Ancient Greece: Analyzing their Contributions

For several centuries, European literature and European historiography faced the ancient past as a 'miracle'. The glorious period from around the 8th to the 4th century-. H. Dazzled those who came into contact with Homer's epics, lyric poetry, the tragic and secular works of Athens, with philosophy from Thor to Aristotle, with sculpture and architecture, with rhetoric and political thought. What was mainly surprised was not so much the genius of one or the other poet, the talent of one or the other artist, the profound and originality of the thought of one or the other thinker, the very fact of the spotlight ways of thinking and expressing unique to At that moment in the history of mankind, 'miracle' is something that we cannot interpret, a phenomenon whose causes are considered supernatural, an event beyond the boundaries of human understanding.

The contribution of the Greeks to human civilization is indeed unique, it is indeed admirable, but to treat it as a miracle, that is, as something inexplicable, is, if anything, an attitude that cancels the very Greek contribution to human thought.

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Because what Greeks have mainly offered to civilization is the search for 'natural' and not 'supernatural', logical and not arbitrary causes in the phenomena of nature and history. Already in Homer's works, these first monuments of Greek language and Greek poetry, we observe a significant differentiation in relation to the Mycenaean past (as we can restore it through the findings of archaeology) and with the Traditions of the other peoples of the Middle East: Because the most important feature of Homeric epic poetry is the fact that, while moving within the framework of the traditional religion, it is already inclined to remove the mysterious and to project the Logical relationships.

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'Miracle', then, but a miracle created by people and by historical circumstances-Greek thought can and should be the subject of critical thinking of the younger, to the same extent that it can and should be a constant source of inspiration.

The Creation of the City Phenomenon

For anyone who studies history, it is obvious that the particularities and achievements of Greek culture at every level and in each sector are due to the institution of the city. This institution has allowed the emergence of the special characteristics of Greek civilization. Therefore, despite the fact that both the Mycenaean and the geometric civilization were created by Greek tribes, despite the fact of the definite continuity between the Mycenaean and the geometric past and the archaic and classical development of the following centuries, this Which we call 'Hellenism' does not acquire its full form, its true identity, rather than after the creation of the institution of the city. We do not mean, of course, here with the term 'polis' merely the concentration of a population in an organized space larger than that of a village, a settlement or a fortified fortress in which a central command is installed. Moreover, cities, in the sense that today we use the word, even capitals, existed in all the countries of the East, especially in the great empires, but also in nations without a strong central authority, such as the Phoenicians.

What is Greek 'polis '

But when we speak of the Greek Pauline we mean the special social organization in which governance and power are exercised on the basis of laws not only written but, above all, commonly accepted, laws that are considered sacred but are human Project and. In order to impose, the consent of all citizens is required. We mean the social organization in which people exercising power do not owe their power to their origins or their relationship to religion, but in their capacity as members of this society, in their capacity as citizens.

These characteristics are common in all forms of politics developed in Greek cities and in the different phases of their history. From the aristocratic or oligarchic politics (of Sparta or Thebes, for example), to the tyrannical revolutions of the 6th century or as the most extreme forms of democracy that Athens experienced at times, a common feature is always the fact that laws do not. They are considered to be a divine creation but as a human achievement which, to be effective, requires the greatest possible consensus of all those with political rights. What differentiates, in the final analysis, the oligarchically from the most democratic policies is the extent of the equality that each person grants, that is, the smallest or largest number of people who are granted political rights.

How We Arrived at 'Pauline '

But how did we arrive at the creation of the city? The evolution was slow and its beginning dates back to the Bronze Age. As in all important historical phenomena, in this case it is extremely difficult to discern with clarity the first causes of the successive results and the interactions between different elements that contributed to taking the Things this particular development. However, what gave a particular impetus to the formulation of the phenomenon was the development of trade and crafts, because it resulted in the creation of wealth that was no longer dependent on landowning and agriculture. The consequence of this development was the intensification of social conflicts. Already in the geometric years, the aristocrats had created the conditions for what followed by dynamically contributing to the weakening of the kingdom: the King had lost his old prestige and almost divine status and the axiom was either Changed to elected or had lost all real power. Now, traders and craftsmen, as well as the hardworking population who connected with these economic activities, have also started to ask for political rights, which, as then, connected exclusively with the possession of the land, that is, the aristocracy. The acute clashes led to two parallel outcomes: the creation of new political conditions and colonization.

In both cases, the characteristic is that societies have asked for the state, the Government, to be established from the outset. In both cases, an applicant, a legislator to whom absolute power was temporarily granted, was called on to draw up a ' constitution ' and to re-define social and political relations, how to exercise power and how to award Justice. It is characteristic that in the countries of Asia Minor and the Middle East, the political riots meant merely a change of dynasty, while the social, political and economic structures remained unchanged. In the Greek arena, on the contrary, the crises that have struck the cities resulted in profound politico-social changes and resulted in the creation of new social organizations and political institutions. The passage from the Kingdom of 'Mycenaean Press' to the institutions of the city, to the creation of political conscience, to the claiming of political rights by groups that until then did not participate in the exercise of power, as well as the political 'experiments' that constitute the Tyranny, oligarchy, democracy, are the novel effects that these crises have had in the Greek regions of the two shores of the Aegean. And still, characteristic of these procedures in the Greek area is the fact that here, for the first time, citizens are not satisfied with the claim of political rights or the manifestation of their disagreements, but they process and theoretically the problem of Policy and the ideal exercise of power. The political and social problems, that is, are not simply addressed as practical issues, but are transferred to the theoretical level, are subject to critical and theoretical discussion.

We can therefore say that at the beginning of the 7th century, Wisdom was born as a consequence of these important political and social changes. The lists of the Seven Wise Men, which all acted at that time and were equally legislators (such as Solon), philosophers (such as Thalis) or tyrants (such as Periandros), indicate to us how we should mean the word, Sophia. It is about the reflection that has as its object the world of Man, the elements that compose it, the forces that govern it and direct its internal conflicts, the possibilities that people have to control these forces in order to Achieve social harmony. It is characteristic that for the wise ones nature is not something independent of man, something inexplicable and uncontrollable, a manifestation of divine action, but part of the human world, part of the civilization of man.From 1100 B.C.-end of the Mycenaean civilization-until 146 B.C., when the Greek space was subdued in Rome

The ancient Greeks had as their center of life the market, space where the buildings of the Greek city were located, such as the temples, the parliament, the gymnasium. Those who wanted something to sell or buy went to the market, which was like a small state and there were exhibited a variety of productsThe ancient Greek city is characterized as multi-human. Its inhabitants were divided into three classes: the Slaves, the Foreigners (metoikoys) and the free citizens. For Athens, which was the largest city in population, we estimate that in 339 B.C. the population reached 350000 people.

The residence in ancient Greece and mainly the folk was simple. Excavations have shown that the houses of the wealthy were spacious, tasteful and rich. There was an internal arcade, the main rooms, a hall for the symposia, dining room, baths, kitchens and even there was a women's and andronitis. On the contrary, the 5th-laity houses were more simple with a couple of rooms and some with a floor, which was rented. The first archaic years the wells and rainwater covered the needs of people. Later on, various water supply constructions began to occur, so that each house has its own water.

The furniture that decorated the ancient Greek house, such as chairs, stools, beds, tables and jewelry boxes, had kind shapes and contours that could be a work of art.

The family matched a solid bond. The royal families were rich, strong, multi-family and the position of the woman was honorable. In the Homeric years, when a girl was in the age of marriage, the father called Grooms who offered gifts and during the hospitality showed their qualifications. Then the bride's father chose the best. The main ceremony consists in transferring the bride to the husband's house. Preceded by a table (meal) offered by the father of the bride. When The evening comes, the couple on a wagon goes for the new home and the wedding is completed with the existence of offspring.

The birth was a big event. When they had children of males, the ceremony was glorious. When It was the time of childbirth, they offered sacrifices to the deities and it was the house with tar to leave the evil spirits. When the child came to the world, they were attracted to lukewarm water and the oil was oiled.

Death was a sacred ritual. They took care of the dead and put him in a bed. They cried to him all night and the next day he was buried or burned. They took him in a carriage to the cemetery and the relatives placed him in the tomb or burned him (in geometric years). They also offered sacrifices in favor of the deceased.

But the ancient Greeks knew how to have fun. In the Homeric years, the symposia became daily. There was a fire in the yard or in a room and they ate meat. Also at lunch included fruits, honey and vegetables. Still, the Athenians made symposia to important events, such as the holidays. A form of entertainment was the theatrical performances that had religious and instructive character. The dances were of great entertainment since they considered the rhythmic movement to be a divine gift.

The ancient Greeks were interested in their attire. The garment was a sign of culture and characterized by freedom and simplicity. The elegance of women complement long hair and jewels: necklaces, gold bracelets, earrings etc. The youth lawsuit was different from today. Homeric heroes appear as fighters, but of course that was not enough. So they taught Lyra, hunting, even medicine. In Sparta, the education of young people was directed to the preparation for the defense of the city, to the sacrifice of the individual for the common interest. The state is interested in its members and its future defenders.

The children of the Athenians until their seven years grew up as normal as all children. Then the boys went to school and the girls stayed at home with their mothers and they knew how to make good husbands. The boys ' education was divided in two phases. The education that was intended to exercise the body and the education that was intended for their spiritual learning.

But what dealt the ancient Greeks? In Homeric society people were distributed almost equally among rulers-rich and poor, to free citizens and slaves. The Lords dealt with land and livestock. But they dealt not only with these works, but they built houses, made furniture, etc. to the slaves of course the heavy work fell. The main source of slaves was war. They used them for their jobs, especially the rich. The smallholders were slaves seasonally. The main work for slaves was the concierge, the educator, the cook etc.

The craftsmen were the largest part of the urban population. These professions demanded knowledge and dexterity. They processed clay, wood, stone and made beautifully decoratedTheir most cherished activities were hunting and fishing. They hunted bears, wild boars, birds, etc. Fishing was for them more a job than fun. They considered that hunting was healthier than fishing.

The Greeks, finally, were people who loved sports very much. The Greek athlete did not fight for material gain, but for victory. During the days of the festivities, competitions were organized. But the true fighting spirit appeared from the Achaaeans, where their struggles were not only demonstrations but connected with rituals. From the multitude of local races of antiquity, we mention the Olympia that took place in the beautiful Olympia, the Pythia, the isthmia that took place in the quiet area of Isthmias, the Nemean that had a deathly character, in honor of the heroes and of course the superior of all, the Olympics. The beginning of the games is always religious. For prizes were mainly tripods and pots. The games were the role of the children, that is, the boys in the archaic era. Women usually don't take part in the games.

The sports venues were the stadium, where there were street races, the gymnasium or the Palestra, where the kids and the Hippodrome were being charioted races. The main sports were the road, which was a race of endurance, the jump (leap in length), the disc, the javelin, the struggle that took place in a special sandbox and finally the Pentatolo that combined the events of the disc, the jump and the javelin.

The fist, Still, was developed by the use of the natural weapon of man, its strength and endurance. Pankration was a sport that combined fist and wrestling. They still became equestrian games, swimming, diving and rowing.

The information we have about the lives of the ancient Greeks, mainly concerning life in classical Athens, gives us an overview of the life of other cities, as it seems, gradually the political and social system of Athens was adopted by Hundreds of other cities in Greece.

Updated: May 19, 2021
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Ancient Greece: Analyzing their Contributions essay
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