GUIDE 5 Unit 1
o The Cyclades
See metaphor of Teacher as Ariadne (end)
The palace at Knossos – one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world.
It was here that King Minos supposedly had his labyrinth.
THE AEGEAN WORLD
These three civilizations are unified under one name – Aegean civilizations.
The Cyclades 2500 – 2000 B.C.
Crete / Minoan culture 2000 – 1200 B.C.
Mycenae 1400 – 1200 B.C.
All we know about these civilizations – we know from archaeological excavations.
None of the Aegean civilizations left any literary sources but only myths.
Geography and development of civilizations
Compare three great ancient cultures. (In one line)
When & how was the Aegean world discovered? – *
What were the contributions of these outstanding men into the history of archaeology?
Heinrich Schliemann -*
Arthur Evans –*
In your book you have this expression: “The Bronze Age civilizations of pre-Hellenic Greece…”
What could it mean?
Pre-Hellenic -* [explain the term]
Bronze Age – *
Please note that all three Aegean civilizations laid the foundation for Greece [Hellenic Greece].
All together they made the beginning of the Greek civilization. Unfortunately, in the book
Aegean and Greek sections are placed in two different chapters, and I also had to “cut” Greece – between two units.
Just for you to know – we are already in ancient Greece!
===================== The Cyclades=====================
* [dates, peak of flourishing]
Where are the Cycladic islands located?
[Find on the map, do not just rewrite from the text]
In which sea – *
Close to which coast? – *
Name the major ones – *
Where has most of survived art culled from *
As a matter of fact, some scholars disagree with the theory of “fertility goddess”.
Can you see that in the Cycladic idol all sexual features are downplayed as opposed to the Palaeolithic Venuses (remember Venus of Willendorf?). The Cycladic figures look very ‘girlish’.Besides, all of them were found in the graves. All we can guess is that they, being linked with burial rituals, most likely had a religious function.
==============Crete / Minoan Civilization==============Dates: * [Take dates from above]
On what island did the Minoan civilization emerge? – *
Why the Cretan culture is called Minoan? – *
This is where the word labyrinth came from as well (supposedly).
Labyrinth –* [the modern-day meaning]
I am going to tell you the myth of the Minotaur in more detail that it is told in your book. Not only because it is a fascinating story but also to show you how popular the myths were as a source of inspiration for many – from the ancient vase-painters to Picasso.
Pablo Picasso. Minotaur Caressing the Hand of a Sleeping Girl (1933). © 2007 Estate of Pablo Picasso
At once Theseus came forward and offered to be one of the victims. He told his father that if he succeeded, he would change the black sail (that this ship carried because of its cargo of misery) to a white one, so that Aegeus could know long before the ship came to land that his son was safe.
All stories agree that when they drew near to Athens he forgot to hoist the white sail (Ah children-children!…). The black sail was seen by his father, King Aegeus, from the Acropolis, where for days he had watched the sea with straining eyes.
It was for him the sign of his son’s death and he threw himself down from a rocky height into the sea, and was killed. The sea into which he fell was called the Aegean ever after. (Short version from Edith Hamilton’s book “Timeless Tales on Gods and Heroes”)
Gabriel Rossetti, 19th century. Image credit:altreligion.about.com
So, you have just learned from this myth a few names and facts. I hope this will help you to remember them. Please sum up here “Who is who”
King Minos -*
Minotaur – *
Now let us get back to the book.
There were3 periodsin the history ofMinoancivilization:
We will be studying the last two – Middle Minoan & Late Minoan periods.
The Middle Minoan Period or the period of the “… “
*[second name for this period]
What was the major art form in architecture? (… tomb, pyramid or shrine, palace)
What did you learn about development of a new form of writing? – *
Which one was an early form of Greek? – *
Palace at Knossos – Give the most spectacular characteristics of the palace.
One of theses features gave birth to the myth of Labyrinth. [Try to keep one characteristic – one line]
Columns –* [Anything unusual about their form?]
By the way, in Russia the stores and shops are called “magazines.”
I guess, this term came to Russian language from Greek along with many other words.
Here is one more room in the palace at Knossos. This particular fresco ismentioned in your book but there is no picture. I thought it would be nice if you could see how it looks.
“… delicately painted dolphins swim across the surface of the wall, giving one impression of looking into a vast aquarium.”
Many years ago, when I was travelling around the Mediterranean Sea, I visited the fish market abundant with of all kinds of sea creatures.
But it was a lovely little octopus that attracted my attention.
When the art historians talk about the marine life, being a source of artistic inspiration for the Minoans, they mean, in the first place, the numerous renditions of the fish, dolphins and other sea animals. Yet, it was exciting to discover on my own the probable origin of the abstract design.
I was thinking about some anonymous artist living long-long time ago and how one day he noticed the gracious rhythm of the octopus’ tentacles, and how he must be excited to put it in paint as a decorative pattern. Or could it be just my imagination?
=====================Mycenae====================Dates:* [Indicate the peak of Mycenaean supremacy]
Heinrich Schliemann, a German archaeologist, in the end of the 19th century made a sensational discovery of Troy and Mycenae.
When did the Mycenaeans come to the Greek mainland? – *
What language did they speak? – *
What arts were they versatile in? – *
How long was the peak of their supremacy last? – * [dates?]
How did it end? – *
In what way the Mycenaeans had been related to the beginning of the Greek people? – *
Why is the Mycenaean architecture presented mostly by the fortifications? *
E.g., the citadels in the major cities of *_ and *___
[Find them on map in your book]
The citadels (fortresses) were strictly functional. Still they say about the Mycenaeans
that “they had not lost their aesthetic sense.” Explain how you understand this statement.
Tholos or * [write down the second name of this type of tomb].
Shaft-grave – * [what could you tell about this type of tomb?]
Which type came to be used first? – *
What was the Homer’s favourite epithet for Mycenae? – “ * ”
Why so? – *
Funeral Golden Maskfrom the tomb at* *___ [date]
What was a technique of producing such masks? – *
What was the end of the Mycenaean civilization? – *
What does the last phrase in your book state? – *
Now, please check yourself whether you have put correctly the dates at the beginning of this guide.
The Cyclades 2500 – 2000 B.C.
Crete / Minoan culture 2000 – 1400 B.C.
Mycenae 1400 – 1200 B.C.
Take one more last look at the map. Find the sites of all three civilizations.
GUIDE 5 Unit 1