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Katie Stringer Classical History Midterm Spring 2011 Short Essay 2 pages, 5 pts 1.

. How do we know what we know about the past? Identify and examine different kinds of primary sources for the study of classical history. What are the pros and cons of each kind? What is each kind the most reliable for conveying?

Historians and scholars know about the past from a multitude of sources including writing as well as material culture remains. Written words that are contemporary with the culture one is studying, such as graffiti, diaries, books, scrolls, ledgers, and a variety of others, are called primary sources. When evaluating writing as a primary source, one must be aware of the authors biases and motivations as well as their worldview and culture. These biases are still valuable and reveal even more about the author, his time, and the influences of others from that time. While sections of primary sources may be questionable to historians today, the context and information provided are still valuable to those who wish to learn about ancient culture. Aside from writing, primary sources also include art, oral histories, architecture, archaeological site trash piles or midden, burial sites, and other material culture remains. Because a limited number of people were literate throughout most of ancient Mediterranean history, archaeological remains are very valuable to fill in gaps of information about the people who lived there. Additionally, artifacts are generally less biased than written sources; the remains simply existed and were not usually created to serve any agenda other than their intended purpose. Artifacts and cultural remains still require analysis and interpretation to understand their purpose. The histories of Herodotus and Thucydides are examples of written primary sources related to ancient Greece. The two authors were contemporaries in the 5th century BCE, and

some of the information they provide may be considered secondary, such as the stories related to the Trojan War and Archaic Greece. Herodotus writings include a lot of information in a travelogue style, and a lot of the stories he tells are considered by many to be historically inaccurate. Yet the context he provides and his influences provide more information about Mediterranean thought process and prejudices. Thucydides histories also include biases that give insight into Greek life and culture. As an Athenian by birth, the author has a great insider viewpoint to the Peloponnesian Wars, but as an exiled ex-general, his criticisms of the polis and its decisions must be taken into account. The Roman historian Livy similarly provides primary information regarding early Roman history. His telling of the foundation of Rome, Ab Urbe Condita, is technically a secondary source since he was writing during the first century, but one can still glean information about Livys Rome from his history through his bias and writing style. Livy was pro-Republic but wrote during the time of Augustus, and he also believed that Rome was destined to conquer all. These factors were influential to his writing, and historians must be cautious when interpreting the documents Livy produced. Archaeological sites, such as the Etruscan cemeteries Cerveteri and Tarquinia, are also important primary sources. The architecture of burial houses or tombs gives historians some idea of the residential structures Etruscans built. The paintings inside and the grave goods give a glimpse into daily life and social hierarchy that would otherwise be unknown since the written sources from the Etruscans remain mostly untranslated. The art inside of the tombs also shows influence of other cultures: styles show the impact that Egypt and Greece had on the predecessors of the Romans. Scholars may also speculate about Etruscan attitudes about death, and the art gives an insight into the culture and experiences of Etruscan life.

Short Questions 1 page each, 2.5 pts each. 1. How do the changes in warfare in ancient Greece reflect the changes in society?

War is an inextricable element of society in ancient Greece, influencing nearly every aspect of society. Changes in the balance of military power often prefaced social changes. While the influence of war on culture is typically associated most readily with Sparta, this phenomenon extended throughout Greece. Sparta is the most straightforward example of the ties between changes in warfare and in society. Military excellence was central to Spartan society. Spartan men enjoyed almost radical egalitarianism, related to the interchangeable nature of hoplite soldiers on the battlefield. Even women in Sparta served as cogs in the war machine, and as such their power and status far exceeded of women anywhere else in the world at the time. Yet Aristotle criticized the Spartans' inability to adapt to social changes, and the decline of their military superiority after defeats by Thebes and eventually Rome led to the concurrent decline of Spartan culture. One large group of Greeks, the Helots, lost their freedom following military defeat by Sparta. They served as a slave-like subsidiary culture to Sparta for hundreds of years. They served as a source of labor and economic support for the Spartan military engine. In this way, shifts in military power became direct cultural shifts for the Helots, who outnumbered Spartans in the region where they lived. Military shifts impacted culture far beyond the Spartan region of Laconia, however. While the Greco-Persian Wars briefly allied the Greeks, the Peloponnesian War, which lasted over 20 years, had a greater impact on life everywhere on the peninsula. Athens lost most of its wealth and cultural preeminence following its defeat, slowing the growth of philosophy and mathematics in favor of the new Spartan influence. Yet Sparta was also devastated by the war,

and neither culture returned to the pre-war standards before Greece was eventually conquered by Macedon in the fifth century BCE. This also slowed the growth of democracy in favor of oligarchy, limiting freedoms for citizens throughout the ancient world for many years.

2. How do civilizations of the eastern Mediterranean culturally impact those in the western Mediterranean (include Greece in the west)? Greek and Roman cultures could not have developed fully and to the extent that they eventually did without the influences of other advanced cultures throughout the Mediterranean. Trade and contact were inevitable among the populations that lived around the sea; through these experiences Egypt, Turkey, Babylon, and other near-Eastern cultures had an impact on the development of Hellenic and Roman culture. Egyptian influence is evidenced in religion, art, and some architecture in Greece and Rome. Temples to Isis, an Egyptian god, were popular throughout Greece and later Rome throughout much of classical history. Art styles of Greek and Roman frescos also show the impact that Egyptian art had. Human forms in the Etruscan tombs at Cervetari show the differences in skin coloration of men and women like in Egyptian art, and the figures are shown in profile with two arms and legs visible at most times. Other Eastern groups, such as those in modern day Turkey, are also evidenced in Classical culture. The story of the Trojan War, the historian Herodotus, and mythological stories such as that of Europa all have connections with Asia Minor. Near Eastern cultures such as those in Syria, Palestine, and Babylon also impacted the development of Greece and later Rome. The neo-Assyrian empire, which was strongest from the ninth to seventh centuries BCE, covered

areas from Assyria to Egypt, and the king Ashurbanipal was innovative as a king who created one of the first libraries. The Minoans and Mycenaeans were also very influential to Classical history. The Greek language developed from the Mycenaean Linear language, and art styles such as frescos used on Crete were adopted by later Greeks. As the Greeks began to create their own culture, they borrowed extensively from other cultures they encountered, and as they colonized other areas of the Mediterranean, those groups continued to effect Hellenic culture.

3. What was the importance of public building in the ancient Mediterranean civilizations? In Greece the building of stone monuments was important for the idea of permanence. Influence from the Egyptians is obvious in many of the Greek styles, such as columns, and many of the stone buildings built for the public were temples. The agora was an open area for the public in most Greek poleis. This area was lined with public buildings, and it also served as a symbol of democracy and the role citizens played in their city. Theaters and ampitheaters provided an outlet for entertainment and expression, and government buildings supplied a forum for discussion of politics and administration. After Rome successfully won several wars, the excess of wealth paid in tribute resulted in public buildings and urban growth. As more people migrated to the city from the country farms, they required food and assistance, and a type of welfare was set up for them. War goods, tributes, and taxes made Rome incredibly wealthy; this wealth was used for, among other things, public buildings such as baths, fountains, entertainment venues, and for other public amenities. During the time of Julius Caesar, Pompey, and Crasus, public works and buildings were used to gain popularity with the population. In 65 BC, Julius Caesar was elected as aedile, and

while in that position he staged great gladiatorial shows, sponsored by the rich Crasus. Once Caesar became dictator he fixed the calendar, began an extensive building plan of harbors and a new senate house, founded colonies, and created provincial reforms. During Augustus reign, the emperor held games, plays and entertainment, and built stone theatres and aqueducts. Augustus claims to have built the senate-house and the Chalcidicum which adjoins it, the temple of Apollo on the Palatine with porticos, the temple of divine Julius, the Lupercal, the portico at the Flaminian circus, the state box at the great circus, and the temple of the Great Mother on the Palatine. Marcellus theatre and the Circus Maximus still stand to attest the power and might of the empire. These buildings were important to keeping the populous of Rome content with their rulers, especially when those rulers became dictators.

4. How has Greek philosophy influenced the philosophy of the Western world? Philosophy is still taught at almost all institutes of higher learning, and many students who study history, government or law are exposed to the Greek philosophers and their theories. Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle are three of the most recognizable Classical philosophers. Platos Theory of Forms was particularly influential on early Christians; relative forms and absolutes became a basis for western philosophy. Socrates helped establish the concepts of cynicism and questioning authority, paving the way for modern concepts such as academic rigor and even the scientific method. Aristotle was particularly influential on Western moral philosophy. His Nichomachean Ethics, among other works, was instrumental in establishing the concept of morality as virtuebased rather than strictly act-based. This would go on to serve as the primary secular influence on moral philosophy through the European Middle Ages and even to the present. He also

established the entanglement of moral and social norms, within the context of a given society, as essential to the concept of ethics. This idea colored much of the European Enlightenment movement and still influences even contemporary philosophers such as Alasdair MacIntyre. Later philosophers Epicurus and Zeno also influenced modern Western thought, and their philosophies of Epicureanism and Stoicism gave the Western world adjectives to describe certain people or ways of life. In the Classical Greek period epicurean referred to tranquility and pleasant life ways. Today many people who are considered to be epicureans enjoy the pleasures of life, almost to a hedonistic point; epicurean can also refer to food or wine. Zenos stoicism relied on acceptance of the world and living a virtuous life. Stoics were often involved in politics and their local community. Today, a person who is stoic is seen as serious, even though suffering. Zeno's work on the paradoxes of change and motion influenced the creation of calculus and have continued to impact not only philosophers but mathematicians and physicists right up to the present. Other philosophers such as Pythagoras and Euclid influenced mathematics, and their theories are still accepted and taught to all geometry students.