Classical Civilizations Greek (1780 – 133 b.c.e.) & Roman (509 b.c.e. – 476 c.e.)
These societies laid the foundation for all of Western Civilization and paved the way for Modern World History…
The Greeks and Romans created unique civilizations at different times; but they did overlap, borrow, copy, influence, share and fight with one another to develop the “classical” societies of the Mediterranean World.
Time periods –Whendid they live? Greeks… • 1780 b.c. – 133 b.c. • Classical Era – HELLENISTIC AGE Romans… • 509 b.c. – 476 a.d. • Classical Era – PAX ROMANA
Geography – Where did they live? Greeks… • Southeastern Europe • Eastern Mediterranean and Aegean Seas • Peninsula, mountains, seas, coastal and islands Romans… • Southern Europe • Central Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas • Peninsula, mountains, valleys, rivers, seas, rolling hills and coastal
Myths – how did they begin? Greek legends… • Story of “Europa” • Story of King Minos and the Minotaur Roman legends… • Story of Romulus and Remus • Story of “Horatius”
E U R O P A
Early peoples that influenced the Greeks… • Minoans– • 1750 b.c. – 1500 b.c. • Island of Crete • “Bull”worship • Sea traders,assimilation • Frescos • Vanished, possible volcanic eruption with tidal wave or invaders or both • Mycenaeans– • 1400 b.c. – 1200 b.c. • mainlandof Greece • Warriors, traders • Fortresscity-states • Aryan influence • First written records • Influenced trojan war
After the Mycenaeans fell, another group called the “Dorians” ruled during a “dark ages” (1100 b.c. – 800 b.c.) in which little learning and cultural development took place…
…as a result of the dorianinvastion, Homer made an appearance… • Blind poet • Sang of heroic deeds • Wrote the Iliad and the Odyssey • Iliadwas about the Trojan War • Odyssey was about the trials and tribulations of Odysseus • Both stories display honor, courage and eloquence (rhetoric) • Basis of Greek/Classical learning
Iliad Achilles and Odysseus Odyssey Odysseus Just as a man constructs a wall for some high house, using well-fitted stones to keep out forceful winds, that’s how close their helmets and bossed shields lined up, shield pressing against shield, helmet against helmet man against man. On the bright ridges of the helmets, horsehair plumes touched when warriors moved their heads. That's how close they were to one another. (Iliad 16.213–7, Ian Johnston, translator)
Early peoples that influenced the Romans… • Latins… Central Italy Settled along Tiber River farmers Eventual “Roman” society Location, language • Etruscans… Northern Italy Settled along the Arno and Po Rivers traders alphabet, engineering, technology. Gladiator fights • Greeks • culture
Etruscans LATINS Greeks
What was the focus of the classical societies? Greek… “Assimilation” of the Greek world Tyranny to democracy Loyalty to polis and culture Jealousy and rivalry led to intense competition “CULTURE” Roman… “Domination” of classical world Republic to empire Loyalty to Republic and empire Jealousy and rivalry led to over-confidence and corruption “SELF-INDULGENCE”
Social classes… • Greek… • Citizens • Men only • Land = voting privilege • Aliens • Commoners/foreigners • Protected by law, no rights • Limited influence • Slaves • Poor • Majority of work • Backbone of Greek society • Roman… • Patricians • Obscenely rich • Ruthless to maintain power and lifestyle • Plebeians • Commoners • Protected by law • Wanted rights and freedom • “easily swayed” • Slaves • Anyone • Slavery led to laziness, contentment and scandalous plotting
Subsistence and survival… Farming #1 Dependent on trade routes, colonies, conquest and assimilation
Clothing… Colorful Accessories Usefulness to luxurious “tunic” - t-shirt “chiton” - toga “humitation” – cloak/robe “classical duds”
Sports and Entertainment… Celebration of the Greek Civilization Athletics, music, debate, leisure, art, play, theater, worship, circuses, sporting events, shows, “spectacles”… Olympics Brought society together for the right reasons as a celebration of the entire culture distraction for the Roman people Games of the colosseum Brought society together to encourage assimilation, but was manipulated for the wrong reasons to push “hidden agendas” through political avenues
Info about Coliseum… The Coliseum still ranks as one of the most famous buildings in the world - nearly 2,000 years after the first stone was laid. Covering 7.5 acres, this architectural marvel was a declaration of Empirical power, engineering ingenuity, and human achievement. Seating around 50,000, its purpose was entertainment, spectacle, and death…
Officially known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, the Coliseum was commissioned by the 9th Roman Emperor Vespasian. It stands beneath the Oppian hill surrounded by three more of Rome's famous seven hills: Coelian, Esquiline and Palatine. It was built on the site of an artificial lake within the grounds of Nero's Golden House. This decadent palace had previously covered nearly a quarter of the entire city. Vespasian's intention was to give a piece of the Empire back to the Roman people. Work began in AD75, and took just 5 years to complete.
Once finished, a celebration began that lasted 100 days. During this frenzied carnival, over 5,000 animals were slaughtered and the entire floor of the Coliseum was flooded for a mock sea battle. It set the tone for a century of similar epic events. The Emperor Trajan held a festival that lasted for more than three months. 11,000 Jews, Christians, slaves, and gladiators lost their lives, and as many as 5,000 wild animals imported from Africa and Asia were slain. In fact, experts believe that the Roman's quest for lions, elephants, and hippopotamuses actually caused their disappearance from some parts of Africa.
The Coliseum was a triumph of design and engineering. At its heart stood the arena: a wooden stage covered in a 15cm layer of sand. This was to soak up the blood from the endless parade of murderous entertainment. The Coliseum's perimeter wall was divided into 80 entrance arches, known as vomitoria. Four of these were designated solely for Emperors and dignitaries. Above, two further tiers repeated the arches, creating a network of vaults like a honeycomb. The walls were covered in shiny white marble with painted stucco ceilings. The forth level - devoid of arches - was designed to house an awning to shade the audience.
Just as regimented order was crucial to Rome's military success, architects planned new buildings with strict rules of scale and balance. The width of the Coliseum walls exactly equaled the overall width of the arena, 48.5 m (158 ft). This measurement also equaled the height of the four-storey external facade. Archaeologists believe there would have been floor plans drawn to scale, perspective drawings, and detailed 3-D models. Essentially, the structure would have been designed using the same methods as modern architects. Only by using these planning methods could the Roman architects achieve the precise proportions that they envisioned.
Two-thirds of the Coliseum have been lost to the ravages of time. Historians have evidence of the coliseum’s construction that included the following: A network of drains built beneath the Coliseum diverted the streams from nearby hills and valleys to Rome's main sewer to allow the coliseum to be flooded for mock naval battles. Concrete (*) was used for the foundations of the oval perimeter walls, arches and for theinner circle of the arena. the amphitheatre had a prominent position as a result of being built on a man-made hill of rubble and dirt. A system of winches and pulleys were incorporated into the coliseum and were used to release animals, gladiators, or scenic props onto the arena via trapdoors.
Gladiatorial performances symbolized the Roman Empire's military might. The gladiatorial tradition was a fixture of Roman culture (adopted from the etruscans) and lasted for around 700 years. These professional combatants usually fought to the death. The first ever mention of gladiators dates back to 264 BCE. Theses were slaves who were made to fight to the death at the funeral of a distinguished aristocrat, Junius Brutus Pera. For some who had been forced into slavery, becoming a gladiator was the first step on the road to freedom. They were paid each time they fought. If a gladiator survived three to five years of combat they were freed.
Generally, the Gladiator's social standing was little higher than a slave. However, some gladiators reached superstar status for their skills in combat. In fact, there's evidence that Roman women from the ruling classes idolized these stage warriors. The mother of the Emperor Commodus, is believed to have had a crush on the gladiator Martianus. Historians have also learned from graffiti found in Pompeii that the Thracian fighter, Celadus, appears to have been the superstar of his day! “Suspirum et decuspuellaru”, reads the inscription. Literally, the sigh and glory of the girls - or Celadus makes the girls scream!