Ancient Greeks

Ancient Greeks

There is no doubt that Ancient Greece is an important part of the history of human civilization, which has provided a lot for future generations. After all, it was there and then that the foundations of modern knowledge about mathematics, politics, culture, medicine, philosophy were laid.

Ancient Greece itself left us a lot of myths about gods and heroes. There are some misconceptions in the history of Ancient Greece that it is time to debunk.

Ancient Greek myths

Trojan War. This story is sung by the famous Homer. Who has not heard about the famous war of the Greeks with the Trojans, in which Achilles and Hector proved themselves. Even the gods took part in that epic, sharing sympathy. The very concept of "Trojan horse" has become a well-known aphorism, meaning a gift with a hidden secret meaning. And the legend of the Achilles' heel came from here. But who said that there was such a war at all? For a long time, scientists could not find Troy at all. When the remains of this supposedly ancient city were found, it became clear that at some point it was indeed attacked and plundered. But were they the Greeks with their huge army? There is simply no historical confirmation of this whole story and the myths it generated. Troy may have been besieged by someone, only that can be said for sure.

Battle of Thermopylae. We all studied the feat of three hundred Spartans at school. And thanks to the recent creation of Hollywood, people were able to see what it was like. But this movie further reinforced the historical lie. It would be a mistake to think that a handful of Spartans protected the passage and thus saved all of Greece. As a result of the battle, Xerxes' troops were indeed stopped for a while. Nevertheless, the invaders inflicted great damage on Greece, retreating only after being defeated in a naval battle. It would be a mistake to assume that it was three hundred Spartans who fought against an entire army. In fact, by the beginning of the battle, the defenders' forces consisted of seven thousand people. On the last day of the battle, one thousand four hundred people remained, three hundred were really Spartans, but after all, four hundred soldiers represented Thebes, there were eighty Mycenaeans and seven hundred Thespians. No one denies the fighting prowess of the Spartans, just do not exaggerate their merits and importance.

Spartan warriors. Today we know that the Spartan warriors were some kind of super soldiers. This myth also originated from the aforementioned story. It seems to us that all the men in Sparta did nothing but train and prepare for battle. These warriors returned home either with a shield or on a shield. There could be no question of any other life in youth, love for women. In fact, this is a myth. Young Spartans really devoted part of their time to military affairs, but spent the rest of the time with their peers and peers. The Spartan warriors not only trained, but also performed in plays, sang and danced. And when the soldiers became so old that they could no longer fight, they began to teach the younger generation. So do not think that in Sparta, men only did what they fought.

Spartan women. Against the background of the previous myth, it seems that women should have been almost in the position of slaves to such strong warlike men. But in Sparta, things were very different. While the men fought, the women did almost all the work. Therefore, this work was highly valued in Spartan society. Even Aristotle spoke of the high places of women in Sparta and even their right to own land. The "weaker sex" bore almost complete responsibility in the matter of raising children, society encouraged mental studies and exercises in the arts. And yes, it was women who owned most of the land. There is even a legend that once women in Athens asked a Spartan queen why she was allowed to rule over men. To which the ruler of Sparta replied that it was in this city that women give birth to real men.

Greece and homosexuality. It is believed that Greece is not only the birthplace of the arts, but also of various forms of love. The Greeks and especially the Athenians were accused of actively cultivating homosexuality by having sex with young men and boys. Men of Ancient Athens became firmly associated for many with pedophiles. In fact, this is a rather difficult question, here you cannot try to clearly find out whether it was or not. In those days, pederasty or intimate relationships between an experienced man and a young teenager were intellectual in nature. So the teacher could more openly and deeply improve relationships with his student. As a result, grown men helped young people find their place in society. There is no need to talk about mass and encouraged pederasty. Some particularly zealous fans of close association with students were even judged.

Ancient Greek theater. It seems to us that the ancient Greek theater was a place where large groups of people came to celebrate some kind of holiday. Few people have any idea what the ancient dramas really were. Theatrical performances in ancient Greece were highly symbolic. To understand the play, one had to have a certain knowledge of what myths underlie each part of the dialogue, to understand all the symbols used. Often the audience themselves took part in the production, as is customary in the modern stand-up. And theatrical performances in general were originally part of religious rites.

Olympic Games. The tradition of hosting the Olympic Games originated in Greece. These large-scale competitions were so popular that they are still held today, simply changing their format to a modern one. But people also have various misconceptions about the history of the Olympic Games. First of all, it is a mistake to believe that the Olympics were held only in antiquity. This tradition has persisted for many years, even during the reign of the Romans. Only Theodosius put an end to the Olympics in order to finally establish Christianity as the official religion throughout the Roman Empire. It is known that women were strictly forbidden to attend the Olympic Games. But there were also exceptions - the priestesses of Demeter. And to prevent women from entering the arena in men's outfits, the Olympians eventually began to compete completely naked. In addition, athletes smeared themselves with olive oil, which helped them improve the quality of the skin and make it shiny, visually attractive.

Greek statues. Today in many museums we admire the glittering marble ancient statues. At one time, the British took out a lot of valuable exhibits to their museums, simply taking them away from the Greeks. This happened throughout the 19th century. Careless transportation, military action, or just time has ruined many of the masterpieces of ancient art. Let us recall at least Venus de Milo with missing arms. But even here there is a myth - it seems to us that samples of Greek architecture and statues in those days glittered with marble in the sun. In fact, both temples and statues were not at all snow-white in those days - they were covered with paint. Over time, it just faded away. One can only imagine how bright and colorful the statues were centuries ago. In addition, many of them also had bronze applications. The statues were often inlaid with black stone, which allowed the heroes' eyes to look spectacular.

Greek technology. We know that the ancient Greeks were well versed in art, mathematics, philosophy and other areas of life. But the extent to which they were technically advanced is often forgotten. At the beginning of the 20th century, a diver, studying the bottom near the island of Andikytyra, found several green boulders. It turned out that they were part of some kind of mechanical device. Scientists named it "Antikythera Mechanism". It turned out that this amazing device could do some pretty interesting things. The device could predict solar eclipses and track the cycles of the Olympics. The movement had a complex dial that synchronized with the Moon and the Sun. In fact, it was the first computer in history. According to some reports, the creator of this device could well have been Archimedes, whose mathematical genius is not in doubt.

Athenian democracy. Today, modern democracy is called the heir to the Greek structure of society. In fact, this opinion is wrong - it was not the Greeks who invented modern democracy, as many believe. And Athenian democracy is markedly different from any modern democratic institution. That ancient form of government was one of the few examples of direct democracy in history. All political issues were to be put to a vote in which all citizens of Athens took part. True, one should not rush to consider this form of society reasonable, because women and slaves were deprived of the right to vote. Those citizens who were born outside the city could not vote either. Although the poor were formally allowed to vote, in fact, few of them could leave their affairs to influence political affairs. So, in fact, only adults and free Athenians, relatively wealthy, took part in the vote. Naturally, they simply could not represent the interests of the entire population. Yes, this form of government had its advantages, especially considering the tyranny that existed in many cities in Greece. But the very fact that the decisions of the most important for the city were not done without ordinary people became an important political innovation. Now the fate of Athens was determined not only by the rich or the aristocrats.

Watch the video: Do Modern Greeks Know Ancient Greek? Easy Greek 12 (January 2021).