Free Essays

What role did tribalism and racism play in ancient Greece?


A broad analysis of the evidence and impact of the concepts of tribalism and racism within Greece of antiquity, concentrating on the Classical and Hellenistic periods. Assessing the archaeological and literary evidence alongside the prevailing historical bias for these concepts. It is argued that Greece, although not a tribe but a state under Elman Sevice’s definition shows some strains of tribalism. Racism or proto-racism, is defined by differing criteria to the modern connotation and seems to have been geographically rather than biologically biased.


The period associated with ancient Greece spans around 1400 years from the archaic period with the traditional date for the first historic Olympic games in 776BC to the end of antiquity around 600AD.It is sensible to focus on the Classical and Hellenistic periods beginning with the Battle of Thermopylae in 480BC and ending with the end of the Fourth Macedonian War in 148BC.

The modern concepts of racism and tribalism are non necessarily one that would be comprehended in the ancient world. Racism in the modern sense of the word arose in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries alongside concepts of nationalism and the ‘noble savage’.

To add a broader cultural context, the Mycenaean palace civilization which collapsed in the twelfth century BC and the archaeological evidence supporting this collapse indicates a phase of depopulation and decline in the region. (Champion et al 1989: 244) At the beginning of the eighth century BC an archaeologically visible cultural complex emerged, distinct from the Halstatt iron age culture predominant in northern Europe. Broadly homogenous and distinctive, this cultural complex was established by the sixth century BC encompassing most of the Mediterranean coastal regions and included the Phoenicians, the Etruscans and Celt-Iberians as well as the Greeks. (ibid) and includes the corpus of work by Prof. Manolis Andronikos which establishes that the Macedonians had a Greek material culture. The attitudes of colonial Greeks in places like Massilia (Marseille) towards Hellenic ethnic identity differs from that of the Greeks who were living in polis (city-states).

As an example of this geographical difference, and what that meant to ancient Greek society , there is a marked contrast between Pericles’ citizenship law of 451/450BC and Ptolemy I’s ‘Diagramma’ explaining the legal implications of inter-marriage between Greeks and non-Greeks in Cyrene in the fourth century BC. Pericles’ law relates to Athens and stipulates that only individuals who had two Athenian parents could be considered Athenian citizens. From Ptolemy we learn that in Cyrene children of a Greek father and a Libyan mother were considered citizens. Aristotle in his Politics (VI, 2 1319 b 2) remarks that the democratic members had changed the orthodox practice and “flooded the citizen body with these half-castes” (nothoi pros metros) betraying the conservatism of ‘mainland’ Greece, but in particular Athens.

Discussing trading colonies it is significant that the only echelon of society within Greek polis involved in banking and business in the modern connotation were xenoi or outsiders. In Aristotle’s words:

“…money orientated life is not of the knightly kind” (Nicomanchean Ethics I. iv 1095b15-22)

As there was a material cultural continuity across the Mediterranean world at the time, the concept of ethnic difference or racism cannot be easily tracked archaeologically but through literary sources. Considering the bias of such sources Baldry says:

“One can all too easily overestimate the importance of beliefs expressed by a small intellectual minority, while forgetting that the majority found it difficult to see beyond the horizon of the polis;…”(Baldry, H.C., 1965 176-77)

Within this academic community there was a breadth of opinion. Conservative Aristotle equates ethnic identity with slavery in his Politics saying:

“Wherefore the Hellenes (Greeks) do not like to call Hellenes slaves, but confine the term to barbarians. Yet in using this language, they really mean the natural slave…Hellenes regard themselves as noble everywhere, and not only in their own country, but they deem the barbarians noble only when at home, thereby implying that there are two sorts of nobility and freedom, the one absoloute, the other relative” (Aristotle Politics 1255a-1255b)

“…the lower sort are by nature slaves, and it is better for them as for all inferiors (sc barbarians) that they should be under the rule of a master. For he who can be, and therefore it, another’s, and he who particupates in rational principle enough to apprehend, but not to have, such a principle, is a slave by nature” (Aristotle’s Politics 1254b)

This hints at concepts of the ‘noble savage’ which emerged during the enlightenment of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in tandem with nationalism and racism. It has been suggested that the ideologies of the ancient Greeks could be defined as proto-racism (Bakaukas 2005: 5)

The zenith of the Greek polis was the sixth to the fourth centuries BC. The period of the Persian Wars and the dominance of Athens and Sparta as political entities, underlining the perceived divisions between those who defined themselves as Hellenic and those deemed barbarian. Paridoxically there was concurrently growth in the concept of the unity of all mankind. Homer defines men as aydeentes (speaking beings), and this concept can also be seen in Plato’s Protagoras with the pronounced distinction between man and inarticulate animals. There is also a choral fragment from the fifth century BC from the Alexander of Euripides and the philosophy of sophists, in particular Antiphon. Other proponents were Thucydides, and the medical writers of the Hippocratic Corpus ( “…the same symptoms have the same meaning everywhere”). Nevertheless, as has already been alluded to, Greek proto-racism was not biologically based as the common modern interpretation.

Tribalism could be placed within the theoretical framework of the American anthropologist Elman Service. He postulated a four-fold classification system of societal evolution (Band, Tribe, Chiefdom and State) with associated types of site and settlement patterns. Greece in Service’s definition is not a tribe but a State. Tribalism implies shared cultural or ethnic identity used to exclude non-members. Therefore it could be described as a cohesive force and racism a devisive one.

A good example of the impact of both concepts is the Greek attitudes towards Macedonia and Alexander the Great. Greek states generally considered Macedonians barbarians, but, since the fifth century BC they had been permitted to compete in the Olympian Games, ostensibly because they were believed to descend from the legendary Heralces. Linguistically they spoke Greek (Bakaukas, M. 2005: 9). Alexander’s mother, Olympia was another ‘barbarian’ (daughter of Neoptolemus of Epirus (ibid)) another Hellenised individual who met Philip of Macedon during celebrations of the Greek Mysteries of Samothrace. Alexander was a pupil of Aristotle and Plutarch relates that the teacher was criticised for advising Alexander to treat Greeks as friends and barbarians as enemies. Alexander did not pay any heed to this advice:

“All mortals from now on shall live like one people, united and peacefully working towards a common prosperity. You should regard the whole world as your country – a country where the best govern – with common laws and no racial distinctions” (The ‘Oath’ of Alexander the Great – Speech at Opis (Assyria) in 324BC)

The most obvious comparison between Greek city states for race and tribal considerations is between Athens and Sparta. Both considered each other Hellenic but Athens was a democracy and Sparta an oligarchy. The Peloponnesian War (431 – 404BC) is the pinnacle of their rivalry and as Thucydides comments, before the War and after the Persian Wars (499 – 449BC) much of Greece was known as the Athenian Empire.


In conclusion, tribalism and racism are modern constructs which existed in ancient Greece but were formed according to the prevalent cultural, political and social contexts. Archaeological evidence has provided a quantitive benchmark that the material culture was homogenous throughout the Mediterranean world. The ‘tribe’ of Greeks were united in their urban state structure and common ideals of democracy and civilization but the significance of ‘purity’ in racial terms was malleable, tending to be more flexible the further from the nexus of Greek civilisation.


Bakaukas, Michael. 2005. Tribalism and Racism amongst the Ancient Greeks: A Weberian Perspective. Anistoriton Journal, vol. 9, March 2005, section E0501 Available through: [Accessed 10th August 2012]

Baldry, H.C., 1961 The Idea of the Unity of Mankind in Greek Thought Cambridge University Press

Borza, E.N., and Palagia, O., The Chronology of the Macedonian Royal Tombs at Vergina Available through: [Accessed 11th August 2012]

Champion, C., Gamble, C., Shennan, S., Whittle, A. 1984 Prehistoric Europe Ninth printing 1997. Academic Press Ltd, London.

Renfrew, C., and Bahn, P., 1996 (Second Edition) Archaeology: Theories, Methods and Practice Thames and Hudson, London

Trigger, Bruce G. 1989. A History of Archaeological Thought Cambridge University Press.

Free Essays

Does the Euro Crises prove that any of these member states: Greece, Ireland and Portugal should have not been allowed to join the euro?


The creation of the Eurozone following the Maastricht Treaty led to the region becoming one of the largest single currency areas in the world. However, at the heart of this project lay a series of inherent weaknesses. This paper discusses these weaknesses from the perspective of three countries: Ireland, Portugal and Greece. Each of these countries had their own particular economic and fiscal issues which would have exposed them to economic shock should the Eurozone experience a financial downturn. This was the case in 2008 when the US led financial crisis spread to Europe. This paper assesses that none of these countries were sufficiently prepared to join the Eurozone but also that they also possessed their own unique structural weaknesses which would perpetuate any financial crisis. It is for this reason that these three states would not have been allowed to join and also that they all sought bailouts in order to stop their domestic governments from bankruptcy.


The development of the Eurozone represented a further attempt in the European Union to create increased economic and fiscal convergence and integration. The recent financial crisis has provided this new project with its first major test. This paper begins by reviewing the development and evolution of the Euro and the Eurozone. In doing so, it looks at the considered need for fiscal stabilisation at the international level. This section also highlights the various fiscal and economic mechanisms which were put in place prior to allowing any country to join the project. Subsequent to this the eligibility of three countries, Ireland, Portugal and Greece is considered. Here, the rationale for these countries joining, as well as reviewing the structure of their respective economies, is taken into consideration. Further to this, the question of whether these countries met the stabilising mechanisms prior to joining is assessed. This paper then highlights various other reasons why it may have been beneficial for them not to join the Eurozone. Finally, this paper reviews the recent meltdown in the Eurozone area and highlights that this event was precipitated by a structural weakness in both US as well as global financial markets which left these three countries exposed to debts sufficient for them to require bailouts and restructuring programmes which were indicative of shock therapy. This paper concludes that Ireland, Portugal and Greece should have been allowed to join the Eurozone since neither of these countries had met the eligibility criteria. In addition each of these states possessed their own structural weaknesses that ultimately would have exposed them to an economic downturn, regardless of the causation.

Euro Evolution

The Euro is the common currency which is used by the majority of member states of the European Union (EU). It originated in 1992 following the signing of the Maastricht Treaty which contained three aspects to combining and increasing EU governance. The Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM), as a vehicle for economic integration and financial convergence, was first muted in the late 1970s as a vehicle for furthering economic integration (Civitas, 2013), and represented the latest international drive towards economic stability. Originally known as the European Monetary System, it was wound up in 1992 with the development of the ERM (Civitas, 2013).

Progression towards the ERM included the creation of an independent central bank, which was mandated to achieving and maintaining price stability across the Eurozone space; a Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) which consisted of an intergovernmental agreement which was conjoined with the EU legal framework, the aim of which was to limit member state fiscal deficits; and a no co-responsibility (in layman terms, a no bail out clause) which was enshrined within Article 125 of the Treaty (Europa, 1992). These mechanisms were considered to be decent fiscal instruments for EU and Eurozone governance and, as a result, member states did not consider that it was important to coordinate their economic policies. This latter aspect was forwarded by powerful member states such as the UK, France and Germany, which did not consider that they would have any benefit from these policies. For them, any subsequent domestic policy changes were considered to have a detrimental impact upon their finances (Campaign against Euro Federalism, 2013). However, as a precursor to Euro membership, aspiring member states need to comply with a pre-set series of fiscal guidelines.

EU Member states which join the Eurozone must meet a series of convergence criteria (European Commission, 2014). These criteria are based on a series of fiscal; mechanisms which are utilised to restructure the economies of member states in order that the transition to conversion to the Euro are based upon macroeconomic indicators which are used to measure The convergence criteria are formally defined as a set of macroeconomic indicators which measure stability of prices and inflationary pressures; sound and sustainability public finances which includes an imposed limit on government borrowing as well as national debt in order that member states avoid possessing an excessive national deficit (European Commission, 2014). However prior to this, aspiring member states need to conform to the exchange-rate stability mechanism, through which participation in the ERM takes place for at least two years prior to membership without there being any evidence of a strong deviations from the ERM criteria (European Commission, 2014). A further factor in the progression towards joining the Eurozone for any aspirant state is an assessment of long-term interest rates. Indeed this latter criterion was a mitigating factor in the UK’s failure to adhere to ERM controls in the early 1990s (Civitas, 2013). More recently the Eurozone has been engulfed in a global financial crisis which began in the USA and spread to Europe via Iceland (this is discussed in greater detail later in the paper). The fallout from this particular crisis is yet to fully land. However, the Eurozone has progressed through a series of crises since the idea was first muted in the later 1970s and, more recently, via the sovereign debt crises of recent years. It is evident that the Eurozone is not an exact science and that there exist a number of structural issues at the heart of this project.

Economic and Political Reasons for the Three joining the Euro

The aforementioned group of PIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain) joined the Euro at its inception. This section discusses three of these states, Ireland, Greece and Portugal. Bardhan, Edelstein and Kroll (2011) noted that Ireland benefitted from a number from Eurozone membership. Additionally, it is noted that the period of economic convergence provided the country with an array of stabilising fiscal factors which led to the country becoming known as tiger economy (Bardhan, Edelstein and Kroll, 2011; BBC, 2011) but in 2008 the country was the first Eurozone country to fall in to recession (BBC, 2011). However this outcome was the end of a dream which, for Arestic and Sawyer (2012), was based upon a political aspiration of economic success as well as personal and national prosperity for the Irish population.

Greece joined the Eurozone in 2001 (BBC, 2001). EU membership was previously extremely popular in Greece and its populace had experienced tough austerity measures in order to comply with the economic and fiscal mechanisms which were needed to ensure a successful transition to the new currency. Similarly, there was a political determination to join the new currency since it was seen that progression would provide increased international scope for the country (BBC, 2001). Lynn (2011) argues that the historic role, in terms of political development, of Greece was a contributory factor in the national rush to join the Eurozone and considered that this outcome was to be achieved at all costs. Schadler (2005) suggests that the at all costs caveat was provided by the austerity measures and the near compliance with pre-set regulatory fiscal criteria which ensured membership of this exclusive group. In effect, whilst Ireland had hoped for increased economic wealth and prosperity, Greek aspirations largely concentrated upon gaining increased international respect and recognition.

With regards to Portugal, it is noted that this country did not join the EU space until 1986 and, effectively, was a late comer to this political institution. This is of particular importance to its membership of the Eurozone since wholesale economic change first began thirteen years later as a precursor to Eurozone membership in 2002 (Porter and Prince, 2012). Porter and Prince (2012) argue that the country’s membership of the Euro came at the behest of a political leadership that had a largely uneventful foreign policy. They link the convergence with EU policies such as membership with the Eurozone with the decreasing influence within its former colonies (Porter and Prince, 2012). This includes the return of former territories to China during the same period as the shift in focus towards its near neighbourhood was taking place. To summarise, it can be evidenced that there were numerous reasons why Ireland, Greece and Portugal joined the Eurozone. These include increased prosperity and wealth as well as increased political clout and international recognition.

Was the Convergence Criteria met by the Three?

It is of particular concern that Ireland, Greece and Portugal required mass fiscal stimuli packages and bailouts in order to shore up their economies and protect the respective states from going bust. A central factor in this outcome, it can be argued is a failure of these three states to adhere to the fiscal criteria that membership of the Eurozone required in order to provide a secure transition to the new currency.

As stated previously, aspirant Eurozone states were required to attain to a number of preset economic and fiscal controls which would have indicated their capabilities and successful transition to the Eurozone. Maduro (2012) holds a perspective which states that structural failings within the ERM, as well as the wider EU, failed to address the excessive cross-border flow of capital which was a contributory factor in the subsequent economic crisis. Mauro also highlights that a particular failure of the EU to implement the then existing rules relating to EU budgetary frameworks also impacted upon states abilities to progress to the Eurozone successfully. For Maduro (2012) this particular outcome was important to the success of the Greek model, as well as its subsequent economic crash, since it revealed that both the local and supra national system for monitoring public finances was not working as effectively as it should have. It is noted that Greek economic performances were outside of the considered ERM requirements and that from 2000 to 2008, the budget deficit given to the European Commission was nearly three per cent of the country’s GDP. In 2001, it is also noted that Greece was warned by the European Central Bank ECB, that the country still work to do to if it was going to successfully be adpted into the Eurozone. This included developing the structure of its economy and bringing inflation under control (BBC, 2001). Nevertheless Greece did join the Eurozone despite having a series of noted failings within its central fiscal requirements.

Bardhan, Edelstein, and Kroll, (2011) note that the Irish economy had been inflated by a large housing bubble. This helped inflate the Irish economy to a status of having near full employment by the turn of the century (Bardhan, Edelstein, and Kroll, 2011). However a party to this success proved to be the Irish commitment to the controls which had been placed upon it by the ERM. Regling and Watson (2010) argue that a failure of the ERM structure had a detrimental impact upon the Irish economy since the loss of fiscal independence was a mitigating factor on both the creation of the bubble as well as the failure of the Irish government to combat increasing inflationary, and other fiscal pressures. Regling and Watson (2010) blame this outcome on the structure of the ERM and highlight that a small nation requires having, as full as possible, fiscal controls.

Portuguese compliance with ERM criteria provided a greater economic stimulus that had first been thought was possible (Constancio, 2005). This produced a similar outcome to the Irish economic experience of the ERM and realised a booming Portuguese economy. Constancio, (2005) also notes that subsequent pay increases outstripped inflationary pressures and this outcome provide to be decisive in the battle to retain control of this area of fiscal policy, particularly where an economic downturn would result in the possibility of rampant inflation. These outcomes, Constancio (2005) argued led to pay increases in Portugal outstripping their EU partners. Essentially this outcome was borne of the structural failings discussed earlier into this paper and were only exposed when these state were impacted by the financial crisis. In terms of the Eurozone qualifying criteria, it is to be noted that none of these three countries met the criteria for joining the Eurozone. Ireland, Portugal and Greece, therefore were in good company and were aligned to the German, Spanish, Austrian et al experiences of convergence criteria which all failed to meet qualifying critiera. Indeed, , of all the member states only two, France and Luxembourg, were the only countries to satisfy all the convergence criteria (Arestis, Brown, Sawyer, 2001).

Any other Reason why any of the Three should have not Joined the Euro

The earlier discussions as to the reasons why these three states, Ireland, Portugal and Greece joined the Eurozone produced divergent responses and listed from economic reasons to political vanity and reshaping of foreign policy. These issues alone are not sufficient to realise the potential pitfalls should they experience an economic downturn, as was the case in 2008 onwards. Arestis and Sawyer (2012) noted that in the case of Greece the risks far outweighed the benefits. They compared Greece with Austria and recognised that both economic models were similar apart from Greece having a far lower wage economy that Austria. Austria, therefore, was capable of resisting economic shock. Had the Greek government recognised this potential risk then it is recognised that it would not have been in their benefit to join this monetary union. With regards to Portugal and Ireland, Constancio (2005) argues that these economies had not resolved the structural issues of boom and bust. AS a result economic recession was a highly probable outcome in the event of an economic bust. In essence, therefore for reasons of due diligence it is arguable that neither of these staes should have joined the Eurozone.

One other potential reason for not joining the Eurozone is the philosophical argument of losing sovereignty. After the ERM had its first crisis in the early 1990s, Palm (1996) noted that the loss of state sovereignty also meant the loss of fiscal control. Whilst this particular issue is discussed elsewhere in this paper, Palm (1996) specifically discussed the loss of fiscal control in terms of an absence of asymmetric county-specific economic shock which, he argued, would be a thing of the past. Instead Palm (1996) stated that it is entirely feasible that or counterbalancing methods would be needed in order to stop economic contagion since all member states would be affected in one way or another. With hindsight Palm (1996) is discussing the response to the Eurozone crisis of 2008 to the present day. It is unfortunate, therefore, that the three countries were unable to consider due diligence when considering their membership of the Eurozone. Had they have done so they would have recognised the exposure to the potential banking failures and acted accordingly.

Euro crises

The recent fiscal crisis in the Eurozone has highlighted that it is exposed to the international financial climate. The recent fiscal crisis began in earnest in the USA with a series of regulatory changes to the US banking system in the early 2000’s (Jickling, 2012). The collapse of US subprime lending facilities impacted on Europe, firstly in Iceland where its ballooning financial sector had been exposed to the debt crisis in the USA (Lewis, 2009), and latterly on other Eurozone member states which had been exposed to large banking debts and bad practices . This has included Cyprus and the PIGS group of nations, Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain. The latest crisis occurred in Cyprus where experiences there were in line with similar financial and economic failings within the Eurozone space. In each case, it can be evidenced that a number of structural failings as well as an inordinate exposure to risk have been causal factors in their particular financial collapses Menendez, 2013). Indeed, Iceland subsequently possessed a national debt which was ten times its national GDP (Glitner, Landbanksi and Kaupthing, 2009). Jickling (2012) Argues that the underlying causal factors of the recent crisis in both the USA and in the Eurozone were structural and that, as a result, it can be evidenced that there were four factors which needed to be addressed. These factors are: imprudent mortgage lending, bursting of housing bubbles, the structural imbalance of global debt as well as issues relating to securitization (Jickling, 2012).

Menendez (2013) notes that following the financial crisis the three countries, Ireland, Portugal and Greece were impacted further when they were faced within increased demand for higher interest rates on borrowing as well as reduced fees from issued bonds. This particular outcome also impacted upon the three mechanisms which were available to these countries (renegotiation, bond issues and monetization) when attempting to relieve themselves of the economic and fiscal burdens (Menendez, 2013). The resultant outcome was that the reform processes which they were able to utilise led to reform of their respective public sectors. Prior to this, Klein (2007) had argued that such an outcome would be indicative of the new model of international crisis management. Indeed with subsequent remedies for filling the vacuum caused by financial shortfalls becoming more autocratic and oppressive it is arguable as to whether the EU space witnessed for the first time a Bolivian style response to a financial crisis (Klein, 2007). Janssen (2011) argues that one possible solution could have been that the Euro is devalued however this would not have been beneficial to Germany since its economy is export driven. As such, the political shenanigans which led to the creation of the Eurozone, and which failed to realise the preset criteria for the vast majority of countries has continued to perpetuate the structural issues that reside at the heart of this institution. For Ireland, Portugal and Greece, however, the economic and fiscal issues remain.


In conclusion, the creation of the Eurozone has been some thirty years in the making and has been considered as a regional attempt at satisfying the need for a cross border fiscal control system. The ERM was developed in order to progress this ideal but failed to address a number of structural issues that resided within the international monetary system. As a party to this, the resultant exposure of the UK to fiscal issues resulted in this country leaving the ERM some twenty years ago. Since this time the project has developed and went live with a number of nations converting their currency to the Euro. As such the Eurozone was created. However the qualifying criteria of the Eurozone was not met by all but two countries and the subsequent exposure to the US banking crisis by Eurozone members left a number of them in need of financial bailout packages. This included Ireland, Portugal and Greece. These three countries were heavily exposed to this crisis as a result of their own structural issues which included booming economies and exposure to a credit bubble. When these bubbles burst, the Eurozone project was in crisis and, today, a number of issues remain unresolved. This includes how to restructure the economies of states that reside within the Eurozone. However as a result of the exposure of these three countries to the recent crisis, the failure to restructure their economies prior to joining, as well as their failure to adhere to all the preset compliances evidences that they should not have been allowed to join in the first place. This issue aside, with only France and Luxembourg satisfying the qualifying criteria the question of whether any other state should have been allowed to join remains a matter of debate. In conclusion, the Eurozone crisis which engulfed these three countries typifies the weakened global fiscal structure which led to the crisis in the first place.


Arestis, P., Brown, A., Sawyer, M. (2001) The Euro: Evolution and Prospects, Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing.

Arestis, P., and Sawyer, M. (2012) The Euro Crisis, London: Palgrave McMillan.

and Institutions, London: John Wiley & Sons.

BBC (2001) Greece joins the Eurozone, (online), available at, (accessed on 29/10/14).

BBC (2011), Europe’s PIGS: Country by country, (online), available at, (accessed on 29/10/14).

Campaign against Euro Federalism (2013) What is to Happen?, London: Campaign against Euro Federalism.

Civitas (2013) European Monetary System, London: Civitas.

Constancio, V. (2005) European Monetary Union and the Portuguese Case, (online), available at, (Accessed on 29/10/14).

Europa (1992) Treaty of Maastricht on European Union, (online), available at, (accessed on 28/10/14).

European Commission (2014) Who can Join and When, (online), available at, (accessed on 28/10/14).

Glitner, Landbanksi and Kaupthing (2009) Joint Quarterly Report, Reykjavik: Glitner, Landbanksi and Kaupthing.

Jickling,M. (2012) CausesoftheFinancialCrisis,(WashingtonDC:CongressionalResearchService).

Klein,N.(2007)ShockDoctrine,Toronto: KnopfCanada.

Lewis,M.(2009)WallStreetonthetundra,(online),availableat, Vanity Fair, (accessedon28/10/14).

Lynn, M. (2011) Bust: Greece, the Euro and the Sovereign Debt Crisis, London: John Wiley and Sons.

Maduro,M.P.(2012)Democracy and Justice: The formula for a new EU and Euro governance, (online)availableat, Network, (accessedon29/10/14).

Menendez,L.(2013)TheSpreadoftheEuropeanSovereignDebtCrisis,University ofIowa:CentreforInternationalFinanceandDevelopment.

Palm, F. (1996) The European Exchange Rate Mechanism and The European Monetary Union, (J), De Economist, Vol. 144, (2), pp. 305 – 324.

Porter, D., and Prince, D. (2012) Frommer’s Portugal, London: John Wiley and Sons.

Regling, K., and Watson, M. (2010) A Preliminary Report on the Sources of Ireland’s Banking Crisis, Dublin: Ministry of Finance.

Schadler, S. (2005) Euro Adoption in Central and Eastern Europe: Opportunities and Challenges, New York: International Monetary Fund.

Free Essays

Life in ancient Greece and medieval Europe

This essay briefly compares and contrasts a few salient features of life in ancient Greece and medieval Europe.


The life in ancient Greece and during the middle age in Europe has tremendous impact on our lives today also. The effect of the ancient Greek lifestyle is direct and that of the middle age Europe is indirect.  The ancient Greeks have gifted to us system of governance like ‘democracy’ and the master event of all masculine sports: the Olympic games. On the other hand, the life style of middle age, gave rise to the age of new thinking, the renaissance. It was during the middle age that intellectuals started their quest for knowledge, which led to an upsurge or intellectual activities later. It was during the middle age that schools and Universities started being established across Europe. These gave rise to centers of learning during the renaissance period, later.( Daily life in ancient  Greece, life ).

While studying the life style of ancient Greeks and the people of middle age Europe, one more familiarity that strikes the reader is that in both the cases, considerable stress was laid on education of children.  In ancient Greece, children were educated at primary level at home mostly by the male slaves. The way education was imparted in the medieval period was slightly different. Schools had already come into existence, and concept of language, math and science had started developing slowly.( daily life in ancient Greece, life ).

Both the ages have given memorable gifts to mankind. The ancient Greeks have given us 1)  trial by jury, 2)  the Greek mythology, 3) democracy,  and  4) recreational activity like dramatics, while the middle age has opened the doors for establishment of schools for primary level and universities for the higher level education. The invention of Guttenberg’s printing press, is the greatest gift from the middle age to mankind. The forts and structures built by the rulers for protection of citizens and worship of God, during these ages, are remarkable pieces of architecture.( daily life in ancient Greece, history )


The ancient Greek era is timed up to5th century B.C. while the medieval European age is timed from 4th century A.D. to the 14th century A.D. Life in ancient Greece marked  the development of one of the civilizations on this world, while life during the middle age is also known as a dark age, because of the downfall of activities in almost all spheres of life.( daily life in ancient Greece, life )

The biggest contrast between the two is that slavery existed in ancient Greece whereas it had no traces in the middle age Europe. Male and female slaves lived miserable lives and were treated like commodities by their owners. They did not even have a right to have their own name. Slavery was so prominent in ancient Greece that there were as many slaves as the number of citizens in ancient Greece.

The Greek civilization spread over a small geographic area whereas the middle age Europe encompasses the whole of the continent. Despite the fall of the Roman empire, the Catholic church was the sole centralized authority to impress upon the rulers of all countries. In contrast, the ruling system in ancient Greece was heavily decentralized. In  ancient Greece, there existed a system of city-states. Each city was a state, governed independently. Athens, Sparta, Corinth,

Argus and Megara were the main city- states. ( Daily life in ancient  Greece, life ) The similarities between the life in ancient Greece and in the medieval Europe are few, whereas the contrasts are too many, and too prominent also.

Works-cited page

Daily life in ancient Greece, 2006, Retrieved on 4 May 2007 from:

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Life & History, 2000, Retrieved on 4 May 2007, from:

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Free Essays

Exploring the greek mythology through the ‘Odyssey’

Literary narratives such as the Greek and the Roman mythologies have played a great part on the development of societies around the world. Especially in the context of western civilization, the mythologies of the Greeks and the Romans significantly shaped the culture of this region. Aside from its culture, it also highly influenced its society in general. In fact, politics and religion are also explained in the light of the Greek and Roman mythologies.

In this paper, it will explore on the Greek mythology through the myth on the ‘Odyssey’. More specifically, it will emphasize on its main character by the name of Odysseus or Ulysses. Through this character, this paper will be able to explain the role of myth on the changing cultural make-up of Greece. In particular, this myth will serve as an instrument in identifying the way Greeks perceive and use mythologies. Finally, this paper will also present the different key points of the myth.

The Odyssey is an epic of Homer about the adventures of Odysseus. Specifically, this myth is considered as the sequel to the earliest well-known surviving work in Western literature which is the ‘Iliad’. In comparison to many sequels in the present era, the ‘Odyssey’ is considered to be distinct because of its originality and even stands as an independent work. (Napierkowski, 1998a)

It has been said that its main character, Odysseus, has been a celebrated hero in the Greek mythology. Being the central character in the ‘Odyssey’, he is best known for is adventures during his ten-year journey home after the Trojan War. His journey to home on Ithaca took ten years because of the anger of the sea god Poseidon. During his journey and adventures, the hero went to many wondrous and dangerous places. Along the way, he lost all his companions and the treasure he had gotten from Troy Arriving home at last after an absence of 20 years, Odysseus had to defeat rivals trying to take possession of his wife and his kingdom. Then he had to prove his identity to his wife, Penelope. (Wickersham, 2000)

The adventures of Odysseus are highlighted by his achievement of victory in various challenges or struggles. Among this is the encounter with the Ciconians, the Lotus-eaters, Polyphemus, Aeolus, the Laestrygonians, Circe, Journey to the underworld, the sirens, Scylla and Charybdis, the cattle of Helios as well as the Calypso and the Phaecians. More importantly, one can also add the difficulties he acquired upon his arrival in Ithaca due to the suitors of his wife, Penelope. Eventually, all of these trials were conquered by Odysseus. Therefore, he was dubbed as a hero. Moreover, the qualities he manifested during his trials were considered as the qualities of a real or true hero.

Undoubtedly, the voyages and troubles encountered by Odysseus highlights the concept of heroism, loyalty, creativity and order. In addition, the ‘Odyssey’ is also famous for its use of symbolism as well as for the pace and variety of its action. With this, both the ‘Iliad’ and the ‘Odyssey’ set the standard by which epic poetry, if not all poetry of any kind, was judged in the past 1,500 years. More importantly, the story on the wanderings of Odysseus has remained a perennial favorite to the present day. (Napierkowski, 1998a)

Basically, the appeal of the ‘Odyssey’ is derived from its nature as being able to present the Greek people as well as the way of life in ancient Greek society. In short, the story serves as an archetype to various societies and not just the Greek community. Particularly, the characters of Penelope and Odysseus serve as a role model to the multitude. Their way of life has been the idealized life of the many. Until today, the moral of the story has continuously been resonated to the people of any culture or ethnic group.

Furthermore, the theme of human condition is the most important theme in the ‘Odyssey’. In the story, almost every aspect of humanity is depicted- good, bad, young, old, individuals and groups, the living and even the dead. Other themes also include love and loyalty, order and disorder, heroic craftiness, the nature of women, triumph over temptation, home, the epic journey, the God’s involvement, revenge, heroism and, creativity, imagination and deception.  (Napierkowski, 1998b)

Indeed, the story of Odysseus made a great impact on the society of the Greek people. In fact, even in the present day, the story on the adventures of this great hero is still related to many people around the world. In the contemporary society, people have created a modern version of the ‘Odyssey’ through the aid of media technology. This is evident on the animated version of this story in order to cater the needs of the children or the young generation.


Burns, M. (1996, May 1). The wanderings of the Odysseus: The story of ‘The Odyssey.’ The Horn Book Magazine.  72 (3).

Napierkowski, Marie Rose. (Ed). (1998). Odyssey: Introduction. Epics for students. Vol.1. Detroit: Gale.

(1998). Odyssey: Themes. Epics for Students. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale,

Wickersham, John M. (Ed). (2000). Odysseus. Myths and Legends of the World. Macmillan: Thomson Gale.


Free Essays

Buddhism Versus Greek Mythology

“[A human being] experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness, “said Albert Einstein. “Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty” (“Heart Quotes”). Einstein’s view on nature is similar to that of Indian Buddhists. Life-giving Indian weather inspired the Buddhist cyclic view of rebirth while the rugged terrain of Greece inspired their harsh outlook on nature.

Buddhists believe man is one with nature while Greek mythology emphasizes the all-importance of man. Buddhists live in harmony with nature whereas the Greeks show violence towards it and all its creatures. However, as the Greek mindset shifted towards philosophy, so did it shift towards similar reverence towards nature. The defining distinction between these two perspectives on life is that the outlook on nature of Buddhists show values from the belief that all is in harmony with Atman, whereas the Greek outlook on nature shows that man is above nature.

India is a country of lush plains, striking mountains, beautiful deserts, and dazzling bays. 2, 545 years ago, this incredible scenery served as the backdrop to Buddha’s life and eventual Enlightenment, from which Buddhist teachings would one day grow (Eckel 6). The impact of Buddha’s surroundings on Buddhist thinking is obvious, especially when one takes into consideration India’s dramatic seasonal climate changes. Every summer in India, the monsoons arrive. Every summer in India is monsoon season, a time of torrential downpours raging uninterrupted for months.

Before these monsoons, the earth is dried and parched; food and water are scarce. It is, in every way, a season of death. Then, however, the rain arrives, harsh and relentless, but life giving nonetheless. The rain is the amniotic fluid catalyzing the re-entrance of life unto the barren earth. This annual cycle of death and rebirth presents the native people with a dire ultimatum: they must either obey nature or not survive. If they try to go against nature’s course, they will inevitably fail. Nature controls life. Observing this phenomenon, Buddhists learned from nature and realized that this cycle can be found everywhere.

They realized that humans undergo an equivalent cycle called samsara, or reincarnation. ————————————————- “He could no longer distinguish the many voices, the cheerful from the weeping, the children’s from the men’s: they all belonged together. The lament of the knower’s yearning and laughing, the screaming of the angry, the moaning of the dying- everything was one; everything was entwined and entwisted, was interwoven a thousand fold. And all of it together, all voices, all goals, all yearnings, all sufferings, all pleasures, all good and evil-the world was everything together.

Everything together was the river of events, was the music of life. And when Siddhartha listened attentively to this river, listened to this song of a thousand voices, when he did not listen to sorrow or laughter, when he did not bring his soul to any one voice and did not enter them with his ego, but listened to all of them, heard the wholeness, the oneness- then the great song of the thousand voices consisted of a single word, which was ‘om’: perfection…belonging to the oneness” (Hesse 118-119). At the core of Buddhism lies an important lesson about maya and Enlightenment. To reach Enlightenment, one must understand all.

One of the first steps towards such understanding is to understand maya, or illusion. Everything that one sees, feels, and tastes belongs to the world of maya. Even one does not exist but in the world of maya. Thus, if all does not exist, then all is equal. One is equal to everything in the surrounding world, especially nature. All are one in Atman, which is the heart of all of Buddhism. Everything is one. All of this separation from nature and from one another is simply maya, or an illusion. Consequently, in Buddhism, any injustice done to nature is an injustice to oneself.

To reach Enlightenment, peace and oneness with nature are essential. Man and nature are one. Therefore, everyone and everything, especially nature, should be treated as so. “[Siddhartha said,] ‘This stone is a stone, it is also an animal, it is also God, it is also the Buddha, I love and honor it not because it would become this or that someday, but because of this because it is a stone, because it appears to me now and today as a stone, it is precisely because of this that I love it and see worth and meaning in each of its veins and pits, in the yellow, in the gray, in the hardness, in the sound it emits when I tap it, n the dryness or dampness of its surface. [T]hat is precisely what I like and what seems wonderful to me and worthy of worship…I love the stone and the river and all these things that we contemplate and also a tree or a piece of bark. These are things and things can be loved” (Hesse 126-127). In harmony with the principle of reincarnation, any plant, creature, or other aspect of nature is a part of the cycle of rebirth. Therefore, any of these can one day become a man, for when something in nature dies, it undergoes the cycle of rebirth and can be reborn as anything.

One day, it will become a human. Nature holds the ability within itself to be a human and, for that reason, should be considered as an equal. The true magnitude of nature’s presence in Buddhism is truly portrayed by the distinct mentioning of Siddhartha reaching enlightenment under a tree, specifically the Bodhi tree or the Asiatic fig tree (Gach 16). The scriptural account of the Enlightenment of Buddha gives this significance to nature when Buddha sits under the Bodhi tree for seven whole days.

After the seven days, the Buddha gets up only to sit down again at an Ajapala banyan-tree for another length of time. He rises once again just to sit down once more at the foot of a Mucalinda tree (“Bodhi Leaf”). Nature is therefore made clear as one of the most important aspects of Buddhism. As Buddhists have such a deep reverence for nature, they believe in keeping peace with every aspect of nature. This does not just mean plants but also animals and other living creatures. However, that does not mean that all Buddhists must be vegetarians although it is strongly suggested to do so.

It is said that the act of eating meat is a form of karma that will lead a person farther from Enlightenment. Therefore, the more meat one eats in one’s various lives, the more times one will have to experience the cycle of death and rebirth. On the other hand, some Buddhists believe in another view of meat eating. One is allowed to eat meat that one receives unless one knows or suspects that the meat in question was killed especially for one (Epstein). As far as sacrificial practices, meat is not sacrificed but instead herbs and incense are given up in prayer.

Peace is a very important aspect of treating nature. Peace comes in many forms: peace towards environment, towards creatures, towards man, etc. A Buddhist definition of peace is “softening what is rigid in our hearts” (Chodron 17). In keeping with their attitude towards nature, Buddhists also believe that a man should not kill another man for any reason. In Buddhism, war is never the answer. In fact, the first few lines of the Dhammapada, a Buddhist scripture, state “For love is not conquered by hate: hate is conquered by love.

This is a law eternal” (Chappell 81). Therefore, instead of fighting hate with hate, Buddhists believe in fighting hate with love. That is the only way to overcome and to reach Enlightenment. “’When someone seeks,’ said Siddhartha,’ then it easily happens that his eyes see only the thing that he seeks, and he is able to find nothing, to take in nothing because he always thinks only about the thing he is seeking, because he has one goal, because he is obsessed with his goal. Seeking means: having a goal. But finding means: being free, being open, having no goal.

You, Venerable One, may truly be a seeker, for, in striving toward your goal, you fail to see certain things that are right under your nose. ” (Hesse, 121-122) As previously stated, to reach Enlightenment, Buddhists believe all that is needed is understanding. The ultimate goal of Buddhists is to attain this understanding, this meaning, this Enlightenment. However, one must be aware that spending a life seeking is not the way to reach Enlightenment. To be a faithful Buddhist, one must understand that the key is not to seek.

For, in seeking, as this quote says, the obvious is not seen. Buddhism then teaches that to reach Enlightenment, one must find not seek. Therefore, Buddhists do not seek to explain nature (Hanh 78). They are content with nature as it is- unexplained, for nature’s explanations can be found without seeking. “’Is this what you mean: that the river is everywhere at once, at its source and at its mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the rapids, in the sea ,in the mountains, everywhere at once, and only the present exists for it, and not the shadow of the future? ‘That is it,’ said Siddhartha. ‘And when I learned that, I looked at my life, and it was also a river and the boy Siddhartha was separated from the adult Siddhartha and from the old man Siddhartha only by shadow, not by substance. Nor were Siddhartha’s earlier births the past, and his death and his return to [Atman] are no future. Nothing was, nothing will be; everything is, everything has being and is present” (Hesse 94). A final important aspect of Buddhism is the concept that time does not exist. Time is a man-made notion that does nothing but bring about worries.

All sufferings in life can be attributed to time. Buddhists believe that once the concept of time is released, life will hold no more problems, worries, or stresses. Only then can Enlightenment be truly reached. When the concept of time is destroyed inside oneself, it allows for a completely new philosophy to surface. Greece is a country lined with hostile, jagged mountains, in which there are very few arable location surrounded by threatening seas. There is no cycle, no preconception, no structure. To the Ancient Greeks, it seemed that nature was not kind; nature was no friend to them.

Therefore, their logic decided that they should be no friend to nature. Such was the physical and mental location of this people, and the beginning of many differences between Greek thought and Buddhism. Greeks living about six hundred years ere the birth of Christ were very religious, as well as very diverse spiritually. All the answers to their questions were found in different religions. Ancient Greeks passed down their religious traditions orally through myths. A myth is “a story about the gods which sets out to explain why life is as it is” (Gaarder, 22).

Greek mythology was an integral part of Greek culture. The ‘miracle of Greece’ is a phrase that describes the awakening of Greek culture and its effects on the rest of the world. One way the Greeks accomplished this was through their focus on man’s importance. They put mankind at the center of their world so that man was all-important. The Greeks even created the gods in their own image, complete with very human qualities. This was the first time in history that a god was made into a recognizable, tangible form. Erstwhile, gods had no lucidity about them. Greek artists and poets realized how splendid a man could be, straight and swift and strong. He was the fulfillment of their search for beauty. They had no wish to create some fantasy shaped in their own minds” (Hamilton, 9). Man was put on a pedestal and made the most prominent being in the world, so that he was made into a deity. Any human could be the son of a god, thereby half-divine, an idea unheard of before this time. This idea of man being the ultimate authority is in complete contradiction to Buddhism, where man was equal to nature, not above it. And soon as the men had prayed and flung the barley, first they lifted back the heads of the victims, slit their throats, skinned them and carved away the meat from the thighbones and wrapped them in fat, a double fold sliced clean and topped with strips of flesh. And the old man burned these over dried split wood and over the quarters poured out glistening wine while young men at his side held five-pronged forks. Once they had burned the bones and tasted the organs they cut the rest into pieces, pierced them with spits, roasted them to a turn and pulled them off the fire” (Homer 93)

Myths were also used for other purposes than learning. “But a myth was not only an explanation. People also carried out religious ceremonies related to the myths” (Gaarder, 25). Like most other religions at the time, the Ancient Greeks’ religions consisted of brutal rituals and rites that contrasted greatly to the thoughts of Buddhism (Connolly 87). Buddhism teaches of kindness to animals whereas Greek religion utilized animal cruelty as part of their holy worship to the gods. The gods of Olympus, who were created in the ultimate image of the Greek people, used the forms of innocent animals to manipulate and get what they wanted.

In many instances, Zeus used the guise of animals when he wanted to capture a woman and gain her trust. “[T]hat very instant [Zeus] fell madly in love with Europa [… H]e thought it well to be cautious, and before appearing to Europa he changed himself into a bull” (Hamilton 101). However, rather than setting an example to revere animals, this teaches people to use animals in any way possible to reach the desired end. Even more opposed to Buddhism was the fact that a Greek hero was someone who had extreme strength or other physical features that he could use against animals.

Hercules is one of the best examples of this notion. He is considered the greatest Greek hero ever to live. Through a tragic sequence of events, he killed his sons and wife, but was doomed to live on in order to undergo a series of trials to redeem himself. His first predicament was to “kill the lion of Nemea. Hercules solved [that] by choking the life out of [the lion]” (Hamilton 231). Hercules also had to drive out the “Stymphalian birds, which were a plague to the people of Stymphalus because of their enormous numbers” (Hamilton 232).

This shows that, unlike Buddhists, Greeks could not live in peace with nature, but instead hated nature. Ancient Greeks did not want anything to do with nature, let alone be a part of it. Hercules also had to capture many animals in these trials such as the “stag with horns of gold”, “a great boar which had its lair on Mount Erymanthus”, “the savage bull that Poseidon had given Minos”, “the man-eating mares of King Diomedes of Thrace”, the cattle of Geryon”, and “Cerberus the three-headed dog” (Hamilton 232-233).

Hercules inspired the Greeks not by staying in peace with nature but instead by forcing it to conform to his will in a harsh, cruel way. Hercules made sure he was above nature, a predicament the Buddhists avoided and even condemned. In summary, Greeks wanted to overcome nature whereas Buddhists wanted to be one with nature. “So by the beaked ships the Argives formed for battle, arming round you, Achilles –Achilles starved for war-and faced the Trojan ranks along the plain’s high ground[…T]he Achaeans kept on gaining glory- great Achilles who held back from the brutal fighting so long had just come blazing forth.

Chilling tremors shook the Trojans’ knees, down to the last man, terrified at the sight: the headlong runner coming, gleaming in all his gear, afire like man-destroying Ares” (Homer 503, 505). As previously stated, Buddhists lived by the doctrine to fight hate with love. If Ancient Greeks had a concise doctrine about war, it would have been to fight hate with more hate. Ancient Greek civilization centralized around their love of carnage. The majority of Ancient Greek myths revolved around war or other forms of fighting.

The Iliad is a 537-page myth about one war and it glorifies all aspects of war. The heroes of The Iliad are not monks or The Buddha like in Buddhism. Instead, the heroes of The Iliad are Achilles and Hector, two soldiers magnificent in warfare and bloodthirsty through and through. In addition, Achilles is most illustrious in The Iliad when he is the most sanguinary. “[Diomedes] went whirling into the slaughter now, hacking left and right and hideous groans broke from the drying Thracians slashed by the sword-the ground ran red with blood. …]Tydeus’ son went tearing into that Thracian camp until he’d butchered twelve. […]But now the son of Tydeus came upon the king, the thirteenth man, and ripped away his life. […]Patroclus tore [Pronous’s] chest left bare by the shield-rim, loosed his knees and the man went crashing down. [… Then Patroclus] stabbed [Thestor’s] right jawbone, ramming the spearhead square between his teeth so hard he hooked him by that spearhead over the chariot-rail, hoisted, dragged the Trojan out. […Patroclus then] gaffed him off his car […] and flipped him down face first, dead as he fell.

Next […] he flung a rock and it struck between [Erylaus’s] eyes and the man’s whole skull split in his heavy helmet. [Patroclus] crowded corpse on corpse on the earth. ” (Homer, 292, 426-427) Even more horrific to the eyes of Buddhists would be the battle scenes in The Iliad that truly show the awe and glory the ancient Greeks saw in war. The Iliad was a myth that served more as entertainment than anything else. This shows that Ancient Greeks were amused by this kind of literature. Buddhists believe in not seeking to explain nature. By contrast, Ancient Greeks did precisely this with their myths. [A myth] is an explanation of something in nature; how, for instance, any and everything in the universe came into existence: men, animals, this of that tree or flower, the sun, the moon, the stars, storms, eruptions, earthquakes, all that is and all that happens” (Hamilton 12). Ancient Greeks wanted to know how everything happened around them so they could manipulate their environment more easily. This is a central division between Ancient Greeks and Buddhism. Whereas Buddhists believe that time does not exist, Ancient Greeks were engrossed by time.

All throughout The Iliad, Homer stresses how long the war has been going on and how it worries and distresses everyone involved. Unlike Buddhists, the Greeks do not disown the belief of time. They stay true to the traditional man-made vision of time instead of throwing out their problems by abandoning the idea of time. “[The natural philosopher] Heraclitus (c. 540-480 B. C. )[…] was from Ephesus in Asia Minor. He thought that constant change, or glow, was in fact the most basic characteristic of nature. [… ]‘Everything flows,’ said Heraclitus.

Everything is in constant flux and movement, nothing is abiding. Therefore we ‘cannot step twice into the same river. When I step into the river for the second time, neither I nor the river are the same’” (Gaarder 34). Slowly, Greek culture started to move away from religion and more towards philosophy. It evolved from a “mythological mode of thought to one based on experience and reason” (Gaarder 27). People could make ideas for themselves and create new beliefs instead of going back to the myths. The world started a shift from relying on religion to analyzing the world with science and philosophy.

Surprisingly, this is where similarities between Greek and Buddhist culture were born. At first, the two religions of the ancient Greeks and the Buddhists clashed greatly. However, through the move away from mythical religion the Greek beliefs were brought closer towards the religion of Buddhism. Heraclitus here used the same metaphor for his philosophy as Siddhartha used for his. Although the passages were said in different situations and with different words, both quotes have the same general philosophy that time does not truly exist. A river is usually a sign of separation; a river acts as a divider in most cases.

However, this river brings two very different cultures together in a very powerful way that is clear to all. Nature is everything outside and inside a man or a woman or a child. Nature is every breath taken, every step forward, every glance made, every wind blown, and every flower planted. The two cultures of Greece and Buddhism showed great contrasts in the beginning but one resounding similarity was found in something as simple as a river. India shows a cyclic weather that inspired the thought of rebirth while Greece shows a harsh terrain that inspired animosity between man and nature.

As a consequence, Buddhists thought that nature and man are one while Greeks were taught to be above nature and manipulate it in any way possible. Buddhists lived in ultimate peace while the ancient Greeks lived in love of carnage. The Buddhist outlook on nature is derived from the belief that man is one with nature whereas the original Greek outlook is derived from the thought that man is above nature. Nature is the essence of the world, the aura of everything around people. These two cultures, although vastly different, impacted human belief and intellect forever.

Free Essays

Greek Stuff

THE ANCIENT GREEKS NAME ___Harrison Funk_________________________________ To complete this worksheet use the information found on the following website: http://www. mythologyteacher. com/GreekIntro. html GREEK INTRO 1. At roughly what time period was the golden age of ancient Greece? 500 B. C. 2. Who was an ancient Greek writer of fables? Homer 3. Who was a Greek mathematician? Pythrogras 4. Why should Americans study ancient Greece? We oew everything to ancient Greece. GREEK CITY-STATES 5. How is a city-state more than just a city? It had no desire to join a larger country. 6.

What term was not in use during the golden age of Greece? Why not? They did not say greece so it was dotted with city-states 7. What is an agora? Assembly of the people/ town meeting THE LIFE OF A GREEK GIRL 8. How were women oppressed in ancient Greece? Treated with disrespect 9. What would happen if a family did not have a male heir? All wealth would go to the closest male relative 10. At what age did most girls get married? 14 11. What is a dowry? Money goods estate 12. What was the goal of every Greek wife? To produce male heir 13. When was murder completely legal in ancient Greece?

When someone was caught in a affair with a married women. THE LIFE OF A GREEK BOY 14. What is a Greek adage about their newborn children? If its a boy keep it and if its a girl expose it 15. What ceremony did boys go through before becoming men? They cut their hair 16. Boys were sent to do what at the age of eighteen? Left for two years for military purposes. 17. What does the word gymnos mean? Means wearing no clothes 18. How long were men subject to the military draft? Two years 19. What is a lyre? harp 20. What is rhetoric? Is persuasive speaking 21.

What was the Greek word for one who participates in sport contests? 22. What was a sophist? 23. What was the most dangerous Greek sport? 24. What is the “bible of the Greeks”? 25. The gymnasium was the ancient predecessor of what modern institution? 26. What were the two tools teachers used to teach reading and writing? 27. When did education end for most boys? 28. Why were Greek men expected to keep their bodies in shape? GREEK RELIGION 29. According to the Greek moral code, what two crimes were capital offenses? 30. Explain how Greece did not have a strict religious code: 31.

Spotting what kind of bird during the daytime foretold death? 32. What could priests tell from an animal’s organs? 33. What does fortuitous mean? 34. What is a pantheon? 35. What is augury? 36. What usually occurred after a Greek sacrifice? 37. Where did the Oracle of Delphi sit? 38. Which god or goddess was most honored in Athens? 39. Whom did kings consult to learn their future? GREEK DEMOCRACY 40. How did citizens vote sometimes vote in Athens? 41. What groups were excluded from Athenian citizenship? 42. What type of democracy did Athens have? GREEK OLYMPICS 43. When did the first Olympics occur? 4. What Olympic contest was held at the Olympian hippodrome? 45. Were the Olympics the only games held in ancient Greece? 46. What was the Heraia? 47. What are the five sports in the pentathlon? SPARTA 48. How were the lives of Spartan women different from the lives of Athenian women? 49. Sparta was one of the few societies to produce no _______. 50. Spartan boys started their training at what age? 51. Spartan boys were yearly flogged for what reason? 52. What did an apprenticeship of a young boy to an older boy accomplish? 53. How were Spartan boys taught stealth? 54.

What did the Spartans do with their unwanted children? Toss them of a cliff 55. What story demonstrated the Spartan discipline? 56. What was a Spartan wedding night ritual? 57. What word is a synonym for gorge? 58. Sparta was completely dedicated to the art of what? HIPPOCRATES 59. Hippocrates is often called: 60. How many children died in ancient Greece before the age of ten? 61. What is leeching? 62. Write one line from the Hippocratic Oath: ALEXANDER THE GREAT 63. How old was Alexander the Great when he became the King of Macedon? 64. What did Alexander spread around the world? 65.

What empire did Alexander conquer? 66. What did Alexander the great die of? 67. Why was Alexander a successful conqueror? SOCRATES & PLATO 68. How was Socrates different from the sophists? 69. Who were the “scientists” of ancient Greek? 70. What does philosophy mean in Greek? 71. What poison did Socrates drink? 72. What is the Socratic Method? 73. What was Plato’s Academy named for? 74. What was the charge brought against Socrates? HOMER, THE ILIAD & ODYSSEY 75. How was the dark age of Greece different from the golden age of Greece? 76. What are three rumors concerning Homer the poet? 77.

What is an “epic poem”? 78. What is the plot of the Odyssey? 79. What started the Trojan War? 80. When did the “real” Trojan War probably occur? 81. Which did the Greeks like better: the Iliad or Odyssey? Why? HERODOTUS 82. Herodotus is often called: 83. What wars did Herodotus write about? 84. What else did Herodotus write about? 85. What is “western civilization”? GREEK SLAVERY 86. Most Greek households had how many slaves? 87. What does humane mean? 88. What is the rack? 89. What were lawyers allowed to do to slaves in order to get information? 90. What were three jobs a slave might receive? 91.

Where did the Greeks obtain their slaves? DEATH & BURIAL 92. Greeks believed your spirit would never be at rest if: 93. What were two capital offenses in ancient Greece? 94. What is a garland? 95. What is a libation? GREEK WARFARE 96. How did one warship defeat another? 97. How did the rowers on a warship keep in time with each other? 98. Sparta was known for its infantry; Athens was known for its ________. 99. What is a hoplite? 100. Where did Sparta and Athens stop King Xerxes’ march into Greece? 101. What is a phalanx? GREEK THEATER 102. How many spectators could be seated in the theatron? 03. What amplified the voices of Greek actors? 104. What are satyrs? 105. What does obscene mean in Greek? 106. What innovation did Sophocles create? 107. What is a chorus? 108. What is catharsis? 109. What theatrical innovation did the playwright Aeschylus come up with? 110. What type of play is a crude parody? 111. What type of play tells the downfall of a noble character? 112. Who was the patron god of the theater? 113. Whose opinion did the chorus represent in Greek plays? 114. Why are modern actors called thespians? 115. Which type of play made fun of daily life in Athens?

Free Essays

Analysis of My Big Fat Greek Wedding

During the movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, there was a lot of positive and negative communication that influenced the main character’s life decisions. The story is about a young woman, named Toula, that is of Greek decent who is fearful of being stuck in the life she is now living. She is a frumpy girl that works in her family’s restaurant because she has not been able to find a Greek man to marry, and because of this, her family claims that she is old and has failed in life. She is allowed to attend college, which in turn, gives her new confidence and she is able to fall in love with a non-Greek man that is named, Ian.

During the movie she struggles to get her family to accept him as the man she loves, and she also finally comes to terms with her heritage and cultural identity. At the end of the movie, Ian is accepted into the family, he becomes a baptized Greek, agrees to marry in the Greek Orthodox Church and participate in the Greek culture. Despite the happy ending of the movie, Toula struggled to follow the rules and values of her culture, practiced nonverbal communication with Ian, and received empathy from her mother while Ian had to deal with a language barrier of English and Greek.

Toula has a hard time accepting the culture of her family. From the movie, it seems as though the Greek culture is a high context culture. High context cultures have a strong sense of tradition and history, and they do not change much over time. In the beginning of the movie, Toula states that her family expects her to “marry a Greek boy, make Greek babies, and feed everyone in the family till the day she dies. ” Since she has not been married she is stuck working in the family restaurant until she does. She breaks tradition when she starts dating and then marries, Ian, because he is not a “Greek boy, and not from a Greek family. She also does the unthinkable since she marryed Ian and changes the history and tradition of the culture, as high context cultures do not change over time. It is also a tradition for the Greeks to have big families; Toula explains to Ian that she has twenty-seven first cousins and Ian seems to be very interested in what she is telling him because he only has two cousins. Ian’s family is American and they are the opposite of Toula’s family, they are part of the low context culture, like many other American families.

One of the biggest differences is that Toula’s family is loud, big and always together and Ian’s family is small, quite, and only see each other on special occasions. Toula and Ian practiced different forms of nonverbal communication during the movie. Nonverbal communication means messages expressed by nonlinguistic means. Ian and Toula have both used face and eyes as a form of nonverbal communication. When Toula was still working as a waitress in her family restaurant, the dancing Zorba’s, she was caught staring at Ian by Ian and his friend.

Her staring suggests that she was very interested in Ian and thought that he was handsome but Ian’s friend assumed that she was crazy because of how she was staring at Ian. Toula also caught Ian staring at her in the window of the travel agency that her aunt owns. Ian’s staring at Toula suggested that he was interested in her and thought that she was pretty. Ian used substituting, a form of nonverbal communication, to say hi to Toula in the window of the travel agency by waving and smiling at her. There were no words spoken to each other during this scene.

Toula used body orientation to hide from Ian in her family’s restaurant behind the counter as he was leaving. She did this because she may have been embarrassed for getting caught staring at him and she may have also been shy. The same thing also happened in the travel agency when Toula hid behind the water dispenser when Ian turned his back to her to talk with his friend. When he turned back around he could not find her and he walked off. Before Ian ran into the older lady on the street in front of the travel agency, he was using the gesture of possibly a duck, to get Toula’s attention and to make her laugh.

This gesture made her laugh and smile and it was able to help her loosen up and feel a little more comfortable. Ian had to deal with the language barrier a few times in the movie, but there were two scenes that were quite comical. Ian asked Nick, how do you say “thank you” in Greek and he also asked Angelo, Toula’s cousin, how to say “everyone let’s go in the house,” and both times he was told something entirely different. This is similar to the “English-speaking representative of a U. S. soft drink manufacturer naively drew laughs from Mexican customers when she offered free samples of Fresca soda pop.

In Mexican slang, the word fresca means ‘lesbian’(Adler). ” In both of these cases, Ian and the representative thought they were saying one thing but it meant something else in the other language. Empathy was shown in the movie when Toula was turned down by her father for wanting to go to college for computer classes. When this happened her mother, Maria, showed empathy. Empathy means being able to experience the world form the other person’s point of view. Maria explained to Toula that Toula was just like her when she was her age.

Maria stated that she knew how she felt and she would talk to Toula’s father about the computer classes. Maria showed the emotional dimension that helped her to get closer to Toula’s feelings. She also showed genuine concern for the welfare her daughter Toula. I can relate to people being interested in my culture just as Ian was very interested in Toula’s culture because it is different, but unlike Toula, I enjoy my culture and I embrace it. I have found that having a different culture, because most of my family is not from America, as a good thing.

Even though it makes you a little different, it also makes you unique and it adds to your identity as a person. If I were in the situations that Toula was in, I would have done some things different. If I were her, I would have told my parents before anything got serious, because it was shown in the movie that lies only lead to more problems. Telling them early that she found someone non-Greek would have also cause problems but because they wanted her to get married so bad, I think they would have became welcoming sooner.

It is important to be proud of your culture and not ashamed because your culture and the people that raise you make you who you are. Also, many facial expressions can be perceived as in ways that you would not want or expect, like Toula getting caught staring at Ian and his friend, thinking that she was a little crazy. So sometimes when communicating nonverbally, it may be best to use words to communicate your actual feelings. ? Works Cited Page(s): 187, Looking Out, Looking In, 13th Edition by Ronald B. Adler, Cengage Learning

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An Ideal Hero: Greek vs. Roman


1. Features that identify a society as “civilized”

  • a. Agriculture (irrigation) and breeding of animals = surplus food (goats, peig, cattle, sheep). Wheat, barley, rice, and maize. (Sci&Tech- polish stone tools. Ex: stone sickles)
  • b. Cities: large apartment settlements= standard architecture & surplus manpower
  • c. Writing (“gifts of the gods”)= records. Pictograph, ideogram, cuneiform.
  • d. Institutions for centralized & inherited power . – Priesthood for centralized sacred ritual – Kingship for centralized political and social structure (Paraoh= kings in Egypt) .

2. Geographical areas of early civilizations (Attached)

3. Ages of early Greek mythology to Ovid ( Poet of Metamorphoses)

  • a. Origin of humans: sacred clay (wise and rulers) blood of titans (murderous and criminals), and stones(endurance)
  • b. 4 ages as decline: Golden (peace), Silver (seasons &farming), Bronze (war), Iron (mining, deforestation, crime).

4. Dominant and alternate cultural themes in the Iliad Audience: upper-class men Purpose: cultural propaganda.

Greek Heros= models of courage & skill to men (what to be) & women (what to look for- sense of security). a. Dominant Theme: warrior code of personal honor and glory b. Contrasting themes: Family principle, simple country life vs. war, admiration of enemies. 5. Literary works by Homer Blind poet Homer – represents the culmination of a long and vigorous tradition in which oral recitation—possibly to instrumental accompaniment—was a popular kind of entertainment. Iliad, Odyssey.

6. Major column types in Greek architecture (know the parts) a. Doric: Plan projects strength, power. Useful for king or state intimidate?

Temple to powerful gods. b. Ionic: elegant, sophisticated. Useful for gods and people of wisdom. Libraries. c. Corinthian: more sophisticated. Projects wealth and power that comes with it. Useful to imperial Rome to intimidate and amaze. Makes the emperor or state look all powerful, even if they aren’t! [pic]

7. Major parts of architectural buildings on the Acropolis of Athens (City on the hills. Ex: Propyleia & Parthenon) a. Propylaia: Monumental entrance as the gate/threshold into the sacred hill. b. Athena Nike: shrine to Athena as goddess of victory. Guardian of the hill. c. Parthenon (the Virgin) East Pediment (front): birth of Athena. Born from the head of Zeus= intuition. Feminine principle of wisdom, sacred bird is the one. – West Pediment (back): Competition between Athena & Poseidon for Athens. Ancestors chose Athen’s gift for the olive tree= they preferred to war. Athenians all sheer this wisdom and desire for peace. – The metopes (framed carvings on each side): the victories over the Amazons, centaurs, giants, and Trojans/Persians = justice prevails over brute force, aggression.

8. Major philosophers of the Greek Classical and Hellenistic periods Greek Classical: a. Moral: Socrates Dialectic Method= critical approach. Question & answer search for “Truth” – “Knowledge is virtue” & “to know the good is to do the good. ” – “The unexamined life is not worth living” – “Produced skeptics (only believe what is absolutely certain) & agnostics (don’t believe what is not known for certain). b. Social: Plato – Student of Socrates; Founded Academy in Athens, 387 B. C. – Theory of Forms: where is “Truth”: uncanning, state Level 4: Knowledge= certainties Level 3: Thinking= math geometry abstracts Lower Levels: Opinions Level 2: Beliefs (“Material world is true gone. ) Level 1: Imaginings (“Images [art] = reality) – Allegory of the Cave. Truth is painful. c. Logic: Aristotle – Student of Plato, founded school in Athens, 335 B. C. – Organized natural sciences into biology, zoology, botany – Theory of Universals: Inductive Science: Universals discovered from particulars, therefore studying the material world can (only) produce universals/ absolutes. Plato’s dualism devalued study of material world. – Deductive/Formal Logic for ethics and science Hellenistic: a. Epicuranism – Founder: Epicurus (341-271 B. C. ) Atomist: all matter made up of atoms so all forms are random; no controls – No afterlife: death= end; no judgment – Absolute free will: each creates own destiny; absolute individuality – Goal of life: Pleasure (hedone> hedonism) *individual pleasure -> society would crush Pleasure: absence of pain. Pain < unsatisfied desires. Minimal desires > Peace & pleasure; harmony = agreement between desires and fulfillment. Life of Moderation (Ex: credit card vs. cash budget). b. Stoicism *Resistance cause pain, learn to live the Stoic life. – Founder: Zeno (334-262 B. C. ) Social Logos (=Heraclitus): All natural and society controlled by reason. The destiny of one is the FOR THE GOOD OF THE WHOLE. Happiness < accepting one’s destiny. – Suffering < resisting predestined life – Stoic Goal: Evenness, dispassionate= no joy in success, no sorrow in failure. – Brotherhood of Man: Logos Lives in everything and everyone as fire DEFINITION (know the basic meaning or reference of each term) -Polytheism/monotheism: the belief in many gods/ the belief in only one god. – Post & lintel: the simplest form or architectural construction, consisting of vertical members (posts) and supporting horizontals (lintels). Caste System: a rigid social stratification in India based on differences in wealth, rank, or occupation. – Muse/muses: music – Ziggurat: a terraced tower of rubble and brick that served ancient Mesopotamians as a temple-shrine. – Pharaoh: title of Egyptian king. – Dialectic: question-and- answer style (Socrates) – Animism: the belief that the forces of nature are inhibited by spirits. – Homeopathic: power infused based on likeness or imitation. *exaggerates sometime. – Hellenistic: followed by the Classical era; the blending of Greek, African, and Asian cultures. – Pantheism: the belief that a divine spirit pervades all things in universe. Contagion: power transferred by contact. – Stoic Logos: Seminal Reason, through which all things came to be, by which all things were ordered, and to which all things returned. – Myth: story form (poetry) vs. philosophy or scientific explanation; typically involving gods and ancestors with supernatural power. Purpose: to order universe and society. – Ethnocentric: the belief in the inherent superiority of one’s own ethnic group or culture. – Epicureanism: Happiness depending on avoiding all forms of physical excess; valued plain living and the perfect union of body and mind.

Gods played no part in human life, and death was nothing more than the rearrangement of atoms which the body and all of nature consist. – Covenant: contract; the bod between the Hebrew people and their god. – Yin/Yang: the principle, which ancient Chinese emperors called “the foundation of the entire universe,” interprets all nature as the dynamic product of two interacting cosmic forces, or modes of energy, commonly configured as twin interpenetrating shapes enclosed within a circle. Yang- male principle: lightness, hardness, brightness, warmth, and the sun. Ying- female principle: darkness, softness, moisture, coolness, the earth. Metope: the square panel between the beam ends under the roof of a structure. – Plato’s Theory of Forms:where is “Truth”? Above: perfect world of forms: originals, absolute, uncanning state. Below: imperfect world of matter: copies, changing, opinions. – Ideal tragedy: hero’s life changes from fortune to misfortune due to intellectual error. – Pediment: the triangular space forming the gable of a two-pitched roof in Classical architecture; any similar triangular form found over a portico, door, or window. – Epic History: a long narrative poem that recounts the deeds of a legendary or historical hero in his quest for meaning or identity.

IDENTIFICATION: Know who or what each refers to -Venus Figurines: sympathetic & contagious magic for fertility of nature and humans. -Stone Henge: sacred space; limitation of celestial world? Sun and moon for their fertility power? -Parthenon: the outstanding architectural achievement of Golden Age Athens -Gate of Ishtar: one of the eight gates of the inner city of Babylon (main entrance), was built during the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar II (604- 562 BC), after he burned Jerusalem. Starting point for Nebuchadnezzar II, after he bought the kingdom of Judah to an end; he wants to beautify the capital. Achilles: Achaean (Greek) hero of the Trojan War, the central character and the greatest warrior of Homer’s Iliad. -Plato: Wrote the famous treatise, Republic. Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens. -Hammurapi: sixth king of Babylon, known for the set of laws called Hammurabi’s Code, one of the first written codes of law in recorded history. -Athena: goddess of wisdom and war. -Sophocles: second of the great tragedians, developed his plots through the actions of the characters.

He modified the ceremonial formality of earlier Greek tragedies by individualizing the characters and introducing moments of great psychological intimacy. Antigone -Confucius ?? : Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher of the Spring and Autumn Period of Chinese history. The philosophy of Confucius emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity. -Zeus: the powerful sky god. -Epicurus: Greek thinker who advocated Epicuranism. -Moses: the leader who led the Hebrews across the Red Sea. -Antigone: A tragic play wrote by Sophocles.

Proceed from the last phase of the history of Thebes. The play deals with many issues: duty to family (generation) vs. duty to state/law; female willpower vs. male authority (gender) -Homer: poet who wrote Iliad and Odyssey -Aristotle: Student of Plato, Aristotle’s writings were the first to create a comprehensive system of Western philosophy, encompassing morality, aesthetics, logic, science, politics, and metaphysics. -Zeno: Founder of Stoicism. MAP (be able to match the culture with its geography) 2. Nile r. / Jerusalem/Egypt 3. Euphrates r. / Tigris r. Persia /Babylon/ Mesopotamia 4. Olympus /Athens/ Aegean Sea/ Greece [pic]

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Greek and Roman Heroes

Brianne Keil HUM2210 October 15th, 2012 Interpretation Paper 2: The Warrior Hero We all envision certain types of qualities when considering what defines a hero: strength, agility, rock hard abs, and often, Brad Pitt. But throughout the Greek and Roman literature, we see different types of qualifications in the composition of their heroes. Obviously, both the Greeks and the Romans think that they define a true hero in their versions of Heroic Epics, but which one of these cultures actually proves that they have what makes the ultimate hero?

With some further research into these societies and their literature, we see that their heroes really aren’t that different after all. In the Iliad, Homer targets the audience of Greek upper class men in order to spread some cultural propaganda to the nation. Homer captures audiences by using the hero of Achilles to show men what they should aim to be, and to show women what they should be looking for in a man. After the Dark Ages, Homer aims to bring some positive light to the Greeks with his “Epic Heroes”, which leads to inspire more than just the Greek men of this time frame.

Homer uses his words to encourage strength, creating what is known as the Greek Heroic Age, dating from 1200 to 750 BC. The Iliad becomes known as the warrior code of personal honor and glory, demonstrating the culture and the qualities Greek men should strive to achieve. Achilles, the epic’s hero, is an elegant gentleman who knows his destiny in life is to battle. Achilles makes it a strong point that the aim of every hero is to achieve honor, even if this honor is only reached in death. Achilles knows that he has two fates: to either live a long life with no fame attributed to him, or to die as a well-known warrior across his land.

Achilles demonstrates to the male audience that honor can only sometimes be reached in battling to the death, an honor that is well worth sacrificing your life. In the Iliad, Achilles states, “Man, supposing you and I, escaping this battle would be able to live on forever, ageless, immortal, so neither would I myself go on fighting in the foremost nor would I urge you into the fighting where men win glory. But now, seeing that the spirits of death stand close about us in their thousands, no man can turn aside nor escape them, let us go on and win glory or ourselves or yield it to others. ” This statement proves Achilles deep desire within to reach glory for him, no matter what the cost. Even though Homer’s hero can only bestow honor alone, with his own actions, both Achilles and his enemy, Hector, strive to win the approval of the society as well. In a scene of the Iliad, Hector’s wife is urging, nearly begging, for him to sustain from battling. Hector replies with, “… yet I would feel deep shame before the Trojans, and the Trojan women with trailing garments, if like a coward I were to shrink aside from the fighting. Hector’s response demonstrates that not only does he have a duty to fulfill to the Trojans, but also to himself. By denying the fight with Achilles, Hector would be shameful to his society, but more importantly, to his own honor and glory. Homer displays a Greek hero as one with courage, honor, and personal glory that earns fame through the fights they conquer in their life. This description of a hero motivates many Greek men to step up to the plate and battle when the time comes, no matter what their risking along the way.

A Greek Hero must be brave and fearless in the eyes of Homer, which leads to the perception of a hero to Greek citizens as a whole. The Roman’s, on the other hand, have a differing view of a hero, thanks to Virgil’s writing of the Aeneid. The Aeneid is an Epic History of Rome’s first ancestor, Aeneas. The original audience of this piece of literature is the broken and battered Trojans, who at the time (19 AD), were looking for some source of inspiration and identity after being defeated by the Greek. The Aeneid demonstrates Pro-Rome propaganda, giving Romans something to believe in and aspire to be.

It is said that Aeneas is the Hero that leads the Trojans after their defeat to Greece to a new land of prosperity. In the end, Aeneas slays Turnus due to his mission to provide the Roman’s with a new land to call “home. ” Due to his strong will to complete his mission of reaching security, Aeneas is said to be the military Hero for Rome. Aeneas was “devoted to his mission”, and “chose the course heaven gave him”, leading to his title as an Epic Hero. Due to the cultural baggage the Trojans have after their humiliating defeat, the Aeneid is a much more emotional piece of literature, with “emotion in his heart”, when referring to Aeneas.

Aeneas doesn’t just set an example for the Roman’s, he is inspirational to the entire population when things seemed to reach rock bottom. “Roman, remember by your strength to rule Earth’s peoples-…to pacify, to impose the rule of law, to spare the conquered, battle down the proud. ”, Aeneas states in the Aeneid. By the end of the epic, the entire Roman audience feels that they themselves are the glorious conclusion of the story, not just Aeneas. He is idolized as the leader of a new found powerful legacy, in which includes each and every audience member. So now…the moment we’ve all been waiting for.

Who takes the crown as the REAL epic hero? Well, it’s not that simple of a decision to make, even hundreds of years later. In some ways, the two heroes are very similar. But they also have contrasting qualities that make them unique to their culture. In Greece, the idea of personal honor and glory is highly emphasized, while the Roman Hero Aeneid is all about citizens coming together to reach power and prestige. The differing idealistic characteristics make sense from an outsider’s view- the Greek had conquered the Trojans together, but only because of each individual warrior’s courage and bravery.

In contrast, the Roman’s had just faced an embarrassing defeat, one which left the culture torn apart and most likely, depressed. Aeneid needed to create a positive morale among his people, which could only be restored by bringing everyone together to victory as one. The cultural baggage of each society lead to the way their heroes were presented. Even though the idealistic hero from a Greek society has more selfish attributes, Greek citizens would still appreciate Aeneid’s heroic acts, in my opinion.

Whether Aeneid was fighting for his own glory, or for the glory of his people, he still slayed the enemy in order to reach his goal. The Greek audience would still hold Aeneid with high regards because in the end, he did battle for his destiny, and brought the Roman’s respect through his actions. Both cultures can appreciate the fact that both Achilles and Aeneid followed their destinies, battled for victory, and in the end, won fame because of their courage and dedication. While these motivations may have been pulled from different sources, both men were still able to bring glory upon themselves and the ones they fought for.

Each of them held the true qualities of a warrior hero such as strength, endurance, and daring charisma, keeping them alive today, hundreds of years later. So, I hate to leave you hanging, but I guess the TRUE Epic Hero remains a mystery. After seeing what Achilles and Aeneid went through during battle, how can I choose which one is best? It’s so unfair! I think it’s safe to say that the Greeks will side with the self-determination of Achilles, while the Roman’s appreciate the inspiration Aeneid had to offer to them all.

Either way, both of these men are considered warrior heroes to us all. Works Citied Dunkle, Roger. “The Classical Origins of Western Culture- ILIAD. ” Brooklyn College Core Curriculum Series. Brookyln College, 1986. Web. 14 Oct. 2012. <http://depthome. brooklyn. cuny. edu/classics/dunkle/studyguide/homer. htm>. SparkNotes Editors. “SparkNote on The Aeneid. ” SparkNotes. com. SparkNotes LLC. 2002. Web. 2 Oct. 2012. <http://www. sparknotes. com/lit/aeneid/citing. html>

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Greek Crisis

The Greek crisis: opportunity for Greek to rebirth The dubious distinction of history’s first recorded sovereign default belongs to Greece—the same nation at the forefront of the world’s second major financial crisis in five years. The crisis raised a question: Whether the crisis is a tragedy or opportunity for Greek? I believe even Greek have taken measures to reform, this crisis would continue until Greek government come up with solutions which are not created by other countries and international institutions to protect their benefits. Trouble in Public Finance Greece faced deep economic problems.

Most notorious was public-sector deficit. (See Exhibit 1) The debt-to-GDP ratio measures a country’s ability to pay off the entire debt with one year’s income, regardless of the nation’s wealth or total debt outstanding. Exhibit 4 shows the possibility that Greeck default is increasing. Two most outsized component of government expenditure were employee compensation and pensions. Greek government has taken austerity measures to reduce the deficit and meet the request of the international institutions who provide financial aid to Greece. The weaknesses of the economic model

The global economic crisis of 2008 has found the Greek economy with several fundamental weaknesses: • Reliance on ‘easy money’ (such as from the stock market or property), as well as on over-inflated private consumption, which has in turn relied on loans in recent years. • The disproportionately central role of construction as the ‘driving force of the economy’ dating back to the 1960s. • Particularly high public debt, which remains undiminished despite the widespread privatisations of the last 20 years. • Over-reliance on sectors directly affected by the international crisis, such as tourism and shipping. Excessive dependence on oil consumption, an energy-wasting, pollution-generating energy model and the prospect of high-cost ‘emissions rights’ from 2012 onwards. • Abandonment of mountainous and disadvantaged regions, which represent two thirds of the country, and overcrowding and overuse in the remaining third. • An absence of genuine protection of natural resources in sectors such as water, forest land, fisheries resources and the countryside and biodiversity. proposals to exit the crisis A fundamental priority is TO SIMULTANEOUSLY INVEST IN THE EXIT FROM ALL THREE ASPECTS OF THE CRISIS: the economic, the social and the environmental.

We focus on three basic priorities in parallel with the efforts for fiscal viability and the fight against corruption and tax evasion: • Sustainable revitalisation of the countryside, with emphasis in the production of biological agricultural goods, and resurgence of the local and regional level economy, including the abandoned mountainous and disadvantaged areas. • Promotion and upgrade of collective goods and services as compensation for the loss of purchasing power of people, in order for quality of life to become again a right for everyone as a kind of ‘parallel social wage’. Urgent turn in the energy sector to eliminate the dependence on oil and lignite, promotion of solutions alternative to car use, but also investments in energy saving and in renewable energy sources, drawn so that they offer additional incomes for the maximum possible number of households. Specific policies having these priorities need to be developed and applied in order to create funds and engage creative social forces: • A just tax reform that will use the taxes as tools for encouragement or not of activities depending on their repercussions on the environment and the society. Measures for transparency and fight against corruption and tax evasion should aim at the re-establishment of a sense of social justice. • Reduction of military spending and negotiations withTurkey for even larger mutual reductions. Given the Turkish candidacy for integration into the EU, it is logical to ssume that the EU should become more involved in the efforts to resolve Greek-Turkish differences. • The promotion of a social and solidarity economy is of central importance to us. The reconnection with the tradition of the ‘ecology of the poor’ becomes again particularly relevant. Exhibit 1

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Homeric Parallels of Greek and Trojan Culture

The Parallels of Greek and Trojan Culture Homer’s The Iliad paints an epic and gruesome picture of the Achaeans and Trojans civilizations warring over a ten-year span. If one were to compare these once great cultures, the striking similarities would suggest friendship rather than enemies. Not only did both nations perform similar rituals and sacrifices, but also these rites were directed to the same group of gods. Specifically the Trojans and Achaeans had a tremendous respect for the dead and the Underworld.

Also, the philosophies of both cultures centered on, arete, which for a warrior was excellence determined by a man’s prowess as a soldier during wartime or as an athlete in peace (Chiekova 9/11). Another parallel of the cultures was hubris, and the refusal to admit one’s wrongdoing because of pride. A final irony is the fact that Apollo is considered to be the “most” Greek of all gods, and yet he fought for the Trojans. Essentially both nations prayed to the same gods, performed identical rites, followed the same core set of principles and yet from all these similarities, neither nation could find a way to form a truce.

The first parallel of Achaean and Trojan culture stems from praying to shared gods. It was common knowledge of the ancients that if one were to honor the gods with sacrifices, the god would eventually reciprocate. And so both nations attempted to win favor. “At once we’ll sacrifice twelve heifers in your shrine, yearlings never broken, if only you’ll pity Troy, the Trojan wives and all our helpless children,” exclaims Theano, a Trojan Priestess (The Iliad, Book 7, page 180), while the Greeks also relied on divine intervention.

Nestor recalls past sacrifices hoping the gods will once again return to the Achaeans, “ There we slaughtered fine victims to mighty Zeus, a bull to Alpheus River, a bull to lord Poseidon, and an unyoked cow to blazing eyed Athena,” (The Iliad, Book 11, page 266). Not only are the Trojans and Greeks sacrificing the same animal but also in this instance they are praying to the same goddesses. Another example of the same religious practices regards to paying tribute to the dead.

Both believed that a soul remained restless and was unable to cross the River Styx and enter the underworld until burial rites were conferred. An example of the importance of proper burial occurs at the end of Book 7, after the duel between Hector and Great Ajax, “…If you are willing come, we’ll halt the brutal war until we can burn the bodies of our dead,” (The Iliad, Book 7, page 196). The mutual respect for the process of death is just another instance of the parallels between societies.

The next example of how the Achaeans and Trojans were eerily similar is in regards to cultural beliefs. In order to become a great man or hero, one must possess arete. Arete is earned by performing exceptional feats and in turn gaining glory for one’s name and country. To understand how important arete was to the ancient Greeks, the story how Achilles was brought into battle can be recalled. Achilles, mother Thetis, hid him amongst the women of Lycomedes. Achilles remained hidden until Odysseus arrived at the island with various gifts.

Achilles was the only one interested by the fine swords and shields Odysseus brought, and thus revealed himself. Odysseus then continued to remind Achilles of his destiny, that if he enters the Trojan War he would die, but earn himself immeasurable glory on the battlefield (Chiekova 9/28). Earning arete was more important than living for not only Achilles and the Achaeans but also the Trojans. Hector earned his arete by proving his intense loyalty and returning to battle even though he knew he was going to die, too.

Andromache pleads “Yes, soon they will kill you off, all the Achaean forces massed for assault, and the bereft of you, better for me to sink into the Earth,” (The Iliad, Book 6, page 183). Another common theme found in both cultures is of hubris. Countless examples of characters making choices based on pride can be found throughout the epic. One specific example of pride influencing choices of the Achaeans is when Menelaus calls his men cowards for not volunteering to battle with Hector. What disgrace it will be-shame, cringing shame, if not one Danaan, now steps up to battle Hector. You can all turn to earth and water-rot away! ” (The Iliad, Book 7, page 190). This is a classic example of challenging ones pride or shaming one into action. For the Trojans, even when it seems that the city is about to fall, he refuses to return Helen to Menelaus. He proclaims “I say no, straight out- I won’t give up the woman,” (The Iliad, Book 7, page 197). Paris would rather see the entire of city of Troy fall then return his prized Helen and damage his pride.

The final great irony of the Trojan War is the concept that Apollo was the most Greek of all gods, and yet he fought for the Trojans (Chiekova 9/25). Apollo epitomizes everything the Achaeans strived for. He is often depicted as a young man perfected in beauty and grace and referred to as the sun god. Besides being a great archer, Apollo had many noble characteristics including being the god of healing, music, archery, and crafts. He is often identified by his iconic laurel wreath lyre, and bow. The Achaeans viewed all of Apollo’s traits as virtuous and emulated themselves after him (Chiekova 9/21).

The great paradox is that the Greeks offend Apollo by refusing to return the daughters of one his priests. This causes Apollo to side with the Trojans and deliver a vicious plague upon the Greeks. Homer writes, “ The arrows clanged at his back as the god quaked with rage, the god himself on the march and down he came like night. Over against the ships, he dropped to a knee let fly a shaft and a terrifying clash rang out from his great silver bow…He cut them down in droves- and the corpses-fires burned on, night and day, no end in sight,” (The Iliad, Book 1, page 88).

Comparing Achaean and Trojan society it becomes quite apparent that the cultures were more similar than different. Each society practiced the same religion, strived to achieve greatness and respect in battle, and had a unique respect for Apollo. The parallels between civilizations almost seems as if the Achaeans and Trojans should have been allied with one another, but it seems that there eerie similarities almost led to conflict.

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Humanities-Ancient Greece

Ancient Greece and Roman civilization comparison The first Olympic games were held in Olympia, Greece. These games were part of the “Panhellenic Festival, instituted in 776 B. C. E in honor of the Greek gods”. The Olympic games occur in an every “four-year periods beginning with the first games in 776 B. C. E. ” The Greeks had many sports such as, “200-yard sprint, footrace, wrestling, long jump, and boxing. ” Greek athletes competed nude. However, women were not allowed to compete in the Olympic games. The Greeks believed that a “true sport was that which gave athletes an opportunity to rival the divinity of the gods. In contrast to Greece, the Romans had a “variety of brutal blood sports. ” Gladiator fights were “introduced in Rome in 264 B. C. E. ” These games would symbolize the power of the emperors. In Rome, these events were held in the Coliseum. Gladiators fought wild animals. “Most Gladiators were criminals, prisoners of war, or slaves. ” They were trained in schools and were forced to take part in the events. The Olympic games and Gladiator fights are different because in Greece it was mostly sport festivals, while in Rome it was representation to honor the emperors.

Greek architecture monuments were designed to serve the living. One of the many type of Greek architectural structures is the Parthenon. It is a temple dedicated to Athena, the goddess of war. Built in glittering Pentelic marble. The Parthenon represents the “apex of a long history of post-and-lintel temple building among the Greeks. ” The functions of the Parthenon, was to “display statues of the gods, for the rulers to go and sacrifice and worship in as a recognition of the protection provided by the gods. In contrast, Roman architecture reflected the practical needs of the empire. The Romans are considered one of the greatest architects of ancient times. Also the Romans made good use of the “aqueducts, arches, vaults and domes. ” For example, the Pantheon is “a temple dedicated to the seven planetary deities. ” Its exterior is covered with a “veneer of white marble and bronze. ” The Pantheon has many features such as, “a portico with eight Corinthian columns originally elevated by a flight of stairs that now lie buried beneath the city street. Greek and Roman architecture are similar because Roman architecture was based on the knowledge of the Greeks. Although there’s a difference because Greeks used single row columns for actual structural support, while the Romans were progressing technologically and using rows of concrete columns for luxury purposes. The arts in Greek were based on Humanism, Realism, and Idealism. The Greeks used the abstract geometric methods in their paintings. For example, Greek artists painted their “ceramic wares with angular figures and complex geometric patterns arranged to enhance the shape of the vessel. Greeks painted mythology, literature, and everyday life in “waters jars, wine jugs, storage vessels, drinking cups and bowls. ” In contrast, the Roman art was based in Pictorial Realism paintings. The Romans decorated their “meeting halls, baths, and country villas that were inspired by Greek murals. ” Roman art was illustrated in mosaics. This is a technique by which “small pieces of stone or glass are embedded into wet cement surfaces or plaster surfaces. ” Also Romans illustrated landscapes to show affection to their pleasure of nature.

It’s clear that Greek art and Roman art are different because both civilizations used different techniques for their art and showed different interested in what they were trying to portray in their paintings. Roman art was based in Realism while Greek art was more Idealistic. Greek literature was based in the Classical Style in Poetry. This is a combination of the “arts prevailed in most forms of religious ritual and in public and private entertainment. ” For example, Hellenic literature was filled with passion and tenderness written in lyric poetry. In contrast, Roman literature reveals a masterful use of Latin literature.

Romans use literature for the purposes of “entertainment, instruction, and record keeping. ” A Roman notable style of literature is the Roman Epic Poetry style. For example, “Rome’s foremost poet-publicist, Virgil wrote the semi legendary epic that immortalized Rome’s destiny as world ruler. ” Virgil’s poems were not an oral tradition but a literacy epic. His work became the “monumental impact of Latin language. ” Greek literature and Roman Literature are similar because they both include comedies, poetry and epics. Also Greek literature dealt with myths while Roman Literature was based on triumphs.

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Identical Diversity of Mesopotamia, Egypt and Greece

Mesopotamia is a Greek term which refers to the land between two rivers namely Euphrates and Tigris which is now called Iraq. Mesopotamia is known for being occupied by the Sumerians, Akkadians, Babylonians and Assyrians which helped in making it a very diverse civilization both in culture and design. Due to the fact that Mesopotamia is a land between two rivers, their way of writing, farming (irrigation), astronomy, literature and design all depended on the two rivers.

Hellenistic Greece literally means a culture wherein Greeks and Asians are together. This vision started with the conquest of Alexander the great which started with the conquest of Babylon up to the trip to India. All of his efforts helped spread the Greek Culture all throughout Asia. Aside from that, the very first conquest of Alexander the great was Mycenae and then the infamous Egypt was next, which is why there was a city in Egypt called Alexandria. With all the different conquests and all the different cultures coinciding with each other, it is evident that there may be diversity in the three civilizations, but surely there will have been common structural and cultural designs that will clash with each other.

Two of the civilizations, namely Mesopotamia and Egypt share common architecture. Seldom do they create towering homes or buildings most especially under the heat of the sun. They create buildings that have ceilings that would bend inwards if not arching upwards. In creating their housing they simply use branches and mud to be able to make their shelter weather proof.

Although when it comes to building tombs or monuments such as temples and palaces they make use of bricks and in the case of the Egyptians by 4000 BC they make use of stones such as limestone, granite and sandstone. In both civilizations they creatively made sun dried bricks made of mud to be able to make their infamous monuments. Monuments that still stand until now such as Mastabas in the case of the Egyptians, where they bury their dead and the great Ziggurats of the Mesopotamians were the first monumental buildings made by man kind.

On the other hand, Greece was famous for a number of different monuments. In Mycenae tombs such as that found in the other two civilizations is present namely the great beehive tombs and massive palaces. The Greeks are famous when it comes to the pillars with a decorated top or formally called as ‘capitals’. But unknown to many men, these originate in the basic design of Mesopotamian and Egyptian pillars.

Pillars in these two countries used to be made of bundle of reeds. When one looks at the bundle of reeds they seem like a circular arrangement pointing upwards in a neat array with protrusions on the bottom and most especially on the top. Egyptians evolved from reeds to stone. Egyptians made pillars made of stone in the way that their previous pillars where made, they placed palm-leaf designs for the ‘capitals’ and ribbed fluting to make it similar to their pillars of reeds. From this design the Greeks altered it in such a way that they made the pillars a lot slimmer for balance but still kept the ‘capitals’ and used it as a horizontal support.

Generally there are a lot more different influences are shared by these three civilizations due to the fact that they share common history. Monuments, buildings and pillars are just some of the great identical differences they may have.

`Highlights from the Collection: Mesopotamia’, Oriental Institute of theUniversity of Chicago, [Online]

Available at:

‘Mesopotamia’, Ancient History Sourcebook: Mesopotamia, [Online]

`Iraq-Ancient Mesopotamia’, Library of Congress; Article on Ancient Iraq, [Online]

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`Greece’, Cyber Museum, [Online]

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Fletcher, T. 2006, `A Short History of the World Architecture’, Essential Architecture, [Online]

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Greek Independence

For centuries the Greek population was completely under the Ottoman rule. The Greeks’ independence from the Ottoman Turks in 1830 did not come without hardship and suffering. Several other countries including Russia and France took sides with Greece during this fight as they felt close and connected with their culture. A nine year war was fought which eventually resulted in the Greeks gaining independence from the Turks. During this time, the Greeks had to maintain high morale and a strong disposition to be as successful as they were in the end. The circumstances they were under were difficult and harsh.

Many people felt as though Greece deserved to break away from the Ottoman Empire, but some believed that the Turkish rule was not too oppressing. Most people believed that the people of Greece had great character and deserved to be free from the brutality of the Ottoman Turks. They were seen as having strong will to be independent and worked together as a country to achieve that goal. Their culture still to this day is being represented in different forms of art, for example architecture. It’s been studied for years because it served as a foundation for several other countries and is being kept alive, as opposed to forgotten.

One poet, Alexandros Kalphoglou, described the Greeks as being enlightened, educated, well-rounded people. He went on to say that they were very open to and accepting of other cultures. It’s not surprising that Kalphoglou would’ve felt this way because he was a Greek Christian and most likely would be proud of his own history (Doc 4). Similarly, Percy Shelley was also a poet who believed Greek culture was essential for all other cultures to grow. She, however, was an English romantic poet. It’d be expected for her to praise Greece because romantic poets were all for the Greek revolution and independence (Doc 7).

These two weren’t the only people who shared the same point of view on the Greek Revolt. While still under the Ottoman rule, Greek citizens were treated unfairly and poorly. Their living conditions were unstable and were constantly in upheaval due to the massive rebellion. The entire revolution was sparked by the lack of support shown by the Turkish rulers toward the Greeks. The bright, upbeat, and beautiful presence of the Greek culture was robbed by the Turks according to Savary, a French scholar of Greek. As a person who most likely spent a majority of the time studying Greek history, he would be inclined to respect their culture (Doc 3).

Sneyd Davis, an English writer, spoke of Athens being deteriorated and everything beautiful that once existed there, vanishing. The events of what happened to the Greeks under the Ottomans can be easily related to this poem because their pride in their past was diminished. Davis is another romantic poet so I would expect to see him pro-Greek revolution (Doc 1). A majority of people were pleased with the fact that Greece did gain its independence from the Ottoman Turkish Empire. They believed that Greeks should have their arts, language, and other forms of culture restored fully so that they could regain pride in themselves.

People also thought that Greek revolution would result in more successful nations in the future, which would be based on Greek tradition. A pamphlet called Greek exiles described the rise of Greek ancestors as heroes in history. It talks about how the Ottomans may have once been at power, but years later they didn’t stand a chance against the Greeks (Doc 6). In regards to Mavrocordato, it was a strong act of courage for the Greeks to take their independence and basically create their own government starting with nothing.

Basically, he says that they wanted and made peace for themselves, but worked hard to get to that point (Doc 10). In an engraving created in 1828, called Greece Sacrificed, Regnier has depicted a scene where the Turks are attacking the Greeks, but not very successfully due to the fact that the Greeks are holding their ground. They’re standing for what they believe in as strong-minded individuals with a common goal in mind (Doc 11). Although most would agree that the Greek revolution was a positive thing, there are some people that are on the complete opposite side of things.

These people think that the Turkish reign was not too overbearing, and that the Greeks could’ve easily stayed under their control. A Turkish sultan named Mustapha III, in 1765 made orders very clear to the governor of northern Greece to try and stop the revolts being made by the Greeks. He went on to describe the problems that the Greek population had been causing such as robberies. He thought that the Greek revolution had caused more problems than it solved, and that it should’ve been stopped early. Because of the fact that he was a sultan of the Ottoman Empire I find it almost obvious that he was against the Greeks in their revolts.

Mustapha wanted what was best for his nation and people (Doc 2). In Vahid’s opinion, a Turkish governor, the revolution of the Greeks was driven by what he calls ‘drunkards,’ meaning that he didn’t take the rebellions seriously. Again, being of Turkish government, he would favor the Ottoman side of things (Doc 9). During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries Greece was driven to rebel against their previous rulers the Ottoman Turks. Their culture and everything they took pride in was meaningless in the Turks’ eyes.

They felt they had to start a revolution to gain back the rights they deserved. During this revolt, they living conditions were not as good as they could’ve been. In fact they were difficult to deal with, but this had only been a small hurdle for the Greek population who was determined to gain independence. Nothing could stand in their way, as they were a fearless, courageous nation. Finally, after suffering through nine years of antagonizing war and treachery, the Greeks gained their independence from the Ottoman Turks and started to create a government as a unified country.

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Economic Background – Greece

Greece has a mixed capitalistic economy with a large public sector that accounts about half of GDP. Besides, Greece is a major beneficiary of European Union aid, which equal to about 3. 3% of annual GDP. In addition, Greece is an agricultural country and one of the poorest countries of the European Union with the second to lowest average income, after Portugal. In January 2002, Greece adopted the euro as its currency.

The adoption provided Greece, formerly a high inflation risk country under drachma, with access to competitive loan rates and also to low rates of the Eurobond market which led to a dramatic increase in consumer spending and gave a momentous boost to economic growth. Between 2003 and 2007, Greece economy grew by nearly 4. 0% per year. The preparation for the Athens Olympic Games during 2004 gave an impulse to the Greece economy. However, the financial crisis had slowed down the Greece’s economic growth to 2.0 % in 2008.

As a result of the world financial crisis and its impact on access to credit, world trade and domestic consumption, the economy went into recession in 2009 and contracted by 2. 0%. In late 2009, eroding public finances, misreported statistics, and inadequate follow-through on reforms prompted major credit rating agencies to downgrade Greece’s international debt rating, which has led to increased financial instability and a debt crisis.

Greek government has approved a three-year reform program that includes cutting government spending, reducing the size of public sector, tackling tax evasion, reforming the health care and pension systems, and improving competitiveness through structural reforms to the labour and product market under the intense pressure by the EU and international lenders.

The Greek Government projects that its reform program will achieve a reduction of Greece’s deficit by 4% of GDP in 2010 and allow Greece to decrease the deficit to below 3% by 2012. Greece requested activation of a joint European Union-International Monetary Fund support mechanism designed to assist Greece in financing its public debt in April 2010.

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Greek Culture vs Roman Culture

Greek Culture VS. Roman Culture Gabraille Driscol American InterContinental University HUMA215-1204D Ms. Cheryl Lemus Abstract Many people are unaware of just how alike the Romans and the Greeks are. They have many of the same cultures because they adapted them from each other. From modern art to the gods and goddesses. Everything that the Greek have the Romans also has. Yes there are a few changes that have been extracted throughout the two but they are similar to each other in many ways. Roman gods are known as the same thing that Greek gods are. But they have different names for them.

The Roman culture is very un strict and focus of the greater good of the gods and mankind. These are just some of the few things that are focused with the Greeks and the Romans. The Greece culture was one just like what the “New World” went through. Their period was made up of Polis better known as city states. Their society was broken up between free people and slaves. The free people kept the slaves. The slaves worked without pay many time and did hard labor such as the slaves of the 20th century. Many slaves lived with their master, but were over work and almost never paid.

As their society evolved so did the people. They changed from free people to free men. They were divided between Citizens and Metics. If you were a citizen than both of your parents were from the Greece decent. Metics were foreign people that came over to Athens from other places to learn a craft. Many of them were forced to serve in the military. Metics also had to pay taxes and would never be considered a citizen. Women had no rights in the Greece culture any foreign affairs they were involved in was because of their husbands or a man they were involved with.

When it came to their government many citizens were thought to serve on the government after taking part in the military. The Greek agriculture system was called orders, they had three orders. They were Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. Parthenon is an order of Doric the temple of Athena Parthenos (“Virgin”), Greek goddess of wisdom, on the Acropolis in Athens. The Parthenon was built in the 5th century BC, and despite the enormous damage it has sustained over the centuries, it still communicates the ideals of order and harmony for which Greek architecture is known.

Ironic order is The Temple of Apollo at Didyma – The Greeks built the Temple of Apollo at Didyma, Turkey (about 300 BC). The design of the temple was known as dipteral, a term that refers to the two sets of columns surrounding the interior section. These columns surrounded a small chamber that housed the statue of Apollo. With Ionic columns reaching 19. 5 m (64 ft. ) high, these ruins suggest the former grandeur of the ancient temple. The territory of Greece is mountainous, and as a result, ancient Greece consisted of many smaller regions each with its own dialect, cultural peculiarities, and identity.

Regionalism and regional conflicts was a prominent feature of ancient Greece. Cities tended to be located in valleys between mountains, or on coastal plains, and dominated a certain area around them. The Roman culture was very much like the Greek culture because much of it was adopted from the Greek. Much of the roman culture is still in our world today. They built bridges and sewers which we still use today. They help to develop wells and other sources to get water. The roman ideas were much of the ideas that are still used in today economy.

They created the death games and gladiators which we still use today. Much of our culture was adapted from the Romans. They came up with many things that the U. S. has to thank them for. Roman theater came from the Greek as well but more developed. They came up with many adlibs and improv that Shakespeare used and many new sitcoms use today. The roman a d Greek gods and goddesses share many of the same attributes but have different names. The roman government was run by priests who were mentors between both men and gods.

They maintained the good will and support for Rome. Lastly the roman philosophers were the Greek philosophers. References N. S. Gill, Roman Culture: An introduction to the culture of Rome, especially the Roman Republic. (2012). Retrieved on November 2012, Retrieved from http://ancienthistory. about. com/od/culture/tp/061511-Roman-Culture. htm Ancient Greece, (2012) Retrieved on November 2012, retrieved from http://www. ancientgreece. com/s/Culture/ Ancient Greece, 21 October 2012 Retrieved on November 2012, retrieved from http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Ancient_Greece

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Role of Women in Greek Myth

The role of women in ancient Greek life was insignificant compared to that of Greek men. A woman’s job was to take care of the children and to cook and clean unless she had servants or slaves that would do it for her. Yet, in Greek mythology, women were often written as major characters. Well-known Greek plays contain many well-written, complex, female characters. Female individuals in Greek mythology were often seen as very powerful and fierce and were depicted by “her wits, her beauty, or her bad deeds. To start off we have Helen of Troy, a mortal woman, thought to be one of the most beautiful in her time. She left her husband Menelaus of Sparta for Paris of Troy and because of that and her beauty a 10 year war surged between Sparta and Troy; “…she left behind the din of clashing shields and spears, as the war fleets armed. Taking with her a dowry of destruction, she strode swiftly through that city’s gates, daring what must not be dared” (Agamemnon 4003-408).

Thousands of men died while she sat in her castle. It goes to show how powerful a woman’s beauty can be. We then have Clytemnestra, wife of Agamemnon and queen of Argos. Clytemnestra was described as “a woman with a man’s heart” (Agamemnon 11); she was depicted as a very brutal and treacherous woman but she was also very intelligent. Clytemnestra knew how intelligent she was and even proved it to the Argive elders, in line 351 of the play Agamemnon the y tell her “[she speaks] wisely like a man of discretion. She becomes fixated on obtaining justice for her daughter’s wrongful murder, “…my mind never sleeps, and with the help of the gods I will set things right” (Agamemnon 912-913). Agamemnon had scarified their daughter Iphigenia to the goddess Artemis to stop the storm he was in when he was on his way to Troy. So Clytemnestra murdered her husband to avenge her daughter’s death, her “labor of love”. Clytemnestra felt that her act was justified and states in detail how she killed her husband without any shame or remorse. I struck him twice and he screamed twice, his limbs buckled and his body came crashing down, and as he lay there I struck him again, a third blow for Underworld Zeus, the savior of the dead…. I don’t care if you praise me of blame me, it makes no difference to me” (Agamemnon 1384-1403). Another woman who also became strong and fierce with her vengeance was Medea, “her glare [was] as fierce as a bull’s… [and she was] wild like a lion [who’d] just given birth… ” Medea was a powerful witch and when she was wronged by her husband she used her powers for revenge.

Medea’s husband, Jason, left her for another woman; he left her for a princess. And to that she stated “Most of the time, I know, a woman is filled with fear. She’s worthless in a battle and flinches at the sight of steel. But when she’s faced with an injustice in the bedroom, there is no other mind more murderous” (Medea 267-271). After lots of grieving for her husband’s treachery she decides to pretend to be on good terms with him and sends his new with gifts; an embodied robe and a golden crown.

She sent these gifts to her with her children however, using her powers she poisoned them so that the gifts would kill the new wife. Jason’s new wife “took the intricate robe and wrapped it around her body, and set the golden crown upon her curls…what happened next was terrible to see. Her skin changed color, and her legs were shaking…white foam at her mouth, her eyes popping up, the blood drained from her face…the gold gripped tight, and every movement of her hair caused the fire to blaze out twice as much…” (Medea 1176-1214).

Medea’s hate for Jason was so strong that it wasn’t enough to just leave him wifeless, she wanted to give him a punishment far worse, that powerful hate for her ex-husband gave her the strength to kill her own children. Medea goes on by telling Jason that their children’s death is his fault and takes their bodies with her without letting Jason touch them or granting him permission to bury them as his ultimate punishment for betraying her (Medea 1345-1463). Although the women in these stories are responsible for terrible things they demonstrate how much power a mortal woman had and the impact this power had on men.

It shows how fierce a woman’s wrath could be and what they were capable of doing. These stories give us an insight on how women were viewed during this time. Aeschylus, Peter Meineck, and Helene P. Foley. Oresteia. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Pub. , 1998. Print. Euripides, and Robin Mitchell-Boyask. Medea. Indianapolis: Hackett, 2008. Print. “The Role of Women in Greek Mythology. ” Contributor Network. N. p. , n. d. Web. 28 Oct. 2012. <http://voices. yahoo. com/the-role-women-greek-mythology-5220705. html? cat=37>.

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Greek and Roman Contributions to Modern Society

Both Greece and Rome made significant contributions to Western civilization. Greek knowledge was ascendant in philosophy, physics, chemistry, medicine, and mathematics for nearly two thousand years. The Romans did not have the Greek temperament for philosophy and science, but they had a genius for law and civil administration. The Romans were also great engineers and builders. They invented concrete, perfected the arch, and constructed roads and bridges that remain in use today. But neither the Greeks nor the Romans had much appreciation for technology.

The technological society that transformed the world was conceived by Europeans during the Middle Ages. Greeks and Romans were notorious in their disdain for technology. Aristotle noted that to be engaged in the mechanical arts was “illiberal and irksome. ” Seneca infamously characterized invention as something fit only for “the meanest slaves. ” The Roman Emperor Vespasian rejected technological innovation for fear that it would lead to unemployment. Greek and Roman economies were built on slavery. Strabo described the slave market at Delos as capable of handling the sale of 10,000 slaves a day.

With an abundant supply of manual labor, the Romans had little incentive to develop artificial or mechanical power sources. Technical occupations such as blacksmithing came to be associated with the lower classes. With the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the fifth century AD, a Dark Age in philosophy and science descended upon the Mediterranean region. But the unwritten history of technological progress continued. In northern and western Europe, there was never a period of regression. As early as 370 AD, an unknown author noted the “mechanical inventiveness” of the “barbarian peoples” of northern Europe.

The Christian ethic of universal brotherhood slowly spread through Europe, and slavery began to disappear. Tribes and peoples became united under a common creed. Europeans not only embraced technology, but they also developed the idea of a universal society based upon respect for the dignity and worth of the individual human being. From the sixth through the ninth centuries AD, Europeans adopted new agricultural technologies that dramatically increased productivity. One of these innovations was a heavy wheeled plow that broke up the soil more efficiently than the Roman “scratch” plow.

Formerly unproductive lands were transformed into arable cropland. The Greeks and Romans had harnessed horses with a throat-and-girth harness that consisted of a strap placed across the animal’s neck. As soon as the horse began to pull, he would choke himself. In the ninth century, Europeans began to use a padded horse collar that transferred the load of a draught animal to its shoulders. Horses harnessed with collars were able to pull four to five times more weight than those with throat-and-girth harnesses. Horse power was also facilitated by the introduction of the iron shoe.

With fast-moving horses harnessed efficiently, it became possible to transport goods up to 35 kilometers in one day if a sufficiently good road was available. There was now a way to dispose of agricultural surpluses and create wealth that could be used for investment in technology and infrastructure. Thus, the introduction of the lowly horseshoe and collar fostered commerce, civilization, and the growth of towns. Under the Roman system of two-field crop rotation, half the land was left fallow and unproductive at any given time. In the eighth century, Europeans began to practice three-field crop rotation.

Fields lay fallow for only a third of the year, and grains were alternated with legumes that enriched the soil with nitrogen. The cultivation of legumes such as peas and beans added valuable protein to European diets. In the tenth century, the climate began to warm, and Europe entered the High Middle Ages. By the thirteenth century, the new agricultural technologies had doubled per acre yields. Population surged; architecture and commerce flourished. Europeans began a program of aggressive territorial expansion. They reclaimed Sicily in 1090 and systematically drove Muslims out of Spain.

The First Crusade was launched in 1095, and Jerusalem was captured from the Seljukian Turks in 1099. The prosperity created by the new agricultural technologies subsidized education and the growth of knowledge. In the late eighth century, Charlemagne had revived education in Europe by setting up a general system of schools. For the first time, not just monks, but also the general public were educated. As the European economy prospered, students multiplied and traveled, seeking the best education they could find. Christian Cathedral Schools evolved into the first universities.

The Universities of Paris and Oxford were founded c. 1170, Cambridge in 1209 AD. The harnessing of water power began around 200 BC with the invention of the quern, a primitive grain mill consisting of two rotating stones. The Romans had been aware of water power but made little use of water wheels and mills. In contrast, by the tenth century, Europeans had begun a wholesale conversion of their civilization from human and animal power to water power. The water-mill came to be viewed not just as a grain mill, but as a generalized source of power that could be adopted for many uses.

This new approach was to fundamentally alter the fabric of human civilization. By the thirteenth century, water power was being utilized in sawmills, tanning mills, and iron forges. Mechanical power derived from moving water was used to process beer mash, to turn wood lathes and grinding stones, to power bellows, to drive forge hammers, and to manufacture paper. Because water power was available only where streams were located, Europeans developed other sources of mechanical power. Tidal power was used in Dover and Venice in the eleventh century. The first windmill in Europe appeared in 1085 AD.

Over the next hundred years, windmill technology spread rapidly over the plains of northern Europe. Windmills provided power in the cold of winter, when water mills were shut down by frozen streams. The utilization of mechanical power in these many forms required that Europeans develop methods for transferring and redirecting power, crucial technologies for the Industrial Revolution of the late eighteenth century. Most important of these was the crank. The crank is a device that allows rotary motion to be converted into reciprocal motion, or vice-versa.

For an industrial or technological civilization, the importance of the crank is second only to that of the wheel itself. Without the crank, “machine civilization is inconceivable. ” Water clocks had been known since ancient times, but they were notoriously inaccurate and inconvenient. Near the end of the thirteenth century, it became possible to construct the first mechanical clock when some unknown genius invented a device known as the verge escapement. The verge escapement enabled the power delivered by a falling weight to be modulated and delivered evenly at a constant rate.

The techniques developed in clockwork for regulating and transferring power were essential for the complex machinery of the Industrial Revolution. The introduction of mechanical clocks also made it feasible to adopt standardized timekeeping. This was a necessary step for the eventual development of a technological civilization that needs to coordinate complex administrative and commercial interactions. Modern science traces its roots to the natural philosophy of the ancient Greeks and the pre-Socratic enlightenment c. 600-400 BC.

The Greeks began the evolution of what became modern science by introducing naturalism and rejecting supernatural explanations. Describing epilepsy, a Hippocratic author noted that the disease was “no more divine nor more sacred than other diseases, but has a natural cause from which it originates like other affections. ” But neither the Greeks nor the Romans ever hit upon the experimental method. Greek philosophers favored the deductive logic used in geometry. They had several reasons for being skeptical of a science based on observation.

The world was in state of continual flux, different people observed things differently, and the only data available to them were anecdotal. Modern science began in the thirteenth century when Christian theologians such as Robert Grossesteste became seduced by Aristotelian logic and the Greek principle of demonstrative proof. But when Grossesteste and his student Roger Bacon contemplated the mysterious properties of the magnet, they were forced to conclude that logic alone could never uncover the secrets of the cosmos.

Magnetism was a phenomenon that could never be predicted by logical reasoning. It could only be observed. Thus the need for a systematic experimental method. Gunpowder originated in China, but firearms were a European invention. Cannon date from the first part of the fourteenth century in Europe, and they were common by 1350. The use of cannon in particular helped break up feudalism, as it made central fortifications obsolete. Even the strongest structures were now vulnerable. The protection offered by a stone castle was eviscerated.

The possession of personal firearms gave individuals more political power and was an engine for social and political change. The firearm was also the first internal combustion engine and demonstrated the enormous potential power that lay in confined and controlled combustion. Like gunpowder, many of the technologies developed and utilized by Europeans originated in China. But the Chinese were never able to fully develop the promise of these inventions because their economic development was strangled by a “bureaucratic, state controlled economy. “

In Europe, the leaders in developing medieval technology were not philosophers, but craftsmen, merchants, and businessmen — in a word, entrepreneurs. There were profits to be derived from the new technologies. A water-powered mill required a considerable capital investment, but the investment was likely to return a significant profit. Inventive, free people looked for ways to improve their productivity. Individuals profited, and society prospered. Thus, the Industrial Revolution that began in England c. 1760 was the inevitable outcome of a thousand years of European technological progress fostered by economic freedom.

During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the technological innovations pioneered in Europe began to spread throughout the world. This process continues today, most notably with the transformation of the world’s most populous countries, China and India. The most undeniable benefit of the technology that Europeans bequeathed to the world was a dramatic increase in life expectancy. Before the Industrial Revolution, average life expectancy at birth was only 25 years, no higher than it had been in Roman times.

But as of 2009, life expectancy in the world had reached 69 years. And Japanese women now enjoy a record life expectancy at birth of 86 years. Thus the world was transformed — not by philosophers, scientists, or politicians, but by engineers, craftsmen, and entrepreneurs. Writing in 1768, Joseph Priestley predicted that “whatever was the beginning of this world, the end will be glorious and paradisaical, beyond what our imaginations can now conceive. ” Thanks to European inventors, Priestley’s prediction was fulfilled.

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Greek Art(Sculpture, Vessels)

Greek Art No matter how accomplished they might be, the works of art we have discussed so far seem alien to us. The ancient cultures that produced them were so different from our own that we find few references in those works to our time. Greek architecture, sculpture, and painting, however, are immediately recognizable as the ancestors of Western civilization, despite their debts to earlier art. A Greek temple reminds us of countless government buildings, banks, and college campuses; a Greek statue recalls countless statues of our own day; and a Greek coin is a little different from those we use today.

This is neither coincidental nor inevitable. Western civilization has carefully constructed itself in the image of the Greek or the Roman worlds. For an art historian trying to understand the visual culture of those worlds, this presents a special challenge: It is tempting to believe that something familiar on the surface holds the same significance for us as it did for the Greeks or the Romans, but scholars have discovered time and time again that this is a dangerous fallacy.

Another complication in studying Greek art arises because there are three separate, and sometimes conflicting, sources of information on the subject. First, there are the works themselves—reliable, but only a small fraction of what once existed. Second, there are Roman copies of Greek originals, especially sculptures. These works tell us something about important pieces that would otherwise be lost to us, but copies pose their own problems. Without the original, we cannot determine how faithful the copy is, and sometimes multiple copies present several versions of a single original.

To make things even more complicated, a Roman copyist’s notion of a copy was quite different from ours. A Roman copy was not necessarily intended as a strict imitation, but allowed for interpreting or adapting the work according to the taste or skill of the copyist or the wishes of the patron. Moreover, the quality of some Greek sculpture owed much to surface finish, which, in a copy, is entirely up to the copyist. If the original was bronze and the copy marble, the finish would differ dramatically.

In some rare cases, apparent copies are of such high quality that we cannot be sure that they really are copies. The third source of information about Greek works is literature. The Greeks were the first Western people to write at length about their own artists. Roman writers incorporated Greek accounts into their own: many of these have survived, although often in fragmentary condition. These written sources offer a glimpse of what the Greeks themselves considered their most important achievements in architecture, sculpture, and painting.

This written testimony has helped us to identify celebrated artists and monuments, though much of it deals with works that have not survived. In other cases, surviving Greek works that strike us as among the greatest masterpieces of their time are not mentioned at all in literature. Reconciling the literature with the copies and the original works, and weaving these strands into a coherent picture of the development of Greek art, has been the difficult task of archeologists and ancient art historians for several centuries.

The Greek Gods and Goddesses All early civilizations and preliterate cultures had creation myths to explain the origin of the universe and humanity’s place in it. Over time, these myths evolved into complex cycles that represent a comprehensive attempt to understand the world. The Greek gods and goddesses, though immortal, behaved in very human ways. They quarreled, and had children with each other‘s spouses and often with mortals as well. They were sometimes threatened and even overthrown by their own children.

The principal Greek gods and goddesses, with their Roman counterparts in parentheses, are given below. ZEUS (Jupiter): son of Kronos and Rhea; god of sky and weather, and king of the Olympian deities. After killing Kronos, Zeus married his sister HERA (Juno) and divided the universe by lot with his brothers: POSEIDON (Neptune) as allotted the sea and HADES (Pluto) was allotted the Underworld, which he ruled with his queen PERSEPHONE (Proserpina). Zeus and Hera had several children: ARES (Mars), the god of war HEBE, the goddess of youth

HEPHAISTOS (Vulcan), the lame god of metalwork and the forge Zeus lost had numerous children through his love affairs with other goddesses and with mortal women, including: ATHENA (Minerva), goddess of crafts, including war, and thus of intelligence and wisdom. A protector of heroes, she became the patron goddess of Athens, an honor she won in a contest with Poseidon. Her gift to the city was an olive tree, which she caused to sprout on the Akropolis. APHRODITE (Venus), the goddess of love, beauty, and female fertility. She married Hephaistos, but had many affairs.

Her children were HARMONIA, EROS, and ANTEROS (with Ares); HERMAPHRODITOS (with Hermes); PRIAPOS (with Dionysos); and AENEAS (with the Trojan prince Anchises). APOLLO ( Apollo), with his twin sister ARTEMIS, god of the stringed lyre and bow, who therefore both presided over the civilized pursuits of music and poetry, and shot down transgressors; a paragon of male beauty, he was also the god of prophecy and medicine. ARTEMIS (Diana), with her twin brother, APOLLO, virgin goddesses of the hunt and the protector of young girls.

She was also sometimes considered a moon goddess with SELENE. DIONYSOS (Bacchus), the god of altered states particularly that induced the wine. Opposite in temperament to Apollo, Dionysos was raised on Mount Nysa, where he invented winemaking; he married the princess Ariadne after the hero Theseus abandoned her on Naxos. His followers, the goatish satyrs and their female companions, the nymphs and humans who were known as maenads (bacchantes), were given to orgiastic excess. Yet, there was another, more temperate side to Dionysos’ character.

As the god of fertility, he was also a god of vegetation, as well as of peace, hospitality, and the theater. HERMES (Mercury), the messenger of the gods, conductor of souls to Hades, and the god of travelers and commerce. The great flowering of ancient Greek art was just one manifestation of a wide-ranging exploration of humanistic and religious issues. Artists, writers, and philosophers struggled with common question, still preserved in a huge body of works. Their inquiries cut to the very core of human existence, and have formed the backbone of much of Western philosophy.

For the most part, they accepted a pantheon of gods, whom they worshiped in human form. (See Informing Art, above) Yet they debated the nature of those gods, and the relationship between divinities and humankind. Did fate control human actions, or was there free will? And if so, what was the nature of virtue? Greek thinkers conceived of many aspects of life in dualistic terms. Order (cosmos, in Greek) was eternally opposed to disorder (chaos), and both poles permeated existence. Civilization, which was, by definition, Greek, stood in pposition to an uncivilized world beyond Greek borders; all non-Greeks were “barbarians”, named for the nonsensical sound of their languages to Greek ears (“bar-bar-bar-bar”). Reason, too, had its opposite: the irrational, mirrored in light and darkness, in man and woman. In their literature and in their art, the ancient Greeks addressed the tension between these polar opposites. THE EMERGENCE OF GREEK ART: THE GEOMETRIC STYLE The first Greek-speaking groups came to Greece about 2000 BCE. These newcomers brought with them a new culture that soon evolved to encompass most of mainland Greece, as well as the Aegean Islands and Crete.

By the first millennium BCE the Greeks had colonized the west coast of Asia Minor and Cyprus. In this period we distinguish three main subgroups: the Dorinians, centered in Peloponnese; the Ionians, inhabiting Attica, Euboea, the Cyclades, and the central coast of Asia Minor; and the Aeolians, who ended up in the northeast Aegean (see map 5. 1). Despite their cultural differences and their geographical dispersal, the Greeks had a strong sense of kinship, based on language and common beliefs.

From the mid-eighth through the mid-sixth centuries BCE, there was a wave of colonization as the Greeks expanded across the Mediterranean and as far as the Black Sea. At this time, they founded important settlements in Sicily and southern Italy, collectively known as Magna Graecia, and in North Africa. After the collapse of Mycenaean civilization, art became largely nonfigural for several centuries. In the eighth century BCE, the oldest Greek style that we know in the arts developed, known today as the Geometric.

Images appeared at about the time the alphabet was introduced (under strong Near Eastern influence). It was contemporaneous, too, with the work of the poet Homer (or a group of poets), who wrote the lasting epic poems The Iliad and The Odyssey, tales of the Trojan War and the return of one of its heroes, Odysseus, home to Ithaka. We also have works in painted pottery and small-scale sculpture in clay and bronze. The two forms are closely related: Pottery was often adorned with the kinds of figures found in sculpture. Geometric Style Pottery

As quickly as pottery became an art form, Greek potters began to develop an extensive, but fairly standardized, repertoire of vessel shape (fig. 5. 1). Each type was well adapted to its function, which was reflected in its form. As a result, each shape presented unique challenges to the painter, and some became specialists at decorating certain types of vases. Larger pots often attracted the most ambitious craftsmen because they provided a more generous field on which to work. Making and decorating vases were complex processes, usually performed by different artisans.

At first painters decorated their wares with abstract designs, such as triangles, “checkerboard”, and concentric circles. Toward 800 BCE human and animal figures began to appear within the geometric framework, and in the most elaborate examples these figures interacted in narrative scenes. The vase shown here, from a cemetery near the later Dipylon gate in the northwestern corner of Athens, dates to around 750 BCE (fig. 5. 2). Known as the Dipylon Vase, it was one of a group of unusually large vessels used as grave monuments. Holen in its base allowed liquid offerings (libations) to filter down to the dead below.

In earlier centuries, Athenians had placed the ashes of their cremated dead inside vases, choosing the vase’s shape according to the sex of the deceased. A woman’s remains were buried in a belly-handled amphora, a type of vase more commonly used for storing wine or oil; a man’s ashes were placed in a neck-amphora. A krater, a large bowl-like vessel in which Greeks normally mixed wine with water, had also been used as a burial marker since the early first millennium(see fig. 5. 1). The shape of the example illustrated here shows that the deceased was a woman; its sheer monumentality indicates that she was a woman of considerable means.

The amphora is a masterpiece of the potter’s craft. At over 5 feet tall, it was too large to be thrown in one piece. Instead, the potter built it up in sections, joined with a clay slip. A careful proportional scheme governed the vessels’ form: Its width measures half of its height and the neck measures half the height of the body. The artist placed the handles so as to emphasize the widest point of the body. Most of the vase’s decoration is given over to geometric patterns dominated by a meander pattern, also known as a maze or Greek key pattern (fig 5. ), a band of rectangular scrolls, punctuated with bands of lustrous black paint at the neck, the shoulder, and the base. The geometric design reflects the proportional system of the vase’s shape. Single meander patterns run in bands toward the top and bottom of the neck; the triple meander encircling the neck at the center emphasizes its length. The double and single meanders on the amphora’s body appear stocky by contrast, complementing the body’s rounder form. Above the triple meander on the neck, deer graze, one after the other, in an identical pattern circling the vase.

This animal frieze prefigures the widespread use of the motif in the seventh century BCE. At the base of the neck, they recline, with their heads turned back over their bodies, like an animate version of the meander pattern itself, which moves ever forward while turning back upon itself. In the center of the amphora, framed between its handles, is a narrative scene. The deceased lies on a bier, beneath a checkered shroud. Flanking her are standing figures with their arms raised above their heads in a gesture of lamentation; an additional four figures kneel on sit beneath the bier.

Rather than striving for naturalism, the painter used solid black geometric forms to construct human bodies. A triangle represents the torso, and the raised arms extend the triangle beyond the shoulders. The scene itself represents the prothesis, part of the Athenian funerary ritual when the dead person lay in state and public mourning took place. A lavish funeral was an occasion to display wealth and status, and crowds of mourners were so desirable that families would hire professional mourners for the event.

Thus the depiction of a funeral on the burial marker is not simply journalistic reportage but a visual record of the deceased person’s high standing in society. Archeologists have found Geometric pottery in Italy and the Near East as well as in Greece. This wide distribution is a sign of the important role not only the Greeks but also the Phoenicians, North Syrians, and other Near Eastern peoples as agents of diffusion all around the Mediterranean. What is more, from the second half of the eighth century onwards, inscriptions on hese vases show that the Greeks had already adapted the Phoenician alphabet to their own use. Geometric Style Sculpture A small, bronze sculptural group representing a man and a centaur dates to about the same time as the funerary amphora, and there are distinct similarities in the way living forms are depicted in both works of art(fig. 5. 4). Thin arms and flat, triangular chests contrast with more rounded buttocks and legs. The heads are spherical forms, with beards and noses added. The artist cast the group in one piece, uniting them with a common base and their entwined pose.

The group was probably found in the sanctuary at Olympia. Judging by its figurative quality, and by the costliness of the material and technique, it was probably a sumptuous votive offering. The figures obviously interact, revealing the artist’s interest in narrative, a theme that persists throughout the history of Greek art. Whether the artist was referring to a story known to his audience is hard to say. The figures’ helmets tell us that their encounter is martial, and the larger scale of the man may suggest that he will be the victor in the struggle.

Many scholars believe he represents Herakles, son of Zeus and a Greek hero, who fought centaurs many times in the course of his mythical travails. THE ORIENTALIZING STYLE: HORIZONS EXPAND Between about 725 and 650 BCE, a new style of pottery and sculpture emerged in Greece that reflects strong influences initially from the Near East and later from Egypt. Scholars know this as the Orientalizing period, when Greek art and culture rapidly absorbed a host of Eastern motifs and ideas, including hybrid creatures such as griffins and sphinxes.

This absorption of Eastern ideas led to a vital period of experimentation, as painters and sculptors mastered new forms. Map 5. 1 The Ancient Greek World 5. 1 Some common Greek vessel forms 5. 2 Late Geometric belly-handled amphora by the Dipylon Master, from the Dipylon Cemetery, Athens. ca 750 BCE. Height 5’1” (1. 55 m) National Archaeological Museum, Athens 5. 3 Common Greek ornamental motifs 5. 4 Man and Centaur, perharps from Olympia. ca 750 BCE. Bronze. Height 4 3/8 ” (11. 1 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917. 17. 190. 072 Miniature Vessels The Orientalizing style replaced the Geometric in many Greek city-states, including Athens. One of the foremost centers of its production, though, was Corinth, at the northeastern gateway to the Peloponnese. This city became a leader in colonizing ventures in the west and came to dominate the trade in exports. Corinthian workshops had a long history of pottery production. Vase painters learned to make a refined black gloss slip, which they used to create silhouette or outline images. They could also incise the slip to add detail and vivacity to their work.

They particularly specialized in crafting miniature vessels like the vase shown here, which is at Proto-Corinthian aryballos or perfume jar, dating to about 680 BCE (fig. 5. 5). Archeologists have discovered vessels like this one throughout the Greek world, left in sanctuaries as dedications to the gods, or buried as grave goods. Despite its small size, intricate decoration covers the vase’s surface. Around the shoulder stalks a frieze of animals, reminiscent of Near Eastern animal motifs and of the early example seen on the Dipylon Vase (see figs. 2. 25 and 5. 2).

Bands are real and imaginary animals are a hallmark of Corinthian and other Orientalizing wares, covering later vases from top to bottom. A guilloche pattern ornaments the handle, and meander patterns cover the edge of the mouth and the handle (see fig. 5. 3). The principal figural frieze offers another early example of pictorial narrative, but the daily life scenes of Geometric pottery have yielded to the fantastic world of myth. On one side, a stocky nude male wielding a sword runs toward a vase on a stand. On the side shown here, bearded male struggles to wrest a scepter or staff from the grasp of a centaur.

According to one theory, the frieze represents a moment in Herakles’ conflict with a band of centaurs on Mount Pholoe. In Greek mythology, centaurs were notoriously susceptible to alcohol, and the mixing bowl for wine represented on the other side may indicate the reason for their rowdiness. Others interpret the “Herakles” figure as Zeus, brandishing his thunderbolt or lightning. No matter how one reads this scene, there is no doubt that it was meant to evoke a mythological reality. BRONZE TRIPODS During the Geometric period, Greeks would sometimes set up bronze tripod cauldrons in sanctuaries as dedications to the gods (fig. . 6). The gesture was an act of piety, but it was also a way of displaying wealth, and some of the tripod cauldrons reached monumental proportions. From the early seventh century BCE, a new type of monumental vessel was introduced— the Orientalizing cauldron. Around the edge of the bowl, bronze-workers might catch protomes, images of sirens (winged female creatures), and griffins— both were fantasy creatures that were known in the Near East. The cast protome shown here, from the island of Rhodes, is a magnificently ominous creature, standing watch over the dedication (fig. 5. 7).

The boldly upright ears and the vertical knob on top of the head contrast starkly with the strong curves of the neck, head, eyes, and mouth, while its menacing tongue is silhouetted in countercurve against the beak. The straight lines appear to animate the curves, so that the dangerous hybrid seems about to spring. ARCHAIC ART: ART OF THE CITY-STATE During the course of the seventh and sixth centuries BCE, the Greeks appear to have refined their notion of a polis, or city-state. Once merely a citadel, the place of refuge in times of trouble, the city came to represent a community and an identity.

City-states, as they are known, were governed in several different ways, including monarchy (from monarches, “sole ruler”), aristocracy (from aristoi and kratia, “rule of the best”), tyranny (from tyrannos, “despot”), oligarchy (from oligoi, “the few,” a small ruling elite), and, in Athens, democracy (from demos, “the people”). The road to democracy moved slowly, starting with Solon’s reforms at the end of the sixth century in Athens. Even by the time of Perikles’ radical democratic reforms of 462 BCE, women played no direct role in civic life, and slavery was the accepted practice in Athens, as it was everywhere in the Greek world.

With the changing ideal of the city-state came a change in its physical appearance. The Rise of Monumental Temple Architecture At some point in the seventh century BCE, Greek architects began to design temples using stone rather than wood. The earliest were probably built at Corinth, in a style known as Doric, named for the region where it originated. From there the idea spread across the isthmus that connects the Peloponnesos to the mainland and up the coast to Delphi and the island of Corfu, then rapidly throughout the Hellenic world.

The Ionic style soon developed on the Aegean Islands and the coast of Asia Minor. The Corinthian style did not develop until the fourth century BCE (see page 142). Greeks recognized the importance of this architectural revolution at the time: Architects began to write treatises on architecture— the first we know of— and the personal fame they achieved through their work has lasted to this day. Writing in Roman times, the architect Vitruvius described the Doric and Ionic styles, and his discussions of them have been central to our understanding of Greek architecture.

However, our readings of his text have been mediated through early modern commentators and illustrators, who wrote of Doric and Ionic “orders” rather than “types”, which is a better translation of Vitruvius’ “genera”. The distinction is important: “Order” suggest an immutable quality, a rigid building code, when in fact we find a subtle but rich variation in surviving Greek architecture. The essential, functioning components of Doric and Ionic temples are very similar, though they may vary according to the size of the building or regional preferences (fig. 5. ). The nucleus of the building—in fact, its reason for existing— is its main chamber, its cella or naos. This chamber housed an image of the god to whom the temple was dedicated. Often, interior columns lined the cella walls and helped to support the roof, as well as visually framing the cult statue. Approaching the cella is a porch or pronaos, and in some cases a second porch was added behind the cella, making the design more symmetrical and providing space for religious paraphernalia. In large temples, a colonnade or peristyle surrounds the central unit of ella and porches, and the building is known as a peripteral temple. The peristyle commonly consists of six to eight columns at front and back, and usually 12 to 17 along the sides, counting the corner columns twice; the very largest temples of Ionian Greece had a double colonnade. The peristyle added more than grandeur: It offered worshipers shelter from the elements. Being neither entirely exterior nor entirely interior space, it also functioned as a transitional zone, between the profane world outside and the sanctity of the cella.

Some temples were set in sacred groves, where the columns, with their strong vertical form, integrated the temple with its environment. Echoed again inside the cella, the columns also integrated the exterior and interior of the building. Most Greek temples are oriented so that the entrance faces east, toward the rising sun. East of the temple is usually the altar, the truly indispensable installation for the performance of ritual. It was on the altar that Greeks performed sacrifices, standing before the cult statue and the worshipping community of the Greek polis.

Differences between the Doric and Ionic styles are apparent in a head-on view, or elevation. Many of the terms Greeks used to describe the parts of their buildings, shown in figure 5. 9, are still in common usage today. The building proper rests on an elevated platform, normally approached by three steps, known as the stereobate and stylobate. A Doric column consists of the shaft, usually marked by shallow vertical grooves, known as flutes, and the capital. The capital is made up of the flaring, cushionlike echinus and a square tablet called the abacus.

The entablature, which includes all the horizontal elements that rest on the columns, is subdivided into the architrave(a row of stone blocks directly supported by the columns); the frieze, made up of alternating triple-grooved triglyphs and smooth or sculpted metopes; and a projecting horizontal cornice, or geison, which may include a gutter (sima). The architrave in turn supports the triangular pediment and the roof elements (the raking geison and raking sima). Ionic temples tend to rest on an additional leveling course, or euthynteria, as well as three steps.

An Ionic column differs from a Doric column in having an ornate base of its own, perhaps used at first to protect the bottom from rain. Its shaft is more slender, with less tapering, ART IN TIME ca. 8th century BCE—Homer writes The Iliad and The Odyssey 776 BCE—First Olympic Games ca. 753 BCE—Rome founded ca. 750 BCE—Dipylon Vase 5. 5 The Ajax Painter. Aryballos (perfume jar). Middle Protocorinthian IA, 690-675 BCE. Ceramic. Height 2 7/8” (7. 3 cm). diameter 1 3/4” (4. 4 cm). Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Catharine Page Perkins Fund. Photograph © 2006, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. 95. 12 5. 6 Geometric tripod cauldron from Olympia. th century. Height 2’1 1/2” (65 cm). Olympia Museum 5. 7 Griffin-head protome from a bronze tripod-cauldron, from Kameiros, Rhodes. ca. 650 BCE. Cast bronze. The British Museum, London 5. 8 Ground plan of a typical Greek peripteral temple (after Grinnell) and the capital has a double scroll or volute below the abacus, which projects strongly beyond the width of the shaft. The Ionic column lacks the muscular quality of its mainland cousin. Instead, it evokes a growing plant, something like a formalized palm tree, and this it shares with its Egyptian predecessors, though it may not have come directly from Egypt.

Above the architrave, the frieze is continuous, rather than broken up visually into triglyphs and metopes. Whether Doric or Ionic, the temple structure was built of stone blocks fitted together without mortar, requiring that they be precisely shaped to achieve smooth joints. Where necessary, metal dowels or clamps fastened the blocks together. With rare exceptions, columns were made up of sections, called drums. The shaft was fluted after the entire column was assembled and in position. The roof was made of terra-cotta tiles over wooden rafters, and wooden beams were used for the ceiling.

Fire was a constant threat. Just how either style came to emerge in Greece, and why they came together into succint systems so quickly, are still puzzling questions. Remains of the oldest surviving temples show that the main features of the Doric style were already well established soon after 600 BCE. Early Greek builders in stone seem to have drawn upon three sources of inspiration: Mycenaean and Egyptian stone architecture, and pre-Archaic Greek architecture in wood and mud brick. It is possible that the temple’s central unit, the cella and porch, derived from the plan of the Mycenaean megaron(see fig. . 19), either through continuous tradition or by way of revival. If true, this relationship may reflect the revered place of Mycenaean culture in later Greek mythology. The shaft of the Doric column tapers upward, not downward like the Minoan-Mycenaean column. This recalls fluted half-columns in the funerary precinct of Djoser at Saqqara (see fig. 3. 6), of over 2,000 years earlier. Moreover, the very notion that temple should be built of stone and have large numbers of columns was an Egyptian one, even if Egyptian temples were designed for greater internal traffic.

Scholars assume that the Greeks learned many of their stone-cutting and masonry techniques from the Egyptians, as well as some knowledge of architectural ornamentation and geometry. In a sense, a Greek temple with its peristyle of columns might be viewed as the columned court of an Egyptian sanctuary turned inside out. Some scholars see the development of Doric architecture as a petrification (or turning to stone) of existing wooden forms, so that stone form follows wooden function. According to this view, at one triglyphs masked the ends of wooden beams, and the droplike shapes below, called guttae (see fig. . 9), are the descendants of wooden pegs that held them in place. Metopes evolved out of boards that filled gaps between the triglyphs to guard against weather. Mutules(flat projecting blocks), for their part, reflect the rafter ends in wooden roofs. Some derivations are more convincing than others, however. The vertical subdivisions of triglyphs hardly seem to reflect the forms of three half-round logs, as scholars suggest, and column flutings need not be developed from tool marks on a tree trunk, since Egyptian builders also fluted their columns and yet rarely used timber for supporting members.

The question of how far stylistic features can be explained in terms of function faces the architectural historian again and again. DORIC TEMPLES AT PAESTUM The early evolution of Doric temples is evident in two unusually well-preserved examples located in the southern Italian polis of Paestum, where a Greek colony flourished during the Archaic period. Both temples are dedicated to the goddess Hera, wife of Zeus; the Temple of Hera II, however, was built almost a century after the Temple of Hera I, the so-called Basilica (fig. 5. 10). The differences in their proportions are striking. The Temple of Hera I( on the left, fig. 5. 0) appears low and sprawling—and not just because so much of the entablature is missing—whereas the Temple of Hera II looks tall and compact. This is partly because the temple of Hera I is enneastyle (with nine columns across the front and rear), while the later temple is only hexastyle (six columns). Yet it is also the result of changes to the outline of the columns. On neither temple are the column shafts straight from bottom to top. About a third of the way up, they bulge outward slightly, receding again at about two thirds of their height. This swelling effect, known as entasis, is much stronger on the earlier Temple of Hera I.

It gives the impression that the columns bulge with the strain of supporting the superstructure and that the slender tops, although aided by the widely flaring, cushionlike capitals, can barely withstand the crushing weight. The device adds an extraordinary vitality to the building— a sense of compressed energy waiting to be released. The Temple of Hera II is among the best preserved of all Doric temples (fig. 5. 11), and shows how the ceiling was supported in a large Doric temple. Inside the cella, the two rows of columns each support a smaller set of columns in a way that makes the tapering seem continuous despite the architrave in between.

Such a two-story interior is first found at the Temple of Aphaia at Aegina around the beginning of the fifth century BCE. That temple is shown here in a reconstruction drawing (fig. 5. 12), which illustrates the structural system in detail. EARLY IONIC TEMPLES The Ionic style first appeared about a half-century after the Doric. With its vegetal decoration, it seems to have been strongly inspired by Near Eastern forms. The closest known parallel to the Ionic capital is the Aeolic capital, found in the region of Old Smyrna, in eastern Greece, and in the northeast Aegean, itself apparently derived from North Syrian and Phoenician designs.

The earliest Ionic temples were constructed in Ionian Greece, where leading cities erected vast, ornate temples in open rivalry with one another. Little survives of these early buildings. The Temple of Artemis at Ephesos gained tremendous fame in antiquity, and numbered among the seven wonders of the ancient world. The Ephesians hired Theodoros to work on its foundations in about 560 BCE, shortly after he and another architect, Rhoikos, had designed a vast temple to Hera on the island of Samos. The architects, Chersiphron of Knossos and Metagenes, his son, wrote a treatise on their building.

Like the temple on Samos, the temple at Ephesos was dipteral, with two rows of columns surrounding it (fig. 5. 13). Along with the vegetal capitals, this feature emphasized the forestlike quality of the building. The Temple of Artemis was larger than Hera’s temple, and it was the first monumental building to be constructed mostly of marble. These Ionic colossi had clear symbolic value: They represented their respective city’s bid for regional leadership. Stone Sculpture According to literary sources, Greeks carved very simple wooden sculptures of their gods in the eighth century BCE, but since wood deteriorates, none of them survive.

Yet, in about 650 BCE, sculptors, like architects, made the transition to working in stone, and so began one of the great traditions of Greek art. The new motifs that distinguished the Orientalizing style from the Geometric had reached Greece mainly through the importation of ivory carvings and metalwork from the Near East, reflecting Egyptian influences as well. But these transportable objects do not help to explain the rise of monumental stone architecture and sculpture, which must have been based on careful, on-the-spot study of Egyptian works and the techniques used to produce them.

The opportunity for just such a close study was available to Greek merchants living in trading camps in the western Nile delta, by permission of the Egyptian king Psammetichus I (r. 664-610 BCE). KORE AND KOUROS Early Greek statues clearly show affinities with the techniques and proportional systems used by Egyptian sculptors. Two are illustrated here, one a small female figure of about 630 BCE, probably from Crete (fig. 5. 14), the other a life-size nude male youth of about 600 BCE (fig. 5. 15), known as the New York Kouros because it is displayed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Like their Egyptian forerunners (see figs. 3. 11 and 3. 12), the statues are rigidly frontal, and conceived as four distinct sides, reflecting the form of the block from which they were carved, The female statue stands with feet placed firmly together, her left arm by her side, and her right arm held up to her breast. Like Menkaure, the Greek male youth is slim and broad-shouldered; he stands with his left leg forward, and his arms by his sides, terminating in clenched fists. His shoulders, hips, and knees are all level.

Both figures have stylized, wiglike hair like their Egyptian counterparts, but there are significant differences. First, the Greek sculptures are truly free-standing, separated from the back slab that supports Egyptian stone figures. In fact, they are the earliest large stone images of the human figure in the history of art that can stand on their own. More than that, Greek sculptures incorporated ART IN TIME ca. 680 BCE—Corinthian aryballos mid-7th century BCE—Black-figured vase-painting technique develops ca. 650 BCE—Greeks establish trading posts in Egypt ca. 20 BCE—Draco codifies Athenian laws 5. 9 Doric and Ionic styles in elevation 5. 10 The Temple of Hera I (“Basilica”), ca. 550 BCE, and the Temple of Hera II (“Temple of Poseidon”), ca. 500 BCE. Paestum 5. 11 Interior, Temple of Hera II, ca. 500 BCE 5. 12 Sectional view (restored) of the Temple of Aphaia, Aegina 5. 13 Restored plan of the Temple of Artemis at Ephesos, Turkey. ca. 560 BCE empty space (between the legs, for instance, or between arms and torso), whereas Egyptian figures remained immersed in stone, with the empty spaces between forms partly filled.

Early Greek sculptures are also more stylized than their Egyptian forebears. This is most evident in the large staring eyes, emphasized by bold arching eyebrows, and in the linear treatment of the anatomy: The male youth’s pectoral muscles and rib cage appear almost to have been etched onto the surface of the stone, rather than modeled like Menkaure’s. Like most early Greek female sculptures, this one is draped. She wears a close-fitting garment which reveals her breasts but conceals her hips and legs; in fact, the skirt has more in common with Egyptian block statues than with Queen Khamerernebty (see fig. 3. 2). While the Greek female statue and Menkaure are clothed, the male youth is nude. These conventions reflect the fact that public nudity in ancient Greece was acceptable for males, but not for females. Dozen of Archaic sculptures of this kind survive throughout the Greek world. Some were discovered in sanctuaries and cemeteries, but most were found in reused contexts, which complicates any attempt to understand their function. Scholars describe them by the Greek terms for maiden (kore, plural korai) and youth (kouros, plural kouroi). These terms gloss over the difficulty of identifying them more precisely.

Some are inscribed, with the names of artists (“”So-and-so’ made me”) or with dedications to various deities, chiefly Apollo. These, then, were votive offerings. But in most cases we do not know whether they represent the donor, a deity, or a person deemed divinely favored, such as a victor in athletic games. Those placed on graves may have represented the person buried beneath; yet in rare cases a kouros stands over a female burial site. No clear effort was made to individualize the statues as portraits, so they can represent the dead only in a general sense.

It might make most sense to think of the figures as ideals of physical perfection and vitality shared by mortals and immortals alike, given meaning by their physical context. What is clear is that only the wealthy could afford to erect them, since many were well over life size and carved from high quality marble. Indeed, the very stylistic cohesion of the sculptures may reveal their social function: By erecting a sculpture of this kind, a wealthy patron declared his or her status and claimed membership in ruling elite circles. DATING AND NATURALISM The Archaic period stretches from the mid-seventh century to about 480 BCE.

Within this time frame, there are few secure dates for free-standing sculptures. Scholars have therefore established a dating system based upon the level of naturalism in a given sculpture. According to this system, the more stylized the figure, the earlier it must be. Comparing figures 5. 15 and 5. 16 illustrates how this model works. An inscription on the base of the latter identifies it as a funerary statue of Kroisos, who had died a hero’s death in battle. Like all such figures, it was painted, and traces of color can still be seen in the hair and the pupils of the eyes.

Instead of the sharp planes and linear treatment of the New York Kouros (fig. 5. 15), the sculptor of the kouros from Anavysos modeled its anatomy with swelling curves: looking at it, a viewer can imagine flesh and sinew and bones in the carved stone. A greater plasticity gives the impression that the body could actually function. The proportions of the facial features are more naturalistic as well. In general, the face has a less masklike quality than the New York Kouros, though the lips are still drawn up in an artificial smile, known as the Archaic smile, that is not reflected in the eyes.

Based on these differences, scholars judge the Anavysos Kouros more “advanced” than the New York Kouros, and date it some 75 years later. Given the later trajectory of Greek sculpture, there is every reason to believe that this way of dating Archaic sculpture is more or less accurate (accounting for regional differences and the like). All the same, it is worth emphasizing that it is based on an assumption—that sculptors, or their patrons, were striving toward naturalism—rather than on factual data. The kore type appears to follow, a similar pattern of development to the kouros.

With her blocklike form and strongly accented waist, for instance, the kore of figure 5. 17 seems a direct descendant of the kore in figure 5. 14. On account of her heavy woolen garment (or peplos), she is known as the Peplos Kore. The left hand, which once extended forward to offer a votive gift, must have given the statue a spatial quality quite different from that of the earlier kore figure. Equally new is the more organic treatment of the hair, which falls over the shoulders in soft, curly strands, in contrast to the stiff wig in figure 5. 14.

The face is fuller, rounder, and the smile gentler and more natural than any we have seen so far, moving from the mouth into the cheeks. Scholars therefore place this statue a full century later than the work shown in figure 5. 14. All the same, there is more variation in types of kore than in types of kouros. This is partly because a kore is a clothed figure and therefore presents the problem of how to relate body and drapery. It is also likely to reflect changing habits or local styles of dress. The kore of figure 5. 18, from about a decade later than the Peplos Kore, has none of the latter’s severity.

Both were found on the Akropolis of Athens, but she probably came from Chios, and island of Ionian Greece. Unlike the korai discussed so far, this kore wears the light Ionian chiton under the heavier diagonally-shaped kimation, which replaced the peplos in fashion. The layers of the garment still loop around the body in soft curves, but the play of richly differentiated folds, pleats, and textures has almost become an end in itself. Color played an important role in such works, and it is fortunate that so much of it survives in this example. Architectural Sculpture: The Building Comes Alive

Soon after the Greeks began to build temples in stone, they also started to decorate them with architectural sculpture. Indeed, early Greek architects such as Theodoros of Samos were often sculptors as well, and sculpture played an important role in helping to articulate architecture and to bring it to life. Traces of pigment show that these sculptures were normally vividly painted—an image that is startlingly at odds with our conception of ancient sculpture as pristine white marble. The Egyptians had been covering walls and columns with reliefs since the Old Kingdom.

Their carvings were so shallow (for example, see fig. 3. 29) that they did not break the continuity of the surface and had no weight or volume of their own. Thus they were related to their architectural setting in the same sense as wall paintings. This is also true of the reliefs on Assyrian, Babylonian, and Persian buildings (for example, see figs. 2. 21 and 2. 22). the Near East, however, there was another kind of architectural sculpture, which seems to have begun with the Hittites: the guardian monsters protuding from the blocks that framed the gateways of fortresses or palaces (see fig. . 23). This tradition may have inspired, directly, or indirectly, the carving over the Lion Gate of Mycenae (see fig. 4. 22). THE TEMPLE OF ARTEMIS, CORFU That the Lion Gate relief is, conceptually, an ancestor of later Greek architectural sculpture is clear when one considers the facade of the early Archaic Temple of Artemis on the island of Corfu, built soon after 600 BCE (figs. 5. 19 and 5. 20). There, sculpture is confined to a triangle between the ceiling and the roof, known as the pediment. This area serves as a screen, protecting the wooden rafters behind it from moisture.

The pedimental sculpture is displayed against this screen. Technically, these carvings are in high relief, like the guardian lionesses at Mycenae. However, the bodies are so strongly undercut that they are nearly detached from the background, and appear to be almost independent of their architectural setting. Indeed, the head of the central figure actually overlaps the frame; she seems to emerge out of the pediment toward a viewer. This choice on the sculptor’s part heightens the impact of the figure and strengthens her function.

Although the temple was dedicated to Artemis, the figure represents the snake-haired Medusa, one of the Gorgon sisters of Greek mythology. Medusa’s appearance was so monstrous, so the story went, that anyone who beheld her would turn to stone. With the aid of the gods, Perseus beheaded her, guiding his sword by looking at her reflection in his shield. 5. 14 Kore (Maiden). ca. 630 BCE. Limestone. Height 24 1/2” (62. 3 cm). Musee du Louvre, Paris 5. 15 Kouros (Youth), ca. 600-590 BCE. Marble. Height 6’1 1/2” (1. 88 m). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 5. 16 Kroisos (Kouros from Anavysos). ca. 540-525 BCE.

Marble. Height 6’4” (1. 9 m). National Museum, Athens 5. 17 Kore in Dorian Peplos, known as Peplos Kore, ca. 530 BCE. Marble. Height 48” (122 cm). Akropolis Museum, Athens 5. 18 Kore, from Chios (? ). ca. 520 BCE, Marble. Height 21 7/8” (55. 3). Akropolis Museum, Athens 5. 19 Central Portion of the west pediment of the Temple of Artemis at Corfu, Greece, ca. 600-580 BCE. Limestone. Height 9’2”. (2. 8 m). Archaeological Museum, Corfu, Greece Traditionally, Medusa has been thought of as a protective visual device, but recent approaches argue that she served as a visual commentary on the power of the divinity.

She is conceived as a mistress of animals exemplifying the goddess’ power and her dominance over Nature. Two large feline creatures flank Medusa, in a heraldic arrangement known from the Lion Gate at Mycenae, and from many earlier Near Eastern examples. To strengthen the sculptures’ message, the artist included narrative elements in the pediment as well. In the spaces between and behind the main group, the sculptor inserted a number of subsidiary figures. On either side of Medusa are her children, the winged horse Pegasus, and Chrysaor, who will be born from drops of her blood, shed when Perseus decapitates her.

Logically speaking, they cannot yet exist, since Medusa’s head is still on her shoulders; and yet their presence in the heraldic arrangement alludes to the future, when Perseus will have claimed the Gorgon’s power as his own—just as the sculptor has here, in the service of Artemis. The sculptor has fused two separate moments from a single story, in what is known as a synoptic narrative, bringing the story to life. Two additional groups filled the pediment’s corners, possibly depicting Zeus and Poseidon battling the giants (a gigantomachy), a moral race who tried to overthrow the gods.

Like the central figures, they strike a cautionary note, since the gods destroyed them for their overreaching ambitions. With their reclining pose, the felines fit the shape of the pediment comfortably. Yet in order to fit Pegasus and Chrysaor between Medusa and the felines, and the groups into the corners, the sculptor carved them at a significantly smaller scale than the dominant figures. Later solutions to the pediment’s awkward shape suggest that this one, which lacks unity of scale, was not wholly satisfactory.

Aside from filling the pediment, Greeks might affix free-standing figures, known as acroteria (often of terra cotta) above the corners and the center of the pediment, softening the severity of its outline (see fig. 5. 21). Greek sculptors also decorate the frieze. In Doric temples, such as at Corfu, where the frieze consists of triglyphs and metopes, they would often decorate the latter with figural scenes. In Ionic temples, the frieze was a continuous band of painted or sculpted decoration.

Moreover, in Ionic buildings, female statues or caryatids might substitute for columns to support the roof of a porch, adding a further decorative quality (see figs. 5. 21 and 5. 53). THE SIPHNIAN TREASURY, DELPHI These Ionic features came together in a treasury built at Delphi shortly before 525 BCE by the people of the Ionian island of Siphnos. Treasuries were like miniature temples, used for storing votive gifts; typically, they had an ornate quality. Although the Treasury of the Siphnians no longer stands, archeologists have been able to create a reconstruction from what survives (figs. . 21 and 5. 22). Supporting the architrave of the porch were two caryatids. Above the architrave is a magnificent sculptural frieze. The detail shown here (fig. 5. 22) depicts part of the mythical battle of the Greek gods against the giants, who had challenged divine authority. At the far left, the two lions who pull the chariot of the mother goddess Cybele tear apart an anguished giant. In front of them, Apollo and Artemis advance together, shooting arrows into a phalanx of giants. Their weapons were once added to the sculpture in metal.

Stripped of his armor, a dead giant lies at their feet. As in the Corfu pediment, the tale is a cautionary one, warning mortals not to aim higher than their natural place in the order of things. Though the subject is mythical, its depiction offers a wealth of detail on contemporary weaponry and military tactics. Astonishingly, the relief is only a few inches deep from front to back. Within that shallow space, the sculptors (more than one hand is discernible) created several planes. The arms and legs of those nearest a viewer are carved in the round.

In the second and third layers, the forms become shallower, yet even those farthest from a viewer do not merge into the background. The resulting relationships between figures give a dramatic sense of the turmoil of battle and an intensity of action not seen before in narrative reliefs. As at Corfu, the protagonists fill the sculptural field from top to bottom, enhancing the frieze’s power. This is a dominant characteristic of Archaic and Classical Greek art, and with time, sculptors executing pedimental sculpture sought new ways to fill the field while retaining a unity of scale.

Taking their cue, perhaps, from friezes such as that found on the Siphnian Treasury, they introduced a variety of poses, and made great strides in depicting the human body in naturalistic motion. This is well illustrated in the pediments of the Temple of Aphaia at Aegina, an island in the Saronic Gulf visible from Attica (see fig. 5. 12). PEDIMENTS OF THE TEMPLE OF APHAIA AT AEGINA. The temple of Aphaia’s original east pediment was probably destroyed by the Persians when they took the island in 490 BCE. The Aeginetans commissioned the present one (fig. 5. 3) after defeating the Persians at the battle of Salamis in 480 BCE. It depicts the first sack of Troy, by Herakles and Telamon, king of Salamis. The west pediment, which dates from about 510-500 BCE, depicts the second siege of Troy (recounted in The Iliad) by Agamemnon, who was related to Herakles. The pairing of subjects commemorates the important role played by the heroes of Aegina in both battles—and, by extension, at Salamis, where their navy helped win the day. The elevation of historical events to a universal plane through allegory was typical of Greek art.

The figures of both pediments are fully in the round, independent of the background that they decorate. Those of the east pediment were found in pieces on the ground. Scholars continue to debate their exact arrangement, but the relative position of each figure within the pediment can be determined with reasonable accuracy. Since the designer introduced a wide range of action poses for the figures, their height, but not their scale, varies to suit the gently sloping sides of the pedimental field (fig. 5. 23). These variances in height can be used to determine the figures’ original positions.

In the center stands the goddess Athena, presiding over the battle between Greeks and Trojans that rages on either side of her. Kneeling archers shoot across the pediment to unite its action. The symmetrical arrangement of the poses on the two halves of the pediment creates a balanced design, so that while each figure has a clear autonomy, it also exists within a governing ornamental pattern. If we compare a fallen warrior from the west pediment (fig. 5. 24) with its counterpart from the later east pediment (fig. 5. 25) we see some indication of the extraordinary advances sculptors made toward naturalism during the decades that separate them.

As they sink to the ground in death, both figures present a clever solution to filling the awkward corner space. Yet while the earlier figure props himself up on one arm, only a precariously balance shield supports the later warrior, whose full weight seems to pull him irresistibly to the ground. Both sculptors aimed to contort the dying warrior’s body in the agonies of his death: The earlier sculptor crosses the warrior’s legs in an awkward pose, while the later sculptor more convincingly twists the body from the waist, so that the left shoulder moves into a new plane.

Although the later warrior’s anatomy still does not fully respond to his pose (note, for instance, how little the pectorals stretch to accommodate the strenuous motion of the right arm), his body is more modeled and organic than the earlier warrior’s. He also breaks from the head-on stare of his predecessor, turning his gaze to the ground that confronts him. The effect suggests introspection: The inscrutable smiling mask of the earlier warrior yields to the suffering and emotion of a warrior in his final moments. Vase Painting: Art of the Symposium

In vase painting, the new Archaic style would replace the Orientalizing phase as workshops in Athens and other centers produced extremely fine wares, painted with scenes from mythology, legend, and everyday life. The vases illustrated in these pages were used to hold wine, but were not meant for everyday use. The Greeks generally poured their wine from plainer, unadorned vases. Decorated vases were reserved for important occasions, like the symposium (symposion), an exclusive drinking party for men and courtesans; wives and other respectable citizen women were not included.

Participants reclined on couches around the edges of a room, and a master of ceremonies filled their cups from a large painted mixing bowl (a krater) in the middle of the room. Music, poetry, storytelling, and word games accompanied the festivities. Often the event ended in lovemaking, which is frequently depicted on drinking cups. Yet there was also a serious side to symposia, as described by Plato and Xenophon, 5. 20 Reconstruction drawing of the west front of the Temple of Artemis at Corfu (after Rodenwaldt) 5. 21 Reconstruction drawing of the Treasury of the Siphnians.

Sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi, ca. 525 BCE 5. 22 Battle of the Gods and Giants, from the north frieze of the Treasury of the Siphnians, Delphi. ca. 530 BCE. Marble. Height 26” (66 cm). Archaeological Museum, Delphi 5. 23 Reconstruction drawing of the east pediment of the Temple of Aphaia, Aegina (after Ohly) 5. 24 Dying Warrior, from the west pediment of the Temple of Aphaia, ca. 500-490 BCE. Marble. Length 5′ 2 1/2” (1. 59 m). Staatliche Antikensammlungen und Glyptothek, Munich 5. 24 Dying Warrior, from the west pediment of the Temple of Aphaia, ca. 500-490 BCE. Marble. Length 5′ 2 1/2” (1. 9 m). Staatliche Antikensammlungen und Glyptothek, Munich centering on debates about politics, ethics, and morality. The great issues that the Greeks pondered in their philosophy, literature, and theater—the nature of virtue, the value of an individual man’s life, or mortal relations with the gods, to name a few—were mirrored in, and prompted by, the images with which they surrounded themselves. After the middle of the sixth century BCE, many of the finest vessels bear signatures of the artists who made them, indicating the pride that potters and painters alike took in their work.

In many cases, vase painters had such distinctive styles that scholars can recognize their work even without a signature, and modern names are used to identify them. Dozens of vases (in one instance, over 200) might survive by the same hand, allowing scholars to trace a single painter’s development over many years. The difference between Orientalizing and Archaic vase painting is largely one of technique. On the aryballos from Corinth (see fig. 5. 5), the figures appear partly as solid silhouettes, partly in outline, or as a combination of the two.

Toward the end of the seventh century BCE, influenced by Corinthian products, Attic vase painters began to work in the black-figured technique: The entire design was painted in black silhouette against the reddish clay; and then the internal details were incised into the design with a needle. Then, white and purple were painted over the black to make chosen areas stand out. The technique lent itself to a two-dimensional and highly decorative effect. This development marks the beginning of an aggressive export industry, the main consumers of which were the Etruscans.

Vast numbers of black-figured vases were found in Etruscan tombs. Thus, although in terms of conception these vases (and later red-figured vessels) represent a major chapter in Greek (and specifically Athenian) art, if we think about their actual use, painted vases can be considered a major component of Etruscan culture, both visual and funerary. A fine example of the black-figured technique is an Athenian amphora signed by Exekias as both potter and painter, dating to the third quarter of the sixth century BCE (fig. 5. 26). The painting shows the Homeric heroes Achilles and Ajax playing dice.

The episode does not exist in surviving literary sources, and its appearance here points to the wide field of traditions that inspired Exekias. The two figures lean on their spears; their shields are stacked behind them against the inside of a campaign tent. The black silhouettes create a rhythmical composition, symmetrical around the table in the center. Within the black paint, Exekias has incised a wealth of detail, focusing especially upon the cloaks of the warriors; their intricately woven texture contrasts with the lustrous blackness of their weapons. The extraordinary power of this scene derives from the tension within it.

The warriors have stolen a moment of relaxation during a fierce war; even so, poised on the edge of their stools, one heel raised as if to jump at any moment, their poses are edgy. An inscription in front of Ajax, on the right, reads “three”, as if he is calling out his throw. Achilles, who in his helmet slightly dominates the scene, answers with “four,” making him the winner. Yet many a Greek viewer would have understood the irony of the scene, for when they return to battle, Achilles will die, and Ajax will be left to bear his friend’s lifeless body back to the Greek camp, before falling on his own sword in despair.

Indeed, Exekias himself would paint representations of the heroes’ tragic deaths. This amphora is the first known representation of the gaming scene, which subsequently became very popular, suggesting that individual vase painting did not exist in artistic isolation; painters responded to one another’s work in a close and often clever dialogue. Despite its decorative potential, the silhouettelike black-figured technique limited the artist to incision for detail. Toward the end of the sixth century BCE, painters developed the reverse procedure, leaving the figures red and filling in the background.

This red-figured technique gradually replaced the older method betwee 520 and 500 BCE. The effects of the change would be felt increasingly in the decades to come, but they are already discernible on an amphora of about 510-500 BCE, signed by Euthymides (fig. 5. 27). No longer is the scene so dependent on profiles. The painter’s new freedom with the brush translates into a freedom of movement in the dancing revelers he represents. They cavort in a range of poses, twisting their bodies and showing off Euthymides’ confidence in rendering human anatomy.

The shoulder blades of the central figure, for instance, are not level, but instead reflect the motion of his raised arm. The turning poses allow Euthymides to tackle foreshortening, as he portrays the different planes of the body (the turning shoulders, for instance) on a single surface. This was an age of intensive and self-conscious experimentation; indeed, so pleased was Euthymides with his painting that he inscribed it with a taunting challenge to a fellow painter, “As never Euphronios”.

On a slightly later kylix (wine cup) by Douris, dating to 490-480 BCE, Eos, the goddess of dawn, tenderly lifts a limp body of her dead son. Memnon, whom Achilles killed after their mothers sought the intervention of Zeus (fig. 5. 28). Douris traces the contours of limbs beneath the drapery, and balances vigorous outlines with more delicate secondary strokes, such as those indicating the anatomical details of Memnon’s body contrasts with the lift of Eos’ wings, an ironic commentary, perhaps, on how Zeus decided between the two warriors by weighing their souls on a scale that tipped against Memnon.

After killing him, Achilles stripped off Memnon’s armor as a gesture of humiliation, and where the figures overlap in the image, the gentle folds of Eos’ flowing chiton set off Memnon’s nudity. His vulnerability in turn underlines his mother’s desperate grief at being unable to help her son. At the core of the image is raw emotion. Douris tenderly exposes the suffering caused by intrasigent fate, and the callousness of the gods who intervene in mortal lives. As we saw on the pediment from Aegina, depictions of suffering, and how humans respond to it, are among the most dramatic developments of late Archaic art.

In this mythological scene, Athenians may have seen a reflection of themselves during the horrors of the Persian Wars. Indeed, the vase is brought into the realm of everyday life by its inscription, with the signatures of both painter and potter, as well as a dedication typical of Greek vases: “Hermogenes is beautiful. ” THE CLASSICAL AGE The beginning of the fifth century BCE brought crisis. A number of Ionian cities rebelled against their Persian overlords.

Free Essays

Greece: A Country with a Rich Cultural

Greece is a country characterized by a remarkable history and a rich cultural heritage.  In ancient times, Greece played a crucial role in early civilization that proved to be monumental in shaping both European and world history.  At present, it successfully maintains its distinct culture in the dynamic modern society.

Greece is a country with the land area of 131, 957 square kilometers (“Countries” 302).    Its capital is Athens, which is also one of its major cities (“Countries” 302).  Other major cities include Thessaloniki, Piraeus, Patras, Iraklion and Larissa (U.S. Department of State).  In 2005, the Greek population was estimated at 11,104,000, ten percent of which consists of immigrants (U.S. Department of State).  Three million of the said population is situated in Greater Athens (U.S. Department of State).

In terms of religion, the majority of the Greek citizens are members of the Greek Orthodox Church (“Countries” 302).  Other religions present in Greek society include Islam, Roman Catholicism and Protestantism (“Countries” 302).  Greece is characterized by an interesting and diverse culture which is established on customs and traditions, religion, food and wine, and music.  Religion and traditions are closely linked, since the latter is usually based and anchored on the former.  Ironically, the Greeks also believe in superstitions.

One of the Greek traditions still honored today at is the name day celebration (Greeka).  The Greeks give more importance to name days than birthdays; those who share a name with a celebrated saint also celebrate in a particular day of the year.  During a certain person’s “name day,” family and friends visit to give wishes and gifts.  At the house, the hostess provides food for the guests (Greeka).

Another Greek tradition is the Carnival or the “Apokries” (Greeka).   This feast occurs within a two week period; it starts on Sunday of Meat Fare and ends on “Clean Monday” or Kathari Deutera (Greeka). “Clean Monday” or Kathari Deutera is the first day of Lent; at this time, families usually gather for a picnic and kite flying.  The Carnival is believed to have originated from paganism, and is derived from the merrymaking associated with the god Dionysus (Greeka).  This tradition is characterized by people in costumes partying in the streets.  A Carnival parade is held in Patra, where the festivities take place from day until night (Greeka).

Easter is also significant for the Greeks.  In fact, it is considered more important than Christmas (Greeka).  Easter is a celebration that brings Greek families together.  Greek women are tasked to color the eggs red using dye; Godparents also give the children new things, such as shoes and clothes (Greeka).  Even the houses and streets are prepared for this occasion, as both are whitewashed for Easter.  In addition, the Greek family gathers for a feast of roasted lamb, wine and appetizers (Greeka).

Music also plays a crucial role in Greek culture.  Music in Greece began as early as Antiquity, as it was an essential part of Greek civilization (Greeka).  The best example would be that of Greek tragedy, in which music was one of its key elements.  The demise of Ancient Greece also resulted in the decline of Greek music.  Fortunately, Greek music reemerged in the 19th century (Greeka).

Folk songs also play a large role in Greek history.  The folk songs originated from ancient times (Greeka).  These songs are categorized into two: akritic and klephtic styles of music.  The former originated in 9th century AD. This kind of music conveyed the experiences and hardships of the “akrites,” or the Byzantine Empire guards (Greeka).  The latter was produced by “kleftes” or those who fought against the Ottoman Empire.

Even though music is an expression of the gruesome period in Greek history, it also included love songs.  This style of music was believed to have originated between the latter part of the Byzantine era and the early part of the Greek Revolution (Greeka).  Instruments that accompanied the folk songs include the bagpipe, tambourine and lute, just to name a few.  Other important elements of the Greek musical tradition are cantadha, nisiotika and rebetiko (Greeka).

Food and wine are also significant in Greek culture (Greeka).  Greece is known for their appetizers and wines.  Mezedes, or Greek appetizers, are crucial in Mediterranean culture, as it promotes friendship through the sharing of food.  Some of the recognized Greek appetizers include the Greek salad or Horiatiki Salata, Tiropitakia, Htapodi and Feta cheese.

Greece also produces wines. It is therefore no surprise that Greek alcohol such as Tsipouro and Ouzo are a main component in Greek culture.  Also, meat is almost always present in Greek main dishes, while their soups are very much preferred during the winter season.  The Greeks are also famous for the herbs and spices used in their dishes (Greeka).

The history of Greece is extensive and thorough.  Greek culture began in the classical era, and proved to be a crucial element in the development of civilization in general (Pounds 326).  The Greek island of Crete was the location for the Minoan civilization, the earliest in Europe (“Countries” 303).  Greece is also home to the city-states, whose prosperity brought the development of culture in aspects such as philosophy, literature, politics, architecture and art (“Countries” 303-304).  Greek civilization was at its peak under the control of Philip II of Macedonia and his son, Alexander the Great.  However, the Greek civilization declined when the Roman civilization emerged (“Countries” 304).

Greek history also includes several wars. Civil War erupted following the occupation of German forces from 1941 to 1944 (“Countries” 304).  Then, under the leadership of Prime Minister Eleutherios Venizelos, Greece officially became a part of World War I in 1917 (Pounds 328).

The history of Greece was also marked by the constant change in form of government.  From 1925 to 1935, Greece was a republic (Pounds 328).  Then, Greece became a constitutional monarchy (Pounds 328).  In 1967, the monarchy was deposed by a military coup (“Countries” 304).  The republic was restored in 1973, which lasted for only a year.  In 1975, democratic elections were held once again.  Six years later, Andreas Papandreou became the first socialist Prime Minister of Greece.  Then, in 1990, a Democratic Party member named Constantine Mitsotakis was elected at the same post (“Countries” 304).

With its extensive historical background, Greece remains a crucial part of world civilization.  With its customs and traditions, Greece keeps its diverse and unique culture in modern day society.  Indeed, Greece remains relevant at present through its history and culture.

Works Cited

Bateham, Graham, and Victoria Egan, eds. Illustrated Guide to Countries of the World. Australia: RD Press, 1996.

Greeka. 17 March 2008 ;;.

Pounds, Norman J.G. “Greece.” Lexicon Universal Encyclopedia. 21 vols. New York: Lexicon Publications, Inc., 1992.

U.S. Department of State.  17 March 2008 ;;.

Free Essays

Architecture: Classical Greek vs. Medieval Gothic

Architecture: Classical Greek vs. Medieval Gothic Wendy DeLisio HUM_266 September 24, 2012 Taniya Hossain Architecture: Classical Greek vs. Medieval Gothic Looking at the design of different structures throughout the world, one may not realize the beauty of the art in each of them or the ideals on which they were constructed. For example the classical Greek era, 480 BCE – 330 BCE that held the ideals of order, balance, and God like perfection. This type of idealist architecture is seen in the Parthenon temple built in 447-432 BCE (Ancient-Greece. rg, 2012). The temple is built in tribute for the Goddess Athena, Goddess of war and wisdom. It is a post and lintel structure with columns fashioned in Greek Doric style. There are also the beautiful cathedrals built during the Middle Ages in gothic style that give society insight into the culture of that age. The architecture of these times were heavily influenced by religion and Christianity and designed to elevate the spirit of man toward God (Apollo Group, Inc. , 2012).

One example of this time is the architectural design is the Amiens Cathedral. Originally built in 1152 BCE but was destroyed by fire; reconstruction started in 1220 CE and was completed in 1245 CE (United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, 2012). In the design of this cathedral it is evident that the architect is influenced by the Christian religion, from the three archways representing the trinity and the middle archway adorned with a statue of Christ, it was built as a place of worship.

These remarkable structures, each a piece of art, are both built with divine intentions, stand in stark contrast to each other, influenced by the culture of the age. Although both classic Greek and gothic architectures are built to define the ideals and beliefs of their age and have differences, the classic Greek architecture of order and balance has influenced and are used within the gothic medieval constructions. There are differences between the formal and stylistic characteristics of the classic Greek architecture and the gothic rchitecture of the medieval age. Classic Greek architecture is made of stone resting on stone with nothing but pressure holding them together. This is best exemplified in Greek temples, such as the Parthenon. The Parthenon is a post and lintel structure, built of lime stone and marble which were the common building materials of that age (Sporre, 2010). Using these types of materials limited the architect’s use of space. In order for the building to stand without the roof collapsing many columns were needed to hold the roof up.

These columns, known as Doric columns because of their style, were made of marble and the pressure of the stone roof resting on them held them together. The Parthenon was with many beautiful states, from the metopes that are a series of carved panels forming the Doric frieze telling stories of the history and battles of the Gods, to the towering statue of the Goddess Athena for which it was built. The Parthenon and other Greek temples were meant to be revered from the outside as a center piece of the city, a monument to the Gods of that age. Gothic architecture, unlike classic Greek, used stone masonry.

By using stone masonry they were able to create arches and redistributed the pressure of the stones enabling the structures to be built taller. They also created what is called a buttress and used this to hold up walls and arches as reinforcement. Gothic architecture was considered ethereal and focused on the use of space (Sporre, 2010). A beautiful example of gothic architecture was the Amiens Cathedral. Towering into the heavens, with strong arches, symmetrical lines, and ornate workmanship, this cathedral was a show piece for the city in which it was built and exuded spirituality.

These cathedrals were meant to inspire one to look toward the heavens with extremely high ceilings and ornate stain glass window placed strategically toward the roof causes one to look upward. Like classic Greek temple, they were adorned with beautiful statues. However, the states were of the Christian Saints, and other religious symbolism. The Amiens Cathedral was meant as place to enter and worship, as were all cathedral of the medieval era. Even though there are differences between these two styles of architecture, they are a testament to evolution of how societies have grown and evolved.

One can see this in the similarities of these two styles. Classic Greek architect’s used repetition in the arrangement of the columns holding up the roof of the Parthenon. Gothic architect’s used repetition in the creation of the arches on the facade of the Amiens Cathedral. The gothic cathedrals are built with order and as are the Greek temples. One can see that gothic architecture evolved out of classic Greek. The most interesting aspects of the classic Greek architecture were the way the buildings were constructed with marble stones and no use of mortar or cement and the beautiful engravings on the metopes are mesmerizing.

Gothic architecture is gorgeous. The creation of colored lighting through the placement of stained glass and the construction of the arches holds one captivated. Both styles of architecture are fascinating because of the elaborate detail and styles of construction that it took to create the beautiful structures during those eras. Even though each of these styles have their differences, clearly the classic Greek influences can be seen in the buildings of the medieval time period and in today’s architectural structures.

References Ancient-Greece. org. (2012). The Parthenon. Retrieved from http://www. ancient-greece. org/architecture/parthenon. html Apollo Group, Inc. (2012). Medieval Gothic Cathedrals [Online Video]. Retrieved from https://ecampus. phoenix. edu/secure/aapd/UOPHX/HUM266/art_through_ages. html Sporre, D. J. (2010). Reality Through The Arts. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. (2012). Amiens Cathedral. Retrieved from http://whc. unesco. org/en/list/162

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The Dawn of Ancient Greek Heroism

The unwitting defeat of Leonidas and the thousands of Spartans at the Battle of Thermopylae has confounded the minds of many historians and has compelled them to deduce any possible logical explanation.

Sparta was a superpower at the time of ancient Greece. The Greek historian Xenophon, stated that it “had the greatest power of any Greek community but also one of the smallest populations” (Powell, 2001, p. 218).

The Spartan society was known for its patriotism, and courage in war.1 The way of education of the society was unique for Sparta, where it emphasized the development of the physique thru compulsory military training for both boys and girls at a very early age.2 This intensely strict mandate has produced the psychology of dying rather than defeat at war.3 The outstanding accomplishment that was born out of this way of living was a supreme military. Sparta seemed unconquerable with a population who would choose death over loss at battle and a military feared by other polis. The strength of heart of the Spartans, however, was put to the test during the famous Battle of Thermopylae.

King Leonidas lead an army of 4000 to defend the straits of Thermopylae from the attacking Persians. They fought courageously, giving big losses to the army of Persian emperor Xerxes but suffered defeat when a Greek traitor told Xerxes of an alternative trail to attack the Spartans. Upon knowing this treachery, Leonidas sent away most of his army and faced the Persians with the remaining 300. Leonidas and his army fought with all courage and died as heroes.4

That point of Greek history was arguably “Spartan’s finest hour” (Caltredge, 2002) and became an outstanding source of inspiration to poets and literary figures who tried to immortalize that event. Francois Rene de Chateaubriand (Bernard 2003) described the event, thus:

I cannot describe the confused feelings which overpowered me. The hill at whose foot I stood was, then, the hill of the citadel of Sparta…. I dismounted, and ran all the way up the hill of the citadel. As I reached the top, the sun was rising behind the Menelaian hills. What a beautiful spectacle! But how melancholy! … I stood motionless, in a kind stupor. A mixture of admiration and grief checked my steps and my thoughts; the silence round me was profound. Wishing, at least, to make echo speak in a spot where the human voice is no longer heard, I shouted with all my might, “Leonidas!” No ruin repeated this great name, and Sparta herself seemed to have forgotten it. (p. 1)

Herodotus attributed that courageous decision of Leonidas and his army to die to the fulfillment of the oracle at Delphi, where Sparta would decide to sacrifice its king or to suffer the obliteration of the whole city.5 However, it would be unreasonable to always accept the truth of the oracle since it is only a conjecture, an alternative explanation to the fiasco caused by man’s wrong decision-making so he may not be blamed.6 In order not to attribute events to the supernatural, one must therefore, peruse the history book again, look for the most possible and grave explanation, and find the reasons that would satisfy logic.

One can look at two things: the form of government and the way of life. These are mutually inclusive ideas however these are looked upon as factors that would affect the standards of morality of society. The Greek historian Theopompus sees democracy, the political system of Sparta, as a way leading “to luxury and dissolute living, and luxury is thoroughly corrupting” (Flower, 1994, p.79), assuming this is true for Sparta, democracy would not explain the heroism of Leonidas and his army.

The Spartan way of life however, revolves around the education of its young to become the warriors that could protect its city. Therefore, the education of the Spartan society would explain the rationale behind this tragic decision.  Every man in Sparta underwent rigorous physical training, and in this process, patriotism was being built. The decision to die for society was being taught along the process. When one sees death better to taste than defeat, it would become easy to die and accept the reality of dying. For this society, it is scornful to be a coward and glorious to die at the battlefield.

Caltredge (2002) cited in his article:

Spartan wives and mothers were not shrieking violets. They openly berated and chastised any hint of cowardice in their sons. They wept tears of pain if their son or husband came back safe but defeated from battle, tears of joy if he died in a winning cause.

The Spartan way of educating their citizens that the way to glory is thru death at battle has driven Leonidas and his men to carry on fighting until death, because only then can they show that indeed, it is glorious to die for a good cause rather than be defeated.


1 See Pomeroy (1999, p.132).

2 See Starr (1965, p. 258) for a detailed description of the education of men; Caltredge (2002) for the description of the education of women.

3 See Caltredge (2002).

4 See Platts (1865, p. 258).

5 See Hodkinson (1994).

6 See the footnote on Dyer (1894, p.52).


Bernard, A. (2003 Spring). Common Place Book: Ruins.

American Scholar, 72(2), 1.

Cartledge, P. (2002 August). To Die For? Paul Cartledge Sees Ancient Spartan Society and Its Fierce Code of Honour as Something Still Relevant Today. History Today, 52(20), 1.

Dyer, L. (1894). Studies of the Gods in Greece at Certain Sanctuaries Recently Excavated: Being Eight Lectures Given in 1980 at the Lowell Institute. New York: Macmillan and Co.

Flower, M. (1994). Theopompus of Chios.

New York: Oxford University Press.

Hodkinson, S. (1994). The Shadow of Sparta.

New York: Routledge.

Pomeroy, S. (1999). Ancient Greece: A Political, Social and

Cultural History. New York: Oxford University Press.

Platts, J. (1826). A New Universal Biography.

London: Sherwood, Jones, and Co.

Starr, C. (1965). A History of the Ancient World.

New York: Oxford University Press.

Free Essays

The Influence of Greek Pottery Art on Modern Art

In “Herakles writes home” we can see how Marian Maguire has used Greek mythological figures taken from ancient Greek vases and put them into the scenes of New Zealand’s colonization and conflict with Maori to show the effects of the British settlers had on the shaping of New Zealand’s fate be it negative or positive depending on the viewpoint of the viewers. The pot Maguire uses in “Herakles writes home” is a black figure Volute Krater similar in shape to the Black-figure Volute Krater made by an Anonymous Greek painter between 525 and 500 BC.

The Pot shares many resemblances with the one used in Herakles writes home which lets me make the assumption that the shape of the pot in the lithograph is a Volute Krater. Both of their middle body pieces are the in shape with large top which gets smaller the further towards the bottom it goes but Black figure Volute Krater has more of a slant to where it reaches the base piece whereas the pot in Maguire’s lithograph has a sharp change in angle where it reaches the bottom.

The bottom piece in the two pots is again similar with some variation between the two. The pot in the Herakles writes home has a flatter band around the base of it which allows for it to have a decorative band in it unlike the Black figure Volute Krater. The band below the top band in the Volute Krater is practically the same in shape to the one used in the Pot in the Herakles writes home Lithograph the only difference is the Black figure Volute Krater lacks decoration there.

The top band of the two pots is similar but there is a bigger difference between them than most of the other parts of the pot. In the Pot in the Herakles writes home lithograph the top band is joined at the sides to the handles whereas the Black Figure Volute Krater’s handles don’t meet at the sides of the top band they are joined to the top of the pot, The top band is similar in shape to each other though the Black Figure Volute Black figure Volute Krater 525-500 BC, Anonymous Greek painter.

Black figure Volute Krater 525-500 BC, Anonymous Greek painter. Krater does have more of slant to it. Where the handles come out of the pot there is the biggest difference. In Herakles writes home the handles come out of the pot and keep their shape and decoration the same through the whole handle whereas the handles come out of the pot black and smaller than the ends of the handles in the Black Figure Volute Krater then change into orangey/red with patterns and thicker handles. Even with those differences t is clear that the figure of the original Black figure Volute Krater has influenced what the shape of the pot in Maguire’s lithograph and that it is clearly an Attic Volute Krater. Handle of an Attic red-figure volute-Krater, 450–440 BC depicting the double ivory leaf pattern. Handle of an Attic red-figure volute-Krater, 450–440 BC depicting the double ivory leaf pattern. The decorative feature on the pot in the Herakles writes is clearly influenced by other classical pots but Maguire has incorporated them into a unique way.

The handles on the pot in the Herakles writes home lithograph are double ivy leaf but not the traditional ones you find on ancient Greek pot’s Maguire has put a twist on it by replacing the ivy leave shape with that of the Kowhai tree which is native to New Zealand (Something about what it shows about something) Another decoration in the pot that bears classical influence is the chevron pattern on the foot of the pot depicted in Maguire’s lithograph similar to the pattern around the top of the Persephone painter’s red-figure bell-Krater. 440 B. C. Red-figure Bell-Krater Attributed to the Persephone Painter 440 B. C. ; Red-figure Bell-Krater Attributed to the Persephone Painter What’s interesting about the pattern is that the leaves used are that they are olive tree leaves arranged I a way that it looks like an olive wreath. The reason Maguire has chosen to use an olive wreath in this particular artwork is that an olive wreath signifies being victorious and also peace as in the ancient Greek Olympic Games the winners of events were awarded Olive Wreaths from wild-olive leafs from a sacred tree near the temple of Zeus at Olympia.

Maguire used this as a symbol because it creates a contrast between the settlers and England at that time, as Herakles was the son of Zeus it gives a family link between the figure of Herakles in place of a settler on the pot and the wreath is a symbol of Zeus who being the father of Herakles would be in the Place of Settler period England. The presence of the wreath also signifies the victory of the Maori population of new Zealand which if in the Ancient Olympic Games the two cultures, Maori and Settler, would have een awarded to the victor which in this case was the settlers, this can be backed up by the relaxed and post battle/victorious feel of the scene on the belly of the pot. Bottom of the Herakles Attacking a Centaur, Greek, Athens, about 530–520 B. C pot depicting stylised rays. Bottom of the Herakles Attacking a Centaur, Greek, Athens, about 530–520 B. C pot depicting stylised rays.

The next feature on the pot on Maguire’s lithograph was stylised rays, but not as the same as the classical Greek stylised rays depict iced on the picture to the left but with a European/settler twist. Maguire has put in Settler Farming tools In the place of the classical Greek’s rays. This drastic change to what normally would have gone in there leaves us wondering why she would change this.

The reason behind this would be that it shows how drastic the change the settlers bought in on New Zealand and replaced the old with their new stuff leaving little evidence of the old but its adapted style and structure. Greek pot depicting Herakles and the Nemean Lion Aegisthus Painter 470 B. C. Greek pot depicting Herakles and the Nemean Lion Aegisthus Painter 470 B. C. Herakles was perhaps the most glorified and famous Greek hero who achieved immortality due to his feats and Maguire has used this image of Herakles to reinforce the ideas she is conveying.

The idea of Herakles as his own man is perhaps the misconceived thing about him as his twelve labours were directed by Eurystheus, the king of Tiryns and Mycenae on the command of Apollo after killing his wife and children in a fit of madness Hera induced in him, but it is important to point out that even though he was under the command of Eurytheus he did it of his own free will and by completing these twelve labours he became the greatest hero in all of Greek mythology.

By skilfully using Herakles in the place of settlers Maguire has given us a better understanding of the message she is conveying. One of the main things about Herakles being the Greek mythological figure Maguire used is the fact that he was an instrument to complete the tasks of Eurystheus which the settlers were to England merely tools to complete tasks for their own benefit.

In the case of Herakles he built up his own “Kleos” by completing these feats and intimidating Eurythesus causing Eurythesus to fear for his life “Amazed at his manhood, Eurystheus forbade him thenceforth to enter the city, but ordered him to exhibit the fruits of his labours before the gates. They say, too, that in his fear he had a bronze jar made for himself to hide in under the Amazed at his manhood, Eurystheus forbade him thenceforth to enter the city, but ordered him to exhibit the fruits of his labours before the gates.

They say, too, that in his fear he had a bronze jar made for himself to hide in under the earth” Apollodorus, the ancient writer who collected legends in his mythology handbook, the library, this may not be a completely true tale as Myths handed down orally and weren’t physically recorded until late after their creation which makes bits of the Myth liable to changes because of a sort of Chinese whisper effect. This is similar to the situation with the settlers and England latter on http://art. thewalters. org/detail/13467 http://art. thewalters. org/detail/13467

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Greek Nationalism

Within the 18th and early 19th century, Greece experienced highly heinous ordeals when it was under Ottoman subjugation, and it aspired to redeem their previously established terms of democracy and overall culture; however, these ordeals for the Greeks were so influential that they ultimately altered their culture and general customs. These changes affected Greece in vast, multifarious ways but they can primarily be classified by Greece’s economical, social, and political aspects.

Economically, Greece experienced, under Ottoman rule, poverty and were hardly able to provide for themselves nonetheless defend themselves from Ottoman rule with substantial weaponry and armor, they also received a transfiguration in not striving to possess lands and riches as in precedent instances but to possess and utilize income as a means of ensuring liberation, and they experienced a great economical and thus cultural diversity amongst themselves with extensive, distinct attitudes and economical intentions within Greek society between the more opulent and poorer individuals.

Socially, the general sentiment of Greece was deteriorated by its transfiguration into a more solemn nation in Europe and the precedent vibe of Greece, before Ottoman domination, was altered and substituted with Turkish gloom with apathy reflected towards Greek arts, passions, and sciences, and their only manner of which they managed to free themselves was by working together with other nations and forming a resistance, which they did; also, Greeks were very compatible with other nations and they were able to become cared for by other nations and were able to receive assistance from them during the Greek Revolution in result.

Politically, Greece’s government transfigured with the Ottoman’s political customs and their authorities were poorly implemented, and even formal approbation had to be made in order for officials to enact on malpractices such as robberies and rebellions; subsequently, this caused revolutions in Greece in order to bring retaliation on the Ottomans for killing their leader of the Greek Orthodox church, which was apart of their religious, or sultan’s, government, and ultimately, they subjugated the Ottomans’ jurisdiction in Greece and, as they aspired, established their own government as well with beneficial leaders.

Indeed, there are many puzzling factors and results of the Greek Revolution, but they can become vividly perceived with the synopsizes and recounted instances given by individuals who in which were living at these times expressed by there works and archived data. There were many inauspicious economical aspects of Greece during the 19th century that contributed to its anarchy, yet also enabled the people with an incentive of change.

The economical stature of Greece had its people predominately classified among the rich who were respectful to their Turkish masters and the poor, who comprised much of the Greeks, were not too fond of the Ottomans, and this, as conceivable, caused contention amongst these major classes in Greece as well as the Ottomans; James Dallaway, a chaplain to an English community in Constantinople, sent a missive that comprised these ideas and aspects of Greece’s economical aspects and anarchy.

He conveyed a vital component in his missive by saying, “The richer Greeks are very devious and intriguing, and with very limited exception only less ignorant than their Turkish masters. The lower ranks are the merriest creatures imaginable, but are untrustworthy, and awake to every advantage. ” His purpose in devising this missive was most likely to express his great concern for the dreadful economical status of Greece and to imply the ultimate effect of how sovereign acting country and an extensive variation between a rich and middleclass can impact a practical nation (Doc. ). Subsequently, another economical issue lied primarily with how Greece would be able to request accommodations from other countries to receive independence from the Ottoman’s with assurance of the other countries’ moral incentives, such as Russia that in which aspired to assist Greece in order to receive financial compensation from Greece to a broad extent of possessing Greece’s lands.

Percy Shelley, an English poet, provided this evidence through his poem entitled “Hellas” that says in its preface, “Russia desires to possess, not to liberate, Greece; and the wise and generous policy of England would consist in establishing the independence of Greece, and in maintaining it against both Russia and the Turks. ” He wrote this poem with an intention of, perchance, expressing admonition during this revolution for the Greeks (Doc. 7).

As a another, supported economical ordeal, A. Regnier devised an engraving entitled Greece Sacrificed that in which comprised a display of Ottomans attacking Greeks, which seem to be of a poorer class in; however, as mentioned antecedently, most people in Greece were impoverished during this revolution. These Greek individuals seemed defenseless and, as made apparent, did not possess any weaponry as the Ottoman Turks confronted them; this engraving was most likely devised by A.

Regnier with a purpose of conveying Greece’s economical strife during this Greek Revolution, and it also expressed how Greece’s religious integrity remained in tact as the soon to be succumbed Greeks await their deaths from the Ottomans (Doc. 11). Like the many adverse economical aspects in Greece, there were also manifolds of unfavorable social facets in Greece as well while under Ottoman subjugation.

The precedent vibe of Greece, before Ottoman subjugation, was one of jubilancy and patriotism or nationalism in Greek contrivances and culture; however, this sentiment altered as they were undermined by the Turks. Sneyd Davis, an English writer, composed a poem entitled To His Friend and Neighbor Dr. Thomas Taylor that coveys an articulate way of describing the solemn effects that were wrought in result of the Ottoman jurisdiction in Greece.

He conveyed an exceptional perspective of these adverse effects even in the most popular location in Greece, Athens, by saying his poem, “Go, search for Athens; her deserted ports, Enter—a noiseless, solitary shore, Where commerce once crowded the Athenian strand. Trace her dark streets, her ruined shrines; and wonder, where her glories shined. Where are her orators, her sages, now? Shattered her moldering arches, her towers in dust, but far less ruin’d, than her soul decayed. Sneyd Davis ensured to incorporate the correlations between Greece when it was experiencing its utmost prosperity in its ancient times to its most pitied downfall during Ottoman domination, which he did so to supplement imagery to hopefully elicit a realization in individuals that Greece was in desperate need of assistance of becoming liberated from the Turks; although, Greece would not be liberated for another 100 years from the publication of this poem, the ideas of freeing Greece grew early in the hearts of individuals from other nations, especially, as made apparent, Great Britain and, soon later, France. Doc. 1). As antecedently mentioned, Greece’s culture was altered monumentally by Turkish domination, but the primary manners of how it was affected are not specifically by how its economy or how its vibe of jubilancy was effected but also incorporating its arts and artistic passions, its build on philosophies and sciences, and how the subjugation obstructed the entire progress of the Greeks.

Claude Etienne Savary, a French scholar of Greek and Arabic, wrote a missive, like James Dallaway, and described his loath for the deterioration of Greek culture by saying, “Let me not be accused of painting the Turks in darker colors than they deserve, but I have traveled through their empire and have seen the injuries of every kind which they have done to the sciences, the arts, and the human race. At the sight of these melancholy spectacles my heart groans, my blood boils in my veins and I would wish to excite all Europe to combine against these Turks who have crushed the Greek nation. Claude Etienne Savary reflected this deep resentment towards the Ottoman Turks most likely because of their intrusion between Savary and his avidity directed towards Greek culture; this obstruction of Greek progression in Greece’s magnificent talented unity of culture and artistic passion even enraged those of distinct cultures with aspirations of reprimanding the Turks and helping ignite a revolution in Greece (Doc. 3).

According to opinions from other nations, Greece was a very compatible and respected nation because of their sympathy directed to other nations, and they were always recognized for persisting with their religious integrity throughout very challenging trials such as through Ottoman domination. Alexandros Kalpholougo, a popular poet concerned with Greek culture, composed an untitled poem that reflected Greece’s avidity with other nations; he said through his poem, “Greeks love every foreigner, they love a German for his company and an enlightened Frenchman, an impious libertine.

In conversation not a word about the commandments of God.? The young, the educated, do not go to Church, for they have got French enlightenment.? They say, “We have books and French romances, all the other books are so melancholy! ”” (Doc. 4). As the years grew closer to the initiation of the Greek Revolution in 1821, exhortations were made by more and more Greeks to commence a revolution and as these expressions augmented and stressed the things that they were unjustly being pressed against by the Ottoman Turks, their aspirations of rebellion increased as well.

Greek exiles, which had experienced the ordeals made by the Ottoman Turks, encouraged their Greek comrades to fight and rebel against the Ottomans; they encourage their belligerent desires by saying, “O Greeks, learn forever that the weapons of justice are unconquerable, and that the Ottomans will flee from the armed Greeks.

Remember, finally, that the beginning of victory is resistance, and that the Greeks are neither savage nor of worthless spirit, as are their enemies. Freedom has approached her ancient home. ” (Doc. 6). Greece’s political statuses were also altered by the Ottoman’s self-righteous desires of subjugation in multifarious ways.

With the Ottoman’s established governmental regime, enforcement for robbers and what may be considered as “righteous criminals” were not regulated properly, and if a lamentable occurrence was to transpire, then there generally was a need for the head sultan over the Turks to initiate a means of retaliation rather than having leaders that were designated to make decisions perhaps even allowing Greeks to participate in decision making; this can reflect an improper distribution of power, poor governmental/ enforcement systems, and imposing sovereignty with not allowing Greeks to contribute to conclusions made by government.

Mustapha III, the Turkish sultan during 1765, ordered his chosen governor in northern Greece to repress rebellions made by Greeks and said, “With the arrival of my imperial decree be it known that robbers continually incite the district of Larissa to rebellion. Impose order and report on the measures taken. Mustapha III must have enacted on this order to his governor as a matter of ensuring that his jurisdictions remained stable; however, based on the apparent previous information given, the logic behind the Greeks’ rebellions was because of the maltreatment made because of him, so, therefore, there is an ignorant contention with Mustapha III who needed to refrain from being greatly imposing with the Greeks and should have respected Greek nationalism (Doc. 2).

Throughout Greece’s strife through the difficult times of Ottoman sovereignty, Greece depended on the reliable political/ religious guidance by their leader in the Greek Orthodox Church; however, during the commencement of the Greeks’ enragement. Edward Blaquiere, an organizer and fundraiser for the London Greek Committee, wrote in his composition entitled the Greek Revolution, published in 1824, and said, emphasizing these matters, “The fortress of Navarino, which surrendered soon after the uprising began in 1821, was the scene of another tragedy, to which only wars between slaves and their masters ever give rise.

During the siege, news of the murder of the head of the Greek Orthodox Church by the sultan’s government spread throughout Greece. ” Edward Blaquiere’s purpose in composing this work of his, regarding that he is a fundraiser for the London Greek Committee, was most likely to not only inform people of these inauspicious occurrences but to also elicit subsidization and assistance for the Greeks during the Greek Revolution. (Doc. 8).

Although Greece had lost their reliable leader that was head over the Greek Orthodox Church, another leader, Alexander Mavrocordato the writer of Declaration to the Christian Powers, assisted in the Greek Revolution and helped produce the Greek revolutionary government; this regime, with the assistance of other nations, enabled Greece to proclaim its independence and established a stable government free from Turkish rule entirely (Doc. 10).

As it is apparent, the Greeks had to endeavor through many trials during 18th and early 19th century while they were under Ottoman subjugation; these ordeals mainly affected Greece in practically every manner possible: its economical, social, and political aspects. Economically, most Greeks were impoverished, there was economical distrust towards other nations in alliances with Greece, and there was a vast aperture between the major poor and minor rich classes in Greece that caused conflict among them.

Socially, Greece became more of a solemn nation, there was degrading found within former Greek passions such as artistic productions philosophies and sciences, and Greeks were luckily able to receive accommodations by other nations in result of their great compatibility.

Politically, the Ottomans enforced their own governmental regime that was very unstable and irresolute, they murdered the head leader of the Greek Orthodox Church, and, at least luckily for the Greeks, they attained a new leader for their revolution who in which assisted among with the accommodations of other nations in order to reestablish stability in Greece and was contrived successfully.

The Greeks may have had an interval of where they were unable to progress with their cultural achievements due Ottoman subjugation in Greece; however, due to the Greeks persistence of revolutions and with the accommodations made by other nations, the Turkish sovereignty was not prolonged and Greece was able to recover its splendid, wholesome culture.

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The Accomplishments of the Greeks

THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS OF THE GREEKS The ancient Greeks had many accomplishments including philosophical beliefs, intellectual ideas and artistic developments. They used many forms of expression to express their philosophical, intellectual, and artistic achievements. These forms essentially made up their culture and defined their lifestyle. In document 1, the philosophy of Socrates stated that humans should analyze their lives. This is an accomplishment because it shows that Greek philosophy was the beginning of modern ideas.

As stated in document 2, Aristotle believed that human reason is important in order to have a good life. Aristotle’s rational thought was an accomplishment because it questioned aspects of Greek society. This document was created at this time because it shows the teachings and beliefs of Aristotle that were conveyed to the people. As seen in document 3, the government in Greece around 430 B. C. E. , was set up similar to a republic. Document 3 describes the democratic form of government that was used to rule Greece.

One of the reasons Greece was so successful was the system of government in place favored fairness and equal opportunity. Pericles was the greatest Athenian democratic ruler. This proved to be an intellectual achievement because it shows that the rulers of Greece at this time were able to form a system of government that was able to effectively rule the people. As seen in document 4, the Greeks had doctors and people specialized in the medical field. This is an intellectual accomplishment of the Greeks because it shows that they had job specialization within the culture.

Job specialization is only possible in thriving societies, thus proving Greek was a prosperous civilization. Document 5, describes a geometrical theorem that is still used in mathematics today. This is an intellectual accomplishment because it was written around 300 B. C. E. , and still remains true today. In document 6, an excerpt from the play Antigone, common Greek beliefs are conveyed through the characters. As shown in document 7, the Parthenon is an example of Greek architecture, wealth, and religious beliefs. The culture and values of Greece at that time, is displayed through the art that was created.

Sculptures, such as the one in Document 8 show the importance of athleticism and the Olympic Games in Greek society. Art was a way for the Greek to express their thinking and way of life in a creative format. An additional document that would be helpful in understanding the accomplishments of the Greeks, would a map of the trade routes throughout the Mediterranean and Black sea. This would show how the Greek culture was able to be spread throughout the Mediterranean Basin. It would also show how the Greeks were able to gain wealth and how it affected their culture.

Free Essays

Greek Mask

The origin of masked theater dates back to Ancient Greece, between 550 BC and 220 BC. Initially masks were part of an annual festival dedicated to honoring Dionysus, the Greek god of wine and fertility. The festival, named City Dionysia, was held in Athens and the most significant rituals involved masked performances. Inspired by City Dionysia, the Greek acting fraternity soon decided to incorporate the use of masks into theater. Thespis, a Greek actor and writer was the first recorded actor to wear a mask in a play.

It is from him that we have derived the word, “Thespian”, a synonym for actor. Greek masks were made from light weight, organic materials such as stiffened linen, leather, wood or cork. The masks had exaggerated, distorted facial features which allowed the audience to clearly see what character was being portrayed, whether it was a male, a female, a priest or a peasant. The wideness of the mouths also served as megaphone to amplify the actors’ voices in a massive theater. The costumes and props used in Greek theatre differed according to the play and character being presented.

A peasant would wear shoes with a thin sole and a simple toga while a wealthy merchant would wear elevated platform shoes with colorful, embellished robe. If an actor had to play a female, then he would wear a mask with long hair and a chest device called a prosterniad to give the illusion of breasts. Since Greek plays were only performed by a maximum of three men and a chorus of fifteen, they needed versatility to be able to switch seamlessly from act-to-act and character-to-character. Actors needed to be able perform in front of a large audience and have good memorization skills, effective body positioning and spacial awareness.

A loud, clear voice and singing capabilities was also important. The job of the chorus was to narrate and reflect on the action of the play as well as being extras if needed. Two of the most influential types of plays invented by the Greeks were tragedies and comedies. Tragedies were serious plays based on mythology and most often depicted the downfall of a hero or heroine. Tragic masks had mournful or pained expressions. The actors wore boots that elevated them above the actors to show status since the plays often involved depicting social hierarchy. Religious themes were more focused in tragedies while omedies were lighter in message and involved jokes, parodies and slapstick humor. Comedic masks had hugely distorted smiling or leering faces to convey mischievousness and hilarity. Today the tragedy and comedy masks are renowned symbols of dramatic arts. Unfortunately, any physical evidence of a Greek mask has not survived and the only source of evidence is from artworks and written accounts. There were several reasons why masks were incorporated in Greek drama. Masks allowed actors to easily play more than one character, especially since Greek drama had very few actors (no more than three men, excluding the chorus) in a play.

The masks also allowed actors to portray animals and deities, and even female characters, since women were forbidden to act. Additionally, because the division between the stage and the audience of the theater was so vast, the exaggeration and noise amplification function of the masks allowed even the least-educated audience members to easily identify and hear the characters. The performance space itself was a large, open-air structure constructed on a specially chosen slope of a hill. The Greeks always performed in circular outdoor theaters to successfully project the voice of the actors to the immense number of spectators.

Greek theatre is still considered to have one of the best stage acoustics, even compared to today’s theaters. Theaters, such as the Theatre of Dionysus, were built to entertain an audience of up to twenty thousand. They consisted of three principal elements: the skene, the orchestra and the theatron. The skene was a large rectangular building that served as an ancient equivalent of a backstage area. It was a place for the actors to change their costumes and masks and perform the killing scenes since it was considered to be inappropriate to depict a murder in front of an audience.

The skene was also decorated to serve as a backdrop for the play, resulting in the English word “scenery. ” Typically, there were at least two doors to allow the actors to exit and enter the skene and onto the orchestra. The orchestra was a flat semi-circular area where the performance or religious rites tool place. This was the stage where the actors performed on and were on average 25 meters wide in diameter. Some orchestras had an alter specially built for sacrifices dedicated to Dionysus. The theatron were the rows of tiered stones where the spectators sat.

It was curved around the orchestra to allow the audience members to see and hear the play, even if they were at the very top. As Greek architecture continued to improve, the theaters became more elaborate and introduced the parodoi, paraskenion, proskenion, hyposkenion and the episkenion to the skene. Today, all that is left of the original skene of many Greek theaters is an arch surrounding the proskenion, which inspired the proscenium arch. Although Greek theater is quite different to what we have done in drama, we can certainly relate the practice of Greek mask theater to what we have learned throughout our mask unit.

Like the Greeks, we had to learn to exaggerate our movement (through body language, articulation, clocking and tension states) to ensure the audience understood our storyline. We also incorporated the use of costumes and status like the Greeks to make our plays easier to understand. Because the mask concealed facial expressions, everything depended on the body yet we had to learn how to prevent from “talking with our hands”. Very much like the Greek actors who unaccustomed to the mask, suffered disorientation and restriction when masked, learning to perform fluidly with the mask was one of the biggest challenges we faced.

We definitely learned that mask work was not easy. It required skill, patience and practice to create a short play that would capture our audience’s attention. In conclusion, Greek theater has certainly made a substantial impact on modern theater and drama. It is to the Greeks that we owe not only the first great plays of tragedy and comedy, but paved the pathway of mask theater, its acceptance in performing arts and of dramatic construction and theory. Thanks to the Greeks, today we know mask work is a dramatic art form that has centuries of history and should be respected and preserved.

Free Essays

Chinese and Greek Mythology

The Diverging Commonalities of Creation Myth’s Long ago, people wanted to acquire a better understanding of the beginning of the universe which ultimately resulted in the establishment of religions, beliefs and most pertinent, creation myths. Mythology provides explanations for the worlds mysteries especially in regards to the creation of Earth, Humans and the environment.

This comparative paragraph analyzes the similarities and differences between a Greek myth entitled, The Beginning of Things, and a Chinese myth named, Heaven and Earth and Man, contrasted in the aspects of conflict, solutions, heroic action, and the education of the first humans. Conflicts arise for different concerns but after the battles cease, peace is restored because of supernatural intervention, the world advances and progresses to prevent future misfortune. Firstly, if peace is kept in the heavens of Greece then there will be less despair on Earth.

The battle of authority results in a punishment system being enforced to confine cruel people and prevent rebellions. In ancient Greece there was a constant power struggle for the gods because of the underlying fear that their children would replace them in the chain of command. The text supports the argument of development and enhancement after unreasonable decisions are made by the deities; If any of them breaks the oath, for one year he lies breathless, and cannot partake of sweet nectar and ambrosia; after that year he is cut off from the meeting of the gods for nine years more, and then only may he come back and join their company. Rouse, 3) During the destruction of the battles, evil is unleashed and causes chaos in the land. The justice system, which is created in response to Cronuses’ rebellion, is essential for any society to continue successfully. There is heroic involvement in both myths, with Zeus in particular in Ancient Greece. Zeus defeated his father and saved his brothers and sisters after being swallowed and trapped in his stomach. Cronuses’ awful deed deserves punishment which results in Zeus creating the Underworld and a standard of the amount of time spent punished.

In fact, the Chinese story also includes a quarrel, different in rationale but improvement after the disagreement is a prevalent theme in both. Subsequently, in respect to the Chinese myth, after the war between fire and water, the pillar was destroyed; Nu-Kua repaired the gaps in the sky by supporting the sky with additional blocks. The literature provides evidence to confirm this line of reasoning; Block by block, she patched the holes in the sky. Lastly, she killed a giant turtle, and cut off its powerful legs to make pillars between which the sky is firmly held over the Earth, never again to fall. Birch, 7) After chaos returns for the second time, when the elements fight against each other, involvement from spirits resolves the crisis and mitigates harm from humans. The irrational and aggressive clash between fire and water causes destruction but also provides reasoning for the position of the oceans and world geography. Apart from the similarities, there are many discrepancies circulating around the topic of conflict. In the Greek myth, conflicts originate from the desire to establish power and authority by rebelling. First, Cronus rebelled against his father Uranus and Zeus against Cronus followed.

The competition is caused because children inherit their parents’ position and both gods prevent this from happening by swallowing or imprisoning them. On the contrary, the Chinese dispute is against the elements fire and water. In Chinese mythology, fire is masculine and symbolizes strength, aggression, impulsiveness. Water is considered feminine and symbolizes fluidity, downward energy but has the potential to be noisy. The conflict is probably caused because the elements are opposites and naturally enemies. This clash of the elements is a result of senseless hostility and not a fight for control.

The difference in culture is what causes the significant differences in myths. Evidently, in Greek mythology acquiring status and supremacy is valued whereas there isn’t a sense of hierarchy but instead teamwork in China. According to the Asian myth, the spirits all work together towards a common goal which is to enhance and protect the Earth. Another obvious commonality in relation to either conflict is the presence of a supreme being which triggers and assists the chain of events which form the World. The Greek mythology had many different supreme beings which were responsible for various forces on Earth.

The Chinese version, only included two main beings, one which was the result of the environment and the other was the creator of the human race. Comparative mythology also requires examining the distinction between the ideas of how both cultures though the Earth was created. An indication of how diverse the culture and beliefs of people is demonstrated in the topic of the formation of Human beings and the surrounding eco-system. The creation of humans, wildlife and geographic landscapes varies with the idea of the Greek Gods sculpting most organisms hemselves whereas the Chinese believe Pan’Ku’s body transforms into the environment. The aspect of creation and the environment is portrayed very differently in both legends. The number of dissimilarities outweighs the number corresponding ideas surrounding the mystery of the beginning of the Universe and our existence. In ancient Greece, after a period of chaos and disagreement between the deities a clever titian named Prometheus establishes the first human and provides luminosity and warmth in a world, swallowed by darkness after the sun sets.

Prometheus sculpts animals and accidentally, the first human out of clay and began to teach them how to survive including hunting and making fire; Prometheus was very much pleased with his new pet. He used to watch men hunting for food and living in caves and holes, like ants or badgers. He determined to educate men as well as he could. (Rouse, 2) After rebelling by taking responsibility for the Earth underneath the heavens, Prometheus entertains himself by making models out of clay. Accidently, he creates humans and spent most of his time teaching humans how to continue to exist.

Prometheus sculpts humans by accident whereas Nu’Kua from the Chinese myth wants to produce beings that will aid to cure her solitary state. To contrast, in the Chinese myth, the weather conditions, mountains, rivers and vegetation are all created by Pan’Ku’s body. Additionally, after humans are created by Nu’Kua, they are taught many vital skills in addition to simply the ability to survive; “Who in his life [Pan’Ku] had brought shape to the universe, by his death gave his body to make it rich and beautiful… to the Earth he gave his body” (Birch, 6).

In the Chinese story, the environment is not created by a specific spirit but instead transforms from a god into the surrounding nature and landscape. A further comparison against the Greek tale is the little explanation about how the land and plants are created except for the separation of sky and ground which reveals an already existing ecosystem. Moreover, the humans in the Chinese myth are taught how to communicate, reproduce and to live in peace. The humans in ancient Greece are never taught skills beyond survival. Finally, there is an evident variation for the reasons to assemble humans.

Nu’Kua intends to create a creature that will provide her relief from isolation meanwhile Prometheus is only amusing himself and the first human emerges entirely unintentionally. Nevertheless, both fairy-tales have a couple of resembling principles. To begin with, humans are formed and educated by the deities. The first humans were taught to hunt, gather food, and construct shelter to avoid perishing as a species. The principal objective is to aid humans to continue to populate and the justification in both fables was that supernatural intervention maintained the evolution of such a powerful species.

Magical clay was used in both myths as the main material in the production of creatures and human beings. The motive for why these two parables are so similar is to emphasize how there is an external influence which assisted the formation of humans because it is difficult to believe that simple resources could have conceived such complex living, breathing creatures. Additionally, as a society in the present day, education is a requirement and essential for the genetic continuity of the human race, peace and maintenance of the Earth’s resources.

By the means of education can one’s potential be used to maximum extent. It is natural for the authors of these short fictitious stories to assume the hero’s and goddesses teach humans because then there will be no foundation to carry on the sharing of lessons and information. In conclusion, it is in the nature of humans to wonder about the unknown and search for answers. At the foundation of nearly every culture is a creation myth which explains how the wonderful mysteries of the Earth came to be.

Despite geographical barriers, many cultures have developed creation myths with the same basic elements and structure. However, there are many cultural and societal influences which cause variations in the beliefs and alter the overall creation myth from region to region. Apart from the fundamental similarities, the Greek and Chinese ideologies deviated in certain aspects of the myth because their values and morals as separate countries have impacted, adapted and evolved differently in response to world events.

Free Essays

Greek and Roman Cultures

Alicia Battles AIU-Online Cultural Topics November 11, 2012 Abstract In this assignment I will compare and contrast Greek and Roman Culture. I will discuss the likes and differences of their government, geographic terrain, economics, trade practices, art, architecture, philosophies, and religious beliefs. Greek Terrain- city states separated by hilly countryside and all near water Art- ideal artistic form (Superior to Roman art) Economy- grew wheat, produced, wine and olive oil; thought trading was degrading Social classes- slaves, freedmen, metics, citizens, women; women were not considered citizens

Government- kings originally ruled, then oligarchy, then democracy Religion- cupid God of Love, Ares God of war, based on human personality traits, Love, Honor, Hatred, Dignity, also their roles in life determined what they were god of; Zeus: sky/weather, Hades: death, Poseidon: sea, aquatics; Physical life was of importance instead of eventuality of the afterlife; Each god had characteristics that determined their actions; Deities were important for progression of life but mortals were just as Both Geographic Terrain- Mediterranean countries

Economy- based on agriculture, worked mines, had slaves, produced wine and olive oil, coinage, divided by wealth Religion- same gods but different names and traits Government- originated by kings Philosophy- slowly emerged out of religious awe into curiosity about the principles and elements of the natural world. When Greek population moved to their cities interest changed to social living. Roman Terrain- Rome was inland, and on one side of the Tiber River Art- realistic portraits for decoration Economy- imported wheat, farmers, and also engaged in trade Social Classes- slaves, freedmen, plebeians, patricians

Women were considered citizens Government- Kings originally ruled, then mixed republican form, then emperors Religion- Eros god of love, Mars god of martial fertility, Deities named after objects; mortals did good deeds to be rewarded in the afterlife; they strove to gain their place with the gods in heaven Religion- gods not gender specific so their individual characteristics were not central to the myths; myths based in brave, heroic deeds of gods not mortals as mortal life was not important after death; Not individualistic; a warrior found sacred; actions more important than words; gods had no physical mportant as it was their contribution in society that mattered in the end; Individualistic: individuals had more consequences for their actions than that of a group Physical work not as important as creativity Gods were beautiful, bodies, muscles, eyes and hair made them more beautiful. Architecture- Buildings made of wood, clay, or mud bricks, limestone, marble, terracotta, plaster, and bronze; buildings were of the type of religious, funerary, domestic, civic, or recreational themes ppearance; Architecture- Rome adopted most of its architecture from Greek architecture References: http://www. britannica. com/EBchecked/topic/1350843/Western-philosophy/16256/Shifts-in-the-focus-and-concern-of-Western-philosophy http://www. differencebetween. com/difference-between-greek-and-vs-roman-archit ecture/ http://www. diffen. com/difference/Greek_Gods_vs_Roman_Gods http://ancienthistory. about. com/od/greecevsrome/ss/GreecevsRome_8. htm

Free Essays

The Roman Empire and Classical Greece

The Roman Empire and Classical Greece were undeniably two of the greatest societies in history. As far as the political and cultural developments of the two civilizations, the Roman Empire’s (approximately the first five centuries of the Common Era) form of government contrasted with that of Classical Greece (approximately 500 B. C. E to 300 B. C. E. ), however the two societies shared similar enthusiasm for literature as well as almost identical religious beliefs.

An extremely prominent characteristic of Classical Greece was its decentralized form of government. There, the nation was divided into several polises, or city-states. Each polis had its own government system – which could be a monarchy (the most common), a Tyranny, an Oligarchy, or a Democracy (Athens being the world’s first). This is very strange compared to the government of Rome. The Roman Empire was centralized and ruled by one solitary man: the Emperor. Although the senate had some influence of the Roman government, the Emperor held absolute power.

Centralization and absolute power was necessary in the large Roman Empire because the vast amount of land being controlled was too much for Rome as a republic to handle. This was not the case in Classical Greece, which was much smaller, and could allow its polises to make their own decisions to keep the people happy. For this reason, we see a difference in the styles of governments of the two societies. Despite this difference though, Classical Greece and The Roman Empire still shared love and support of literature. Several great works of literature came from Classical Greece.

During the classical era, many genres of western literature became more prominent. This includes lyrical poetry, odes, pastorals, dramatic presentations of comedy and tragedy, histories, philosophical writings, government writings, and more. Many works from this time became classics in our world today. The Romans also had a strong emphasis on literature and they wrote almost everything of significance down. It was essential for the Romans to keep extensive written government records on order for them to organize their extremely large empire.

Literature was able to strive in both the Roman Empire and Classical Greece because of the emphasis both societies had on education. Without this, neither would have the educated authors, poets, and philosophers needed to produce the great literature that they did. Furthermore, Classical Athens and the Roman Empire shared almost identical religious beliefs. For almost every Greek God, there is a corresponding Roman God. For example, for Zeus there is Jupiter, for Aphrodite there is Venus, Poseidon there is Neptune, and for Hades there is Pluto.

The list goes on to include more of the major as well as minor gods, although some gods, such as Apollo, have the same name in each religion. In Rome, despite the change of name, the gods play the same role and have indistinguishable powers to their Greek counterparts. The reason behind this similarity is that when Rome was developing into a strong civilization, leaders saw the accomplishments of the Greece, especially Athens, and decided to adopt their gods in hopes of reaching the same success.

To make them their own, they simply changed the names. Unmistakably similar in their belief systems and love of literature, and at the same time clearly diverse in their forms of government, Classical Greece and the Roman Empire were able to share similarities as well as differences in their cultural and political developments that enabled them to become the prominent and strong civilizations that they did.

Free Essays

Public Debt Management in Greece and Spain

Definition of terms Austerity measures In economics, austerity describes policies used by governments to reduce budget deficits during adverse economic conditions. These policies can include spending cuts, tax increases, or a mixture of the two. Austerity policies demonstrate governments’ liquidity to their creditors and credit rating agencies by bringing fiscal income closer to expenditure. European Central Bank (ECB) One of the seven institutions of the European Union (EU) listed in the Treaty on European Union (TEU).

It is the central bank for the euro and administers the monetary policy of the 17 EU member states which constitute the Eurozone, one of the largest currency areas in the world. Financial contagion It refers to a scenario in which small shocks, which initially affect only a few financial institutions or a particular region of an economy, spread to the rest of financial sectors and other countries whose economies were previously healthy, in a manner similar to the transmission of a medical disease.

Financial contagion happens at both the international level and the domestic level Eurozone An economic and monetary union (EMU) of 17 European Union (EU) member states that have adopted the euro (€) as their common currency and sole legal tender Greek Public Debt Crisis 1. 0 Introduction Since late 2009 Greece has earned itself a place among the countries dubbed ‘the sick men of Europe’ in terms of public Debt Management.

Although the Public Debt problems heightened between late 2009 and 2010,Greece’s debt percentage had always been higher than the average debt percentage of the Eurozone (an economic and monetary union (EMU) of 17 European Union (EU) member states that have adopted the euro (€) as their common currency and sole legal tender) for more than a decade prior to the crisis that forced the state to as for assistance from other countries and International financialorganizations.

Figure 1: Comparison of Greece’s against the Eurozone’s average percentage public debt The Greek government-debt crisis is one of a number of current European sovereign-debt crises and is believed to have been caused by a combination of structural weaknesses of the Greek economy coupled with the incomplete economic, tax and banking unification of the European Monetary Union. In late 2009, fears of a sovereign debt crisis developed among investors concerning Greece’s ability to meet its debt obligations due to strong increase in government debt levels.

This led to a crisis of confidence, indicated by a widening of bond yield spreads(difference between the quoted rates of return on two different investments, usually of different credit quality) and the cost of risk insurance on credit default swaps compared to the other countries in the Eurozone, most importantly Germany. The downgrading of Greek government debt to junk bond status in April 2010 created alarm in financial markets, with bond yields rising so high, that private capital markets practically were no longer available for Greece as a funding source.

On 2 May 2010, the Eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed on a €110 billion bailout loan for Greece, conditional on compliance with the following three key points: 1. Implementation of austerity measures, to restore the fiscal balance. 2. Privatization of government assets worth €50bn by the end of 2015, to keep the debt pile sustainable. 3. Implementation of outlined structural reforms, to improve competitiveness and growth prospects. The payment of the bailout was scheduled to happen in several disbursements from May 2010 until June 2013.

Due to a worsened recession and the fact that Greece had worked slower than expected to comply with point 2 and 3 above, there was a need one year later to offer Greece both more time and money in the attempt to restore the economy. In October 2011, Eurozone leaders consequently agreed to offer a second €130 billion bailout loan for Greece, conditional not only the implementation of another austerity package (combined with the continued demands for privatisation and structural reforms outlined in the first programme), but also that all private creditors holding Greek government bonds should sign a deal accepting lower interest rates and a 53. % face value loss. 2. 0 Causes of the debt crisis and counter measures 2. 1 Causes In January 2010 the Greek Ministry of Finance highlighted in their Stability and Growth Program 2010 these five main causes for the significantly deteriorated economic results recorded in 2009 (compared to the published budget figures ahead of the year): 1. GDP growth rates: After 2008, GDP growth rates were lower than the Greek national statistical agency had anticipated.

In the official report, the Greek ministry of finance reports the need for implementing economic reforms to improve competitiveness, among others by reducing salaries and bureaucracy, and the need to redirect much of its current governmental spending from non-growth sectors (e. g. military) into growth stimulating sectors. 2. Government deficit: Huge fiscal imbalances developed during the past six years from 2004 to 2009, where “the output increased in nominal terms by 40%, while central government primary expenditures increased by 87% against an increase of only 31% in tax revenues. In the report the Greek Ministry of Finance states the aim to restore the fiscal balance of the public budget, by implementing permanent real expenditure cuts (meaning expenditures are only allowed to grow 3. 8% from 2009 to 2013, which is below the expected inflation at 6. 9%), and with overall revenues planned to grow 31. 5% from 2009 to 2013, secured not only by new/higher taxes but also by a major reform of the ineffective Tax Collection System. . Government debt-level: Since it had not been reduced during the good years with strong economic growth, there was no room for the government to continue running large deficits in 2010, neither for the years ahead. Therefore, it was not enough for the government just to implement the needed long term economic reforms, as the debt then rapidly would develop into an unsustainable size, before the results of such reforms were achieved.

The report highlights the urgency to implement both permanent and temporary austerity measures that – in combination with an expected return of positive GDP growth rates in 2011 – would result in the baseline deficit decreasing from €30. 6 billion in 2009 to only €5. 7 billion in 2013, finally making it possible to stabilize the debt-level relative to GDP at 120% in 2010 and 2011, followed by a downward trend in 2012 and 2013. 4. Budget compliance: Budget compliance was acknowledged to be in strong need f future improvement, and for 2009 it was even found to be “A lot worse than normal, due to economic control being more lax in a year with political elections”. In order to improve the level of budget compliance for upcoming years, the Greek government wanted to implement a new reform to strengthen the monitoring system in 2010, making it possible to keep better track on the future developments of revenues and expenses, both at the governmental and local level. 5.

Statistical credibility: Problems with unreliable data had existed ever since Greece applied for membership of the Euro in 1999. In the five years from 2005–2009, Eurostat each year noted a reservation about the fiscal statistical numbers for Greece, and too often previously reported figures got revised to a somewhat worse figure, after a couple of years. In regards of 2009 the flawed statistics made it impossible to predict accurate numbers for GDP growth, budget deficit and the public debt; which by the end of the year all turned out to be far worse than originally anticipated.

In 2010, the Greek ministry of finance reported the need to restore the trust among financial investors, and to correct previous statistical methodological issues, “by making the National Statistics Service an independent legal entity and phasing in, during the first quarter of 2010, all the necessary checks and balances that will improve the accuracy and reporting of fiscal statistics”. According to an editorial published by the Greek conservative newspaper Kathimerini,other causes included; 6. Government spending

The Greek economy was one of the fastest growing in the Eurozone from 2000 to 2007; during this period it grew at an annual rate of 4. 2%, as foreign capital flooded the country. [20] Despite that, the country continued to record high budget deficits each year. Financial statistics reveal solid budget surpluses existed in 1960-73 for the Greek general government, but since then only budget deficits were recorded. In 1974-80 the general government had an era with moderate and acceptable budget deficits (below 3% of GDP).

Unfortunately this was followed by a long period with very high and unsustainable budget deficits in 1981-2014 (above 3% of GDP). 7. Tax evasion and corruption Another consistent problem Greece has suffered from in recent decades is the government’s tax income. Each year it is several times below the expected level. In 2010, the estimated tax evasion costs for the Greek government amounted to well over $20 billion per year. To keep within the monetary union guidelines, the government of Greece had also for many years misreported the country’s official economic statistics.

At the beginning of 2010, it was discovered that Greece had paid Goldman Sachs and other banks hundreds of millions of dollars in fees since 2001, for arranging transactions that hid the actual level of borrowing. Most notable is a cross currency swap, where billions worth of Greek debts and loans were converted into Yen and Dollars at a fictitious exchange rate by Goldman Sachs, thus hiding the true extent of Greek loans. The purpose of these deals made by several successive Greek governments, was to enable them to continue spending, while hiding the actual deficit from the EU.

The revised statistics revealed that Greece at all years from 2000-2010 had exceeded the Eurozone stability criteria, with the yearly deficits exceeding the recommended maximum limit at 3. 0% of GDP, and with the debt level significantly above the recommended limit of 60% of GDP. 8. Unsustainable and accelerating debt-to-GDP ratios The first period with accelerating debt-to-GDP ratios was in until 1996, where it increased from 22% to 100% due to some years characterized by: low GDP growth, high structural deficits, high inflation, high interest rates and multiple currency devaluations.

In 1996-1999, the solution that brought the Greek economy back on a sustainable track was the combination of enforcing a “hard drachma policy”, and some consistent yearly reductions of the structural deficits through implementing austerity measures. This in turn caused inflation and interest rates to decline, which created the foundation for significant GDP growth and at the same time, put a halt to the accelerating trend for the debt-to-GDP ratio. The second period with accelerating debt-to-GDP ratios was in 2008-13, which was preceded by four years in which the debt-to-GDP ratio had been marginally increased from 98% to 107%.

The accelerating trend in the ratio was this time triggered by the onset of the global recession (GDP decline) in October 2008, also known as the Global Financial Crisis, which caused some related high budget deficits in 2008-13. The root cause behind the problem with accelerating debt-to-GDP ratios, was however that Greece had failed to reduce the debt-to-GDP ratio during the good years with strong economic growth in 2000-07, and instead had opted to continue on a path of running high structural deficits.

The first problem for Greece was a too high and increasing debt level, creating the so-called negative spiral of “interest rate death”, which occurs if a country suffers from a constantly increasing debt that exceeds the sustainable level, which will mean the financial markets will start to ask higher and higher interest rates to cover the increasing risk for default. Figure 2: Interest rate of Greek 2 year government bond showing perceived risk by investors 2. 2 Counter measures 2. 2. 1 First bailout plan by the European Central Bank (ECB)

On 1 May 2010, the Greek government announced a series of austerity measures to persuade Germany, the last remaining holdout, to sign on to a larger EU/IMF loan package. The next day the Eurozone countries and the International Monetary Fund agreed to a three-year €110 billion loan (see below) retaining relatively high interest rates of 5. 5%, conditional on the implementation of austerity measures. Credit rating agencies immediately downgraded Greek governmental bonds to an even lower junk status.

This was followed by an announcement of the ECB on 3 May that it will still accept as collateral all outstanding and new debt instruments issued or guaranteed by the Greek government, regardless of the nation’s credit rating, in order to maintain banks’ liquidity. The new austerity package was met with great anger by the Greek public, leading to massive protests, riots and social unrest throughout Greece. On 5 May 2010, a national strike was held in opposition to the planned spending cuts and tax increases.

In Athens some protests turned violent, killing three people. 100,000 people protested against the austerity measures in front of parliament building in Athens (29 May 2011). Former Prime Minister George Papandreou and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso after their meeting in Brussels on 20 June 2011. Interim prime minister Lucas Papademos defends the austerity measures in parliament (November 2011). Still the situation did not improve. It was riginally hoped that Greece’s first adjustment plan together with the €110 billion support package would reestablish Greek access to private capital markets by the end of 2012. However it was soon found that this process would take much longer. The November 2010 revisions of 2009 deficit and debt levels made the 2010 targets even harder to reach, and indications signaled a recession harsher than forecast. In May 2011 it became evident that due to the severe economic crisis tax revenues were lower than expected, making it even harder for Greece to meet its fiscal goals. . 2. 2 Second bailout loan and austerity measures (July 2011 to date) EU emergency measures continued at an extraordinary summit on 21 July 2011 in Brussels, where euro area leaders agreed to extend Greek (as well as Irish and Portuguese) loan repayment periods from 7 years to a minimum of 15 years and to cut interest rates to 3. 5%. They also approved the construction of a new €109 billion support package, of which the exact content was to be debated and agreed on at a later summit, although it was already certain to include a demand for large privatization efforts.

In the early hours of 27 October 2011, Eurozone leaders and the IMF also came to an agreement with banks to accept a 50% write-off of (some part of) Greek debt,[100][101][102] the equivalent of €100 billion,[100] to reduce the country’s debt level from €340bn to €240bn or 120% of GDP by 2020. On 7 December 2011, the new interim national union government led by Lucas Papademos submitted its plans for the 2012 budget, promising to cut its deficit from 9% of GDP 2011 to 5. 4% in 2012, mostly due to the write-off of debt held by banks. Excluding interest payments, Greece even expects a primary surplus in 2012 of 1. %. The austerity measures have helped Greece bring down its primary deficit before interest payments, from €25bn (11% of GDP) in 2009 to €5bn (2. 4% of GDP) in 2011, but as a side-effect they also contributed to a worsening of the Greek recession, which began in October 2008 and only became worse in 2010 and 2011. Overall the Greek GDP had its worst decline in 2011 with -6. 9%, a year where the seasonal adjusted industrial output ended 28. 4% lower than in 2005, and with 111,000 Greek companies going bankrupt (27% higher than in 2010).

As a result, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate also grew from 7. 5% in September 2008 to a, at the time, record high of 19. 9% in November 2011, while the youth unemployment rate during the same time rose from 22. 0% to as high as 48. 1%. ;since then both rates have kept rising with seasonally adjusted unemployment rate and youth unemployment rate reaching respectively 25. 1% in July 2012 and 55% in June 2012 setting new record high values. Overall the share of the population living at “risk of poverty or social exclusion” did not increase significantly during the first 2 year of the crisis.

The figure was measured to 27. 6% in 2009 and 27. 7% in 2010, which was also just slightly worse than the EU27-average at 23. 4%, but for 2011 the figure was now estimated to have risen sharply above 33%. 2. 3. Rescue packages provided by the EU and IMF 2. 3. 1 First rescue package (May 2010) Having had the credit rating agencies further downgraded Greece’s ability to achieve and the risk premiums on long-term Greek government bonds first record levels, the Greek government requested on 23 April 2010 official financial assistance.

The European Union (EU), European Central Bank (ECB) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreed on 1–2 May 2010 with the Greek government to a three-year financial aid programme (loan commitments) totaling €110 billion. The Greek debt in exchange for household should be consolidated within three years, so that the budget deficit should be reduced by 2014 to below 3 percent. Of the €110 billion promised by the IMF took €30bn, the Eurozone €80bn (as bilateral loan commitments).

Instrumental in determining the rates of the individual euro area countries in the €80bn of the Eurozone was the respective equity interest in the capital of the ECB, which in turn is determined every five years after the prorated share of a country in the total population and economic output in the EU. The German share of the €80bn was 28% or about €22. 4bn in three years while France paid €16. 8bn. In May 2010 Greece received the first tranche of the bailout money totaling €20bn. Of this total, 5. 5 billion came from the IMF and 14. 5 billion of Euro states.

On 13 September the second tranche of €6. 5bn was disbursed. The 3rd tranche of the same amount was paid on 19 January 2011. On 16 March, 4th tranche in the amount of €10. 9 billion was paid out, followed by the 5th installment on 2 July. The 6th tranche of €8bn was paid out after months of delay in early December. Of this amount, the IMF took over €2. 2bn. 2. 3. 2 Second rescue package (July 2011 – February 2012) Since the first rescue package proved insufficient, the 17 leaders of Euro countries approved a (preliminary) second rescue package at an EU summit on 21 July 2011.

It was agreed that the aid package has a volume of €100 billion, provided by the newly created European Financial Stability Facility. The repayment period was extended from seven to 15 years and the interest rate was lowered to 3. 5%. For the first time, this also included a private sector involvement, meaning that the private financial sector accepted a voluntary cut. It was agreed that the net contribution of banks and insurance companies to support Greece would include an additional €37 billion in 2014.

The planned purchase of Greek bonds from private creditors by the euro rescue fund at their face value will burden the private sector with at least another €12. 6 billion. It was also announced at the EU summit, a reconstruction plan for Greece in order to promote economic growth. The European Commission established a “Task Force for Greece”. 2. 3. 3 Preventing a debt crisis contagion The contagion risk for other Eurozone countries in the event of an uncontrolled Greek default has greatly diminished in the last couple of years.

This is mainly due to a successful fiscal consolidation and implementation of structural reforms in the countries being most at risk, which significantly improved their financial stability. Establishment of an appropriate and permanent financial stability support mechanism for the Eurozone (ESM) along with guarantees by ECB to offer additional financial support in the form of some yield-lowering bond purchases (OMT) for all Eurozone countries involved in a sovereign state bailout program from EFSF/ESM (at the point of time where the country regain/possess a complete market access),also greatly helped to diminish the contagion risk.

On the night of 26 to 27 October at the EU summit, the politicians made two important decisions to reduce the risk of a possible contagion to other countries, in the case of a Greek default. The first decision was to require all European banks to achieve 9% capitalization, to make them strong enough to withstand those financial losses that potentially could erupt from a Greek default. The second decision was to leverage the EFSF from €500bn to €1 trillion, as a firewall to protect financial stability in other Eurozone countries with a looming debt crisis.

The leverage had previously been criticized from many sides, because it is something taxpayers ultimately risk to pay for, due to the significantly increased risks assumed by the EFSF. Furthermore, the Euro countries agreed on a plan to cut the debt of Greece from today’s 160% to 120% of GDP by 2020. As part of that plan, it was proposed that all owners of Greek governmental bonds should “voluntarily” accept a 50% haircut of their bonds (resulting in a debt reduction worth €100bn), and moreover accept interest rates being reduced to only 3. %. At the time of the summit, this was at first formally accepted by the government banks in Europe. The task to negotiate a final deal, also including the private creditors, was handed over to the Greek politicians. 3. 0 The Spanish Financial crisis 3. 1 Introduction The 2008–2013 Spanish financial crisis began as part of the world Late-2000s financial crisis and continued as part of the European sovereign debt crisis, which has affected primarily the southern European states and Ireland.

In Spain, the crisis was generated by long-term loans (commonly issued for 40 years), the building market crash, which included the bankruptcy of major companies, and a particularly severe increase in unemployment, which rose to 24. 4% by March 2012. Spain continued the path of economic growth when the ruling party changed in 2004, keeping robust GDP growth during the first term of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, even though some fundamental problems in the Spanish economy were already evident.

Among these, according to the Financial Times, there was Spain’s huge trade deficit (which reached a staggering 10% of the country’s GDP by the summer of 2008), the “loss of competitiveness against its main trading partners” and, also, as a part of the latter, an inflation rate which had been traditionally higher than those of its European partners, back then especially affected by house price increases of 150% from 1998 and a growing family indebtedness (115%) chiefly related to the Spanish Real Estate boom and rocketing oil prices.

During the third quarter of 2008 the national GDP contracted for the first time in 15 years and, in February 2009, it was confirmed that Spain, along with other European economies, had officially entered recession. The economy contracted 3. 7% in 2009 and again in 2010 by 0. 1%. It grew by 0. 7% in 2011. By the 1st quarter of 2012, Spain was officially in recession once again. The Spanish government forecasts a 1. 7% drop for 2012.

The provision of up to €100bn of rescue loans from Eurozone funds was agreed by Eurozone finance ministers on 9 June 2012. As of October 2012, the so-called Troika (European Commission, ECB and IMF) is in negotiations with Spain to establish an economic recovery program required for providing additional financial loans from ESM. Reportedly Spain, in addition to applying for a €100bn “bank recapitalization” package in June 2012, now negotiates financial support from a “Precautionary Conditioned Credit Line” (PPCL) package.

If Spain applies and receives a PCCL package, irrespectively to what extent it subsequently decides to draw on this established credit line, this would at the same time immediately qualify the country to receive “free” additional financial support from ECB, in the form of some unlimited yield-lowering bond purchases (OMT). 3. 2 Causes of the Spanish Debt crisis 1. Property bubble The residential real estate bubble in Spain saw real estate prices rise 200% from 1996 to 2007. 651,168,000,000 is the current mortgage debt (second quarter 2005) of Spanish families (this debt continues to grow at 25% per year – 2001 through 2005, with 97% of mortgages at variable rate interest). In 2004 509,293 new properties were built in Spain and in 2005 the number of new properties built was 528,754. 2004 estimations of demand: 300,000 for Spanish people, 100,000 for foreign investors, 100,000 for foreign people living in Spain and 300,000 for stock; in a country with 16. 5 million families, 22–24 million houses and 3–4 million empty houses.

From all the houses built over the 2001–2007 period, “no less than 28%” are vacant as of late 2008 House ownership in Spain is above 80%. The desire to own one’s own home was encouraged by governments in the 60s and 70s, and has thus become part of the Spanish psyche. In addition, tax regulation encourages ownership: 15% of mortgage payments are deductible from personal income taxes. Even more, the oldest apartments are controlled by non-inflation-adjusted rent-controls and eviction is slow, therefore discouraging renting. As feared, when the speculative bubble popped Spain became one of the worst affected countries.

According to Eurostat, over the June 2007 – June 2008 period, Spain has been the European country with the sharpest plunge in construction rates. Actual sales over the July 2007 – June 2008 period were down an average 25. 3% (with the lion’s share of the loss arguably happening in the 2008 tract of this period). So far, some regions have been more affected than others (Catalonia was ahead in this regard with a 42. 2% sales plunge while sparsely populated regions like Extremadura were down a mere 1. 7% over the same period). Figure 3: The subprime mortgage crisis process 2. Prices and inflationary tendencies

Due to the lack of its own resources, Spain has to import all of its fossil fuels, which in a scenario of record prices added much pressure to the inflation rate. Thus, in June 2008 the inflation rate reached a 13-year high of 5. 00%. Then, with the dramatic decrease of oil prices that happened in the second half of 2008 plus the confirmed burst of the property bubble, concerns quickly shifted to the risk of deflation instead, as Spain registered in January 2009 its lowest inflation rate in 40 years which was then followed in March 2009 by a negative inflation rate for the first time ever since this statistic was recorded.

As of October 2010, the Spanish economy has continued to contract, resulting in decreasing GDP and increasing inflation. From 2011 to 2012 alone, prices rose 3. 5% as compared to 2% in the United States. The rise in prices, combined with the recently implemented austerity measures and extremely high unemployment, are heavily impacting the livelihood of Spanish citizens. As the average wage decreases, the buying power of the money decreases as well.

The frustration of these decreases in buying power has manifested in several, very large, worker demonstrations. 3. Spanish banking system The Spanish banking system had been credited as one of the most solid and best equipped among all Western economies to cope with the worldwide liquidity crisis, thanks to the country’s conservative banking rules and practices. Banks are required to have high capital provisions and demand various proofs and securities from intending borrowers.

Nevertheless this practice was strongly relaxed during the housing bubble, a trend to which the regulator (Banco de Espana) turned a blind eye. Spain’s unusual accounting standards, intended to smooth earnings over the business cycle, has misled regulators and analysts by hiding losses and earnings volatility. The accounting technique of “dynamic provisioning”, which violated the standards set by the International Accounting Standards Board, obscured capital cushions until they were depleted, allowing the appearance of health as the problems mounted.

It was later revealed that nearly all the Spanish representatives in Congress had strong investments in the housing sector, some having up to twenty houses. Over the time, more and more news have emerged about the informal alliance between Spanish central and regional governments, the banking sector (bear in mind for example the recent government pardon of the second at command at the Santander Bank, while all the major parties are strongly indebted with banks, and such debts are extended from time to time) which increased the bubble size over the years.

Most regional semipublic savings banks (cajas )lended heavily to real estate companies which at the end of the bubble went bankrupt, then, the cajas found themselves left with the collateral and properties of those companies, namely overpriced real state and residential-zoned land, now worthless, rendering the cajas in essence bankrupted. 3. 3 Manifestations of the public debt crisis 1. Employment crisis

After having completed substantial improvements over the second half of the 1990s and during the 2000s which put a few regions on the brink of full employment, Spain suffered a severe setback in October 2008 when it saw its unemployment rate surging to 1996 levels. During the period October 2007 – October 2008 Spain had its unemployment rate climbing 37%, exceeding by far the unemployment surge of past economic crises like 1993. In particular, during this particular month of October 2008, Spain suffered its worst unemployment rise ever recorded and, the country has suffered Europe’s biggest unemployment crisis during the 2008 crisis.

Spain’s unemployment rate hit 17. 4% at the end of March 2009, with the jobless total now having doubled over the past 12 months, when two million people lost their jobs. In this same month, Spain for the first time in her history had over 4,000,000 people unemployed, an especially shocking figure even for a country which had become used to grim unemployment data. By July 2009, it had shed 1. 2 million jobs in one year and was to have the same number of jobless as France and Italy combined. By March 2012, Spain’s unemployment rate reached 24. 4%, twice the euro-zone average. 2. Emigration

Large scale immigration continued throughout 2008 despite the severe unemployment crisis, but by 2011 the OECD confirmed that the total number of people leaving the country (Spaniards and non-Spaniards) had over taken the number of arrivals. Spain is now a net emigrant country. There are now indications that established immigrants have begun to leave, although many that have are still retaining a household in Spain due to the poor conditions that exist in their country of origin. 3. Decline in Tourism As the financial crisis was getting started in Spain, it was already underway in the U. S. and other western countries.

The decrease in disposable income of consumers led to a sharp decrease in Spain’s tourist industry, a rare thing for a country with so many coastal towns. Indeed, the EU as a group saw a decline in tourists coming to their countries in 2008 and 2009, with -13% tourism growth in coastal Spain. Despite its traditional popularity with Korean and Japanese tourists, the relatively expensive cost of vacationing in Spain led many to pursue “sun and beach” Mediterranean getaways in Turkey, Spain’s tourism rival. However, Spain has also seen the largest growth again in that industry since 2011 and 2012.

Spain’s geographical advantages, general atmosphere, the Arab Spring, and other non-economic factors are contributing to its resurgence as a key tourism destination. 3. 4 Counter measures by the Spanish Government Spain entered the crisis period with a relatively modest public debt of 36. 2% of GDP. This was largely due to ballooning tax revenue from the housing bubble, which helped accommodate a decade of increased government spending without debt accumulation. In response to the crisis, Spain initiated an austerity program consisting primarily of tax increases.

PM Rajoy announced (11 July 2012) €65 billion of austerity including cuts in wages and benefits and a VAT increase from 18% to 21%. The government eventually succeeded to reduce its budget deficit from 11. 2% of GDP in 2009 to 8. 5% in 2011 and it is expected to fall further to 5. 4% in 2012. As of 15 June 2012, Spain’s public debt stood at 72. 1% of GDP, still less that the Euro-zone average of 88%. If Spain uses the €100 billion credit line to bailout its banks, its debt will approach 90% of GDP. To avoid this, the EU has pledged to lend to banks directly although it now appears that the Spanish government may have to guarantee the loans.

In June 2012, the Spanish 10-year government bond reached 7%, 5. 44% over the German 10-Year bond. As Spanish CDS hits a record high of 633 basis points and the 10yr bond yield at 7. 5% (23 July 2012) Spain’s economic minister travels to Germany to request that the ECB facilitate government bond purchases to “avoid an imminent financial collapse”. Promised borrowing by the ECB has enabled Spain’s 10-year yield to stay below or close to the 6% level. 3. 5 The financial bailout of Spain On 9 June 2012 the Eurogroup held an emergency meeting to discuss how to inject capital into Spanish Banks.

The IMF also announced this day that the capital needs of the Spanish banks wasestimated to be about 40,000 million euros. The Eurogroup announced intentions to provide up to 100,000 million euro to the Fund for Orderly Bank Restructuring to the Spanish government. The Spanish government is then expected to give the appropriate amount of money to the respective banks. On 21 June 2012 it was decided that 62,000 million euro would be shared among the Spanish banks in need. The European Union warned that rescued banks are subject to control and Union experts would meet stringent requirements.

Since then, the country’s borrowing costs have reached levels deemed unsustainable in the long run, raising the prospect of a second aid program for Madrid following the 100 billion euro lifeline it obtained for its banks in June. Spain expects the European Commission, to approve the restructuring plans of the banks needing aid on 15 November 2012 and then to authorize the disbursal of the first credit line of up to 100 billion euros within three weeks after that. A larger economy than other countries which have received bailout packages, Spain had considerable bargaining power regarding the terms of a bailout.

Due to reforms already instituted by Spain’s conservative government less stringent austerity requirements are included then was the case with earlier bailout packages for Ireland, Portugal, and Greece. 4. 0 Conclusion In the early mid-2000s, Greece’s economy was one of the fastest growing in the Eurozone and was associated with a large structural deficit. As the world economy was hit by the global financial crisis in the late 2000s, Greece was hit especially hard because its main industries — shipping and tourism — were especially sensitive to changes in the business cycle.

The government spent heavily to keep the economy functioning and the country’s debt increased accordingly. The economy of Greece is the 34th or 42nd largest in the world at or $304 billion by nominal gross domestic product or purchasing power parity respectively, according to World Bank statistics for the year 2011. Additionally, Greece is the 15th largest economy in the 27-member European Union. In terms of per capita income, Greece is ranked 29th or 33rd in the world at $27,875 and $27,624 for nominal GDP and purchasing power parity respectively.

However, after 14 consecutive years of economic growth, Greece went into recession in 2008. An indication of the trend of over-lending in recent years is the fact that the ratio of loans to savings exceeded 100% during the first half of the year. By the end of 2009, the Greek economy (based on data revised on 15 November 2010 in part due to reclassification of expenses) faced the highest budget deficit and government debt to GDP ratios in the EU. The 2009 budget deficit stood at 15. 4% of GDP. This and rising debt levels (127% of GDP in 2009) led to rising borrowing costs, resulting in a severe economic crisis.

In essence, its debt problems were driven by high public wage and pension commitments. Spain, on the other hand, had a comparatively low debt level among advanced economies prior to the crisis. Its public debt relative to GDP in 2010 was only 60%, more than 20 points less than Germany, France or the US, and more than 60 points less than Italy, Ireland or Greece. Debt was largely avoided by the ballooning tax revenue from the housing bubble, which helped accommodate a decade of increased government spending without debt accumulation.

When the bubble burst, Spain spent large amounts of money on bank bailouts. A fundamental cause for its rising government debt levels is the subprime mortgage crises coupled with questionable accounting methods that disguised massive bank losses therefore crippling liquidity. A notable drastic measure introduced by Spain is that of the amendment of the constitution to restrict Public debt spending to less than 60% of the Gross Domestic product except in cases of natural catastrophies and economic ecession and the introduction of an Economic recovery programme in October 2012. It can be observed that both countries’ problems were accelerated by the global economic downturn. In addition the European Union countries faced the problem of having a single currency without fiscal union such as Taxation and public pension rules. The countries are not of the woods yet with Greece expecting to recover by 2017 and Spain between 2022 and 2027.