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The Glory That Was Greece Ancient Greek literature refers to literature written in the Greek language until

the fourth century C.E. this period of Greek literature stretches from Homer until the fourth century C. E. and the rise of Alexander the Great. together with the Hebrew Bible provides the foundation for all of Western litera ture. Qualities of Greek Literature Permanence and Universality. Essentially Full of Artistry. Originality. Diversity of talent. Intellectual Quality. ANCIENT GREEK LITERATURE CLASSICAL (900 323 B.C.) Saw the birth of original works. The main literary types were developed to expre ss the needs and ideals of the communities of which the writer was a member. 2. Hellenistic (323 - 146 B.C.) - a more cosmopolitan period, literature was developed and written for t he entertainment or scientific instruction of a small educated group. It lack th e freshness of classical period. 3. Greco Roman (146 - 395 B.C.) - Rome conquered Greece and ruled it for 600 years. The writers turned t o the classical past to create a stylistic renaissance of letters. Gradually , p agan literature gave way to Christian literature. 4. Byzantine Period (395 - 1453 B.C.) - period when Constantine I rebuilt Byzantism and renamed it Constantino ple. As the capital of Byzantine Empire (until 1453) it was the largest city in the Christian world. Since it became the center of Orthodox Christianity, religi ous poetry has become the most prominent literature. Classical and Pre-Classical Antiquity Mycenaean - the earliest known Greek writings This period of Greek literature stretches from Homer until the 4th century BC an d the rise of Alexander the Great written in the Linear B syllabary on clay tablets These documents contain prosaic records largely concerned with trade (lists, inv entories, receipts, and so on) no real literature has been discovered Due to: Mycenaean literature, like the works of Homer and other epic poems, was passed o n orally literary works, as the preserve of an elite, were written on finer materials suc h as parchment, which have not survived. Literary Genres of Greek Literature The first division was between prose and poetry. Prose Fictional literature was written in verse and scientific literature was in prose . Literature in prose . It has more freedom; the main areas were historiography, p hilosophy and political rhetoric. poetry we could separate three super-genres:

Epic lyric (elegiac, iambic, monodic lyric and choral lyric); drama. (tragedy, comedy and pastoral drama). genres: lyric THE HELLENISTIC AGE, 4TH CENTURY TO 1ST CENTURY BC Following the conquests of Alexander the Great in the 4th century bc, Greek cult ure spread throughout his vast empire. Because Greek culture was so widespread in the Mediterranean world during this p eriod, it is commonly known as the Hellenistic Age (from Hellas, Greece ). The most outstanding of the many literary schools that came into being and the g reatest library of antiquity were located in the city of Alexandria, Egypt Poetry CALLIMACHUS - the master of a school in Alexandria and member of the staff of the Alexandrian library. is credited with writing more than 800 volumes, including a catalog of the conte nts of the entire Alexandrian library and specialized monographs on such topics as foreign customs, the names of the months, and local nomenclature. He and his followers improved the use of meter and invented the epyllion, a type of miniature epic. They also developed the purely literary didactic poem and pastoral poetry, and t hey perfected the epigram, which was later adopted by their Roman disciples. THEOCRITUS - Third-century Sicilian poet Theocritus, who did most of his work in Alexandria and is considered by many critics to be the greatest of the Alexandr ian poets, wrote the Idylls, a series of pastoral poems. Prose Possibly the most influential work of the Hellenistic Age was done by scientific and scholarly writers, particularly: the physician Herophilus the anatomist Erasistratus the astronomers Hipparchus and Aristarchus of Smos (the first to maintain that th e earth revolves around the sun); the mathematician, astronomer, and geographer Eratosthenes, who measured the cir cumference of the earth. THE GRECO-ROMAN PERIOD, 2ND CENTURY BC TO 4TH CENTURY AD POLYBIUS - After the Roman conquest of Greece in 146 bc, the Greek historian Pol ybius wrote an account of that conquest STRABO - a century later the geographer Strabo compiled his Geographica, a syste matic study of places, animals, and objects of interest. PLUTARCH - In the late 1st and early 2nd centuries ad Plutarch produced his famo us Parallel Lives, in which biographies of celebrated Greeks are paired with tho se of notable Romans. GALEN - Later in the 2nd century ad, Galen, the greatest of the ancient anatomis ts, PTOLEMY - the Alexandrian astronomer, wrote works that determined the course of Western medical practice for 1400 years. KOINE - The early Christian writers who transcribed and compiled the New Testame nt made use of a variety of the Koine (Greek for common ), the court and literary l anguage of Hellenistic Greece. The Koine dialect is distinct from the one used by the classical Greek writers a nd their imitators, the so-called Atticists, the best of whom was the satirist L ucian, author of Dialogues of the Dead, Dialogues of the Gods, and True History,

the latter a comic narrative work. NINOS ROMANCE - According to modern scholars, the prototype of the novel probabl y was developed in Greece sometime before the 2nd century ad. The most important extant fragments of an early Greek novel, those of the so-cal led Ninos Romance, dealing with the love of Ninos, legendary founder of Nineveh, are thought to be of the 1st century bc. Chaereas and Callirhoe, by Chariton, considered the earliest of the five works Chloe, by Longus, the most famous and probably the best of these novelists All of the works are romantic stories of love and adventure in which virtuous lo vers or spouses are separated and made to endure many perils, but are reunited i n the end. STOICISM - Stoic philosophy was represented in the writings of Epictetus and Mar cus Aurelius. NEOPLATONISM - The Neoplatonists found their chief exponent in Plotinus. GREEK MYTHOLOGY - Some of the finest verse of the period consists of anonymous e pigrams in the Greek Anthology, a collection of Greek poetry and prose covering almost 2000 years. It is composed of two books conjoined in the 10th and 14th centuries ad, known, respectively, as the Palatine Anthology and the Planudean Anthology. THE BYZANTINE PERIOD, MID-4TH CENTURY TO 15TH CENTURY From the beginning of the reign of Constantine the Great in ad 324, until the fa ll of the Byzantine Empire in 1453, Greek literature lacked the homogeneous char acter of the earlier periods and was strongly influenced by both Latin and Easte rn elements. The greater part of the writings of this period are theological and attack the v arious heresies that arose during the first millennium of the Christian era. CAPPADOCIAN FATHERS - Saint Basil of Caesarea, Saint Gregory of Nyssa, and Saint Gregory of Nazianzus were of importance both as writers and as influences on subsequent theology. SAINT JOHN OF DAMASCUS - In the 8th century the last of the great Greek theologi ans, wrote polemics against the Iconoclasts, as well as one of the earliest book s on Christian dogma, The Foundation of Knowledge. Because of ecclesiastical influence, the writing of secular verse declined. An important legendary and historical poem, however, was the remarkable popular epic Digenis Akritas, a work that originated among the common people in the 10th or 11th century and was spread orally by folk singers before being written down . THE MODERN PERIOD The Fourth Crusade, launched in 1204, carried with it a horde of Frankish invade rs who established themselves in central and southern Greece with such titles as duke of Athens or baron of Thebes. A major literary work that resulted from this occupation was The Chronicle of th e Morea (14th century), a long epic poem in swinging Greek verse, probably writt en by a Greek-speaking Frenchman of the third generation. The epic is remarkable for the beauty of the poetry, its dramatic force, and the easy flow of a vividl y descriptive colloquial idiom. In the mid-15th century the Byzantine Empire and the remnant of the Franks in Gr eece were swept away by the Ottoman Empire, and Greek literature suffered an ecl ipse.

Until the end of the 18th century it continued to flourish only on the periphery of the Greek world, outside the Ottoman Empire. Iliad Summary The Iliad and the Odyssey are both set against the mythical background of the Tr ojan War. After judging Aphrodite the winner in a beauty contest, the Trojan prince Paris , at Aphrodite s prompting, abducts Helen from Greece and from her husband, Menela us, and takes her back to Troy. The Iliad and the Odyssey are both set against the mythical background of the Tr ojan War. After judging Aphrodite the winner in a beauty contest, the Trojan prince Paris, at Aphrodite s prompting, abducts Helen from Greece and from her husband, Menelau s, and takes her back to Troy. The Greeks, organized under the leadership of Menelaus s brother Agamemnon, sail t o Troy to retrieve Helen. During the 10 years of fighting, heroes distinguish themselves on both sides: Fo r the Greeks, Achilles is the greatest warrior, and other central figures includ e Ajax, Diomedes, and Odysseus. On the Trojan side, King Priam s greatest defense is his son Hector. After 10 years of fighting, the Greeks use the trick of the Trojan horse to take Troy. Many of the Greeks, especially Odysseus, encounter considerable difficulties bot h on their return travels and once they reach their homes in Greece. In Book 1, Agamemnon takes Achilles s war prize, Briseis, thereby angering Achille s and causing him to leave the fighting. Trojan successes follow Achilles s departure and prompt several Greek responses. 1. In Book 9, Agamemnon asks Achilles to return to battle, but Achilles refuses. 2. In Book 16, Achilles s friend Patroclus enters battle in Achilles s armor, tempor arily turning the Trojans back, but then dies at Hector s hands. In Book 20, Achilles returns to battle, driven to avenge his dead friend, and ki lls Hector. In Book 24, Priam ransoms the body of Hector from Achilles, and the epic ends wi th the funeral of Hector. The major characters Achaeans The Achaeans (??a???) aka the Hellenes (Greeks), Danaans (?a?a??), and Argives ( ???ei??). Agamemnon King of Mycenae, leader of the Greeks. Achilles Leader of the Myrmidons, half-divine war hero. Odysseus King of Ithaca, the wiliest Greek commander and hero of the Odyssey. Ajax the Greater son of Telamon, with Diomedes, he is second to Achilles in mart ial prowess. Menelaus King of Sparta, husband of Helen and brother of Agamemnon. Diomedes son of Tydeus, King of Argos. Ajax the Lesser son of Oileus, often partner of Ajax the Greater. Patroclus Achilles closest companion. Nestor King of Pylos, and trusted advisor to Agamemnon. Trojans The Trojan men Hector son of King Priam and the foremost Trojan warrior.

Aeneas son of Anchises and Aphrodite. Deiphobus brother of Hector and Paris. Paris Helen s lover-abductor. Priam the aged King of Troy. Polydamas a prudent commander whose advice is ignored; he is Hector s foil. Agenor a Trojan warrior who attempts to fight Achilles (Book XXI). Sarpedon, son of Zeus killed by Patroclus. Was friend of Glaucus and co-leader o f the Lycians (fought for the Trojans). Glaucus, son of Hippolochus friend of Sarpedon and co-leader of the Lycians (fou ght for the Trojans). Euphorbus first Trojan warrior to wound Patroclus. Dolon a spy upon the Greek camp (Book X). Antenor King Priam s advisor, who argues for returning Helen to end the war. Polydorus son of Priam and Laothoe. Pandarus famous archer and son of Lycaon. The Trojan women Hecuba (????, Hekabe) Priam s wife, mother of Hector, Cassandra, Paris, and others. Helen (?????) daughter of Zeus; Menelaus s wife; espoused first to Paris, then to Deiphobus; her abduction by Paris precipitated the war. Andromache Hector s wife, mother of Astyanax. Cassandra Priam s daughter; courted by Apollo, who bestows the gift of prophecy to her; upon being rejected by her, he curses her, and her warnings of Trojan doom go unheeded. Briseis a Trojan woman captured by the Greeks; she was Achilles' prize of the Tr ojan war. GODS INVOLVED IN THE STORY The major deities: Zeus (Neutral) Hera (Achaeans) Artemis (Trojans) Apollo (Trojans) Hades (Neutral) Aphrodite (Trojans) Ares (Trojans) Athena (Achaeans) Hermes (Neutral) Poseidon (Achaeans) Hephaestus (Neutral) The minor deities: Eris (Trojans) Iris (Achaeans) Thetis (Achaeans) Leto (Trojans) Proteus (Achaeans) Scamander (Trojans) Phobos (Trojans) Deimos (Trojans)

1.Troy: After the victory at Troy, Odysseus and his men begin their journey home from here. 2.The Island of the Cicones: After leaving Troy, they stop to raid this island f or supplies. The Cicones attack on horseback, and Odysseus lost 72 of his men. 3.The Island of the Lotus Eaters: Odysseus sends his men out to search for food,

and has to recover them when they eat the Lotus Flower. 4.The Island of the Cyclopes: Here, Odysseus and his men find a Cyclops' cave, l ured by his cheese and wine. The cyclops, Polyphemus, traps them inside the cave . Odysseus and his men blind the cyclops, and then sneak out under his heard of sheep.

5.The Island of Aeolus: Aeolus, the god of the winds, gives Odysseus all of the bad winds, so he can safely sail home. Odysseus' men go against his orders and o pen the bag, and all of the winds escape. 6.The Island of the Laestrygonians: The Laestrygonians, a race of cannibals, eat the Greeks. Only the men on Odysseus' ship and himself survive. 7.Circe's Island: Circe turns Odysseus' men to swine, but Odysseus is protected from her magic with the help of Hermes, who gave him a magical herb called Moly. Odysseus ends up staying there for what seems like a short time, but ended up b eing a couple years. Before Odysseus departs, Circe finally tells him that he ne eds to find the blind prophet Teiresias in the Underworld. 8.The Underworld: Odysseus consults the prophet Teiresias to ask how he can get home, and finds his mother there, who has committed suicide in depression. 9.The Island of the Sirens: Odysseus and his men pass here, an island with women singing their luring songs, trying to reel in sailors. So they do not hear, Ody sseus fills his mens ears with beeswax, and he has them tie him to the mast. 10.Scylla and Charybdis: Odysseus chooses to sail for Scylla, a six-headed sea s erpent, rather than Charybdis, a giant whirlpool. He did this because he knew th at if he went to Charybdis, the whole ship would be destroyed. However, if he we nt towards Scylla, six men would die. A sacrifice the brave Odysseus decided to make. 11.The Island of Helios: They stop here, and Odysseus falls asleep praying to At hena. While sleeping, his men once again go against his orders and eat Helios' c attle. This outrages the god, and he threatens never to rise again. As a punishm ent, Zeus throws a bolt of lightning at the ship, and turns it to splinters. Onl y Odysseus survives. 12.Ogygia (Calypso's Island): Odysseus finds this island after drifting in the s ea. It is a island of women, with a nymph named Calypso, with whom Odysseus has a seven-year affair with. After the seven years, Hermes convinces Calypso to let Odysseus build a new ship so he could sail home. 13.The Island of the Phaecians: The Phaecians accept Odysseus, and he explains h is ten-year journey to them during a feast. They happily give him a ride home on one of their magical ships. 14.Ithaca: Odysseus finally arrives home, and sees his son, Telemachus, for the first time in 15 years. He and Telemachus kill all of the suitors, and Odysseus takes his place as king, once again, alongside his wife Penelope. GODS INVOLVED IN THE STORY Athena: Athena is the goddess of wisdom and war. In the epic, she was Odysseus'go ddess protector,she assists Odysseus and his son Telemachus on numerous occasions

. Zeus: King of all gods. He often punishes Odysseus for his or his mens wrong-doi ng, or helps him, like hiding him from Scylla's six heads. Poseidon: God of the seas. Poseidon holds a grudge against Odysseus for thinking he did not need help from the gods. What angers him more is Odysseus blinding h is son, Polyphemus. He makes Odysseus' journey home all the more difficult.

Hermes: Hermes is the messenger of the gods. Hermes helped Odysseus twice in the Odyssey. He gave him the magical herb Moly to protect him form Circe's witchery , and he convinced Calypso to let him off of her island. Helios: God of the sun. Odysseus' men upset him when they eat his cattle on his island.

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