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Collapse and Renaissance

10/09/2007 12:50:00

End of the Greek Bronze Age • 1200-1000 BCE: Late Bronze Age collapse o shift of Mycenaean activity to the east o disasters at palaces general path of destruction: north to south, west to east possible causes: natural, political context for myths about collapse of post-Trojan war kingdoms? Life for the survivors o Drastic decrease in population  Communities fewer, smaller, more isolated, poorer o Lost technologies     

Writing (linear A y B syllabaries) & representational art Monumental architecture (palaces, cyclopean walls, tombs) • Religion: collapse likely causes profound theological reorientation 1000-800 BCE: Early Iron Age (EIA, a.k.a. “Dark Ages”) • iron age o iron succeeds bronze as main metal (weapons, tools, exchange, etc.) o reason for switch: loss of access to tin (breakdown of trade network)  not necessarily a technological advance o permanent break with Bronze Age: no more palaces • society: takes generations to recover from bronze Age collapse o settlements few, small, isolated • example: Karphi on Crete, unfortified high above coastal plain Early iron age: isolation • Example: Karphi on Crete, unfortified citadel high above coastal plain

o Founded around 1000 BCE, away from palaces o Estimated 3500 populations o Buildings: densely packed, but distinct (not integrated like BA palaces)  Largest: storerooms, small megaron (“Great” and “Priest’s House”) o Burials individual  Little family or class difference (social equality? Instability?) o Religious architecture, symbols echo Minoan/Mycenaean past  Bull, “Goddess with Upraised Arms” 800-700 BCE: The “Greek Renaissance” first post-Bronze Age monumental Greek architecture • city walls o example of Zagora on Andros • stone temples o example of the Heraion (temple of Hera) on Samos • contrast with Bronze Age buildings o new construction techniques o emergence of the public sphere o palaces: private domain of priest-king recovery of population • phenomenal 2-3% annual rise through century • recovery of abandoned land, clearing of new land, new settlements reintegrated into wider Mediterranean world • near east o 730: raids by “ia-u-na-a-a” (Ionians?) against Assyrian king o by 600: Greek mercenaries whit/against Babylonians, Egyptians o Cyprus: island co-habited by Greeks and Phoenicians

 Contact with Crete (example of Psi figurines) • Post-Bronze Age Greek colonies Representation returns to Grek art • Example of horse • By 8th century: detailed scenes (rituals, war etc.) Return of literacy • Alphabetic (as opposed to Linear A & B syllabaries) • Adopted from Phoenicians around 800 • Early examples often have religious reference or context o Example: “Nestor’s Cup” (placed in grave around 730 BCE)  Pithekoussai, 8th century Greek outpost off Naples Trade network  Cup manufactured in Rhodes (eastern Mediterranean)  Inscribed in Boiotian alphabet Post-Bronze Age Greek religion: new beginnings on an old foundation Continuities • Gods: Zeus, hera, Poseidon, dionysos; possibly Athena and Ares • Rituals: sacrifice (more or less same animals), procession, music • Cult sites: e.g. Eileithyia cave on Crete • Iconography (symbols): bull, female with upraised arms (psi figurines) Discontinuities • Gods o Gone: poppy, snake goddesses, mistress/master of animals; become titles of post-BA gods: Potnia, Enyalios, Paion (syncretism) • Rituals o Bull leaping gone o Many small local changes => regional differentiation 

Greek religion after the Bronze Age: innovations New gods (don’t appear in Linear B records) • Apollo, aphrodite, artemis, Demeter • Athena, ares? (linear B names become epithets) Cult sites • New cults at old places o Ex: cult of Demeter at eleusis (on old Mycenaean site) • New cult sites o Ex: Apollo at Thermon (not previously occupied) • Temples: megaron construction o God replaces wanax, Big Man at center of community o Substitution of public for private space Hero cult • At bronze age tombs (tholoi) o Mycenaean remains treated as sacred to families, polis o Offerings left at tholoi as at shrines o • at dark age tombs o examples of Lefkandi  1050: large earth and timber heroon (“hero’s shrine”) built  occupants: man (died?), woman (killed?), horses (killed)  building immediately destroyed and buried o 1050-800: area focus of cult (votives from far as Cyprus) o 800 on: focus of regional cult and myth

10/09/2007 12:50:00

10/09/2007 12:50:00