenes, started to put his own political system into power in Classical Athens. Cleisthenes wanted power for himself, but he didn't want another tyranny. (What [...]

Greek sculpture – ancient Greece

By |2018-04-15T16:49:51+00:00July 5th, 2017|Art, Greeks|

Greek sculpture: Winged Victory (Nike of Samothrace) - Now in the Louvre, Paris Not very much Greek sculpture has survived for us to see. You might think stone statues made of limestone and marble would last well, but both limestone and marble can be burned and turned into lime, which is one of [...]

Classical Greek sculpture – ancient Greece

By |2018-04-22T11:35:38+00:00July 5th, 2017|Art, Greeks|

Classical Greek sculpture: Discobolos (the Discus Thrower) (This is a Roman copy; the Greek one didn't last) The Severe style didn't last very long, and by about 460 BC Greek sculptors moved on to the Classical style. Greek sculptors began to experiment with honoring the gods by showing the beauty and grace of [...]

Classical Greek painting – ancient Greece

By |2018-04-22T10:42:18+00:00July 3rd, 2017|Art, Greeks|

Tomb of the Diver (ca. 500 BC) Artists in Classical Greece continued to favor the stiffer Mycenaean style of painting more than the looser, fancier Minoan style. Classical Greek painters usually didn't include any background, and they focused mainly on people rather than trees or flowers in their pictures. That's the same attitude [...]

Parthenon frieze – Greek architecture

By |2018-04-22T10:26:04+00:00July 1st, 2017|Architecture, Greeks|

Parthenon frieze - seated goddesses On the Parthenon's frieze, Pheidias carved a long procession of Athenians, with girls in the front, bringing a new dress for the goddess Athena to her temple. A scene from the Parthenon frieze: bringing the new dress for the goddess Most of the carving was done [...]