Chapter 5 - Assignment
Ancient Greek society was based on a devotion to the highest standards of excellence. This classical ideal of perfection was expressed through body, mind, form and spirit in Greek culture. From athletic prowess, the ancient Greeks sought the perfect body. Perfection of the mind was pursued through religion, philosophy and science. In sculpture and architecture, the perfect form was portrayed. Through comedies and tragedies, they found perfection of spirit. In every aspect of ancient Greek culture, could be found the classical ideal.
· Discuss how ancient Olympic games reflect Greek’s strive for the ideal.
Several factors seem to have been involved. One is the rise of the Greek polis, or city-state. As different locations grew, each wanted to showoff its power. So, they would send their best representatives to Olympia to become campions in a physical competition. Also, it could promote their development of military training. The Games were an attractive means of getting men fit. Another factor is the traditional Greek view that the gods rewarded the champion, so by establishing a competition aimed at producing supreme campions, they were thereby proclaiming the power and influence of the supreme god, Zeus. Zeus was thought to look down on the competitors, favoring some and denying victory to others. If an athlete was found to be cheating or bribing, then they would be fined, and the money was used to make a statue of Zeus. The Greeks tried to keep some aspects of politics out of the Olympics, but their efforts met with limited success. The Olympic truce was meant to end the hostilities throughout Greece, to allow competitors to travel and participate safely, but it was not always practiced.
· Have any of the ancient examples influenced our cultural ideals?
Antient Greece is responsible for so many of the world’s early steps into language, politics, education and the sciences. It was home to the first recognized historian Herodotus. He was one of the first writers to collect stories of ancient Greece and have them survive for others to read. It’s the birthplace of world-famous mathematicians Thales of Miletus, who asserted that an angle inscribed in a semicircle is a right angle, and Pythagoras of Samos, who invented the word mathematics, meaning “that which is learned.” It’s the foundation of Western philosophic thought. During the Hellenistic period, ancient Greece’s leading thinkers began searching for explanations of the world beyond the realm of mythology, they expanded the new field into one of research and conversation regarding the role of knowledge, the capabilities of the human senses, and how man exists within the world. Its founders designed the initial concept of democracy. The word democracy comes f...