CLAS 201 Test 3

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Xerxes
Son of Darius. King of Persia. Amassed an enormous force for Persian War II.
Themistocles
Leader of Athens at time of Persian War II. Served as archon in 494 and (possibly) served as strategos at the Battle of Marathon. After first Persian War worked to transform Athens from a land power into a naval one. Used vein of silver from the Laureion mines to build two hundred triremes. He was from the lower classes.
Triremes
Three-benched ships that require about 180 rowers.
oarsmen
Lower masses could be admitted into the Athenian military as oarsmen because rowing equipment was cheap. They would be paid a daily wage.
thetes
The fourth and lowest census group of citizens, according to the reform of Solon. Made up of citizens with property producing less than 200 medimnoi of grain. Served in the army as soldiers bearing light arms and in the navy as rowers. Had the right to take part in the popular assembly and to sit on juries.
Hellespont (Bosphorus)
The Hellespont is a narrow strait connecting the Aegean Sea to the Sea of Marmara. One of the Trukish Straits, along with its counterpart the Bosphorus. They both separate Europe from the mainland of Asia. Together, connect the Black Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. Xerxes had two pontoon bridges built across the width of the Hellespont in order that his huge army could cross from Persia into Greece. Both bridges were destroyed by a storm and Xerxes had the strait whipped.
Hellenic Congress
A number of Greek city-states entered into an alliance or crongress with each other when knowledge of Xerxes’ movement was brought forth. Athens and Sparta, being the largest states, were the most influential. City-states in northern Greece were too exposed for the congress to defend them. Therefore they handed over to Persian emissaries samples of local earth and water – a sign that they had capitulated and were servants of Persia. The creation of this congress implied that there would (under certain circumstances) be a coordinated effort on the part of those city-states that were intent on resisting the Persians. It was understood that the Spartans would take charge of any land army.
Thermopylae
300 hoplites under the command of King Leonidas marched north to meet the Persian troops in Thermopylae. They were joined by another 5000-7000 soldiers as they marched. Thermopylae was heavily fortified and positioned at the junction point of several mountains. This meant that only three men could pass through the narrows at a time and would prevent Xerxes from deploying his vast army at once. The battle lasted ~10 days. Leonidas’ forces are thought to have killed 25,000 Persians, while suffering 2,500 deaths. Due to a traitor, Persians were led behind the Greek forces. Surrounded by the enemy, Leonidas dismissed most of the troops. The Spartans and another 1500 troops remained. Most of them perished.
Leonidas
Spartan King during the second Persian War. Led 300 troops to Thermopylae where they suffered a glorious defeat.
300 Spartans
While Xerxes troops were marching south from Thessaly, both the Carneia festival and the Olympic Games were taking place at this time, so the Spartans felt they could only put a token force into the field – 300 hoplites under the command of King Leonidas. They marched north to Thermopylae.
Artemisium
A promontory due east of Thermopylae. Persians beached their ships here during the battle of Thermopylae. A storm destroyed some 400 of them. A sea battle then ensued in which neither side could get the upper hand.
Immortals
Xerxes’ personal body guard. They were led behind the Greek forces by the Greek traitor, Ephialtes at the battle of Thermopylae.
Salamis
The Battle of Salamis was fought between and Alliance of Greek city-states and the Persian Empire in 480 B.C.E., in the straits between the mainland and Salamis, an island in the Saronic Gulf near Athens. It marked the high-point of the second Persian invasion of Greece which has begun earlier in 480 BC. The Persian navy sailed into the Straits of Salamis and tried to block both entrances. In the cramped conditions of the Straits the great Persian numbers were an active hindrance, as ships struggled to maneuver and became disorganized. The Greek fleet formed in line and scored a decisive victory, sinking or capturing at least 300 Persian ships. As a result, Xerxes retreated to Asia with much of his army, leaving Mardonius to complete the conquest of Greece.
Mardonius
A leading Persian military commander during the Persian Wars with Greece. When Xerxes left after the Persian defeat at the Battle of Salamis, Mardonius became governor of those parts of Greece that had been conqured by the Persians. He sacked Athens, which had been deserted before the Battle of Salamis. He offered to return Athens and help rebuild the city if the Athenians would accept a truce, but the Athenians rejected the truce and prepared for another battle. Mardonius was killed in the ensuing battle by the Spartans (Battle of Plataea).
Plataea (479)
The final land battle during the second Persian invasion of Greece. It took place near the city of Plataea in Boeotia, and was fought between an alliance of the Greek city-states, including Sparta, Athens, Corinth and Megara, and the Persian Empire of Xerxes I. The general Mardonius was killed by the Greeks here. A large portion of the Persian army was trapped in its camp and slaughtered. This ended the Persian invasion.
Pausanias
A Spartan general. Nephew of Leonidas I, serving as regent after Leonidas’ death. Was responsible for the Greek victory over Mardonius and the Persians at the Battle of Plataea. Leader of the Hellenic League created to resist Persian aggression. Sent to command the Hellenic League’s military so Athens would not dominate. Was suspected of conspiring with the Persians, and was recalled to Sparta, then left Sparta on his own accord.
Mycale (479)
The Battle of Mycale was one of the two major battles that ended the second Persian invasion of Greece. It took place on the slopes of Mount Mycale, on the coast of Ionia, opposite the island of Samos. The battle was fought between an alliance of the Greek city-states, and the Persian Empire of Xerxes I. The allied fleet sailed to Samos, where the demoralized remnants of the Persian navy were based. The Persians, seeking to avoid a battle, beached their fleet below the slopes of Mycale, and, with the support of a Persian army group, build a palisaded camp. The Greeks decided to attack the Persians anyway, landing the fleet’s complement of marines to do so. The Greeks eventually routed the Persian troops, who fled to their camp. The Ionian Greek contingents in the Persian army defected, and the camp was assailed and a large number of Persians slaughtered. The Persian slips were then captured and burned. The complete destruction of the Persian navy, along with the destruction of Mardonius’s army at Plataea, decisively ended the invasion of Greece. After Plataea and Mycale, the allied Greeks would take the offensive against the Persians.
Aeschylus’ Persians
An Athenian tragedy by the ancient Greek playwright Aeschylus. It is the oldest surviving play in the history of theatre. It dramatises the Persian response to news of their military defeat at the Battle of Salamis. The play is also notable for being the only extant Greek tragedy that is based on contemporary events. The Persians was the second part of a trilogy that won the first prize at the Athens’ Dionysia festival in 472 BCE. In The Persians, Xerxes invites the gods’ enmity for his hubristic expedition against Greece. The focus of the drama is the defeat of Xerxes’ navy at Salamis.
Dionysus
God of wine (vital fluids), enthusiasm (having a god within oneself), ritual madness, masks/theatre. Son of Zeus and the mortal Semele. Was carried to term in Zeus’s thigh. Many of the myths involving Dionysus follow the same theme: Dionysus arrives in town and proclaims his divinity. Because he is born of a mortal mother, some citizens (usually members of the royal family) deny his divinity. They meet with a terrible fate (suicide, madness, dismemberment of their children, etc.). Dionysus goes by various names – Iacchos, Zagreos, Bacchus.
Semele
A mortal who was impregnated by Zeus. She was the daughter of King Cadmus of Thebes. A bit before she was about to deliver, Hera paid her a visit in disguise. Jealous of Semele, she played on the young woman’s suspicions and told her to get Zeus to appear to her in his true guise. Semele did and was utterly consumed when he appeared to her as a thunderbolt. As the flames devoured her, Zeus rescued the fetus and carried him to term in his thigh. And so Dionysus was born.
Zeus
Father of Dionysus. True form is a lightning bolt.
wine
When vegetation starts growing in abundance (especially ivy and grapes), this is a sign that Dionysus is on the scene. When one drinks wine, one is taking in Dionysus himself.
vital fluids
Wine, blood, sap, semen. Dionysus is the god of these.
mania (madness)
Associated with Dionysus. Result of drinking wine and taking in the god himself.
theatre
Dionysus is the god of this. Plays regarded collectively as a form of art. The world of actors etc.
maenads
Dionysus’ followers (most often females). Also known as Bacchants. They carry a thyrsus. As a manic band, they possess unusual strength and can perform a sparagmos. According to myth, if a bystander refuses to involve himself in the Dionysisan rituals, these might treat such a person with violence.
thyrsus
A rod topped with grapes carried by the maenads.
Origins of tragedy
The genre starts with Thespis who is responsible for extemporizing on the dithyramb. Perhaps initially the first hypokrites played the character of Dionysus or a character who experienced Dionysus’ wrath.
dithyramb
A choral sung in honour of Dionysus.
extemporization
In the case of the origin of tragedy, Thespis (as choryphaeus or choral leader) separated himself from the traditional chorus and answered it or engaged it in dialogue.
Thespis
Responsible for extemporizing on the dithyramb. He was the choryphaeus (choral leader). He was the first victor of the Dionysia in 534.
Hypokrites
The Greek word for actor. Literally translates to “answerer”. Perhaps the first played the character of Dionysus or a character who experienced Dionysus’ wrath.
tragedy = goat song
The word tragedy means literally a “goat song” and this is thought to refer either to the prize that the early victors carried away (a goat) or to the chorus members who might have been dressed as satyrs.
satyrs
Mythological creatures who were half human and half goat. The chorus members might have been dressed as these in tragedies.
choregos
A wealthy citizen who would pay the playwright a fee and foot the bill for the actors as well as the chorus (who would have to be provided with costumes and paid for their rehearsal time) for the Dionysia festival.
orchestra
The central part of the theatre (on its floor). The dancing place. This was a circle that the chorus occupied. It had a diameter of some 12-15 meters. On its edge was a structure called a skene.
skene
This building served as a storage space (for props and costumes) as well as a setting (a palace, a king’s tent, etc.). Before its main doors, which faced the audience, was a bema or raised platform. This was the space reserved for the actors. Sometimes the wall was painted over to provide background scenery that suggested further the setting of the play.
ekkuklema
A platform on wheels that would often be used to carry something from inside the skene to the bema. It could be used for very dramatic effect.
mechane
A crane of sorts. This was attached to the roof of the skene and would often carry an actor down from its roof onto the bema below. It was used (very often at the end of plays, especially Euripidean ones) to usher in a god who would settle the dispute or explain why certain events had unfolded as they had.
parodoi/exodoi
The ramps that allowed the audience to enter and exit the theatre. When the plays were being performed, the chorus might use them to enter the theatre or a character appearing for the first time would use them as well. If a character entered from the right ramp, it meant he was coming from closeby; if from the left one, he was coming from a distance.
protagonist
The main character of a theatrical narrative, which ends up in conflict because of the antagonist and with whom the audience is intended to most identify. When three actors played all of the main dramatic roles in a tragedy; the leading role was played by the protagonist, while the other roles were played by deuteragonist and the tritagonist.
deuteragonist
The second most important character, after the protagonist and before the tritagonist. May switch from being with or against the protagonist depending on the deuteragonist’s own conflict/plot.
tritagonist
The third most important character of a narrative, after the protagonist and deuteragonist. The third member of the acting troupe. May act as the instigator or cause of the sufferings of the protagonist. Despite being the least sympathetic character of the drama, he occasions the situations by which pity and sympathy for the protagonist are excited.
chorus
12-15 characters who would sing and dance and interact with the actors. Often they are responding to events on the bema and provide the audience with the emotional register of the play. They are not affected by the events of the play to nearly the same degree as the central actors themselves. Often they are (collectively) the old men or women of a certain city, or the companions of a hero, or (in the case of Aeschylus’ Eumenides) a band of Erinyes.
prologos
The first speech of the play (spoken by an actor) and it essentially tells the audience when and where the play is taking place, who is involved, what has been happening until then.
parados
The entrance song of the chorus. It too provides greater dramatic context and sets the emotional tone to the play.
episode
This involves an actor either on his own, interacting with another actor or interacting with the chorus. Something happens or the character is reacting to something that has happened. Each furthers the action and dramatic tension of the play. A discovery can be made, news learned, a decision reached etc. They are generally spoken. There are usually three.
stasimon
A choral song and dance in which, again, the chorus responds to the actions of the Episodos and prepares the audience for what’s to come in the next Episodos. They are sung (and the chorus dances at the same time to flute music)
epilogos
Digest tragedy climax that occurred in last episode.
exodos
The final song of the chorus. The chorus departs the orchestra and wraps things up. Often gives depressing wisdom.
Aeschylus
One of the earlier playwrights. He fought at marathon and therefore saw Athens evolve into a first tier state. Seven of his plays have survived. The only extant trilogy is the Oresteia.
Oresteia
Aeschylus’ only extant trilogy. Consist of the Agamemnon, the Choephoroi, and the Eumenides. An attempt on Aeschylus’ part to understand the trappings of justice.
Agamemnon
The first play in the Oresteia trilogy. Agamemnon is on his way home from Troy. In his lengthy absence, Clytemnestra his wife has been sleeping with Aegisthus. The latter does not like Agamemnon because Agamemnon’s father (Atreus) served his brother’s children (Aegisthus’ brothers) up to him at a cannibalistic feast. Clytemnestra too is angry with Agamemnon because the king sacrificed their daughter, Iphigeneia, when he was sailing off to Troy. She intends mischief and, to achieve this more effectively, has sent their son Orestes away. Agamemnon comes home and is brutally axed to death by his wife. The play ends with Clytemnestra and Aegisthus ruling over the city.
Choephoroi
The second play in the Oresteia trilogy. Takes place a number of years after the Agamemnon. Electra (the daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra) mourns her father’s murder still. She is awaiting the return of her brother Orestes so that he will exact revenge on her mother and paramour. Orestes does return and, after a little wiffle-waffling, dispatches Aegisthus and his own mother.
Eumenides
Orestes is being hounded by the Erinyes. They are slowly driving him mad. Apollo has purified him of his murder of Clytemnestra (it was at Apollo’s behest that he killed his mother) but the Erinyes are not satisfied. It is their job to torture Orestes, whatever Apollo thinks. On the one had Apollo defends Orestes; on the other the Erinyes act as members of the prosecution. In the end the jury decides that Orestes was innocent. The Erinyes are angry and prepared to attack the city, but Athena invites them to become protectors of the city instead and enjoy all sorts of honours. They agree and change their names from Erinyes to Eumenides (the kindly ones).
Agamemnon
Returns from Troy. Is murdered by his wife Clytemnestra in the Agamemnon.
Clytemnestra
Agamemnon’s wife. Is having an affair with Aegisthus while Agamemnon is fighting in Troy. Wants revenge for Agamemnon sacrificing their daughter.
Aegisthus
Is having an affair with Clytemnestra, Agamemnon’s wife. Dislikes Agamemnon because Agamemnon’s father Atreus cooked and served 8 of 9 children to Thyestes. This chracter is the only surviving child fo Thyestes. He and the gods think justice needs to be done.
Electra
Daughter of Agamenon and Clytemnestra. Wants revenge for her father’s murder.
Orestes
Son of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra. Avenges his father by killing his mother. Is then pursued by the Erinyes.
Erinyes
The daughters of Ouranos; they avenge any violence that has taken place within the family. They pursue Ouranos for killing his mother. Athena offers them to be protectors of the city and they become Eumenides.
Apollo
Told Orestes to kill his mother. Acts as Orestes’ protector from the Erinyes. Cleanses Orestes from his guilt.
Athena
She learns Orestes’ story and dcides on a trial by jury – the first jury in Greece. When Orestes is found innocent, she offers the Erinyes a home in the state and changes them to Eumenides to watch over the state.
Sophocles
A playwright a bit younger than Aeschylus. He lived through the glory days of the Athenian empire. He was a general and a priest, as well as a respected playwright. He died at the age of 96, when Athens was on the verge of being defeated by Sparta and losing much of the wealth and prestige she amassed in the wake of the Persian wars. Of his 123 plays, only seven have survived. The best known is the Oedipus Rex.
Antigone
The daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta, Oedipus’ mother. The subject of a story in which she attempts to secure a respectable burial for her brother Polynices, even though he was a traitor to Thebes and the law forbids even mourning for him, on pain of death.
Ajax
A Greek tragedy that chronicles the fate of the warrior Ajax after the events of the Iliad, but before the end of the Trojan War.
Oedipus Rex
The most famous of Sophocles’ plays. An Athenian tragedy that chronicles the story of Oedipus, a man who becomes the king of Thebes who was destined from birth to murder his father Laius and marry his mother Jocasta. The play is an example of a classic tragedy, noticeably containing an emphasis on Oedipus’s own faults contribute to the tragic hero’s downfall, as opposed to having fate be the sole cause.
Oedipus
Born to Laius (the king of Thebes) and Jocasta. The Delphic Oracle declared that the son of Laius and Jocasta would kill his father and sleep with his mother. The servant responsible for exposing the baby took pity on him and handed him over to a herdsman who inturn carried him to the city of Corinth. There he was adopted by the king of the city and his wife. When told he was the bastard son of the king and queen, this character consulted the oracle of Delphi and discovered he was fated to kill his father and sleep with his mother. To escape this fate, he swears never to return to Corinth and soon after meets his real father at a crossroads. He winds up killing him when a misunderstanding ensues. He then travels on to Thebes where he solves the riddle of a Sphinx. In gratitude, the population gives him the queen’s hand in marriage. This character therefore marries his mother and fathers four children on her. After several years, Thebes is suffering from a plague. Oedipus makes inquires of the oracle, only to discover that the plague is raging bc Laius’ murderer is still on the loose. Oedipus swears to solve the mystery and to exile the guilty party. He also consults Teiresias who tells him he is guilty. He gradually discovers the terrible truth, as does Jocasta. He puts out his eyes. After embracing his daughters one last time, he will suffer exile.
Laius
The king of Thebes. Husband of Jocasta. Father of Oedipus. Is killed by Oedipus. He got his wife pregnant (in a bout of drunkenness), then exposed the son on the slopes of Mount Cithaeron. He also had his ankles bound.
Jocasta
Mother of Oedipus. Wife of Laius and then of Oedipus. She has four children with Oedipus. After discovering the truth about Oedipus, she hangs herself.
Creon
Oedipus’s brother-in-law. Oedipus is convinced that he wants to take control of the city.
Teiresias
A famous blind prophet. Tells Oedipus that he is Laius’s murderer and is guilty of even worse.
Merope
The wife of Polybus. Adoptive mother of Oedipus.
Polybus
The king of Corinth. He and his wife adopt Oedipus.
Euripides
The third great Athenian playwright. 18 of his plays have survived. He too wrote at a time when Athens was on the verge of being defeated by Sparta. He tends to be more realistic than Aeschylus and Sophocles. He is also much more iconoclastic: he often presents the gods as offending parties, ones who cannot possibly serve as a source of justice.
Medea
An ancient Greek tragedy written by Euripides, based upon the myth of Jason and Medea. The plot centers on the barbarian protagonist as she find her position in the Greek world threatened, and the revenge she takes against her husband Jason who has betrayed her for another woman.
Hippolytus
An Ancient Greek tragedy by Euripides, based on the myth of Hippolytus, son of Theseus. Part of a trilogy.
Bacchae
The most famous of Euripides plays. Dionysus has come to Thebes. Whereas everyone has recognized him, the king refuses to do so, never mind his mother and her sisters have run off to participate in the orgia.
Pentheus
The king of Thebes in the play Bacchae. He refuses to recognize Dionysus when he has come to Thebes. Despite the evidence brought to his attention, he refuses to relent and Dionysus “inspires” him to dress up in women’s clothing so that he can spy on the orgia that so intrigue him. Once he is within sight of the half-crazed maenads, he is attacked by his mother and sisters and torn to pieces.
Dionysus
Comes to Thebes and the king refuses to recognize him. He takes revenge by having the king torn to pieces by his own mother.
Agave
King Pentheus’s mother. She has run off to participate in Dionysus’s orgia. Attacks and tears to pieces her son at Dionysus’ behest.
Comedy
Much less “uptight” than tragedy. the language was often obscene, and public personalities could be insulted and criticised without mercy.
Aristophanes
A comic playwright of ancient Athens. Eleven of his 40 plays survive virtually complete. These, together with fragments of some of his other plays, provide the only real examples of a genre of comic drama known as Old comedy. His powers of ridicule were feared and acknowledged by influential contemporaries. Wrote political comedy situated around the polis.
Lysistrata
A comedy by Aristophanes set during the Peloponnesian War. Persuades the women of Greece to withhold sexual privileges from their husbands and lovers as a means of forcing the men to negotiate peace – a strategy, however, that inflames the battle between the sexes.
Frogs
A comedy written by Aristophanes. The Athenians decide they need a good tragic playwright to come back from the dead. Aeschylus and Euripides each try to prove they are better to bring back.
Acharnian
Play by Aristophanes. Notable for its absurd humour, its imaginative appeal for an end to the Peloponnesian War. Aristophanes reveals his resolve not to yield to attempts at political intimidation. One of the few examples we have of a highly satirical genre of drama known as Old Comedy. The protagonist, Dikaiopolis, miraculously obtains a private peace treat with the Spartans and he enjoys the benefits of peace in spite of opposition from some of his fellow Athenians.
Dicaeopolis (Dikaiopolis)
The protagonist of the Archarnian. He obtains a private peace treaty with the Spartans.
Lamachus
The Athenian general in the Archarnians.
parabasis
A segment of the play when the choral leader would strip off his costume and address some very serious aspect of public business. The jokes would stop for a five minute interva, the playwright would have his say on some very serious business, then the choral leader would don his costume again and the antics would continue.
Dionysia
The festival instituted by Pisistratus in 534 BCE in honour of Dionysus. The central feature of this festival was a competition between various choirs that extemporized on the dithyramb (in other words, performed simple tragedies). It took place in the spring and involved the entire city population. Some 20000 people would attend the ceremonies (including the plays) in the city theatre. Businesses closed down and a holiday atmosphere prevailed. On the first day of the festival, there would be a choral competition. Ten choruses consisting of 50 people each sang dithyrambs. Over the next three days the tragedies would be performed. On each day a playwright and his company would perform his plays – he would have written three tragedies together with a satyr play. Therefore, the city would watch 12 plays. On the last day of the festival, the comedies would be performed. Five would be performed.
Pre-Socratics
Philosphers who generally speaking attempt to determine the underlying substance of the universe.
Miletus
A town in Asia Minor. Hometown of Thales.
Milesian school
Philosophers from Miletus.
arche
The foundational element of the universe, or the material from which all things arise and which they eventually dissolve into.
Thales (550): water
The earliest formal philosopher. From Miletus. He “flourished” in roughly 600 BCE. He was a geometer and developed techniques for calculating the height of buildings and the distance of ships from shore. He also predicted the date of an eclipse. Proposed the arche was water – because it can exist as vapour, solid, and liquid and (possibly) because it makes life possible. Will not be satisfied that god causes things.
Anaximander (520)): to apeiron (infinite)
He posited that the arche would have to be limitless in scope to serve as the source of all material objects; it would also have to be something that was, ultimately, unchanging, if all objects arose from it and dissolved into it too. to apeiron – the limitless. An eternal, endless mass of basic material. Abstract speculation. First Greek to publish a map of the world.
infinite worlds
Anaximander believed their were multiple worlds, which came into being and vanished.
evolution
Anaximander believed that life started in the sea, and that men gradually took form in fish.
Anaximenes (500): air
Milesian philospher (c. 525). He proposed that the arce is air – because it condenses (to produce solid objects) and experiences rarefaction to produce liquids and gases. He posits that earth is a flat disk that is comprised of condensed air. It releases air (in gaseous form) which ignites and forms the star. he attempts to find a physical cause for phenomena.
Xenophanes of Colophon
Gods or god is perfect. Gods cannot vary from one population’s perception to the next. Everyone sees their gods as like themselves
Elea (Sicily)
Greek city in south Italy. Xenophanes moved here and established a school. Members of this school include Parmenides and Zeno. The Eleatics have the contention that 1) there is a reality that lies beyond the mere physical world, 2) the senses do not help us perceive this reality and 3) it is logos or reason alone that will help us understand the nature of this true realm.
one god
Xenophanes argues that Zeus and the other gods are not truly gods. Instead there is one god, unchanging and perfect in his exaction of morality.
unchanging/eternal
Xenophanes argued that there is one god who does not change.
“If horses and cattle had hands….”
Xenophanes of Colophon thought that if horse and cattle had hands and could shape their gods into statues, these statues would depict horses and cattle.
Parmenides: ‘it exists or doesn’t’
Born in the Greek city of Elea. He was influenced by Xenophanes. Speaks of two realms, one governed by logos (reason) and one governed by opinion (doxa) and the senses. The latter is illusory and leads to many false consclusions and beliefs. It is logos that reveals to us the nature of reality. If something exists it must have always done so and will continue to do so, as existence does not come about in stages but lasts for all time. An object that exists cannot change in size, colour, shape, or appearance.
unchanging reality
Parmenides concludes that reality consists of one sphere that extends equally and infinitely in all directions. It always was, and will always be. There is no change. There is no void or emptiness and therefore there is no motion. If one’s senses tells us this is not so, this is because they are prone to leading us astray.
Zeno: paradoxes, no motion
A student of Parmenides. Proved Parmenides assertions using his famous mathematical paradoxes. He concludes in one that there is no such thing as motion.
Leucippus and Democritus (460)
The atomists. To some degree, they agree with Parmenides – that reality consists of unchanging elements.They believe that matter can be broken down into atomoi. THere is void and these atoms can join together to form objects, but there is no real heat or cold or change – these are illusions that combinations of atoms give rise to. The senses are therefore illusory and logos reigns supreme once again.
atomoi
Matter’s smallest component. They are “uncuttable” or “indivisible”. Reminiscent of Parmenides’ sphere only on a microscopic scale.
Heraclitus
Was born in Ephesus (in Asia Minor, and “flourished” around 500 BCE). He is known as the “riddling” philosopher, or the “dark” philosopher, or the “obscure” philosopher. His theories were difficult to understand. Completely at odds with the Eleatic school of thought.
“all is flux”
Heraclitus’s principle that everything is in a change. One cannot step in the same river twice nor touch the same object twice. The passage of time is constantly altering objects. This constant state of change is due to the war of opposing qualities – hot and cold, moist and dry, hard and soft etc. But these opposites are themselves related to each other somehow. If the universe is stable, that is because there is balance at large.
senses
Heraclitus argues that people reach the truths of the earth’s balance by the exercise of reason but also through our senses.
logos
Reason. Heraclitus argues that the state of harmony between two opposing forces is brought about by logos.
bow
The world is best exemplified this way according to Heraclitus. It is being pulled in opposite directions yet balance comes about through these two opposing forces.
Sophists
A group of teachers/philosophers who often travelled from polis to polis, offering education for a price. Promised to history, logic, literature, etc. in order to speak well. They promised to teach arete or virtue. Influential and often highly accomplished. Plato did not think highly of them and so we associate them with superficial reasoning, a near intellectual dishonesty. Plato distrusted them because he that virtue could not be taught. And if it could be, it wasn’t something that a teacher would impart for money. Plato also charged them with teaching students to argue with a view to winning, and not with a view to discover the truth. Victory in debate was everything for them and their students.
Gorgias
A sophist with a very great reputation.
Protagoras
A sophist known for teaching students to make the weaker argument look stronger than the stronger one.
“Man is the measure of all things”
Stated by Protagoras. By this he means there is no objective truth, only the truth as it is constructed by humans.
rhetoric
Valued in city-states because in order to get ahead in the system one had to speak well.
nomos (custom, law) versus physis (nature)
Socrates
Lived from 469-399. He witnessed Athens at its most prosperous and Athens at its most despairing. He was a stonemason and desperately poor. He fought in various military campaigns, always serving with distinction. He would ceaselessly engage citizens in abstract discussions. He taught the children of wealthy families, thereby earning the enmity of the proponents of radical democracy towards the end of his life. He was put on trial for corrupting the young and introducing foreign gods to the state. He was found guilty and put to death by drinking hemlock.
definitions
Socrates was mostly interested in these. He wanted to find the definition of virtue, love, justice, piety, etc. By searching for these, he had to examine how we know things and determine the existence of things.
logic
ethics
Socrates concentrated on this in his later years.
Socratic question (how much Plato, how much Socrates)
Cannot know with certainty which teachings are Plato’s and which are Socrates’.
no written works
Socrates left none of these behind. For him, verbal argument was the end all and be all of true speculation.
dialectics
Method that consisted of asking questions, forming theories based on the answers, then testing theories with further, more penetrating questions. If a hypothesis could withstand the interrogation without contradiction, then this would be accepted as an established truth. If it revealed a contradiction, then the speakers would have to backtrack and come up with a different hypothesis or line of speculation. Developed by Socrates.
Plato
Philosopher born in Athens in 428 of aristocratic descent. He was taught by Socrates. Founded the Academy. Had certain political convictions and travelled to Syracuse (Sicily) to put them in action. At one point was sold into slavery, then bought by an admirer and sent back to Athens.
Academy
A school founded by Plato dedicated to philosophy. Became one of the leading “finishing” schools of the Greco-Roman world.
dialogues
Plato’s work consists of a series of these. They feature Socrates talking with other characters, most of them historical. Plato/Socrates pursues definitions in these works.
Apology
One of Plato’s dialogues that reports on Socrates’ trial.
Republic
One of Plato’s dialogues. Theory of the Forms was put forth in this dialogue. In this dialogue Socrates and a number of companions try to reach a definition of justice.
definition of justice
Characters in Plato’s Republic try to reach this.
Ideal city-state
Socrates describes his version of this in Plato’s Republic. It roughly parallels Sparta.
Theory of Forms
In Plato’s Republic. Plato argues there is a form or idea of an object to which we refer (with our minds) when we call this object its name. This is also true of abstract ideas such as love, justice, piety etc. Reality, then, is this realm in which the ideas circulate, not the physical domain which we inhabit. We apprehend (if we are philosophers) the ideal realm through dialectic.
Allegory of the Cave
Found in Plato’s Republic. Most men are men seated in a dark cave, with his limbs bound. Their view of reality is based ont he statues of objects people are carrying around and which are illuminated through the shifting flames of a fire. The philosopher, on the other hand, is someone who has freed himself and escaped to the light. He sees things as themselves and in the clarity of day.
Aristotle
384-322. He was an Athenian but a Macedonian (a region north of Greece). His father had been a physician to the Macedonian royal household, but realizing his son’s brilliance, he sent him off to Athens when he was 18 to study. He studied at the Academy and swiftly established himself as “the mind of the Academy”. He studied under Plato and remained in Athens for 20 years. After Plato’s death he left the city. In Macedonia, Aristotle tutored Alexander the Great. He founded his own school when he returned to Athens at a later stage. His work can be divided into those intended for his students and those intended for the population at large. He wrote on virtually every topic: politics, metaphysics, poetry, rhetoric, etc.
Lyceum
The school founded by Aristotle in Athens.
Hylomorphism
Aristotle’s model that says all objects consist of hyle and form morphe.
morphe
Form. The essential shape, colour, size etc. that makes an object an object. A statue is marble shaped into the likeness of a person or god. The shaping, the curves, the lines etc. would be the form of the statue. A human is flesh but flesh according to a specific design.
hyle
Matter. It is the basic building blocks of an object. In a case of a house this will be bricks; in the case of a word it will be letters, etc. There is proximate matter and non-proximate matter. The proximate (or immediate) matter for a house is its bricks; the non-proximate matter for a house is clay. Matter on its own exists in a state of potentiality. Bricks on their own are a potential house, not an actual one. Actuality is brought about by form.
Third Man Argument
Aristotle’s attempt to disprove Plato’s Theory of the Forms. If there is a form for every object, wouldn’t logic cause us to understand that there must be a form governing the form, then a form for that, and so on ad infinitum?
Golden Mean
In Aristotle’s philosophy, it is the desirable middle between two extremes, one of excess and the other of deficiency. For example courage, a virtue, if taken to excess would manifest as recklessness and if deficient as cowardice.
Physics, Poetics, Metaphysics
Aristotle’s writings.
Delian League (477)
A league that would safeguard Greek communities over in Ionia. The league would also lead to opportunities of expansion for ambitious parties. It was created after the second Persian invasion. It was a league that poleis could voluntarily join. By paying an appropriate tribute – one in proportion to the wealth of one’s state – each member would be granted the protection of the combined forces of the league as a whole. Members would share friends and enemies in common. Intended to be democratic. Each member state would meet in an assembly and be allowed one vote when it came to determining the league’s combined course of action.
Delos
The headquarters of the Delian League. It was situated between the Greek mainland and Ionia. It was also sacred to Apollo and therefore of cultural/religious significance to all Greeks. The league’s treasury was situated here and this is where important meetings were held.
Pausanias (discredited)
A Spartan responsible for the victory at Plataea who had proven corrupt when, after Plataea, he had sailed to Asia Minor and conducted further operations against the Persians.
Themistocles (ostracized)
The leader of Athens in 477 who was immensely popular with a wide variety of Greeks. Had heavy walls secretly thrown up about the city. He also had the Piraeus (the Athenian port) fortified. This was all to prevent the city from being attacked by other Greek parties who were upset by the Athenian influence in the Delian League. Ostracized through machinations on Cimon’s part. He wound up in Persia.
Cimon
Son of Miltiades, the highly successful general responsible for the victory at Marathon. He challenged Themistocles’ control of government. Power base was the aristocracy. He was a great admirer of Sparta and anxious to establish good relations with them.
Eurymedon (463)
Cimon scored a huge victory against the Persians at this place in 469 (in Asia Minor). Most Greek territories were no longer threatened to the same degree as in the past. The Peace of Callias would take effect in 450 BCE and end (temporarily) overt hostilities between Persia and Greece.
Aristides
An Athenian involved with the Hellenotamiai.
Hellenotamiae
Assessed the wealth of one’s state and therefore how much of a tribute they were expected to pay. Under Aristides (an Athenian) and these men, each state was treated with due consideration.
Carystus
A city subdued by the Persians in 490 and joined the Persians in 480. It refused to join the Delian league and was attacked by the Athenians and forced to join. As a former Persian ally, they did not feel they were at risk from being harmed by Persia and therefore wished to save itself the annual fee they would have to pay if they were to join the league. Carystus is located on the southern point of Euboea. it is on the sea-route that connects Athens to the Hellespont and so to the Black Sea region. Athens couldn’t afford to let this city remain neutral. Athens feared other city-states would refuse to join the league and just enjoy protection without paying any dues due to “herd immunity”. The attack on Carystus was a violation of the voluntary nature of the league.
Naxos
Naxos was an early member of the league but decided membership was no longer necessary. The Athenians said no, claiming membership in the league would last until all member states agreed together to disband it. They laid siege to the city, finally took it, destroyed its walls, confiscated its fleet and barred it from the Delian League assembly.
Thasos
An island that discovered a lucrative gold0mine. The Athenians claimed this for themselves. The island protested and was put under siege for three years – and finally surrendered.
Thucydides
An Athenian citizen who served as a general int he Peloponnesian War. He was put in charge of the campaign for Amphipolis, yet the city was acquired by the Spartans. The Athenians blamed him for this defeat and sent him into exile for twenty years. In exile, he was able to travel to various Peloponnesian states and see for himself how they were conducting the war. In exile he composed his famous History of the Peloponnesian War. Known for his careful chronology and caution in using multiple sources. He was also interested in power – what it leads people to do and how it shapes city policies. He presents a view – that might is right. He is interested in psychology, how men react in adversity, what they will do to retain power, how the Athenian democracy got out of hand, how traditional morality rests uncomfortably with pragmatics. He is the father of political science and realpolitik.
Corcyra, Epidamnus and Corinth
An island off the NW coast of Greece. It was a colony of Corinth (an ally of Sparta). Corcyra laid siege to Epidamnus who wished to expel the oligarchs who were popular in Corcyra. It defeated the Corinthians in a sea battle and Epidamnus surrendered to it. Both Corinty and Corcyra appealed to Athens to support them in their battle. Athens made a defensive treaty with Corcyra. If the latter was attacked, Athens would come to its defense. In a later battle, Athens intervened and caused the Corinthians to withdraw. Corinth complained to Sparta.
Potidaea
In the northern part of the Aegean. A member of the Delian League but also a colony of Corinth. Athens ordered the city to demolish part of its walls. The city refused and rebelled. The Athenians besieged the city, which received some help from Corinth. This too provoked tensions between Athens and Sparta.
Megara
A member of the Peloponnesian League and a Spartan ally. It had helped the Corinthians at Potidaea. Its economic well-being depended on trade.
Megaran Decrees
Athens published these to prohibit Megara from trading with Athens or any of its allies. This was a violation of the 30 Years Peace.
Archidamus
A King of Sparta who was reluctant to engage the Athenians in hostilities.
Archidamian War
(431-421). The first stage of the Peloponnesian War.
Peloponnesian War
Fought between Sparta and its allies and Athens and its allies. It lasted 27 years (from 431-404 BCE), with a period of truce. It marks the decline of the polis. It pits one type of society against another. Athens was an open society and Sparta was a closed one.
Pericles
Strategos in charge of Athens. He urged the population not to meet the Spartans in battle after provocation. Told all inhabitants of Attica to assemble in Athens itself and take refuge behind the walls with their belongings. Gave a speech over the fallen soldiers called “Pericles’ Funeral Oration”. Succumbed to the plague the following year.
Plague
Broke out in Athens the year after the Spartans tried to attack. Killed thousands of Athenians who for the second time took refuge in the city, to escape the Spartans’ second invasion of Attica.
Cleon
A tradesman, he championed the faction in the city. Liked to play to the crowd, form policies that would stroke his followers the right way. Under his leadership, Athens started to send more expeditions agains the Peloponnese. Tried to stir the helots to rebel against their Spartan masters. Proposed that all of the Mytilenean men be killed and the women and children sold into slavery.
Diodotus
A speaker in the Mytilenean Debate. His proposal counteracted Cleon’s and a second ship was dispatched to command the ship to return.
Mytilene
A city that was encouraged to revolt against Athens. It was a powerful polis on the island of Lesbos. Was promised Spartan help which did not come. After a year of struggle, was finally captured by Athenian forces.
Pylos
In the southern Peloponnese and adjoins Messenia. Demosthenes (the Athenian general) initiated operation here to get the helots to rebel. Cleon forced captured Spartans to surrender to him. These were held as hostages and taken to Athens. Sparta then negotiated with Athens, offering to end the war. Cleon refused. Sparta temporarily suspended operation in Attica.
Sphacteria
Spartan strategy in Archidamian War
Sparta initially invaded Attica with an allied army of 30,000 hoplites. Their plan was to burn farms and field and so provoke Athenians to march out against them. In battle Spartans would defeat their enemy. This was their plan but due to Pericles’ strategy, the Spartans ended up retreating in frustration. After their second attack, when Athenians mostly succumbed to the plague, Sparta changed its strategy. They now tried to get Athenian allies to leave the Delian League.
Brasidas
A Spartan commander. Had been waging war in Thrace for some time, his objective being to wrest various allies fromt eh Athenians.
Amphipolis
A city that the Athenians had founded to consolidate their position in Thrace. Brasidas was conduction operations here in 422. Cleon led an Athenian force against, and both leaders died. With both leaders dead, both Athens and Sparta were ready to make peace.
Thucydides exiled
Nicias
An Athenian moderate with aristocratic connections. He proposed another 30 Year Peace. Was later chosen to lead the expedition against Sicily.
Peace of Nicias (421)
Would return both parties to the status quo ante. The Spartans agreed (especially when their captured soldiers were returned) and this treaty was struck. Not all Athenians were happy that peace had been struck, especially the democratic contingent. This faction consisted primarily of thetes who had been manning the Athenian fleet and paid in return.
Alcibiades
An ambitious aristocrat. His first initiative involved inciting Argos to attack Sparta. He then turned to Sicily. He championed for Egesta’s cause and argued that if Sicily were defeated by the Athenians, the city would win itself a huge new source of revenue and would be in a position of fantastic strength when the war with Sparta was renewed. Was chosen with two other leaders to lead the expedition. After the trial for the mutilated herms, he was found innocent and allowed to sail. During his absence, another trial was held and he was found guilty. A ship was dispatched to bring him home be he managed to escape to Sparta. He told Sparta to give him a fleet and he would cause Athens’ allies to leave the alliance.
Melos
Melian Dialogue
Euripides’ Trojan Women
Sicily
Consisted of numerous wealthy Greek cities not affiliated with either Athens or Sparta. Some cities were Dorian in origin and therefore more drawn to Sparta.
Egesta
A city in Sicily. At war with Selinus, another Greek city in Sicily. Approached Athens (in 415), notably Alcibiades. Had no money to pay the Athenians.
Syracuse
Sicily’s most powerful polis. Gave support to Selinus. Was placed under siege by the Athenians. Managed to break the siege wall. Defeated the Athenians in a large naval battle. Virtually the entire Athenian force was either killed or captured.
Herms
Religious statues that were mutilated in Athens just before the Sicily expedition departed. Rumour had it that Alcibiades was responsible.
Hermes (Psychopompos)
Lamarchus
Was chosen to lead the expedition to Sicily. Was killed in a night raid in Syracuse.
Gylippus
Decelea
A fortress inside Athens. King Agis stationed a permanent garrison here in 413. Kept the Athenians penned up in the city.
Lysander
A Spartan general who comes to the form in 407. Took money fromt he Persians to rebuild their fleet. After the battle of Aegospotamoi, he sailed the Aegean, peeling Athens’ former allies away.
Tissaphernes
Arginusae
A sea battle fought here. Athenians scored an impressive victory.
slaves
Offered freedom if they rowed for Athens in the battle at Arginusae.
Aegospotamoi
Sea battle fought in 405. Athenians suffered a defeat. This defeat interrupted the steady supply of grain from the Hellespont region to Athens.
terms of surrender
After Athens’ surrender, the long walls were pulled down, as well as the walls surrounding the city. The fleet was reduced to 12 ships. All its former subjects/allies were now free and independent. Athens’ overseas possessions were stripped from them. The city was now subordinate to Sparta’s will.
30 tyrants
Oligarchs put in charge of Athens on behalf of the Spartans.
Critias
A student of Socrates. At one time a hard-lined oligarchs. He was a primary member of the Thirty.
Thrasybulus
democracy
Socrates
trial
Plato’s Apology
Reported the trial of Socrates.
Crito
Another dialogue associated with the trial of Socrates. Plato has socrates deliver a famous last speech while in prison. Socrates says he cannot escape the city because such an action would be unconscionable for a true philosopher.
Alcibiades (students of Socrates)
A student of Socrates and a hard-lined oligarchs at one time or another.
hemlock
Socrates was condemned to death and forced to drink this.
Corinthian Wars
A war between mainland city-states and Sparta started in 395 over a border dispute in central Greece. The dispute drew these city-states in because they were resentful of Sparta’s meddling in their local affairs. And with money given to them by the Persians, they were able to muster a fleet and combat Spartan influence in Asia Minor and on the mainland.
Argos/Athens/Corinth/Thebes
Entered into a state of war with Sparta after the Peloponnesian War. They were funded by the Persians.
Sparta
Epaminondas
Leader of Thebes. After the Battle of Leuctra he encouraged various city states in the Peloponnese to rebel against Sparta.
Pelopidas
Ally of Epaminondas. Helped throw Spartans from their territory and form a Boeotian League with the Thebans.
Battle of Leuctra
In Boeotia. A Spartan army marched into here where they were confronted by a numerically inferior Theban army. However, the Thebans prevailed.
Messenia (freed)
Liberated by Epaminondas’s rebelion with the city-states.
Battle of Mantinea
Battle between Sparta’s remaining allies and the Thebans. The Thebans again defeated the Spartans under Epaminondas’ leadership, although he was killed.
Macedonia
A region to the north of mainland Greece. Consisted of the valley with a capital and the upperland with its mountainous neighbourhoods and unruly tribes. Not considered Greek by their neighbours, nor did they think of themselves as Greek. Had very few cities, and were ruled by a king.
Illyria
Shares border with Macedonia on the west.
Thrace
Shares border with Macedonia on the east.
Philip II
The youngest of three sons of Amyntas, king of Macedonia. Spent some time in Thebes where he observed the tactics of Epaminondas. After assuming the throne he reorganized the Macedonian army. He demonstrated greater mastery of the art of besieging cities. In 338, marched south against Athens.
army reorganized
Philip II deployed the phalanx in a new innovative fashion and armed it with a sarissa, a long spear/pike.
Chaeronea (338)
In Boeotia (Thebes allied area) an allied force of Athenians and Thebans met Philip in battle and were defeated. Most major Greek poleis (except Sparta) accepted Philip’s rule.
League of Corinth
An alliance designed 1) to stop the perpetual infighting that had dogged mainland states in the aftermath of the Peloponnesian War and 2) to facilitate the creation of a punitive expedition against Persia.
assassination
Philip was assassinated in 336 by a Macedonian named Pausanias.
Alexander
Was 20 at time of Philip’s assassination. He was the obvious heir to Philip’s throne. He marched south before the Greek city-states could rebel. He then headed north and campaigned fiercly against the Thracians and Illyrians. He then marched south again and took Thebes captive. He destroyed the city and sold the population into slavery.
Persia (334-323),
Alexander marched into Asia with some 30,000 troops.
Granicus (334),
Alexander’s first major battle with the Persians. He scored a decisive victory which gave him control over the Asiatic Greeks.
Issus (333),
Alexander’s second major battle. Victory against king Darius III.
Gaugamela (331),
Alexander’s third major battle with the Persians. Again Darius was defeated. The Persian empire fell to Alexander after Darius was murdered by one of his lieutenants.
Darius III
“to the strongest?,
In answer to who Alexander’s heir would be.
Ptolemy (Egypt)
A general who ended up establishing a long lasting dynasty after Alexander’s death. He and his heirs wound up controlling Egypt. The last Ptolemaic heir, Cleopatra, lost this territory to Rome, in 31 BC.
Seleucus (Babylonia),
Established a dynasty in the satrapy (province) of Babylon, Persia proper and Media.
Hellenism
The spread of Greek culture by Alexander the Great into Turkey, the heart of Persia, in Egypt and Afghanistan. It meant the death of the city-state. The polis had been supplanted and people now belonged to the cosmopolis – a system of government that tied them together, but was too large to allow their inclusion.

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